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1. .] The Seer is no longer a mere witness; the new
inspiration imparted by the roll (10:11) prompts him to take his place among the actors
in the great drama. His part is to measure the Sanctuary, and for this end a reed is put
into his hands. The conception is from Ezek. 40:3, 40:6 ...
: cf. Zech. 2:1 (5) ff.:
. Apoc. 21:15 ,

. The (Ezekiers

) is perhaps a cane of the
Arundo donax which (Hastings 4. p. 212) grows in immense brakes along the Jordan
valley (cf. Mt. 11:7), and often reaches the height of 15 or 20 feet. Such a reed would be
in strength and straightness (Mc. 6:8), but far longer and therefore better
fitted to take the measurements of a great building. Ezekiels reed was of six cubits, i.e.
about 9 feet (40:5, see A. B. Davidson ad loc.).
.] On intrans, see Mc. 2:11, note. There is no
need to ask with Andreas ; or with Bp Chr.
Wordsworth to understand by the reed the Canon of Holy Scripture regarded as the
measure of human life. The speaker is the person who gave the reed, and whose
presence is implied in . A heavenly sanctuary has been mentioned in 3:12, 7:15;
cf. 11:19 . But the sanctuary which is now to be measured
is evidently on earth (cf. v. 2), and its form is suggested by the Temple of Jerusalem; it
has an outer court and is in the Holy City. At Jerusalem the Altar of Burnt-offering,
which is probably meant by , was in the Court of the Priests, while the
worshippers filled the Court of the Israelites and the Court of the Women, so that the
here must be taken to include the , with the exception of the Court of the
Gentiles. The Seer however has in view not the material Sanctuary, but the spiritual
building of the Church; cf. 1 Cor. 3:16 f., 2 Cor. 6:16, Eph. 2:21, 2 Thess. 2:4. The
measuring of the Sanctuary provides for its preservation from the general overthrow,
and thus corresponds with the sealing of the 144,000, which preceded the seventh sealopening as the measuring precedes the seventh trumpet-blast. ...
involves a zeugma; some such verb as must be mentally
supplied (WM. p. 777).
2. .] The outer court is passed over
and left to its fate. Solomons Temple had two courts (3 Regn. 6:34 (36)
, Ezek. 10:5 ; but see Hastings, 4:702), and so
had Ezekiels (Ezek. 40:17, 40:20); but in Herods Temple the inner court was divided
into three spaces, from the last of which the outer court was parted by a barrier (
, Eph. 2:15, where see Dean Robinsons note) which might not
be passed by a Gentile. The outer court was given to the Gentiles as an
WM. Winer-Moulton, Grammar of N. T. Greek, 8th Engl. ed. (Edinburgh, 1877).

(Mc. 11:17), and the Lord taught that its sanctity was not impaired by their
admission; it was a true part of the . Now, however, the Seer is directed to cast it
out (=, as in c. 14:20; cf. Blass, Gr. p. 59), i.e. to exclude it from the ,
though the other courts are included. It is to be given to the Gentiles in another sense,
to be profaned and, with the rest of the Holy City, trodden under foot. If the
represents the Church, the outer court is perhaps the rejected Synagogue; as in 2:9, 3:9,
the tables are turned, and while the Church fills the court of Israelites and worships at
the Altar of the Cross (Heb. 13:10), Israel after the flesh is cast out (Mt. 8:12
) and delivered to the heathen. This interpretation of the
outer court seems to have been in the mind of Andreas, though he obscures it by
including the pagan world:
.] A reminiscence of Zech. 12:3

. Dan. 8:13 Th. ... ; Isa. 63:18
(Aq.) . See also Ps. 79:1, Ps. Sol. 7:2,
17:25, 1 Macc. 3:45, 3:51. There is a yet nearer parallel in Lc. 21:22

