Revelation 11:11
And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell on them which saw them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) And after three days . . .—Better, And after the three days and a half (not simply “three days and a half,”) a Spirit of life out of (from) God entered into (or, in; i.e., so as to be in) them, and they stood upon their feet; and a great fear fell upon those who beheld them. The vision of the dry bones will be remembered; in part, the very wording of it is employed here—e.g., “they stood upon their feet” (Ezekiel 37:1-10); and a yet more sacred remembrance—the three days of our Master’s death-sleep—will be traced here. “Where I am there shall also My servant be” (John 12:26). “If we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified together” (Romans 8:17). There is a resurrection power in even rejected truth; the strength of it is undying. If it be of God, men cannot overthrow it. “The corn of wheat that dies brings forth much fruit.” The cause that seemed dead is found to be possessed of a renewed power and life. “There is an end of resistance to the Papal rule and religion; opposers exist no more !” cried the orator of the Lateran Council in 1514; but within three years and a half the hand of Luther nailed up his theses at Wittenberg. It is one illustration among many.

11:3-13 In the time of treading down, God kept his faithful witnesses to attest the truth of his word and worship, and the excellence of his ways, The number of these witnesses is small, yet enough. They prophesy in sackcloth. It shows their afflicted, persecuted state, and deep sorrow for the abominations against which they protested. They are supported during their great and hard work, till it is done. When they had prophesied in sackcloth the greatest part of 1260 years, antichrist, the great instrument of the devil, would war against them, with force and violence for a time. Determined rebels against the light rejoice, as on some happy event, when they can silence, drive to a distance, or destroy the faithful servants of Christ, whose doctrine and conduct torment them. It does not appear that the term is yet expired, and the witnesses are not a present exposed to endure such terrible outward sufferings as in former times; but such things may again happen, and there is abundant cause to prophesy in sackcloth, on account of the state of religion. The depressed state of real Christianity may relate only to the western church. The Spirit of life from God, quickens dead souls, and shall quicken the dead bodies of his people, and his dying interest in the world. The revival of God's work and witnesses, will strike terror into the souls of his enemies. Where there is guilt, there is fear; and a persecuting spirit, though cruel, is a cowardly spirit. It will be no small part of the punishment of persecutors, both in this world, and at the great day, that they see the faithful servants of God honoured and advanced. The Lord's witnesses must not be weary of suffering and service, nor hastily grasp at the reward; but must stay till their Master calls them. The consequence of their being thus exalted was a mighty shock and convulsion in the antichristian empire. Events alone can show the meaning of this. But whenever God's work and witnesses revive, the devil's work and witnesses fall before him. And that the slaying of the witnesses is future, appears to be probable.And after three days and an half - See the notes on Revelation 11:9.

The Spirit of life from God - The living, or life-giving Spirit that proceeds from God entered into them. Compare the notes on Job 33:4. There is evidently allusion here to Genesis 2:7, where God is spoken of as the Author of life. The meaning is, that they would seem to come to life again, or that effects would follow as if the dead were restored to life. If, when they had been compelled to cease from prophesying, they should, after the interval here denoted by three days and a half, again prophesy, or their testimony should be again borne to the truth as it had been before, this would evidently be all that would be implied in the language here employed.

Entered into them - Seemed to animate them again.

And they stood upon their feet - As if they had come to life again.

And great fear fell upon them which saw them - This would be true if those who were dead should be literally restored to life; and this would be the effect if those who had given great annoyances by their doctrines, and who had been silenced, and who seemed to be dead, should again, as if animated anew by a divine power, begin to prophesy, or to proclaim their doctrines to the world. The statement in the symbol is, that those who had put them to death had been greatly troubled by these "witnesses"; that they had sought to silence them, and in order to this had put them to death; that they then greatly rejoiced, as if they would no more be annoyed by them. The fact that they seemed to come to life again would, therefore, fill them with consternation, for they would anticipate a renewal of their troubles, and they would see in this fact evidence of the divine favor toward those whom they persecuted, and reason to apprehend divine vengeance on themselves.

11. Translate as Greek, "After the three days and an half."

the Spirit of life—the same which breathed life into Israel's dry bones, Eze 37:10, 11 (see on [2711]Eze 37:10, 11), "Breath came into them." The passage here, as there, is closely connected with Israel's restoration as a nation to political and religious life. Compare also concerning the same, Ho 6:2, where Ephraim says, "After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight."

into—so B and Vulgate. But A reads (Greek, "en autois"), "(so as to be) IN them."

stood upon their feet—the very words in Eze 37:10, which proves the allusion to be to Israel's resurrection, in contrast to "the times of the Gentiles" wherein these "tread under foot the holy city."

great fear—such as fell on the soldiers guarding Christ's tomb at His resurrection (Mt 28:4), when also there was a great earthquake (Re 11:2).

saw—Greek, "beheld."

And after three days and an half; after that short time which God had determined for antichrist, (just before his time should be expired), or after the precise time of forty-two months, or three years and a half, was expired, when the Gentiles thought they had fully prevailed, and should be no more troubled with Christ’s witnesses.

The Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; God, who alone can quicken the dead, reviveth them, and restoreth them again to their employment as his prophets; for it is plain this cannot be understood of a corporal resurrection: for:

1. Their death was not of that nature; nor:

2. Doth the Scripture give us any hints of any such resurrection before the coming of Christ to the last judgment.

And great fear fell upon them which saw them; this strikes a great fear into all their enemies amazed to think what God was about to do, and rightly presaging this would be their ruin.

It is a great question now, whether the time here spoken of for slaying the witnesses, and their rising again, be past, or yet to come. I must confess, the papacy had got such a victory over the faithful witnesses of Christ for some ages before the Reformation began in Germany, about the year 1517, and there was so sudden a resurrection of them in the first Reformers, brought to pass and carried on by such a stupendous series of providences, that I cannot wonder that some did think the time past: but we who have outlived that time more than one hundred and fifty years, seeing the Turks (whom all judicious interpreters make the four angels, bound by the river Euphrates, loosed) still so rampant, and the papacy still so predominant, and daily treading down the outward court, have no reason to judge the slaying of the witnesses yet over, at least that they are yet risen, and standing upon their feet; or that the seventh angel hath yet sounded; but that we are as yet under the period of time signified by the sounding of the sixth trumpet; and to expect a further degree of this evening before it will be light over the universal church (for we must not think any particular church intended here): and this appears most probable also from what followeth before the sounding of the seventh angel, Revelation 11:15. And after three days and a half,.... When it was certain they were dead, and all hope of reviving was over; see John 11:39; that is, three years and a half:

the spirit of life from God entered into them; this phrase is expressive of a resurrection the Jews frequently call the general resurrection "a quickening", and have the very phrase here used; for, speaking of the resurrection, they say (u), , "the spirit of life" does not dwell but in the holy land. This resurrection of the witnesses is not to be understood of a corporeal resurrection; for there is no reason to believe that there will be a resurrection of any particular saints until the general resurrection, which will be at the personal coming of Christ, and at the beginning of the thousand years, and after the sounding of the seventh trumpet; whereas this will be before that, and towards the close of the sixth trumpet: and besides, the death of these witnesses is not corporeal, as has been observed: nor is a spiritual resurrection from the death of sin to a life of grace intended, which is owing to the Spirit of life from Christ; for these witnesses were such who had been quickened, and raised in this sense antecedent to their prophesying and killing; but a civil resurrection of them, or a resurrection of them as witnesses, when their spirits will revive, and they will take heart and courage again to appear for Christ: and this may be understood of the same individual persons that were silenced, or of those that succeeded such that corporeally died in the war of the beast, or during this interval; and so these witnesses may be said to rise in them, they appearing in the same spirit they did; just as John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elias: and this will be owing to the Spirit of life from God entering into them; which is said in allusion to the living soul of man, which returns to God, and at the resurrection, whether particular or general, comes from him, and reenters the body; and which also is owing to the Spirit of God, by whom mortal bodies will be quickened; and in allusion to the breathing on the dry bones in Ezekiel's vision, Ezekiel 37:1; and the sense is, that the Spirit of God will inspire these witnesses with fresh life and rigour, zeal and resolution; so that though they have been so long silent, lifeless, and dispirited, they shall now rise in high spirits, and bravely exert themselves in the cause of Christ; and this will not be by any worldly power and authority, or by any secular arm, that shall encourage them, but by the Spirit of God, who shall breathe upon them, and afresh quicken them, and fill them with resolution and courage:

and they stood upon their feet; in great numbers, like the army in Ezekiel's vision; and will reassume their former station, and be in a position and a state of readiness to serve the Lord, and to defend his truths, and discharge their duty with boldness and courage, fearing the face of none:

and great fear fell upon them which saw them; in this posture; either on their enemies, who may fear that they should be tormented with them again; that the things which they had foretold concerning their ruin are now coming upon them; that they shall be turned out of their places of profit, and lose all their worldly advantages, and carnal pleasures now, and be miserable to all eternity: or upon their friends, either their false hearted ones, that would not succour them when in distress, who may fear that God, whose finger they will see in this matter, will by them resent their conduct towards them; or else their real friends, who may be filled with reverence and awe of the divine Majesty, as the church was upon the business of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:11.

(u) Zohar in Gen. fol. 79. 3.

{18} And after {19} three days and an half {20} the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they {21} stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

(18) The third passage, as noted before, is of the rising again of the prophets from the dead, and their carrying up into heaven. For their resurrection is shown in this verse: their calling and lifting up into heaven, in the verse following.

(19) That is, what time God shall destroy that wicked Boniface.

