The Meaning of Revelation 11:17 Explained

Revelation 11:17

KJV: Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

YLT: saying, 'We give thanks to Thee, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art, and who wast, and who art coming, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and didst reign;

Darby: saying, We give thee thanks, Lord God Almighty, He who is, and who was, that thou hast taken thy great power and hast reigned.

ASV: saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast; because thou hast taken thy great power, and didst reign.

What does Revelation 11:17 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The elders thank God for taking His power in hand and finally reigning. This is the only use of eucharisteo, "I give thanks," in Revelation. In the vision God was about to do this. "Lord God, the Almighty" stresses God"s irresistible power and sovereignty, which now become evident. "Who art and who wast" emphasizes God"s uninterrupted existence, which makes His endless rule possible. Until now God had allowed powers hostile to His people to control the earth, but now He will begin to rule directly.
The elders" statement has led some interpreters to conclude that it signals the beginning of Jesus Christ"s reign. [1] In view of the events that seem to follow this one and precede the beginning of His reign in chapter20 , a different understanding is preferable. It seems better to regard the elders" statement as anticipating the inauguration of that reign.
"The event is so certain that throughout this section it is repeatedly spoken of as already having taken place." [2]
Preterist Chilton believed this reign was consummated in A.D70 , when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. [3]

Context Summary

Revelation 11:14-19 - "he Shall Reign For Ever And Ever"
The kingdom is even now Christ's, but it is hidden, even as He is. One day it will be manifested. For a long time David was the anointed king of Israel, but Saul sat on the throne until the predestined hour came when the tribes of Israel made David their chosen monarch. This surely is a type of that which will one day become apparent to the whole creation. The kingdom of the world will wholly and permanently become Christ's. Suffering and sorrow will then flee away, as birds of ill omen at dawn. War will cease to the end of the world. The glad populations of mankind will walk in the light of life, and the long night and travail of nature will be ended. It may be that each great era of human history ends with a scene of judgment; or that these series of visions are concurrent, viewing the earth-order from different standpoints.
What comfort is derived from this vision of the Ark of God's Covenant, which abides in the inner sanctuary! He is true to us. His word cannot alter, neither will He recede from His pledge to overthrow our enemies, to undo the devastation they have caused, and to realize His original purpose in man's creation. [source]

Chapter Summary: Revelation 11

1  The two witnesses prophesy
6  They have power to shut heaven so that it rain not
7  The beast shall fight against them, and kill them
8  They lie unburied;
11  and after three and a half days rise again
14  The second woe is past
15  The seventh trumpet sounds

Greek Commentary for Revelation 11:17

O Lord God [Κυριε ο τεος]
Vocative form κυριε — kurie and nominative form ο τεος — ho theos (vocative in use). See Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8 for this combination with ο παντοκρατωρ — ho pantokratōr (the Almighty). For ο ων και ο ην — ho ōn kai ho ēn (which art and which wast) see Revelation 1:4, Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 16:5. [source]
Thou hast taken [ειληπες]
Perfect active indicative of λαμβανω — lambanō emphasizing the permanence of God‘s rule, “Thou hast assumed thy power.”Didst reign (εβασιλευσας — ebasileusas). Ingressive first aorist active indicative of βασιλευω — basileuō “Didst begin to reign.” See this combination of tenses (perfect and aorist) without confusion in Revelation 3:3; Revelation 5:7; Revelation 8:5. [source]
Didst reign [εβασιλευσας]
Ingressive first aorist active indicative of βασιλευω — basileuō “Didst begin to reign.” See this combination of tenses (perfect and aorist) without confusion in Revelation 3:3; Revelation 5:7; Revelation 8:5. [source]
O Lord God, etc. []
See on Revelation 4:8. [source]
And art to come []
Omit. [source]
Hast taken to Thee []
Omit to thee. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 11:17

