Revelation Chapter Ten
These were preliminary woes on the body of Jews and Christianized Gentiles, not the direct antagonism of the power of evil with God. This is now unfolded but first, in the little open book, put in its place in the general history. The book is open as part of well-known prophecy, and now brought to a direct issue on known ground; not the unrevealed and more unmanifest ways of God introducing the final issue. Christ comes down and affirms His right to all below; puts His right foot on the sea, the left on the earth, and utters the voice of His might, to which the voice of the Almighty in power answers. But its revelations were sealed up; but Christ swears by Him who lives for ever and ever that there should be no more delay. All things are drawing to a final issue. In the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God would be closed-His direct power come. The prophet is to recommence his prophecy to nations and tongues, and languages.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Revelation》
The Angel of the covenant presents a little open book, which is followed with seven thunders. (1-4) At the end of the following prophecies, time should be no more. (5-7) A voice directs the apostle to eat the book; (8-10) and tells him he must prophesy further. (11)
Commentary on Revelation 10:1-7
(Read Revelation 10:1-7)
The apostle saw another representation. The person communicating this discovery probably was our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or it was to show his glory. He veils his glory, which is too great for mortal eyes to behold; and throws a veil upon his dispensations. A rainbow was upon his head; our Lord is always mindful of his covenant. His awful voice was echoed by seven thunders; solemn and terrible ways of discovering the mind of God. We know not the subjects of the seven thunders, nor the reasons for suppressing them. There are great events in history, perhaps relating to the Christian church, which are not noticed in open prophecy. The final salvation of the righteous, and the final success of true religion on earth, are engaged for by the unfailing word of the Lord. Though the time may not be yet, it cannot be far distant. Very soon, as to us, time will be no more; but if we are believers, a happy eternity will follow: we shall from heaven behold and rejoice in the triumphs of Christ, and his cause on earth.
Commentary on Revelation 10:8-11
(Read Revelation 10:8-11)
Most men feel pleasure in looking into future events, and all good men like to receive a word from God. But when this book of prophecy was thoroughly digested by the apostle, the contents would be bitter; there were things so awful and terrible, such grievous persecutions of the people of God, such desolations in the earth, that the foresight and foreknowledge of them would be painful to his mind. Let us seek to be taught by Christ, and to obey his orders; daily meditating on his word, that it may nourish our souls; and then declaring it according to our several stations. The sweetness of such contemplations will often be mingled with bitterness, while we compare the Scriptures with the state of the world and the church, or even with that of our own hearts.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Revelation》
 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
And I saw another mighty angel — Another from that "mighty angel," mentioned, Revelation 5:2; yet he was a created angel; for he did not swear by himself, verse 6. Revelation 5:6 Clothed with a cloud - In token of his high dignity.
And a rainbow upon his head — A lovely token of the divine favour. And yet it is not too glorious for a creature: the woman, Revelation 12:1, is described more glorious still.
And his face as the sun — Nor is this too much for a creature: for all the righteous "shall shine forth as the sun," Matthew 13:43.
And his feet as pillars of fire — Bright as flame.
 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
And he had in his hand — His left hand: he swore with his right. He stood with his right foot on the sea, toward the west; his left, on the land, toward the east: so that he looked southward. And so St. John (as Patmos lies near Asia) could conveniently take the book out of his left hand. This sealed book was first in the right hand of him that sat on the throne: thence the Lamb took it, and opened the seals. And now this little book, containing the remainder of the other, is given opened, as it was, to St. John. From this place the Revelation speaks more clearly and less figuratively than before.
And he set his right foot upon the sea — Out of which the first beast was to come.
And his left foot upon the earth — Out of which was to come the second. The sea may betoken Europe; the earth, Asia; the chief theatres of these great things.
 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
And he cried — Uttering the words set down, verse 6. Revelation 10:6 And while he cried, or was crying - At the same instant.
Seven thunders uttered their voices — In distinct words, each after the other. Those who spoke these words were glorious, heavenly powers, whose voice was as the loudest thunder.
 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
And I heard a voice from heaven — Doubtless from him who had at first commanded him to write, and who presently commands him to take the book; namely, Jesus Christ.
Seal up those things which the seven thunders have uttered, and write them not — These are the only things of all which he heard that he is commanded to keep secret: so something peculiarly secret was revealed to the beloved John, besides all the secrets that are written in this book. At the same time we are prevented from inquiring what it was which these thunders uttered: suffice that we may know all the contents of the opened book, and of the oath of the angel.
 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
And the angel — This manifestation of things to come under the trumpet of the seventh angel hath a twofold introduction: first, the angel speaks for God, verse 7; Revelation 10:7 then Christ speaks for himself, Revelation 11:3. The angel appeals to the prophets of former times; Christ, to his own two witnesses.
