Revelation 10:7
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 has declared to his servants the prophets.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel - The days in the period of time embraced by the sounding of the seventh trumpet. That is, the affairs of this world would not be consummated in that period embraced in the sounding of the sixth trumpet, but in that embraced in the sounding of the seventh and last of the trumpets. Compare Revelation 11:15-19.

When he shall begin to sound - That is, the events referred to will commence at the period when the angel shall begin to sound. It will not be merely during or in that period, but the sounding of the trumpet, and the beginning of those events, will be contemporaneous. In other words, then would commence the reign of righteousness - the kingdom of the Messiah the dominion of the saints on the earth.

The mystery of God should be finished - On the meaning of the word "mystery," see the notes on Ephesians 1:9. It means here, as elsewhere in the New Testament, the purpose or truth of God which had been concealed, and which had not before been communicated to man. Here the particular reference is to the divine purpose which had been long concealed respecting the destiny of the world, or respecting the setting up of his kingdom, but which had been progressively unfolded by the prophets. That purpose would be "finished," or consummated, in the time when the seventh angel should begin to sound. Then all the "mystery" would be revealed; the plan would be unfolded; the divine purpose, so long concealed, would be manifested, and the kingdom of the Messiah and of the saints would be set up on the earth. Under that period, the affairs of the world would be ultimately wound up, and the whole work of redemption completed.

As he hath declared to his servants the prophets - As he has from time to time disclosed his purposes to mankind through the prophets. The reference here is, doubtless, to the prophets of the Old Testament, though the language would include all who at any time had uttered any predictions respecting the final condition of the world. These prophecies had been scattered along through many ages; but the angel says that at that time all that had been said respecting the setting up of the kingdom of God, the reign of the saints, and the dominion of the Redeemer on the earth, would be accomplished. See the notes on Revelation 11:15. From the passage thus explained, if the interpretation is correct, it will follow that the sounding of the seventh trumpet Revelation 11:15-18 is properly the conclusion of this series of visions, and denotes a "catastrophe" in the action, and that what follows is the commencement of a new series of visions. This is clear, because:

(a) the whole seven seals, comprising the seven trumpets of the seventh seal, must embrace one view of all coming events - since this embraced all that there was in the volume seen all the hand of him that sat on the throne;

(b) this is properly implied in the word rendered here as "should be finished" - τελέσθη telesthē - the fair meaning of which is, that the "mystery" here referred to - the hitherto unrevealed purpose or plan of God - would, under that trumpet, be consummated or complete (see the conclusive reasoning of Prof. Stuart on the meaning of the word, vol. ii. p. 210, footnote); and,

(c) it will be found in the course of the exposition that, at Revelation 11:19, there commences a new series of visions, embracing a view of the world in its religious aspect, or ecclesiastical characteristics, reaching down to the same consummation, and stating at the close of that Revelation 20:1-15 more fully what is here Revelation 11:15-18 designated in a more summary way - the final triumph of religion, and the establishment of the kingdom of the saints.

The present series of visions Revelation 5-11:18 relates rather to the outward or secular changes which would occur on the earth, which were to affect the welfare of the church, to the final consummation; the next series Revelation 11:19; Revelation 12:20 relates to the church internally, the rise of Antichrist, and the effect of the rise of that formidable power on the internal history of the church, to the time of the overthrow of that power, and the triumphant establishment of the kingdom of God. See the Analysis of the work, Intro. 5. In other words, this series of visions, terminating at Revelation 11:18, refers, as the leading thing, to what would occur in relation to the Roman empire considered as a secular power, in which the church would be interested; what follows Revelation 11:19; Revelation 12-20 to the Roman power considered as a great apostasy, and setting up a mighty and most oppressive domination over the true church, manifested in deep corruption and bloody persecutions, running on in its disastrous influence on the world, until that power should be destroyed, Babylon fall, and the reign of the saints be introduced.

7. But—connected with Re 10:6. "There shall be no longer time (that is, delay), but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to (so the Greek) sound his trumpet (so the Greek), then (literally, 'also'; which conjunction often introduces the consequent member of a sentence) the mystery of God is finished," literally, "has been finished"; the prophet regarding the future as certain as if it were past. A, C, Aleph, and Coptic read the past tense (Greek, "etelesthee"). B reads, as English Version, the future tense (Greek, "telesthee"). "should be finished" (compare Re 11:15-18). Sweet consolation to the waiting saints! The seventh trumpet shall be sounded without further delay.

the mystery of God—the theme of the "little book," and so of the remainder of the Apocalypse. What a grand contrast to the "mystery of iniquity Babylon!" The mystery of God's scheme of redemption, once hidden in God's secret counsel and dimly shadowed forth in types and prophecies, but now more and more clearly revealed according as the Gospel kingdom develops itself, up to its fullest consummation at the end. Then finally His servants shall praise Him most fully, for the glorious consummation of the mystery in having taken to Himself and His saints the kingdom so long usurped by Satan and the ungodly. Thus this verse is an anticipation of Re 11:15-18.

declared to—Greek, "declared the glad tidings to." "The mystery of God" is the Gospel glad tidings. The office of the prophets is to receive the glad tidings from God, in order to declare them to others. The final consummation is the great theme of the Gospel announced to, and by, the prophets (compare Ga 3:8).

