The Meaning of Revelation 11:2 Explained

Revelation 11:2

KJV: But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

YLT: and the court that is without the sanctuary leave out, and thou mayest not measure it, because it was given to the nations, and the holy city they shall tread down forty-two months;

Darby: And the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not; because it has been given up to the nations, and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty-two months.

ASV: And the court which is without the temple leave without, and measure it not; for it hath been given unto the nations: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

What does Revelation 11:2 Mean?

Study Notes

tread
See "Times of the Gentiles." .
trodden down of the Gentiles
The "times of the Gentiles" began with the captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar 2 Chronicles 36:1-21 , since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile overlordship.

Verse Meaning

The42months are the last half of the Tribulation since this will be the time when Gentile hostility to the Jews is most intense (cf. Daniel 9:27). The Gentiles will dominate the outer court of the temple and the rest of Jerusalem for42months. Anti-Semitism will peak after the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel in the middle of Daniel"s seventieth week ( Daniel 9:27). This interpretation seems more likely than that42months refers to the42encampments of Israel in the wilderness, [1] or that they represents a period "of measurable duration." [2]

Context Summary

Revelation 11:1-13 - The "two Witnesses"
We cannot in this brief note indicate the various interpretations of this chapter, but certain great principles underlie it, which are true of every age.
(1) During the darkest ages, men have been raised up to testify against the prevailing corruption of their time, and especially the corruption of the apostate Church. Their opponents have endeavored to silence their voice and blacken their character, but God has ever vindicated them and given life out of death. (2) Always when the enemies of the truth have deemed themselves triumphant, there has been a rekindling of gospel testimony. A few years before Luther appeared, a medal was struck to commemorate the extinction of so-called heresy. (3) Such witness-bearing as is suggested by the comparison with Zechariah's vision, is fed from the heart of Christ. He is the root of the martyr line; His Spirit is the life-breath of His witnesses. All through the centuries, commonly called Christian, though generally very un-Christian, there has been an unbroken succession of pure and noble souls who have stood for Jesus Christ even unto death. Let us dare to stand with them and our Lord, that He may not be ashamed of us at His coming. [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 11:2

The court [την αυλην]
The uncovered yard outside the house. There were usually two, one between the door and the street, the outer court, the other the inner court surrounded by the buildings (Mark 14:66). This is here the outer court, “which is without the temple” (την εχωτεν του ναου — tēn exōthen tou naou), outside of the sanctuary, but within the ιερον — hieron where the Gentiles could go (carrying out the imagery of the Jerusalem temple). [source]
Leave without [εκβαλε εχωτεν]
Literally, “cast without” (second aorist active imperative of εκβαλλω — ekballō not measure it Prohibition with μη — mē and the first aorist active (ingressive) subjunctive of μετρεω — metreō This outer court is left to its fate. In Herod‘s temple the outer court was marked off from the inner by “the middle wall of partition” Future active of πατεω — pateō here to trample with contempt as in Luke 21:24, even the holy city (Matthew 4:5; Isaiah 48:2; Nehemiah 11:1). Charles thinks that only the heavenly city can be so called here (Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10; Revelation 22:19) because of Luke 11:8 (Sodom and Gomorrah). But the language may be merely symbolical. See Daniel 9:24.Forty and two months Accusative of extent of time. This period in Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7. It occurs in three forms in the Apocalypse (forty-two months, here and Revelation 13:5; 1260 days, Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6; time, times and half a time or 3-1/2 years, Revelation 12:14 and so in Daniel). This period, however its length may be construed, covers the duration of the triumph of the Gentiles, of the prophesying of the two witnesses, of the sojourn of the woman in the wilderness. [source]
They shall tread under foot [πατησουσιν]
Future active of πατεω — pateō here to trample with contempt as in Luke 21:24, even the holy city (Matthew 4:5; Isaiah 48:2; Nehemiah 11:1). Charles thinks that only the heavenly city can be so called here (Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:10; Revelation 22:19) because of Luke 11:8 (Sodom and Gomorrah). But the language may be merely symbolical. See Daniel 9:24. [source]
Forty and two months [μηνας τεσσερακοντα και δυο]
Accusative of extent of time. This period in Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7. It occurs in three forms in the Apocalypse (forty-two months, here and Revelation 13:5; 1260 days, Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6; time, times and half a time or 3-1/2 years, Revelation 12:14 and so in Daniel). This period, however its length may be construed, covers the duration of the triumph of the Gentiles, of the prophesying of the two witnesses, of the sojourn of the woman in the wilderness. [source]
The court which is without the temple []
Not merely the outer court, or Court of the Gentiles, but including all that is not within the ναός , the Holy and Most Holy places. [source]
Leave out [ἔκβαλε ἔξω]
Lit., throw out, i.e., of the measurement. [source]
Unto the Gentiles [τοῖς ἔθνεσιν]
See on Luke 2:32. Rev., nations. [source]
Forty and two months []
A period which appears in three forms in Revelation: forty-two months (Revelation 13:5); twelve hundred and sixty days (Revelation 11:3, Revelation 12:6); a time, times and half a time, or three years and a half (Revelation 12:14, compare Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7) [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 11:2

