Revelation 10:5
And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
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(5-7) And the angel . . .—Translate, And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted his right hand to the heaven, and sware in (or, by) Him who liveth unto the ages of the ages, who created the heaven, and the things in it, and the earth, and the things in it, and the sea, and the things in it, that time (i.e., delay, or postponement) should no longer be: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, whenever he is about to sound (his trumpet) was finished the mystery of God, as he evangelised his servants the prophets. There is a change of tense which sounds strange: he says, then (not “will be,” but) was finished. In thought he hurries on to the end, and sees the close no longer in the dim future, but as, with the eye of God, an accomplished fact. The certainty is guaranteed with an oath. The gesture of the uplifted hand to give emphasis to the oath is of ancient date. Thus Abraham expressed his resolution to take none of the spoils of the conquered kings: “I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord . . . that I will not take from a thread to a shoelatchet” (Genesis 14:22; comp. Exodus 6:8, margin). So, too, does the man clothed in linen (Daniel 12:6-9, a passage which, in much, is the foundation of the one before us) lift up both hands and sware that there shall be a fixed period for the accomplishment of the scattering of the power of the holy people. The oath in the passage under consideration is to the effect (not that time should cease and eternity begin, but) that there shall be no longer any delay. The suffering saints had cried, “How long?” (Revelation 6:9-11), and they had been bidden to wait a little time. Now the close of all such waiting time is announced: when the seventh trumpet shall have blown the mystery of God will be finished. “‘ The mystery of God’ does not mean something which cannot be understood or explained. It is never applied to such matters, for example, as the origin of evil, or the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity. It does mean a secret; but then a secret may be told, and when told is no mystery. The mystery, or secret, of God means, therefore, the whole of His plan and of His counsel concerning this earth in its present state of discipline and of imperfection; all that God means to do upon it and towards it, even till that which we read of as the time of the end (Daniel 12:4-9), the close of this last dispensation, and the introduction of that new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness” (Dr. Vaughan). No wonder, as he announced this fast approaching close of the ages of suffering and trial, he should add, “According as He (not “declared”—an utterly inadequate word—but) evangelised—i.e., according to the glad tidings which He had ever proclaimed to and by His servants the prophets.” A somewhat remarkable parallelism between this passage and 1Corinthians 15:51-52, has been pointed out. In both passages there is reference to the mystery, the glad tidings, and the last (the seventh trumpet is also the last) trumpet. This harmony of reference—taken in connection with St. Paul’s statement, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”—is full of interest, if it were for nothing more than to notice the union of thought between the two Apostles; but it may also throw light upon the teaching respecting the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5-6; but see Note there).

Revelation 10:5-7. And the angel, &c. — But though I was not allowed to reveal what the seven thunders had uttered, yet the angel proceeded to give a further revelation of the dispensations of Divine Providence toward the world and the church in general; and, to confirm the truth and certainty of his revelation, he took his oath in the most solemn manner: he lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever — By the eternal God, before whom a thousand years are but as a day is with us; who created the heaven, the earth, the sea, &c. — And consequently has the sovereign power over all; therefore all his enemies, though they rage a while on the earth and on the sea, yet must give place to him: That there should be time no longer — Greek, οτι χρονος ουκ εσται ετι, that the time shall not be yet; (so Lowman and Bishop Newton understand it;) that is, that the lime of the glorious state of the church, though sure to take place in its due time, should not be yet; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel — Who was yet to sound; the mystery of God — In his providence toward his church; should be finished — Or completed. The mystery of God is his counsel or design, which begins in the present conversion and happiness of man on earth, will terminate in diffusing that felicity over all the world, and will complete it in a state of immortality; as he hath declared Ως ευηγγελισε, according to the good news which he hath published; to his servants the prophets — And then the glorious state of the church should be no longer delayed. So long as the third wo remains on the earth and the sea, the mystery of God is not fulfilled. And the angel’s declaration that it shall be fulfilled, confirmed by a solemn oath, is made peculiarly for the consolation of holy men, who are afflicted under that wo. Indeed the wrath of God must be first fulfilled by the pouring out of the vials, and then comes the joyful fulfilling of the mystery of God.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.And the angel which I saw stand ... - Revelation 10:2. That is, John saw him standing in this posture when he made the oath which he proceeds to record.

Lifted up his hand to heaven - The usual attitude in taking an oath, as if one called heaven to witness. See Genesis 14:22; Deuteronomy 32:40; Ezekiel 20:5-6. Compare the notes on Daniel 12:7.

