1 Then there was given to me a measuring stick that looked like a [tree] branch. I was told [Note: Neither the giver nor the speaker are identified], "Get up and measure the Temple of God, and the Altar and [count] those who worship there, 2 but do not include the court on the outside of the Temple in your measurements, because it has been given to the [unconverted] Gentiles. And they will trample underfoot the holy city [i.e., Jerusalem ? See 21:10] for forty-two months. 3 And I will give [authority] to my two witnesses and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, wearing sackcloth" [i.e., a black, coarse cloth made of goat's hair]. 4 These [two witnesses] are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand in front of the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire will come out of their mouths and consume their enemies. And if anyone tries to harm them, he must be killed in the same way. 6 These witnesses have the authority to shut the sky up so that it does not rain during the time they are prophesying. And they have the authority to turn the waters into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague whenever they want to.
7 And when they have completed their testimony, the beast that comes up from the pit [See 13:1ff; 17:3,7] will wage war against them, and overpower and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city [Note: See the following passages on this "great city," 14:8; 16:19; 17:5,18; 18:2,10,16,18,19,21] where the Lord was crucified, which is spiritually called Sodom, or Egypt. 9 And people from among the races and tribes and language groups and nations will gaze at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and they will not permit their bodies to be buried. 10 And those people living on the earth will be glad over the death of them [i.e., the two witnesses. See verse 3], and they will celebrate by sending gifts to one another, because these two prophets had tormented those living on earth.
11 And after three and a half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up on their feet, and the people who saw them became terrified. 12 Then the two witnesses/prophets heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." So, they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 At that very hour a severe earthquake occurred and one tenth of the city [See verse 8] was destroyed; and seven thousand persons were killed by the earthquake; and everyone else was terrified and gave honor to the God of heaven. 14 The second Calamity is over; look, the third one is coming soon.
15 Then the seventh angel sounded its trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord [i.e., God] and of His Christ, and He will rule forever and ever."
16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit in front of God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying, "We thank you, O Lord God Almighty, who exists [in the present] and who existed [in the past], because you have taken your great power and have begun to rule. 18 And the nations were enraged, but your wrath has come [anyway]. The time has come for the dead to be judged and for your servants the prophets to receive their reward, [along with] the saints and [both] the insignificant and important ones who revere your name. [It is also time] to destroy those who destroy the earth."
19 Then God's Temple in heaven was opened, and inside of it was seen the Chest containing God's Agreement [i.e., between Him and Israel]. [Immediately] there came lightning flashes, [loud] sounds, rumbling thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.