The Meaning of Revelation 11:7 Explained

Revelation 11:7

KJV: And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

YLT: 'And when they may finish their testimony, the beast that is coming up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them,

Darby: And when they shall have completed their testimony, the beast who comes up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and shall conquer them, and shall kill them:

ASV: And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them.

What does Revelation 11:7 Mean?

Verse Meaning

It is only when they have finished their ministry that God will permit the beast to kill the two witnesses. They will not die prematurely. This is the first of36 references to "the beast" in Revelation (cf. Daniel 7:21). He is Antichrist, as later passages will show. This verse describes him as having his origin in the abyss, the abode of Satan and his demons (cf. Revelation 9:1-3; Revelation 9:11; Luke 8:31).

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 11:7

When they shall have finished [οταν τελεσωσιν]
Merely the first aorist active subjunctive of τελεω — teleō with οταν — hotan in an indefinite temporal clause with no futurum exactum (future perfect), “whenever they finish.” [source]
The beast [το τηριον]
“The wild beast comes out of the abyss” of Revelation 9:1. He reappears in Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:8. In Daniel 7:3 τηρια — thēria occurs. Nothing less than antichrist will satisfy the picture here. Some see the abomination of Daniel 7:7; Matthew 24:15. Some see Nero redivivus.He shall make war with them (ποιησει μετ αυτων πολεμον — poiēsei met' autōn polemon). This same phrase occurs in Revelation 12:17 about the dragon‘s attack on the woman. It is more the picture of single combat (Revelation 2:16).He shall overcome them Future active of νικαω — nikaō The victory of the beast over the two witnesses is certain, as in Daniel 7:21.And kill them (και αποκτενει — kai apoktenei). Future active of αποκτεινω — apokteinō Without attempting to apply this prophecy to specific individuals or times, one can agree with these words of Swete: “But his words cover in effect all the martyrdoms and massacres of history in which brute force has seemed to triumph over truth and righteousness.” [source]
He shall make war with them [ποιησει μετ αυτων πολεμον]
This same phrase occurs in Revelation 12:17 about the dragon‘s attack on the woman. It is more the picture of single combat (Revelation 2:16). [source]
He shall overcome them [νικησει αυτους]
Future active of νικαω — nikaō The victory of the beast over the two witnesses is certain, as in Daniel 7:21.And kill them (και αποκτενει — kai apoktenei). Future active of αποκτεινω — apokteinō Without attempting to apply this prophecy to specific individuals or times, one can agree with these words of Swete: “But his words cover in effect all the martyrdoms and massacres of history in which brute force has seemed to triumph over truth and righteousness.” [source]
And kill them [και αποκτενει]
Future active of αποκτεινω — apokteinō Without attempting to apply this prophecy to specific individuals or times, one can agree with these words of Swete: “But his words cover in effect all the martyrdoms and massacres of history in which brute force has seemed to triumph over truth and righteousness.” [source]
The beast [θηρίον]
Wild beast. See on Revelation 4:6. A different word from that wrongly translated beast, Revelation 4:6, Revelation 4:7; Revelation 5:6, etc. Compare Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:8, and see Revelation href="/desk/?q=re+9:1&sr=1">Revelation 9:1. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 11:7

Luke 8:31 Into the abyss [εις την αβυσσον]
Rare old word common in lxx from α — a privative and βατς — bathūs (deep). So bottomless place (supply χωρα — chōra). The deep sea in Genesis 1:2; Genesis 7:11. The common receptacle of the dead in Romans 10:7 and especially the abode of demons as here and Revelation 9:1-11; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1, Revelation 20:3. [source]
Revelation 13:1 Upon the sand [επι την αμμον]
The accusative case as in Revelation 7:1; Revelation 8:3, etc. Αμμος — Ammos is an old word for sand, for innumerable multitude in Revelation 20:8.Out of the sea (εκ της ταλασσης — ek tēs thalassēs). See Revelation 11:7 for “the beast coming up out of the abyss.” The imagery comes from Daniel 7:3. See also Revelation 17:8. This “wild beast from the sea,” as in Daniel 7:17, Daniel 7:23, is a vast empire used in the interest of brute force. This beast, like the dragon (Revelation 12:3), has ten horns and seven heads, but the horns are crowned, not the heads. The Roman Empire seems to be meant here (Revelation 17:9, Revelation 17:12). On “diadems” (διαδηματα — diadēmata) see Revelation 12:3, only ten here, not seven as there.Names of blasphemy See Revelation 17:3 for this same phrase. The meaning is made plain by the blasphemous titles assumed by the Roman emperors in the first and second centuries, as shown by the inscriptions in Ephesus, which have τεος — theos constantly applied to them. [source]
Revelation 13:1 Out of the sea [εκ της ταλασσης]
See Revelation 11:7 for “the beast coming up out of the abyss.” The imagery comes from Daniel 7:3. See also Revelation 17:8. This “wild beast from the sea,” as in Daniel 7:17, Daniel 7:23, is a vast empire used in the interest of brute force. This beast, like the dragon (Revelation 12:3), has ten horns and seven heads, but the horns are crowned, not the heads. The Roman Empire seems to be meant here (Revelation 17:9, Revelation 17:12). On “diadems” (διαδηματα — diadēmata) see Revelation 12:3, only ten here, not seven as there. [source]
Revelation 9:1 Fallen [πεπτωκοτα]
Perfect active participle of πιπτω — piptō already down. In Luke 10:18 note πεσοντα — pesonta (constative aorist active, like a flash of lightning) after ετεωρουν — etheōroun and in Revelation 7:2 note αναβαινοντα — anabainonta (present active and linear, coming up, picturing the process) after ειδον — eidon the pit of the abyss Αβυσσος — Abussos is an old adjective (alpha privative and βυτος — buthos depth, without depth), but η αβυσσος — hē abussos (supply χωρα — chōra place), the bottomless place. It occurs in Romans 10:7 for the common receptacle of the dead for Hades (Sheol), but in Luke 8:31 a lower depth is sounded (Swete), for the abode of demons, and in this sense it occurs in Revelation 9:1, Revelation 9:2, Revelation 9:11; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1, Revelation 20:3. Πρεαρ — Phrear is an old word for well or cistern (Luke 14:5; John 4:11.) and it occurs in Revelation 9:1. for the mouth of the abyss which is pictured as a cistern with a narrow orifice at the entrance and this fifth angel holds the key to it. [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 11:7 mean?

And when they shall have completed the testimony of them the beast - coming up out of the Abyss will make with them war will overcome them will kill them
Καὶ ὅταν τελέσωσιν τὴν μαρτυρίαν αὐτῶν τὸ θηρίον τὸ ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς ἀβύσσου ποιήσει μετ’ αὐτῶν πόλεμον νικήσει αὐτοὺς ἀποκτενεῖ αὐτούς

τελέσωσιν  they  shall  have  completed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: τελέω  
Sense: to bring to a close, to finish, to end.
μαρτυρίαν  testimony 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: μαρτυρία  
Sense: a testifying.
αὐτῶν  of  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
θηρίον  beast 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: θηρίον  
Sense: an animal.
τὸ  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἀναβαῖνον  coming  up 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: ἀναβαίνω  
Sense: ascend.
ἐκ  out  of 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐκ 
Sense: out of, from, by, away from.
ἀβύσσου  Abyss 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ἄβυσσος  
Sense: bottomless.
ποιήσει  will  make 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
πόλεμον  war 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: πόλεμος  
Sense: a war.
νικήσει  will  overcome 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: νικάω  
Sense: to conquer.
ἀποκτενεῖ  will  kill 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀποκτείνω 
Sense: to kill in any way whatever.