Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 13:5

There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Blasphemy;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Beast (the);   Thompson Chain Reference - Limitations of Satan;   Satan;   The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers;   Name;   War/weapons;   Worship;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Time;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Apocalyptic literature;   Worship;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Antichrist;   Order;   Pardon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Revelation of John, the;   Zechariah, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic;   Revelation, the Book of;   Tribulation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Antichrist ;   Authority;   Beast;   Blasphemy ;   Day and Night;   Numbers;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lucifer ;   Prophets, the;   Roman Empire;   Seventy Weeks of Daniel;   Year;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Year;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Astronomy;   Authority in Religion;   Blasphemy;   Number;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things - That is, There was given to the rulers of the Latin empire, who are the mouth of the beast, (and particularly the Roman emperors of Germany), power to assume great and pompous titles, indicative of their mighty sway over many subjugated countries, (see the imperial instruments of the middle centuries in the Corps Diplomatique), and also to utter against their opponents the most terrible edicts.

And blasphemies - The system of worship supported by the beast is a system of blasphemy, as there will be occasion to show presently.

And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months - As these forty-two months are prophetic, they must mean so many years as there are days contained in them; viz., 1260, each month containing 30 days. The beast, therefore, will continue in existence at least 1260 years; but when the termination of this period will take place is difficult to say, as the beginning cannot be at present indubitably ascertained.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things - John does not say by whom this was given; but we may suppose that it was by the “dragon,” who is said Revelation 13:2 to have given him his power, and seat, and authority. The fulfillment of this is found in the claims set up by the princes and rulers here referred to - that mighty secular power that sustained the papacy, and that was, in some sort, a part of the papacy itself. These arrogant claims consisted in the assertion of a divine right; in the power assumed over the liberty, the property, and the consciences of the people; in the arbitrary commands that were issued; and in the right asserted of giving absolute law. The language used here is the same as what is found in Daniel 7:8 when speaking of the “little horn:” “In this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.” For an illustration of the meaning of this, see the notes on that passage. Compare notes on Daniel 7:25.

And blasphemies - That is, the whole power represented by the “beast” will be blasphemous. See the notes on Revelation 13:1. Compare the notes on Daniel 7:25.

And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months - Three years and a half, reckoned as months; or twelve hundred and sixty days, reckoning thirty days for a month; or twelve hundred and sixty years, regarding the days as prophetic days. For the evidence that this is to be so regarded, see the notes on Daniel 7:25. This is the same period that we meet with in chap. Revelation 11:2, and in chap. Revelation 12:6. See the notes on those places. This fact proves that the same power is referred to in these places and in Daniel; and this fact may be regarded as a confirmation of the views here taken, that the power here referred to is designed to have a connection in some form with the papacy. The duration of the existence of this power is the same as what is everywhere ascribed to the papacy, in the passages which refer to it; and all the circumstances, as before remarked, show that the same general power is referred to by the two “beasts” which are described in this chapter. If so, the continuance or duration may be supposed to be the same; and this is indicated in the passage before us, where it is said that it would be twelve hundred and sixty years. In regard to the application of this to the papal power, and the manner in which the calculation is to be made of the duration of that power, see the notes on Daniel 7:25, and the remarks at the end of that chapter. The meaning in the passage before us I take to be, that the papal power, considered as a civil or secular institution, will have, from the time when that properly commenced, a duration of twelve hundred and sixty years. In the Scriptures there is nothing more definite in regard to any future event than this.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

and there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given to him authority to continue forty and two months.

And it was given to him ... The principle in this is that all authority in the final sense is God's. The beast cannot operate, except under the restrictions of the permissive will of God. See under article on "The Christian View of the State" in the chapter introduction.

To continue forty and two months ... This time period must surely be identified with "the whole time the woman was in the wilderness (Revelation 12:6), that is, the whole Christian era, from its beginning to its close."[47] "The forty-two months is a symbolic number for the entire period of the persecution of the church."[48] This is why the sea-beast is more than the Roman empire and why the land-beast is more than the emperor cult. Both beasts will be in operation throughout the time of Christians living upon earth. Plummer thought the forty-two months signified "the period of the earth's existence,"[49] but it is more logical to understand it as a reference to this whole dispensation.

