Tuesday, 26 January 2021
and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Revelation 10:3
The words now refer to the mighty angel of the previous verses. It said he had a little book open in his hand, and he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. With that done, it now says he “cried with a loud voice.” The words are certainly stated to provide emphasis. Having placed His feet on the sea and on the land, He was making an absolute claim over them both. The loud voice crying out accompanies that act in order to proclaim this. John then says, “as when a lion roars.”
The Greek work mukaomai, translated as “roar,” is found only here in the Bible. Vincent’s Word Studies notes, “The verb here is originally applied to the lowing of cattle, expressing the sound, moo-ka-omai. Both Aristophanes and Theocritus use it of the roar of the lion, and the former of thunder.” Bengel then says that it “expresses the voice of an animal under the influence of hunger or anger.”
This note of the roaring continues the emphasis. The lion is the king of his realm and the fiercest animal of his domain. When he roars, it is a sound of terror to those who hear it. The symbolism is one of ferocity and a source of great fear for all who hear it. It is loud and it elicits fear. The connection seems to be that the claim over the land and sea is made, but there are those who are rebellious still. The roaring is intended to let them know that the peaceful Lamb is also the terrifying Lion – the Lion of Judah (verse 5:5). In other words, this is another clue that the angel is, in fact, the Lord Jesus.
With this noted by John, he next says, “When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.” The Greek bears the definite article which should not be excluded – “the seven thunders.” Much speculation is made concerning what these are. This is especially so because they are not mentioned anywhere else. However, a few points to consider are that the word translated as “thunder” is found seven times outside of Revelation 10 (meaning ten times total). It is always connected with events that occur around the heavenly throne. Also, the first time the thunders are mentioned was in verse 4:5 –
“And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”
It may be that the seven thunders are voices speaking out revelation from these seven Spirits of God. This seems more assured when considering that the voice of the Lord speaks out seven voices in Psalm 29 –
Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
2 Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The Lord is over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,
Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes them also skip like a calf,
Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the Lord sits as King forever.
11 The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.
Life application: The voice of God is majestic and marvelous, and with His utterances, great things occur. As the voice of God is recorded in the pages of the Bible, we should be looking there for our instruction, insight, wisdom, and counsel. Let us never fail to pay heed to what it says, applying His word to our conduct at all times.
We cannot know God without knowing Jesus, and we cannot know Jesus without knowing the Bible. Do you want to have intimacy with God? Read the Bible and there you will find the highest expression of His love and tender care for you. There you will find JESUS.
Lord, we know that we as humans have two choices: to hear Your tender call as the Shepherd of Your saved sheep, or to hear Your terrifying voice as the great Judge of lost humanity. We thank You for having called us out of darkness into Your light,and we pray for those we love who have not yet responded to this call. May You work upon their hearts and bring them to You. Amen.