THE TEMPLE’S DESTRUCTION IN REVELATION

PMT 2014-008 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

temple destroyedRev. 11:1–2: “Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, ‘Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.’”

Here in Rev 11 a voice commands John to measure the inner temple in the “holy city,” which must be Jerusalem (Isa 48:2; 52:1; Neh. 11:1–18; Mt 4:5; 27:53). This is the place where the Lord “was crucified” (Rev 11:8; cp. Lk 9:22; 13:32; 17:11; 19:28). In Rev 1:7 John states his theme (see earlier article) which is the judgment-coming of Christ against those who pierced him, i.e., the first-century Jews.

This vision in Rev 11 underscores that theme of judgment against the Jews, showing the destruction of their beloved physical temple while sparing the new temple of God, the worshiping church of Jesus Christ.

This measuring signifies the preservation (cf. Zec 2:1–5; Rev 21:15) of the inner court of the temple. But the outer temple court is left unmeasured, and is, thus, destined for destruction (Rev 11:1, 2).


The Book of Revelation Made Easy
(by Ken Gentry)

Helpful introduction to Revelation presenting keys for interpreting. Also provides studies of basic issues in Revelation’s story-line.|

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


The inner temple represents the temple’s true essence that continues in Christianity. The New Testament calls Christians “temples” by employing this very Greek term, naos (1Co 3:16–17; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:19ff; 1Pe 2:5). As in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the sacrificial system here receives a heavenly replacement (Rev 11:19). The outer court speaks of the physical temple, which the Romans will soon destroy (Mt 24:1–2, 16, 34).

The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, records that Jerusalem’s wall: “was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to” (Josephus, J.W. 7:1:1).

The “forty-two months” (Rev 11:2) or “1260 days” (v 3) indicates the period of the Jewish War with Rome from its formal engagement until the temple was destroyed.


Calvin and Culture: Exploring a Worldview
Ed. by David Hall

No other Christian teachings in the past five hundred years have affected our Western culture as deeply as the worldview of John Calvin. It extends far beyond the theological disciplines.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


As church historian F. F. Bruce writes: “When Vespasian arrived the following Spring [AD 67] to take charge of operations, he steadily reduced Galilee, Peraea . .  . . Titus [Vespasian’s son] began the siege of Jerusalem in April, 70. . . . By the end of August the Temple area was occupied and the holy house burned down” (Bruce, New Testament History, 381–382). From Spring AD 67 to August/September AD 70 is a period of nearly forty-two months.

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3 thoughts on “THE TEMPLE’S DESTRUCTION IN REVELATION

  1. Bryan Kuranaga (@bryanwithaynoti) August 21, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t know if this question is completely relevant to this post, but I figured it’s a good place to ask it. I was wondering if you have heard/read Phil Kayser’s messages on Revelation? He is also a partial preterist postmillennial and in preaching on Revelation 11:1-7, he writes (taken from the sermon, “The Two Witnesses, Part 1” preached on January 29, 2017):

    “So how long was the war? If the only thing you read was the Partial Preterist commentaries (and I am in the Partial Preterist camp that believes most of chapters 1-19 has already been fulfilled) you would get the impression that the war was only three and a half years long. But all the early and later histories of the Jewish War with the Romans refer to it as a seven year war. Josephus, Eusebius, Hegesippus, Yosippon, Seutonius, Tacitus, and other ancient historians are consistent. And modern historians like like Cornfeld, Mazar, Maier, and Schurer say the same.”

    And

    “And that is why it is such a mystery to me that the vast majority of Partial Preterists think of the war as ending in AD 70. It’s a huge mistake. They completely miss the references to the second three and a half years – which in some ways were even more devastating – with millions more being killed during that period.” (

    This is all from his finished sermon series on Revelation, titled “Revelation Project” (https://revelation.biblicalblueprints.org/home).

    I was wondering if you are familiar with his arguments and what your take on it is.

    Thank you so much! I appreciate all the past work and continued work you are doing.

    Grace and peace,
    Bryan

  2. Kenneth Gentry August 21, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for reading! Good observation. I will post an answer on this site on September 10, 2019. Your question and the answer I provide are just the right size and may be helpful to others as a blog post rather than a simple comment. Check back on September 10!

  3. Bryan Kuranaga (@bryanwithaynoti) August 21, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you, Dr. Gentry!

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