Whom I saw standing upon the earth and upon the sea, lifted up his right hand toward heaven — As yet the dragon was in heaven. When he is cast thence he brings the third and most dreadful woe on the earth and sea: so that it seems as if there would be no end of calamities. Therefore the angel comprises, in his posture and in his oath, both heaven, sea, and earth, and makes on the part of the eternal God and almighty Creator, a solemn protestation, that he will assert his kingly authority against all his enemies.
He lifted up his right hand toward heaven — The angel in Daniel, Daniel 12:7, (not improbably the same angel,) lifted up both his hands.
 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
And sware — The six preceding trumpets pass without any such solemnity. It is the trumpet of the seventh angel alone which is confirmed by so high an oath.
By him that liveth for ever and ever — Before whom a thousand years are but a day.
Who created the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the things that are therein — And, consequently, has the sovereign power over all: therefore, all his enemies, though they rage a while in heaven, on the sea, and on the earth, yet must give place to him.
That there shall be no more a time — "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, the mystery of God shall be fulfilled:" that is, a time, a chronos, shall not expire before that mystery is fulfilled. A chronos (1111 years) will nearly pass before then, but not quite. The period, then, which we may term a non-chronos (not a whole time) must be a little, and not much, shorter than this. The non-chronos here mentioned seems to begin in the year 800, (when Charles the Great instituted in the west a new line of emperors, or of "many kings,") to end in the year 1836; and to contain, among other things, the "short time" of the third woe, the "three times and a half" of the woman in the wilderness, and the "duration" of the beast.
 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel — Who sounded not only at the beginning of those days, but from the beginning to the end.
The mystery of God shall be fulfilled — It is said, Revelation 17:17, "The word of God shall be fulfilled." The word of God is fulfilled by the destruction of the beast; the mystery, by the removal of the dragon. But these great events are so near together, that they are here mentioned as one. The beginning of them is in heaven, as soon as the seventh trumpet sounds; the end is on the earth and the sea. So long as the third woe remains on the earth and the sea, the mystery of God is not fulfilled. And the angel's swearing is peculiarly for the comfort of holy men, who are afflicted under that woe. Indeed the wrath of God must be first fulfilled, by the pouring out of the phials: and then comes the joyful fulfilling of the mystery of God.
As he hath declared to his servants the prophets — The accomplishment exactly answering the prediction. The ancient prophecies relate partly to that grand period, from the birth of Christ to the destruction of Jerusalem; partly to the time of the seventh angel, wherein they will be fully accomplished. To the seventh trumpet belongs all that occurs from Revelation 11:15. And the third woe, which takes place under the same, properly stands, Revelation 12:12; 13:1-18.
 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
And — what follows from this verse to chap. xi. 13, Revelation 11:13 runs parallel with the oath of the angel, and with "the fulfilling of the mystery of God," as it follows under the trumpet of the seventh angel; what is said, verse 11, Revelation 11:11 concerning St. John's "prophesying again," is unfolded immediately after; what is said, verse 7, Revelation 11:7 concerning "the fulfilling the mystery of God," is unfolded, Rev. xi. 15-19, Revelation 11:15-19 and in the following chapters.
 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
Eat it up — The like was commanded to Ezekiel. This was an emblem of thoroughly considering and digesting it.
And it will make thy belly bitter, but it will be sweet as honey in thy mouth — The sweetness betokens the many good things which follow, Revelation 11:1,15, etc.; the bitterness, the evils which succeed under the third woe.
 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Thou must prophesy again — Of the mystery of God; of which the ancient prophets had prophesied before. And he did prophesy, by "measuring the temple," Revelation 11:1; as a prophecy may be delivered either by words or actions.
Concerning people, and nations, and tongues, and many kings — The people, nations, and tongues are contemporary; but the kings, being many, succeed one another. These kings are not mentioned for their own sake, but with a view to the "holy city," Revelation 11:2. Here is a reference to the great kingdoms in Spain, England, Italy, etc., which arose from the eighth century; or at least underwent a considerable change, as France and Germany in particular; to the Christian, afterward Turkish, empire in the east; and especially to the various potentates, who have successively reigned at or over Jerusalem, and do now, at least titularly, reign over it.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Revelation》
Chapter 10. Eat the Little Scroll
Right Foot on
Left Foot on the Land
I. An Angel Holds a Little Scroll
II. An Angel Swears the Mystery
III. John Eats the Little Scroll
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Ten General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To examine the first vision in the interlude between the sounding of
the sixth and seventh trumpets
2) To offer an explanation concerning the significance of this vision
Just as there was an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals that
included two visions designed to comfort the saints, so we find an
interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets with three visions
that would have similar effect.