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel; of whom, and his sounding, we shall read, Revelation 11:15.

When he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished; from that time that he beginneth to sound shall begin the mystery of God to be finished; either the mystery mentioned Revelation 11:15, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ; or, more generally, whatsoever God hath revealed concerning the propagation of the gospel, the ruin of antichrist, and the end of the world.

As he hath declared to his servants the prophets; whatsoever God hath declared by his servants the prophets about these things, (as to which see Isaiah 24:1-23 26:1-27:13,66:1-24 Daniel 7:11,12 Zec 14:1-21 Malachi 3:4), it shall be fulfilled, and begin to be fulfilled when the seventh angel shall begin to blow; within which period of time most interpreters judge we are, as being begun some time since. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound,.... This is an exception to what the angel had said and swore to, that time should be no longer; "but", or "unless", or "except the time of the voice of the seventh angel", as the Ethiopic version renders it; when a new period and sort of time should begin, very different from the former, which then should be no more; for now will be the time of Christ's kingdom on earth, which shall last a thousand years; this time will not be like the former, a time of darkness and ignorance, as was in some periods, partly through the errors and heresies which were propagated in early times, and through that barbarity and ignorance which the Goths, Huns, and Vandals, spread over the empire, when they broke into it, and chiefly through the smoke of the bottomless pit, the false doctrine and worship of the Papists and Mahometans; but in the time of the seventh angel, all this gross darkness will be removed, and it will be a time of unspeakable and everlasting light, so that there will be no need of the sun and moon, of Gospel ministrations and ordinances: nor will it be a time of affliction and persecution; time in that sense will be no more, as it has been under the ten Pagan emperors, and under the Arian emperors, and under the Papal hierarchy; for in this period there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, pain, and tears; though there will be time, it will be another sort of time, quite different from the former, which will be no more when the seventh angel once begins; and as soon as he begins to sound, this will put an end to antichristian time; and at the end of his sounding will begin the time of Christ, or the thousand years' reign: and then

the mystery of God should be finished; that is, the angel not only swears that time shall be no longer, but that also then shall be finished the mystery of God; by which is meant, not the resurrection of the dead, and the change of the living, which is called a mystery, 1 Corinthians 15:51; for though when this angel sounds, and has done sounding, and Christ comes, the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the dead in Christ, will be finished, yet not the whole resurrection; for the rest of the dead will not live again till the end of the thousand years: but rather the Gospel is designed, which is often called the mystery, and the mystery of the Gospel, and contains many mysteries in it, which are styled the mysteries of God; which respect him, his being, persons, operations, and grace; and are revealed and made known by him; and the finishing of this may respect the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, which will be before the end of the world, and whereby the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and multitudes of souls converted; wherefore it may be best of all to understand this of the church of God, the general assembly and church of the firstborn, even all the elect of God, whose number will now be finished and completed in the conversion of the Jews, and in the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles, both which are called "mysteries", Romans 11:25; and now as the antichristian church is called "mystery", "Babylon", Revelation 17:5; and "the mystery of iniquity", 2 Thessalonians 2:7; so the true Christian church, the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, may bear the name of the mystery of God; and this may also take in the mystery of all God's providences and promises, and prophecies, respecting the state of his church and people on earth:

as he hath declared to his servants and prophets; as to Isaiah in Isaiah 60:3, &c. and Isaiah 66:8; and to Daniel, in Daniel 2:44 Daniel 7:25; and to Zechariah, in Zechariah 14:9, and others; and which was a Gospel declaration, as the word signifies; it was good news and glad tidings; glorious things were declared to them, and spoken by them, concerning the city and church of God, its happy state on earth, and Christ's reign in it.

But in the days of the {6} 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.

(6) See Re 11:15, 16:17.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 10:7. Vav consec. with the Heb, pf. (LXX= καὶ and fut. indic.) here by an awkward solecism (cf. on Revelation 3:20) = “Then is (i.e., shall be) fnished the secret of God.” The final consummation (inaugurated by the advent of messiah, 12.) is to take place not later than the period of the seventh angel’s trumpet-blast, which ex hypothesi is imminent. The μυστήριον is plainly, as the context implies, full of solace and relief to God’s people.—εὐηγγ. The total (exc. Revelation 16:6) omission of εὐαγγέλιον and the restricted use of its verb in the Apocalypse may have been due to the fact that such terms had been soiled by ignoble usage in the local Ionian cult of εὐάγγελος (e.g., at Ephesus), with its oracular revelations and fellowship of Euangelidae. The Asiatic calendar of Smyrna contained a month called εὐαγγέλιος.—The connexion between μυστήριον = “secret purpose or counsel” (as here) and μ. = “symbol, or symbolic representation” (Revelation 1:20, Revelation 17:7) is due to the fact that in the primitive world the former was enigmatically conveyed by means of symbolic-representations in word, picture, or deed. As “every written word was once a μυστήριον,” it was natural that the word used for the sign came to be employed for the thing signified (Hatch, Essays in Bibl. Greek, 61). The near approach of the end had been for years a matter of confidence and joy to the Christian prophets—for it is they and not their predecessors who are specially in view. The special and solemn contribution of John’s Apocalypse is to identify certain events in the immediate future with the throes out of which the final bliss was to be born. These throes include the downfall of the dragon from heaven, the subsequent climax of the Beast’s influence on earth, and the assertion of God’s authority over his own and against his foe’s adherents (Revelation 12:1 to Revelation 14:20). The great and glad revelation is God seen in action, with his forces deployed for the final campaign which, with its issues of deliverance and triumph (Revelation 15-22.), forms the climax of this book. The apotheosis of the Cæsars in their life-time—above all, of Domitian—marked the pitch of human depravity; divine intervention was inevitable.

