Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 11:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

O Lord God Almighty, which art - This gives a proper view of God in his eternity; all times are here comprehended, the present, the past, and the future. This is the infinitude of God.

Hast taken to thee - Thou hast exercised that power which thou ever hast; and thou hast broken the power of thy enemies, and exalted thy Church.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Saying, We give thee thanks - We, as the representatives of the church, and as identified in our feelings with it (see the notes on Revelation 4:4), acknowledge thy goodness in tires delivering the church from all its troubles, and having conducted it through the times of fiery persecution, thus establishing it upon the earth. The language here used is an expression of their deep interest in the church, and of the fact that they felt themselves identified with it. They, as representatives of the church, would of course rejoice in its prosperity and final triumph.

O Lord God Almighty - Referring to God all-powerful, because it was by his omnipotent arm alone that this great work had been I accomplished. Nothing else could have I defended the church in its many trials; nothing else could have established it upon the earth.

Which art, and wast, and art to come - The Eternal One, always the same. See the notes on Revelation 1:8. The reference here is to the fact that God, who had thus established his church on the earth, is unchanging. In all the revolutions which occur on the earth, he always remains the same. What he was in past times he is now; what he is now he always will be. The particular idea suggested here seems to be, that he had now shown this by having caused his church to triumph; that is, he had shown that he was the same God who had early promised that it should ultimately triumph; he had carried forward his glorious purposes without modifying or abandoning them amidst all the changes that had occurred in the world; and he had thus given the assurance that he would now remain the same, and that all his purposes in regard to his church would be accomplished. The fact that God remains always unchangeably the same is the sole reason why his church is safe, or why any individual member of it is kept and saved. Compare Malachi 3:6.

Because thou hast taken to thee thy great power - To wit, by setting up thy kingdom over all the earth. Before that it seemed as if he had relaxed that power, or had given the power to others. Satan had reigned on the earth. Disorder, anarchy, sin, rebellion, had prevailed. It seemed as if God had let the reins of government fall from his hand. Now he came forth as if to resume the dominion over the world, and to take the scepter into his own hand, and to exert his great power in keeping the nations in subjection. The setting up of his kingdom all over the world, and causing his laws everywhere to be obeyed, will be among the highest demonstrations of divine power. Nothing can accomplish this but the power of God; when that power is exerted nothing can prevent its accomplishment.

And hast reigned - Prof. Stuart, “and shown thyself as king” - that is, “hast become king, or acted as a king.” The idea is, that he had now vindicated his regal power (Robinson, Lexicon) - that is, he had now set up his kingdom on the earth, and had truly begun to reign. One of the characteristics of the millennium - and indeed the main characteristic will be that God will be everywhere obeyed; for when that occurs all will be consummated that properly enters into the idea of the millennial kingdom.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Before the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet, there is the usual demand of attention. The saints and angels in heaven know the right of our God and Saviour to rule over all the world. But the nations met God's wrath with their own anger. It was a time in which he was beginning to reward his people's faithful services, and sufferings; and their enemies fretted against God, and so increased their guilt, and hastened their destruction. By the opening the temple of God in heaven, may be meant, that there was a more free communication between heaven and earth; prayer and praises more freely and frequently going up, graces and blessings plentifully coming down. But it rather seems to refer to the church of God on earth. In the reign of antichrist, God's law was laid aside, and made void by traditions and decrees; the Scriptures were locked up from the people, but now they are brought to the view of all. This, like the ark, is a token of the presence of God returned to his people, and his favour toward them in Jesus Christ, as the Propitiation for their sins. The great blessing of the Reformation was attended with very awful providences; as by terrible things in righteousness God answered the prayers presented in his holy temple now opened.