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CHAPTER XI 1. And there was given to me a reed like unto a rod, saying Arise and measure the Tabernacle of God and the altar, and them who worship in it.
2. And the court which is without the Tabernacle, cast out, and measure it not, because it is given to the Gentiles; and the holy city they shall tread under foot forty-two months.
Plate V. illustrates the meaning of this text. The building marked 1 and 2, consisting of the Holy of Holies, and the Holy Place, formed the Tabernacle of the Temple; in Greek, the vaós. The Holy of Holies (1), before the Babylonian “diaspora,"contained the Ark of the Covenant, and was looked upon as the dwelling place of God. Only the High Priest could enter it, and he but once a year. It was separated from the Holy Place by “the Veil of the Temple.” In the latter, and larger chamber, was the golden altar of incense, the sevenbranched candlestick, and the sacred oil and wine. Ministering priests entered there and offered up incense.
The Priests' Court (No. 3), contained the altar of holocausts (3A), the fire for the burnt offerings and for the altar of incense; large brazen vessels of water for cleaning victims and for the use of the priests; charcoal, wood, and all conveniences for slaughtering animals. The Woman's Court (No. 4), so called, because women were admitted to it, completed the Temple proper, or “'lepós” in Greek. Extending all round the “ieros" was “the Court of the Gentiles” (No. 5.5.5), to which Gentiles were admitted; and surrounding that again were residential buildings. The whole temple, called in Greek, the oikos, “house" or "temple,” was enclosed by a loop-holed wall and rampart, for defensive purposes.
As the Priests' Court for burnt offerings was open to the sky and sprinkled with blood and water, and oil and wine, the priests offered sacrifice standing, and the worshippers also stood ; Acts v. 25, Heb. x. 11.
The Nazarenes, who were looked upon as a Jewish sect by the officials of the Temple, were allowed to worship in the Priests' Court; Acts iii. 1, iv. 1, v. 20, 25, 42.
Of the Temple proper there is “not left a stone upon a stone" (Luke xxi. 6). "The front wall (No. 7) and the Golden Gate (No. 8), through which our Lord entered Jerusalem on the eve of His Passion, are said to be originals. The Mount of Olives faced this wall (7) and looked down upon the view of the Temple seen in Plate V.
3. And I will give unto my two witnesses, and they shall
sprinkles Court poses.
prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
“ Clothed in sackcloth” was characteristic of Hebrew preachers of repentance and coming judgment. See Jer. iv. 8, vi. 26, Jonas iii. 5, 4 Kings xix. 12, Ísa. xx. 2, Matt. iii. 4.
The Antichrist exegesis of this part of Revelation, prevalent in the middle ages, overlooked the fact that the appearance of Antichrist upon earth would reveal “ that day and hour no one knoweth” (Matt. xxv. 36), for “day” signifies a period. Further notes on Antichrist are printed on pp. 252, 253. Nero is “the Destroyer" of Daniel and Revelation and “the man of sin” of S. Paul. Our Lord in His description of the last days (Luke xxi. f., Matt. xxiv. f., Mark xiii. f.) makes no mention of Antichrist.
4. These are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the earth.
The lamp of the Tabernacle stood with the golden altar of incense évÓTTLOV TOÛ Deoll (ix. 13). These two "witnesses,” who are light giving in the sense of their being religious teachers, stood before the Lord, another indication of their being Christian prophets. “Sons of oil” indicate anointed priests. We find that these two witnesses were prophets (xi. 10), as well as priests. Our Lord said to the Scribes and Pharisees, “Therefore behold I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city (Matt. xxiii. 34).
Two witnesses were required in the old Law, and customary in the new. See Deut. xvii. 6, xix. 15. " And he sent them two and two before his face into every city” (Luke x. i).
5. And if any man would hurt them, fire shall come out of their mouths and shall devour their enemies, and if any man would hurt them, in this manner must he be slain.
The "fire" of their mouths is not material fire. Their enemies were slain by natural means sent by God in answer to the prayers which came out of their mouths. See next verse, which is explanatory. Fire in this Book is a symbol of punishment.
6. These have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues as often as they will.
“I will give unto my two witnesses” (xi. 3). This gift is not stated at verse 3, but is explained here as power to do these things, or get them done, by Divine interposition. “The waters ” with definite article, looks back to twv ůdátov at
viii. 10. The days of their prophecy were 1260 (xi. 3), to agree with Daniel's time and times and half a time. Dan. (xii. 7): “three and a half years."
