I am reading through Revelation again, in the NKJV. I recently read chapter 11, and something stood out at me that I have never seen before. I want to ask about it, hence this post.

Revelation 11:1-8 (NKJV),

  1. And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
  2. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
  3. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
  4. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
  5. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
  6. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
  7. 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.
  8. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

It appears clear to me the following:

  1. An angel is speaking with John (Verse 1)
  2. The angel calls the two witnesses his (Verse 3)
  3. The angel that spoke to John about his two witnesses, is not Jesus (Verse 8)
  4. Jesus is the Lord of both John and the angel (Verse 8)

So, then, who is this angel and why does he claim that the two witnesses belong to him, and not to the Lord Jesus, even though he says Jesus is his, and their, Lord?

  • See also Judges 2:1.
    – Lucian
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 7:20
  • Hi, Lucian. Is the recommendation to see Judges 2:1 your way of saying that the angel in Revelation 11 is the Angel of the LORD (YHVH)? Thanks! Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 8:18
  • I've spent just a few minutes looking at this and my head hurts and I feel nauseous! There doesn't seem to be a textual issue and no place for a change of speaker. I'll look forward to seeing if anyone can sort this out. Very interesting catch!
    – Ruminator
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 21:41
  • One challenge with some texts is working out who is saying what. The NIV finishes the angel's words at v3. So v4 onwards is John's response and reflection. I'm not sure if I agree with this, but it will certainly influence the overall interpretation. Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 10:17
  • @TheVotiveSoul: It is quite customary for angels to speak in the first person in the place of the One Who sent them, and Whose message they are delivering, sometimes verbatim.
    – Lucian
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 17:23

5 Answers 5


The question is based on the assumption that the last few words of Rev 11:8 are:

ὅπου καὶ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν ἐσταυρώθη = where also the Lord of us was crucified, as per TR.

However, such a text is supported by almost no critical edition, as most read:

ὅπου καὶ ὁ Κύριος αὐτῶν ἐσταυρώθη = where also the Lord of them [the two witnesses] was crucified.

This latter text is that of NA28, UBS5, the Majority text, the Byzantine text, and the Greek Orthodox text, etc. That is, the TR is alone and supported by almost no MSS.

If the text is "their Lord" referring to the Lord of the two witnesses, then the angel could possibly be Jesus Himself. However, in the Greek text, there is no phrase saying, "and the angel stood" in V1, either in the Majority, Byzantine, BA28, UBS5 or any other text. Where the KJV got this phrase is a mystery. It is not even in the Latin Vulgate.

Even the Textus Receptus, TR, is divided here as Scrivener's Textus Receptus 1894 has the angel but the Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550 does not have the angel (!!?)

However, if the person speaking to John in Rev 10 is the same angel as per Rev 10, then it is quite possible that it is Jesus.

  • Wonderful information, Dottard. Thanks. :) Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 14:12

You ask an excellent question! It recently stood out to me as well. The angel that spoke in Rev. 11:1-3 is the mighty angel that spoke throughout Rev. 10. Therefore "my two witnesses" would have to refer to the two men who witnessed the mighty angel. John the Apostle is his second witness, and his first would have to be Daniel the Prophet. Daniel called him a "man clothed in linen." Daniel encountered him twice (Dan. 10:5-9 and 12:5-7).

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the phrase "and the angel stood" (Rev. 11:1) is left out of most Bible translations. It's omitted in the Majority Text but included in the Textus Receptus, which the KJV scholars went by. I agree with them, because the sentence is vague if it only says: "There was given to me a reed like unto a rod, saying, 'Rise and measure the temple of God'."

That sentence leaves the reader guessing as to who was saying that. There were no chapter breaks in the original text. So, even if we leave out the phrase "and the angel stood" (Rev. 11:1), I think we still have to conclude that the mighty angel of chapter 10 must have been speaking in Rev. 11:1-3, and that his two witnesses are Daniel the Prophet and John the Apostle.

  • Hello Daniel John, welcome to BHSE! If you have the time, make sure to take the tour, to get yourself familiar with this site, and to see how we are different than other sites or forums.
    – sara
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 6:11

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 

The angel was not speaking his own words but the words of Jesus when he said "my two witnesses" The "my" is Jesus not the angel. At times Jesus is the one speaking but at some times it is an angel speaking on Christ's behalf.


When a verse does not make sense in its immediate context we sometimes look for a 'double reference' revelation.

