Revelation 11:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers.

New Living Translation
Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, "Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers.

English Standard Version
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there,

New American Standard Bible
Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.

King James Bible
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: "Go and measure God's sanctuary and the altar, and count those who worship there.

International Standard Version
Then I was given a stick like a measuring rod. I was told, "Stand up and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count those who worship there.

NET Bible
Then a measuring rod like a staff was given to me, and I was told, "Get up and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and the ones who worship there.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And a reed was given to me like a rod and the Angel was standing and said, “Rise and measure the Temple of God and the altar and those who worship in it,”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then I was given a stick like a measuring stick. I was told, "Stand up and measure the temple of God and the altar. Count those who worship there.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod, and he said unto me, Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those that worship therein.

King James 2000 Bible
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

American King James Version
And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

American Standard Version
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and one said, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and it was said to me: Arise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar and them that adore therein.

Darby Bible Translation
And there was given to me a reed like a staff, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it.

English Revised Version
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and one said, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

Webster's Bible Translation
And there was given me a reed like a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it.

Weymouth New Testament
Then a reed was given me to serve as a measuring rod; and a voice said, "Rise, and measure God's sanctuary--and the altar--and count the worshipers who are in it.

World English Bible
A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, "Rise, and measure God's temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it.

Young's Literal Translation
And there was given to me a reed like to a rod, and the messenger stood, saying, 'Rise, and measure the sanctuary of God, and the altar, and those worshipping in it;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

11:1,2 This prophetical passage about measuring the temple seems to refer to Ezekiel's vision. The design of this measuring seems to be the preservation of the church in times of public danger; or for its trial, or for its reformation. The worshippers must be measured; whether they make God's glory their end, and his word their rule, in all their acts of worship. Those in the outer court, worship in a false manner, or with dissembling hearts, and will be found among his enemies. God will have a temple and an altar in the world, till the end of time. He looks strictly to his temple. The holy city, the visible church, is trodden under foot; is filled with idolaters, infidels, and hypocrites. But the desolations of the church are limited, and she shall be delivered out of all her troubles.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - And there was given me a reed like unto a rod. We are not told by whom the reed is given, but in Revelation 21. the angel has the reed, and so also in Ezekiel 40, upon which the incident seems founded (see Ezekiel 40; and cf. the reference to the outer court in ver. 17). The reed is "like a rod;" that is, like to a staff. It is for a measuring line, as in Zechariah 2:1. And the angel stood, saying. Omit all except "saying," as in the Revised Version. Λέγων is used absolutely, not as qualifying κάλαμος, "reed," as Andreas (cf. Revelation 4:1; Revelation 14:7; Revelation 19:6). Rise, and measure the temple of God; rather, rouse and measure, etc. The imperative verb does not imply anything as to the previous position of St. John. "The temple" is ναός, the shrine or dwelling place of God (as in ver. 19; also Revelation 3:12; Revelation 7:15), the inner temple, as distinguished from the outer court next mentioned. It scarcely seems possible to doubt that the temple is here figuratively used of the faithful portion of the Church of Christ. The word is plainly thus used in Revelation 3:12 and Revelation 7:15; and is frequently found with this signification in St. Paul's