comes perhaps from Dan. 9:24 Th. ( (i

) , but the phrase occurs also in 2
Esdr. 21:1, Isa. 48:2, 52:1, Mt. 4:5, 27:53. In Apoc. 21:2, 22:19 it is applied to the ideal
City of God, but here, as the context shews, it stands for the Jewish polity, as the outer
court of the Temple for the Jewish faith and worship.
] This limit of time is derived from Dan. 7:25 Th., 12:7
, i.e. 3 years or 42 months, the duration of
the sufferings of the Jews under Antiochus, whether we reckon from June 168 to Dec.
165, or from Dec. 168 to the middle of 164; see Driver ad loc. The same limit is given
under various terms in Apoc. 11:3, 12:6 (1260 days), 12:14 (a time and times and half
a time, as in Daniel), 11:2, 13:5 (42 months). By comparing these passages with the
present context we get the equation: the duration of the triumph of the Gentiles=the
duration of the prophesying of the Two Witnesses, =the duration of the Womans
sojourn in the wilderness. The time-limit serves of course no further purpose than to
synchronize the several periods, and to compare them with the greatest crisis through
which the Jewish people passed between the Exile and the Fall of Jerusalem. In this
place it suggests that as the Syrian domination yielded at last to the faith and courage of
the Maccabees, so when the appointed time has come the Jewish people may be
emancipated from Gentile oppression, and restored to the unity of the people of God.
The words have a special interest in view of the recrudescence of Anti-Semitism.
3. .] The Speaker is Christ (cf. 2:13, 21:6) or
His Angel-representative (22:7, 22:12 ff.). ... =
or (Delitzsch,
( i
) . Neither Moses
and Elijah, nor Elijah and Elisha, nor Enoch and Elijah (Tert. anim. 50, Hipp., ed. Lag.,
p. 21; see Arethas, ad loc.

[sc. ] , and Thilo,

cod. apocr. N.T., p. 765 ff.; cf. Bousset, Der Antichrist, p. 134 ff.) can be intended by
the two witnesses who prophesy through the whole period of Gentile domination,
though, as the sequel shews (vv. 5, 6), the first pair at least are in the mind of the writer,
suggested doubtless by Mal. 4:4, 4:6, and by the vision of the Transfiguration (Mc. 9:4).
Nor again can such allegorical interpretations as the Law and the Prophets, the Law and
the Gospel, the Old Testament and the New, be maintained in view of all that follows.
Rather the witnesses represent the Church in her function of witness-bearing (Acts 1:8
... ), and her testimony is symbolized by two
witnesses, partly in reference to the well-known law of Deut. 19:15 (
... , cf. Jo. 8:17
), partly in order to correspond with the
imagery of Zechariah 4:2 ff., about to be cited; or, as Primasins says, they may represent
the Church in both stages of her career, ecclesia duobus testamentis praedicans et
prophetans. The witness of the Church, borne by her martyrs and confessors, her saints
and doctors, and by the words and lives of all in whom Christ lives and speaks, is one
continual prophecy (cf. 19:10
) lasting throughout the 1260 days of the triumph of heathendom. Her
witnesses are clad in sackcloth (for the construction see 10:1), a reference perhaps to the
rough costume worn by ancient prophets; cf. 4 Regn. 1:8
, Zech. 13:4 , Isa. 20:2
, and see Mc. 1:6, note. But . has a special
appropriateness in its present connexion, for the attitude of the Church during the
prevalence of paganism was penitential and not triumphant; cf. Jonah 3:6, 3:8
, Mt. 11:21 ... . Cf.
Bede: saccis amicti, id est in exomologesi constituti. On the readings
, , see WH2., Notes, p. 138.
4. .] After Zech. 4:2 f., 4:14 ...
. In Zechariah the is Israel, and the two olive trees which feed it
are either the priesthood and the royal house, represented by Joshua and Zerubbabel, or,
as some suppose, certain heavenly ministries through which the Spirit was poured upon
the nation. The Apocalyptist adopts so much of this as lends itself to his purpose. He
has already likened the seven Churches to (1:12, 1:20); from another point of
view the whole Church is a single , fed by those of its members who are
specially set apart to be Christs witnesses. These, if faithful, carry with them the oil of
the Spirit, which keeps alive the light of life (cf. Mt. 25:4, Rom. 11:17). They stand
before the Lord of the earth, living in His Presence, and ministering to Him by their
confession of His Christ.
... : in . the thought of the writer goes back to , i.e.
, and, full of his great conception, he is indifferent to the demands of grammar.
5. .] To kill Gods witnesses is impossible, so
long as their witness is unfulfilled; those who attempt it bring destruction upon

themselves. There is an allusion to Elijahs treatment of Ahaziahs messengers (2 Kings