These great blasphemies against God and against all that is holy must not be thought of as merely the anti-Christian actions of human governments. The beast is busy in every sector. The anti-Christian power fills people's souls with uncounted blasphemies. As Lenski said:

A thousand avenues pour out arrogant contradictions to God's word. The point to remember here is that this blasphemy is over the whole world for all time until the very end.[50]

John's vision is here signaling the church of God that, "Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

[47] Charles H. Roberson, op. cit., p. 94.

[48] George Eldon Ladd, op. cit., p. 180.

[49] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 332.

[50] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 397.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And there was given unto him a mouth,.... The beast is said to have a mouth before, like the mouth of a lion, Revelation 13:2; but now he was moved and stirred up by the dragon, the devil, to open it, not only in a cruel and voracious way, but in a haughty, lying, and blasphemous manner: and this was given him, it was at the instigation of Satan, and by divine permission; his coming, speaking, and acting, were after the working of Satan, but not without the will of God; who, as he gave up many to a judicial blindness, to believe his lies and blasphemies, gave up him to speak them, as follows:

speaking great things, and blasphemies; great swelling words of vanity; calling himself by high and lofty titles, as Christ's vicar, Peter's successor, head of the church, universal bishop, &c. promising great things to his followers, riches, honours, pleasures, pardons, and heaven itself; and uttering things of a blasphemous kind, or great blasphemies, the particulars of which are mentioned in Revelation 13:6; so the little horn, who is the same with the Romish antichrist, is said to have a mouth speaking great things, very great things, and his look more stout than his fellows, Daniel 7:8.

And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months; to continue in being, or to continue blaspheming and speaking great things; and indeed, as long as he continues, he will continue blaspheming; as soon as he arose he had a name of blasphemy on his heads, and his mouth was immediately opened in blasphemy, and so it continues, and will to the end of this date. The Ethiopic version reads it, "and power was given to him to do signs, whatsoever he would"; miracles, lying signs and wonders; see Revelation 13:13. Some copies read, and so the Arabic version, "and power was given him to make war"; but he did not make war as soon as he arose, and so not all the time that is here allotted him; and the word "war" seems to be transcribed from Revelation 13:7. The phrase rather intends his being, and the continuance and duration of it; which is the same period of time in which the holy city is trodden under foot by this beast, and the same with the 1260 days or years, in which the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth, and the woman, the church, is in the wilderness, Revelation 11:2; for forty two months, reckoning thirty days to a month, as the eastern people did, make just 1260 days, for these things are all contemporary: hence it appears, that 1260 prophetic days, that is, years, contain the whole period of antichrist's reign and continuance; so that could we tell where they began, it might be exactly known when his reign will end; but for want of knowing the former, the best of calculators have failed in the latter: but seeing the time when he was made universal bishop by Phocas bids fair for the time of his open appearance, and the beginning of his reign, and of his blasphemy, which was in the year 859, to which, if we add 1260, the expiration of his reign will fall in the year 1866; so that he may have upwards of an hundred and twenty years yet to continue; but of this we cannot be certain; however, the conjecture is not improbable.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

9 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him 10 to continue forty [and] two months.

(9) The second part containing a history of the acts of the beast, as I said {See (Revelation 13:1) }". The history of them is concluded in two points: the beginning, and the manner of them. The beginning is the gift of the dragon, who put and inspired into the beast both his impiety against the godly and those that were of the household of faith, in (Revelation 13:5) The manner of the acts or actions done, is of two sorts, both impious in mind, and blasphemous in speech against God, his Church and the godly in (Revelation 13:6) and also most cruel and injurious in deeds, even such as were done of most raging enemies, and of most insolent and proud conquerors in (Revelation 13:7)