5. lifted up his hand—So A and Vulgate read. But B, C, Aleph, Syriac, and Coptic, "… his right hand." It was customary to lift up the hand towards heaven, appealing to the God of truth, in taking a solemn oath. There is in this part of the vision an allusion to Da 12:1-13. Compare Re 10:4, with Da 12:4, 9; and Re 10:5, 6, end, with Da 12:7. But there the angel clothed in linen, and standing upon the waters, sware "a time, times, and a half" were to interpose before the consummation; here, on the contrary, the angel standing with his left foot on the earth, and his right upon the sea, swears there shall be time no longer. There he lifted up both hands to heaven; here he has the little book now open (whereas in Daniel the book is sealed) in his left hand (Re 10:2), and he lifts up only his right hand to heaven. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth: see Revelation 10:2; which Angel was Christ.

Lifted up his hand to heaven; as Daniel 12:7, with which prophecy this agreeth. It is an ordinary gesture used in swearing. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth,.... His right foot being on the one, and his left foot upon the other, as described in Revelation 10:2;

lifted up his hand to heaven; the Oriental versions read, "his right hand"; and so some copies, and the Complutensian edition: the man clothed in linen, Daniel 12:6, who is the same with the angel here, held up both his hands; the lifting up of the hand was a gesture used in swearing: see Genesis 14:22; so the Jews say (o), "the right hand", or by the right hand, , "this is an oath", according to Daniel 12:7; or whether the right hand or the left, is an oath, according to Isaiah 62:8.

(o) T. Bab. Nazir, fol. 3. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 58. 1.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth {b} lifted up his hand to heaven,

(b) This was a gesture used of one that swears, which men do now use.

Revelation 10:5-7. The angel swears that immediately, viz., in the time of the seventh trumpet, which is at once to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished.

ἦρε τ. χεῖρα αὐτ. τ. ὁεξιὰν εἰς τ. οὐρανὸν. The angel can raise[2734] only his right hand, because his left holds the little book, Revelation 10:2. The significance of the gesture is derived from the form of the oath. He raises his hand to heaven as to the high and holy place where the Eternal, and Almighty dwells,[2735] who even himself, in swearing by himself, raises his own hand to heaven.[2736]

Concerning the ἘΝ in connection with ὬΜΩΣΕΝ, cf. Matthew 5:34 sqq.; Winer, p. 364.


The pragmatic reference of this appeal to God, as the Eternal and Creator of all things, lies in the fact that the subject of the oath is the ΜΥΣΤΉΡΙΟΝ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ, therefore something concealed in God’s eternal decree, but which, in his time, he has not only in prophecy announced,—through the ancient prophets (Revelation 10:7), and now through John (Revelation 10:11; Revelation 1:1 sqq.),—but also the Almighty Lord will infallibly bring about,[2737] and that, too, ἘΝ ΤΆΧΕΙ (Revelation 1:1). For the angel swears, ὌΤΙ ΧΡΌΝΟς ΟὐΚΈΤΙ ἜΣΤΑΙ, “that there should be time no longer.” The authentic norm for the correct explanation of this expression is given by what follows, which defines the same thing from the contrasted side, ἈΛΛʼ ἘΝ Τ. ἩΜ., Κ.Τ.Λ.). It is accordingly not an “entrance of a modern thought,”[2738] but a complete misunderstanding of the text, when many interpreters, following Beda,[2739] have understood the words ΧΡΌΝΟς ΟὐΚΈΤΙ ἜΣΤΑΙ, of the absolute cessation of time, i.e., of the beginning of eternity. The opposite parallel, ἈΛΛʼ ἘΝ Τ. ἩΜΈΡΑΙς, Κ.Τ.Λ., by virtue of its chronological nature, excludes every explanation which presents the formula ΧΡΌΝΟς ΟὐΚΈΤΙ ἜΣΤΑΙ in any other way than chronologically. Ebrard, accordingly, is also incorrect when he understands by the ΧΡΌΝΟς, a season of grace. On the other hand, however, the contrast, Revelation 10:7, as well as also the tenor of the formula χρόν. οὐκ. ἔστ., forbids us to recognize in this a definite, technical expression of Apocalyptic chronology, as Bengel wished, who found here a “non-chronus,” i.e., a period of more than a thousand and less than eleven hundred years, and accordingly reckoned the closing epoch of this “non-chronus” (i.e., the beginning of the thousand years’ reign) as the year 1836, since the starting-point occurred, at all events, before the year 842, the concluding year of the second woe,[2740] and apparently in the year 800, in which the reign was established. Grot., Calov., Vitr., C. a Lap., Eichh., Ew., De Wette., Hengstenb., etc., have correctly recognized the fact that the words ΧΡΌΝ. ΟὐΚ. ἜΣΤΑΙ express the immediate, and the indeed very positively defined (Revelation 10:7), beginning of that which is called in Revelation 10:7 the fulfilment of the mystery of God. But naturally, from this formal unanimity of the most expositors, there proceeds directly the greatest diversity of views, when the question is concerning the more precise reference of the formula, χρόν. οὐκ. ἔστ. according to the standard of what is said in Revelation 10:7. But Vitr. is inaccurate, even in a formal respect, when he says, “No delay of time is to intervene between the sound of the seventh trumpet, and the fulfilment of the prophetic oracles;”[2741] for the affirmative determination, Revelation 10:7, says in apposition to the words ὍΤΙ ΧΡ. ΟὐΚ. ἜΣΤΑΙ, which deny a further delay, that the (immediate, Revelation 10:6) fulfilment of the mystery of God is to occur just at the time of the seventh trumpet. The question, therefore, is not concerning a delay, perhaps still occurring between the seventh sound of the trumpet and the fulfilment of the mystery of God; but the angel swears that between the present point of time (which falls after the close of the sixth trumpet, and before the second part of the second woe, that is finished only at Revelation 11:14), and the fulfilment of the mystery of God, which is to be expected within the time of the seventh trumpet, there will be no more interval. [See Note LXV., p. 309.] What, therefore, might have been expected already after the close of the sixth seal-vision, but yet did not occur, because ch. 7 brought a special preparation,—and, besides, from the seventh seal itself the new series of trumpet-visions proceeded, ch. 8 sq.,—is not to come immediately, and that, too, in the seventh trumpet. Yet it does not actually occur in Revelation 11:16-19.[2742]

