The End Times
In my last post, we explored Revelation 11:3-6 dealing with the Two Witnesses. In this post, we examine Revelation 11:7-10 dealing with their execution.
“When they finish their witnessing, the beast coming up out of the Abyss will fight against them, overcome them and kill them; 8 and their dead bodies will lie in the main street of the great city whose name, to reflect its spiritual condition, is “S’dom” and “Egypt” — the city where their Lord was executed on a stake. 9 Some from the nations, tribes, languages, and peoples see their bodies for three-and-a-half days and do not permit the corpses to be placed in a tomb. 10 The people living in the Land rejoice over them, they celebrate and send each other gifts, because these two prophets tormented them so.” ~ Revelation 11:7-10 (CJB)
After the 1,260 days, the beast from the Abyss will attack and kill them in the same city where Yeshua was crucified. This is the first time that the beast is mentioned in Revelation. We will discuss the identity of the beast and abyss momentarily.
The bodies of the witnesses will lie in the streets for three and one-half days, and some from the nations, tribes, languages, and peoples see their bodies …do not permit the corpses to be placed in a tomb. Today’s global communications could easily make it possible for every person around the world to see the witnesses’ dead bodies. People will be celebrating their death.
When they finish their witnessing, the beast coming up out of the Abyss will fight against them, overcome them and kill them. Notice carefully that divine protection was with the two witnesses until they finish their witnessing. God watches over and protects His children if they are doing the work He called them to do. What might appear from our vantage point as God cutting off a life prematurely, might, from God’s point of view, simply be the individuals have completed the function on this earth for which God placed them.
And their dead bodies will lie in the main street of the great city whose name, to reflect its spiritual condition, is “S’dom” and “Egypt” — the city where their Lord was executed on a stake. There is no question but that the city referred to is Jerusalem. However, it is depicted as “S’dom” and “Egypt.” S’dom is where sexual sin and misuse of people were rife (Genesis 19). Egypt is where false religion, hatred of the one true God and antisemitism flourished (Exodus 1-15).
Some from the nations, tribes, languages, and peoples see their bodies for three-and-a-half days and do not permit the corpses to be placed in a tomb. 10 The people living in the Land rejoice over them, they celebrate and send each other gifts, because these two prophets tormented them so. The Gentiles are so hostile to God, His Word and His Prophets that they prevent the burial of the two witnesses whose bodies lie exposed in the main street of Jerusalem to dogs and flies, and, more importantly, to shame.
The people living in the Land refers here not to the pagans of the earth, as elsewhere in Revelation, but to Jews residing in Israel. Yochanan foresees a time when Jewish opposition to the Gospel is intensified by the appearance of these two prophets. From the point of view of Believers, they evangelize the non-Messianic Jews of the Land, testifying to Yeshua and proclaiming the Good News. But the non-Messianic Jews’ evaluation is that the two prophets tormented them. For this reason, they not only reject the witnesses’ message but, instead of sitting shiv’ah (Yochanan 11:19-20), they celebrate and send each other gifts ~ like the Jews of Shushan after slaying Haman’s sons (Esther 9:22). The difference, of course, is that Haman and his sons were truly oppressors, whereas the Messiah’s witnesses offer deliverance.
The Beast and the Abyss
Since this is the first mention of the beast in Revelation, we need to look at who or what this might be. Yochanan has previously identified the beast in 1 Yochanan 2:18-19 as the Anti-Messiah. He goes on to describe the beast in more detail in Revelation 13:1-18. This is the first of thirty-six references to this person in this book. He is also mentioned in other places in the Bible. Daniel described the Beast as a little horn, who would speak arrogantly (Daniel 7:8-27). The Anti-Messiah would blasphemously set himself against God by persecuting Believers and defiling the Lord’s holy place (Daniel 9:27; 11:20-39). Yeshua also predicted a sacrilegious figure who would terrorize God’s people (Mark 13:14, 20). Sha’ul wrote of a man of lawlessness who would seek to dethrone God and use Satan’s power to deceive people (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-10). Yochanan is the only biblical writer to use the term “Anti-Messiah,” described as an opponent of the Messiah (1 Yochanan 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 Yochanan 7).
This Beast comes up from the Abyss, which represents the satanic underworld (see also Revelation17:8). The Abyss, or bottomless pit, was the place from which the demonic locusts had come to attack the people on the earth (9:1-12). The Anti-Messiah is the epitome of the evil perversions and wickedness that are present in every age. This is a foreshadowing – later, the Beast will be called up out of the Abyss (the sea, 13:1).
Special Comparative Note on Chapter 11:7-10 
Recall that Historicists believe that the witnesses were symbolic of the true church and pointed to the beginning of the intensive effort by Pope Innocent III in the twelfth century to exterminate every trace of resistance to papal authority. Papal decree denied Christian burial for heretics.
Preterists, like Idealists, don’t have much to say about this passage.
Most Futurists believe the beast is the Anti-Messiah. They note that he has no power over the Two Witnesses until they complete their mission of preaching repentance.
See note above for Preterists.
In my next post, we will explore Revelation 11:11-14 dealing with The Vindication of the Two Witnesses.
 Material in this post is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. Notations in brackets, if any, are my comments.