Chapter 10 - the Little Book, the Mighty Angel, and Seven Thunders
Revelation Chapter 10: the little book or scroll, the "mighty angel," and the seven thunders - parenthetical details revealed between the events of the second and third woes.
Chapter 10 provides an intermission after the description of the events of sixth trumpet (the second woe) to give us more details about what is happening during the execution of the Lord’s judgments on Earth and what it all means.
10:1 I saw still (a) another mighty angel (b) coming down from heaven, (c) clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.
- This is the second of three “mighty” angels who appear in Revelation. The first was at 5:2 and the third will be at 18:21. Each has a significant role to play in the events of the Final Seven Years: the first, drawing attention to the One who was worthy to open the sealed book (scroll); the second (this angel), setting the stage for the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the final plagues of the judgments of Yahuah; and the third, executing the final destruction of modern, prophetic Babylon.
- The appearance of this angel is similar to the that of the awesome angel who appeared to Daniel (Daniel 10:5-8) and who told Daniel to seal the book of prophecy until “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4). His appearance, including coming clothed in a cloud (in this vision, John is on the earth), is also very similar to that of the One like the Son of Man (the Messiah) here in the Revelation (1:13-15). So, it would seem that this angel is a direct representative of the Lord Yahuah in giving to John some important details of the Revelation.
10:2-7 He had (a) a little book open in his hand. And he set (b) his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with (c) a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, (d) seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard (e) a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them." The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land (f) raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, (g) that there should be delay no longer, but (h) in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of [Yahuah] would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.
- This is a book or scroll smaller than the one which reveals the events of the six seals and the Wrath of Yahuah (5:1). It is already open.
- The planting of one foot on the sea and the other on the land may indicate that the implications of what the angel is about to reveal will affect all the people of the world (the events of the six seals and the trumpet
judgments will result in the death of about two-thirds of Earth’s inhabitants). The sea may represent the tumultuous, pagan people of the world, as in 13:1 and 17:15, and the earth may represent organized religion (which seems to be the implication of “earth” in 13:11). Also, the Greek for “earth” (ge) is translated “land,” as in the “land of Israel” (Matthew 2:20). Organized religion would include Christianity and Judaism.
- If the angel represents Yahushua, the Lion of Judah (5:5), then what he utters is the roar of the Lord.
- As also is mentioned in 4:5, 8:5, 11:19, 16:18, and 19:6, thunder appears to be associated with the power of the Lord. Here, the seven thunders seem to represent the awesome power of the Wrath of the Lord in executing His perfect, complete judgment of the world.
- As though the angel is overridden, John
is commanded from Heaven not to write—to seal up—the utterances of the seven
thunders, apparently indicating that they portend the terrible “last plagues” of the wrath of Yahuah
(15:1), the details of which are not yet ready to be revealed (note the nowhere
are the trumpet judgments called plagues of the wrath of Yahuah). The angel,
apparently in response to the voice from Heaven, with the little book in one
hand, raises the other hand toward Heaven and utters a binding oath . . .
- The angel, apparently in response to the voice from Heaven, with the little book in one hand, raises the other hand toward Heaven and utters a binding oath . . .
- That there will be no more delay in the execution of the (final) plagues of the wrath of the Lord (the bowls of wrath). This may be a response to the cry of the martyrs under the altar: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth” (6:10).
- The KJV and NKJV translations of this
sentence are not clear and complete. The
Greek word (euallegizo) translated “declared” means “to bring good news or
glad tidings.” A better translation of
the statement might be: “The hidden plan [revealed only to those
who have “eyes that see and ears that hear”] of [Yahuah], the Good News that was communicated to the
prophets, is to be brought to
completion as soon as the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet.” This statement makes it clear that there is
something special about the seventh trumpet judgment. It announces the events of the seven bowls of
wrath in which the “hidden plan” of
Yahuah (to destoy this evil, corrupt world so that His Creation may be restored
to its original state under the reign of the true Messiah—“the restoration of all things”—Acts 3:21) is “brought to completion.” The
seven bowls, which contain the “final plagues of the judgments of Yahuah” (15:1), completing His Wrath
(cf. 16:17-21), are poured out after sounding of the seventh trumpet, which
also prompts worship in Heaven “of our
Lord and of His [Messiah]” for bringing His plan to completion (cf.
11:15-19). The Day of the Lord, including
His Wrath, which will occur after sounding of the seventh trumpet, is
explicitly foretold many times in the Tanakh
(Isaiah 2:12; Jeremiah 46:10; Joel 2:1;
Amos 5:18; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:14;
Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5 [one example from each of these prophets; there are
many others]) and mentioned several times in the B’rit Hadashah (Acts 2:20; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2
10:8-11 Then (a) the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth." So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, (b) "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, (c) "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."
- Some have suggested that, because of his appearance, the “angel” is the Messiah, but this passage clearly indicates otherwise: John obeys the voice from Heaven and tells the angel to give him the book. The angel is subservient to both the One who speaks from Heaven and to John. He is just a representative and a messenger of the Lord. (The literal meaning of the Greek word for angel, aggelos, is “messenger.”)
- John was told to eat the book - to consume its contents, which were apparently the revelation of the seven thunders, and was told that those contents would initially taste sweet but would then become bitter, which, when he ate the book, he discovered was true.
- In the context, the contents of the book appear to be a revelation of the final plagues of the Day and the Wrath of Yahuah still to come after the parenthetical details of Chapters 11-14 are revealed, the seventh trumpet has sounded, and “the mystery of Yahuah is finished” (10:7). The Day of the Lord is sweet news to the Redeemed but bitter to those who are perishing. And John is told that he must prophesy again about the people of this world. So, the contents of the seven thunders and of the little book may reveal the plagues of the Wrath of Yahuah that are poured out after the seventh trumpet has sounded, the carnage of “Armageddon,” the terror of Great White Throne Judgment, or all three. They may also, in the same way that the sweetness and bitterness of the contents of the scroll that Ezekiel ate foretold the destruction of Jerusalem (cf. Ezekiel 2:9-3:3; 4:1-3), refer to the destruction of Jerusalem which, at the end of the Final Seven Years, will become, spiritually, like Sodom and Egypt (cf. 11:8, 13; 16:19).
Please click one of the following links to navigate this site:
Continue from Chapter 10: the Little Book, the Mighty Angel, and the Seven Thunders to Chapter 11: Measuring the Temple, the Two Witnesses, and the Blowing of the Seventh Trumpet.
Return from Chapter 10 to the verse-by-verse commentary on Revelation page.
Return to the Revelation Understood! commentary home page.
Add Your Own Revelation Chapter 10 Commentary
Has the Lord Yahuah given you additional insight into Chapter 10 of the Revelation of the Lord? If so, you are invited to add your own page of commentary. (To be approved for inclusion in this website, your commentary must be relevant to this page's topic the little book, the mighty angel, and the seven thunders, contribute to our understanding of the topic, and be solidly based on Scripture.)
Other Commentators' Contributions
Click below to see commentaries from other visitors to this page...