Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 11

John measures the temple

Revelation 11:1-2

During Johnís life, the enemies of Israel destroyed the temple (house of God) in Jerusalem. That happened also to a previous temple during the lives of Ezekiel and Daniel. However, all three men made references to future temples in their books.

Ezekielís temple was different from the temple which John and Daniel referred to. Ezekiel described a perfect or ideal temple, at a time when Godís people have no enemies. God told Ezekiel to measure that temple; Ezekiel records the measurements, not just of the temple, but also of the whole country, in Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48.

God told John to measure the temple too, but John does not record the measurements. Perhaps God gave that instruction simply to show that the temple is important to him. However, God warns John that he must not complete the measurements. Unlike Ezekiel, John does not see a perfect temple. Foreign nations and wicked people act cruelly in its outer parts and in Jerusalem; they are carrying out terrible acts there. That is similar to what Daniel described in Daniel 7:23-25; Daniel 8:9-14 and Daniel 9:27.

John does, however, record the number of people who serve God loyally there. They are 144,000 (14:1-5). This is not all the people who serve God from every nation; nobody can count them all (7:9). This is a group, from Israelís people (the Jews), who remain completely loyal to God through all these troubles (7:3-8).

It seems that this passage refers to a period of terrible troubles soon before Christís return to this earth. John gives the length of this period as 42 months, which is the same as the 1260 days in verse 3. It may also be the same length of time as the Ďtime, times and half a timeí (three and a half years) in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:14.

Next part: The two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-4)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.