Monday, June 9, 2014




ESV = English Standard Version;
ESVSB = ESV Study Bible;
NIV = New International Version;
NIVSB = NIV Study Bible

Scripture quotations are from ESV
unless otherwise noted.

Chapter 8 contains a description of the events that are initiated by the opening of the seventh seal (see 5:1-7 and 6:1ff) and then the events that are initiated by the blowing of the first of four trumpets. 

            As I have described in previous articles, I believe that the seals were wax seals placed along the leading edge of the roll of papyrus, which was the book that the One on the throne held (5:1).  It was necessary for all seven seals to be broken or opened in order for the book to be read.  If we consider that the book is a description of end-time events and the consummation of all things, then the seven seals are events leading up to those events.  (See Ladd, 121.) They may be developments that take place all through the years of church history.  Some of them may take place during part of the last seven years before the Second Coming of Christ—a period called the Tribulation period. 

The sealing of the 144,000 that is described in 7:1-8 seems to take place before the Tribulation period.  The scene in which the Great Multitude stands before the throne seems to be at the end of the Tribulation.  (Its description includes one of the few mentions of the Tribulation, 7:14.)  These two scenarios of chapter 7 seem to be an interlude to give background information in preparation for the Tribulation period.

As I have stated, chapter 8 first depicts the opening of the seventh seal (8:1-5) and then describes the events initiated by the blowing of the first four trumpets (8:6-12) and a brief introduction to the last three trumpets (8:13)  We see some similarities in the pattern of the trumpets to the pattern of the seals. 

·         The seals have a group of four which are described briefly and are distinguished by being represented by the four horsemen.  (6:1-8)

·         The first four trumpets are described briefly and all follow a similar pattern of description. (8:6-12)

·         The descriptions of the fifth and six seals depart from the pattern of the first four seals.  The sixth seal concludes with a comment on the reaction of people to their situation before God. (6:9-17)

·         The descriptions of the fifth and sixth trumpets also depart from the previous pattern of the first four trumpets.  In both of the descriptions there are comments regarding the people who experience the plagues initiated by the trumpets. (8:13, 9:1-21)

·         There is a lengthy interlude between the sixth and seventh seals. (7:1-17)

·         There is also a lengthy interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets. (10:1-11:14)

·         The seventh seal and the seventh trumpet both describe events in heaven and anticipate further actions of God.  Both include a similar set of signs, including lightning, rumblings, thunder, and an earthquake (the seventh trumpet adds a hailstorm). (8:1-5, 11:15-19)

The pattern of the seven seals and the seven trumpets is followed to a great degree in the descriptions of the seven bowls (chapter 16).  I think that it is possible that, in each series of seven, we arrive at the same point in time with the seventh in the series.  This does not necessarily mean that the three groups of seven are exactly parallel in time.  Thus, it could be that the seals generally take place from John’s time until the end.  I think that possibly seal 5 marks the beginning of the Tribulation period and seal 6 is also early in that period (I waver on this).  I think the trumpets are all within the Tribulation period, as are the bowls.  In each case, the seventh in the series is at the end of the Tribulation period.  The following chart might be helpful.  Keep in mind that this is only a hypothesis. 

From 1st century to end-times
Of Tribulation
Close to
End of
Seal 1
Seal 2
Seal 3
Seal 4
Seal 6*
Seal 6
Seal 7


            The problem this presents for me is that I (following Ladd) have maintained that the seals must be broken in order to “read the book.”  This would mean that seventh seal should be placed earlier.  However, if we understand that all of these seals and trumpets and so forth are literary devices that present a picture of what will take place.  So, the breaking of the seals is not so much a matter of time (though it does represent historical events) as a statement of the sealed-off revelation of the end-times.  Only the Lamb is worthy to break those seals.  He does so for John (and for John’s readers) so that a glimpse of the end-times may be seen.  As He breaks the seals, He also reveals the historical developments in the approach to the end-times.  He is disclosing the “beginning of birth pangs.”  In seal 7, He anticipates the final victory at the end of the Tribulation period by the highly symbolic lightning, thunder, etc.  Once He has opened this seal and assured John—and all who read the book—of the final victory, then He can open the book and begin to disclose end-time events.    

The interlude of chapter 7 also anticipates this from an earthly perspective for the saints of God.  They are sealed as 144,000 and they come out of the Great Tribulation as the great multitude.  This vision of the ultimate victory of the saints anticipates the entire content of the end-times.  The seventh seal elicits lightning, rumblings, and thunder to remind us that God is still on the throne (see 4:5 and 8:5). 

Another viewpoint is that of Pentecost.  The following is his chronology of Revelation (Pentecost, 188):

·         The first half of the Tribulation is described by the seals (4:1-7:17).

·         The last half is described by the trumpets (8:1-11:14)

·         The last half closes with the Lord’s return to reign in 11:15-18.

·         Between the 6th and 7th trumpets John is told he will prophesy again.  He quotes Thayer that palin “denotes renewal or repetition of the action.”  Therefore John will retrace the entire period again.

·         Beginning in chapter 12, John surveys the period “placing emphasis on the individuals who play so important a part in the events of the seventieth week.

·         The bowls come at the close of the period and are over quickly.

·         The return of Christ is again depicted in chapter 19.

He especially rejects the Midtribulation interpretation of 11:15-18 as describing the rapture.  Rather, he says it describes the revelation (of Christ).  He says the former interpretation “depends on the allegorical method of interpretation, particularly in making Revelation 11 describe the rapture.”  (See his interpretation of the first four trumpets below and my comment.)

Verses 8:1-5:  In verses 8:1-5, the events initiated by the opening of the seventh seal are described.

The first event is a non-event:  silence (8:1).  We are reminded of Psalm 46:10:  “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  Silence connotes reverence and anticipation.  God is about to do something.  It will not come about by human initiative, but through the power of God.  Metzger (62) and Rist (425) refer to ancient traditions that understood that heaven is silent in order to hear the prayers of the saints (which are referred to in the passage).  “The best suggestion is that the silence represents an attitude of trembling suspense…in view of the judgments…about to fall upon the world.” (Ladd, 122-123)

Next, the trumpets are passed out (8:2).  Whereas the Lamb is the one who opens the seven seals, it will be angels who blow the trumpets.  The angels are described as the ones who “stand before God.”  These have not been mentioned before.  The verb is in the perfect tense and can be translated “have stood” before God.  They have had this place for some time.   Rist (425) believes that the seven angels correspond to the seven spirits before the throne (4:5).  Metzger (63) refers to ancient traditions that actually named seven special angels. The trumpets are given to them, but they do not blow them at once.  This is a typical pattern in Revelation, in which a “proleptic” statement is given—that is, one that anticipates action to come.  The fact that the seven trumpets are mentioned within the description of the seventh seal emphasizes that it is the breaking of the seventh seal that unleashes the events of the seven trumpets.  If we remember the seven seals to be positioned on the leading edge of the scroll, then, once the last seal is broken, the events within the book can begin to take place.  The first set of events is the group of seven trumpets.  Although Ladd’s interpretation is very
similar to mine, he states:  The “seven trumpets in fact constitute the contents of the seventh seal…” (122)  This statement really is contradictory to his depiction of the seals as closing the book of the end.  Once the seals are broken (including the seventh) then the book is opened.  So, the seven trumpets are mentioned in the description of the seventh seal, but they are not blown until all that relates to the seventh seal is complete.

Next, another angel, not one of the seven, steps before the altar (8:3).  This is an altar on which incense is burned.  The angel offers the incense along with the prayers of the saints.  In 5:8, the prayers of the saints are described as incense in golden bowls, held by the 24 elders.  In both of these instances, the prayers of the saints are described as incense-like offerings to God.  Prayer serves many functions.  Generally, we think of it as a benefit to the Christian.  It is an opportunity to communicate with God, to ask God for specific things, to pour out our deepest concerns as well as our deep love for God.  Seldom do we think of it as an act of worship.  And yet, it is considered by God to be just that.  It is, we might say, the incense of heaven, a fragrance that pleases God.  So, when we neglect to pray, we not only wound ourselves, but we also deprive God of that which He desires. 

This prayer-incense is offered to God at this particular moment.  It is a moment when there is an anticipation of God’s powerful intervention in human history.  Rist refers to the scene in 5:8 in which the prayers of the saints are mentioned in conjunction with the opening of the scroll.  In that case “the opening of the scroll of doom will be an answer to their petitions” (Rist, 426), and so what will take place after the seventh seal will be in answer to the prayers of the saints.  (See also Ladd, 124.) 

The scene is full of drama:  All of heaven keeps silence before God.  Then, (silently) the seven angels each receive a trumpet.  Then, the angel who tends the incense altar mixes the prayers of all the saints with incense and offers it to God.  Note that the prayers of “all” the saints are offered.  This could be thought of as the prayers of all saints throughout history or simply all the saints of that time.  Rist (426) says “it must be assumed” that the prayers of the saints in 8:3 are the same as the prayers of the martyrs in 6:9-10.  However, Ladd notes that the prayers of 8:3 are described as being from all the saints, so they should not be considered as only from the martyrs.  I agree.  Rist and Metzger rightfully emphasize the role of persecution and martyrdom in Revelation, but sometimes they seem to narrow the focus too much.  Whatever the case, this huge reservoir of prayer is poured out upon the altar and rises like smoke to God from the hand of the angel (8:4).  As God receives these prayers, He prepares to be exalted among the nations (Psalm 46:10).

 Ladd is concerned about the role of the angel in this scene.  He is adamant that only Christ plays a mediatorial role for the saints (I Timothy 2:5).  He cites Daniel 9:20ff and 10:10ff as examples of an angel acting as a mediator.  However, I do not consider either of these passages to depict Gabriel as a mediator, but, rather, he is simply carrying out God’s purposes in aiding Daniel.  He also cites Hebrews 1:14, which describes angels as ministering servants.  This latter concept is true and really does not bear on the question of angels as mediators.  Moreover, I do not consider the angel’s ministry in 8:3-5 to be that of a mediator.  He is simply augmenting the prayers of the saints with the incense of heaven in an act of worship to God.  I consider that a mediator would receive the prayers and then plead to God on behalf of the saints and on the basis of their prayers and on the basis of whatever standing the mediator has with God.  This is done by Jesus in His role as mediator.

 Now, the scene shifts from the tranquility in heaven to devastation on earth.  The angel shovels fire from the altar onto the earth.  What is an offering of worship in heaven becomes a reign of terror on earth.  As I am writing this, I am reflecting on any number of horrific terrors that people are inflicting upon one another.

·         A woman was raped and hung in India.

·         Over two hundred girls were kidnapped in Africa.

·         A young man killed five other people and himself as well as wounding and terrorizing people in California.

·         Two grade school girls stabbed a third girl 19 times.

·         Two young children were stabbed in an elevator by a stranger.

On and on it goes.  Returning to Psalm 46, we find that God is the one who will stop all of this:

    Come, behold the works of the LORD,

        how he has brought desolations on the earth.     

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;         

he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;         

 he burns the chariots with fire.     

“Be still, and know that I am God.          

I will be exalted among the nations,         

I will be exalted in the earth!”     

The LORD of hosts is with us;         

the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

The angel shovels the fire to the earth, and there are signs that come from this action.  Whether these are in heaven or on the earth or both, we do not know.  It probably is immaterial.  What is being communicated is the power and majesty of God.  We first encounter a similar set of signs in 4:5.  In that case three signs are given—thunder, lightening, and “rumblings” or “voices.”  These came “from the throne.”  It seems that these signs are symbols of the throne and the One who sits on the throne.  In 8:5, a fourth sign—an earthquake is added.  This obviously would be on earth.  These signs are found, in similar lists, also in 11:19 and 16:18.  The list of signs accompanies the seventh in each of three different sets of seven.

·         Verse 4:5 lists the signs and is not part of a set of seven events.

·         Verse 8:5 lists the signs with the breaking of the seventh seal.

·         Verse 11:19 lists the signs with the blowing of the seventh trumpet.

·         Verse 16:18 lists the signs with the pouring out of the seventh bowl. 

Rist (427) calls these “theophanies” and relates them to the events at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16).  These, he says, give “assurance that God was there.”  Metzger (63) states that the fire from the altar sets off “catastrophic consequences” on earth.  Ladd relates throwing fire from the altar onto the earth to a similar scene in Ezekiel 10:2.  This verse dramatically pictures the fact that it is in answer to the prayers of the saints that God’s judgments will fall upon the earth.”  (Ladd, 126)

Verses 8:6-12:  The seven angels prepare to blow their trumpets.  As each of the first four blows his trumpet, things take place on earth.  The events to some degree follow a pattern.

·         Something is thrown or falls to earth, on a particular place on the earth.  In one exception (trumpet 4), celestial bodies are hit.

·         A third of something on the earth or a third of all of a particular type of thing is killed or destroyed.  The fourth trumpet departs somewhat from this pattern, but the “third of” is maintained.

            Trumpet 1 (8:7):  [In commenting throughout this chapter, I am frustrated by the use of the past tense in the text.  It is difficult at times to decide which verb tense to use in the commentary.  So, please forgive any confusion that this creates.]  Although there are a number of parallels between the seals and the trumpets, there also are differences.  Whereas the first four seals elicit events or developments which correspond with our experience (war, economic crisis, famine, and plague); the first four trumpets elicit events that are not all in our experience of the natural world.

            Metzger (64) and other commentators relate the trumpet plagues to the plagues of Exodus.  He notes that “The treatment of the Christians in Rome can be compared to the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt…”  (See also Rist, 427-428.)  Metzger summarizes the trumpets as being worse than the four horsemen since the harm is consistently 1/3 of the earth rather than ¼.  Thus, the pressure on the earth-dwellers is increased.  He also sees unity in the first four trumpets in the fact that “three things” are affected in each of the first four trumpets.  However, I only find two in the third trumpet, unless the “waters” is separate from the springs and rivers. 

Pentecost (361) quotes William Newell, who reviews the role of trumpets in Scripture.  He notes that one use of trumpets was to arouse “the hosts of Jehovah against their enemies…”  (See Numbers 10:10 and Joshua 6.)  The elements of our experience are present in these descriptions, but the word-pictures are bizarre and ghastly.  So, when the first trumpet is blown, three materials are thrown onto the earth—hail and fire that is mixed with blood.  The result is a burning—of the earth, the trees, and the grass.  Probably, the expression, “a third of the earth was burned up,” means that a third of the surface.  Then, further information is given—that a third of the trees and all of the grass was burned up.  Our impression is that all of the grass throughout the earth was burned, but only one-third of the trees.  Whether the one-third of the trees and the one-third of the earth is to be understood as one concentrated area or dispersed throughout the earth cannot be decided for certain.

I believe that we should interpret this with two parallel understandings.

·         First, we should recognize that symbolic-figurative-spiritual language is being used.  The fact that blood is said to be mixed with fire seems to me to signal that what is being described is an action from heaven upon the earth.  Blood was used in various ceremonies of purification (see the book of Leviticus).  It was especially used in a ceremony of covenant purification at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:1-8, Hebrews 9:19-22).  So, the action of God in this first trumpet is not only a plague of burning, but it is also an act of purification. 

·         Second, we should recognize that this is a description of real events.  Our perspective, along with John’s, is from heaven.  We see the action of heaven in the slinging of hail, fire, and blood upon the earth.  We also see the result on the earth to be a burnt-out landscape that will be a horror to those on the earth.  What we do not see is the precise connection between the action from heaven and the result on the earth.  What will that “hail, fire, and blood” look like from an earthly perspective?  That we do not know, and I think we would be wise not to speculate too much about it.

I think we need to keep these two parallel understandings in tension throughout our reading about these trumpets as well as other passages of Revelation.

            Trumpet 2 (8:8-9):  Whereas the first plague (note that these events are called “plagues” in 9:20) affected terrestrial vegetation, the second plague attacked the sea.  Rist sees precedents in other ancient literature, including the first plague of Exodus in Exodus 7:14-24.  He notes several ancient descriptions of material falling into the sea.  He concludes that the star could represent “a fallen angel expelled from heaven to wreak destruction on the world.” (Rist, 428-429) Metzger (64) notes that the eruption of Vesuvius was in AD 79.  He believes that Revelation was written after this and that the experience of Vesuvius would prepare people for this description.  Ladd rejects that the second trumpet represents an eruption (126-127).  Although some commentators may have believed this, Metzger was only saying that it would be in the background of the readers’ experience. 

            Trumpet 3 (8:10-11):  Again, we see a heavenly action resulting in an earthly reaction.  A “star” fell on one-third of the fresh water supplies.  This is impossible to visualize in two respects.  How does a star fall on all these separate rivers and springs?  How does a star, which astronomers tell us is far bigger than the earth, fall on the earth and not consume it?  In Revelation 12:4, the Dragon is said to sweep one-third of the stars from heaven.  Many would interpret this to the action of Satan to remove many angels from their original place (see ESVSB, also II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6).  Thus, a “star” may refer to an angel or to some sort of heavenly emissary.  The consistent pattern of the first three trumpets seems to be to describe a heavenly action and the earthly result.  We cannot analyze the heavenly action from a naturalistic point of view.  We just accept that something happens at the initiative of God.  The earthly result is that the water is turned to wormwood.  The star itself is called “Wormwood,” and it changed the water to wormwood.  The Greek name is “Apsinthos,” related to “absinthe.”  Wormwood is a plant and the oil it produces, which is bitter, but not poisonous.  The oil is used in making the liqueur called absinthe (which is also another name for wormwood).  The bitterness of the water in this case probably means that it was contaminated because it caused many deaths.  Rist (429) and Ladd (127) both note the use of wormwood in God’s judgment in Jeremiah 9:15 and 23:15.  At this point, the terrestrial vegetation, the seas, and the fresh water have all been affected by these plagues.

            Trumpet 4 (8:12):  In this case, the heavenly action is not described in figurative terms.  Rather, the heavenly bodies are simply said to have been “struck.”  The geometry and astronomy are not very clear in this verse.  We cannot envision how striking a third of the sun will result in darkness for a third of the day and striking a third of the moon and stars will result in darkness for a third of the night.  (See Rist, 430.)  The meaning seems to be:  the sun’s power to light the day was removed for one-third of the time and the same was true for the moon and stars at night.  Darkness was also in the 9th plague, Exodus 10:21. (Ladd, 127) We should not draw from these kinds of expressions in Revelation that we are dealing with ignorance.  In some cases, the method is poetic and not attempting to be scientifically accurate.  (See Ladd, 127, who refers to the “picturesque apocalyptic way of thinking” which portrays logical impossibility.)  In fact, the “darkness” may not be a physical darkness at all, but a spiritual darkness.  A similar plague of darkness is described in 16:10-11.  There, the “throne of the beast” is the target of the plague.  When the bowl of wrath is poured out on the throne of the beast, his kingdom is plunged into darkness and people cursed God.  Whether or not there will be a literal darkness, there will surely be a spiritual darkness.

Verse 8:13:  The first four trumpets had been blown, and now there was a special message.  An eagle flew overhead and cried out.  More than one commentator explains that the King James Version has “angel” (incorrectly) rather than “eagle.”  This is based on the Greek text that was used for that version.  Here again, we must recognize the poetic imagery and dramatization that accompanies the narrative.  We are not being “liberal” or “non-literal” to consider that this word-picture is not necessarily depicting something that will literally happen.  Will people see look up and see this eagle and hear its cry?  It seems to me that the message from the eagle is not directed at those “who dwell on the earth,” but rather it directed toward us who read the book.  We can imagine, for example, a narrator of a documentary describing the D-Day invasion of Normandy.  She says:  “Watch out, Nazi occupiers!  Here come the allies in the greatest military invasion of all time!”  The message dramatizes the events about to unfold, alerting those of us who are watching the documentary that we are going to see something momentous.  So, now, we are on the alert as we begin to read chapter 9 of Revelation that terrible woes are still to come as the last three trumpets are blown.  Just as the description in 8:1-5 of events surrounding the seventh seal created anticipation for the trumpets, so the eagle creates anticipation for the last three trumpets.

            Metzger says that the “judgments that follow each of the first four trumpets are elemental forces of nature, which are directed against the cosmos and which affect humanity indirectly.”  He contrasts that with the “last three trumpets [which] call forth demonic forces, falling directly on humanity.” (64)  Similarly, Ladd says:  “The forces of nature have fallen under divine judgment as a warning to sinful men [with the first four trumpet judgments]…”  The fifth and sixth plagues will fall directly on the “persons of men.” (128)  He also says that an eagle is chosen because it has strong wings and has a wide perspective (see Russell’s interpretation below).  Rist (430-431) wonders if the eagle is the same as the “living creature” in 4:7.  “’Those who dwell on the earth’ is a repeated expression in the Revelation designating the pagan world in its hostility to God (3:10; 6:10; 11:10; 13:8; 17;2).”  It “is implied” that the church will be spared because it has been sealed and “explicitly stated” in 9:4. (Ladd, 128)

                Pentecost includes the trumpet judgments in a list of (many) events in the “Day of the Lord” (list on 231), which he defines as “that extended period of time beginning with God’s dealing with Israel after the rapture at the beginning of the tribulation period and extending through the second advent and millennial age unto the creation of the new heavens and new earth after the millennium.” (Pentecost, 230-231)

            Pentecost’s interpretation of the trumpets understands the trumpet judgments to occur in the second half of the Tribulation period. (Pentecost, 187-188)  His interpretation of the first four trumpets including the following (361-362):

·         First two trumpets:  “It is suggested that the earth may represent the land of Palestine…and the sea represents the nations.”

·         Third trumpet and poisoning of “fountains of waters”:  “Such are used in Scripture as the source of life, even spiritual life, and this may depict judgment upon those from whom living water is taken away because they believed the lie (2 Thess. 2:11).”

·         Fourth trumpet:  These [sun, moon, and stars] represent governmental powers and may present the judgment of God upon world rulers.”

Note the “spiritualizing” or non-literal and symbolic method of interpretation that Pentecost employs in these interpretations.  Why does he find license to do this and yet criticize so severely those of other schools of interpretation who do this?

            J. S. Russell considers the structure of Revelation “is not a continuous and progressive sequence of events, but a continually recurring representation of substantially the same tragic history in fresh forms.” (406)  Therefore, he believes the seven trumpets are an expansion of the sixth seal. (407) Though “earth” is used, Russell believes that the “land”—that is, the land of Israel—is the location of these plagues. (410)  He believes the trumpets are an expansion of Jesus’ prediction in Luke 21:25 (409): “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth  distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves…”  He avoids any specific interpretation of the trumpet judgments: “[It] is enough to regard them as the outward and visible signs of the divine displeasure manifested towards the impenitent and unbelieving; symptoms that the natural world was agitated and convulsed on account of the wickedness of the time: emblems of the general dislocation and disorganisation of society which preceded and portended the final catastrophe of the Jewish people.” (409)  He contrasts the first four trumpets as “artificial” with the last three he considers more in “reality.” (409)  This is odd when one reads the descriptions in chapter 9 of a bottomless pit, locusts that sting, and horses with tails like serpents.  I suspect that he considers trumpets 5 and 6 as more real because they are easier to translate into military scenarios (corresponding to the Roman-Jewish War) than the first four trumpets.  He comments on the eagle of 8:13 that an eagle represents war, which the land of Israel was to experience (in AD 69-70). (410)  However, the eagle of this verse is a messenger and not an implementer of judgment.  Again, he hammers on the translation of ge, which he believes should be “land” and not “earth,” and therefore to refer in 8:13 to the land of Israel (where the Jewish-Roman war took place).  (410)  I checked the following translations:  King James Version, New American Standard Bible, New Revised Standard Version, English Standard Version, and New International Version.  All of them translated the word as “earth.”

Summary:  Chapter 8 consists of three parts.  Verses 1-5 describe the events at the opening of the seventh seal.  Verses 6-12 describe the events of the first four trumpets.  Verse 13 describes a brief introduction to the last three trumpets.  The opening of the seventh seal results, first, in silence as heaven awaits the action of God.  It is followed by the anticipatory passing out of the seven trumpets.  Then the prayers of the saints are offered up to God, mixed with incense.  Finally, the familiar signs of the throne of God—lightning, rumblings, thunder, and an earthquake—come when fire from the altar is thrown to earth.

            The four trumpets each include an action from heaven—in three cases some falls upon the earth—followed by devastating results.  In each case, the results involve 1/3—of vegetation, of sea life, of fresh water, and of daylight and moon and star light.

            I have included speculation regarding the chronology of events in Revelation.  I believe that the seals mostly describe events leading up to the Tribulation period.  The trumpet plagues probably occur during the Tribulation period.  The bowl plagues probably take place toward the end of the Tribulation period.  The seventh seal, trumpet, and bowl depict events just before the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation period.  The lightning, rumblings, and thunder remind us that God is on the throne and He will be exalted among the nations (Psalm 46).


Crossway Bibles (2009-04-09). ESV Study Bible. Good News Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Ladd, George Eldon.  A Commentary on the Revelation of John.  Grand Rapids:  William B.

            Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1972.

Metzger, Bruce M.  Breaking the Code.  Understanding the Book of Revelation.  Nashville: 

            Abingdon Press, 1993.

Pentecost, J. Dwight.  Things to Come.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan Publ. House, 1958.

Rist, Martin.  “The Revelation of St. John the Divine” Exegesis.  The Interpreter’s Bible.  Vol.       XII. Nolan B. Harmon, Ed.  New York:  Abingdon Press, 1957.  

Russell, J. S.  The Parousia, A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our

            Lord’s Second Coming.  (Google Internet Book)  London:  Daldy, Isbister

            & Co., 1878.

Zondervan NIV Study Bible.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan Publ., 2002











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