Friday, 5 February 2021
But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. Revelation 11:2
John was instructed to “measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.” Now, in this verse, he is told, “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it.” The word translated as “leave out” signifies to cast out. This means that the temple is considered acceptable and in accord with the allowances of Daniel 9:24-27, but the area outside of the temple is considered defiled and unholy. The measuring is what signifies the difference between the two. As it next says, “for it has been given to the Gentiles.”
As incredible and impossible as it seems to many in today’s world, there really will be another temple in Jerusalem. It will be built on the Temple Mount where the first and second temples stood. There is no need to argue this, God has already determined that it will come to pass, and He has prepared the people of Israel for this coming day. He has readied their hearts and they have readied the implements.
What seems like a likely scenario is that the battle described in Chapter 9, and quite possibly being the same battle as described in Ezekiel 38/39, will be the impetus for the building of this temple. After such an incredible victory, the nations will sue for peace with Israel, and a part of that peace deal will be the allowance for them to build this temple.
It may be that this temple will stand on a large empty spot directly in the middle of the mount. On the north end stands the Dome of the Rock, which is adorned with a gold dome. On the south end is the Al Aqsa Mosque. Or it may be where the Dome of the Rock is today, although that may continue to stand. Being dogmatic about that is unnecessary at this point.
The areas outside of the temple are obviously defiled areas that belong to the Gentiles. The measuring of this future temple leaves out the court where two defiled edifices stand, thus indicating that they are excluded from any blessing and will be removed at some point in the future. With this considered, the verse ends with, “And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”
Of this time span, Vincent’s Word Studies notes –
“A period which appears in three forms in Revelation: forty-two months (Revelation 13:5); twelve hundred and sixty days (Revelation 11:3, Revelation 12:6); a time, times and half a time, or three years and a half (Revelation 12:14, compare Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7).”
The Gentiles who have a foothold on the Temple Mount will also “tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.” The term “underfoot” signifies that their very presence is a defiling act. They are unclean and what they tread on is defiled by them. Of the number forty-two, EW Bullinger says –
It “is a number connected with Antichrist. An important part of his career is to last for 42 months (Rev 11:2, 13:5), and thus this number is fixed upon him. Another number of Antichrist is 1260, and this is 30 x 42.
Its factors are six and seven (6×7=42), and this shows a connection between man and the Spirit of God, and between Christ and Antichrist:
Forty-two stages of Israel’s wanderings mark their conflict with the will of God.
Forty-two young men* mocked the ascension of Elijah to Elisha, 2 Kings 2:23, 24.
Being a multiple of seven, it might be supposed that it would be connected with spiritual perfection. But it is the product of six times seven. Six, therefore, being the number of Man, and man’s opposition to God, forty-two becomes significant of the working out of man’s opposition to God.”
The time period of forty-two months corresponds with Daniel 9:27 which says–
“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
A covenant of peace with the antichrist is coming, and it will be for a period of “one week” or seven years. However, this covenant will be broken in the middle of the week, which is three- and one-half years or forty-two months. Understanding and properly interpreting Daniel 9:24-27 is the key to understanding what is coming and when – and it all pertains to the Jewish people and to the city of Jerusalem. The book of Revelation is filling in details of what lies ahead that Daniel only saw in a broader outline.
But Paul also filled in some of the details. As he says in 2 Thessalonians 2 (and which was cited in the previous verse as well) –
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4
Life application: The end times events being described in Revelation have been a constant source of worry and even fear for believers since they were written. But understanding Paul’s words from 2 Thessalonians shows that this should not be so. When Paul refers to the falling away coming first and the man of sin being revealed, he is basing that on his words of 2 Thessalonians 2:2. There he refers to the “day of Christ.”
But that is first based on what he says in verse 1, “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him.”
The tribulation period is also known as the Day of the Lord. Paul says that this day of the Lord (day of Christ – the terms are synonymous) will not come until AFTER the man of sin is revealed, and that will only come AFTER our gathering to Him. Each step is logical and orderly. If the antichrist (the man of sin) signs a seven-year covenant with Israel, which is Daniel’s seventieth-seven, and that initiates the Day of the Lord (day of Christ), then why would we be looking for the antichrist? Rather, our eyes are to be set in anticipation of the coming of the Lord for us.
These time frames are important, and they are not to be dismissed. The Bible is carefully laying out the sequence of future events in order to give us hope, a great and blessed hope. It is the anticipation of our being gathered to JESUS!
O Lord, it is so exciting to see that we may be very close to the time that was prophesied so long ago in the book of Revelation, prophecies which reach back even to the time of the Old Testament prophets. As the world turns away from You, our hearts are longing for You all the more. We have a sure and blessed hope in the coming deliverance of Your people because of Jesus. Great is the promise and the hope that we possess. Thank You for this word of hope. Amen.