Revelation 12:14 A time and times and half a time []
Three years and a half. See on Revelation 11:2. [source]
Revelation 11:1 Like a rod [ομοιος ραβδωι]
See Revelation 2:27; Mark 6:8 for ραβδος — rabdos one said “Saying” (present active masculine participle of λεγω — legō) is all that the Greek has. The participle implies εδωκεν — edōken (he gave), not εδοτη — edothē a harsh construction seen in Genesis 22:20; Genesis 38:24, etc.Rise and measure (εγειρε και μετρησον — egeire kai metrēson). Present active imperative of εγειρω — egeirō (intransitive, exclamatory use as in Mark 2:11) and first aorist active imperative of μετρεω — metreō In Ezekiel 42:2. the prophet measures the temple and that passage is probably in mind here. But modern scholars do not know how to interpret this interlude (Revelation 11:1-13) before the seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15). Some (Wellhausen) take it to be a scrap from the Zealot party before the destruction of Jerusalem, which event Christ also foretold (Mark 13:2; Matthew 24:2; Luke 21:6) and which was also attributed to Stephen (Acts 6:14). Charles denies any possible literal interpretation and takes the language in a wholly eschatological sense. There are three points in the interlude, however understood: the chastisement of Jerusalem or Israel (Revelation 11:1, Revelation 11:2), the mission of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-12), the rescue of the remnant (Revelation 11:13). There is a heavenly sanctuary (Revelation 7:15; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 14:15, etc.), but here ναος — naos is on earth and yet not the actual temple in Jerusalem (unless so interpreted). Perhaps here it is the spiritual (Revelation 3:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 3:16.; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19.). For altar (τυσιαστηριον — thusiastērion) see Revelation 8:3. Perhaps measuring as applied to “them that worship therein” (τους προσκυνουντας εν αυτωι — tous proskunountas en autōi) implies a word like numbering, with an allusion to the 144,000 in chapter 7 (a zeugma). [source]
Revelation 11:1 Rise and measure [εγειρε και μετρησον]
Present active imperative of εγειρω — egeirō (intransitive, exclamatory use as in Mark 2:11) and first aorist active imperative of μετρεω — metreō In Ezekiel 42:2. the prophet measures the temple and that passage is probably in mind here. But modern scholars do not know how to interpret this interlude (Revelation 11:1-13) before the seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15). Some (Wellhausen) take it to be a scrap from the Zealot party before the destruction of Jerusalem, which event Christ also foretold (Mark 13:2; Matthew 24:2; Luke 21:6) and which was also attributed to Stephen (Acts 6:14). Charles denies any possible literal interpretation and takes the language in a wholly eschatological sense. There are three points in the interlude, however understood: the chastisement of Jerusalem or Israel (Revelation 11:1, Revelation 11:2), the mission of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3-12), the rescue of the remnant (Revelation 11:13). There is a heavenly sanctuary (Revelation 7:15; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 14:15, etc.), but here ναος — naos is on earth and yet not the actual temple in Jerusalem (unless so interpreted). Perhaps here it is the spiritual (Revelation 3:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 3:16.; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19.). For altar (τυσιαστηριον — thusiastērion) see Revelation 8:3. Perhaps measuring as applied to “them that worship therein” (τους προσκυνουντας εν αυτωι — tous proskunountas en autōi) implies a word like numbering, with an allusion to the 144,000 in chapter 7 (a zeugma). [source]
Revelation 11:8 In [επι]
“Upon,” as in Revelation 11:6, with genitive Clearly Jerusalem in view of the closing clause (οπουεσταυρωτη — hopou- ητις — estaurōthē), though not here called “the holy city” as in Revelation 11:2, and though elsewhere in the Apocalypse Babylon (Rome) is so described (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2, Revelation 18:10, Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:18, Revelation 18:19, Revelation 18:21).Which Which very city, not “whichever.”Spiritually (πνευματικος — pneumatikōs). This late adverb from πνευματικος — pneumatikos (spiritual) occurs in the N.T. only twice, in 1 Corinthians 2:14 for the help of the Holy Spirit in interpreting God‘s message and here in a hidden or mystical (allegorical sense). For this use of οπου και ο κυριος αυτων εσταυρωτη — pneumatikos see 1 Corinthians 10:3. Judah is called Sodom in Isaiah 1:9.; Ezekiel 16:46, Ezekiel 16:55. See also Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23. Egypt is not applied to Israel in the O.T., but is “an obvious symbol of oppression and slavery” (Swete).Where also their Lord was crucified First aorist passive indicative of stauroō to crucify, a reference to the fact of Christ‘s crucifixion in Jerusalem. This item is one of the sins of Jerusalem and the disciple is not greater than the Master (John 15:20). [source]
