The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

St Bede the Venerable’s Commentary on Revelation 10:8-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 18, 2016

Rev 10:8 And I heard a voice from heaven, again speaking to me and saying: Go and take the book that is open, from the hand of the angel who standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

voice. When the Lord lays open the mysteries of future time, and says, “For the kingdom of heaven is at handm,” the Church also is admonished to receive the same book of preaching. But these words may also be suitable to John himself, who is to return to preaching after his banishment.

Rev 10:9 And I went to the angel, saying unto him that he should give me the book. And he said to me: Take the book and eat it up. And it shall make thy belly bitter: but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey.
Rev 10:10 And I took the book from the hand of the angel and ate it up: and it was in my mouth, sweet as honey. And when I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

Give. Let him come to the Lord who wishes to receive the sacraments of teaching.

Take. That is, place it in thy inward parts, and write it down in the breadth of thy heart.

bitter. When thou hast received it, thou wilt be delighted by the sweetness of the divine oracle; but thou wilt perceive a bitterness on beginning to preach, and to practise what thou hast learned, or, at least, it is to be so understood according to Ezekiel, who, when he said that he had eaten the book, added, “And I went away in bitterness, in the indignation of my spiritn.”

Rev 10:11 And he said to me: Thou must prophesy again to many nations and peoples and tongues and kings.

prophesy. He shews what was signified by the book eaten up, and the sweetness mingled with bitterness, namely, that he was to be delivered from banishment, and was to preach the Gospel to the nations, which is sweet indeed through love, but is bitter through the persecutions that are to be endured.

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