Vision of the The Angel with The Scroll (Revelation 10:1-11)
Angel of the Book of Revelation
Description of The Other Mighty Angel (Revelation 10:1-3)
John saw another mighty angel. In other words, an additional angel to the ones he has seen playing the trumpets. Here is what John says about this angel:
- The angel was coming from heaven
- He was wrapped in a cloud
- He had a rainbow over his head
- His face was bright like the Sun
- His legs were like pillars of fire
This angel was beautify and terrifying in appearance. He looked glorious and powerful.
The angel had a small, open scroll in his hand. He put his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and then he called out with a loud voice. According to John, the angel's voice was like the roaring of a lion (watch the video to learn about the raring of lions).
After the angel called out, he received an answer: seven thunders.
How Loud Does a Lion Roar?
Interpretation of the Vision (Revelation 10:8, 9, 11)
The vision regarding the angel is at first puzzling, but the same chapter gives us the information we need to interpret it. On verse 8, the voice (the voice of the Lord) tells John to take the scroll from the angel. When John goes to the angel and asks him for the scroll, the angel tells John to eat the scroll (verse 9). After John eats the scroll (verse 10), the angel tells John that he must still prophesy (verse 11).
John's experience is very similar to the experience of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:1-4).
Since the scroll that John eats enables him to prophesy, we can conclude that the scroll is a book of prophesy. The scroll, then, is the God's revelation to John so he can write the book of Revelation; and the angel is the angel sent from the Lord to give him the revelation (Revelation 1:1).
In the Bible, angels sometimes provide revelation to the prophets (Galatians 3:19, Daniel 9:21-23).
Hints Regarding the Time when John Wrote Revelation (Revelation 10:4)
In Revelation 10:4, there is some hint that John wrote the book of Revelation earlier than the last two decades of the first century (late 80's or early 90's).
We must consider what the angel tells John. In Revelation 10:11, the angel tells John that he must prophesy again. Had John written the book in the late 80's or early 90's, this would have been an awkward statement to make to an like John. I think it is more likely that John saw a series of visions at various times, and that he slowly compiled his book.
The Angel Makes a Promise (Revelation 10:5-7)
John tells us that the angel swore by the Creator (by God) that the mystery God announced to his prophets would be fulfilled in the days when the seventh trumpet is sounded (remember that up to this point, only six trumpets have been sounded). According to the angel's oath, the time of fulfillment will not be delayed beyond those days.
But what is this mystery of which the angel speaks? There are several mysteries in the Scriptures:
- According to Romans 11:25, it was a mystery that Israel would be hardened to the gospel until t he fullness of the gentiles has believed.
- According to Romans 16:25, Ephesians 1:9, and Ephesians 3:3-6, the gospel and the salvation of the gentiles was a mystery.
- According to 1 Corinthians 15:51, the resurrection of the church and the rapture were a mystery.
- According 2 Thessalonians 2:17, the forces bringing about the antichrist are a mystery.
Nevertheless, because the angel speaks of the mystery announced to the prophets, it is likely that the angel means that, in the days when the seventh trumpet is sounded (and the seventh trumpet includes the seven bowls of wrath), God's prophecies regarding the judgments to take place in the day of the Lord (the end times) will be fulfilled.
The Scroll Is both Sweet and Bitter (Revelation 10:9-10)
Finally, we must consider that when the angel tells John to take the scroll and eat it, the angel warns John that the scroll will be bitter in his stomach, but sweet like honey in his mouth. This experience is very similar to Ezekiel's.
Ezekiel too was told that the scroll of prophecy would be sweet like honey in his mouth (Ezekiel 3:3).
When something tastes sweet like honey, it is easy to eat it. There would be no difficulty for either Ezekiel or John to eat the scroll and thus obtain the revelation.
Logically, just like Ezekiel, John too would fill his belly with the scroll (the prophecies). However, to John it was said that the scroll would be bitter in his belly.
Why would the scroll be bitter in the belly of John? Just as Ezekiel would prophesy of terrible things that would come upon Israel, John also would soon be prophesying of terrible things that would come upon Israel and the rest of the world.
© 2020 Marcelo Carcach