Revelation 11:2
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) But the court . . .—Translate, And the court which is outside the Temple cast out, and measure not it; because it was given to the nations (Gentiles): and they shall tread down the holy city forty and two months. The outer court—meaning, perhaps, all that lies outside the Temple itself—is to be omitted. A strong word is used; the words “leave out” are far too weak. He is not only not to measure it, but he is, in a sort, to pass it over, as though reckoned profane. The reason of this is that it was given to the Gentiles. Our Lord had said that Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24); the sacred seer catches the thought and the deeper significance. There is a treading down worse than that of the conqueror. It is the treading under of sacred things when the beast-power, or the world-power in men, tramples, like the swine, the pearls of grace under their feet, and turns fiercely upon those who gave them. Such an experience must the Church of Christ undergo. The shrine shall be safe, but the spirit of the nations, though nominally Christian, will be the spirit of Gentilism, worldliness, and even of violence. In the outer court of Church life there will be “the ebbing and flowing mass,” who “sit in the way of knowledge,” who “stand idle in the market-place,” who have no oil in their lamps, and who indirectly pave the way for utter worldliness and practical heathenism. But there is a limit to this desecration: forty and two months it is to last. The same length of time is expressed in different forms throughout the book. Sometimes we have twelve hundred and sixty days, as in Revelation 11:3 and in Revelation 12:6; at another time forty-two months, as here and in Revelation 13:5. A similar period seems to be meant in Revelation 12:14, where a time, times, and half a time is probably a way of expressing three years and a half; all three forms describe periods of the same length—not, of course, necessarily the same period. The idea is taken from Daniel, who uses such and similar expressions (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Daniel 12:11). This incorporation of the expressions used by Daniel is one of those hints which remind us that the laws and principles of God’s government are the same in all ages: so that the principles which receive illustration in one set of historical events are likely to receive similar illustrations in after times; and that the prophecies of one era may contain seeds of fulfilments which spring to fruit in more than one age. Thus the words of Daniel were not exhausted in the age of Antiochus, nor the visions of the Apocalypse in the overthrow of any one nation or the corruptions of any one Church. So much may this constantly-recurring period of three years and a half, or forty-two months, or twelve hundred and sixty days, teach us. It is not needful, then, to take the period as an exact literal period. It is true that there have been some remarkable historical periods of this length, which various schools of interpreters have pointed out as the fulfilment of these prophecies; but there have been also remarkable blunders on the part of those who, forgetful of Christ’s own warning, have tried to predict the year when certain prophecies will receive their accomplishments. It is true, also, that the future may bring us further light, and enable us to understand these descriptions of time better; but for the present, the period of forty and two months, the equivalent of three years and a half (the half of seven, the complete and divine number), is the symbol of a period limited in length, and under the control of Him who holds the seven stars and lives through the ages. It is the pilgrimage period of the Church, the period of the world’s power, during which it seems to triumph; but the period of sackcloth (see Revelation 11:3) and of suffering will not last forever.

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.But the court which is without the temple - Which is outside of the temple proper, and, therefore, which does not strictly pertain to it. There is undoubtedly reference here to the "court of the Gentiles," as it was called among the Jews - the outer court of the temple to which the Gentiles had access, and within which they were not permitted to go. For a description of this, see the notes on Matthew 21:12. To an observer this would seem to be a part of the temple, and the persons there assembled a portion of the true worshippers of God; but it was necessarily neither the one nor the other. In forming an estimate of those who, according to the Hebrew notions, were true worshippers of God, only those would be regarded as such who had the privilege of access to the inner court, and to the altar. In making such an estimate, therefore, those who had no nearer access than that court, would be omitted; that is, they would not be reckoned as necessarily any part of those who were regarded as the people of God.

Leave out, and measure it not - Margin, "cast out." So the Greek. The meaning is, that he was not to reckon it as pertaining to the true temple of worshippers. There is, indeed, a degree of force in the words rendered "leave out," or, in the margin, "cast out" - ἔκβαλε ἔξω ekbale exō - which implies more than a mere passing by, or omission. The word (ἐκβάλλω ekballō) usually has the idea of "force" or "impluse" (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 15:17; Matthew 25:30; Mark 16:9; Acts 27:38, et al.); and the word here would denote some decisive or positive act by which it would be indicated that this was not any part of the true temple, but was to be regarded as pertaining to something else. He was not merely not to mention it, or not to include it in the measurement, but he was to do this by some act which would indicate that it was the result of design in the case, and not by accidentally passing it by.

