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Revelation 11:1-2 “Measuring The Temple”

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Rev 11:1-2 KJV

(1)  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
(2)  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.



Previously, in Revelation chapter 10, we saw John received a small book from Christ and then John was given a three-fold responsibility concerning that book: to receive the message of the little book; become familiar and understanding of it; and then to share it with his readers by recording it as a part of the Book of Revelation.

Here, in chapter 11:1-14, we find the contents of that little book.  In these verses, we will have shown to us why God’s wrath will fall against mankind:

  1. Revelation 11:1-2 – Rejection of the Worship of God
  2. Revelation 11:3-14 – Rejection of the Witness of God
  3. Revelation 11:15 – Preparation for the Conclusion Of God’s Wrath




Rev 11:1-2 KJV


(1)  And there was given me a reed like unto a rod:

As the contents of the small book are revealed to John, he is given a reed that resembled a scepter. This was a common tool used to take measurements or to count livestock (Lev 27:32)


and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 

John then is instructed to measure:

  1. the temple of God – the place of worship for OT saints
  2. the altar – either incense or burnt offering altar. In either case, they were used in temple worship of God.
  3. them that worship therein – the people there who were true worshippers of God.

By John measuring and counting these, it is a sign of God’s ownership, acceptance and authorizing them.  This is much like a King measuring his temple or a shepherd counting up his sheep.  Here, the Lord is picturing the worship that is pleasing to Him.  It is acceptable worship that is wrought by His eternal possessions (the saints).

It is interesting to note that God looks upon His people as His temple (1 Cor 3:16-17, Eph 2:20-22, 1 Pet 2:4-10, 1 Pet 4:14-17)

This reflects the vision of the measuring of the temple in Ezekiel 40:-43:



(2)  But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles:

John was not to measure the Gentiles who were restricted from His OT worship place.  Why?  The Gentiles pictures those who were separated from Him.  They were not a part of the people of God.  Therefore, John was not “leave them out” of his measuring and counting.

This is symbolic of the stark difference between the acceptance and participation of God’s people in His true worship and the rejection and refraining of those who are lost from worshipping God.  The lost are clearly looked upon as holding a different standing before God and display that difference in their actions by refraining from worshipping and honoring the Lord.



and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

The lost people’s distain and rejection of His worship is clearly seen by the treading down of the place of worship.  Throughout God’s Word, treading down is a picture of rejection, distain, and mockery.

The number 42 is related to punishment and wickedness in several texts (2 King 2:24, 2 King 10:14, 2 Chron 22:2) This helps us to understand that this 42 month time period is a time period of sinfulness and the heaping up of the coming wrath of God upon mankind.

It is said that the temple of God (true worship) would be tread down (abused, mistreated, hated) by the Gentiles (the lost) for a period of 42 months…

Luk 21:24 KJV

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

The Roman government in 70 AD, under Titus, continued the course of the previous world empires by treading down the true worship of God in the temple and abusing God’s people. This abuse of God’s people began in the midst of the Babylon Kingdom and would continue through the Medo/Persia, Greek and Roman Empires until His second coming.


What is the significance of this time period, commonly referred to as the time of the Gentiles?

Throughout the Bible this time period is referred to by several differing terms:

  1. 42 months
  2. 1260 days (42 months x 30 days/month – 1260 days)
  3. 3 ½ years (42 months / 12 months per year = 3 ½ years)
  4. Time, Times, and Half a Time (42 months = 1 Year [time] + 2 Years [times] + ½ Year [time])
  5. Time, Times and a Division of Time (42 months = 1 Year [time] + 2 Years [times] + ½ Year [division of time])

The key to understanding this time frame is based upon the OT prophet Daniel….

Dan 7:25 KJV
(25)  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.


Dan 12:7 KJV
(7)  And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.


In both of these passages, we have the rejection of the worship of God being described as starting with the Babylon captivity of Judah (during their rule as world empire) to the Second Coming of Christ.  This time period involves the 3 ½ periods of rule by World Empires.  This is the same time frame covered symbolically by the 42 months and the similar phrases…


Midst Of Babylon Kingdom Medo/Persia Kingdom Greek Kingdom Roman Kingdom Total Timeframe Described
6 Months 12 Months 12 Months 12 Months 42 Months
180 Days 360 Days 360 Days 360 Days 1260 Days
½ Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 3 ½ Year
½ Time      Times Time Time, Times, Half A Time
Division Of Time      Times Time Time, Times, Division Of Time


From the time of Daniel’s vision, which referred to events during the Babylon Kingdom, until the second coming of Christ, is the time period in which the Lord’s worship was, and will continue to be, rejected by lost mankind.  Please note that even when the second temple was built in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, that the true worship of God was still not renewed among the people.  God’s presence was not manifest in the same way as before.  This would only take place in eternity when His presence would be clearly manifest throughout eternity…


Hag 2:3-9 KJV
(3)  Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
(4)  Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
(5)  According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
(6)  For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
(7)  And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
(8)  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
(9)  The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.



In this text, we can see the grace and merciful patience of the Lord being shown to a lost world that consistently rejects His worship, refuses to recognize His existence and greatness, and abuses those He calls His own.  What great grace and patience in the midst of an a revelation of His wrath to come!….


Exo 34:5-7 KJV
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.



May we all come to an understanding of the motive behind His great wrath.  He sends His wrath upon those who have

willfully rejected glorifying and honoring Him.  They do not recognize His existence, or His individuality, or His greatness.  They oppose those who seek to gather and worship Him in a way that is pleasing to Him, desiring to place Him on an even level with the God’s of this world.

May we all recognize our need to recognize His greatness and worship Him in spirit and in truth.  After all, He is a jealous Lord who deserves and demands to be placed first above all…


Deu 6:13-15 KJV
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;
(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.


May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.


  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this

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