What does Revelation 11:2 mean?
ESV: but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.
NIV: But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.
NASB: Leave out the courtyard which is outside the temple and do not measure it, because it has been given to the nations; and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.
CSB: But exclude the courtyard outside the temple. Don't measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.
NLT: But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
First Thessalonians 5:3 implies that there will be peace, of some notable kind, at the time of the rapture. Revelation 6:4 suggests that the rider on a red horse takes peace from the earth. The prior verse mentions a temple, and this verse suggests its outer court is occupied by "the nations." This phrase—"the nations"—is used in reference to the Gentiles, or the non-Jewish peoples of the world. Therefore, this temple is an earthly structure, most likely built during this phase of peace early in the end-times sequence.

Resumption of sacrifices at the temple will continue during the first half of the period called Daniel's 70th week. However, in the middle of the tribulation, the head of the Revived Roman Empire, the first beast of Revelation 13, will stop the sacrifices (Daniel 9:27). Because the temple's outer court and Jerusalem will be under Gentile control for forty-two months, the second half of the tribulation, John was commanded not to measure it.

According to common interpretation, this seems to be the expected sequence of events: At the commencement of the seven-year tribulation, Daniel's 70th week, Israel will form a military alliance with the Revived Roman Empire and receive assurance that the Empire will provide protection against aggression from the North—most likely Russia. However, in the middle of the tribulation, the first beast (Revelation 13:1), the head of the Revived Roman Empire, will break the treaty. Then, the false prophet in Israel will regain that protection by placing a statue of the first beast in the holy of holies, thereby reintroducing idolatry to Israel.
Verse Context:
Revelation 11:1–2 follows the mighty angel telling John he would prophesy again about many peoples and nations and languages and kings (Revelation 10:11). Here, John receives a measuring rod and the command to measure the temple, the altar, and the worshipers. However, he was told not to measure the outer court. It would be overrun by the Gentile nations for three and a half years. The reference to the temple aligns with the following passages of Scripture: Haggai 2:7–9; Zechariah 1:16; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 23:38–39; 24:15; and 2 Thessalonians 2:4. While the Gentiles command the temple, two divinely authorized witnesses will prophesy, as explained in the following verses.
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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