Revelation of John 10
Another strong angel ( αλλον αγγελον ισχυρον ). But the seventh trumpet does not sound till 11:15. This angel is not one of the seven or of the four, but like the other strong angel in 5:2; 18:21 or the other angel in 14:6,15. The sixth trumpet of 9:13 ends in 9:21. The opening of the seventh seal was preceded by two visions (chapter Re 7) and so here the sounding of the seventh trumpet (11:15) is preceded by a new series of visions (10:1-11:14).
Coming down out of heaven ( καταβαινοντα εκ του ουρανου ). Present active participle of καταβαινω picturing the process of the descent as in 20:1 (cf. 3:12).
Arrayed with a cloud ( περιβεβλημενον νεφελην ). Perfect passive participle of περιβαλλω with accusative case retained as in 7:9,13. Not proof that this angel is Christ, though Christ will come on the clouds (1:7) as he ascended on a cloud (Ac 1:9). God's chariot is in the clouds (Ps 104:3), but this angel is a special messenger of God's.
The rainbow ( η ιρις ). See 4:3 for this word. The construction here is changed from the accusative to the nominative.
As the sun ( ως ο ηλιος ). The very metaphor applied to Christ in 1:16.
As pillars of fire ( ως στυλο πυρος ). Somewhat like the metaphor of Christ in 1:15, but still no proof that this angel is Christ. On στυλος see 3:12; Ga 2:9.
And he had ( κα εχων ). This use of the participle in place of ειχεν (imperfect) is like that in 4:7f.; 12:2; 19:12; 21:12,14, a Semitic idiom (Charles), or as if καταβαινων (nominative) had preceded in place of καταβαινοντα.
A little book ( βιβλαριδιον ). A diminutive of βιβλαριον (papyri), itself a diminutive of βιβλιον (5:1) and perhaps in contrast with it, a rare form in Hermas and Re 10:2,9,10. In 10:8 Tischendorf reads βιβλιδαριον, diminutive of βιβλιδιον (Aristophanes) instead of βιβλιον (Westcott and Hort). The contents of this little book are found in 11:1-13.
Open ( ηνεωιγμενον ). See Eze 2:9f. Perfect (triple reduplication) passive participle of ανοιγω, in contrast to the closed book in 5:1. There also we have επ (upon) την δεξιαν (the right hand), for it was a large roll, but here the little open roll is held in the hand ( εν τη χειρ ), apparently the left hand (verse 5).
He set ( εθηκεν ). First aorist active indicative of τιθημ. The size of the angel is colossal, for he bestrides both land and sea. Apparently there is no special point in the right foot ( τον ποδα τον δεξιον ) being on the sea ( επ της θαλασσης ) and the left ( τον ευωνυμον ) upon the land ( επ της γης ). It makes a bold and graphic picture.
As a lion roareth ( ωσπερ λεων μυκατα ). Only instance of ωσπερ in the Apocalypse, but ως in the same sense several times. Present middle indicative of μυκαομα, an old onomatopoetic word from μυ or μοο (the sound which a cow utters), common for the lowing and bellowing of cattle, Latin mugire, but in Theocritus for the roaring of a lion as here, though in 1Pe 5:8 we have ωρυομα. Homer uses μυκαομα for the clangour of the shield and Aristophanes for thunder. It occurs here alone in the N.T. It does not mean that what the angel said was unintelligible, only loud. Cf. 1:10; 5:2,12; 6:10; 7:2,10, etc.
The seven thunders ( α επτα βροντα ). A recognized group, but not explained here, perhaps John assuming them to be known. For βροντα see already 4:5; 6:1; 8:5. In Ps 29 the Lord speaks in the sevenfold voice of the thunderstorm upon the sea.
Their voices ( τας εαυτων φωνας ). Cognate accusative with ελαλησαν and εαυτων (reflexive) means "their own." In Joh 12:28 the voice of the Father to Christ was thought by some to be thunder.
I was about to write ( ημελλον γραφειν ). Imperfect active of μελλω (double augment as in Joh 4:47; 12:33; 18:32) and the present (inchoative) active infinitive of γραφω, "I was on the point of beginning to write," as commanded in 1:11,19.
Seal up ( σφραγισον ). Aorist active imperative of σφραγιζω, tense of urgency, "seal up at once."
And write them not ( κα μη αυτα γραψηις ). Prohibition with μη and the ingressive aorist active subjunctive of γραφω, "Do not begin to write." It is idle to conjecture what was in the utterances. Compare Paul's silence in 2Co 12:4.
Standing ( εστωτα ). Second perfect active participle of ιστημ (intransitive). John resumes the picture in verse 2.
Lifted up ( ηρεν ). First aorist active indicative of αιρω, to lift up.
To heaven ( εις τον ουρανον ). Toward heaven, the customary gesture in taking a solemn oath (Ge 14:22; De 32:40; Da 12:7).
Sware ( ωμοσεν ). First aorist indicative of ομνυω to swear.
By him that liveth ( εν τω ζωντ ). This use of εν after ομνυω instead of the usual accusative (Jas 5:12) is like the Hebrew (Mt 5:34,36). "The living one for ages of ages" is a common phrase in the Apocalypse for God as eternally existing (1:18; 4:9,10; 15:7). This oath proves that this angel is not Christ.