Revelation 11:8 Of the great city [της πολεως της μεγαλης]
Clearly Jerusalem in view of the closing clause (οπουεσταυρωτη — hopou- ητις — estaurōthē), though not here called “the holy city” as in Revelation 11:2, and though elsewhere in the Apocalypse Babylon (Rome) is so described (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2, Revelation 18:10, Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:18, Revelation 18:19, Revelation 18:21). [source]
Revelation 12:6 That there they may nourish her [ινα]
Purpose clause with τρεπουσιν — hina and the present for continued action: active subjunctive according to A P though C reads τρεπεται — trephousin present active indicative, as is possible also in Revelation 13:17 and certainly so in 1 John 5:20 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 984), a solecism in late vernacular Greek. The plural is indefinite “they” as in Revelation 10:11; Revelation 11:9. One MSS. has trephetai (is nourished). The stereotyped phrase occurs here, as in Revelation 11:2., for the length of the dragon‘s power, repeated in Revelation 12:14 in more general terms and again in Revelation 13:5. [source]
Revelation 12:6 Where [οπουεκει]
Hebrew redundancy (where - there) as in Revelation 3:8; Revelation 8:9, Revelation 8:9; Revelation 13:8, Revelation 13:12; Revelation 17:9; Revelation 20:8.Prepared (ετοιμαζω — hētoimasmenon). Perfect passive predicate participle of τοπος — hetoimazō for which verb see Matthew 20:23; Revelation 8:6; Revelation 9:7, Revelation 9:15; Revelation 16:12; Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:2, and for its use with απο του τεου — topos John 14:2. and for the kind of fellowship meant by it (Psalm 31:21; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Colossians 3:3; 1 John 1:3).Of God “From (by) God,” marking the source as God (Revelation 9:18; James 1:13). This anticipatory symbolism is repeated in Revelation 12:13.That there they may nourish her (ινα — hina ekei trephōsin autēn). Purpose clause with τρεπουσιν — hina and the present for continued action: active subjunctive according to A P though C reads τρεπεται — trephousin present active indicative, as is possible also in Revelation 13:17 and certainly so in 1 John 5:20 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 984), a solecism in late vernacular Greek. The plural is indefinite “they” as in Revelation 10:11; Revelation 11:9. One MSS. has trephetai (is nourished). The stereotyped phrase occurs here, as in Revelation 11:2., for the length of the dragon‘s power, repeated in Revelation 12:14 in more general terms and again in Revelation 13:5. [source]
Revelation 12:6 Of God [ινα εκει τρεπωσιν αυτην]
“From (by) God,” marking the source as God (Revelation 9:18; James 1:13). This anticipatory symbolism is repeated in Revelation 12:13.That there they may nourish her (ινα — hina ekei trephōsin autēn). Purpose clause with τρεπουσιν — hina and the present for continued action: active subjunctive according to A P though C reads τρεπεται — trephousin present active indicative, as is possible also in Revelation 13:17 and certainly so in 1 John 5:20 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 984), a solecism in late vernacular Greek. The plural is indefinite “they” as in Revelation 10:11; Revelation 11:9. One MSS. has trephetai (is nourished). The stereotyped phrase occurs here, as in Revelation 11:2., for the length of the dragon‘s power, repeated in Revelation 12:14 in more general terms and again in Revelation 13:5. [source]
Revelation 14:20 Without the city [εχωτεν της πολεως]
Ablative case with εχωτεν — exōthen (like εχω — exō). This was the usual place (Hebrews 13:12). See εχωτεν — exōthen in Revelation 11:2. Joel (Joel 3:12) pictures the valley of Jehoshaphat as the place of the slaughter of God‘s enemies. Cf. Zechariah 14:4.Blood from the winepress (αιμα εκ της ληνου — haima ek tēs lēnou). Bold imagery suggested by the colour of the grapes.Unto the bridles Old word (from χαλαω — chalaō to slacken), in N.T. only here and James 3:3. Bold picture.As far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs (απο σταδιων χιλιων εχακοσιων — apo stadiōn chiliōn hexakosiōn). A peculiar use of απο — apo for “distance from (of)” as also in John 11:18; John 21:8, somewhat like the use of προ — pro in John 12:1. The distance itself covers the length of Palestine, but it is more likely that “the metaphor is worked out with the exuberance of apocalyptic symbolism” (Swete) for the whole earth. [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 11:2 mean?

