Keys to Revelation – Chapter 8
Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New
York International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible
BIBLE TEXT COMMENTARY
REV 8:1 When he opened the seventh [He opened] – It is opened by the
seal, there was silence in heaven only one worthy to open the seals
for about half an hour. –the Lamb of God (see REV 5:2-9).
[silence] – The silence is a dramatic
pause making even more impressive the
judgment that is about to fall upon
the earth. While thirty minutes is a
relatively short time, it makes for a
dramatic break considering the rather
quick moving pace of the events of
REV 8:2 And I saw the seven angels [stand before God] – The fact that
who stand before God, and to them these angels stand before God would
were given seven trumpets. indicate a place of prominence such
as is given to the angel Gabriel
(see LUK 1:19).
[seven trumpets] – These were seven
literal trumpets that were to be
sounded to herald judgments of God.
REV 8:3 Another angel, who had a [golden censer] – A gold pan filled
golden censer, came and stood at with fire (like hot charcoal).
the altar. He was given much
incense to offer, with the prayers [incense] – Aromatic substance that
of all the saints, on the golden gives off smoke and aroma when placed
altar before the throne. on hot coals.
[with the prayers] – Our prayers to
God are mixed with incense and are
offered to Him as a sweet fragrance.
[golden altar] – This is the same
altar that was mentioned in REV 6:9
in reference to the saints under the
REV 8:4 The smoke of the incense, [prayers of the saints] – Could it
together with the prayers of the be that our prayers, even in this age
saints, went up before God from the are so precious to God that they are
angel’s hand. placed in golden censers and carried
by angels to be placed on the golden
altar before God?
REV 8:5 Then the angel took the [fire…hurled] – The censers that
censer, filled it with fire from carried the prayers of the saints are
the altar, and hurled it on the now used to carry God’s judgments to
earth; and there came peals of the earth. Many of the prayers of
thunder, rumblings, flashes of Christians has been for God’s
lightning and an earthquake. righteous judgment on earth, He now
answers these prayers.
[there came…] – The thunder,
rumblings, flashes of lightning, and
the earthquake are reminiscent of
Sinai when God came to earth to visit
with Moses, however, this time it is
a visit of judgment (EXO 19:16-19).
REV 8:6 Then the seven angels who [prepared to sound] – Most likely
had the seven trumpets prepared to means that they raised their trumpets
sound them. in readiness to sound.
REV 8:7 The first angel sounded [hail…fire…blood] – This could be
his trumpet, and there came hail a supernatural event of many gigantic
and fire mixed with blood, and it thunderstorms, which have a mixture
was hurled down upon the earth. A of hailstones of ice and bolts of
third of the earth was burned up, a fire called lightning. The blood
third of the trees were burned up, would be like the real blood that God
and all the green grass was burned gave the Egyptians to drink in EXO 7.
The world has shed the blood of men
and women since the beginning and now
would be getting a judgment of blood,
but now mixed with fire!
NOTE: The hail, fire, and blood may
only be symbolic of destruction that
is caused by limited nuclear warfare.
[earth, trees, grass…burned] – This
first trumpet was an obvious judgment
against the vegetation of the earth.
Man will suffer greatly due to the
greatly reduced food supply, oxygen
source, and the obvious psychological
effects of such devastation.
REV 8:8 The second angel sounded [like a huge mountain] – It is not a
his trumpet, and something like a mountain, but like one, which could
huge mountain, all ablaze, was indicate something as devastating as
thrown into the sea. A third of the a meteorite or asteroid from space
sea turned into blood, impacting into the ocean.
This would kill a tremendous number
of fish from the concussion undersea
REV 8:9 a third of the living and of course the waves would disrupt
creatures in the sea died, and a the surface of the seas for thousands
third of the ships were destroyed. of miles causing ships to capsize and
sink. Then along with this God turns
one third of the waters into literal
blood as a fit judgment for a blood-
thirsty world (see EXO 7:20-21).
REV 8:10 The third angel sounded [great star…Wormwood] – John sees
his trumpet, and a great star, something ablaze like a “shooting
blazing like a torch, fell from the star” strike the earth at various
sky on a third of the rivers and on places polluting the fresh waters.
the springs of water– Again, this could be a supernatural
act of God using special poisonous
REV 8:11 the name of the star is stars, but it also could be by men
Wormwood. A third of the waters launching a germ warfare attack and
turned bitter, and many people died using ICBMs as the carrier to the
from the waters that had become major water sources.
REV 8:12 The fourth angel sounded [a third of the sun] – God simply
his trumpet, and a third of the sun reduced the hours of sunlight by one-
was struck, a third of the moon, third, so instead of sunlight from
and a third of the stars, so that a 7am to 7pm it would be reduced to
third of them turned dark. A third something like 9am to 5pm. He had
of the day was without light, and no problem stopping the sun from
also a third of the night. shining on the entire earth when our
Lord died on the Cross (MAT 27:45).
[a third of the moon] – Like the sun,
the moon was prevented from shining
for one-third of its normal time of
illumination. The night was darker
than before due to the reduced number
of stars and the lack of the normal
[a third of the stars] – God just
ordered them to cease from shining
and one-third of them went out like a
candle snuffed out.
NOTE: The net result of this fourth
judgment is to cause a collapse of
the balance of nature. The seasons
are thrown into chaos, many crops die
because there is too much night and
not enough day. Man thought he could
ignore God and still grow all the
food he desired.
REV 8:13 As I watched, I heard an [eagle] – The same word for eagle can
eagle that was flying in midair be translated “vulture” which in this
call out in a loud voice: “Woe! context would symbolize impending
Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the doom. It could be a clear warning to
earth, because of the trumpet the inhabitants of the earth or only
blasts about to be sounded by the serve as an announcement in heaven to
other three angels!” those observing the unfolding of the
Judgments of God.
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