Keys to Revelation – Chapter 16
Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York
International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
BIBLE TEXT COMMENTARY
REV 16:1 Then I heard a loud voice [the temple] – The tabernacle of
from the temple saying to the seven Testimony. In the OT it was called
angels, “Go, pour out the seven the “tent of the testimony” and
bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.” contained the ark with the stone
tablets from Sinai (NUM 17:7; 18:2;
EXO 32:15; DEU 10:5). It was the
place where God met with man.
This earthly temple was modeled after
a heavenly tabernacle where God
dwelled. In this verse, it represents
the very presence of God in Heaven.
[seven angels] – In REV 15:1 these
seven angels were identified as the
seven angels with the seven last
plagues. They bring God’s final
phase of judgment to a close.
[bowls] – In REV 5:8 there were
golden bowls filled with incense
which represented the prayers of the
saints. God now answers these prayer
requests, for judgment upon sin and
“His Kingdom Come” by filling golden
bowls full of His wrath.
REV 16:2 The first angel went and [poured on the land] – The Apostle
poured out his bowl on the land, John sees the first angel tip his
and ugly and painful sores broke bowl and pour its contents on the
out on the people who had the mark land (vice the sea REV 16:3).
of the beast and worshiped his
image. [sores] – This is a very similar
plague to the one God caused to fall
upon the Egyptians in EXO 9:9-11,
where festering boils broke out. The
Christians alive at this point in the
Tribulation Period are exempt from
being “marked” by the boils because
they refused the mark of the beast
(see REV 13:16).
It is interesting to note that many
countries presently have canisters
and missiles loaded with Chemical
Agents which will cause painful
blisters to appear on mankind. They
are intended for use on the enemy in
a time of war. God may actually use
man’s chemical weapons to effect His
REV 16:3 The second angel poured [on the sea] – This judgment is upon
out his bowl on the sea, and it the waters of the sea.
turned into blood like that of a
dead man, and every living thing in [blood like…a dead man] – This is
the sea died. not like the bright red blood that
appears from a fresh cut on the skin,
rather, it is the coagulated and
rotting blood of a dead man.
[every living thing…died] – Because
of the blood all the creatures of the
REV 16:4 The third angel poured [rivers, springs…became blood] –
out his bowl on the rivers and After a span of time, God then caused
springs of water, and they became the rest of the earth’s waters to be
blood. turned to blood. When only the seas
were blood man still had drinking
water, but now all water was turned
into the rotting blood of a dead man.
REV 16:5 Then I heard the angel in [angel in charge of the waters] –
charge of the waters say: “You are Appears that certain angels are given
just in these judgments, you who particular assignments. In REV 7:1
are and who were, the Holy One, we saw angels in charge of the winds,
because you have so judged; in 14:18 we saw an angel in charge of
the fire, and of course the angel
Michael given the charge over Israel
REV 16:6 for they have shed the [blood to drink] – God has issued a
blood of your saints and prophets, a punishment tailored to fit the
and you have given them blood to crime, for the wicked had poured out
drink as they deserve.” the blood of the saints and now
receive blood to drink. Since they
liked blood they now can drink it in
lieu of water.
REV 16:7 And I heard the altar [the altar respond] – Most likely the
respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, voices are the saints under the altar
true and just are your judgments.” as seen in REV 6:9-10, for the blood
judgments would be a direct answer to
their “cries” of REV 6:10.
[just] – No one can fault God for His
judgments being too harsh when seen
in the light that He offered Grace
and Mercy to them first, but they
refused to repent, believe, and
submit to Jesus Christ.
REV 16:8 The fourth angel poured [scorch people] – Fire is commonly
out his bowl on the sun, and the connected with judgment in Scripture
sun was given power to scorch (DEU 28:22; 1CO 3:13; 2PE 3:7). Here
people with fire. the sun’s power is greatly increased
to the point where people on the
earth a burn as with a fire.
REV 16:9 They were seared by the [cursed…refused to repent] – The
intense heat and they cursed the people on the earth are aware of the
name of God, who had control over source of the judgments, yet they
these plagues, but they refused to willfully chose to curse God rather
repent and glorify him. than cry out for forgiveness.
