Bible Revelation

The Song of Moses and Seven Last Plagues (Rev 15)


A. Past Lessons and Review

B. Text of Revelation 15

“1Then I saw another great and marvelous sign in heaven. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues for they will complete the wrath of God. 2Then I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire and those who had conquered the beast and his statue and the number of his name were standing on the sea of glass holding harps of God. 3They sang the song of Moses—the servant of God—and the song of the saints saying,

‘Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, king over the nations.’ 4Who will not fear you—Lord—or glorify your name. Because you alone are holy for every nation will come and will worship before you, for your righteous deeds will be made known.’

5After these things I looked, and the temple (the tent of testimony) was opened in heaven. 6Then the seven angels who were holding the seven last plagues came from the temple. They were clothed in clean shining linen and wearing gold linen down their chests. 7Then one of the four living beings gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and his power. It was so thick that no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were complete.” (Rev 15:1-8)[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own.[/ref]

The Song of Moses and Seven Last Plagues (Rev 15)

Photo Credit: Phillip Medhurst Collection

C. General Remarks

“These events are the ‘seven last plagues’ preceding the second coming of Christ. As previously indicated, the chronological order of events in Revelation is presented basically in the seven seals (6:1-17; 8:1). The seventh seal includes all of the seven trumpets (8:1-9:21; 11:15-19). The seven bowls of divine judgment are included in the seventh trumpet. The order of events forms a dramatic crescendo, the seventh seal being all-inclusive of the end-time events including the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet including the events described in the seven bowls. Christ then returns immediately after the seventh bowl. The intervening sections such as 10:1-11:14; 13-14; 17-18 do not advance the narrative chronologically. Chapter 19 follows immediately after chapter 16 in the chronological development.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 231)

“We are honing in on the greatest showdown of them all. We left the dragon and the two monsters behind, two chapters ago. They have drawn many into their destructive ways. It is time, now, for the destroyers to be destroyed. This is the purpose of the seven last plagues, and of the cataclysmic judgments which follow them.” (Wright, Revelation, 140)

“Chapters 15 and 16 bring to consummation the chronologically ordered events leading up to the second coming of Christ described in chapter 19.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 231)

“Chapter 15 is a sort of celestial interlude to introduce the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath in chapter 16. The former facilitates an understanding of the latter. It is time for what has been anticipated in the cup of wine (14:10), the harvest (14:14-16), and the vintage (14:17-20) to be delineated in its chronological fulfillment.” (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 228)

“The whole scene is very symbolic of what is about to happen. The angels coming out of the sanctuary indicate that the judgments to be poured out step from the holiness of God and are properly required of God, who must do all things right.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 236)


Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο σημεῖον ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ μέγα καὶ θαυμαστόν, ἀγγέλους ἑπτὰ ἔχοντας πληγὰς ἑπτὰ τὰς ἐσχάτας, ὅτι ἐν αὐταῖς ἐτελέσθη ὁ θυμὸς τοῦ θεοῦ.[ref]Greek text used for my translations is the Nestle-Aland 28 edition of the Greek New Testament[/ref]

“Then I saw another great and marvelous sign in heaven. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues for they will complete the wrath of God.” (Rev 15:1)[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own.[/ref]

A. Another Sign

The words “another . . sign” remind us John has seen previous signs. Those are the woman in Rev 12:1 as well as the dragon in Rev 12:3. We talked about how the woman is likely the nation of Israel and the dragon is Satan. There are other views, but this seems to be the beast biblical view.

B. Seven Angels?

Bible Revelation

The Two Witnesses (Rev 11:1-14)


A. Past Blog Posts

B. Text of Rev 11:1-14

1He gave me something like a measuring rod saying: “Get up and measure the temple of God, altar, and the ones worshipping there. 2But, regarding the courtyard outside of the temple he said to leave it out and don’t measure it because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample the holy city for forty-two months. 3I will give my two witnesses power and they will prophesy for 1,260 days while dressed in sackcloth.” 4(These two witnesses are the two olive trees and two lampstands which have been standing before the Lord of the earth.) 5If anyone wants to injure my two witnesses fire will come from their mouths and devour their enemies. If anyone wants to injure them, then it is necessary for that person to die. 6They will have power to shut the heavens so that it will not rain during the time of their prophesy. They will have power over water to turn it into blood and to strike the earth with every plague as often as they want. 7When they finish their testimony the beast which comes up out of the abyss will make war against them, conquer them, and kill them. 8So their dead bodies will lie on the street of the great city which is spiritually called “Sodom” and “Egypt.” It is where our Lord was crucified. 9And people from every people, nation, language, and group will see the dead bodies for three and a half days. Their bodies will lay there because no one will be allowed to put the two witnesses in a tomb. 10As a result, everyone who lives on earth will rejoice over the two witnesses, celebrate, and send gifts to each other because these two witnesses harassed the ones who live on the earth. 11Yet, after three and a half days the breath of life from God went into them. They stood up on their feet and great fear fell on the people who saw the two witnesses. 12Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them: “Come up here.” So they ascended through the clouds into heaven while their enemies watched. 13It was at this time that there was a great earthquake which brought down one-tenth of the city. In the earthquake seven thousand people died. Then the rest of the people were afraid and gave praise to the God of heaven. 14The second woe has passed. Look! The third woe is coming soon. (Rev 11:1-14)[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. I used the NA28 Greek text[/ref]

The Two Witnesses of Rev 11.1 to 11.14

Photo Credit: Phillip Medhurst

C. General Remarks about Rev 11:1-14

“During the Great Tribulation Satan will use two men—the Antichrist and the false prophet—to carry out his evil agenda. At the same time, God will raise up two brigh tlights to shine for Him in the darkness. These two men, called the two witnesses, and Revelation 11:3-14 describes their ministry. God will anoint these two special witnesses who will minister on His behalf amid the darkness and devastation. Just as John the Baptist was the forerunner for the Messiah, these two witness will pave the way for His return.” (Hitchcock, The End, 345)

“chapter 11 has been generally acknowledged to be one of the most perplexing sections of the entire book” (Bruce Metzger, Breaking the Code, 68).

“chapter 11 is one of the most difficult to interpret in the entire book” (Walvoord, Revelation, 177).

“People find many books puzzling, but he Bible is often the most puzzling of all. People find many parts of the Bible puzzling, but Revelation is often seen as the most puzzling book of all. And people find Revelation puzzling, but the first half of chapter 11 – the passage now before us – is, for many, the most puzzling part of all.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 97)

“The many interpretations of the two witnesses make this one of the most debated passages in the book and indicate its importance” (Osborne, Revelation, 417).

Before we start to study Rev 11:1-14 I want to start by telling you that I see this as real people, actual places, true events, and literal numbers.


A. Measure the Temple; Count the Worshipers (v. 1)

Καὶ ἐδόθη μοι κάλαμος ὅμοιος ῥάβδῳ, λέγων· ἔγειρε καὶ μέτρησον τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας ἐν αὐτῷ.

He gave me something like a measuring rod saying: “Get up and measuring the temple of God, altar, and the ones worshiping there.” (Rev 11:1)

1. The Measuring Rod

The literal phrase here is, “And something like a measure rod was given to me, saying.”

This measuring rod is a bamboo like item that grew on the banks of the Jordan river. It could be anywhere between ten feet (Osborne, Revelation, 409) and twenty feet in length (Walter Kaiser and Duane Garrett, eds., “Revelation,” The Archaeological Study Bible [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005], 2059 quoted in Walvoord, Revelation, 178).

2. Temple