Measuring the Temple
1Then a measuring rod, like a staff, was given to me and I was told:
Rise and measure God’s temple # 11:1 The church is God’s temple, his dwelling place. Presumably, when John wrote this there was no longer a temple standing in Jerusalem. But if John wrote this book earlier, during the time of Nero, it would point to the events of AD 67–70 during the Roman war, which lasted three and a half years. and the altar and count those who worship in it. 2But exclude the courtyard outside the temple, for it has been given over to the nations, and for forty-two months # 11:2 This was the length of Jesus’ earthly ministry. they will trample on the holy city. 3And I will authorize my two witnesses to prophesy, wearing sackcloth for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. # 11:3 That is, three and a half years, or forty-two months.
The Two Witnesses
4These two witnesses # 11:4 See Zech. 4. The two witnesses are interpreted by some scholars to be symbols of the Word and the Spirit. Some see the two olive trees as the Law and the Prophets or Moses and Elijah; others view them as believing Jews and gentiles. are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord God of the whole earth. 5If anyone attempts to harm them, fire will flow out of their mouths and consume their foes. All who seek to harm them will die in this way. 6They have authority to shut the heavens so that no rain will fall during the days of their prophesying. They have authority over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every plague imaginable, as often as they desire.
7When their testimony is completed, the beast that comes up from the bottomless pit will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them. 8Their dead bodies will lie on the street # 11:8 Or “plaza.” of the great city that is symbolically # 11:8 Or “spiritually.” called Sodom and Egypt, # 11:8 This is viewed as the great city of Jerusalem, where our Lord was crucified, symbolically called Sodom (Isa. 1:9–26) and Egypt. It can also represent the corrupt religious systems of the world. where their Lord was also crucified. 9For three and a half days people from every ethnicity, tribe, nation, and language will see their corpses, because no one is permitted to bury them. 10The entire world will gloat over them and celebrate and exchange gifts, because these two prophets had condemned # 11:10 Or “tormented.” those who dwell on the earth.
11After three and a half days God’s breath of life # 11:11 Or “spirit of lives.” entered them and they stood to their feet, terrifying all who saw them. # 11:11 The Aramaic can be translated “total paralysis fell on those who saw them.” 12Then they heard a loud shout from heaven saying to them:
Come up here!
The two prophets climbed up into heaven in a cloud while their enemies watched. 13At that very moment there was a powerful earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed, killing seven thousand people. The rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14Now the second woe has passed and the third is coming swiftly.
The Seventh Trumpet
15Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and a loud voice broke forth in heaven, saying:
“The kingdom of the world # 11:15 That is, the kingdom of finance, culture, and government, both religious and secular.
has become the kingdom of our God # 11:15 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “the kingdom of our Lord.”
and of his Anointed One! # 11:15 Or “Christ” (or “Messiah”).
He will reign supreme for an eternity of eternities!”
16Then the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell facedown before him and worshiped him, 17saying:
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is, and who was,
because you have established # 11:17 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “you have taken your great power.”
your great and limitless power and begun to reign!
18The nations were furious, and you became furious, # 11:18 Or “and your wrath has come.”
and the time for judging the dead has come.
The time has come to reward your servants, the prophets
and the holy ones and all who reverence your name,
both small and great. # 11:18 The Aramaic can be translated “lords of plenty.”
And the time has come to destroy those
who corrupt # 11:18 Or “deprave” or “destroy.” the earth!”
19Then God’s temple was opened in heaven and the ark of his covenant was clearly visible inside his temple. And there were blinding flashes of lightning, voices roaring, startling thunderclaps, a massive earthquake, and a great hailstorm! # 11:19 Or “heavy hailstones.”