11:1 measure. This measurement of the temple and its worshipers is obviously a spiritual evaluation. John, entering upon his inheritance, as it were, will first of all be assigned to judge his own people, Israel. The earlier temples (built by Solomon, Zerubabel and Herod) had all been destroyed by Gentiles as part of God’s judgment on their apostasy, and this will happen yet one more time. God had not given them any instruction to rebuild their temple and reinstitute their ancient worship, for Christ had “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Hebrews 10:12), and they were still rejecting Him. However, the Jews—especially the ultra-orthodox Jews—have long desired to do just that and have vigorously promoted this idea ever since the reestablishment of their nation in 1948, especially after retaking most of Jerusalem in 1967. Up until the tribulation period, they will have been prevented from doing this by the existence of the Islamic Dome of the Rock on their traditional temple site, as well as the intense opposition of all the Islamic nations, the United Nations Organization, and their own factions.
At this point, however, essentially at the midpoint of the seven-year period of tribulation, the temple apparently will have been built and their sacrificial worship reestablished. John is called on by the Lord to judge it, since it is clearly found wanting. The indication is that they will have made a seven-year treaty with “the prince that shall come,” the great world leader soon to be recognized as the Beast, permitting them to raze the Muslim structures on the temple site and to build their own temple there once again (see notes on Daniel 9:25-27). This development, however, would presuppose that the Islamic powers would have first been rendered impotent. The most likely explanation would be that the invading forces of God and Magog, with all their Islamic allies will first have been decimated (see notes on Ezekiel 38, 39; Psalm 83). The disintegration of the Russian and Islamic threats will leave a power vacuum, which will probably be filled by the other European and American nations and their emerging world leader.