(20) That is, the prophets of God shall in a manner rise again, not the same in person (as they say) but in spirit: that is, in the power and efficacy of their ministry, which John expressed before, in Re 11:5,6 So the prophecy that is spoken of Elijah, is interpreted by the angel to be understood of John the Baptist Lu 1:17. For the same Boniface himself, who sought to kill and destroy them, was by the fire of God's mouth (which the holy ministry shows and exhibits) devoured and died miserably in prison, by the endeavour of Satra Columensis and Nagaretus a French knight, whom Philip the fair King of France sent into Italy but with a very small power.

(21) That is, the most grievous heat of afflictions and persecution shall stay for a while, for the great amazement that shall arise on that sudden and unlooked for judgment of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 11:11. sq. The resuscitation, and ascension to heaven, of the two witnesses. πνεὺμα ζωῆς, “A spirit of life.” Cf. Genesis 6:17; Genesis 2:7.[2899] Incorrectly, Hengstenb.: The spirit of life.

έκ τοῦ θεοῦ. “Immediately, miraculously.”[2900]

εἰσῆλθεν έν αὐτοις. “Came” (into them, and remained) “in them.” Cf. Luke 9:46; Winer, p. 385.

καὶ ἔστησαν ἐπὶ τοὺς πόδας αὐτων. The more clearly this is meant as a sign of revivification,[2901] and the more definitely it is said, Revelation 11:12, ἀνέβησαν εἰς τ. ουρ. ἐν τ. νεφ., the less is it to be urged that here the expression ἐγείρεσθαι or ἀνάστασις is avoided.[2902]

κ. φόβος μέγας, κ.τ.λ. Concerning the expression, cf. Luke 1:12; concerning the thing itself, Matthew 27:54. The resuscitation of the witnesses proved that the Lord, in whose name they came forth, has the power to avenge the indignity shown his servants.

καὶ ἤκουσα. The reading ἤκουσαν,—approved also by Ew. ii.,—whereby the same subject is to be understood as in ἀνέβησαν, cannot be defended by a comparison with the entirely heterogeneous passage, John 5:28.[2903] A declaration directed to the witnesses would be designated after the manner of Revelation 6:11.[2904] The καὶ ἥκουσα properly supported by Beng., Ew. i., De Wette, is incomparably more suitable; also in Revelation 6:6, Revelation 9:13, John hears voices directed to others, whose consequences he then beholds. The call ἀνάβατε ὠδε[2905] finds its fulfilment, immediately afterwards, before the eyes of the enemies: καὶ ἀνέβησαν, κ.τ.λ. In this final glorification, the two witnesses are less like Elijah,[2906] than their Lord himself,[2907] as also their death was expressly compared with his crucifixion, Revelation 11:8.

[2899] Beng., etc.

[2900] Beng.

[2901] Cf. 2 Kings 13:21; Ezekiel 37:10.

[2902] Against Ebrard, who finds in this an indication of its figurative significance.

[2903] Hengstenb.

[2904] Cf. also Revelation 9:4.

[2905] Cf. Revelation 4:1.

[2906] 2 Kings 2:11.

[2907] Cf. especially with the ἐν τῇ νεφέλῃ (Acts 1:9).Revelation 11:11. Πνεῦμα ζωῆς) So the Septuagint, Genesis 6:17.—εἰσῆλθεν αὐτοῖς) Wolf, who is in other respects thoroughly acquainted with Greek, thinks that this reading is unsupported by any example. But Plutarch, πυθομένοις τοῦτο, δεινὸν εἰσῆλθε μῖσος: Herodotus, a much more ancient authority, τοῖσι ἐσελθεῖν ἡδονήν: Plato, εἰσέρχεται αὐτῷ δέος. But nevertheless this is rather too remote from the Hebrew idiom. I should prefer to admit εἰσῆλθεν ἐν αὐτοῖς,[112] בם, from the Alex. and Augustan copy, especially since the copyists may easily have written the syllable ἘΝ once only, when it ought to be read twice. Thus Luke 9:46, ΕἸΣῆΛΘΕ ΔῈ ΔΙΑΛΟΓΙΣΜῸς ἘΝ ΑὐΤΟῖς, where also ἘΝ is omitted in two copies, of Selden and Wolf.

[112] Ἐν αὐτοῖς is the reading of A: Αὐτοῖς, C: Εἰς αὐτοὺς, B: “in eos,” h Vulg.: Επʼ αὐτούς, Rec. Text.—E.Verse 11. - And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet. "The three days and an half," viz. these mentioned in ver. 9, which see. Not merely "life from God," but the "Spirit from God" (cf. the vision in Ezekiel 37, especially vers. 9, 10). "The Spirit of life" has been in the Church of God previously, but she has become "dry bones;" "the Spirit" is now breathed anew into her, and she is restored and magnified before the world. And great fear fell upon them which saw them. "Beheld" (θεωρέω) occurs in the Apocalypse only here and in the next verse. Fear, on account of the vindication of those whom they had treated with contumely, and on account of the judgment, to follow, which was even now shadowed forth. Spirit of life (πνεῦμα ζῶης)

Rev., breath. See on John 3:8.

Entered into them

Compare Ezekiel 37:1-10.

Saw (θεωροῦντας)

See on John 1:18.

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