10 And [kai] they that dwell [katoikeo] upon [epi] the earth [ge] shall rejoice [chairo] over
[epi] them, [autos] and [kai] make merry, [euphraino] and [kai] shall send [pempo] gifts [doron] one to
another; [allelon] because [hoti] these [houtos] two [duo] prophets [prophetes]
tormented [basanizo] them that dwelt [katoikeo] on [epi] the earth. [ge] KJV-Interlinear
those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry; and they
will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who
dwell on the earth. NASB
The word for earth, ‘ge,’
is a general word for the land, or for the region. It can also be applied to
the entire planet, however in scripture it is generally used for the local area
more so than the entire world, Ex 3:8; 13:5; Deut 19:2,10; 28:12; Neh 9:22; Ps
37:9,11,22,29; 66:4; Prov 2:21; 10:30; Joel 1:2, Matt 2:6,20-21; 14:15; Acts
This suggests to us a couple
of things about life in the Tribulation.
First, we know that the
tribulation is filled with judgments.
Second, we know that of
those judgments, there will be lots of disruption, damage and death scattered across
the entire planet.
Third, we know that
these two witnesses, will be preaching to the entire world.
Fourth, we know that
their ministry will last for 1260 days, or roughly three-and-a-half-years.
Fifth, we know that when
their demise occurs, there will be many people of all nations and cultures, in
Sixth, therefore, we
know that somehow, their message will be transmitted or relayed, or transmitted
either by mouth or technology, around the entire world.
Seventh, when these two
are killed, and their bodies left in the street, then the entire world will not
know of it immediately, but the local residents or visitors, will know of it
immediately, and the rest of the world will probably hear of it in due course.
We have not yet studied
their being raised from the dead, but when that occurs, then some people will
respond favorably toward Christ, but most will not. And, then there will be a
great earthquake in Jerusalem, where folks will perceive themselves as
impervious to disasters.
So, even though the
response and reaction to their deaths will eventually be worldwide, the
emphasis in this passage is toward the local population in Jerusalem.
When evil people and
gossips get together and hound a chosen victim, they celebrate when their
victim falls on hard times or difficulties. It has nothing to do with what
their victim has done, for most victims do nothing to deserve being targeted as
This is no different.
The two witnesses, will have been teaching truth, salvation and posing no
threat to anyone. However, those who are negative toward God and doctrine, will
see their preaching as annoying and a nuisance to their lifestyles. Perceiving
truth as a torment, when in fact their own evil is the real tormenting of life.
The rejoicing is not a
party atmosphere, but a celebration of sorts, over the demise of something that
was really good, but hated by those who are really evil.
Remember when the two towers
in New York were crashed into by the planes, and the celebrations that occurred
in some countries, because of the deaths of nearly 3000 people? This then is
very similar. With no harm done to anyone by the victims, celebrations will
spontaneously erupt when they are killed.
Such is the nature of
evil and people who reject truth, God, Christ and His message, and His
To evil people, truth is
a nuisance and is annoying to their everyday life.