Yochanan Eats the Scroll

Revelation 10:8-11
The End Times

In my last post, we explored Revelation 10:5-7 dealing with the No More Delays.  In this post, we continue the exploration of Revelation 10 by examining verses 8-11 on Yochanan Eats the Scroll.

“Next the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the scroll lying open in the hand of the angel standing on the sea and on the land!” 9 So I went over to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it; and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; but after I had swallowed it, my stomach turned bitter. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” ~ Revelation 10:8-11 (CJB)

“Next the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the scroll lying open in the hand of the angel standing on the sea and on the land!”  Roy Hilton speaks concerning this scroll: [1]

What is this “little book?” It must undoubtedly be the book that was taken from the hand of God in chapter five. In chapter five the book is sealed, but here it is open. The word “open” is very emphatic showing it had at one time been closed. Since Christ qualified to take the sealed book from the hand of God and to loose the seals thereof we would expect it to be open when it is seen again in chapter ten. The broken seals and the opened book show again that Christ has qualified to take legal possession of land and sea, i.e., his creation.

So I went over to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it; and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; but after I had swallowed it, my stomach turned bitter. Yochanan is instructed to take the little scroll, which is the same scroll found in chapter five, and he is commanded to eat it. Yochanan is quick to obey the admonition to eat the scroll, and as he was told, its taste is as sweet as honey in his mouth, but in his belly, it becomes extremely bitter. There is nothing sweeter than the Good News of the Gospel of Yeshua. To those of us who are saved it is indeed sweet tasting manna from heaven. But, for those who refuse the message of God’s love, the redemption that can be theirs through faith in Yeshua, becomes the bitterness of hell itself. God’s Word cuts two ways! For those who believe the Good News of Redemption it is sweet, but for those who refuse, it is bitter judgment. Roy Hilton gives a further comment: [2]

The directions that the angel gave to John (Rev. 10:8-11) should remind us of our responsibility to assimilate the Word of God and make it a part of the inner man. It was not enough for John to see the book or even know its contents and purpose. He had to receive it into his inner being.

This is the first time that Yochanan is called upon to become directly involved with the action that is taking place. He now becomes a performer in the high drama of redemption. Yochanan is asked to assimilate the contents of this little scroll. Every witness knows that proclaiming the Word of God is indeed a bittersweet experience.

David Stern comments: [3]

On eating the scroll, compare Jeremiah 15:16, Ezekiel 2:8-3:3; also Psalms 19:11(10), 119:103 on its words’ being sweet as honey. On the bitterness, see Ezekiel 3:4-11; also compare Yeshua weeping over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-38, Luke 19:41) ~ there is no joy in preaching the wrath of God.

Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings. Yochanan is assured that he will not die on the Isle of Patmos, but will return to Ephesus. Through the writing of this great book of unfolding prophecy, the Book of Revelation, he proclaims God’s plan of redemption to the world.

The closing stage of Yochanan’s ministry is summarized in this verse. He learns that he must prophesy again. He is commissioned to carry the final warnings from God to men. These warning notes will constitute the remainder of the book. The prophecies to follow concern the judgments and the destinies of the men of earth in all their different racial, social, national and cultural distinctions.

Special Comparative Note on Chapter 10:8-11 [4]

Historicist Approach:

Historicists believe the eating of the little scroll represents the church’s reception of the Bible at the time of the Reformation. For the first time, the Scriptures were available to the common man and printed in his own tongue.  It was sweet as honey in the mouths of those who received it.  The consequence of it becoming bitter in the stomach refers to the opposition and persecution raised by the Catholic Church against the Protestants.

Preterist Approach:

Preterists see this passage as an imitation of the same actions of Ezekiel’s prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BCE as recorded in Ezekiel 3:1-3, 14.

Futurist Approach:

Most Futurists concur with what I shared above by Hilton and Stern.

Idealist Approach:

Idealists view the little scroll as the Word of God recorded in chapter 11 or chapter 12 through 22 of Revelation. Some see the command to prophesy again to mean the rest of the Revelation leading up to the fall of Rome.

Summary of Chapters 8-10 [5]

This concludes the second cycle of sevens, except that the seventh shofar will not sound until 11:15.

Historicist Approach:

Historicists contend the first six shofar judgments are symbolic of the various foreign invasions against the Roman Empire through the fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE. The open scroll is the Bible, whose availability to the common people helped further the Reformation’s progress.

Preterist Approach:

Preterists position sees the shofars as associated with the Jewish War of 66-70 CE, culmination in the fall of Jerusalem.  The locusts probably refer to demons afflicting the besieged Jews, and the monstrous horses represent the Roman armies.

Futurist Approach:

Futurists concluded from these chapters that during the Tribulation period, judgments of an unprecedented sort would be sent to humanity.  If literal, these judgments will be devastation to nature and catastrophically disruptive of civilization.

Idealist Approach:

Idealists view the disasters represented by the shofars as the recurring ways in which God judges sinful humanity. They are meant as warnings to induce repentance.  The fulfillment is found throughout the church age.

In my next post, we will explore How Are We to Understand the Period of the 1,260 Days and When Does it Occur?

Click here for PDF version.

[1] A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern.

[4] Material in this section is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. The notations in parenthesis are my comments.

[5] Ibid.

One thought on “Yochanan Eats the Scroll

  1. Pingback: Yochanan Eats the Scroll by Donald Norris — My Heart is for Israel @dnorris99 | Talmidimblogging

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s