7. And when they shall have finished their testimony the beast, that ascendeth out of the abyss, shall make war upon them, and shall overcome them and kill them.
See note to ix. 11 (Apx.) identifying the beast with Nero.
8. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
IlTua, means "a corpse.'
9. And they of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations, shall see their dead bodies for three days and a half and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be laid in sepulchre.
Tribes and peoples in D.R.
10. And the inhabitants of the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwell upon the earth.
II. And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them; and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them that saw them.
Oewpoûvras is from bewpéw, “to look on," as a spectator.
12. And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them, Come up bither. And they went up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them.
13. And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell; and there were slain in the earthquake names of men seven thousand ; and the rest became afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
When the multitude of the Jews saw the miracles of Jesus, “they were filled with fear and glorified God” (Luke v. 26) so on this occasion terrified by the destruction of the Temple, they glorified God.
14. The second woe is past; behold the third woe will come quickly.
“And” behold (D.R.) is not in the Greek.
The second woe, the fall of the Temple and slaughter of the Jews, is described in verse 13.
15 And the seventh angel sounded the trumpet, and there were great voices in heaven saying: The Kingdom of this world is become our Lord's and his Christ's, and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Amen (D.R.) is not in the Greek.
The seventh trumpet called forth rejoicings in heaven over the establishment of the Kingdom, implying the last woe to be the dispersal of the Jews, and the transference of the symbols
of the Old Law to Rome--the end of the Jewish dispensation predicted by Daniel.
16. And the four and twenty Ancients who sat on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God.
17. Saying, We give Thee thanks O Lord God, Almighty, Who art and Who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power, and hast reigned.
And Who art to come (D.R.) is not in the Greek.
18. And the nations were angry and Thy wrath is come; and the time of the dead to be judged ; and to give the reward to Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear Thy name, little and great ; and to destroy them who have destroyed the earth.
Nero, the destroyer and the Roman Empire are in view here, accordingly we find the Jewish theme gives place to the Roman theme.“ Thy servants, the prophets,” explains the meaning of servants as far as this Book is concerned
19. And the Tabernacle of God which is in heaven, was opened, and the Ark of His Covenant appeared in His Tabernacle ; and there were lightnings and voices and thunders and an earthquake and great hail.
The Greek word óban is translated “appeared” at xii. I
After the fall of the Temple the Seer shows the Tabernacle of God, “in heaven.” As the sign of a new “ Covenant.”
Bpovrai," thunders," in the Greek, is not in D.R.
1. And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2. And being with child, she cried out in travail and was in pain to be delivered.
Travail means "to suffer the pangs of childbirth"; ódivo means “ to be in travail."
3. And there appeared another sign in heaven, and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his head seven diadems.
4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth ; and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, that when she should be delivered he might devour her son.
5. And she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her Son was taken up to God and to His throne.
6. And the woman fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should nourish her a thousand two-hundred and sixty days.
When S. John wrote this, the Nazarene Church was evidently recognised as the Mother Church.
TpeDwow is translated “nourish," here, to correspond with xii. 14. “Wilderness" in D.R. should be “desert."
7. And there was a battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.
“Great” battle (D.R.) is not in the Greek.
8. And they prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9. And the great dragon was cast out, the old serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who seduces the whole world; he was cast unto the earth and his angels were cast down with him.
“Now is the judgment of the world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (Jhn. xii. 31).
And he was cast (D.R.) is not in the Greek. Apollyon is not one of the names of Satan.
10. And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now is come salvation and strength, and the Kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ, because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God, day and night.
We are reminded of “the great voices in heaven" at the third woe, saying, “The Kingdom of this world has become our Lord's and his Christ's ” (xi. 15). And thus we gather that the scene before us relates to the same period, the escape of the Nazarene Church from the destruction which overwhelmed Jerusalem. The continuity of revelation is maintained by similar phrases in corresponding parts.
II. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death.
12. Therefore rejoice O heavens and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you having great wrath knowing that he has a short time.
Σκηνή and σκηνούν are used in the book with reference to the imagery of the Tabernacle in the desert, see vii. 15, xiii. 6, xv. 5, xxi. 3. See Plate XII.
13. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child.
Man child to agree with xii. 5. Both äppev and åpony mean "male"; the latter is the old Attic form.