1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. 2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want." (Revelation 11:1-6)
“Measure the Temple”
The word we interpret as “measure” in English is ’umod’ in Hebrew, pronounced ’oo-mode’. This word comes from the Hebrew verb ‘mahd’, which means ’to cover with a garment’ or ’to measure’ or ’to extend protection’. In other words, while we read the surface text and think of John merely measuring the size of the temple and altar - seemingly pointless since no dimensions are given - it seems what John was actually told to do was to provide protection for the temple complex. In other words, he was told to provide a covering with the power given to him as one of the two witnesses.