ἌΛΛʼ ἘΝ Τ. ἩΜΈΡΑΙς Τῆς ΦΩΝῆς ΤΟῦ ἙΒΔ. ἈΓΓ. These words in combination with the immediately succeeding ὍΤΑΝ ΜΈΛΛΗ ΣΑΛΠΊΖΕΙΝ, which contain an epexegetical description of the ΦΩΝῆς Τ. ἙΒΔ. ἈΓΓ., appear to require an explanation like that of Bengel: “Thus the angel makes himself heard, not only at the beginning of these days, but continually throughout them.” The additional remark, “at the end of the days this trumpet acquires the name of the last trump” (1 Corinthians 15:52), is, of course, entirely without foundation in the context. But even the first statement of Bengel conflicts with the analogy of all the trumpet-voices hitherto in their proper nature (which, nevertheless, the words ὍΤΑΝ ΜΈΛΛῌ ΣΑΛΠ. themselves recall); since, by the heavenly trumpet-sounds, not future things themselves, but only such manifestations as signify what is to occur on earth, are introduced. The seeming difficulty which lies, therefore, in the fact that what is said in Revelation 10:7 is of the “days” of the seventh trumpet, but which cannot be explained by regarding a continuance of the trumpet-voice during the whole of the still future period of that (actual) day, is very simply explained if it be acknowledged[2743] that in the expression ἘΝ Τ. ἩΜΈΡΑΙς Τ. ΦΩΝ. Τ. ἙΒΔ. ΑΓΓ. the standpoint of the vision is not purely maintained, but the reference to the events of the sixth trumpet-vision is intermingled; only from this last standpoint can we properly speak of the “days” of the last trumpet, viz., of the period in which that which is represented to the prophet by the final sound of the trumpet actually occurs.

ΚΑῚ ἘΤΕΛΈΣΘΗ. The annexing of the conclusion is Hebraistic, since the ΚΑῚ with the aor. corresponds to the Vav with the perf.[2744]

τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θεοῦ. The contextual determination of this idea—whose character is indicated, in general, already by the correlate ideas of divine revelation (εὐηγγέλισε), and of prophecy (τ. προφ.) as the human announcement of the mystery revealed on God’s part[2745]—lies partly in the fact that its actual fulfilment[2746] is placed in the time of the seventh, and consequently the last, trumpet; partly in that its revelation is conceived of by the prophets as a εὐαγγελίζειν, i.e., a communication of a joyful message. Besides, it needs no special proof, that the expression τοὺς ἑαυτ. δούλ., τοὺς προφήτας[2747] can refer only to O. T. prophets,[2748] but neither to N. T. prophets,[2749] nor to Christ and the apostles,[2750] as the mystery of God revealed to these prophets, and proclaimed by them, is infinitely more than the “divine counsel concerning freeing Christians from the oppression of the Jews.”[2751] According to the contextual indication just given, the ΜΥΣΤΉΡΙΟΝ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ, whose contents are here declared only by the general allusion to the O. T. predictions, refers to nothing but the glorious completion of the divine kingdom, the final goal whereto the deepest current of O. T. prophecy, which is on that account essentially an Apocalyptic element, tends. The next authentic explanation of the proper contents of the ΜΥΣΤ. Τ. Θ. is contained in the heavenly song of praise sounding forth after the seventh sound of the trumpet, Revelation 11:17 sqq.