(10) Namely his actions, and manner of dealing. As concerning those two and forty months, I have spoken of them before. {See (Revelation 12:6) }

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

blasphemies — So Andreas reads. B reads “blasphemy.” A, “blasphemous things” (compare Daniel 7:8; Daniel 11:25).

power — “authority”; legitimate power (Greek, “{(exousia}”).

to continueGreek, “{poiesai},” “to act,” or “work.” )B reads, “to make war” (compare Revelation 13:4). But A, C, Vulgate, Syriac, and Andreas omit “war.”

forty  …  two month — (See on Revelation 11:2, Revelation 11:3; see on Revelation 12:6).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-13.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

There was given to him (εδοτη αυτωιedothē autōi). First aorist passive indicative of διδωμιdidōmi to give, as in next line and Revelation 13:7. Perhaps a reference to εδωκενedōken (he gave) in Revelation 13:4, where the dragon (Satan) gave the beast his power. The ultimate source of power is God, but the reference seems to be Satan here.

Speaking great things and blasphemies (λαλουν μεγαλα και βλασπημιαςlaloun megala kai blasphēmias). Present active participle of λαλεωlaleō agreeing with στομαstoma (nominative neuter singular and subject of εδοτηedothē). The words are like Daniel‘s description of the Little Horn (Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:20, Daniel 7:25) and like the description of Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. 1:24). Cf. 2 Peter 2:11.

To continue (ποιησαιpoiēsai). First aorist active infinitive (epexegetic use) of ποιεωpoieō either in the sense of working (signs), as in Daniel 8:12-14, with the accusative of duration of time (μηναςmēnas months), or more likely in the sense of doing time, with μηναςmēnas as the direct object as in Matthew 20:12; Acts 20:3; James 4:13.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

To continue forty and two months ( ποιῆσαι μῆνας τεσσεράκοντα δύο )

Lit., to make forty and two months. Similarly, Acts 15:33, ποιήσαντες χρόνον havingtarried a space; lit., having made a time. See on continued there a year, James 4:13. The best expositors, however, render ποιῆσαι absolutely, to work, and the following accusative as the accusative of duration, “during forty and two months.” Rev., margin to do his works during, etc. See Daniel 11:28.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-13.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Forty and two months; the same mystical period of three years and a half again recurring.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-13.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Ver. 5. And there was given unto him] As once was to Antiochus, that little antichrist, Daniel 7:25. What cracks the pope makes of his unlimited power and prerogatives; who knows not? what blasphemies he belcheth out of the fable of Christ, of eating his pork, Al despito di Die, in despite of God; of suffering himself to be styled "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world," as Pope Martin IV did; of drinking a health to the devil, as another of them did, who hath not heard? Baronius, in the year 964, reckoning up certain of the popes, calleth them monsters, an abomination of desolation in God’s temple, &c. Cardinal Benno saith of Pope Hildebrand, that he was a blasphemer, a murderer, a whore master, a necromancer, a heretic, and all that is naught. The Church of Rome (saith another of their own writers) had deserved now for a long time no better of God than to be ruled by reprobates. Marcellus II, pope of Rome, said, that he could not see how any pope could be saved. (Jac. Revius, p. 275.)