1:10 ff. cf. Lc. 9:54), but as usual the details are modified; the fire comes not from
heaven but out of the mouths of the witnesses (cf. 1:16, 2:16, 9:17), i.e. the witnesses
slay their enemies by the fire of the word which they utter; cf. Jer. 5:14
, .
Sir. 48:1 , .
Victorinus rightly: ignem potestatem verbi dicit. Bede thinks of the Christian
revenge inculcated in Rom. 12:20 (
For see WM. p. 368; Blass, Gr. p. 216; other exx. of with the subj.
may be found in Lc. 9:13, 1 Cor. 14:5. If differs in meaning from (see
app. crit.) the former must be held to state a hypothetical case, whilst the latter posits
the as a fact. For to be minded see the interesting parallel in Lc. 13:31
. (sc. ) , he is destined to
be slain in this manner; cf. 13:10 . On see
2:11, note.
6. .] Another reference to Elijah, the representative
of O. T. prophecy. In 1 Kings 17:1 the drought proclaimed by Elijah is for these years


, LXX. ), i.e. for an indefinite term of years beginning
with the date of the prophecy. According to Menander, cited by Josephus (antt. 8. 13. 2)
the period was actually one full year; see Burney ad loc. But a tradition adopted in Lc.
4:25 ( ) and Jac. 5:17 (
), made the length of the great drought correspond with
that of the Syrian domination; and this agrees with the Apocalyptists scheme of things,
for according to v. 3 the days of the witnesses prophesying are 1260, i.e. 3 years.
, the power exercised by Elijah and now revived in the case of the two
witnesses. occurs elsewhere in this connexion only in Lc. l.c.
is unusual; the customary phrase is (Joel 2:23),
(Gen. 2:5, Mt. 5:45), or simply (Jac. l.c.). is here the execution
of the prophetic office, as in 2 Esdr. 6:13
; more usually the noun denotes either the gift of prophecy (1 Cor. 12:10), or a
particular prophecy or collection of prophecies (Apoc. 1:3, 22:7 ff.).
] Reference is now made to Moses, the other
prototype of the Churchs witnesses. Like Moses in Egypt, they can inflict plagues. The
first of the Egyptian plagues has been already introduced into the scenery of the Third
Trumpet (8:8), but less precisely; here (sc. ) answers to
Exod. 7:20


(i , cf. Ps. 104. (105.) 29
. ... comes from 1 Regn. 4:8, where the
Philistines exclaim, .
carries the power given to the Church far beyond that exercised by
Moses, who received an express command before he inflicted a plague. The
committed to the witnesses of Christ has no bounds but those which are imposed by
their own faith; cf. Mc. 11:23, note; Jo. 15:7 ...

. The general sense of the verse is well given in Jac. 5:17

7. .] The witnesses are immortal for
so long a time only as their allotted term of office lasts; when they have delivered their
message, their immunity from danger ceases, and they are at the mercy of their enemies.
These are represented by . Of the Abyss we
have heard in c. 9:1 ff., but hitherto no mention has been made of a Wild Beast: there
have been , but there has been no , nor is there any further reference to one
until we reach c. 13:1. Yet the article ( .) assumes that this Wild Beast which comes
up from the Abyss is a figure already familiar to the reader. Perhaps it points back to
Dan. 7:3 Th. , the Apocalyptist
mentally merging the four in one, or fixing his attention on the fourth (ib. 7 f., 20 f.),
while for the sea he substitutes the Abyss (cf. Deut. 30:13 with Rom. 10:7, and the note
on c. 9:1). In Daniel the are earthly kingdoms or empires (Dan. 7:17) which are
contrasted with the Kingdom of the Saints (vv. 18, 27). A similar interpretation may be
provisionally adopted here. This from the Abyss is clearly a power of imperial
magnitude and great strength which derives its origin from beneath, and opposes itself
to Christs witnesses. The ancient commentators identify this power with the Antichrist;
(cf. Andreas: , , and so Arethas). For a fuller discussion
of the symbol see notes on cc. 13:1, 17:8.
The Wild Beast prevails over the Witnesses; cf. Dan. 7:21 Th.