For it is given unto the Gentiles - It properly pertains to them as their own. Though near the temple, and included in the general range of building, yet it does not pertain to those who worship there, but to those who are regarded as pagan and strangers. It is not said that it was then given to the Gentiles; nor is it said that it was given to them to be overrun and trodden down by them, but that it pertained to them, and was to be regarded as belonging to them. They occupied it, not as the people of God, but as those who were without the true church, and who did not pertain to its real communion. This would find a fulfillment if there should arise a state of things in the church in which it would be necessary to draw a line between those who properly constituted the church and those who did not; if there should be such a condition of things that any considerable portion of those who professedly pertained to the church ought to be divided off as not belonging to it, or would have such characteristic marks that it could be seen that they were strangers and aliens. The interpretation would demand that they should sustain some relation to the church, or that they would seem to belong to it - as the court did to the temple; but still that this was in appearance only, and that in estimating the true church it was necessary to leave them out altogether. Of course this would not imply that there might not be some sincere worshippers among them as individuals - as there would be found usually, in the court of the Gentiles in the literal temple, some who were proselytes and devout worshippers, but what is here said relates to them as a mass or body that they did not belong to the true church, but to the Gentiles.

And the holy city - The whole holy city - not merely the outer court of the Gentiles, which it is said was given to them, nor the temple as such, but the entire holy city. There is no doubt that the words "the holy city" literally refer to Jerusalem - a city so called because it was the special place of the worship of God. See the notes on Matthew 4:5; compare Nehemiah 11:1, Nehemiah 11:18; Isaiah 52:1; Daniel 9:24; Matthew 27:53. But it is not necessary to suppose that this is its meaning here. The "holy city," Jerusalem, was regarded as sacred to God - as his dwelling-place on earth, and as the abode of his people, and nothing was more natural than to use the term as representing the church. Compare the Galatians 4:26 note; Hebrews 12:22 note. In this sense it is undoubtedly used here as the whole representation is emblematical. John, if he were about to speak of anything that was to occur to the church, would, as a native Jew, be likely to employ such language as this to denote it.

Shall they tread under foot - That is, the Gentiles above referred to; or those who, in the measurement of the city, were set off as Gentiles, and regarded as not belonging to the people of God. This is not spoken of the Gentiles in general, but only of that portion of the multitudes that seemed to constitute the worshippers of God, who, in measuring the temple, were set off or separated as not properly belonging to the true church. The phrase "should tread under foot" is derived from warriors and conquerors, who tread down their enemies, or trample on the fields of grain. It is rendered in this passage by Dr. Robinson (Lexicon), "to profane and lay waste." As applied literally to a city, this would be the true idea; as applied to the church, it would mean that they would have it under their control or in subjection for the specified time, and that the practical effect of that would be to corrupt and prostrate it.

Forty and two months - Literally, this would be three years and a half; but if the time here is prophetic time - a day for a year - then the period would be twelve hundred and sixty years - reckoning the year at 360 days. For a full illustration of this usage, and for the reasons for supposing that this is prophetic time, see the notes on Daniel 7:25. See also Editor's Preface, p. 25: In addition to what is there said, it may be remarked, in reference to this passage, that it is impossible to show, with any degree of probability, that the city of Jerusalem was "trampled under foot" by the Romans for the exact space of three years and a half. Prof. Stuart, who adopts the opinion that it refers to the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans, says, indeed, "It is certain that the invasion of the Romans lasted just about the length of the period named, until Jerusalem was taken. And although the city itself was not besieged so long, yet the metropolis in this case, as in innumerable others in both Testaments, appears to stand for the country of Judaea." But it is to be remembered that the affirmation here is, that "the holy city" was thus to be trodden under foot; and even taking the former supposition, in what sense is it true that the "whole country" was "trodden under foot" by the Romans only three years and a half?

Even the wars of the Romans were not of that exact duration; and, besides, the fact was that Judaea was held in subjection, and trodden down by the Romans for centuries, and never, in fact, regained its independence. If this is to be literally applied to Jerusalem, it has been "trodden down by the Gentiles," with brief intervals, since the conquest by the Romans, to the present time. There has been no precise period of three years and a half, in respect to which the language used here would be applicable to the literal city of Jerusalem. In regard, then, to the proper application of the language which has thus been explained Revelation 11:1-2, it may be remarked, in general, that, for the reasons just stated, it is not to be taken literally. John could not have been directed literally to measure the temple at Jerusalem, and the altar, and the worshippers; nor could he have been requested literally to leave out, or "cast out" the court that was without; nor could it be meant that the holy city literally was to be trodden under foot for three years and a half. The language clearly is symbolical, and the reference must have been to something pertaining to the church. And, if the preceding exposition of the tenth chapter is correct, then it may be presumed that this would refer to something that was to occur at about the period there referred to. Regarding it, then, as applicable to the time of the Reformation, and as being a continuation of the vision in Revelation 10:1-11, we shall find, in the events of that period, what would be properly symbolized by the language used here. This will appear by reviewing the particulars which have been explained in these verses:

(1) The command to "measure the temple of God," Revelation 11:1. This, we have seen, was a direction to take an estimate of what constituted the true church; the very work which it was necessary to do in the Reformation, for this was the first point which was to be settled, whether the papacy was the true church or was the antichrist. This involved, of course, the whole inquiry as to what constitutes the church, alike in reference to its organization, its ministry, its sacraments, and its membership. It was long before the Reformers made up their minds that the papacy was not the true church; for the veneration which they had been taught to cherish for that lingered long in their bosoms. And even when they were constrained to admit that that corrupt communion was the predicted form of the great apostasy - antichrist - and had acquired boldness enough to break away from it forever, it was long before they settled down in a uniform belief as to what was essential to the true church. Indeed, the differences of opinion which prevailed, the warm discussions which ensued, and the diversities of sect which sprang up in the Protestant world, showed with what intense interest the mind was fixed on this question, and how important it was to take an exact measurement of the real church of God.

