Revelation 10

Revelation 10

The Angel and the Little Scroll

10 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”


Revelation 10 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

This vision differs from the others for the simple fact that John is engaged in the action firsthand. The angel that appears before John is hidden in a cloud and his legs were pillars of fire. This is not a coincidence. It recalls the Exodus journey in which the pillar of fire and cloud gave both guidance and protection. The rainbow recalls the promise of God to Noah and the scroll could very well parallel the stone tablets from Moses.

Some writers believe that the scroll here is the same scroll mentioned in chapter 5. I believe there are enough differences between the two that they are not the same. The little scroll here is open and brings a different message with a different purpose. The original scroll in chapter 5 dealt with the destiny of the world while this deals primarily with God’s people during the final days.

The angel plummets to Earth with a massive and authoritative stance. One leg stands upon the sea while the other is upon the land. His voice matches his great stature as his shout comes out like a roaring lion.

They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west.

Hosea 11:10 NASB

A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?

Amos 3:8 NASB

The lion voice cried out and the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. John must have been keeping a record of all that was going on because he turns to write down the seven thunders but a voice from Heaven stops him. We can assume this is either God or Jesus because the voice speaks with absolute authority. He is told to do exactly the opposite of what he was told to do in Chapter 1. There, he wrote down everything that he heard and sent it to the seven churches. Here, he must not record a thing.

Whatever was said was not to be made known to the churches. In this case, the phrase “seal up” simply means he cannot write it down. As many mystery writers know, sometimes a “less is more” approach makes for the best story. The understatement here is effective for both suspense and wonder.

The purpose of the oath from the angel is to give John assurance that the first 6 trumpets are not the final word of God. In order for John to understand why there would be no delay, he was called to step forward with action. If you notice, there was a two-part scenario to the closing seventh trumpet. (1) The mystery of God would be finished (2) as He preached to His servants the prophets.

John is a servant, so He is invited to taste the scroll. This experience is similar to Ezekiel’s but with a different application. In Ezekiel’s case, the message was sweet to him but bitter to his hearers. In John’s case, he was one of the apostles with the privilege of receiving the sweet Gospel of Jesus Christ and delivering it to the masses. However, by accepting this responsibility and consuming God’s calling, John and his companions would experience bitter suffering.

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