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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 16

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-21

Revelation 16:13-16 Interlude between the Pouring Forth of the Sixth and Seventh Bowls Robert Mounce notes that Revelation 16:13-16 serves as an interlude between the pouring forth of the sixth and seventh bowls. He notes how there are similar interludes between the openings of the sixth and seventh seals (Revelation 7:1-17) and between the blowing of the sixth and seventh trumpets (Revelation 10:1 to Revelation 11:14). [103]

[103] Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 298-299.

Revelation 16:13 Comments The Greek word βάτραχος (frog) appears only once in the New Testament (Revelation 16:13). Each member of this unholy trinity (the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet) poured forth an unclean spirit in the image of a frog out of their mouths.

The dragon is introduced in Revelation 12:1-17 as Satan, who persecutes the woman clothed with the son and her offspring, which are those children of God who keep His commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ on their lips (Revelation 12:17).

The beast is introduced in Revelation 13:1-10 as one who is given power, a throne, and authority by Satan to blaspheme God and make war with the saints of God.

Robert Mounce believes the false prophet (Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10), who is mentioned only three times and always in association with the first beast, is the second beast described in Revelation 13:11-18, who becomes the spokesman for the first beast. [104]

[104] Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 299.

Revelation 16:14 Comments These demonic working of miracles in Revelation 16:14 has the intent to gather the nations against God, most likely focusing upon the city of Jerusalem. Paul the apostle refers to the deceptive workings and miracles of Satan during the last days. Because mankind had harden their hearts towards the God of heaven, He will send them strong delusions so that they will believe these lies and be eternally damned.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

This battle is described in Revelation 19:11-21 as Jesus Christ rides from Heaven upon a white horse and destroys the enemies of God with the Word of His mouth. Among this army are the beast and the false prophet who deceived the nations. A great battle of the nations gathering against Israel is described in Ezekiel 38-39 and Zechariah 14:1-9

Revelation 16:15 Comments Jesus interjects a warning in the midst of the visions of the pouring forth of the sixth and seventh bowls. He repeats His warnings to the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:3-4) and to the church of the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:17-18). Jesus will come as a thief in the night in the sense that it is impossible to predict the time of His coming.

Revelation 3:3-4, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch , I will come on thee as a thief , and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments ; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.”

Revelation 3:17-18, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked : I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear ; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

This statement can be interpreted as evidence that the rapture of the Church has not yet taken place, thus supporting the view of a mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture.

Revelation 16:15 Scripture References There are a number of Scriptures that refer to Jesus Christ coming as a thief in the night (Matthew 24:43-44, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 3:3; Revelation 16:15).

Matthew 24:43-44, “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

1 Thessalonians 5:2, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

Revelation 3:3, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

Revelation 16:15, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

Revelation 16:16 Word Study on “Armageddon” The Greek word “Armageddon” ( Αρμαγεδω ́ ν ) (G717) literally means, “mount or city of Megiddo” ( Strong). This is the only use of the Greek word in the New Testament. Strong says it is a combination of two Hebrew words. The first Hebrew word is ( הַר ) (H2022), which means, “a mountain or range of hills.” The Enhanced Strong says it is used 546 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as “mountain 261, mount 224, hill 59, hill country 1, promotion 1.” The second Hebrew word is ( מְגִדֹּו ) or ( מְגִדֹּון ) (H4023), which refers to the Palestinian city of “Megiddon,” or “Megiddo.” The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew word is used 12 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as “Megiddo 11, Megiddon 1.”

Revelation 16:16 Comments The Jewish town of Megiddo lay at the southwestern end of the plain of Esdraelon (Valley of Jezreel), on the boundary of the tribes of Issachar and Manassah ( Smith). It was located at a strategic pass that allowed travelers from the north to enter the hill country of Palestine. Thus, the Plain of Megiddo is a place where many famous ancient battles have taken place. It is here that Barak and Deborah defeated Jabin the king of Canaan (Judges 4:1-24).

Judges 4:13-14, “And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon . And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.”

It is where Gideon’s band of three hundred men defeated ten thousand Midianites (Judges 6:1 to Judges 7:25).

Judges 6:33, “Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel .”

It is here that King Saul was tragically slain in battle (1 Samuel 31:1-13). Mount Gilboa is a mountainous ridge southeast of the Plain of Esdraelon.

1 Samuel 29:1, “Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel .”

1 Samuel 31:8, “And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa .”

It is the place where Josiah, king of Judah, was slain by the king of Egypt.

2 Kings 23:29, “In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo , when he had seen him.”

2 Chronicles 35:22, “Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo .”

In later years it served as a battlefield for the Romans as well as the Crusaders. Most recently the Turks fought here against the French under General Kleber with the aid of Napolean. [105] The reason this location is so strategic for battle is because it is the only pass through the mountain range that extends from the north to the south of Israel. Many armies have used this natural pass to enter the Jordan Valley and march down towards Jerusalem. This will be the route taken by Russia and its allies during the Battle of Armageddon.

[105] “Jezreel,” in A Dictionary of the Holy Bible, for General Use in the Study of the Scriptures; with Engravings, Maps and Tables, eds. William Wilberforce Rand and Edward Robinson (New York: American Tract Society, 1859), 229.

Revelation 16:17 Comments The seventh vial being poured forth upon the earth marks the end of God the Father’s triplicate of seven judgments. The Tribulation Period is marked by seven seals being opened, seven trumpets sounding, and seven vials or bowls being pour out upon the earth. God the Father has completed His role and His wrath is complete. With this seventh vial comes the final and ultimate destruction of Babylon, representing the four empires that ruled the world during the Times of the Gentiles: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The Times of the Gentiles comes to an end at the destruction of Babylon in Revelation 17:1 to Revelation 19:10 and Jesus returns to defeat the nations who have encamped against the holy city of Jerusalem, where He will then reign on earth during the thousand-year Millennial Reign.

Revelation 16:20 Comments - If we interpret Revelation 16:20 geographically, we note that islands are simply mountains in the sea, and mountains are raised areas upon the land. Perhaps this great earthquake will be so strong that it causes massive mountains to settle.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Revelation 16". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/revelation-16.html. 2013.
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