Revelation 10

The Word Made Fresh

1Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven wrapped in clouds with a rainbow above his head. His face shone like the sun and his legs appeared as columns of fire. 2A little scroll lay open in his hand. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3then gave a loud shout like the roaring of a lion. When he shouted the seven thunders erupted. 4I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said. Do not write it down.” 5Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and the land raised his right hand toward heaven 6and swore by him who lives forever and ever, the one who created heaven and earth and the sea and everything in them. He said, “There will be no further delay, 7but when the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mystery will be accomplished just as he told his servants, the prophets.”

8Then the voice I had heard from heaven spoke again. It said, “Go and take the scroll that is in the angel’s hand – the one standing on both the sea and the land.” 9I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll, and he said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.”

10So, I took the small scroll from his hand and ate it. It was sweet as honey n my mouth, but it made my stomach bitter. 11Then they told me, “You must prophesy again about many races and nations and languages and rulers.”


1-7: Chapter 10 is an interlude between the sixth and seventh angels in much the same way as chapter 7 provided an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals. Now entering the scene is a giant angel with a little scroll, come from the very presence of God. It is tempting to think that this angel is the Christ, but that is not likely, given John’s descriptions of Christ throughout the book. The angel clearly represents the sovereignty of God over sky, sea, and land. The Old Testament speaks of God using the clouds as a chariot (Psalm 104:3). The rainbow is part of the glory of the throne of God (Ezekiel 1:28), so this angel obviously comes directly from God. His face is like the sun (Matthew 17:2). His voice is like a lion’s roar (Joel 3:16). The seven thunders are perhaps meant to be a reference to the seven voices of God in Psalm 29. That the scroll is “little” perhaps means that it is a revelation of a coming event that will take place over a brief time. John is ordered not to record what the seven thunders said; it is a revelation for him only. He is told to anticipate a final revelation of the mysteries of God when the seventh trumpet is blown.

8-11: John is told to take the scroll. He tells the angel to give it to him, but the angel again orders him to take it. He must take the initiative in owning the revelation being given. He eats it, just as Ezekiel had eaten the scroll given to him by an angel (Ezekiel 3:1-3). John finds the scroll sweet as honey, as had Ezekiel, but bitter in his stomach; the scroll contains a revelation of more disasters yet to come, about which he is to prophesy.


Don’t be alarmed by the terrible things being described. God is not going to forget or neglect those who are bound to his only begotten Son.