(2) the direction to "measure the altar." This, as we have seen, would relate to the prevailing opinions on the subject of sacrifice and atonement; on the true method of a sinner's acceptance with God; and, consequently, on the whole subject of justification. As a matter of fact, it need not be said that this was one of the first questions which came before the Reformers, and was one which it was indispensable to settle, in order to a just notion of the church and of the way of salvation. The papacy had exalted the Lord's supper into a real sacrifice; had made it a grand and essential point that the bread and wine were changed into the real body and blood of the Lord, and that a real offering of that sacrifice was made every time that ordinance was celebrated; had changed the office of the ministers of the New Testament from preachers to that of priests; had become familiar with the terms altar, and sacrifice, and priest hood, as founded on the notion that a real sacrifice was made in the "mass"; and had fundamentally changed the whole doctrine respecting the justification of a sinner before God. The altar in the Roman Catholic communion had almost displaced the pulpit; and the doctrine of justification by the merits of the great sacrifice made by the death of our Lord, had been superseded by the doctrine of justification by good works, and by the merits of the saints. It became necessary, therefore, to restore the true doctrine respecting sacrifice for sin, and the way of justification before God; and this would be appropriately represented by a direction to "measure the altar."

(3) the direction to take an estimate of those "who worshipped in the temple." This, as we have seen, would properly mean that there was to be a true estimate taken of what constituted membership in the church, or of the qualifications of those who should be regarded as true worshippers of God. This, also, was one of the first works necessary to be done in the Reformation. Before that, for ages, the doctrine of baptismal regeneration had been the established doctrine of the church; that all that was necessary to membership was baptism and confirmation, was the common opinion; the necessity of regeneration by the influences of the Holy Spirit, as a condition of church membership, was little understood, if not almost wholly unknown; and the grand requisition in membership was not holy living, but the observance of the rites and ceremonies of the church. One of the first things necessary in the Reformation was to restore to its true place the doctrine laid down by the Saviour, that a change of heart that regeneration by the Holy Spirit - was necessary to membership in the church, and that the true church was composed of those who had been thus renewed in the spirit of their mind. This great work would be appropriately symbolized by a direction to take an estimate of those who "worshipped in the temple of God"; that is, to settle the question who should be regarded as true worshippers of God, and what should be required of those who professed to be such worshippers. No more important point was settled in the Reformation than this.

(4) the direction to leave out, or to "cast out" the court without the temple. This, as we have seen, would properly mean that a separation was to be made between what was the true church and what was not, though it might seem to belong to it. The one was to be measured or estimated; the other was to be left out, as not pertaining to that, or as belonging to the Gentiles, or to paganism. The idea would be, that though it; professedly pertained to the true church, and to the worship of God, yet that it deserved to be characterized as paganism. Now this will apply with great propriety, according to all Protestant notions, to the manner in which the papacy was regarded by the Reformers, and should be regarded at all times. It claimed to be the true church, and to the eye of an observer would seem to belong to it, as much as the outer court seemed to pertain to the temple. But it had the essential characteristics of paganism, and was, therefore, properly to be left out, or, cast out, as not pertaining to the true church.

Can anyone doubt the truth of this representation as applicable to the papacy? Almost everything that was unique in the ancient pagan systems of religion had been introduced into the Roman communion; and a stranger at Rome would see more that would lead him to feel that he was in a pagan land, than he would that he was in a land where the pure doctrines of Christianity prevailed, and where the worship was celebrated which the Redeemer hack designed to set up on the earth. This was true not only in the pomp and splendor of worship, and in the processions and imposing ceremonials; but in the worship of images, in the homage rendered to the dead, in the number of festival days, in the fact that the statues reared in pagan Rome to the honor of the gods had been reconsecrated in the service of Christian devotion to the apostles, saints, and martyrs; and in the robes of the Christian priesthood, derived from those in use in the ancient pagan worship. The direction was, that, in estimating the true church, this was to be "left out," or "cast out"; and, if this interpretation is correct, the meaning is, that the Roman Catholic communion, as an organized body, is to be regarded as no part of the true church - a conclusion which is inevitable, if the passages of Scripture which are commonly supposed by Protestants to apply to it are correctly applied. To determine this, and to separate the true church from it, was no small part of the work of the Reformation.

