Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
III. God in Majesty and Judgment (4:1-16:21) pp. 218-602.
A. God’s Sovereignty in Judgment (4:1-11:19) pp. 219-450.
3. Seven Trumpets (8:2-11:19) pp. 339-450.
e. “Interlude: Prophecy and Witness (10:1-11:13)” pp. 390-437.
ii. “John Measures the Temple and Altar (11:1-2)” pp. 408-416.
In Revelation 11:1-2 John is clled to measure the heavenly temple. Everyone recognizes this as a repetition of the actions of Ezekiel 40. However, Osborne shows that there is significant disagreement about what the action actually symbolizes (Osborne 2002, 408). The measuring tool is given by God, showing divine authority. Osborne notes that in Ezekiel 40 and Zechariah 2, a measuring indicates God’s protective ownership of his people and his temple (Osborne 2002, 409). The measuring here is of the temple but not its courts or surroundings. It is restricted to the areas in constant use for divine activity (Osborne 2002, 410). Osborne questions whether the imagery of the heavenly temple is that of an eternal heavenly reality or a reminder of an earthly temple or organization. Osborne seems to lean toward a heavenly view only (Osborne 2002, 410). The measuring of the worshipers is likely related to God’s protection, which is curious since the heavenly worshipers have already died. However, they have emerged victorious in the resurrection (Osborne 2002, 411).
The outer court is not measured. It is set aside, given over to the Gentiles (Osborne 2002, 412). A problem is that in Ezekiel the inner court is for priestly work and the outer is for worshipers. Revelation seems o picture a slightly different temple or one where some areas are used differently. The outer court is delivered to sinners, while the saints are protected by God even through their own death (Osborne 2002, 413). This is part of the way God works until the time is fulfilled.
The division of 42 months, three and a half years, is significant in apocalyptic writing. Osborne does not come out with a definitive reason for the 42 month perido. However, he sees it as a reference to a time which will be bounded before a final fulfillment (Osborne 2002, 414). God remains in charge of history and does maintain a schedule, though we normally cannot understand it in detail.