writings, which were probably known to St. John. Dusterdieck and others think that St. John refers literally to the temple at Jerusalem, and to the earthly Jerusalem. But, if so, this portion of the Apocalypse stands self condemned as a prediction which was falsified within a year or two of its enunciation; for in ver. 13 it is expressly stated that the tenth part of the city fell. And nowhere else in the book do Jerusalem and the temple signify the earthly places. The object of the measurement is generally thought to be to set apart or mark off that which is measured from that which is felt without; but opinions vary as to why the temple is thus set apart, some thinking that it is the literal temple which is given over to destruction, others believing that the measuring is a token of the preservation of the Church of God. But may not the command have been given to St. John in order to direct his attention to the size of the Church of God? This is the common meaning of the expression throughout the Bible; it is so in Zechariah 2:1-5, a passage upon which this is possibly founded; and it is so in Revelation 21:15. Moreover, there seems a good explanation of the reason why such an incident, thus explained, should occur here. The six trumpets have spoken of the large portions of mankind against whom they were directed; the sixth has declared that men did nevertheless not repent. The seventh trumpet is about to announce yet more terrible woe for the worldly; and, previous to this, a brief but vivid description is given of the oppression to be suffered by the Church - a description inserted here in order to lead up to, and demonstrate the absolute necessity for, the terrible final judgment. Among the ungodly are even some who are nominally members of the Church, who are typified by the outer court. No one could be more conscious that only a portion of the Church - "the elect" - was to be saved than the writer of the Epistles to the seven Churches (Revelation 1-3.). Might not the seer and his hearers be inclined to ask, "Who, then, can be saved? Are there any who escape when so much is said about the punishment in store for men?" In answer to such questions, the seer is bidden to remember, what is apt to be forgotten in the dejection caused by the contemplation of the huge amount of wickedness which undoubtedly exists in the world, viz. the large number of good men who form God's staple. It is to be noticed, also, that no mention is made of the command being actually carried out. It is as if the uttering of the command were sufficient to direct the attention of St. John to the fact which was to be conveyed to him, and that, therefore, the necessity for carrying out the injunction existed no longer. It therefore seems probable that "the temple" must be interpreted symbolically. It is the dwelling place of God, the place in which he is worshipped; that is, the multitude of true believers, or the faithful Church. St. John is bidden to measure it, in order to sustain the faith and hope of himself and his hearers. It is placed in antithesis to the outer court, the faithless portion of the visible Church of God, which is given over to the Gentiles - the type of all that is worldly. And the altar, and them that worship therein. The altar of incense alone stood within the ναός; but this may be only an accessory detail in the general description, and not to be pressed to a particular interpretation. "Them that worship therein" directs our thoughts to the individual members of the one body which collectively is "the temple."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod,.... A measuring reed, which with the Jews was six cubits long, Ezekiel 40:5; with the Greeks and Romans, ten feet long; the Ethiopic version here calls it a "golden reed", as in Revelation 21:15. This was given unto John very likely by the same angel that gave him the little book, since he afterwards bids him arise and measure with it; and by it seems to be designed the holy Scripture, or the word of God, which is sometimes called a line, a rule, and rod, Psalm 19:4, and which is the rule and measure of doctrine and faith; and by it all doctrine is to be tried and measured, and whatsoever is not agreeably to it is not of God, nor to be received, but rejected; and it is the rule and measure of all discipline, worship, and practice; it lays down the plan of a Gospel church, which should be gathered out of the world, and separated from it; it shows who are the proper materials of it, what officers are to be constituted in it, and what ordinances are to be administered, and what laws and rules should be observed in receiving and rejecting of members, and according to which the whole community should walk; in short, it directs to all the forms, laws, and ordinances of God's house; and this is the use John, or those whom he represents, were to make of it:

and the angel stood; the same that stood with his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and gave to John the little book, Revelation 10:1; though it may be not in the same place and situation, but rather at the gate of the temple, as in Ezekiel 40:3. This clause is not in the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, but is in the Syriac version and Complutensian edition, and is rightly retained, or otherwise it would seem as if the reed spoke:

saying, rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein; the allusion is to the temple of Jerusalem, with its appurtenances; there were the most holy place, and the holy place, which was the inner court of the priests, into which they only entered, which was strictly speaking the temple, and is referred to here; and there was the altar of burnt offering, which was in the court of the priests, and the altar of incense, which was before the vail that divided between the holy and holy of holies; and then there was the outer court for all the Israelites to worship in, referred to in Revelation 11:2, and by "the temple of God" is here meant the church, of which the temple was a type; and so particular congregated churches are called temples, 1 Corinthians 3:16. Solomon, a man of peace, was the builder of the one, and Christ, the Prince of peace, the builder of the other; Solomon's temple was built of hewn stones, made ready before they were brought thither, and a true church of Christ consists of lively stones, hewed and fitted for this spiritual building by the Spirit of God; the temple at Jerusalem was built on a high mountain, and on the north of the city, the church is built upon the rock Christ Jesus, and the Gospel church, or churches, in the times of the sixth trumpet, which this vision refers to, and to the close of it, are in the northern parts of Europe; and as the temple was for religious use and service, for the worship of God and sacrifices, so is the Gospel church, and so are Gospel churches, for the ministry of the word, and administration of ordinances, and for the offering up the sacrifices of prayer and praise; and as in the most holy place were the ark of the covenant, and the mercy seat, and as it was the place of the divine Presence, where God granted communion to his people, so in the church are held forth the mysteries of the covenant, Christ as the mercy seat and the propitiatory, in whom the displays of grace are made, and through whom the saints have fellowship with God, and enjoy his presence: "the altar" may design Christ himself, by whom the saints draw nigh to God, offer up their sacrifices, and are accepted with him; or the whole of Gospel worship and ordinances, as prayer, preaching, singing of praise, and the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper: and they "that worship therein", or "thereat", are the royal priesthood, or such who are made kings and priests unto God, for none went into the inner court, or served at the altar, but priests; and who make use of Christ, the altar, of his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, in their approaches to God; and who are praying souls, wait at the altar of incense, and draw nigh to the throne or grace with a true heart, and worship God in Spirit and in truth: now "measuring" of these respects not the primitive church for the first three or four hundred years, and the formation of that according to the rule of God's word, and as a pattern to other churches; for though the apostolic church, or the church as it was in the apostles' time, and as described in their writings, was such a church; yet the church for such a space of time as above was not; there were great departures both from doctrine and discipline, the mystery of iniquity began to work, and way was made for the man of sin and it was far from being a pattern to be imitated; and besides, this measuring refers to the times of the sixth trumpet, and the close of it: nor does it respect the sealing of the 144,000 between the sixth seal and the opening of the seventh seal, which was for the protection and security of them during the times of the six trumpets, which brought desolation into the empire, and apostasy into the church; though measuring sometimes may seem to denote protection, as in Zechariah 2:1; and though the outer court is, and will be, a protection to spiritual worshippers, so long as it is not in the hands of the Gentiles, yet this is not the sense, at least not the whole of it: nor does this refer to the hiding of the church in the wilderness, during the reign of antichrist; which might seem to be signified by the internal worshippers retiring to the altar, and to the holy and the most holy place, and being concealed there; and especially since the opening of the temple in Revelation 11:19, may seem to be opposed to this; but that takes in too large a compass of time, this being an affair relating only to the close of the sixth trumpet, and which was to be before the seventh trumpet sounded: it seems rather to respect the times of the Reformation by Luther, Calvin, and others, when the measuring reed of the word was taken in hand, and used; but then it was used chiefly for the restoration of pure doctrine, and with good success, but not so much for the regulating and orderly discipline of the churches, for the purity of Gospel worship and ordinances; most, if not all the reformed churches, set out upon too broad a bottom, being national, provincial, or parochial; there was a temple, and an altar erected for God, and there were internal and spiritual worshippers; but then they took in the outward court, which should not have been measured in, and circumscribed with them, but should have been left out; but the time for this was not yet come, but now is: in short, I take it that this measuring refers to what was done in the last age, particularly in our nation; and that it has respect to the separation from the national church, when churches, more or less, were gathered and formed according to the Gospel plan and the primitive institution; a work which never was set about and so effectually done before since the age of the apostles: the baptized and congregational churches are the temple, altar, and worshippers measured, who have both the true doctrine, worship, and discipline of God's house among them; a set of men in the last age were raised up, who drew a plan of churches, and of church discipline, according to the ancient model; gathered churches out of the world, and constituted them according to the order of the Gospel; circumscribed them, and enclosed them according to the rules of God's word, admitting none but such into communion who were judged by the churches subjects of the grace of God; and rejected and excluded from among them such as were wicked and scandalous; and so reduced the pure members of churches to a small number, a little flock, a few names in Sardis: and I am of opinion that the measuring reed must be used again; we have got of late, through negligence, or a want of a spirit of discerning, too many of the outward court among us; who must be left out, in order to be given up to other hands, as follows.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary


Re 11:1-19. Measurement of the Temple. The Two Witnesses' Testimony: Their Death, Resurrection, and Ascension: The Earthquake: The Third Woe: The Seventh Trumpet Ushers in Christ's Kingdom. Thanksgiving of the Twenty-four Elders.

This eleventh chapter is a compendious summary of, and introduction to, the more detailed prophecies of the same events to come in the twelfth through twentieth chapters. Hence we find anticipatory allusions to the subsequent prophecies; compare Re 11:7, "the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" (not mentioned before), with the detailed accounts, Re 13:1, 11; 17:8; also Re 11:8, "the great city," with Re 14:8; 17:1, 5; 18:10.

