Bible Commentaries

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Revelation 8


Questions For Revelation Chapter Eight

1.What seal was opened next?

2.State what followed.

3.For how long did it continue?

4.What did John see then?

5. Tell what was given to them.

6.Where did the other angel stand?

7.What did he have?

8.Tell what was given unto him.

9.With what was he to offer it?

10.On what was he to offer it?

11.Where was this located?

12.Tell what became of the smoke.

13.With what was the censer then filled?

14.What was done with it then?

15.State what resulted in this.

16.What did seven angels have?

17.Tell what they prepared to do.

18.What followed sound of the first angel ?

19.Upon what place were they cast?

20.With what results?

21.What appeared after2nd angel"s sound?

22.Into what was it cast?

23.State the result.

24.What part of the creatures died?

25. Tell what was destroyed.

26.What fen at sound of the third angel?

27.From where did it fan?

28.What was its appearance?

29.Upon what did it fan?

30.State the name of this star.

31.Ten what it turned into its own likeness.

32.What resulted to men?

33.How were the waters made to become?

34.What bodies smitten at sound of4th angel?

35.Ten what portion of them was smitten.

36.What part of them was darkened?

37.For how long did the day not shine?

38.And what part of the night?

39.What did John see?

40.Did he hear anything?

41.Where was the angel seen?

42.How was he traveling?

43.What kind of voice was he using?

44.Tell what he pronounced thrice.

45.Upon whom were these to come?

46.Where did these creatures inhabit?

47.Was anything yet to come?

48.By what means were they to sound?

49.Through what beings was this to be done?

50.How many angels were there to sound yet?

Verse 1

The seventh and last seal was opened but nothing took place for half an hour. In the march of events it frequently happens that a lull will come between different campaigns. That is described here as being a silence of half an hour. We recall that when the four angels in Revelation 7:1-3 were prepared to continue the action of God"s judgments against the persecutors of His people, they were told to hold the winds back until the sealing of the faithful had been completed. This half hour silence represents the lull in the judgments while the sealing was being done.

Verse 2

The events of the seventh seal will include several verses, for there are seven angels involved in the events and all that transpires in connection with them is what was revealed when the seventh seal was broken. The angels were given each a trumpet but they will not all be used in the same series. Four of them will sound one after the other, then will come a halt after which the remaining three will sound. (See verse13.) Doubtless the first four angels correspond with the four that were holding the four winds that were to bring consternation upon the persecutors of God"s people, which is the reason why the seven angels are divided into separate groups, four and three.

Verse 3

Incense is a symbol of prayer, and while the judgments of God against the persecutors were preparing, the faithful servants of God were engaged in their devotions to Him. That is why the incense and prayer are combined in this verse.

Verse 4

The odor of incense was pleasing to God in the days when such services were required ( Exodus 30:7-9; Leviticus 16:12-13). and likewise the prayers of faithful servants in the Christian Dispensation are acceptable ( 1 Peter 3:12).

Verse 5

Filled it with fire off the altar.. In the Mosaic system the priest obtained the fire from the brazen altar with which to burn the incense. The angel followed the same pattern in the symbolical performance, except that after having used some fire for the burning of incense before the golden altar, he got some more fire which he put in the censer (a portable fumigator) and cast it into the earth. This aroused voices like the sound of thunderings which were the complaints of the foes of truth at the prospect of God"s judgment about to come upon them. So mighty and widespread were these murmurings that John likened them to an earthquake.

Verse 6

The half hour silence is about to end and the four winds are about to be released; the first four angels with trumpets are about to sound.

Verse 7

It should be remembered through verse12that the plagues symbolized represent the reverses that came upon the Roman Empire which finally resulted in the downfall of the government. The items mentioned are figurative or symbolic, but they are worded as if literal calamities were being imposed. That is because in a book where certain facts of an immaterial character are predicted in symbols, the events have to be reported as if they were happening literally. Thus we have a hail and electrical storm that causes bloodshed and scorching of much of the vegetation.

Verse 8

The judgments of God against the Empire continue as the second angel sounds his trumpet. Great mountain burning signifies the downfall of some unit of the government. Cast into the sea symbolizes the people (represented by the sea) as feeling the effects of this political downfall. Sea became blood signifies that much bloodshed was suffered among the people caused by the internal disturbances.

Verse 9

All of this figurative because the literal sea and its vessels of traffic were unharmed by the political confusion. But it gives a picture of what did occur, and in stating an exact percentage as dying we will understand that a great portion suffered but the government was not externiinated.

Verse 10

No change in the general drama takes place, but some special incident is predit-ted to affect the people unfavorably. A slur in symbolical language denotes some leader, and he is here likened to a meteor that. falls to the earth. selecting as its landing place the rivers and fountains of water. That is attacking a vital portion of a country because of the necessity of water.

Verse 11

The name of this star was Wormwood. That is from the Greek word APSINTIIOS, which Thayer defines, "wormwood, absinthe." Webster"s definition of the word is as follows: "A green alcoholic liquor containing oils of wormwood and anise, and other aromatics. Its continued use causes nervous derangement." It is no wonder, then, that many men died of the waters.

Verse 12

Third part is commented upon at verse9. This angel gave a sound that resulted in throwing all the luminaries out of order, pitching the country into a state of semi-darkness. It was another shake-up among the leaders of the empire.

Verse 13

The things which happened to the country, when the four winds were turned loose or when the angels sounded, seemed bad enough if that was to be the end of the troubles. But it was not, for there came another angel flying through the midst of heaven, which denotes that he came into the region of the political heavens of the Roman Empire. He pronounced a triple woe on the people to come when the remaining three angels sound their trumpets. Let us bear in mind that we are still reading of things that were revealed when the seventh seal was broken.

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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 8". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.