REV 16:10 The fifth angel poured [plunged into darkness] – Just like
out his bowl on the throne of the the ninth Egyptian plague (EXO 10:21-
beast, and his kingdom was plunged 29), it was a darkness that could be
into darkness. Men gnawed their felt and no one could see anyone else
tongues in agony nor be able to leave their place. I
would imagine that not only did God
cause the Sun to go black, but like-
wise all batteries and lighting would
also fail, in order to make God’s
REV 16:11 and cursed the God of [pains and sores] – The suffering
heaven because of their pains and from the previous judgments are
their sores, but they refused to cumulative and make the curse of the
repent of what they had done. searing heat and darkness all the
[refuse to repent] – They will not
repent of their sins and therefore
will face the full force of the
wrath of God for an eternity.
REV 16:12 The sixth angel poured [water dried up] – Similar to the
out his bowl on the great river time when God dried up the Red Sea
Euphrates, and its water was dried to save the Jews from Pharaoh (EXO
up to prepare the way for the kings 14:21) and the drying of the Jordan
from the East. (during flood stage) in JOS 3:14-17).
Here, the Euphrates is dried up to
allow a devastating army cross over
[kings from the East] – This is the
same 200 million man army of REV
9:16. Many of the judgments actually
occur simultaneously even though they
are revealed separately.
REV 16:13 Then I saw three evil [looked like frogs] – Interesting to
spirits that looked like frogs; note that Satan is said to look like
they came out of the mouth of the a snake, these evil spirits like
dragon, out of the mouth of the frogs, but the Holy Spirit looks like
beast and out of the mouth of the a dove.
[out of the mouth] – These three evil
spirits come from the unholy trinity,
namely, Satan, the Antichrist, and
the false prophet.
REV 16:14 They are spirits of [gather them] – They go to the kings
demons performing miraculous signs, and cause them to desire to go to war
and they go out to the kings of the by working in their hearts. They
whole world, to gather them for the bring them together for that last
battle on the great day of God battle fought by mankind.
REV 16:15 “Behold, I come like a Jesus interrupts the description of
thief! Blessed is he who stays the end time events, to remind all
awake and keeps his clothes with peoples the need to stay awake, by
him, so that he may not go naked continuing in the faith and being
and be shamefully exposed.” steadfast, being dressed with the
robes of righteousness (REV 3:18,
REV 16:16 Then they gathered the [Armageddon] – Located in the Valley
kings together to the place that in of Megiddo. One of the world’s most
Hebrew is called Armageddon. famous battlefields.
REV 16:17 The seventh angel poured [It is done] – God has begun the
out his bowl into the air, and out grand finale, for His judgments are
of the temple came a loud voice almost complete.
from the throne, saying, “It is
REV 16:18 Then there came flashes
of lightning, rumblings, peals of
thunder and a severe earthquake. No
earthquake like it has ever
occurred since man has been on
earth, so tremendous was the quake.
REV 16:19 The great city split [great city] – Most likely it is the
into three parts, and the cities of city of Rome, the new Babylon, and
the nations collapsed. God seat of the Antichrist.
remembered Babylon the Great and
gave her the cup filled with the [cities of the nations] – All the
wine of the fury of his wrath. major cities of the world are
destroyed by this earthquake, such
as, Paris, London, New York, Denver,
Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C.,
Los Angeles, Dallas, Shreveport,
REV 16:20 Every island fled away [island fled away] – All the islands
and the mountains could not be disappeared, and only the mainlands
found. were left. Even the mountains were
made flat because of this earthquake.
REV 16:21 From the sky huge [hailstones] – Imagine 100 pound
hailstones of about a hundred hailstones falling from the skies!
pounds each fell upon men. And they What roof could withstand such force?
cursed God on account of the plague Many men and animals would surely
of hail, because the plague was so have died.
[cursed God] – Instead of crying out
for forgiveness, repenting of their
sins, the unsaved people cursed God.
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