Forty and two months] Here Mr Brightman calculates and pitches the ruin of Antichrist upon the year 1686, or thereabouts.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-13.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 13:5. καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ἐξουσία μῆνας τεσσαράκοντα δύο) This ancient, short, middle reading is the genuine one:(146) so that the accusative μῆνας, months, answers to the question, how long. Others have supplied ποιῆσαι: more, πόλεμον ποιῆσαι. Both of them from Revelation 13:7. One important point is marked out in Revelation 13:5; another, the calamity increasing, Revelation 13:7. A fuller consideration of these months will follow at Revelation 13:18 : by the use of which, there will be no doubt as to the meaning of the close of the power of the beast. Many persons, when they hear anything of this kind for the first time, wonder at it, as news of future events, instead of reverencing it as the word of God: they say, in short, that the matter is worthy of consideration, and yet they do not consider it in such a manner, as to lay aside for a little time lighter subjects (and what subject is not light in comparison with these of such great magnitude?), and examine into the truth: and then, when they have once or twice heard and related it, having lost the taste of novelty, they loathe it; and with the character which they always had, they rush into the Divine judgments, whether known or unknown, regarding neither things past, nor things present, nor things future. Let them take care what they are about. We do not write for them: we will not be silent out of regard for them. See ch. Revelation 22:10-11. The close of the power of the beast is therefore approaching nearer and nearer: and matters of the greatest importance will precede that close, which matters remain from ch. 13 and 14, and which are contained in ch. 15 and 16. But the Non-being of the beast will follow the same close, and so will many other things, which are described in ch. 17 and those which follow.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-13.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies: by him here must be meant antichrist, (as appears by the forty-two months, his period, being the same with one thousand two hundred and sixty days), both the secular power of the emperors of Rome at this time, and the ecclesiastical power of the bishops of Rome concurred to make one antichrist. God permitted, and the devil influenced, this beast to speak great things, as Daniel 7:11, which is interpreted by the term blasphemies. Blasphemies against God signifies strictly any reproachful speeches against him, whether attributing to him the creature’s imperfections, or denying him the perfection proper to him, or giving to the creature what belongs to God only, which blasphemy must be in all idolatry; for adoration is due unto God alone, and when this is given to any creature, there is both blasphemy in the doctrine which teacheth the lawfulness of it, and idolatry in the practice of it.

And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months: these forty-two months are (as hath been before showed) the same term of time with one thousand two hundred and sixty days, and must be the term of antichrist, which was given him to tread down the outward court in; so as the beast here spoken of must be the antichrist, who began in the civil power of the Roman empire, but was quickly metamorphosed into the ecclesiastical power of the bishop of Rome; in comparison of whose power (after he had obtained the primacy) indeed the emperor’s power was very small.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-13.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

даны были Всевышний Бог ограничит время, в течение которого антихристу будет позволено говорить и действовать, но Он позволит произнести богохульство, довести разгул сил сатаны на земле до кульминации за 3,5 года (ст. 5; 11:2, 3; 12:6, 13, 14).

сорок два месяца Последние 3,5 года, или 1260 дней, – это «бедственное время для Иакова» (Иер. 30:7) и вторая половина 70-й седьмины Даниила (Дан. 9:24-27), известная, как время великой скорби (см. пояснения к 11:2; 12:6; ср. Дан. 7:25). Эта вторая половина начинается мерзостью запустения (см. пояснение к Мф. 24:15).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-13.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Speaking great things and blasphemies; usurping the prerogatives of God, and subjecting men’s consciences to his control. This beast exerts his power in connection with the second beast, verses Revelation 13:12-15, and the two together usurp God’s place, and require men to pay to them divine honors. Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

Forty and two months; the same as twelve hundred and sixty days, chap Revelation 11:3, and "a time, and times, and the dividing of time." Chap Revelation 12:14; Daniel 7:25. These days are commonly understood as symbolical of so many years.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him and he was given authority to continue for forty two months.’

This refers to the head that was smitten to death and was healed (v. 3). ‘Was given to him’. Up to now this phrase has signified God’s permitting. Now it has a twofold meaning. Outwardly it is the Serpent who ‘gives’ his authority to him, but John recognises that behind this, as behind all things, is God (compare 1 Chronicles 21:1 with 2 Samuel 24:1).

The claim to Imperial divinity was first emphasised under Augustus (although earlier Caesars were accepted as divine by many), but it was Gaius Caligula who assiduously propagated such a belief in his own divinity throughout the Empire, and even sought to enforce it by force among the Roman aristocracy who naturally were most wary of his claims. While the Roman aristocracy were happy to see the common people worshipping the Emperor, they were the last to believe in the divinity of Emperors, for they knew them too well, and under Caligula some of them suffered for it.

