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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 8

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-13

Throne Section-The Trumpets

15 The fact that they perform priestly functions shows that they are of the priest nation. No other nation will have access to the temple ( Exo_19:6 ; 1Pe_2:9 ; Rev_1:6 ) .

16 This description of millennial blessing is in accord with many passages in the prophets, notably the description of Jerusalem by ( Isa_4:5-6 ).

1 The hush is occasioned by the intense expectation which accompanies this, the last seal, just as the crowd who clamored for Paul's death hushed when he was about to speak ( Act_21:40 ). Hitherto there have been cries for vengeance and bursts of praise, but now the crisis has come and all hold their breath, as it were, to see the outcome. The delay shows that the inflictions are deliberate, not vindictive.

2 The trumpet was sounded in Israel in case of war ( Num_10:9 ). This was done by Ehud ( Jud_3:27 ) and Gideon ( Jud_6:34 ; Jud_7:8 ; Jud_7:18 ) and Saul ( 1Sa_13:3 ). ( Zep_1:14-16 ) calls the day of Jehovah a "day of trumpet and shouting". ( Joe_2:1 ) "Blow a trumpet . . . for the day of Jehovah comes". The trumpet judgments are the divine response to the prayers of the souls under the altar ( Rev_6:9 ).

2 The seven messengers may be identical with the seven who pour out the seven bowls ( Rev_15:1 ), and the seven spirits before the throne ( Rev_1:4 ), one of whom is Gabriel ( Luk_1:19 ).

3 The golden altar is distinct from the brazen altar of the fifth seal, which was in front of the temple and tabernacle. This altar was in the holy place, before the curtain, behind which was the ark and mercy seat, which was Jehovah's throne ( Exo_30:6 ; Exo_40:5 ; Exo_40:26 ) .

5 Compare the action of the messenger with the tenth of Ezekiel ( Rev_10:5 ; Rev_10:8 ), where fire is taken from between the Cherubim and strewn over Jerusalem in token of its doom.

7 Blood and fire are signs of the day of the Lord ( Joe_2:30 ). One of the plagues of Egypt was sounds and hail, and fire ( Exo_9:23-25 ). This will be repeated on a grander scale. Compare Joe_1:19 . We have no more reason to make the effects of the Trumpets figurative than the effect of Moses' rod in Egypt. A greater One than Moses is here.

8 This burning mountain may be a volcano, for this time is characterized by seismic disturbances of unparalleled violence ( Exo_7:20-21 , Psa_78:44 ; Psa_105:29 ; Hos_4:3 ; Isa_2:16 ).

9 If we believe that the river of Egypt was turned into blood and the fish in the river died ( Exo_7:20-21 ) when Moses smote the waters, what reason is there why we should not look for a similar judgment in Jehovah's day? ( Psa_78:44 ; Psa_105:29 ). But under no circumstances may these judgments be found in this day of grace.

10 The "star" seems to be a gaseous comet which will be readily absorbed by water. Absinthin, a yellow, crystalline compound, is the bitter principle of wormwood, which is highly poisonous when taken in large doses.

12 Signs in the sun, moon, and constellations precede the coming of the Son of Mankind ( Luk_21:25 ), though the usual reference is to the final cataclysm ( Rev_6:12 ).

Compare Amo_8:9 ; Jer_4:23:13 The vulture is noted for its swiftness ( Deu_28:49 ; Jer_4:13 ; Hab_1:8 ).

Unlike the eagle, it goes in company, seldom alone. Hence the significance of one vulture. It feeds on the carcasses of the dead, and is foraging for prey.


The last three trumpets, because of the unexampled and terrible nature of their inflictions, are called the three woes.

1 The abyss is a vast waste of waters which were on the surface of the earth after the cataclysm of Gen_1:2 , but which later subsided into its bowels, to emerge once more at the deluge ( Gen_7:11 ; Gen_8:2 ) and to recede again afterwards. It is called the abyss (depth) reclining under ( Gen_49:25 ; Deu_33:13 ). It is the subterranean source of springs ( Deu_8:7 ; Pro_8:28 ). In the beginning there was no abyss ( Pro_8:24 ), It occurs in Luk_8:31 ; Rom_10:7 ; Rev_9:1-2 ; Rev_9:11 ; Rev_11:7 ; Rev_17:8 ; Rev_20:1 ; Rev_20:3 . It plays a prominent part in this Unveiling, for the wild beast ascends out of the abyss ( Rev_11:7 , Rev_17:8 ) and Satan is imprisoned there during the thousand years.

1 The "well" is not a mere pit but is used of Jacob's well from which water is still drawn. This is in line with the meaning of abyss.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Revelation 8". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/revelation-8.html. 1968.
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