Revelation of John 10


The description of a mighty angel with a little book in his

hand, 1, 2.

The seven thunders, 3, 4.

The angel swears that there shalt be time no longer, 5-7.

John is commanded to take the little book and eat it; he does

so, and receives a commission to prophesy to many peoples,



Verse 1. Another mighty angel] Either Christ or his

representative; clothed with a cloud; a symbol of the Divine


A rainbow was upon his head] The token of God's merciful

covenant with mankind.

His face was as it were the sun] So intensely glorious that it

could not be looked on.

His feet as pillars of fire] To denote the rapidity and energy

of his motions, and the stability of his counsels.

Verse 2. A little book open] Meaning probably some design of God

long concealed, but now about to be made manifest. But who knows

what it means?

His right foot upon the sea, and his left-on the earth] To show

that he had the command of each, and that his power was universal,

all things being under his feet.

Verse 3. Seven thunders] Seven being a number of perfection, it

may here mean many, great, loud, and strong peals of thunder,

accompanied with distinct voices; but what was said, St. John was

not permitted to reveal, Re 10:4.

Verse 5. Lifted up his hand to heaven] As one making an appeal

to the supreme Being.

Verse 6. By him that liveth for ever and ever] The eternal,

self-existent Jehovah, the Maker of all things.

That there should be time no longer] That the great counsels

relative to the events already predicted should be immediately

fulfilled, and that there should be no longer delay. This has no

reference to the day of judgment.

Verse 7. The mystery of God should be finished] What this

mystery refers to who knows? Nor have we more knowledge concerning

the sounding of the seventh angel. On these points there is little

agreement among learned men. Whether it mean the destruction of

Jerusalem, or the destruction of the papal power, or something

else, we know not. And yet with what confidence do men speak of

the meaning of these hidden things!

Declared to his servants the prophets.] It is most likely,

therefore, that this trumpet belongs to the Jewish state.

Verse 8. Take the little book which is open] Learn from this

angel what should be published to the world.

Verse 9. Take it, and eat it up] Fully comprehend its meaning;

study it thoroughly.

Verse 10. It was in my mouth sweet as honey] There was in it

some pleasing, some unpleasing, intelligence. I read of the

consolations and protection of the true worshippers of God, and

did rejoice; I read of the persecutions of the Church, and was


Verse 11. Thou must prophesy again] Thou must write, not only

for the instruction of the Jews in Palestine, but of those in the

different provinces, as well as the heathens and heathen emperors

and potentates in general.

THE reader will find, on comparing this chapter with

Da 8:1-27; 12:1-13, and Eze 2:1-3:27, that there are several

things similar in both; and the writer of the Apocalypse appears

to keep these two prophets continually in view. I must once more

say that I do not understand these prophecies, therefore I do not

take upon me to explain them. I see with regret how many learned

men have mistaken their way here. Commentators, and even some of

the most modern, have strangely trifled in these solemn things;

all trumpets, vials, woes, &c., are perfectly easy to them; yet

from their descriptions, none get wise either to common sense or

to the things that make for their peace.

On the same ground I cannot admit the interpretation that is

given of the word χρονος, translated time in Re 10:6, which

some have construed into an artificial period of 1,111 years,

which they term chronos; hence we have the chronos, half-chronos,

and non-chronos. Bengel has said much on these points, but to very

little purpose; the word in the above place seems to signify delay

simply, and probably refers to the long-suffering of God being

ended in reference to Jerusalem; for I all along take for probable

that this book was written previously to the destruction of that


Copyright information for Clarke