|Who is “another
angel?” This question introduces one
of the darkest passages of Revelation.
Indeed, most commentators treat it very briefly, because they have so
little to say of which they are sure.
As to who this angel is, there are two approaches
|• We don’t know, or
|• Jesus Christ.
|The latter is argued
for in one of two ways:
|• In the
dispensationalist theory, God is now dealing again with Israel as a
nation. Israel is now God’s
representative (again) on earth. In
the prior dispensation (the Law) Jesus appeared as “The Angel of the
Lord.” Therefore, he must do so
again. (This seems to argue more
against dispensationalism than anything else it might argue for).
|• More powerfully,
however, the argument is made that who else could stand between the seven
angels of the presence (as the Jews would have known them from the
non-canonical book, Tobit). The
parallel is drawn between this action and that of the High Priest entering
the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 16:11-13) -- and who is our High Priest?
have seen, represents prayer. Here we
see it “mingled” with prayer. The best
suggestion (again, most skip this) is that this incense (being heavenly)
represents the prayer of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:26-27).
|Fire -- note
that it comes from the altar, wherein the blood of the martyrs is spilled --
compares to the passage in Ezekiel 10-11 where the coals taken from between
the cherubim are spread over Jerusalem, foretelling her fall. This is a warning of things to come.
all the rest) are taken somewhat literally, meaning natural disasters (when
they are commented on at all).
|The Half Hour
Silence may be the most mysterious of all. Some (historicists) hold that this is the
consolidation of the church after the time of Constantine. Perhaps a better view is this: “Everything holds so that the prayers of
the saints may be heard.” (Barclay)