Revelation 11

Chapter 11 starts with the measuring of the temple. Measuring the temple might suggest the idea of protection similar to the sealing of the 144,000 earlier. The outer court however is left out is given to the Gentiles who will tread the holy city underfoot for 42 months.

Next we are introduced to two witnesses who prophecy on behalf of God for 1260 days (another way of saying 42 months). So while the Gentiles are treading the holy city, the witnesses are prophesying.

When their prophecy is complete a beast from the bottomless pit kills the witnesses causing rejoicing on earth, but after three and a half days the witness come back to life, are raised to heaven, and the city is hit with an earthquake that kills 7000 people. This causes repentance among the people who were not killed.

The last paragraph describes what sounds like an ultimate victory and firm establishment of God’s kingdom. Remember, this completes the 7th trumpet and 3rd woe (14,15).

Summary of 11

  1. Temple measured (presumably for protection)
  2. Gentiles oppress the rest of the city.
  3. Two witnesses prophecy, are killed, and are raised.
  4. A time of great tribulation causes many to repent.
  5. Victory celebrated in heaven.

How did the unbelievers react to the death of the two witnesses?

How is the outcome of this judgment different from the outcome of the war led by the 200 million horseman army? (Compare 9:20-21 with 11:13)

Note: The 1260 days / 42 months / 3 1/2 years number will occur again several times in this book. It is good to associate it with the things that happened: It was the time when the Gentiles were treading the holy city and the witnesses were prophesying and God’s people were protected.

9 thoughts on “Revelation 11

  1. When the witnesses died, the people celebrated by gloating over them and sending each other gifts.

    In the comparison, the people did not repent of their sins after the horsemen came. Once the earthquake hit and killed 7,000 the rest repented of their sins. I wonder why they didn’t repent sooner, both plagues sound equally as devastating.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. The idea of celebrating and sending gifts shows how far from
      God a society can get, where they celebrate any putting down of God’s cause.

      I don’t know that we could always say God sends adversity (the Coronavirus for example) but I do believe times like this should cause us to reflect deeply on our relationship with God…worst case scenarios – facing our mortality – should cause us to be sure we are right with God.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Could the two witnesses be Peter and Paul? Both prophesied about things to come and both were killed in Rome. And their writings live on (as if resurrected). A stretch maybe, but just a thought I had.

    The one thing we can be sure of is that Jesus Christ’s kingdom is everlasting and He reigns!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of that also. They were certainly the two most prominent Apostles who prophesied about the Gospel.

      They are also called “two olive trees” and “two lampstands”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In v. 19 there is a quick reference to the ark of his covenant, then nothing more. What is this and it’s significance to what’s happening here?

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    1. The ark could be another example of Old Testament imagery…like the temple…. or the altar. It represented the presence of God to the children of Israel. I think the significance might be seeing God on His throne. His kingdom is intact. His covenants with men are secure. Who else has a thought?

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  4. I think it is interesting the juxtaposition of the people in the battle of chapter 9 who refused to repent but those who survive the earthquake repent. I wonder if that is the difference between how the people perceived the two events. The plague of the horsemen versus an earthquake, maybe the earthquake was more terrifying (or a bigger wake up call) to those who were left?

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  5. Could the measuring of the temple not be the physical Temple in Jerusalem but figurative for the church and the protection of the faithful early Christians?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would definitely agree with this. As I understand it the temple in Jerusalem was no longer standings. Imagery from the Old Testament…like the Ark and Altar in a previous comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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