Revelation 10 - Outline of Revelation (Book Notes menu page)
Just as Seal #6 was followed by an explanatory parenthetic episode, so here, following Trumpet #6 and prior to the sounding of Trumpet #7 (11:14,15) there is a parenthetic section, which contains 3 episodes:
Between the sounding of Trumpet #7 and its implementation in the Seven Bowl Judgments (beginning in ch.16), another extended parenthetic section occupies ch.12-15.
10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven,
"I saw" opens one vision which continues to 13:1 (the next "I saw").
Who is this angel?
Some say Christ. But in Revelation, Christ is never clearly identified as an angel. Compare 5:2, where another "mighty angel" ('strong' and 'mighty' are the same GK word), turns John's attention to the Lamb. Obviously, that angel is not Christ. Where we are to see Christ, it is made clear (eg., 14:14-16).
     The 'mighty angel' (in v.1) has several features which remind us of Christ, because he is His special representative, but we will see some differences shortly.
clothed with a cloud: - This is a heavenly messenger...
and a rainbow [was] upon his head,
- Commissioned by God (cp. 4:3) to further His judgment,
yet, remembering God's covenant to Noah.
and his face [was] as it were the sun,
- Reflecting God's glory
(cp. 18:1 - another shining angel who also is not Christ)
and his feet as pillars of fire:
- This angel is involved in Christ's business of judgment.
The narrative of Revelation & Daniel 10-12 are parallel,
and help us identify this angel.
Outline of Daniel 10-12: (In this outline, the chapter & verse references are to Daniel, unless noted.)
  1. 10:4-21 The Heavenly Messenger: Is this Christ, or, an archangel?
    1. This messenger is similar in appearance to Christ (10:4-6; Rev 10:1; cf. Rev 1:13-16).
    2. The messenger's presence profoundly effects Daniel (10:7-10,15-19; Rev 10:1; cf. Rev 1:17).
    3. Yet, this messenger is sent with a message from God (Christ is God the Son). (See Dan 10:10,11).
      • As an angelic representative of God, the messenger reflects the glory of the One who sent him.
      • An archangel (perhaps Gabriel cp. 9:21, a peer to Michael, cp. 10:12-13,20-21) -
        • prepared Daniel to receive the message (10:10-12,18-19)
        • stated that the prophecy relates to Daniel's people (Israel, 10:14).
        • conveyed the prophetic message (10:21; Angels do this in much of Rev.)
  2. The Timing of the prophetic message delivered by the archangel -
    1. 11:1-35 From Daniel's time into the relatively near future.
      This prophecy concerns nations that would impact the people & land of Israel, looking from Daniel's time into the relatively near future. The prophecy traces...
      • the progression of the Medo-Persian empire (v.1,2),
      • its succession by the Grecian empire, including the rise of Alexander (v.3),
      • the division of his empire into four parts (v.4),
      • the troubled decline of two of the parts (v.5-20), and
      • the rise to power of Antiochus Epiphanes (v.21-35, c. 175-163 BC).
      (These events have been fulfilled.)
    2. 11:36-45 Prophecy concerning the "willful king"
      (the Antichrist, of whom Antiochus Epiphanes was a "type" or foreshadowing), who -
      • will arise "at the time of the end" (v.40), and
      • will establish himself "in the glorious holy mountain" (v.45, ie., the temple in Jerusalem).
    3. 12:1- At that time (ie., the time of the end; the time of the Antichrist) -
      • Michael shall stand up...
      • there shall be a time of great trouble...
      • Daniel's people shall be delivered...
      Rev. 10 deals with "that time." Therefore, this angel (in Rev 10:1) is Michael arising to fulfill his prophetic role.
      "Michael" means "who is like God" (which may be phrased as a question or a statement).
      Christ is God. Michael appears like Him, as he shines in Christ's glory.
      The question, posed by Michael's name, answers Satan's boast (Rev 12:7-9; Isa 14:12-14-17).
10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open:
little book- The GK word is a diminutive form of "scroll", lit., "scrollette."
open- In ch. 5, Christ receives a closed book, the 7 sealed scroll.
In ch. 6, He begins to open it.
By ch. 10, the seals have all been broken, and much of the content has been applied.
This is the same "opened" book. Its "littleness" represents those few things yet remaining for completion. God's counsels are forever settled in heaven. His promises & judgments are "noted in the Scripture of Truth" which the angel opened to Daniel. Dan 10:21; 12:4
and he set his right foot upon the sea, and [his] left [foot] on the earth,
The angel claims sea and land for God.
The book is the basis of his authority. Psa 95:5
10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as [when] a lion roareth:
His roar is expectant of triumph over the adversary. cp. Rev 12:7-9
and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
Jews refer to thunder as "the seven voices" (of God).
The phrase "the voice of the Lord" occurs 7x in Psa 29:3-9.
10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write:
and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,
Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
We would be foolish to attempt to interpret what God has kept secret.
Why has He "covered" this in the middle of 'Revelation' (GK title 'apokalupsis,' "uncovering," 1:1)?
We'll know soon enough ("for the time is at hand," 1:3).
10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth
lifted up his hand to heaven,
10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever,
who created heaven, and the things that therein are,
and the earth, and the things that therein are,
and the sea, and the things which are therein,
that there should be time no longer:
sware by Him- The angel's authority, to claim sea and land, is from the Creator.
Note: If this angel were Christ, He would not so swear, since He is the Creator, and He can swear by no greater. Joh 1:1-3; Heb 6:13
there should be time {GK= chronos} no longer-
Some versions read "delay no longer" (in an attempt to accommodate the fact that time as a phenomenon continues - eg., the millennium). But of the 110 occurrences of 'chronos' in the OT (Septuagint) and NT, nowhere else is it translated "delay." There is no delay in the progression of God's programs. cp. Mat 24:48; 2Pet 3:9
     'Chronos' often refers to a period of time (eg., "a space," Rev 2:21; "a season," 6:10,11).
This meaning applies here. The angel is announcing the end of a period of time, namely, the time that would elapse prior "to the time of the end" (Dan 12:4). The end of that time marks the beginning of the time of the end, a period of 3.5 years (Dan 12:6,7), which the angel announces in the following verse...
10:7 But {ie., in fact} in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, {ie., Trumpet #7}
when he shall begin {ie., is about} to sound, {ie., "When his turn comes."}
the mystery of God should be finished, {lit., shall also be completed}
as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
A mystery is something which man would not know unless God chooses to reveal it.
That which He has revealed through His prophets is about to come to conclusion.
Amos 3:7; Dan 9:24; Deu 29:24-29; 30:1-7
10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said,
Go [and] take the little book which is open in the hand of the
angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
the voice... from heaven - is that of Christ. cp. 4:1; 10:4
10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book.
And he said unto me, Take [it], and eat it up;
and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
To eat the Word of God, is to take it to heart.
sweet... bitter-
  • Delight with the fact of new revelation. . .
    . . .Distress with the nature of that revelation. [JBSmith]
  • Joy at the prospect of the age of righteousness. . .
    . . .Grief at the judgment, of sinners & martyrdom of saints, which must precede it.
  • Joy in personal renewal by that which proceeds from the mouth of God. . .
    . . .Grief at the deafness of those to whom the Word is delivered.
    cp. Jer 15:16-18; Eze 2:8-10; 3:1-4,7,14
10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up;
and it was in my mouth sweet as honey:
and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before
{or, 'about'}
many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Having been warned that it will bring personal joy and also heartbreak,
John is re-commissioned to proclaim God's prophetic message.
prophesy again - Since he has already prophesied about these things,
this suggests that subsequent chapters will review things previously revealed and provide further detail.

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