(i ) , . The
Seer anticipates a struggle between the Church and the whole power of the Roman
Empire; he foresees that the troubles which began under Nero and Domitian will end in
such a conflict as was actually brought about under Decius and in the last persecution
under Diocletian. But his words cover in effect all the martyrdoms and massacres of
history in which brute force has seemed to triumph over truth and righteousness.
8. .] Their corpses (for , cadaver,
see Jud. 14:8, Ez. 6:5 (A), Mc. 6:29, 15:45 (notes), and for the collective sing., cf. Gen.
48:12, Lev. 10:6, Jud. 13:20, and see Blass, Gr. p. 83) lie on the open street (
, cf. cc. 21:21, 22:2) of the Great City. With the sentiment of his race the Seer
strongly resents the indignities offered to the bodies of the martyrs; cf. Ps. 79:2 f., Tob.
1:18, 2:3 ff.
The Great City is defined as one which () in the language of mystery or of
prophecy (, cf. 1 Cor. 2:13 (B) ,
10:3 ; contrast in Justin, dial. 14) is called Sodom and
Egypt. The name of Sodom is given to Judah in its worst days (Isa. 1:9 f.
... ... , cf. Ez. 16:46, 16:55
... ) and suggests at once moral degradation and utter ruin. Egypt, the house
of bondage, though not applied in the O.T. to Jerusalem or the Jewish people, is an
obvious symbol of oppression and slavery. That Jerusalem is intended here seems to
follow from .; in the latter half of the book the Great City is Babylon
(16:19, 17:18, 18:10 ff.), but the epithet is one which a Jew might not

unnaturally give to the capital of his native land (cf. Orac. Sibyll. 5:154, 5:226, 5:413);
even pagan writers extol its size (Appian, Syr. 50 ). But if
Jerusalem is in the Seers thoughts, it is Jerusalem no longer regarded as the Holy City,
but as given over to heathendom (5:2), and thus for the time representing the world. The
measured Sanctuary remains in its midst, an impregnable fortress, but the Witnesses go
out into the street where the power of the Beast is supreme, and there, after a while, they
meet their fate. In the ultimate meaning of the symbols, the City is doubtless not
Jerusalem, but Rome, the persecutor of the Saints, the mystic Sodom and Egypt of the
early centuries, where Christ was crucified afresh in His Saints. But this line of thought
has not yet come into view; for the present Jerusalem, the city of the Crucifixion and of
the earliest Christian martyrdoms, by a strange irony represents the antagonist of the
civitas Dei.
recalls the saying of Jo. 15:20
, .
9. .] Men of all races and nationalities
(cf. 5:9, 7:9; on the use of see Blass, Gr. p. 97, who compares it with a similar use of

) gaze at the spectacle, which lasts 3 daysas many days as the years of the

witnesses prophesyinga short triumph, in point of fact, but long enough to bear the
semblance of being complete and final. The delight of the spectators is represented as at
once fiendish and childish; they not only leave the bodies without burial, but refuse to
permit the friends of the martyrs to bury them (cf. Tobit 1:18 ff.). Further, they celebrate
their victory by keeping holiday and exchanging gifts. The words depict the hatred
entertained for the Christians by the pagan majority, and the joy with which the edicts
against them were received.
: the plural is used in reference to the burial of the bodies, in which
separate treatment would be necessary; contrast (v. 8, note). For the form
cf. Mc. 1:34, 11:25; and for , sinere, see Jo. 11:44, 11:48, 12:7, 18:8.
10. .] The non-Christian worldan
Apocalyptic formula, cf. 3:10, 6:10, 8:13, 13:8, 13:12, 13:14, 17:2, 17:8shew their
joy at the overthrow of the Witnesses after the customary manner, keeping holiday
(, specially of good cheer and the mirth which it induces; cf. Lc. 12:19
, ib. 15:23 ff., 16:19), and sending portions from their own table to
friends or to poorer neighbours (2 Esdr. 18:10 ... . .
, ib. 12 ; Esth. 9:22
). The cause of joy was not so
much the death of the Witnesses as the relief which the cessation of their testimony
afforded; the two prophets (cf. v. 3 ) tortured the world by setting
mens consciences at work; cf. 1 Kings 18:17, 21:20, Mc. 6:20, Apoc. 9:5 f. note. Such
a sense of relief is perhaps not seldom felt to-day by bad men when a preacher of
righteousness or a signal example of goodness is removed, though good breeding
prevents outward manifestation of joy; cf. Bede: quoties affliguntur iusti exsultant
iniusti. On see c. 9:5, note.