(5) the statement that the holy city was to be trodden under foot, Revelation 11:2. This, as we have seen, must mean that the true church would thus be trodden down by those who are described as "Gentiles." So far as pure religion was concerned; so far as pertained to the real condition of the church, and the pure worship of God, it would be as if the whole holy city where God was worshipped were given into the hands of the Gentiles, and they should tread it down, and desecrate all that was sacred for the time here referred to. Everything in Rome at the time of the Reformation would sustain this description. "It is incredible," says Luther, on his visit to Rome, "what sins and atrocities are committed in Rome; they must be seen and heard to be believed. So that it is usual to say: 'If there be a hell, Rome is built above it; it is an abyss from which all sins proceed.'" So again he says: "It is commonly observed that he who goes to Rome for the first time, goes to seek a knave there; the second time he finds him; and the third time he brings him away with him under his cloak. But now, people are become so clever, that they make the three journeys in one."

So Machiavelli, one of the most profound geniuses in Italy, and himself a Roman Catholic, said, "The greatest symptom of the approaching ruin of Christianity is, that the nearer we approach the capital of Christendom, the less do we find of the Christian spirit of the people. The scandalous example and crimes of the court of Rome have caused Italy to lose every principle of piety and every religious sentiment. We Italians are principally indebted to the church and to the priests for having become impious and profane." See D'Aubigne's "History of the Reformation," p. 54, ed. Phila. 1843. In full illustration of the sentiment that the church seemed to be trodden down and polluted by paganism, or by abominations and practices that came out of paganism, we may refer to the general history of the Roman Catholic communion from the rise of the papacy to the Reformation. For a sufficient illustration to justify the application of the passage before us which I am now making, the reader may be referred to the notes on Revelation 9:20-21. Nothing would better describe the condition of Rome previous to and at the time of the Reformation - and the remark may be applied to subsequent periods also - than to say that it was a city which once seemed to be a Christian city, and was not improperly regarded as the center of the Christian world and the seat of the church, and that it had been, as it were, overrun and trodden down by pagan rites and customs and ceremonies, so that, to a stranger looking on it, it would seem to be in the possession of the "Gentiles" or the pagans.

continued...

2. But—Greek, "And."

the court … without—all outside the Holy Place (Re 11:1).

leave out—of thy measurement, literally, "cast out"; reckon as unhallowed.

it—emphatic. It is not to be measured; whereas the Holy Place is.

given—by God's appointment.

unto the Gentiles—In the wider sense, there are meant here "the times of the Gentiles," wherein Jerusalem is "trodden down of the Gentiles," as the parallel, Lu 21:24, proves; for the same word is used here [Greek, "patein"], "tread under foot." Compare also Ps 79:1; Isa 63:18.

forty … two months—(Re 13:5). The same period as Daniel's "time, times, and half" (Re 12:14); and Re 11:3, and Re 12:6, the woman a fugitive in the wilderness "a thousand two hundred and threescore days." In the wider sense, we may either adopt the year-day theory of 1260 years (on which, and the papal rule of 1260 years, see on [2702]Da 7:25; [2703]Da 8:14; [2704]Da 12:11), or rather, regard the 2300 days (Da 8:14), 1335 days (Da 12:11, 12). 1290 days, and 1260 days, as symbolical of the long period of the Gentile times, whether dating from the subversion of the Jewish theocracy at the Babylonian captivity (the kingdom having been never since restored to Israel), or from the last destruction of Jerusalem under Titus, and extending to the restoration of the theocracy at the coming of Him "whose right it is"; the different epochs marked by the 2300, 1335, 1290, and 1260 days, will not be fully cleared up till the grand consummation; but, meanwhile, our duty and privilege urge us to investigate them. Some one of the epochs assigned by many may be right but as yet it is uncertain. The times of the Gentile monarchies during Israel's seven times punishment, will probably, in the narrower sense (Re 11:2), be succeeded by the much more restricted times of the personal Antichrist's tyranny in the Holy Land. The long years of papal misrule may be followed by the short time of the man of sin who shall concentrate in himself all the apostasy, persecution, and evil of the various forerunning Antichrists, Antiochus, Popery, just before Christ's advent. His time shall be THE RECAPITULATION and open consummation of the "mystery of iniquity" so long leavening the world. Witnessing churches may be followed by witnessing individuals, the former occupying the longer, the latter, the shorter period. The three and a half (1260 days being three and a half years of three hundred sixty days each, during which the two witnesses prophesy in sackcloth) is the sacred number seven halved, implying the Antichristian world-power's time is broken at best; it answers to the three and a half years' period in which Christ witnessed for the truth, and the Jews, His own people, disowned Him, and the God-opposed world power crucified Him (compare Note, see on [2705]Da 9:27). The three and a half, in a word, marks the time in which the earthly rules over the heavenly kingdom. It was the duration of Antiochus' treading down of the temple and persecution of faithful Israelites. The resurrection of the witnesses after three and a half days, answers to Christ's resurrection after three days. The world power's times never reach the sacred fulness of seven times three hundred sixty, that is, 2520, though they approach to it in 2300 (Da 8:14). The forty-two months answer to Israel's forty-two sojournings (Nu 33:1-50) in the wilderness, as contrasted with the sabbatic rest in Canaan: reminding the Church that here, in the world wilderness, she cannot look for her sabbatic rest. Also, three and a half years was the period of the heaven being shut up, and of consequent famine, in Elias' time. Thus, three and a half represented to the Church the idea of toil, pilgrimage, and persecution.