Chapter ten contains the first vision in this second interlude, in
which John describes a mighty angel coming down from heaven and
standing with his right foot on the sea and his left on the land. Of
particular note is a little book in the angel's hand. When the angel
cried out with lion-like voice, seven thunders uttered their voices,
but John is forbidden by a voice from heaven to write the things which
the thunders uttered. At this point the mighty angel swears by God
that there will be delay no longer, for when the seventh angel sounds
his trumpet the mystery of God will be finished, as God declared to His
servants the prophets (1-7).
Then the voice from heaven tells John to take the book from the angel.
As he does so, the angel tells him to eat the book, with a warning that
while it will be sweet as honey in his mouth, it will make his stomach
bitter. When John eats the book, he is told that he must again
prophesy about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings (8-11).
The significance of eating the little book is clear enough, for it
symbolizes John mastering the contents of the message (cf. Ezek
2:1-3:11). As to its contents, it may pertain to the prophecies of
chapters 12-22, which certainly contains prophecies of peoples,
nations, kings, etc. While the sounding of the seventh trumpet would
indicate the mystery of God was finished as declared to the Old
Testament prophets (cf. "My servants the prophets", Zech 1:6), John
would expand upon the revelation of that mystery by recording what will
be seen starting in chapter 12.
The significance of the seven thunders may forever remain an enigma.
Summers believes that John was forbidden to record their utterances
because there would be delay no longer and the time for warning was
over. Hailey suggests that it may indicate that God has many
unrevealed weapons in His arsenal of judgments to be used at His
discretion, and that man cannot know all of God's ways.
This vision appears designed to impress upon John that with the
sounding of the seventh trumpet his work will not be over. Indeed, in
chapters 12-22 we shall see a closer look at the conflict.
I. THE MIGHTY ANGEL WITH THE LITTLE BOOK (1-7)
A. THE ANGEL, THE BOOK, AND THE SEVEN THUNDERS (1-4)
1. John describes another mighty angel coming down from heaven
a. Clothed with a cloud
b. A rainbow on his head
c. His face like the sun
d. His feet like pillars of fire
e. A little book in his hand
f. His right foot on the sea, his left foot on the land
g. Who cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars
2. When the angel cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices
a. John prepared to write what he heard
b. But a voice from heaven instructs him to seal up the things
uttered by the seven thunders, and not write them
B. THE ANGEL AND HIS OATH (5-7)
1. John sees the angel lift his hand to heaven
2. The angel swears by God that there will be delay no longer
a. For in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, the
mystery of God would be finished
b. As God declared to His servants the prophets
II. JOHN EATS THE LITTLE BOOK (8-11)
A. JOHN IS INSTRUCTED TO EAT THE BOOK (8-9)
1. The same voice from heaven instructs him to take the book from
the angel's hand
2. He is told to eat the book, which will be sweet as honey in
his mouth, but will make his stomach bitter
B. JOHN EATS THE BOOK (10-11)
1. Taking it from the angel's hand, he ate it
2. It was sweet as honey in his mouth, but his stomach became
3. He is told: "You must prophesy again about many peoples,
nations, tongues, and kings."
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
- The mighty angel with the little book (1-7)
- John eats the little book (8-11)
2) How does John describe the mighty angel which comes down from
- Clothed with a cloud
- A rainbow on his head
- His face like the sun
- His feet like pillars of fire
- A little book in his hand
- His right foot on the sea, his left foot on the land
- Who cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars
3) When the angel cried out, what happened? (3)
- Seven thunders uttered their voices
4) What did John start to do? What was he told? (4)
- To write what he heard
- To seal up and not write what the seven thunders uttered
5) What did the mighty angel swear by God? (5-7)
- That there should be delay no longer
- That in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, the mystery
of God would be finished, just as God declared to His servants the
6) What is John then told to do? (8)
- To take the book from the mighty angel
7) What is he told to do with the book? What did he do with the book?
- To eat the book
- He ate the book, which was sweet as honey in his mouth, but made
his stomach bitter
8) What was he then told? (11)
- He must prophecy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and
Eat the little scroll
Right foot on the sea
Left foot on the land
I. An angel holds a little scroll
1. Mighty angel
2. Seven thunders speak
3. Don’t write down
II.An angel swears the mystery
1. Raise right hand
2. No more delay
3. The accomplishment of the will of God
III. John eats the little scroll
1. Take and eat
2. Sweet in mouth yet sour in stomach
3. Prophesy again
── Chih-Hsin Chang《an Outline of The New Testament》