Who created ( ος εκτισεν ). First aorist active indicative of κτιζω, a reference to God's creative activity as seen in Ge 1:1ff.; Ex 20:11; Isa 37:16; 42:5; Ps 33:6; 145:6, etc.
That there shall be time no longer ( οτ χρονος ουκετ εστα ). Future indicative indirect discourse with οτ. But this does not mean that χρονος (time), Einstein's "fourth dimension" (added to length, breadth, height), will cease to exist, but only that there will be no more delay in the fulfillment of the seventh trumpet (verse 7), in answer to the question, "How long?" (6:10).
When he is about to sound ( οταν μελλη σαλπιζειν ). Indefinite temporal clause with οταν and the present active subjunctive of μελλω and the present (inchoative) active infinitive of σαλπιζω, "whenever he is about to begin to sound" (in contrast to the aorist in 11:15).
Then ( κα ). So in apodosis often (14:10).
Is finished ( ετελεσθη ). First aorist passive indicative of τελεω, proleptic or futuristic use of the aorist as in 1Co 7:28. So also 15:1.
The mystery of God ( το μυστηριον του θεου ). This same phrase by Paul in 1Co 2:1; Col 2:2. Here apparently the whole purpose of God in human history is meant.
According to the good tidings which he declared ( ως ευηγγελισεν ). "As he gospelized to," first aorist active indicative of ευαγγελιζω, a rare use of the active as in 14:6 with the accusative. See the middle so used in Ga 1:9; 1Pe 1:12. See Am 3:7; Jer 7:25; 25:4 for this idea in the O.T. prophets who hoped for a cleaning up of all mysteries in the last days.
Again speaking and saying ( παλιν λαλουσαν κα λεγουσαν ). Present active predicate participles feminine accusative singular agreeing with ην (object of ηκουσα ), not with φωνη (nominative) as most of the cursives have it ( λαλουσα κα λεγουσα ). Ordinarily it would be ελαλε κα ελεγεν. See 4:1 for like idiom. This is the voice mentioned in verse 4. No great distinction is to be made here between λαλεω and λεγω.
Go, take ( Hυπαγε λαβε ). Present active imperative of υπαγω and second aorist active imperative of λαμβανω. The use of υπαγε (exclamation like ιδε ) is common in N.T. (Mt 5:24; 8:4; 19:21; Joh 4:16; 9:7). Charles calls it a Hebraism (16:1). Note the repeated article here ( το ) referring to the open book in the hand of the angel (verse 2), only here βιβλιον is used, not the diminutive of βιβλαριδιον of verses 2,9,10.
I went ( απηλθα ). Second aorist active indicative ( -α form), "I went away" ( απ- ) to the angel. John left his position by the door of heaven (4:1).
That he should give ( δουνα ). Second aorist active infinitive of διδωμ, indirect command after λεγων (bidding) for δος in the direct discourse (second aorist active imperative second person singular). This use of λεγω to bid occurs in 13:14; Ac 21:21.
He saith ( λεγε ). Dramatic vivid present active indicative of λεγω.
Take it and eat it up ( λαβε κα καταφαγε αυτο ). Second aorist (effective) active imperatives of λαμβανω and κατεσθιω (perfective use of κατα, "eat down," we say "eat up"). See the same metaphor in Eze 3:1-3; Jer 15:6f. The book was already open and was not to be read aloud, but to be digested mentally by John.
It shall make thy belly bitter ( πικρανε σου την κοιλιαν ). Future active of πικραινω, for which verb see 8:11; 10:10; Col 3:19. There is no reference in Ezekiel or Jeremiah to the bitterness here mentioned.
Sweet as honey ( γλυκυ ως μελ ). For the sweetness of the roll see Ps 19:10f.; 119:103. "Every revelation of God's purposes, even though a mere fragment, a βιβλαριδιον, is 'bitter-sweet,' disclosing judgement as well as mercy" (Swete). Deep and bitter sorrows confront John as he comes to understand God's will and way.
I took--and ate it up ( ελαβον--κα κατεφαγον αυτο ). Second aorist active indicatives of the same verbs to show John's prompt obedience to the command. The order of the results is here changed to the actual experience (sweet in the mouth, bitter in the belly). The simplex verb εφαγον (I ate) is now used, not the compound κατεφαγον (I ate up).
They say ( λεγουσιν ). Present active of vivid dramatic action and the indefinite statement in the plural as in 13:16; 16:15. It is possible that the allusion is to the heavenly voice (10:4,8) and to the angel (10:9).
Thou must prophesy again ( δε σε παλιν προφητευσα ). Not a new commission (1:19), though now renewed. C.f. Eze 4:7; 6:2; Jer 1:10. The παλιν (again) points to what has preceded and also to what is to come in 11:15. Here it is predictive prophecy ( προφητευσα, first aorist active infinitive of προφητευω ).
Over ( επ ). In the case, in regard to as in Joh 12:16 (with γραφω ), not in the presence of ( επ with genitive, Mr 13:9) nor against ( επ with the accusative, Lu 22:53). For this list of peoples see 5:9, occurring seven times in the Apocalypse.
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