And the courtyard - outside the temple leave out not it measure because it has been given [up] to the nations city holy they will trample upon months forty and two
καὶ τὴν αὐλὴν τὴν ἔξωθεν τοῦ ναοῦ ἔκβαλε ἔξωθεν μὴ αὐτὴν μετρήσῃς ὅτι ἐδόθη τοῖς ἔθνεσιν πόλιν ἁγίαν πατήσουσιν μῆνας τεσσεράκοντα [καὶ] δύο

αὐλὴν  courtyard 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: αὐλή  
Sense: among the Greeks in Homer’s time, an uncovered space around the house, enclosed by a wall, in which the stables stood, hence among the Orientals that roofless enclosure by a wall, in the open country in which the flocks were herded at night, a sheepfold.
τὴν  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἔξωθεν  outside 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ἔξωθεν  
Sense: from without, outward.
ναοῦ  temple 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: ναός  
Sense: used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies (in classical Greek it is used of the sanctuary or cell of the temple, where the image of gold was placed which is distinguished from the whole enclosure).
ἔκβαλε  leave 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: ἐκβάλλω  
Sense: to cast out, drive out, to send out.
ἔξωθεν  out 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ἔξωθεν  
Sense: from without, outward.
μετρήσῃς  measure 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: μετρέω  
Sense: to measure, to measure out or off.
ὅτι  because 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
ἐδόθη  it  has  been  given  [up] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: διδῶ 
Sense: to give.
τοῖς  to  the 
Parse: Article, Dative Neuter Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἔθνεσιν  nations 
Parse: Noun, Dative Neuter Plural
Root: ἔθνος  
Sense: a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together.
πόλιν  city 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: πόλις  
Sense: a city.
ἁγίαν  holy 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ἅγιος  
Sense: most holy thing, a saint.
πατήσουσιν  they  will  trample  upon 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: πατέω  
Sense: to tread.
μῆνας  months 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: μήν2  
Sense: a month.
τεσσεράκοντα  forty 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: τεσσαράκοντα 
Sense: forty.
δύο  two 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: δύο 
Sense: the two, the twain.