Revelation Chapter 11:2
Revelation 11:2 – 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.
As discussed in the last section, measuring the temple shows that God will recognize the Tribulation temple, though the temple will be under judgment, shown by the “rod” with which John measured it. In contrast, God tells John not to measure the outer court because He has given it over to the Gentiles. The Greek words translated “leave out” literally means to cast out, throw out, or expel something or someone, as shown in the following passages that use the same Greek phrase:
“Court which is without”: The court of the Gentiles, separated from the inner court in the Herodian temple by a low wall. Gentiles were forbidden to enter the inner court on penalty of death. That John is instructed not to measure the outer court symbolizes God’s rejection of the unbelieving Gentiles who have oppressed His covenant people.
The outer court for the Gentiles means just this, the believer who is a Christian in name only, not in deed. This outer court is not the place for believers to be. The terrible thing in all of this is that among the outer court (the unsaved), are many nominal Christians, who are believing that they will be saved. The faithless portion of the church that we read about in (2 Timothy):
2 Tim. 3:5 “has a form of godliness but denies the power”.
The terrible thing in all of this is that among the outer court (the unsaved), are many nominal Christians, who believe that they will be saved. This seems to be just asked of John to make him aware of the multitude of true believers who will be in the very presence of God. It is also, to remind him of those so-called Christians that have brought compromise and pleasing of the flesh into God’s church.
“The holy city shall they tread under foot”: Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome all oppressed Jerusalem in ancient times (compare 2 Kings 25:8-10; Psalm 79:1; Isa. 63:18; Lam. 1:10). These verses refer to the future devastation destruction and oppression of Jerusalem by the forces of the Antichrist.
“Forty and two months”: The three and a half period covers the second half of the Tribulation and coincides with the visibly evil career of the Antichrist (verse 3; 12:6; 13:5). During this same time, the Jews will be sheltered by God in the wilderness (12:6, 14).
I would like to say again here that the Bible (and especially Revelation), must be understood by its signs and symbols through the spirit, and cannot be understood literally. As any dream or vision has to be interpreted, so does Revelation.
The outer court represents the control of Jerusalem and Israel by Gentiles during the last half of the Tribulation period. In other words, it is too worldly for God. He is saying (throw them out), they are not part of the elect. They are not part of the body of Christ. The inner court makes up the body of believers.
We see here in this forty-two months that the holy city is trodden down; that the believers in Jesus “holy city” will go through 3-1/2 years of trials and tribulations. All through Revelation, the “holy city” is symbolic of the body of believers.
The holy city is the earthly Jerusalem (Dan. 9:24; Zech. 13:8-9; 14:2). The forty and two months show that Jerusalem will be under Gentile control for three-and-a-half years, probably the last half of the seven-year Tribulation period (Dan. 9:24-27; see article “Tribulation“), where the period of the Tribulation is seen as the Seventieth Week, or seven year period in God’s postexilic program for Israel.
Verses 3-6: Next “A Powerful Proclamation to the World”. Christ is certainly not saying that this gospel must be preached to every person. Millions have already died without hearing it. Rather it must be proclaimed “in all the world for a witness to all nations.” That phrase sounds as though the day is coming when not only individuals, but all the nations of the world will be powerfully confronted by the gospel and the consequences of rejecting it. John seems to have been shown such a time in his vision in (Rev. 11:3-6).
Verses 3-4: God’s two witnesses” will “prophesy” or preach in Israel for 1260 “days” (three and a half years), based on prophetical years of (360 days each). The “sackcloth” symbolizes mourning, confessing and repentance. The “witnesses” will proclaim a message of judgment and the need for repentance. They bear similarities to John the Baptist, and will be the ultimate fulfillment of the promised return of Elijah (compare Mal. 4:5-6: John 1:21). They are also identified as “the two olive trees and the two candlesticks”. These symbols relate to (Zechariah 4:2-6), where Zerubbabel and Joshua the priest are pictured as two olive trees furnishing oil for a lampstand (Israel). They provided help and power for Israel in a time of need. These two witnesses will be for Israel in the future what Zerubbabel and Joshua were in the past: the channels of God’s power and message to Israel during the Tribulation period.
Matthew 8:11-12, 16 – And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…. When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick…
Acts 7:5-7-59 – Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Acts 27:38 – So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
Galatians 4:30 – Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”
3 John 1:9-10 – I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
So we see the act of “casting out” the outer court of the temple to the Gentiles shows that God has rejected it. Incidentally, the Jews called the outer court of the temple the “Court of the Gentiles”:
“The entire Temple compound was considered holy, but it became increasingly more holy as one entered farther in, from east to west. King Herod had enclosed the outer court with colonnades and it was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the “gentiles” (non-Jews) were permitted to enter the Temple area. They could walk within in it but they were forbidden to go any further than the outer court. They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed that gave warning that the penalty for such trespass was death. The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender were a Roman citizen. It was for this alleged crime that Paul was attacked and nearly beaten to death by an angry crowd during his last visit to Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-32). It was into these outer courts that Jesus came and drove out the money-changers who had been accumulating wealth by using the Temple as a place of merchandise.”Source: Bible History
The wall that partitioned the inner and outer courts of the temple is what Paul alluded to in the following passage:
Ephesians 2:11-16 – Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh – who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands – that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Christ broke down this “wall of separation” between Jews and Gentiles which, before the Cross, dictated that one had to become Jewish to gain access to God. Now that all become saved through Jesus instead of Judaism, there is no need for the outer court, since all who are saved are no longer foreigners seeking to find God through Israel, but have themselves become temples that house the Holy Spirit:
Ephesians 2:17-22 – And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Some speculate that God rejects the outer court of the Tribulation temple because the Muslim “Dome of the Rock” stands where the outer court of the temple was. This theory suggests that part of the covenant confirmed in Daniel 9:27 will allow for the Jewish temple to stand next to the Muslim shrine. While this is entirely possible, the “Great Middle East War” will reduce to nothing all gods of the world at the beginning of the Tribulation (Zephaniah 2:11), which means Islam will no longer exist by the time the temple is complete. However, according to the theory above, if the building is not destroyed, the new “Mystery Babylon” religion that rises out of the ashes of the abolished religions of the world could turn the Muslim dome into a shrine dedicated to “Mystery Babylon” and later to beast worship when the antichrist claims himself as God (Daniel 11:37). For schematic pictures of the “Dome of the Rock” next to the Jewish temple, click here.
