|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:14-19 Before the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, there is the usual demand of attention. The saints and angels in heaven know the right of our God and Saviour to rule over all the world. But the nations met God's wrath with their own anger. It was a time in which he was beginning to reward his people's faithful services, and sufferings; and their enemies fretted against God, and so increased their guilt, and hastened their destruction. By the opening the temple of God in heaven, may be meant, that there was a more free communication between heaven and earth; prayer and praises more freely and frequently going up, graces and blessings plentifully coming down. But it rather seems to refer to the church of God on earth. In the reign of antichrist, God's law was laid aside, and made void by traditions and decrees; the Scriptures were locked up from the people, but now they are brought to the view of all. This, like the ark, is a token of the presence of God returned to his people, and his favour toward them in Jesus Christ, as the Propitiation for their sins. The great blessing of the Reformation was attended with very awful providences; as by terrible things in righteousness God answered the prayers presented in his holy temple now opened.
Verse 14. - The second woe is past. The full description of this woe occupies Revelation 9:13-11:14. The account describes the natural spiritual punishment which is inflicted upon men in consequence of their sins (Revelation 9:13-21). This is insufficient to lead men to avert the final judgment by timely repentance. We have then a further description of God's long suffering, and the rejection of his mercy, accompanied by an assurance of the safety of the faithful (Revelation 10:1-11:10). This brings us to the end of the world (Revelation 11:11-14), just as the sixth seal led to the same termination (Revelation 7:12-17), and both are followed by the seventh, which gives a reference to the eternal peace of heaven. And, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. Omit "and." It is not said, in the case of the other "woes," that they come quickly. In his description of the preservation and glorification of the Church under the form of the "witnesses," the writer had been led to anticipate in some degree what follows under the seventh trumpet. Thus the seventh comes quickly. When events have progressed so far that the faithful Church is ascended to heaven with her Lord, then immediate]y follows the eternal rest set forth under the seventh trumpet. But this period is described as "the third woe," because it is the period of time final punishment of the wicked; and it is the judgment of the ungodly which is the theme of the trumpet visions, although mention is incidentally made of the preservation and reward of the just. This is the time foretold in Revelation 10:7. Just as in the case of the seals, the period of the seventh seal is recorded but not described, so here, in the case of the seventh trumpet, its advent is recorded, and its nature is indicated in ver. 18, but no further description is given of the woe; only a slight reference to the bliss of those who are secure in heaven. Thus St. John does not attempt a complete picture of either the blessings of heaven or the woes of hell.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The second woe is past,.... Not in John's time, only in a visionary way; the meaning is, that the second woe trumpet, which is the sixth, will now have done sounding, when the four angels, bound in the river Euphrates, shall have been loosed, and they, with their horsemen, shall have done what they were designed to do; when the two witnesses shall have been slain, and are raised again, and ascended to heaven; and the things attending, or following thereon, as the earthquake, and slaughter, and the conversions of men, are accomplished.
And behold the third woe cometh quickly; immediately, upon the passing of the other; namely, the sounding of the seventh trumpet, as follows.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
11:14 The second woe is past - The butchery made by the Saracens ceased about the year 847, when their power was so broken by Charles the Great that they never recovered it. Behold, the third woe cometh quickly - Its prelude came while the Roman see took all opportunities of laying claim to its beloved universality, and enlarging its power and grandeur. And in the year 755 the bishop of Rome became a secular prince, by king Pepin's giving him the exarchate of Lombardy. The beginning of the third woe itself stands, Rev 12:12.
Revelation 11:14 Parallel Commentaries
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