There is no great doubt, but the same persons are here to be understood by

the court which is without the temple, ( that is, without the inward court),

and the holy city; and by them, both the generality of those people who come under the name of the Christian church, who are all of them, in some sense, a holy people, 1 Corinthians 7:14, as all the Jews were; yet, for the greatest part of them, John is commanded to omit, or neglect them, as those who would not endure a measure by the reed, and of whose preservation God would take no such care, but give them up to the Gentiles, to be trodden under foot; by which many learned and good men understand God’s suffering antichrist to have a power over and against them. I find some understanding by the altar, and them that worship therein, the primitive church, that for some hundreds of years after Christ kept close to the Divine rule, whom God preserved, though in the midst of the ten first persecutions: and by the outward court, the church after that time, which God suffered to fall under the power of the beast, and antichrist, that is, the papacy; which are well enough called

the Gentiles, as bringing in Gentilism again into the church, and hardly differing in any thing, saving that the old heathens owned many supreme gods, and these new Gentiles but one. God showeth John here, that he would give up the outward court, or this holy city, the generality of Christians, to these Gentiles, that they should rule and domineer over them for

forty and two months, the meaning of which we shall by and by show. A late pious and learned writer differs a little in his sense, as thinking that God here showeth John something further, viz. that under the sixth trumpet he would give the generality of those called Christians, that will not endure the measure of the reed, so over to antichrist, that they shall turn papists, and help to kill the Lord’s witnesses; of which we shall speak, Revelation 11:3. So as this is not a new prophecy, but a continuation of what shall happen after the sounding of the sixth, and before the sounding of the seventh trumpet: if so, I conceive that those words,

shall they tread under foot forty and two months, must be understood, until the end of the forty-two months; for the forty-two months being the whole time of antichrist, or the beast, must be in a great measure spent before the sounding of the sixth angel. But it seems to be the opinion of this learned man, that a very great part of those who pretend to constitute the Reformed protestant church at this day, but are but as the outward court, not such as worship within the oracle, shall, before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, apostatize, and fall off to popery, until antichrist’s one thousand two hundred and sixty days shall expire, and join with papists in the killing of the witnesses. The truth of which we must leave to the providence of God in time to discover; although whoso considereth the face of things this day in Europe, (within which the greatest part of the Christian church is), will judge there is too great a probability of what this learned man saith; but I dare determine nothing in it.

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not,.... The allusion is to the court of the Israelites, where was the great crowd and company of worshippers, even the national church of the Jews, called by Ezekiel the outer court, Ezekiel 42:14, and which was measured in Ezekiel 42:20; but this must not be measured: this designs not the visible church apostatized, as succeeding the pure, primitive, and apostolical church, or the apostate church of Rome, antichrist and his followers, for these are meant by the Gentiles, to whom this outward court is given; this outward court, or the worshippers in it, intend a distinct set of worshippers from the internal worshippers, the priests of God in the temple, altar, and inner court, and from the Gentiles, the Papists; and are no other than carnal Protestants, the bulk of the reformed churches, who have only the name, but not the nature of living Christians, have a form of godliness, but deny its power, are Jews outwardly, but not inwardly, and worship only in an external manner, attend to outward forms and ceremonies, but know nothing of true doctrine, pure worship, or spiritual religion; and which are very numerous, as the worshippers in the outward court were: now these, upon a new measuring and regulating of the churches, are ordered to be left, or cast out, and not taken into the dimensions of the Gospel church; these were to be separated from, and have been, and not to be admitted members of regular and orderly constituted churches, and which is here reckoned a sort of casting of them out; the reason of which follows;

for it is given unto the Gentiles; by whom are meant the Papists, who are no other than Paganized Christians, having introduced a great deal of Gentilism into the divine service; as the worshipping of the virgin Mary, angels, and saints departed, which is in imitation of the demon worship of the Heathens; as also the dedication of their churches to saints, their saints' days, divers festivals, and many other rites and ceremonies, are plainly of Pagan original; and therefore they may very well be called by this name: now it seems by these words that the bulk of the reformed churches, the crowd of outward court worshippers, will be gained, over to the Popish party, and fall off to the church of Rome, to which their doctrines and practices are plainly verging; the pope of Rome, as low a condition as he now is in, will be set "in status quo", before his utter destruction; he will regain all his former dominions, and be in possession of them at the time of his ruin; the whore of Rome, the antichristian Babylon, will sit as a queen, and promise herself a great deal of peace and pleasure, the inward court worshippers and witnesses being slain, and she restored to all her former power and grandeur; when in one day, on a sudden, her destruction will come upon her, when the term of the beast's reign will be expired, mentioned in the next clause:

and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months; by "the holy city" is meant all the kingdoms of Europe, or what has, been called Christendom, the western empire as Christian, the main seat of the Christian religion, or all the churches styled Christian, and so called in allusion to Jerusalem, which bears this name, Matthew 4:5; and which was still of a far larger extent than the outward court: the "treading" of this "underfoot" does not barely design possessing of it, or worshipping in the same place, as the phrase of treading in the courts does in Isaiah 1:12; but a tyrannical power over it, and a wasting, spoiling, and destroying it, in allusion to Jerusalem being trodden under foot, wasted, and destroyed by the Gentiles or the Romans, Luke 21:24; and the duration of this tyrannical and oppressive reign will be forty and two months; see Revelation 13:5, which being reduced to years, make just three years and a half: but then this date cannot be understood strictly and literally; for such a term can never be sufficient for the whore's reign, who was to rule over the kings of the earth, and all nations were to drink of the wine of her fornication: this is too short a time for her to gain so much power, honour, and riches in, as the 13th, 17th, and 18th chapters of this book show, as well as too short for the afflictions and persecutions of the saints by her; wherefore this must be understood prophetically of so many months of years; and a month with the Chaldeans consisting of thirty days, and a year of 360 days, which account Daniel used, and John after him, forty two months, reckoning a day for a year, after the prophetic style, make 1260 years; which is the exact time of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, of the church's being hid and nourished in the wilderness, and of the beast's reign, and so of the holy city being trodden under foot. Now this date is not to be reckoned from the outer court being given to the Gentiles, but from the first of antichrist's reign, when the pope of Rome was declared universal bishop; and is only here mentioned to show, that the giving of the outward court to his Gentiles will be towards the expiration of this date.

{3} But the {a} court which is without the temple {b} leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the {4} Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot {5} forty and two months.

(3) As if he should say, it is not your place to judge those who are outside, 1Co 5:12 who are innumerable: look to those of the household only, or to the house of the living God.

(a) He speaks of the outer court, which was called the peoples court, because all men might come into that.

(b) That is counted to be cast out, which in measuring is refused as profane.

(4) To profane persons, wicked and unbelievers, adversaries to the Church.

(5) Or a thousand, two hundred and sixty days, as is said in Re 11:3: that is, a thousand two hundred and sixty years, a day for a year, as often in Ezekiel and Daniel, which I noted before see Geneva Re 2:10. The beginning of these thousand two hundred and sixty years, we account from the passion of Christ, by which (the partition wall being broken down) we were made from two into one Eph 2:14. I say, one flock under one shepherd in Joh 10:16 and the end of these years precisely falls into the reign of pope Boniface the eighth, who a little before the end of 1294, entered Rome in the feast of Saint Lucie (as Bergomensis says) having put in prison his predecessor Coelestinus, whom by fraud, under colour of Oracle, he deceived: for which cause it was well said of him, Intravit ut vulpes, regnavit ut leo, mortuus est ut canis. That is, He entered like a fox, reigned like a lion, and died like a dog. For if from 1294, you subtract the number of years Christ lived on the earth, you will find there remains just one thousand two hundred and sixty years, which are mentioned in this place and many others.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 11:2. Καὶ τὴν αὐλὴν τὴν ἕξωθεν, κ.τ.λ. Incorrectly, Luther: “The inner choir,” after a bad variation. Also Vitr., Ewald,[2809] Züll., object not only to the expression, but also to what was said in Revelation 11:1, since they conceive of τ. αὐλ. τὴν ἔξωθεν τοῦ ναοῦ in the sense of Τ. ΑὐΛ. ΤῊΝ ἘΞΩΤΈΡΑΝ Τ. Ν., and distinguish[2810] an outer and an inner court, the latter of which, as belonging to the ΝΑΌς, is measured with it. But the expression ἜΞΩΘ. Τ. Θ.[2811] confirms rather the idea given, Revelation 11:1, of the ΝΑΌς alone to be measured, i.e., the proper temple-building, outside of which the ΑὐΛΉ, i.e., the entire space of the court, lies.[2812] Arbitrarily, the ΑὐΛΉ is interpreted by Weiss: “the congregation of unbelieving Jews.”

ἜΚΒΑΛΕ ἜΞΩ. The casting out, viz., beyond the reach of that which is to be measured, is determined, according to the sense as well as the form of the idea, by the parallel addition, καὶ μὴ αὐτὴν μετρήσῃς;[2813] yet in the significant expression[2814] the point must not be overlooked, which Eichh. alone, and without the textual reference to the boundaries of the space to be measured, in his unhappy paraphrase makes equivalent to “declare profane.”[2815]

ὅτι ἐδόθη τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, for it is given to the Gentiles, viz., by the Divine decree; as the immediately following fut. πατήσουσι, which describes the impending fulfilment of this decree, unambiguously declares. Entirely in violation of the context, Beng. remarks that the Gentiles, on account of whose immensity, i.e., innumerableness,[2816] the outer court shall not be measured, shall at one day worship there. Improper also is the mingling of the idea, that the bloody sacrificial service at the altar of burnt offerings is not to be maintained:[2817] it is intended by this, only that according to the Divine decree, the Gentiles shall tread (πατήσουσι, Luke 21:24) the court and the entire holy city.[2818] Allied with this is the determination of the ΚΑΙΡΟῚ ἘΘΝῶΝ by the schematic temporal specification: ΜῆΝΑς ΤΕΣΣΑΡΆΚΟΝΤΑ ΚΑῚ ΔΎΟ, i.e., 3½ years,[2819] according to the type of the treading down of the holy city and the sanctuary by Antiochus Epiphanes.