Revelation 1:4 From Him which is, and which was, and which is to come [ἀπὸ τοῦ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος]
The whole salutation is given in the name of the Holy Trinity: the Father (Him which is, and was, and is to come), the Spirit (the seven spirits), the Son (Jesus Christ). See further below. This portion of the salutation has no parallel in Paul, and is distinctively characteristic of the author of Revelation. It is one of the solecisms in grammatical construction which distinguishes this book from the other writings of John. The Greek student will note that the pronoun which ( ὁ ) is not construed with the preposition from ( ἀπό ), which would require the genitive case, but stands in the nominative case. Each of these three appellations is treated as a proper name. The Father is Him which is, and which was, and which is to come. This is a paraphrase of the unspeakable name of God (Exodus 3:14), the absolute and unchangeable. Ὁ ὢν , the One who is, is the Septuagint translation of Exodus 3:14, “I am the ὁ ὢν (I am ):” “ ὁ ὢν (I am ), hath sent me unto you.” The One who was ( ὁ ἦν ). The Greek has no imperfect participle, so that the finite verb is used. Which is and which was form one clause, to be balanced against which is to come. Compare Revelation 11:17; Revelation 16:5; and “was ( ἦν ) in the beginning with God” (John 1:2). Which is to come ( ὁ ἐρχόμενος ). Lit., the One who is coming. This is not equivalent to who shall be; i.e., the author is not intending to describe the abstract existence of God as covering the future no less than the past and the present. If this had been his meaning, he would have written ὁ ἐσόμενος , which shall be. The phrase which is to come would not express the future eternity of the Divine Being. The dominant conception in the title is rather that of immutability. Further, the name does not emphasize so much God's abstract existence, as it does His permanent covenant relation to His people. Hence the phrase which is to come, is to be explained in accordance with the key-note of the book, which is the second coming of the Son (Revelation 1:7; Revelation 22:20). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
The phrase which is to come, is often applied to the Son (see on 1 John 3:5), and so throughout this book. Here it is predicated of the Father, apart from whom the Son does nothing. “The Son is never alone, even as Redeemer” (Milligan). Compare “We will come unto him,” John 14:23. Origen quotes our passage with the words: “But that you may perceive that the omnipotence of the Father and of the Son is one and the same, hear John speaking after this manner in Revelation, 'Who is, etc.'” Dean Plumptre cornpares the inscription over the temple of Isis at Sais in Egypt: “I am all that has come into being, and that which is, and that which shall be, and no man hath lifted my veil.”-DIVIDER-
The Spirit is designated by [source]