11. .] The exultation of the pagan world

will be shortened; when the 3 days are over, the Witnesses return to life. The Seer has
in mind Ez. 37:10 ( . ) ,
: he sees the Church of the martyrs recovering herself
from the effects of an age of persecution, as Ezekiel had seen new life infused into a
dead Israel. Compare also 4 Regn. 13:21 .


( Gen. 6:17, 7:15, 7:22), the respiration of animal life, in this
case proceeding directly from God. With cf. Lc. 9:46, and Blass,
Gr. p. 130.
(Exod. 15:16, Ps. 54. (55.) 5, 2 Esdr. 16:16; in N.T.,
Lc. 1:12, Acts 19:17) : the spectators were panic-stricken.
Each unexpected revival of the Church after an edict aimed at her extinction would
strike dismay into the hearts of the persecutors, for it was manifestly .
12. .] The resurrection of the Witnesses is
followed, as their Lords (v. 8) had been, by an ascension into heaven in a cloud. But
whereas none saw the Lord rise from the dead, and His Ascension was witnessed only
by a few (Acts 1:9 sc. ), His witnesses rise and
ascend in full view of their enemies ( , cf. v. 11
); their triumph is celebrated openly. This public exaltation of the
martyrs and saints will find its fulfilment in the rapture which St Paul foresees (1 Thess.
4:17 ).
But meanwhile it has been partly anticipated in the sight of the world by the tribute paid
to them, sometimes within a few years after their dishonour and death. Quite early in the
history of the Church festivals were instituted in honour of the martyrs, martyria erected
at their tombs, basilicas dedicated to their memory, their names were inserted in the
diptychs and recited at the Christian sacrifice; and the later processes of canonization
and invocation were at least an endeavour to do honour to those who had witnessed to
Christ at the cost of their lives. In the popular esteem the Churchs earlier witnesses
were erected into a now Olympus; paganism saw the men it had hated and killed called
up to heaven before its eyes. The vision of the Seer found a partial accomplishment
before the age of persecution ceased, if its full and worthier realization is still in the
future. For hither ( )cf. c. 4:1. : the cloud already
associated with ascension into heaven in the Masters case (Acts 1:9). The Seer may
also have in view the translation of Enoch and Elijah (Sir. 44:16, 48:9, 49:14; cf. c.
11:3, note).
13. .] Earthquake (in the first
century a too familiar experience of the Asiatic towns) is in the Prophets a constant
symbol of great upheavals in the social or spiritual order; see Ez. 37:7, 38:19, Hagg. 2:6
(cf. Heb. 12:26 f.), Mc. 13:8, Apoc. 16:18. Here it seems to indicate the breaking up of
the old pagan life which would follow the foreseen victory of the faith. The prophecy
clothes itself in language borrowed from the well-known phenomena of a physical
upheaval. , , are conventional numbers like in 8:7
12, and the of every tribe in Israel. But there is a studied moderation in

the present figures; that but a tenth part of the great city should be overthrown and but
7000 souls should perish out of a population of at least 100,000 (cf. Jos. c. Apion. 1:22)
indicates that the disaster was to be partial and ordinary.
, i.e. , persons: cf. 3:4, note; to the examples of this
use of given by Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 196 f., may now be added those
published by Grenfell and Hunt in the index to the Tebtunis Papyri.
: they glorified the True God by confessing their sin in having
forsaken Him for idols; Jos.7. 19 ,

. The phrase (

) is from Daniel (e.g.
2:18 f., Th., 4:28 (31) f., LXX.; see Driver, Daniel, p. 23), and reminds the reader that
the Church was suffering, as Israel suffered during the Babylonian captivity, from
predominant heathenism. The God of heaven (2 Esdr. 5:12, 6:10, 12:4) is the invisible
God of Jewish and Christian Monotheism, the caeli numen of Juv. 14:97, as
contrasted with the gods many whose images were to be seen in the pagan temples. In
the end the Seer foresees a general movement towards Christianity, induced by fear or
despair ( , cf. Acts 24:24 f.)a prediction fulfilled more
than once in ecclesiastical history.
14. .] See 9:12, note. The Second Woe is the
Sixth Trumpet, with the two episodes (10:111:13) appended to it. The Seventh
Trumpet is now to follow without further delay. For see
2:16, 3:11, 22:7, 22:12, 22:20; it seems always to refer, more or less directly, to the
Parousia or to events leading up to it.
15. .] There is a marked contrast between the
result of the opening of the Seventh Seal, and that of the blowing of the Seventh
Trumpet. In the former case there was silence in Heaven; now there are great voices;
and the Seer can hear and write down what they say. The voices may be those of the
(cf. 6:1, 6:3, 6:5, 6:7), who represent Creation and rejoice in the subjection of the
cosmos to their Lord and His Christ. , i.e. the persons or personifications from
whom the voices come; cf. 9:13, note. ... : this knowledge at
present is wholly in heaven not manifested yet to the creation, but to be wrought out
.] The kingdom of the world has become (for
the aor. cf. Lc. 19:9) our Lords and His Anointeds. The words suggest the vision of a
world-empire, once dominated by an usurping power, which has now at length passed
into the hands of its true Owner and Imperator; cf. Mt. 4:8, 4:9, Jo. 14:30, Eph. 2:2,
6:12. The world-long struggle which will end in this transfer is described in Ps. 2. (cf.
Acts 4:26), which yields the phrase , Dan. 7:13 ff., 22 ff.;
and the magnificent issue is celebrated again in Apoc. 12:10, 19:6, 19:16.
is here plainly not the Son, but the Father; the speakers are representatives of
Creation, not of the Church, and the Lord of the Church is from their point of view not
the Lord, but the Lords Christ (Lc. 2:26, 9:20), an O.T. phrase for the anointed King
of the theocracy. : not , for

the rule of God and of Christ is one, and the Kingdom of the Son will ultimately be
merged in the Reign of God (1 Cor. 15:27). That Reign is perennial; no age will see its
end (Dan. 2:44, 7:14, 7:28), and the Sons re-delivery of His mediatorial power to the
Father does not exclude Him from sharing the Fathers kingdom; against the perversion
of the Pauline teaching by Marcellus the Church was able to cite Lc. 1:33
: see Robertson, Regnum Dei, p. 51 ff.
16. .] The Elders take up the witness of
the (if we may assume that they are the speakers in v. 15), as they do in 4:9 ff.
Ordinarily the Elders are seated () even in the Divine Presence on thrones
which surround the central Throne (4:4), for the Church is the of the
Incarnate Son Who is the of the Father (3:21); but they prostrate themselves
at every act of adoration (4:10, 5:8, 5:14, 19:4). With cf. c. 7:11,
where the same prostration is ascribed to the Angels. The Angels and the Church, as
creatures, share a common worship.
17. , .] The Elders represent the Church in her
great function of . On . , Lord God of Sabaoth,
see cc. 1:8, 4:8; and on , 1:4, 1:8, 4:8. Here, and again in 16:5,
is omitted, since the future does not fall within the scope of the passage.
... , Thou hast assumed Thy power, and didst begin Thy
reign; with cf. v. 15 . For this combination of tenses see
3:3 . , 5:7 , 8:5 ... ... ;
and with in this sense cf. 2 Regn. 15:10
, Ps. 92. (93.) 1 (
(i ). ,
not the normal exercise of the Divine power, but that final and overwhelming display to
which all prophecy points. Compare and contrast Acts 8:10
18. .] Ps. 2. is still in view, cf. vv. 1, 5
(i , ; ... :
and 98. (99.) 1 , . In Acts 4:25 ff., Ps. 2:1 f. is
interpreted by the Church of Jerusalem in reference to the treatment of Christ by
Antipas and Pontius Pilate (
): with a wider outlook the Seer of the Apocalypse sees in it the hostility of the
world against the Church. ... : the futile violence of men is answered
by the effective judgements of God. .; the dies irae
is imagined as already come, and is seen to coincide with the Resurrection and the
Judgement. With cf. Mc. 11:13 , Lc. 21:24 .
. The dead will rise in their season, when all is ripe for the final award; cf. Mc.
4:29, Apoc. 14:15 ff.; the scene is described in c. 20. ff. , good and bad, as in
Jo. 5:25, Acts 24:21.
The three infinitives, ... ... , depend upon , as in
Eccl. 3:2 or without the article, in Judith 13:5

