The Angel with the Small Scroll. 1* Then I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven wrapped in a cloud, with a halo around his head; his face was like the sun and his feet were like pillars of fire. 2In his hand he held a small scroll that had been opened. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,* 3and then he cried out in a loud voice as a lion roars. When he cried out, the seven thunders* raised their voices, too.a 4When the seven thunders had spoken, I was about to write it down; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have spoken, but do not write it down.” 5Then the angel I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6and swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and earth and sea* and all that is in them, “There shall be no more delay.b 7At the time when you hear the seventh angel blow his trumpet, the mysterious plan of God* shall be fulfilled, as he promised to his servants the prophets.”c
8Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet* as honey.” 10I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.d 11Then someone said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”*
* [10:1–11:14] An interlude in two scenes (Rev 10:1–11 and Rev 11:1–14) precedes the sounding of the seventh trumpet; cf. Rev 7:1–17. The first vision describes an angel astride sea and land like a colossus, with a small scroll open, the contents of which indicate that the end is imminent (Rev 10). The second vision is of the measuring of the temple and of two witnesses, whose martyrdom means that the kingdom of God is about to be inaugurated.
* [10:2] He placed,on the land: this symbolizes the universality of the angel’s message, as does the figure of the small scroll open to be read.
* [10:3] The seven thunders: God’s voice announcing judgment and doom; cf. Ps 29:3–9, where thunder, as the voice of Yahweh, is praised seven times.
* [10:6] Heaven and earth and sea: the three parts of the universe. No more delay: cf. Dn 12:7; Heb 2:3.
* [10:7] The mysterious plan of God: literally, “the mystery of God,” the end of the present age when the forces of evil will be put down (Rev 17:1–19:4, 11–21; 20:7–10; cf. 2 Thes 2:6–12; Rom 16:25–26), and the establishment of the reign of God when all creation will be made new (Rev 21:1–22:5).
* [10:9–10] The small scroll was sweet because it predicted the final victory of God’s people; it was sour because it also announced their sufferings. Cf. Ez 3:1–3.
* [10:11] This further prophecy is contained in chaps. 12–22.
a. [10:3] Ps 29:3–9; Jer 25:30; Am 3:8.
b. [10:6] Dt 32:40; Dn 12:7 / Ez 12:28.