The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Revelation 10

Rev 10:1

The detailed parallel between Rev 10, 11 and Daniel 10, 12 set out below requires that John understood the being he saw to be the angel who revealed so much to Daniel.

Rev 10:1: A mighty angel
Dan 10:5; 12:7: A man clothed in linen
Rev 10:2: Right foot on the sea, left foot on the land
Dan 12:7: Standing on the waters of the river
Rev 10:1: Face like the sun
Dan 10:6: Face like lightning
Rev 10:1: Feet as pillars of fire
Dan 10:6: Feet like polished brass
Rev 10:2: Open book in his hand
Dan 10:21: "I will shew thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth (the heavenly prototype)"
Rev 10:3: Voice as a lion
Dan 10:6: Voice like a multitude
Rev 10:5: Lifts right hand to heaven. (The left hand holds the book)
Dan 12:7: Lifts both hands to heaven
Rev 10:6: Swears by Him that liveth for ever
Dan 12:7: Swears by Him that liveth for ever
Rev 10:7: Mystery of God to be finished as declared to the prophet
Dan 12:7: "All these things shall be finished"
Rev 11:2: Temple court "cast out," given to Gentiles
Dan 12:11: Daily sacrifice taken away, abomination set up
Rev 11:2: Holy city trodden under foot
Dan 12:7: Power of the holy people scattered
Rev 11:2: 42 months
Dan 12:7: Time, times and an half
Rev 11:18: The time of the dead that they should be judged
Dan 12:2: Many that sleep awake, to everlasting life or to contempt

HE WAS ROBED IN A CLOUD: The whiteness of the cloud suggests righteousness (Rev 19:8), but it is also symbolic of a multitude (Heb 12:1). "Thus Christ's manifestation on earth is associated with a "cloud of witnesses" (Rev 1:7; Mat 24:30; Psa 68:34). A cloud is formed by the action of the sun in drawing particles of water from the oceans of the earth and forming them into clouds in the heavens. Christ, through the gospel, is today separating individuals from the sea of humanity (Isa 57:20). In the millennial age, they will be given positions of authority with him in the political heavens" (ApEp).

WITH A RAINBOW ABOVE HIS HEAD: "The token of the covenant (Gen 9:13). The seven colours of the rainbow speak of the multitudinous manifestation of Divine glory, for they each represent an aspect of the glory of the Sun (Psa 84:11). His glory is manifested in the Lord Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2), and from him this glory is reflected in his brethren (Rev 4:3n)" (ApEp). "Here, then, was assurance enough that all was not lost; even though Israel be scattered, the temple destroyed and the land desolated, the divine purpose in Christ would not, could not, fail" (WRev).

HIS FACE WAS LIKE THE SUN: The multitudinous body of Christ will manifest the Divine glory (Dan 12:3; Mat 13:43). The redeemed will then be capable of shining forth in glory like the angels (Luke 20:36; Mat 28:3).


Rev 10:2

HE WAS HOLDING A LITTLE SCROLL: Sw vv 8,9,10. But not same as "book" in Rev 5. "The book in the angel's hand is not the Lamb's Book of Life described in Rev 5; for this is a biblaridion, a little book. The term seems to be expressly chosen to mark a distinction from that of Rev 5" (WRev).

(He must have held the scroll in his left hand, since he was lifting up his right hand toward heaven: v 5.)

"On the day of Atonement the High Priest also read from the Law in the hearing of all the people, as he stood at the east gate of the priests' court. To this might correspond the angel of Rev 10:2 with the little book which he imparts to John" (WRev).

RIGHT FOOT/SEA... LEFT FOOT/LAND: "The angel is seen with his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the earth (ie on the Land, as in Rev 8:7; 9:1). In every Scripture where right and left are differentiated, the right is invariably associated with divine blessing and acceptance, and the left with cursing and rejection; eg Mat 25:31-41; Josh 8:30-35; Gen 48:14; Ezek 4:4. Hence there is here, represented in symbol, the divine abandonment of Israel and greater opportunity of acceptance by Gentiles" (WRev).

Rev 10:3

LION: The Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5; cp Joel 3:16; Amos 1:2).

Rev 10:4

DO NOT WRITE IT DOWN: That is, do not write the interpretation, since one cannot seal up what has not at least been written. Cp Daniel's last visions, written but not yet understood (Dan 8:3-14,19-27; 11:2--12:3).

Rev 10:6

AND HE SWORE BY HIM WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER: "This is unquestionably a deliberate appropriation of the words of Deu 32:40. The context there is striking and unmistakable. It is Moses' prophecy of the casting off of Israel and the acceptance of the Gentiles: 'I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgement: I will render vengeance to mine enemies and will reward them that hate me.' And then, 'Rejoice, O ye nations (Gentiles), with his people' " (WRev).

NO MORE DELAY: Or, "the time shall not be yet" (WRev 145). But it will be fulfilled in time of 7th trumpet (v 7). Cp thought, Hab 2:3.

Rev 10:7

MYSTERY: Often ref preaching of gospel to Gentiles (Rom 11:2-5; 16:25,26; Eph 3:3-9; Col 1:26,27).

Rev 10:9

Vv 9,10: "John was commanded to take the book and eat it. Its taste was sweet as honey, but it made his belly bitter. This was Ezekiel's experience over again. It would be strange, then, if Ezekiel did not afford some hint as to what John's little book contained: 'And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me, and lo, a roll of a book was therein: and he spread it before me, and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe... moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then I did eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness" (Ezek 2:9,10; 3:1-4). 'So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit' (Eze 3:14).

"The parallel between the experience of the two prophets is plain enough. Both had to prophesy the downfall and desolation of their own nation because of disobedience. 'Lamentation, mourning, and woe' was the theme of both -- hence bitterness in the belly, even though the message had the honey sweetness of holy words from heaven (Psa 19:10; 119:103; 40:8 mg). It was the duty of each to foretell a time of scattering and downtreading, and to each were entrusted visions concerning Gentile nations during the period of Israel's casting off. 'John, thou -- like Ezekiel -- must prophesy again, this time not so much about thine own people Israel but concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings'... Who can doubt that the little book is the rest of the Book of Revelation being imparted unto John? It cannot be accident that the same expression about 'peoples, nations, tongues and kings' meets the reader again in Rev 17:15. And even a casual reading of Rev 12-20 makes it abundantly evident that that part of the book has much to say about Gentile nations and powers" (WRev).

Rev 10:10

SWEET... SOUR: "While the reception of Yahweh's truth is itself a source of pure sweetness and peace, it makes us the subject of great bitterness afterwards in the feelings with which we view the state of the world and the wickedness of men around us on every hand. John, having eaten the book, was told, 'Thou must prophecy again before many peoples and nations and tongues and kings' (v 11). This shows that the book stood for divine knowledge: the eating for the act of acquiring that knowledge: and the purpose of its imparting that it might be communicated to others. We may take this as affording a hint to ourselves even now, for John is our brother if we be brethren of Christ" (RR).

Rev 10:11


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