. But after the construction is partly changed, and the writer

proceeds as if he had begun .
.] The to be given in the evening of the world to
Gods labourers (Mt. 20:8) is with the Father (Mt. 6:1) in heaven (Mt. 5:12), and will be
dispensed by the Lord at His return (Apoc. 22:12); though essentially the same in all
cases (Mt. l.c.), and though its payment is in all an act of grace on the part of God (Rom.
4:4), it will vary in proportion to the work of the recipient (1 Cor. 3:8). The prophets
is in some sense distinct from the (Mt. 10:41), but no emphasis is
laid here upon the difference ( ...
.). Thy servants the prophets are the prophets of the Church, as in cc. 1:1, 10:7;
the saints are, as always, the faithful in general But who are they that fear Thy
Name? In the Acts (13:16, 13:43, 13:50) or are
proselytes of the Synagogue; in the Apoc. (here and perhaps also in 19:5) analogy
suggests that they may be the unbaptized adherents of the Church, enquirers and
catechumens. These too, if their desire to serve God be sincere, shall not lose their
reward; though not in the technical sense, they will receive the .
Small or great, the least in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 11:11), as well as those who
stand in the highest rank of Gods servants, the prophets of the New Covenant, are all
remembered before Him. The acc. must be explained
by supposing that the writer has forgotten that he started with . The
phrase (used also in cc. 13:16, 19:5, 19:18, 20:12; cf. Gen. 19:11, Sap. 6:7) includes all
sorts and conditions of men, and witnesses to the of the Judge. The
meanest slave among the catechumens of the Church will receive the same
consideration as an Imperial convert.
] Cf. 19:2
. Here the reference is more
general; by a Divine ius talionis (cf. Rom. 1:28 ff., 2:5 ff.) destroyers of every kind shall
be destroyed. , are perhaps preferred to the more usual
, (Jo. 3:16, Rom. 2:12, 2 Cor. 2:15, 2 Thess. 2:10), because of
the double sense of . Paganism was destroyingthe lapse into the present
is significantthe earth by corrupting the fountains of moral life, as well as by the
physical horrors of the amphitheatre and the tyrannies of imperialism; and this moral
reference is probably uppermost. All who helped to poison society were themselves
(1 Tim. 6:5), and their true character would be recognised and
fixed by the judgement of God.
19. .] The Sanctuary in heaven (3:12, 7:15, 15:5 ff.,
21:22, cf. Iren. 4:13. 6), as distinguished from the sanctuary on earth (11:1) was opened
(, as in 15:5; cf. Blass, Gr. p. 43); i.e. the Great Award is to be accompanied by a
manifestation of the Divine glory; cf. Mc. 8:38 .
So Victorinus: templum aperture manifestatio est Domini nostri. The vision
apparently is but momentary, for the heavenly is opened again in 15:5; but the
Seer has time to catch sight of () the Ark of the Covenant which was within. On
see Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 189.

), or as it is usually called in Exodus .