Revelation 1:4 From him which is [απο ο ων]
This use of the articular nominative participle of ειμι — eimi after απο — apo instead of the ablative is not due to ignorance or a mere slip Here again there is a deliberate change from the articular participle to the relative use of ο — ho (used in place of ος — hos to preserve identity of form in the three instances like Ionic relative and since no aorist participle of ειμι — eimi existed). The oracle in Pausanias X. 12 has it: ευς ην ευς εστι ευς εσσεται — Zeus ēnο ερχομενος — Zeus estiο εσομενος — Zeus essetai (Zeus was, Zeus is, Zeus will be).Which is to come “The Coming One,” futuristic use of the present participle instead of απο των επτα πνευματων — ho esomenos See the same idiom in Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8 and (without των — ho erchomenos) in Revelation 11:17; Revelation 16:5.From the seven spirits (α — apo tōn hepta pneumatōn). A difficult symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit here on a par with God and Christ, a conclusion borne out by the symbolic use of the seven spirits in Revelation 3:1; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 5:6 (from Zechariah 4:2-10). There is the one Holy Spirit with seven manifestations here to the seven churches (Swete, The Holy Spirit in the N.T., p. 374), unity in diversity (1 Corinthians 12:4).Which are As in Revelation 4:5. [source]
Revelation 1:4 Which is to come [ο ερχομενος]
“The Coming One,” futuristic use of the present participle instead of απο των επτα πνευματων — ho esomenos See the same idiom in Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8 and (without των — ho erchomenos) in Revelation 11:17; Revelation 16:5.From the seven spirits (α — apo tōn hepta pneumatōn). A difficult symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit here on a par with God and Christ, a conclusion borne out by the symbolic use of the seven spirits in Revelation 3:1; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 5:6 (from Zechariah 4:2-10). There is the one Holy Spirit with seven manifestations here to the seven churches (Swete, The Holy Spirit in the N.T., p. 374), unity in diversity (1 Corinthians 12:4).Which are As in Revelation 4:5. [source]
Revelation 1:8 The Lord God [Κυριος ο τεος]
“The Lord the God.” Common phrase in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 6:3, Ezekiel 6:11; Ezekiel 7:2, etc.) and in this book (Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 19:6; Revelation 21:22). See Revelation 1:4; Revelation 4:8 for the triple use of ο — ho etc. to express the eternity of God.The Almighty (ο παντοκρατωρ — ho pantokratōr). Late compound (πας — pās and κρατεω — krateō), in Cretan inscription and a legal papyrus, common in lxx and Christian papyri, in N.T. only in 2 Corinthians 6:18 and Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:6, Revelation 19:15; Revelation 21:22. [source]
Revelation 1:8 The Almighty [ο παντοκρατωρ]
Late compound (πας — pās and κρατεω — krateō), in Cretan inscription and a legal papyrus, common in lxx and Christian papyri, in N.T. only in 2 Corinthians 6:18 and Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:6, Revelation 19:15; Revelation 21:22. [source]
Revelation 16:5 Which art and which wast [ο ων και ο ην]
See this peculiar idiom for God‘s eternity with ο — ho as relative before ην — ēn in Revelation 1:4, Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8, but without ο ερχομενος — ho erchomenos (the coming on, the one who is to be) there for the future as in Revelation 11:17.Thou Holy One (ο οσιος — ho hosios). Nominative form, but vocative case, as often. Note both δικαιος — dikaios and οσιος — hosios applied to God as in Revelation 3:1; Revelation 15:3.Because thou didst thus judge Reason for calling God δικαιος — dikaios and οσιος — hosios The punishment on the waters is deserved. First aorist active indicative of κρινω — krinō to judge. [source]
Revelation 12:10 Now is come [αρτι εγενετο]
Αρτι — Arti (John 13:33) shows how recent the downfall of Satan here proleptically pictured as behind us in time (aorist tense εγενετο — egeneto).The salvation (η σωτηρια — hē sōtēria). Here “the victory” as in Revelation 7:10; Revelation 19:1.The power Gods power over the dragon (cf. Revelation 7:12; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 19:1).The kingdom (η βασιλεια — hē basileia). “The empire of God” as in Revelation 11:15.The authority of his Christ Which Christ received from the Father (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2). See Revelation 11:15 (Psalm 2:2) for “his Anointed.”The accuser (ο κατηγωρ — ho katēgōr). The regular form, κατηγορος — katēgoros occurs in John 8:10; Acts 23:30, Acts 23:35; Acts 25:16, Acts 25:18 and in many MSS. here in Revelation 12:10, but A reads κατηγωρ — katēgōr which Westcott and Hort accept. It was once considered a Greek transliteration of a Hebrew word, but Deissmann (Light, etc., p. 93f.) quotes it from a vernacular magical papyrus of the fourth century a.d. with no sign of Jewish or Christian influence, just as διακων — diakōn appears as a vernacular form of διακονος — diakonos Only here is the word applied to Satan in the N.T. In late Judaism Satan is the accuser, and Michael the defender, of the faithful.Of our brethren The saints still on earth battling with Satan and his devices.Which accuseth them (ο κατηγορων αυτους — ho katēgorōn autous). Articular present active participle of κατηγορεω — katēgoreō old verb, to accuse, usually with the genitive of the person (John 5:45), but here with the accusative. This is the devil‘s constant occupation (Job 1:6.).Day and night Genitive of time. “By day and by night.” [source]
Revelation 12:10 The power [η δυναμις]
Gods power over the dragon (cf. Revelation 7:12; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 19:1).The kingdom (η βασιλεια — hē basileia). “The empire of God” as in Revelation 11:15.The authority of his Christ Which Christ received from the Father (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2). See Revelation 11:15 (Psalm 2:2) for “his Anointed.”The accuser (ο κατηγωρ — ho katēgōr). The regular form, κατηγορος — katēgoros occurs in John 8:10; Acts 23:30, Acts 23:35; Acts 25:16, Acts 25:18 and in many MSS. here in Revelation 12:10, but A reads κατηγωρ — katēgōr which Westcott and Hort accept. It was once considered a Greek transliteration of a Hebrew word, but Deissmann (Light, etc., p. 93f.) quotes it from a vernacular magical papyrus of the fourth century a.d. with no sign of Jewish or Christian influence, just as διακων — diakōn appears as a vernacular form of διακονος — diakonos Only here is the word applied to Satan in the N.T. In late Judaism Satan is the accuser, and Michael the defender, of the faithful.Of our brethren The saints still on earth battling with Satan and his devices.Which accuseth them (ο κατηγορων αυτους — ho katēgorōn autous). Articular present active participle of κατηγορεω — katēgoreō old verb, to accuse, usually with the genitive of the person (John 5:45), but here with the accusative. This is the devil‘s constant occupation (Job 1:6.).Day and night Genitive of time. “By day and by night.” [source]
Revelation 19:6 Saying [λεγοντων]
The best attested reading, genitive plural of λεγω — legō agreeing with οχλου — ochlou (genitive singular), for roll of the waters and the roar of the thunders were not articulate. Some MSS. have λεγοντες — legontes (nominative plural) referring also to οχλου — ochlou though nominative instead of genitive. The fourth “Hallelujah” comes from this vast multitude.The Lord our God, the Almighty (Κυριοσ ο τεοσ ο παντοκρατωρ — Kuriosεβασιλευσεν — ho theosβασιλευω — ho pantokratōr). For this designation of God see also Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:15; Revelation 21:22. Cf. deus et dominus noster used of the Roman emperor.Reigneth First aorist active of basileuō Probably ingressive prophetic aorist, “God became king” in fulness of power on earth with the fall of the world power. [source]
Revelation 19:6 The Lord our God, the Almighty [Κυριοσ ο τεοσ ο παντοκρατωρ]
For this designation of God see also Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:15; Revelation 21:22. Cf. deus et dominus noster used of the Roman emperor. [source]
Revelation 5:8 He had taken [ελαβεν]
Here John drops back to the narrative tense (the second aorist active indicative of λαμβανω — lambanō), not the past perfect as the English rendering might indicate, merely “when he took.” For like vivid variation (not confusion) of tenses with ειληπεν — eilēphen see Revelation 3:3; Revelation 8:5; Revelation 11:17 and with ειρηκα — eirēka in Revelation 7:13.; Revelation 19:3. [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 11:17 mean?