Up to the end of Revelation 9, the Apocalypse is fairly regular and intelligible; thereafter, criticism enters upon an intricate country, of which hardly any survey has yet succeeded in rendering a satisfactory account. The problem begins with Revelation 10. Although Revelation 10:1-7 complete the preceding oracles by introducing their finale (7 = Revelation 11:14 f.), while Revelation 10:8-11 connect more immediately with Revelation 11, this forms no reason for suspecting that the oracle is composite. Spitta takes Revelation 10:1 a, Revelation 10:2-7 (except Revelation 10:4) as the continuation of Revelation 9., followed by Revelation 11:15; Revelation 11:19, while the rest is substantially a prelude to Revelation 11:1-13; Briggs similarly views Revelation 10:1 a, Revelation 10:3-7 as the original transition between Revelation 9. and Revelation 11:14-15 a, Revelation 11:19, while Revelation 10:1-2; Rev 10:8-11 (a vision of messiah) introduces the new source of Revelation 11:1-13, Revelation 12:17; and Rauch regards Revelation 10:1 b, Revelation 10:2 a, Revelation 10:5-7; Rev 10:4; Rev 10:9-11 as the opening of Revelation 11:1-13, Revelation 12:1-17, with Revelation 10:1-4 a (substantially) as the preface to Revelation 12:17-17., Revelation 16:13-16. These analyses are unconvincing. The alleged signs of a Hebrew original (e.g., Revelation 10:7, also λέγουσί μοι and λέγειμοι in Revelation 10:9; Revelation 10:11 = variant versions of ואמר לי) are not decisive.7. when he shall begin to sound] More accurately, “when he shall be about to sound.”

the mystery of God] Here Abp. Whately’s paradox is hardly an exaggeration, that for “mystery” one might substitute “revelation,” without altering the sense: see on Revelation 1:20.

shall be finished] The construction in the Greek is curious, but it is probably a mere Hebraism, and the sense of the A. V. right.

declared] The word is the characteristic evangelical one, “told the good news.”Revelation 10:7. Καὶ ἐτελέσθη) καὶ has a consecutive force, and then, as John 4:35, ἔτι τετράμηνός ἐστι, καὶ ὁ θερισμὸς ἔρχεται.—τὸ μυστήριοντοῖς προφήταις, the mystery—to the prophets) D. Joach. Lange, in his Glory of Christ, has illustrated this mystery in a striking manner, by most copiously comparing the Apocalypse with the prophets of the Old Testament. But we have shown the time of the completion of this mystery, lately at Revelation 10:6, and in other places repeatedly. It was not only announced by prophets, but also to the prophets themselves: Daniel 10:12.Verse 7. - But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel. The meaning naturally seems to be, "There shall be no longer time; but, on the contrary, in the days of the seventh trumpet, the last judgment shall tall, the end will come, and all things will be made manifest; the mystery of God will be finished." Wordsworth renders, "No delay, save only in the days," etc., and believes that the passage points to a brief respite, during which men may yet repent. When he shall begin to sound; when he is about to sound [his trumpet]. Alford points out the propriety of the expression. "When the seventh angel does sound, the completed time of the fulfilment is simultaneous with his blowing (cf. Revelation 11:18), so that it is properly said that the fulfilment comes in the days when he is about to blow." The mystery of God should be finished; also (or then, as Revised Version) the mystery of God was fulfilled. "The prophetic past" (Wordsworth). "The mystery of God" is all that man does not now understand in connection with God's dealings with man, but of the existence of which he is cognizant, e.g. the existence of evil in the world, and God's modes of dealing with that and all mankind, which we only know in part. God's plans are being steadily and surely worked out, though we are not able to comprehend them. As he hath declared to his servants the prophets; literally, as he evangelized his servants the prophets; or, as in the Revised Version, according to the good tidings which he declared to his servants the prophets. Thus Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." The promise of the complete fulfilment of the mystery of God is good news indeed for the fainting Christian, for it tells of the end of his trials and the overthrow of his enemies. Shall begin to sound ((μέλλῃ σαλπίζεν)

Wrong. Rev., correctly, when he is about to sound.

The mystery (τὸ μυστήριον)

See on Matthew 13:11.

Declared (εὐηγγέλισεν)

The word used of declaring the good news of salvation. Here of declaring the mystery of the kingdom.

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