He also included in his efforts the aim of setting up his image in the Jerusalem Temple, and images in other places, and he reacted against any attempts to deny him worship. Tiberius had laid little emphasis on the Imperial cult. Caligula brought it to the fore. This would naturally result in many conflicts with Christians who at various times would find themselves in a position where they had to deny his deity and refuse to offer sacrifices to ‘Rome and the Emperor’. (Historically he is not viewed as strictly a wholesale persecutor of Christians per se, for he persecuted everybody, but contemporary Christians who suffered and saw others suffering under his claims no doubt saw it differently).

His reign was the first in which emperor worship became a major issue and lasted for three years and ten months. John sees this is significant and dates from the early part of his reign, putting it in terms of prophetic terminology as ‘forty two months’ (between three and four years - note that the forty two months is not strictly said to be the length of his reign, thus a short period can be seen as excluded at the beginning before his persecutions really got under way).

As we have mentioned Tiberius had not been an enthusiastic propagator of his divinity, and the shock with which Caligula’s emphatic proclamation of divinity and demand for worship from all was received by Christians is clear from John’s reference to it here. It brought a new perspective to, and emphasis on, Emperor worship which boded ill for the future. But in the end it is not the specific activity of Caligula that is finally in mind but the continued activity of the wild beast.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-13.html. 2013.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

(3) The blasphemies of the beast--13:5-10. 1. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies--13:5. With malignant satisfaction and gloating over the success of the conquests, the beast proclaimed an impious profanation against God-- to blaspheme his name. The emperor not only opposed God, or spake derogatorily of God, but he blasphemed--desecrated the name, Jehovah, which was held in the ultimate degree of reverence by the Hebrews: "I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them"-- Exodus 6:3. This was God's name--my name, the text says, and was indicative of the attributes of eternal and immutable self-existence: I AM THAT I AM--, Exodus 3:14. It was this eternal and almighty name which was with arrogant imperial defiance blasphemed, assuming for himself the attributes and prerogatives of God and commanding the worship of the emperor by all the world.

The Jehovah passage of Exodus 6:3 is one of sublimity. It is God's own declaration of omnipotent majesty. Moses stood before Jehovah in awe, and all men should stand in His august presence now, and should so honor Him in prayer, "Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting." Such sublime attributes forbid the lately modern forms of praying in degraded terms of familiarity with God--addressing God as if He were man, as one would address a human father. It is being said that to employ Thee and Thou in prayer is archaic and obsolete, and the sophisticated approach to God is to fling you into the face of his Divine Presence. But thee and thou are not obsolete in sacred literature, in poetry and in music. Shall the worshipper be more reverent in song than in prayer? These very proper words of address are current in sacred use in our literature, and are entirely literary in reverent character, and to replace Thee and Thou with you in songs of praise to God would be degrading to the "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" that we sing in "making melody with the heart unto God"--and it is just that degrading to prayer. Try it on such songs as "My Faith Looks Up To Thee, Thou Lamb Of Calvary" and "How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art"--and feel the difference! And in the experiment, try reading the Lord's prayer of John 17:1-26 substituting the you for Thee and Thou--read it and wince!

God is Jehovah, the great I AM, and to address Him in the common pronoun you is a degrading familiarity with God that is inexcusable. In prayer the reverent prostrated petitioner before His Throne should never talk down to God--prayer talks up to God. The Lord's command to call no man Father upon this earth prohibits addressing men as God, and it conversely forbids speaking to God as if He were man. The name Jehovah forbids familiarity. This humble writer could never bring himself to the point of addressing God in prayer in the common term you. "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them."

The descriptions by Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, of the sacrilegious assumption of divine exaltation by the emperor for himself, parallels the visional representations of the same thing by John in Revelation. The Thessalonian passage refers to "that man of sin . . . the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." This passage as a reference to emperor Nero could not be made more obvious without actually calling his name; but for either Paul or John to mention the name of the living emperor in such connections would have accentuated the persecutions all over the empire--hence, the code language of these descriptions of verses 5 to 10.

