What does Revelation 11:19 mean?
ESV: Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
NIV: Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.
NASB: And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder, and an earthquake, and a great hailstorm.
CSB: Then the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant appeared in his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.
NLT: Then, in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.
KJV: And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
NKJV: Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
Verse Commentary:
John reports in this verse that the temple in heaven opened, and he saw the ark of the covenant in the temple. In Old Testament times the ark symbolized God's presence. It contained the tablets of the law, an urn of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded (Hebrews 9:4). The ark disappeared during the Exile, but it never lost its significance. The appearance of the ark in heaven indicates that's God's presence and protection continue for His people. Wars and earthly calamities cannot destroy the ark's significance. Similarly, no power on earth can rob believers of the presence and protection of their Lord. Hebrews 13:5 holds Jesus' promise: "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Because of His promise, the writer of Hebrews writes in verse 6: "So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'"

At the end of the trumpet judgments, powerful phenomena accompanied what John heard and saw in heaven. These same phenomena occurred at the end of the seal judgments (Revelation 8:5). It seems all nature gave its "amen" to what God was doing.
Verse Context:
Revelation 11:15–19 ends the parenthesis between the sixth and seventh trumpets. Christ is ready to take possession of the kingdoms of the world. This expectation causes the twenty-four elders to lie prostate and give thanks to the eternal Lord. Soon He will judge the dead and reward His servants. The elders' praise is reminiscent of their praise in Revelation 5:8–10. The imminent judgment is executed in Revelation 20:10–15, and the rewarding of the Lord's faithful servants is described in 1 Corinthians 3:10–15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. The apostle Paul associated the giving of rewards with Jesus' prophesied appearing.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter continues the interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpet judgments. John received a measuring rod and was told to measure the temple, the altar, and the worshipers. However, he was told not to measure the court outside the temple, because the Gentiles would overrun it for three and a half years. During that time, two divinely authorized witnesses would prophesy. They would have power to summon fire from heaven and to strike the earth with plagues. At the end of their testimony the beast from the pit will kill them and leave their bodies in a street in Jerusalem. But, three and a half days later, God will resurrect their bodies and draw them up to heaven. At that time a powerful earthquake will level a tenth of Jerusalem and kill seven thousand people. When the seventh trumpet sounds, loud voices in heaven proclaim Jesus as the possessor of the world's kingdoms, and the twenty-four elders praise Jesus as the Lord God Almighty who will begin to reign. He will judge the dead but reward His servants. The chapter ends with the opening of the temple in heaven.
Chapter Context:
The eleventh chapter of Revelation provides information about an event that transpires between the sounding of the sixth and seventh trumpets. It involves two powerful witnesses that God raises up in the middle of the tribulation. These two witnesses minister throughout the second half of the tribulation. They are martyred, but God raises them up and lifts them to heaven. Concurrent with their ascension a mighty earthquake destroys one tenth of Jerusalem and kills seven thousand people. This is the second woe. The first woe is described in chapter 9 as an invading army of locusts.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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