With his saints sealed, God is ready to deal with the wicked and the seventh seal is opened. As He prepares to act, there is a half hour of silence in heaven. This silence can describe quiet expectation and reverent awe. (Habakkuk 2:20)
Seven angels stand ready to sound the seven trumpets which bring down judgments from God upon the wicked.
Prayers are often associated with incense. (Revelation 5:8; Psalms 141:2; Luke 1:8-10) Since the incense was given to the angel, it could be, as some have suggested, this represents the Lord"s mediations in our behalf. (Romans 8:34; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:25) Notice, here we have the prayers of all the saints, not just martyrs, and when mixed with the incense they ascend up before God.
The angel now takes coals from the altar where he had just offered the prayers and incense and pours them upon the earth. God has heard the prayers of his saints and has the angel pour out this fiery, judgment on the earth, here evidently wicked mankind. We have seen thunderings and lightnings before, to which is now added an earthquake. (Revelation 4:5; Isaiah 29:6; Joel 3:16) Trumpets were used in battle to sound commands or to give warnings, which would seem to be the sense here. (Amos 3:6; Hosea 5:8; Joel 2:1; Ezekiel 33:3-4)
God used hail and fire against his enemies and in judgment often in the Old Testament. (Job 38:22-23; Isaiah 28:1-2; Isaiah 30:30-31) The blood may be representative of the blood of the innocent martyrs being poured back on the wicked. (Genesis 4:10; Genesis 9:6; Isaiah 26:21; Psalms 79:10) A third part of the earth is, of course, a wide area, yet limited. Thus, we see the warning nature of this trumpet.
Another calamity in nature is here used to describe a warning coming from God. Something like a great mountain on fire is cast into the sea and one-third is turned to blood, onethird of all creatures in the sea destroyed, along with one-third of all ships. God can use natural disasters to warn wicked men. When God was preparing to bring judgment down upon Babylon, he used similar words. (Jeremiah 51:24-25; Jeremiah 51:42)
-11 The previous trumpet brought trouble to the sea and this one brings it to fresh water. "Wormwood" describes bitter sorrow and misery. (Deuteronomy 29:18; Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15; Lamentations 3:19; Amos 5:7; Amos 6:12)
Our environment is greatly effected by the sun, moon and stars, as one can see by observing radical changes occurring during an eclipse or sunspots. Men now know the moon has a direct relation to tides. Disasters in nature can thus be viewed as warnings from God. They are limited, as previously in the trumpets.
It would be better to have the word eagle here instead of angel. The eagle is a swift bird of prey with keen eyesight. Hosea warned Israel using the eagle as a symbol of the Lord"s coming. (Hosea 8:1) When God planned to use the Chaldeans in judgment against his people, Habakkuk described their horsemen as hungry eagles. (Habakkuk 1:6-8) This eagle warns that the previous trumpets are not as terrible as the three which are coming, designated also as three woes.
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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 8". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany