Keys to Revelation – Chapter 11
Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New
York International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible
BIBLE TEXT COMMENTARY
REV 11:1 I was given a reed like [reed] – Near the Jordan were many
a measuring rod and was told, “Go bamboo-like canes which were long and
and measure the temple of God and rigid, sometimes as long as 15 or 20
the altar, and count the worshipers feet, ideal for a measuring rod.
[Go and measure] – Gives clear
evidence of a literal temple that is
to be constructed before or during
the Tribulation Period. God measured
Jerusalem in Zechariah 2, the Temple
in EZE 40, and the New Jerusalem in
REV 11:2 But exclude the outer [outer court] – The court which is
court; do not measure it, because outside the temple would be the Court
it has been given to the Gentiles. of the Gentiles. It would be an
They will trample on the holy city uncovered yard outside of the temple.
for 42 months.
[do not measure it] – The new temple
is still a place of false worship
that the Jews have rebuilt to return
to sacrificial worship, which is no
longer acceptable to God because of
the finished work of Jesus Christ.
And the Jews still are excluding the
Gentiles from access to what the Jews
believe to be the truth.
[Gentiles… they will trample] – The
Bible always contrasts two peoples,
The Jews and the Gentiles. The
Gentiles include all those not born
of Jewish heritage and most Gentiles
are unbelievers. These unbelieving
Gentiles will dominate and rule over
[42 months] – Equates to a three-and-
one-half-year period or half of the
seven-year period of the Tribulation.
The chronology of events would place
the 42 months as the second half of
REV 11:3 And I will give power to [I will give power] – God commissions
my two witnesses, and they will two persons to speak in a very direct
prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in way to the world.
[1260 days] – 42 Months or three-and-
one half years (Bible uses 30 day
months and 360 day years).
[sackcloth] – Rough garb of the
ancient prophets made of fabric from
sacks and usually dark in color. This
garb was especially suited to be worn
as a mourning garment.
REV 11:4 These are the two olive [olive trees] – Source of olive oil
trees and the two lampstands that that is burned in lamps and used to
stand before the Lord of the earth. represent the Word of God. In ZEC
4:3, 11, 14, we see the same picture
The Spirit used the symbols of the
trees and the lamps to represent two
prophets He will cause to testify on
the earth in the spirit and power of
Moses and Elijah.
REV 11:5 If anyone tries to harm [fire…from their mouths] – Not real
them, fire comes from their mouths flames but rather the Word of God
and devours their enemies. This is spoken in judgment that will cause
how anyone who wants to harm them their would be assailants to be
must die. killed. See JER 5:14 for a clear
use of God’s Word as fire.
REV 11:6 These men have power to [power to shut up sky] – They will
shut up the sky so that it will not like Elijah be able to prevent rain
rain during the time they are from falling to the earth (1KI 17:1).
prophesying; and they have power to
turn the waters into blood and to [turn the waters into blood] – This
strike the earth with every kind of is real blood given to a blood
plague as often as they want. thirsty world. This same judgment
is seen in EXO 7:19 when Moses turned
the waters of Egypt into blood.
[strike the earth…plague] – These
two men have a message to speak and
they will perform various miracles
of judgment to try to get an unsaved
world to believe, but because of the
hardness of men’s heart, mankind will
refuse God’s grace and simply receive
His righteous judgments.
REV 11:7 Now when they have [finished their testimony] – In 11:3
finished their testimony, the beast we learned that the period of their
that comes up from the Abyss will testimony will be three-and-one-half
attack them, and overpower and kill years.
[beast] – The Abyss is the place for
the very wicked demons and one of
them, referred to as the beast, will
inhabit a man, most likely the one
who will assist the Antichrist (see
[attack…kill them] – God removed
his protection from the two witnesses
because His purposes had been ful-
REV 11:8 Their bodies will lie in [bodies will lie] – Literally they
the street of the great city, which will be killed as they were speaking
is figuratively called Sodom and God’s truth publicly and then left
Egypt, where also their Lord was on the street.
[great city] – Clearly it is the City
of Jerusalem for it is where our
sweet and lovely Savior died for our
wickedness. By the time of the
Tribulation Jerusalem has become very
wicked, even earning the name Sodom
and being likened to Egypt, a country
of oppression and slavery.
REV 11:9 For three and a half days [three and a half days] – Literal
men from every people, tribe, time when the bodies were simply left
language and nation will gaze on on the streets to decay because of
their bodies and refuse them hatred of the two prophets by the
burial. unbelieving world.
[every…nation gaze] – Every people,
tribe, language, and nation gaze or
watch the bodies for three and a half
days. This means the whole world can
see the bodies, which could be easily
accomplished by satellite TV.
REV 11:10 The inhabitants of the [gloat…celebrate] – The world has a
earth will gloat over them and will fiendish glee over the death of those
celebrate by sending each other who preached words of judgment and
gifts, because these two prophets performed such dreadful miracles.
had tormented those who live on the
earth. [sending each other gifts] – What a
sick and wicked world that would kill
God’s prophets and then give gifts to
celebrate the occasion.
REV 11:11 But after the three and [But] – God will now stop the sick
a half days a breath of life from rejoicing of sinful man.
God entered them, and they stood on
their feet, and terror struck those [breath of life entered them] – Jesus
who saw them. does the same to the two witnesses as
He did for Lazarus who was dead for
about the same length of time, He
brought them back to life, creating
new flesh and organs to replace those
already destroyed by three plus days
[stood on their feet] – They did not
simply start breathing again as they
laid there, rather they had full
strength, just like many who were
healed in the the New Testament days.
[terror struck…who saw] – While the
wicked was rejoicing over the deaths
of God’s anointed and opening their
presents as they watch the corpses on
International TV, suddenly the bodies
began to move and then stand up! The
wicked then knew these were God’s
prophets and terror “set in” as they
fearfully awaited Divine Judgment.
REV 11:12 Then they heard a loud [Come up here] – Jesus commands them
voice from heaven saying to them, to “Come up to Heaven” and their
“Come up here.” And they went up to resurrected bodies simply “lifted”
heaven in a cloud, while their off of the earth and most likely
enemies looked on. ascended slowly to “capture” the
REV 11:13 At that very hour there [terrified and gave glory] – This is
was a severe earthquake and a tenth not a turning from sin in faith to
of the city collapsed. Seven God, but rather they are simply
thousand people were killed in the compelled by overriding terror to
earthquake, and the survivors were recognize that God is to be feared
terrified and gave glory to the God and glorified.
REV 11:14 The second woe has [second woe] – The sixth trumpet
passed; the third woe is coming (9:12) with the two episodes attached
[third woe] – The seventh trumpet
which includes the seven bowls of
God’s wrath (16:1).
REV 11:15 The seventh angel [world has become kingdom] – With the
sounded his trumpet, and there were third woe come the final judgments
loud voices in heaven, which said: which open the way for the Glorious
“The kingdom of the world has Kingdom of Christ.
become the kingdom of our Lord and
of his Christ, and he will reign
for ever and ever.”
REV 11:16 And the twenty-four See REV 4:4 and 4:9-11
elders, who were seated on their
thrones before God, fell on their
faces and worshiped God,
REV 11:17 saying: “We give thanks [great power] – Points to the final
to you, Lord God Almighty, the One conflict in which God overpowers all
who is and who was, because you of His enemies.
have taken your great power and
have begun to reign.
REV 11:18 The nations were angry; [nation were angry] – They were
and your wrath has come. The time defiant in their anger towards God.
has come for judging the dead, and
for rewarding your servants the [wrath has come] – God has been
prophets and your saints and those storing up wrath for generations to
who reverence your name, both small be poured out during the end times.
and great–and for destroying those
who destroy the earth.” [judging the dead] – This takes place
at the Great White Throne in REV 20:
11-15. This is only for the wicked
dead, because the redeemed have
already been judged at the cross.
[rewarding…saints] – REV 21:1-4,
REV 11:19 Then God’s temple in [temple in heaven] – The sanctuary
heaven was opened, and within his of God in heaven. The temples built
temple was seen the ark of his on earth by Moses and Solomon was in
covenant. And there came flashes of likeness to the Sanctuary in Heaven
lightning, rumblings, peals of to include the Ark.
thunder, an earthquake and a great
hailstorm. This last verse pictures the love
and faithfulness of God as He reveals
His Ark of His Covenant, the promises
to His children. Likewise, the latter
part of the verse shows the wrath
being poured out on His enemies.
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