[2809] Cf. Gött., Gel. Anz., 1861, p. 1013.

[2810] Cf. Ezekiel 40:17 sqq.

[2811] Cf. Revelation 14:20; Mark 7:15.

[2812] De Wette, Hengstenb., Ebrard.

[2813] Beng., Ewald, De Wette, Hengstenb., Ebrard.

[2814] Cf. Matthew 8:12; John 9:34 sqq., John 12:31; 3 John 1:10.

[2815] Cf. Vitr.: “Excommunicate.”

[2816] Revelation 7:4; Revelation 7:9.

[2817] Against De Wette, etc.

[2818] Cf. Matthew 4:5.

[2819] = 3½ καιροί, Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:14.

2. the court which is without the temple] The words might be translated “the outer court of the Temple.” It must be remembered that “the courts of the Lord’s House” were the ordinary place for the worshippers to assemble, even before the outer and larger “Court of the Gentiles,” with its magnificent colonnades, was added to Herod’s Temple. Probably the latter is thought of, in its assignment to the Gentiles: but the meaning appears to be, that all the courts shall be profaned, up to the walls of the inmost Sanctuary.

leave out] Hardly a strong enough expression: the original is, “cast out outside.” The sense must be, “leave out for profanation.” This excludes the hypothesis (otherwise not without plausibility) that the measurement of the Temple is for destruction, not for preservation: see 2 Kings 21:13; Lamentations 2:8 :—and for the destruction being regarded as the work of the prophet, cf. Ezekiel 43:3.

tread under foot] So St Luke 21:24, which is no doubt referred to. Hitherto, the correspondences in this book with that Prophecy of our Lord’s have been closest with St Matthew’s version of it. Varying parallels like these serve to authenticate the reports of His words in the different Gospels—shewing that they are to be taken as mutually supplementary, not as more or less inaccurate. Of course, St John did not use our Gospels (though St Matthew’s at least was in existence), but wrote independently from his own recollection.

forty and two months] So Revelation 13:5. This period is apparently identical with the “1260 days” of the next verse, and Revelation 12:6 : and with the “time, times, and half a time” (i.e. 3½ years) of Revelation 12:14. In Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7 we have this last measure of the period given, and the time indicated by Daniel must be either identical with or typical of that indicated by St John. It is to be noted, that in Daniel 12:11-12, we have the period extended to 1290 and 1335 days.

The key to these prophecies, that speak of definite periods of time, is generally sought in Ezekiel 4:6; it is supposed that each prophetical “day” stands for a year, and by consequence a “week” is equivalent to seven years, a “month” to 30, and a “year” to 360. This gives an approximately satisfactory explanation of the one prophecy of the “70 weeks” in Daniel 9 : they would naturally be understood to extend from b.c. 536 (the decree of Cyrus) to b.c. 5 (the Nativity), a.d. 29–30 (the Crucifixion), and a.d. 70 (the fall of Jerusalem); but the terms in which their beginning and end are described can with a little pressure be applied to b.c. 457 (the decree of Artaxerxes), a.d. 26 (the Baptism of St John), a.d. 29–30, and a.d. 33—possibly the date of the death of St Stephen, and so of the final rejection of the Gospel by the Jews and of the Jewish sacrifices by God. But in no other case has a prophecy been even tolerably interpreted on this principle. If it were admitted in this, we should naturally understand that Jerusalem was to have been restored in a.d. 1330—or at latest 1360 or 1405. Indeed, if the Saracen conquest instead of the Roman were taken as the starting-point, the restoration would not fall due till 1897, and it is humanly speaking quite possible that Palestine may pass into new hands then. But men ought to have learnt by this time to distrust such calculations: as we “know not the day nor the hour,” so we know not the year nor the century. Two or three generations ago a number of independent calculations were made to converge to the year 1866 as the beginning of the end: but in that year nothing considerable happened except the Austrian war, which of all recent wars perhaps had least the character of a war between Christ and Antichrist. It was at worst an instance of the painful and not innocent way in which fallen human nature works out its best desires: the Austrians were technically in the right, while the victory of the Prussians has proved honourable and beneficial to both empires alike.