John 14:9-10
(9) Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

While John wrote down his experience in Koine Greek the poetry is very Jewish.

What I mean is that it is both the LORD Jesus speaking and immediately after it is John commenting and prophesying through the Holy Spirit in blocks of logic closely clustered together.

In the Book of Revelations the Holy Spirit moves freely through John between what the Lord says and what John observes with full Holy Ghost commentary.

This kind of poetry is called a 'double reference' Hebrew poetry which was used in some Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament sowing seeds about the identity of the Messiah through blocks of logic closely clustered together in the midst of other prophecies.

The 'double reference' principle states that one block of Scripture dealing with one person, one event, and one time may be followed by another block of Scripture dealing with a different person, place, and time, yet there is no clear distinction between the two blocks indicating that there is a gap of time between them. The gap of time is known only from other Scriptures. (Isaiah 7:14)

When we prophecy it is you speaking and sometimes it is God speaking directly through you and it is the hearers job to discern and divide the word.

The insight here is that the Holy Spirit in Revelations moves freely between what the Lord says, what John observes and Holy Ghost commentary. The information may be easily overlooked as we often read the 'double reference' poetry in a single block of context.

The bottom line is without a revelation from the Holy Spirit prophecy is dangerous, its easily misunderstood and is impossible to decode ahead of time much like our internet passwords because of the great number of interpretive options.

Revelations 2:17. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."

Therefore ahead of time prophecy can only be understood by them who receive it from His person.

  • This doesn't answer anything; it doesn't even address the issue: which is the identity of the "angel" in question. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 8:10
  • Perhaps a more humble and productive comment would be "I don't understand how this is addressing the question?" It helps to clarify first by asking the author of the answer. One line states... "What I mean is that it is both the LORD Jesus speaking and immediately after it is John commenting and prophesying through the Holy Spirit in blocks of logic closely clustered together." What the above is saying is.. its the Angel of the Lord who is speaking then immediately in the next line without a clear indication of a change of person in the next line it is John and Holy Ghost commenting.
    – Newby
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 15:04
  • 1
    Your first answer doesn't even contain the word angel in it, so that's why it doesn't answer the question posed. This comment above is an explanation of the explanation. All you needed to originally write is "its the Angel of the Lord who is speaking..." just as you've done above, then support the claim. Otherwise, there's no need to correct (your presumed level of) my pride or lack of productivity. That's not what this site is about. Pride and lack of productivity goes both ways, because your claim also lack humility and productivity. More succinctly: Address the issues, not the issuer. Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 22:36
  • You said I didn't answer anything when I felt you didn't take the time to understand what I wrote. I accept it wasn't spelled out with the word 'angel etc but I thought I argued clearly that in that particular section of Revelations it is (1) the Lord speaking, (2) John or (3) the Holy Ghost commentary through John. ANYWAY I finally get your point regarding the clarity that answers are required on this website hence I will abstain for a while. I also apologies for hitting the issuer but I was annoyed and felt you threw my answer under the bus without taking the time to understand it. Peace
    – Newby
    Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 17:24
  • No hard feelings, Newby. I understood your answer as it was relayed, but didn't see any connection to the question posed. Now, with this further explanation, I understand what you were intending. A follow question: Do you see how saying it was either Jesus, John, or the Holy Spirit makes it look like you are calling one of those three an "angel"? Is that your intention here? If so, okay, but will you edit or add to your answer to explain why you see it that way? Thanks. Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 22:55

There's only one who can answer this question. And that has to be the Angel that was sent! The candlestick and the olive trees standing before The God of the earth are the dragon and the creature, they are the Angels people because they are from the tribe of Israel. These are God's chosen people who traded on us and created the stumbling blocks that one of the seven spirits of God spoke of in Revelation chap 2. If you read about the apostles of Jesus you'll see that they have children that became gods. Their children work for the Lord also. When Jesus calls the Father, Father, it's literally Jesus is the child and Angel of God. Jesus also has children in the spiritual world.
Chapter 12 a child was born in Heaven. "One to rule who was to all nations with a rod of iron. The child was caught up to God and to his throne. Also the great dragon, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan. He was cast out of heaven onto the earth with his angels."
Remember the devil is a child of God also an angel. So to answer the question simply. The angel is Jesus' child and God's grandchild. John even said in chapter 1 Jesus has made us kings and priests unto God and his father. John also sad when he turned to see the voice who was speaking and he looked just like Jesus.

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