1. and the angel stood—omitted in A, Vulgate, and Coptic. Supported by B and Syriac. If it be omitted, the "reed" will, in construction, agree with "saying." So Wordsworth takes it. The reed, the canon of Scripture, the measuring reed of the Church, our rule of faith, speaks. So in Re 16:7 the altar is personified as speaking (compare Note, see on [2700]Re 16:7). The Spirit speaks in the canon of Scripture (the word canon is derived from Hebrew, "kaneh," "a reed," the word here used; and John it was who completed the canon). So Victorinus, Aquinas, and Vitringa. "Like a rod," namely, straight: like a rod of iron (Re 2:27), unbending, destroying all error, and that "cannot be broken." Re 2:27; Heb 1:8, Greek, "a rod of straightness," English Version, "a scepter of righteousness"; this is added to guard against it being thought that the reed was one "shaken by the wind" In the abrupt style of the Apocalypse, "saying" is possibly indefinite, put for "one said." Still Wordsworth's view agrees best with Greek. So the ancient commentator, Andreas of Cæsarea, in the end of the fifth century (compare Notes, see on [2701]Re 11:3, 4).

the temple—Greek, "naon" (as distinguished from the Greek, "hieron," or temple in general), the Holy Place, "the sanctuary."

the altar—of incense; for it alone was in "the sanctuary." (Greek, "naos"). The measurement of the Holy place seems to me to stand parallel to the sealing of the elect of Israel under the sixth seal. God's elect are symbolized by the sanctuary at Jerusalem (1Co 3:16, 17, where the same Greek word, "naos," occurs for "temple," as here). Literal Israel in Jerusalem, and with the temple restored (Eze 40:3, 5, where also the temple is measured with the measuring reed, the forty-first, forty-second, forty-third, and forty-fourth chapters), shall stand at the head of the elect Church. The measuring implies at once the exactness of the proportions of the temple to be restored, and the definite completeness (not one being wanting) of the numbers of the Israelite and of the Gentile elections. The literal temple at Jerusalem shall be the typical forerunner of the heavenly Jerusalem, in which there shall be all temple, and no portion exclusively set apart as temple. John's accurately drawing the distinction in subsequent chapters between God's servants and those who bear the mark of the beast, is the way whereby he fulfils the direction here given him to measure the temple. The fact that the temple is distinguished from them that worship therein, favors the view that the spiritual temple, the Jewish and Christian Church, is not exclusively meant, but that the literal temple must also be meant. It shall be rebuilt on the return of the Jews to their land. Antichrist shall there put forward his blasphemous claims. The sealed elect of Israel, the head of the elect Church, alone shall refuse his claims. These shall constitute the true sanctuary which is here measured, that is, accurately marked and kept by God, whereas the rest shall yield to his pretensions. Wordsworth objects that, in the twenty-five passages of the Acts, wherein the Jewish temple is mentioned, it is called hieron, not naos, and so in the apostolic Epistles; but this is simply because no occasion for mentioning the literal Holy Place (Greek, "naos") occurs in Acts and the Epistles; indeed, in Ac 7:48, though not directly, there does occur the term, naos, indirectly referring to the Jerusalem temple Holy Place. In addressing Gentile Christians, to whom the literal Jerusalem temple was not familiar, it was to be expected the term, naos, should not be found in the literal, but in the spiritual sense. In Re 11:19 naos is used in a local sense; compare also Re 14:15, 17; 15:5, 8.

Revelation 11:1 Additional Commentaries
The Two Witnesses
1Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2"Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.…
Cross References
Ezekiel 40:3
He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand.

Ezekiel 40:20
Then he measured the length and width of the north gate, leading into the outer court.

Daniel 7:27
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

Zechariah 2:1
Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand.

Revelation 10:11
Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."

Revelation 21:15
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls.
Treasury of Scripture

And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

a reed.

Revelation 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, …

Isaiah 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: …

Ezekiel 40:3-5 And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance …

Ezekiel 42:15-20 Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought …

Zechariah 2:1,2 I lifted up my eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring …

Galatians 6:14-16 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord …

and the.

Revelation 10:1-5 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with …


Numbers 33:18 And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah.

Ezekiel 40:1-48:35 In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning …

1 Corinthians 3:16,17 Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit …

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are …

Ephesians 2:20-22 And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus …

1 Peter 2:5,9 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy …

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