Revelation 11:2. Τὴν αὐλὴν) In the tabernacle of Moses, in the temple of Solomon, and in the temple of Ezekiel, the Septuagint usually puts αὐλὴ for the Hebrew חצר. A court in the open air is meant (in which חציר, grass, readily grows); wherefore there follows, τὴν ἔξωθεν τοῦ ναοῦ. Ἔσωθεν in some places has crept in, for ἔξωθεν:[109] but this ΑὐΛῊ, since it is the only one, cannot possibly be within the temple, from which it is contradistinguished. Also in Ezekiel 8:16, it is חצר פנימית. But here mention is made only of the outer court (in contradistinction to the temple): which in the measuring ought not to be reckoned as a part of the temple, but as it is an outer court, so it ought to be regarded as outside the temple. The reading ἜΞΩΘΕΝ is much more strongly supported by manuscripts.—ἜΞΩΘΕΝἜΞΩ) The figure Ploce [See Append. of Techn. Terms]: as Isaiah 32:19, the city shall be low in a low place.—πατήσουσι, shall tread under foot) See Luke 21:24, note.—ΜῆΝΑς ΤΕΣΣΑΡΆΚΟΝΤΑ ΔΎΟ, forty-two months) These months, and the 1260 days in Revelation 11:3, are common months and days: for in the event they are later than the number of the beast, which being put in part enigmatically, in part literally, defines the passing of the book from the prophetical times to common times, as I have more fully shown in other places. Moreover, in my Harmony of the Evangelists, A. 1736, I had declared, that I would answer, in the Gnomon, the Mathematical Demonstration of Joh. Christian Seize respecting the 1260 days of the witnesses and the woman, Revelation 11, 12. I had prepared a reply sufficiently copious on this passage, not only to that Demonstration, but also to another, which the same writer published in the beginning of the year 1737, under the title of the Measuring Rod. But in the same year, as occasion then required, I wrote a review, which was inserted by the collectors of the work, which is called Geistliche Fama, in the 23d Part, after other remarks of Seize and myself: and in the meanwhile, the progress of time, bringing a decision of the question, confirmed my opinion, and rendered a reply superfluous. This question, therefore, being put aside, having in the meantime met with other adversaries, I dismiss this one; for I greatly shrink from unnecessary disputes.

[109] Stephens’ Rec. Text (not the Elzev. Rec. Text) has ἔσωθεν for ἔξεθεν, without good authority.—E.

Verse 2. - But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; it hath been given (Revised Version). Not merely "leave out," but "cast out." The "court which is without the temple" was entered only by Jews. It seems, therefore, here to signify part of the Church, but that part which is separated from the inner circle of true believers, and given over to the world, which is here symbolized by "the Gentiles." The Gentiles, the nations, throughout the Apocalypse, signifies either

(1) all mankind whatsoever; or

(2) that portion of mankind which is left when the true Church of God is withdrawn, and therefore which embraces the unrighteous part of mankind in contrast to the godly (cf. Revelation 2:26; Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 18:23; 22:22). The latter is the signification here. And the holy city shall they tread underfoot. The holy city - Jerusalem - always in the Apocalypse the type of the Church. "They shall tread" need not necessarily refer to "the nations," though the context naturally leads to this signification; but it may be impersonal, amounting to no more than "the holy city shall be trodden underfoot." St. John seems to apply the words of our Lord concerning the literal Jerusalem to the description of the fate in store for the typical Jerusalem (cf. Luke 21:24). "The nations" are the instrument by which the Church is trodden underfoot, and the mention of the Gentiles in connection with the apostate portion of the Church leads to the description of the oppression of the faithful by the world. The seer is bidden to take courage by a contemplation of the numbers of those preserved by God, but is warned, nevertheless, not to expect from that fact immunity for the Church from the persecution of the world. Forty and two months. Καί, "and," is inserted contrary to the common practice when the larger number precedes (so also in John 2:20; John 5:5). This period of three years and a half is certainly symbolical. It is the half of seven years - a perfect number. It therefore denotes a broken, uncertain period; a space of time which is certainly finite, but the end of which is uncertain. This seems to point necessarily to the period of the world's existence during which the Church is to suffer oppression. This period is mentioned

(1) in ver. 3 under the form of twelve hundred and sixty days, where it denotes the same period that is referred to here;

(2) in Revelation 12:6 as twelve hundred and sixty days, and in Revelation 12:14 as "a time, and times, and half a time," in both of which passages the signification is the same as that given above;

(3) in Revelation 13:5 it is called, as here, forty-two months, and describes the same period. The expression is founded on Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 12:7. In the latter place the time signified is certainly the period of the world's existence. We therefore see

(1) that its natural meaning, in connection with the number seven,

(2) its signification in Daniel, and

(3) its apparent use in all passages in the Apocalypse, tend to cause us to interpret the symbol as above. Revelation 11:2The court which is without the temple

Not merely the outer court, or Court of the Gentiles, but including all that is not within the ναός, the Holy and Most Holy places.

Leave out (ἔκβαλε ἔξω)

Lit., throw out, i.e., of the measurement.

Unto the Gentiles (τοῖς ἔθνεσιν)

See on Luke 2:32. Rev., nations.

Forty and two months

A period which appears in three forms in Revelation: forty-two months (Revelation 13:5); twelve hundred and sixty days (Revelation 11:3, Revelation 12:6); a time, times and half a time, or three years and a half (Revelation 12:14, compare Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7)

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