Revelation 10:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but 'in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.'"

New Living Translation
So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. "Yes, take it and eat it," he said. "It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!"

English Standard Version
So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”

New American Standard Bible
So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, "Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take and eat it; it will be bitter in your stomach, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."

International Standard Version
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll. "Take it and eat it," he told me. "It will turn bitter in your stomach, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."

NET Bible
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take the scroll and eat it. It will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I went to the Angel and I told him to give me the little scroll and he said to me, “Take and eat it and your belly will be bitter to you, but it will be like honey in your mouth.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will be bitter in your stomach, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little scroll. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your stomach bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.

American King James Version
And I went to the angel, and said to him, Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.

American Standard Version
And I went unto the angel, saying unto him that he should give me the little book. And he saith unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I went to the angel, saying unto him, that he should give me the book. And he said to me: Take the book, and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey.

Darby Bible Translation
And I went to the angel, saying to him to give me the little book. And he says to me, Take and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey.

English Revised Version
And I went unto the angel, saying unto him that he should give me the little book. And he saith unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I went to the angel, and said to him, Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take it, and eat it, and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

Weymouth New Testament
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little book. "Take it," he said, "and eat the whole of it. You will find it bitter when you have eaten it, although in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey."

World English Bible
I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. He said to me, "Take it, and eat it up. It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey."

Young's Literal Translation
and I went away unto the messenger, saying to him, 'Give me the little scroll;' and he saith to me, 'Take, and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet -- as honey.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book; and I went away to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. Alford understands that the seer goes from his position in heaven to the angel on earth. But he is probably, in his vision, already on the earth (see on ver. 1). And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; he saith. This part of the vision is founded on Ezekiel 2:9-3:3. The act is no doubt intended to convey the idea that the seer is to carefully receive, to digest thoroughly, as it were, his message in order to deriver it faithfully. Thus in Ezekiel 3:10 the prophet is told, "All my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them," etc. And it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey; cf. the vision of Ezekiel 2:9-3, where the sweetness only is immediately mentioned; but the bitterness is implied later on in Ezekiel 3:14. The sweetness expresses the pleasure and readiness with which St. John receives his commission; the bitterness symbolizes the grief which possesses him when he thoroughly takes in the nature of his message. The pleasure with which he receives the angel's commands may proceed from joy at the thought that the final overthrow of the wicked is the final deliverance of the saints; or it may be that he feels himself honoured at being chosen as the medium for conveying God's message. Compare the readiness of Isaiah 6:8 to fulfil a similar office, and his subsequent fear and hesitation (Isaiah 7:4). The bitterness of the seer follows when he realizes the terrible nature of the judgment he is to announce (cf. Jeremiah 8:21, "For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt"). Various other explanations, more or less allegorical, have been suggested. Thus Andreas explains that the first sweetness of sin is afterwards converted into bitterness. Origen, quoted in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' "Very sweet is this the book of Scripture when first perceived, but bitter to the conscience within." Maurice supposes that St. John's joy proceeds from the expectation that the book will announce the fall of the great Babel empire of the world, and his disappointment follows when he discovers that it predicts the fall of Jerusalem. Bede explains that the bitterness in the belly indicates the reception by the seer, but the sweetness in the mouth is the declaration to others.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And I went to the angel,.... According to the order given him; he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision; and, indeed, whither should any go knowledge but to him who has the words of eternal life, and is the great prophet of the church? and to whom should John go to qualify him for prophesying, but to him, who, as man and Mediator, had this revelation of future things given him? Revelation 1:1;

and said unto him, give me the little book; he did not take it without his leave, but in a modest and humble manner asks him to give it him, that he might deliver out the prophecies in it to others: so ordinary prophets and ministers of the word should go to Christ, to have their eyes opened, their understandings enlightened, that they may understand the Scriptures, and explain them to others:

and he said unto me, take it, and eat it up; which must be understood not literally, but mystically; and the sense is this, take the book, and diligently peruse it, and with as much eagerness as an hungry man would eat a meal; so greedy are some persons of reading, and as it were of devouring books; hence Cicero called (q) Cato "helluo librorum", a glutton at books: and in such manner John is bid to take and eat this book, and look into it, and read it over diligently, and consider what was in it, and meditate upon it, and digest the things contained in it, and lay them up in his mind and memory; and for the present hide and conceal them, in like manner as he was bid to seal, and not write what the seven thunders uttered; and so, though this book is represented to him as open in the angel's hand, yet he must take it and eat it, and hide it in his belly, because the things in it as yet were not to be accomplished: so for ordinary prophesying, or preaching, the ministers of the word should diligently read the Scriptures, constantly meditate on them, digest the truths of the Gospel in their own minds, and lay them up in the treasury of their hearts, and bring them forth from thence in due season:

and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey; as Ezekiel's roll was to him when he ate it, Ezekiel 3:1; the Alexandrian copy, instead of "thy belly", reads "thy heart".

(q) Cicero de Fittibus Bon. & Mal. l. 3. c. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. I went—Greek, "I went away." John here leaves heaven, his standing-point of observation heretofore, to be near the angel standing on the earth and sea.

Give—A, B, C, and Vulgate read the infinitive, "Telling him to give."

eat it up—appropriate its contents so entirely as to be assimilated with (as food), and become part of thyself, so as to impart them the more vividly to others. His finding the roll sweet to the taste at first, is because it was the Lord's will he was doing, and because, divesting himself of carnal feeling, he regarded God's will as always agreeable, however bitter might be the message of judgment to be announced. Compare Ps 40:8, Margin, as to Christ's inner complete appropriation of God's word.

thy belly bitter—parallel to Eze 2:10, "There was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe."

as honey—(Ps 19:10; 119:103). Honey, sweet to the mouth, sometimes turns into bile in the stomach. The thought that God would be glorified (Re 11:3-6, 11-18) gave him the sweetest pleasure. Yet, afterwards the belly, or carnal natural feeling, was embittered with grief at the prophecy of the coming bitter persecutions of the Church (Re 11:7-10); compare Joh 16:1, 2. The revelation of the secrets of futurity is sweet to one at first, but bitter and distasteful to our natural man, when we learn the cross which is to be borne before the crown shall be won. John was grieved at the coming apostasy and the sufferings of the Church at the hands of Antichrist.

Revelation 10:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Angel and the Small Scroll
8Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land." 9So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, "Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey." 10I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.…
Cross References
Jeremiah 15:16
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.

Ezekiel 2:8
But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you."

Ezekiel 3:1
And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel."

Ezekiel 3:3
Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

Revelation 10:10
I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Treasury of Scripture

And I went to the angel, and said to him, Give me the little book. And he said to me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.

Take.

Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have …

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was to me …

Ezekiel 2:8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you; Be not you rebellious …

Ezekiel 3:1-3,14 Moreover he said to me, Son of man, eat that you find; eat this roll, …

Colossians 3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience:

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