2. And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months--13:5. Here is the third repetition of the thousand two hundred and threescore days of chapters eleven and twelve; and, as previously commented, it embraces the exact mathematical period from the date of Nero's order to Vespasion for the invasion of Judea to the fall of Jerusalem. This was the period of time assigned to the emperorbeast for the accomplishment of the destruction of Jerusalem and the obliteration of the Jewish state.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-13.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God (cf. Revelation 6:4; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 7:2; Revelation 9:5; Daniel 4:17; Daniel 4:25; Daniel 4:32) will give authority to the beast to act as he will during the Great Tribulation, the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-13.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 13:5. And there was given him a month speaking great things and blasphemies. This is the first of three things spoken of (Revelation 13:5-7) as ‘given,’ i.e given by God to whom in its utmost might the beast is subject. The description is taken from Daniel 8:8; Daniel 8:20; Daniel 8:25, where similar language is used of the ‘Little Horn.’ The second thing ‘given’ is authority to work forty and two months. For the time here specified see on chap. Revelation 11:2.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-13.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

speaking. App-121.

continue. Literally do, or Act 2 Thessalonians 2:3 records the coming of "the man of sin (lawlessness)", who is this beast from the sea. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8 "that wicked" = "the lawless one", who is the beast from the earth, verses: Revelation 13:11-18.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Blasphemies. So 'Aleph (') C, Andreas; B, 'blasphemy;' A, 'blasphemous things' (cf. Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:11; Daniel 7:25). The "mouth" answers to both Antiochus Epiphanes' three and a half years of blasphemy against God's "tabernacle," suspending the daily sacrifice (notes, Daniel 8:1-27.), and to the little horn of the fourth kingdom, the papacy in its forty-two prophetic months, as also the great sacerdotalist pretensions of the Greek eastern (third kingdom) patriarchate in the same period.

Power - `authority:' legitimate [ exousia (Greek #1849)]. 'Aleph (') omits.

To continue - `to act,' 'work' [ poieesai (Greek #4160)]. B, "to make war" (cf. Revelation 13:4); but A C, Vulgate, Syriac, Andreas, omit "war;" 'Aleph (') has, 'to do what he wills' [ ho (Greek #3588) thelei (Greek #2309)] (Daniel 11:36; Daniel 12:7).

Forty and two months - (notes, Revelation 11:2-3; Revelation 12:6.)

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) And there was given . . .—In these verses the words and the works of the wild beast are described. The 5th verse tells us that the liberty to speak and work was given to him. There is consolation in the words: he has no power beyond what is given; behind his reckless and apparently irresistible power there stands the veiled but real power of God. “Thou couldest have no power” (the saints may take up their Lord’s words) “against me, except it were given thee from above.” He speaks great things, and blasphemy. And there was given him authority to act (literally, to do) forty-two months. Again the familiar period, the limited time of the world-power.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
a mouth
Daniel 7:8,11,25; 11:36
and power
11:2,3; 12:6,14
to continue
or, to make war.
7; 11:7
Reciprocal: Psalm 12:3 - tongue;  Psalm 17:10 - with;  Psalm 94:4 - boast;  Isaiah 36:14 - GeneralJeremiah 27:7 - until;  Jeremiah 50:29 - for she hath;  Ezekiel 4:6 - each day for a year;  Ezekiel 13:23 - for I;  Ezekiel 20:27 - Yet;  Ezekiel 35:13 - with;  Daniel 5:23 - lifted;  Daniel 7:21 - GeneralDaniel 8:11 - he magnified;  Daniel 8:14 - Unto;  Daniel 12:7 - that it;  Daniel 12:11 - a thousand;  Hosea 7:16 - the rage;  Obadiah 1:12 - spoken proudly;  Matthew 15:18 - GeneralMark 5:13 - gave;  Ephesians 4:29 - no;  1 Timothy 1:20 - blaspheme;  2 Timothy 3:2 - blasphemers;  James 2:7 - blaspheme;  James 3:5 - so;  2 Peter 2:18 - they speak;  Revelation 9:5 - it was;  Revelation 13:1 - blasphemy

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-13.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

There was given unto him. When something is given there must be a giver either directly or indirectly. The preceding verse tells of the people of the world worshipping the beast, and hence it is reasonable to conclude that this power or permission tospeak blasphemies was his by common consent. These are the same kind of blasphemous words that are mentioned in verse1. Continue forty and two months. We recognize this to be the same period that is elsewhere mentioned and that it is the Dark Ages. An apparent difficulty may present itself here. It is well known that the Dark Ages of1260 years was the result of the union of church and state, at which time the apostate church was come to power. But our present verse is still under the time of Pagan Rome, and hence the period of the forty two months should not be started yet. It is one of the cases where God charges the fruits of a thing to that thing itself. Pagan Rome started the work of persecuting the Christians, and when the apostate church came into power it formed another beast (the Papal) which "retired from active service" the other beast. But the new beast just followed after the pattern set by the first one-—"exerciseth all the power of the first beast" (verse12). John was enabled to look ahead and see this conduct of the second beast, and hence laid the blame of the forty and two months at the door of the first beast, considering him as morally responsible for it, even though the apostasy did not actually get under way until the first beast was "taken out of the way" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7).

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-13.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 13:5

Revelation 13:5-6 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

This

mouth speaking great things

was like that mouth of the little horn. { Daniel 7:24-25} The great things which the beasts mouth spake, are his blasphemies against God, as { 2 Thessalonians 2:4}

and his tabernacle

that Isaiah, the churches of God.

And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months

that Isaiah, a thousand two hundred and sixty prophetical days. See the exposition, { Revelation 11:2-7} See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:2[ff] See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:3 See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:4 See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:5See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:7 and Revelation 12:6. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 12:6

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-13.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 13:5. And a mouth was given him, which spoke great things and blasphemies,[Note: Instead βλασφημίας several, whom Luther follows, have βλασφημίαν from Revelation 13:6; others βλά σφημα; Bengel: ob μεγά λα.] and power was given him to do[Note: May copyists have found themselves unable to comprehend the elliptical and Hebraistic ποιῆσαι. Hence they have either dropt the word out, or they have shoved in before it πόλεμον, taken from Revelation 13:7.] forty and two months. The expression, there was given, is very consolatory. The word, "what hast thou, which thou hast not received," holds here also; if it is the true God who moves the tongues of his enemies, and wields their arms, it can be no real evil, so far as the church is concerned, it can only be a concealed good, which he gives to the enemy: in his own time he will again resume what he has taken; so that the loud cry, "Who is like the beast?" can no longer occasion bitter tears, but should only be matter for derision. It is not without meaning, that the "It was given" is so frequently repeated in this chapter. It appears in three pairs; two of which belong to the first beast. Revelation 13:5; Revelation 13:7, and one to the second, Revelation 13:14-15.

We are taught by the analogy of the second part of the verse not to think, in respect to the giving, of the inclination to blaspheme, but only of the liberty granted for the indulgence of this inclination by God, who could with one stroke have brought the beast to the ground (Exodus 9:15-16), or the presenting of such conditions as were necessary to its being indulged. De Wette is of opinion: "We would say, It was permitted him to speak; but that according to the style of Scripture the permission of God is considered as a doing." The idea, however, of mere permission, is not worthy of Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being; who has our breath and all our ways in his hand; without whom we cannot so much as lift our arm or our tongue. Such an idea places the creature in a certain, though limited independence, beside his Creator.

The simple doing forms an antithesis to the speaking. What was to be done is more specifically described in Revelation 13:7.[Note: The doing is not put for acting, but it is used elliptically, as עשה very frequently is, for example, Psalms 22:31, Psalms 37:5, Psalms 52:10; Daniel 8:12; Daniel 8:24; Daniel 11:7; Daniel 11:30, to which passages of Daniel allusion is here made—and the object is to be supplied from the context: what he wished; or still belter: what the mouth spake. Here no indication is as yet given of the object of the doing (though that may be gathered from the connection in which it stands with the speaking), but the doing itself is put in contradistinction to the speaking.]

In Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:20, a mouth is attributed to the little horn speaking great things; here blasphemies are also added. We have a specimen of these blasphemies in the words: "Who is like the beast, and who can make war with him," spoken in the Lord's presence, and before his anointed and his church.

The forty and two months have already occurred, in ch. Revelation 11:2 (comp. Revelation 12:6; Revelation 12:14), as the signature of the world's dominion over the church, or of the temporary subjection of the people of God. It shall last only forty-two months—so should the church say[Note: Dionysius of Alexandria says of the persecution under Valerian, in Eusebius VII. 10: "It was in like manner revealed to John: ‘And there was given to him,' he says, ‘a mouth speaking great things and blasphemy, and power was given to him forty and two months.' Both were wonderfully verified in Valerian." The persecution of that time occupied the second half of his reign, which lasted about seven years. The emperor was stirred up to persecute the Christians by a certain teacher and principal person among the Magi from Egypt—a master in "abominable enchantments;" so that in him also was fulfilled what is afterwards (Revelation 13:12-18) said of the second beast.] (comp. what was said at ch. Revelation 2:10, on "Ye shall have tribulation ten days"), whenever power is given to the beast over them; and with that silence natural reason, which, as soon as it sees no human means of help at hand, is ready to exclaim, "All is lost!" The world has nothing, which has not been given to it by the Lord of the church, and in its rage against the church, there is still a prescribed period set to it, even when the church has been brought to the lowest condition, and that period not a long one. While the forty and two months continue, the saying of our Lord, "In the world ye shall have tribulation," goes into fulfilment; but at the close the comforting assurance stands fast, "I have overcome the world."

The relation of the verse before us to Revelation 13:6-7, was correctly settled by Vitringa. We have here the general plan, there the filling up, first in reference to the mouth, Revelation 13:6, then in reference to the doing, Revelation 13:7.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-13.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5.Speaking great things—Words from Daniel 7:8, spoken of the fourth, or Roman beast, here claiming to be the sole Church of God on earth, out of which is no salvation; and in the person of its spokesman and pontiff claiming to be God on earth.

Forty and two months—Or 1260 days. See note on Revelation 12:14. Elliott measures this beast-period from the year A.D. 529, when the Emperor Justinian conferred the title and power of universal bishop on the pope. This starting-point will bring the close of the period at 1789. That year was the birth-year of the French Revolution, by which the despoliation of the power of the pope was inaugurated. The Church properties in France were confiscated, the monasteries were suppressed, and the clergy were compelled to a solemn abjuration of their allegiance to the pope. The other countries of Europe followed the French example. When Bonaparte came into power he deprived Pope Pius VII. of his territories, and imprisoned him. The pope continued stripped of his powers until the restoration of the old regimen on the downfall of Bonaparte. Popery never recovered its ancient persecuting supremacy. Since that day the decline of the politico-ecclesiastical power of the papacy has been constant, under the growth of the primitive principles of Christian toleration. The Protestant States have increased in intelligence and power, and the Romanistic have waned. The battle of Sadowa humbled the power of Austria, and the battle of Sedan prostrated France. The creation of the kingdom of Italy deprived the pope of his temporal kingdom, and Protestant missions are defying the pontiff in sight of the Vatican.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-13.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 13:5. “Big and blasphemous (or abusive; 2 Peter 2:11) words.” So Apoc. Bar. lxvii. 7: “surget rex Babylonis qui destruxit nunc Sionem et gloriabitur super populo et loquetur magna in corde suo coram Altissimo”.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-13.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

5. To have authority for 42 months. Satan works through the governments of this world throughout the entire Gospel Age. The governments seize power that belongs only to God, and they blaspheme God, heaven, and all God’s people. They are allowed to defeat God’s people [it seems that way, but see Revelation 11:9-13]. Every tribe, nation, language, and race will worship anti-christian government and place their trust in it. Compare Revelation 11:7.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 13:5". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.