(i ), was within the sacred veil of the Tabernacle (Heb. 9:4),
and afterwards stood in the inner chamber of Solomons Temple (1 Kings 8:6).
Probably it perished when Nebuchadrezzar burnt the Temple (2 Kings 25:9), for
Jeremiah speaks of it as if it would shortly pass out of memory (Jer. 3:16), and Tacitus
(hist. 5:9) scoffs at the Jewish Sanctuary as vacuam sedem et inania arcana. In
Ezekiels Temple the Ark does not appear, which renders its presence in the heavenly
temple of the Apocalypse more remarkable. A legend related in 2 Macc. 2:5 ff.
represents Jeremiah as having hidden both the Ark and the Altar of Incense (which
reappears in Apoc. 8:3 ff.) in a cave against the day of Israels restoration; it is added:
. Other forms of the legend
may be seen on p. 38, supra. This story in its earliest form may have been in the mind
of the Seer, but he has his own reason for introducing the Ark at this point. In Christ
God has made a new covenant with men (Heb. 8:6 ff., 9:15 ff.), and the appearance of
the Ark of the Covenant through the opened doors of the heavenly temple, at the
moment when the time has come for the faithful to receive their reward, indicates the
restoration of perfect access to God through the Ascension of the Incarnate Son.
. The usual symbols of majesty and power which attend
manifestations of the Divine Presence, cf. (e.g.) Exod. 19:16, Ps. 29:3 ff.the solemn
salvos, so to speak, of the artillery of Heaven (Alford). Of a great hail (Exod. 9:18
ff.) we hear again in c. 16:21; lightning flashes across the sky in 4:5, 8:5, 16:18;
earthquakes are felt in 6:12, 8:5, 11:13, 16:18.
The second great section of the Book (4:111:19) ends, as it began, with a vision of
the heavenly order. In 4:1 ff. a door is set open in heaven, through which the Seer is
able to discern the Throne of God and its surroundings; in 11:19 the Temple of God in
heaven is opened, and the Ark of the New Covenant is seen standing in the celestial
Sanctuary. Moreover, the whole series of visions which intervenes between these two
revelations is full of heavenly things and persons. Most of the scenes are laid in heaven;
the rest, though on earth, are illuminated by the presence of superhuman agents. The
seven Seals are opened by the Lamb Who is in the midst of the Throne; the seven
Trumpets are blown by seven Angels. Angels are charged with the custody of the four
winds; an Angel impresses on the elect the Seal of God; an Angel with one foot on the
sea and the other on the dry land, makes solemn oath that the end is near.
Yet as a whole the section is concerned with movements which find their sphere on
the earth. The purpose of the celestial scenery and the celestial agencies which are
employed is not to take the attention of the reader from contemporary or coming events,
but to lead him to connect these with the invisible powers by which they are controlled,
and to let the light of heaven fall upon the earthly tragedy. The Throne and the Temple
in the are seen to be the ultimate source of the energies by which human
history is carried to its goal. But it is in human history that the interests of the prophecy
are centred. In the events which follow the opening of the Seals, if they have been

rightly interpreted in this commentary, the Seer depicts the conditions under which the
Empire, as he knew it in Asia, was fulfilling its destiny, and passes from these to the
great dynastic and social changes which must accompany or follow its collapse. In the
scenes announced by the Trumpet-blasts, he works out at greater length the second of
these topics; the revolutions which were in the lap of the future, the woes which it held
in store for the unbelieving and impenitent world, are painted in a vivid symbolism
borrowed partly from the Old Testament, partly from the apocalyptic thought of the
time. These kaleidoscopic effects must be taken as a whole, and not pressed in detail, as
if they were so many specific predictions; nevertheless they doubtless represent the
impressions made upon the mind of the Seer, as in the Spirit he gazed into the future of
the Empire and of the race. His sight does not reach as yet to the end; when the seventh
Seal is opened, there is silence in heaven; when the seventh Trumpet is blown, he hears
the acclamations of the invisible world, but the actual result is not revealed to him even
under a symbolical disguise.
If the Seals and the Trumpets disclose the fortunes of the Roman Empire, and, in a
foreshortened view, the troubles of the age which would follow its fall, the Seer is not
left without a vision of the future of the great spiritual Power which was destined to
outlive the rule of the Caesars. Both the seventh seal-opening and the seventh trumpetblast are preceded by episodes which deal with the history of the Catholic Church. The
churches of the province of Asia have vanished from the Seers mind; he has now
before him the thought of the worldwide Society. Each episode consists of two pictures.
In the first pair the Church is represented as the Israel of God, marching in its tribal
divisions to the inheritance of the Saints; and again as the universal brotherhood of all
races and nations, seen in the glories of its ideal life. In the second, she appears in two
aspects of her long struggle with the world; as the Sanctuary surrounded by the
profanations of heathendom, and again as the Two Witnesses, the Enoch and Elijah or
the Moses and Elijah of the new Covenant, to whom it is given to witness throughout
the days of a militant paganism, dying for the faith, to rise again like the Master and
ascend to heaven.
With the seventh trumpet-blast the Kingdom of God has come, and the general
judgement is at hand. Thus the second section of the Apocalypse brings the course of
history down to the verge of the Parousia. If the Book had ended here, it would have
been within these limits complete. But the Seer pauses for a moment only to take up his
rle again with a fresh presentation of the future, in which the vision is to be carried to
its issue. A new prophecy begins in c. 12, the contents of the open which
the Seer had been directed to take from the hand of the Angel and consume. Impelled by
this fresh gift of prophetic energy, he feels himself bound to prophesy again to a larger
circle of hearers and with wider aims (10:11); and this second message occupies the
remainder of the Book.