In the Tribulation, God not only gives the outer court to the Gentiles showing His rejection of it, He gives the “holy city” over to the Gentiles as well. The Greek word translated “Gentiles” is the same word translated “nations” in the Lord’s commission for John to prophesy again:
Revelation 10:11 – And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
The holy city is Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:1, Nehemiah 11:1). The Gentiles will “tread the holy city for forty-two months.” To tread or trample underfoot means to trample with scorn or disgrace, as shown in the following passages:
2 Kings 9:33 – Then he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses; and he trampled her underfoot.
Isaiah 14:19 – But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, like the garment of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a corpse trodden underfoot.
Jeremiah 12:10 – “Many rulers have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion underfoot; they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.”
Lamentations 1:15 – “The Lord has trampled underfoot all my mighty men in my midst; He has called an assembly against me to crush my young men; the Lord trampled as in a winepress the virgin daughter of Judah.”
Daniel 8:13 – Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”
Hebrews 10:29 – Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
The treading of Jerusalem began around 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the city:
Luke 21:20-24 – “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
This verse shows that the trampling of Jerusalem will continue until the “times of the Gentiles” are complete. As shown in “The Olivet Discourse,” the “times of the Gentiles” denotes a time of Gentile rule that will prevail over Israel from the time of the Babylonian exile until the Messiah returns to rule on Earth. This means the “times of the Gentiles” began about 600 years before the treading of Jerusalem in 70 AD when the Jews were exiled. While the Gentile trampling of Jerusalem has gone on for nearly two millennia, John zeros in on a forty-two month period where the city is tread underfoot that spans from the middle of the Tribulation until Jesus returns, when the Lord will replace the last Gentile kingdom with His messianic rule: ending the “times of the Gentiles”:
Daniel 2:44 – And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Revelation 19:11-15 – Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.
Since Luke 21:20-24 shows that foreigners will trample Jerusalem during the “times of the Gentiles,” this may mean the forty-two months continues the treading of the city that started in 70 AD, or it may show that this forty-two month period follows a time of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem which began in 1967 and continues to this day. Even under the recently established Israeli sovereignty, peace has been elusive. Only when Jesus returns, will Jerusalem be forever at peace and never be trampled on again:
Isaiah 62:6-7 – I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Israel’s current sovereignty over Jerusalem is also only temporary, as the antichrist will overthrow Israel in the middle of the Tribulation:
Daniel 11:41 – He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.
The forty-two months that Jerusalem is trampled by the Gentiles is the same length of time the antichrist, or the beast is given authority to continue his conquest of the world:
Revelation 13:4-5 – So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
The following passages show that the antichrist desecrates the temple in the middle of the Tribulation, which shows antichrist’s rule and the trampling of Jerusalem both occur during the last forty-two months, or last half of “Daniel’s 70th Week”:
Daniel 9:27 – 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.”
Matthew 24:15-21 – “Therefore when you see the ‘ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – 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, 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.
According to Daniel 9:27, the Tribulation temple is part of the covenant that officially begins “Daniel’s 70th Week,” or the 7-year Tribulation. The antichrist will negotiate the deal with Israel, but then break it half way into the Tribulation by desecrating the temple and exalting himself above God (Daniel 11:36-37). As discussed earlier in this section, during the last forty-two months of the Tribulation, the antichrist will rule over the world from Israel at the same time the Gentiles trample Jerusalem before Jesus returns to the temple. When Jesus returns, He will enter the temple from the Mount of Olives, which is directly across from the temple to the east:
Malachi 3:1-2 – “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap.”
Zechariah 14:3-4 – Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.
As a side note, the earthquake that splits the Mount of Olives will surely destroy the Tribulation temple and help prepare the landscape for the millennial temple that cannot fit on the current real estate in Jerusalem, based on the measurements in Scripture. This is the temple that a man in Ezekiel measures to spark a heart of repentance for Israel going into the Kingdom. Similarly, the Tribulation temple will play a role in turning the hearts of Israel back to God (Revelation 11:1). How much more will the magnificent millennial temple with the Lord ruling with a “rod of iron” and teaching them the patterns and ordinances that point to Him, help keep the hearts of Israel from turning from God ever again?
Ezekiel 43:6-11 – Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places. When they set their threshold by My threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed them in My anger. Now let them put their harlotry and the carcasses of their kings far away from Me, and I will dwell in their midst forever. Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.
Jeremiah 32:38-40 – They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me.
image courtesy: Revelation 11-2 the end of the world – bible prophecy
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing..
We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.