[2734] Cf. Daniel 12:7; Genesis 14:22.

[2735] Cf. Isaiah 57:15.

[2736] Deuteronomy 32:40.

[2737] Cf. the entirely similar reference of God’s self-designation, Revelation 1:8.

[2738] Hengstenb.

[2739] “At the last trumpet, the mutable variety of secular ages will cease.”

[2740] Cf. on Revelation 9:13 sqq.

[2741] Likewise Hengstenb.

[2742] Against Hengstenb., etc. See on that passage.

[2743] Cf. De Wette.

[2744] Exodus 16:6; Exodus 17:4, where the LXX. translate by καὶ with the fut. Cf. Ewald, Ebrard, Winer, p. 260.

[2745] Cf. Introduction, p. 32.

[2746] Cf. Luke 18:31.

[2747] Concerning the acc., besides εὐηγγέλισε, cf. Winer, p. 209.

[2748] N. de Lyra, Beng., De Wette, etc.

[2749] Grot., who seeks them altogether among the elders, Revelation 5:5, Revelation 7:13.

[2750] Eichh.

[2751] Eichh. Cf. Grot.: “That indeed is, that Christians were allowed by Hadrian a residence at Jerusalem, and the free worship of God and Christ there.”


LXV. Revelation 10:6. χρόνος οὐκέτι ἔσται

Stier: “The Greek word χρόνος applies equally to a long interval, a respite, a delay, a postponement; and we have already had several instances in which it has been so used, as, for instance, in ch. Revelation 2:21, where we find it rendered ‘space to repent;’ and ch. Revelation 6:11, where it stands for a further period of rest and expectation. Therefore the meaning is simply this: that, whereas the angel with the seal demands an interval of time before the opening of the seventh seal, which interval is to be employed in sealing the servants of God, so this angel, on the contrary, denies any further space for repentance, any respite for the ungodly, before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. He affirms that stroke is to succeed stroke, and that, in a certain limited period, all will be finished.” So, also, Beck, who, in illustration of this meaning of χρόνος, refers to its derivative χρονίζειν: Matthew 24:48Revelation 10:5-6. Modelling from Daniel 12:7, the writer describes the angel’s oath (by the living God, as usual in O.T.; cf. Matthew 26:63), with its native gesture (cf. Trumbull’s Threshold-Covenant, 78 f.) and contents. In the ancient world oaths were usually taken in the open-air (Usener, Götternamen, 181), before the all-seeing deities of the upper light. But here, as at Revelation 14:7, the eschatological and the creative acts of God (the latter an outcome of His living might, as Sir 18:1, En. Revelation 10:1, Acts 16:15, etc.) are deliberately conjoined; God’s activity in creation and providence would culminate in judgment. “There shall be no further delay,” or time lost. The interval of Revelation 6:11 (Daniel 12:7) is over: all is ripe now for the end, ἡ συντέλεια καιροῦ. The parallels in Slav. En. xxxiii. 2, 65:7, upon the abolition of seasons and periods of time are merely verbal. What engages the writer here is the usual point of importance in apocalyptic literature, viz., “Is it long to the end? Is the future longer than the past” (4 Esd. 4:44–50)?5. lifted up his hand to heaven] Read, “his right hand.” Cf. Daniel 12:7, where the angel lifts up both hands: here, his left is occupied with the book. For the gesture symbolic of an oath see Genesis 14:22, &c.Verse 5. - And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven; the right hand (Revised Version) is supported by א, B, C, P, Syriac, Coptic, AEthiopic, Armenian, Andreas, Arethas, Primasius. It is omitted in the Textus Receptus, which follows A, 1, 17, 36, Vulgate; cf. Daniel 12:7, a chapter also referred to in the preceding note (vide supra). In Daniel both hands are uplifted, here only one; in the other is the book. The action was customary among the Jews in swearing (see Genesis 14:22; Deuteronomy 32:40). (Upon the signification of "standing upon the sea and upon the earth," see on ver. 2.) His hand

Add τὴν δεξιὰν the right, and see on Revelation 10:2. On lifting the hand in swearing, see Genesis 14:22; Exodus 6:8 (margin); Deuteronomy 32:40.

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