Those Worshipping at the Altar, Rev 11:1
John tells us what happened.
Just prior to the 7th trumpet, after the scroll containing the sacred secret that the 7 thunders spoke, is opened, the angel tells him to eat the opened scroll and that it would make his belly bitter but in his mouth, it would be as sweet as honey. Adding, and "You must prophesy again with regard to peoples and nations and tongues and kings
. And then the angel tells him to measure the house of God and the altar and those worshipping in it, (Rev 10:4,6,7,8,9,10).
Why does the scroll that is as sweet as honey in his mouth make his belly bitter? And why was he told 'you must prophesy again
?' Let's see if we can find the answer to those questions.
A reed like a rod
is given John to do the measuing of the house of God and the altar, and those worshipping in it
, Rev 11:1
The Hebrew word for the Greek, 2563 κάλαμος / kalamos - a reed
, is 7070 qaneh - a reed or stalk
; it first occurs at Gen 41:5; see the snip of Rev and Gen below.
(underline & arrows mine)
In Pharaoh second dream there were Seven ears of grain coming up on one reed, fat and good
And then he saw another seven ears of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind, growing up after them. And the thin ears began to swallow up the seven fat ears of grain
, (Gen 41:5-7). At that time it pictured seven years of plenty being swallowed up by seven years of famine – a literal famine that swept their world at that time. But as we will see it also has a future spiritual application prior to the sounding of the 7th trumpet.
Jehovah says:"I was sought by those who did not enquire of me. I was found by those who did not seek me. I have said, 'Here I am, here I am!' to a nation that was not calling upon my name
, (Isa 65:1; cf. Dan 12:2,4; Mt 3:9).
He then goes on to contrast these with those who had enquired of him and had found him, saying: "I have spread out my hands all day long to a stubborn people those who are walking in a way that is not good, after their [own] thoughts
. These ones had an inflated view of themselves, saying: 'Keep close to yourself. Do not approach me, for I shall certainly convey holiness to you
, (Isa 65:1,2-4,5-7).
Ones like these are still serving at the altar of God's house in the time of the end when John is given the reed and told to measure them, (Dan 12:2,10; cf. Mt 22:2-10,11,12,13). With regard to those who are cleansing and whitening themselves, Jehovah says: Look! My own servants will eat, but you yourselves will go hungry. Look! my own servants will drink, but you yourselves will go thirsty. Look! My own servants will rejoice because of the good condition of the heart, but you yourselves shall suffer shame. Look! My own servants shall cry out joyfully ... but you will make outcries because of the pain of heart and will howl because of a sheer breakdown of spirit
, (Isa 65:13,14 ).
And someone like the Son of Man (cf. Rev 1:13), said concerning these well-fed ones with a good condition of their heart: And I will cause my two witnesses to prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days dressed in sackcloth, which are [symbolised] by] two olive trees and the two lampstands that are standing before the Lord of the whole earth
, Rev 11:3,4). Zechariah had been told: these are the two ears of grain, of the olive tree that by means of golden tubes are pouring forth from within themselves golden [liquid]
, (Zech 4:12).
(underline, arrows & inserted text mine)
See RH column, here
for verses where shibboleth, ears of grain
occurs in the OT.
And Jehovah says with regard to the stubborn people those who are walking in a way that is not good, (Isa 65:15) … And you will have set/placed your name for a curse and will have slain my chosen
. Even as they had in Paul's case, (Acts 9:15,16; 23:12), and they are determined to do the same to those comprising the body of the two witnesses, (Rev 11:1,3,7,10). And Jehovah God will call his servants by another name
. This is how I render Isa 65:15
. To see how other Bibles have rendered this verse, see Isa 65:15, here
And that is why the angel who had told John to eat the opened scroll had forewarned him that, although initially as sweet as honey in his mouth, it would make his belly bitter, (Rev 10:9). When Jesus first causes his 2 witnesses to prophesy, they are full of joy and vigour, but then as the on-the-ground reality sinks in, it makes their belly bitter.
This is what they are constrained to do:
- If anyone wants to harm them fire issues forth from their mouths and devours their enemies, (Rev 11: 5). Compare: I come to start a fire on the earth and what more is there for me to wish it had already been lighted, (Lu 12: 49; Mt 10:34)
- They have the authority to shut the heavens so that no rain should fall during the days of their witnessing, (Rev 11:6). Compare: Look! My own servants will eat, but you yourselves will go hungry. Look! My own servants will drink but you yourselves will go thirsty, (Isa 65:14)
- And they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every sort of plague as often as they wish. So the life-giving water Jesus gives that bubbles up to impart everlasting life, now becomes death-dealing to those serving at the altar who do not heed his word, (Jhn 12:47,48,49,50; Rev 12:17)
And Isa 65:15 b says regarding Jehovah's chosen ones, his servants who conquer that he will call them by another name
. Compare: To the one that conquers, I will make him a pillar in the house [of God] … and I will write upon him … that new name of mine
, (Rev 2:12,17; 3:12)
Just as the cluster of grapes for the new wine is dedicated to Jehovah and is put into new wineskins, Jehovah will do for his servants
(Isa 65:8; Mt 9:17). For I am creating a new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be called to mind, neither shall they come up into the heart
, (Isa 65:17; cf. Rev 21:1).