saying We give thanks to You Lord - God Almighty the [One] being and who was and - is coming that You have taken the power of You - great have begun to reign
λέγοντες Εὐχαριστοῦμέν σοι Κύριε Θεός Παντοκράτωρ ὢν καὶ ἦν {καὶ ἐρχόμενος} ὅτι εἴληφας τὴν δύναμίν σου τὴν μεγάλην ἐβασίλευσας

λέγοντες  saying 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: λέγω 
Sense: to say, to speak.
Εὐχαριστοῦμέν  We  give  thanks 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Plural
Root: εὐχαριστέω  
Sense: to be grateful, feel thankful.
σοι  to  You 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative 2nd Person Singular
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
Κύριε  Lord 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
  - 
Parse: Article, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεός  God 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
Παντοκράτωρ  Almighty 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: παντοκράτωρ  
Sense: he who holds sway over all things.
  the  [One] 
Parse: Article, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ὢν  being 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐρχόμενος}  is  coming 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Middle, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
ὅτι  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
εἴληφας  You  have  taken 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: λαμβάνω  
Sense: to take.
δύναμίν  power 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: δύναμις  
Sense: strength power, ability.
σου  of  You 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 2nd Person Singular
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
τὴν  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
μεγάλην  great 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: μέγας  
Sense: great.
ἐβασίλευσας  have  begun  to  reign 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: βασιλεύω  
Sense: to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign.