Revelation 8 KJV
1And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
8:2 The Seven Trumpets: Revelation 8:2-11:18
This section tells about the “Seven Trumpets,” which are a warning to
the world of the severe judgments of God. In Bible times trumpets were
used as a call for war. Judges 7:16-18. Also, the priests blew trumpets
to signal the upcoming Day of Atonement, the annual day of judgement.
Leviticus 23:23-32. The seven trumpets follow the pattern set by the
seven seals and seven churches, but the trumpets focus on the judgments
which God pours out upon the persecutors of His people during these
periods of time. The first six trumpets bring partial destructions
warning of the Great Day of Judgment and retribution which will end in
the utter annihilation of Satan, sin and of all who refuse to repent and
separate from their sin. Revelation 20:9-14. In the seven trumpets God
avenges the blood of the saints upon their persecutors; specifically
western Rome, eastern Rome and ultimately with the execution of the
Antichrist and all who choose to follow him. The trumpets teach us that
God will avenge His own. Deuteronomy 32:43; Luke 18:7-8; Romans 12:19.
3And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer;
and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with
the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the
4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar,
and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and
lightnings, and an earthquake.
6And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
8:3-6 The angel offers “incense” with the “prayers” of all the saints.
Jesus mingles our humble prayers with the holy incense of His
self-denial, His self-sacrifice and His righteousness. His merits make
our prayers acceptable to God as a sweet fragrance.
The angle filled the censer with fire and “cast it into the earth.” This
symbolizes God’s judgements on the nations. Those who refuse to accept
the lesser judgements of the first six trumpets will be destroyed at the
seven trumpet judgement. The seventh trumpet will sound after everyone
has made a final and permanent decision for or against Christ;
intercession for those who have rejected Him has ceased, probation has
closed and every case has been decided. Revelation 22:11.
The “voices,” “thundering,” “lightning,” and “earthquakes” are a symbol
of the final judgement. They appear at the end of the seventh seal
(Revelation 11:19), and at the end of the seventh plague. Revelation
16:17-18; cf. Revelation 6:14-17.
7The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with
blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees
was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
8:7 The first four trumpets are judgements on Pagan Rome for its persecution of God’s people.
The First Trumpet: The “hail and fire mingled with blood” symbolize war
and bloodshed. Ezekiel 38:21-22. “Trees” and “grass” depict people. See
Revelation 9:4. God sent the barbaric Goths from the north to fall upon
Rome, as a plague of “hail” to spill the “blood” of her people, and set
her proud cities on “fire.” The Goths, headed by their general Alaric,
attacked the Romans from A.D. 396 to 419. They sacked and pillaged the
city of Rome in A.D. 410. The term “third part” indicates that a large
portion would be affected but not all; in this case it applies to Rome.
8And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning
with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became
9And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
8:8-9 The Second Trumpet: The “great mountain burning with fire” which
was “cast into the seas” represents a nation or kingdom. Jeremiah
52:25-27; Daniel 2:35, 44, 45. The sea, like the trees and grass from
the first trumpet, represent people. Revelation 17:1, 15.
The mountain cast into the sea depicts a violent invasion of civilized
and populated area. The Vandals, led by Genseric, their king, invaded
Rome from Africa and the Mediterranean Sea between the years A.D. 428 to
468. Like a roaring volcano thrown into the Sea, their sack of Rome in
A.D. 455 which culminated in the unrestrained burning and pillaging of
the city was so dreadful that the world “vandalism” remains to this day a
term for malicious destruction of property.
10And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven,
burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the
rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the
waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they
were made bitter.
8:10-11 The Third Trumpet: The “great star” that fell “from heaven” is
symbolic of a great leader. Revelation 1:20; 22:16; Genesis 37:9-10.
Wormwood is a bitter medicinal plant, poisonous in large or concentrated
doses. The leader that appeared as a sudden blazing star bringing such
bitterness upon Rome was Attila, ruler of the Huns. Called “The Scourge
of God,” Attila, with his hordes of barbarian horsemen, raped, murdered
and turned city after city into smoldering ruins without mercy.
Revelation correctly portrays this invasion as a most bitter judgment.
12And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was
smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the
stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not
for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth
by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which
are yet to sound!
8:12-13 The Fourth Trumpet: A “third” of the “sun…moon” and “stars” are
“smitten” with darkness. This represents the removal of Western Rome’s
leaders. In A.D. 476 Odoacer, king of the Heruli, deposed the Western
Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus, bringing an end to the Western Roman
Empire. From then on the Pope was the dominant figure in Western Europe.
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