Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 16:3

The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.
New American Standard Version
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  1. Adam Clarke Commentary
  2. Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
  3. Coffman Commentaries on the Bible
  4. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible
  5. Geneva Study Bible
  6. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
  7. People's New Testament
  8. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
  9. Vincent's Word Studies
  10. Wesley's Explanatory Notes
  11. Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
  12. Scofield's Reference Notes
  13. John Trapp Complete Commentary
  14. Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
  15. Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
  16. Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible
  17. Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture
  18. Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament
  19. Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
  20. Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible
  21. Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation
  22. Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
  23. Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament
  24. Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
  25. George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
  26. A Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy Scriptures
  27. Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books
  28. E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
  29. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
  30. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
  31. Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
  32. Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation
  33. E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament
  34. Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation
  35. Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms
  36. Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
  37. The Expositor's Greek Testament
  38. The Bible Study New Testament

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Sea;   Temple;   Vision;   Water;   Wicked (People);   The Topic Concordance - Wrath;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Moses;   Plagues of Egypt;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Blood;   Living;   Moses ;   Power Powers;   Sea ;   Soul ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Vials;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Blood;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Revelation of John:;   Sore;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

As the blood of a dead man - Either meaning blood in a state of putrescency, or an effusion of blood in naval conflicts; even the sea was tinged with the blood of those who were slain in these wars. This is most probably the meaning of this vial. These engagements were so sanguinary that both the conquerors and the conquered were nearly destroyed; every living soul died in the sea.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea - So the second trumpet Revelation 8:8, “And 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 blood.” For the meaning of this as a symbol, see the notes on that verse.

And it became as the blood of a dead man - “Either very bloody, like a mangled corse, or else colored, as it were, with the dark and almost black blood of a dead man” (Prof. Stuart, in loco). The latter would seem to be, most probably, the meaning; implying that the ocean would become discolored, and indicating that this was the effect of blood shed in great quantities on its waters. In Revelation 8:8 it is, “the sea became blood”; here the allusion to the blood of a dead man would more naturally suggest the idea of naval conflicts, and of the blood of the slain poured in great quantities into the deep.

And every living soul died in the sea - In Revelation 8:9 it is said that “the third part of the creatures that were in the sea died, and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” Here the destruction is more general; the calamity is more severe and awful. It is as if every living thing - πᾶσα ψυχὴ ζῶσα pasa psuchē zōsa- had died. No emphasis should be put on the word “soul” here, for the word means merely “a creature, a living thing, an animal,” Acts 2:43; Acts 3:23; Romans 13:1; 1 Corinthians 15:45. See Robinson, Lexicon sub voce, c. The sense here is, that there would be some dreadful calamity, as if the sea were to be changed into dark blood, and as if every living thing in it were to die.

In inquiring into the proper application of this, it is natural to look for something pertaining to the sea, or the ocean (see the notes on Revelation 8:8-9), and we should expect to find the fulfillment in some calamity that would fall on the marine force, or the commerce of the power that is here referred to; that is, according to the interpretation all along adopted, of the papal power; and the proper application, according to this interpretation, would be the complete destruction or annihilation of the naval force that contributed to sustain the papacy. This we should look for in respect to the naval power of France, Spain, and Portugal, for these are the only papal nations that have had a navy. We should expect, in the fulfillment of this, to find a series of naval disasters, reddening the sea with blood, which would tend to weaken the power of the papacy, and which might be regarded as one in the series of events that would ultimately result in its entire overthrow.

Accordingly, in pursuance of the plan adopted in explaining the pouring out of the first vial, it is to be observed that immediately succeeding, and connected with, the events thus referred to, there was a series of naval disasters that swept away the fleets of France, and that completely demolished the most formidable naval power that had ever been prepared by any nation under the papal dominion. This series of disasters is thus noticed by Mr. Elliott (iii. 329,330): “Meanwhile, the great naval war between France and England was in progress; which, from its commencement in February, 1793, lasted for above twenty years, with no intermission but that of the short and delusive peace of Amiens; in which war the maritime power of Great Britain was strengthened by the Almighty Providence that protected her to destroy everywhere the French ships, commerce, and smaller colonies; including those of the fast and long-continued allies of the French, Holland and Spain. In the year 1793, the greater part of the French fleet at Toulon was destroyed by Lord Hood; in June, 1794, followed Lord Howe‘s great victory over the French off Ushant; then the taking of Corsica, and nearly all the smaller Spanish and French West India Islands; then, in 1795, Lord Bridport‘s naval victory, and the capture of the Cape of Good Hope; as also soon after of a French and Dutch fleet, sent to retake it; then, in 1797, the victory over the Spanish fleet off Cape Vincent; and that of Camperdown over the Dutch; then, in succession, Lord Nelson‘s three mighty victories - of the Nile in 1798, of Copenhagen in 1801, and in 1805 of Trafalgar. Altogether in this naval war, from its beginning in 1793, to its end in 1815, it appears that there were destroyed near 200 ships of the line, between 300 and 400 frigates, and an almost incalculable number of smaller vessels of war and ships of commerce. The whole history of the world does not present such a period of naval war, destruction, and bloodshed.” This brief summary may show, if this was referred to, the propriety of the expression, “The sea became as the blood of a dead man”; and may show also that, on the supposition that it was intended that these events should be referred to, an appropriate symbol has been employed. No language could more strikingly set forth these bloody scenes.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the second poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living soul died, even the things that were in the sea.

And the second poured out his bowl into the sea ... This sea was the origin of the sea-beast described earlier, which was nothing other than the teeming populations of the earth. The earth of the first bowl and the sea of this bowl are therefore identical, their mention separately being due to the nature of the figure. The figure is the total physical environment (which necessarily includes the sea) symbolical in this vision of the moral, intellectual, and spiritual environment of mankind.

And it became blood as the blood of a dead man ... It is clearly the whole of earth's people who are meant in all this. "Souls" do not literally live "in the sea." The figure here is an ocean completely turned into rotting, stinking blood; but, "When the entire sea is stinking blood, what about the land which it surrounds?"[17] It is clearly the physical environment that is ruined in the figure; therefore, we look to the spiritual environment for the fulfillment. When man himself as a factor in his environment becomes popularly and generally devoted to selfishness, greed, lust, violence, and every form of evil, when the "in thing" for the vast majority is indulgence in sex, homosexuality, blasphemy, drunkenness, corruption, hatred, and irreligion, the human race itself becomes a "dead sea."

Thus, this bowl is merely another and extended phase of the first. We shall note some of the types of corruptions indicated. The universities and schools have taken up the task of preaching Satan's lies, such as evolution, which leads undeniably to the conclusion that man is merely an animal with no more cosmic value than a worm or a rat. What has this done for the human moral and spiritual environment? Besides this, there are a thousand other evil postulations which are being swallowed, advocated and taught almost universally in our culture today, such as humanism, the self-sufficiency of man, the lie that his favorite sins of adultery, drunkenness, homosexuality, criminality, etc., are in no sense sins at all, but merely diseases which society is obligated to pay for and treat! Another lie is that man is not morally responsible for what he does, that society owes every man a good living with all of the conveniences and luxuries thrown in, that man is essentially good, that he is thoroughly capable of solving all of his problems, etc., etc. The great theological seminaries devoted unreservedly to the destruction of the Bible; the churches that ordain homosexuals, adulterers, and even atheists to their pulpits, and contradict the Scriptures in practically all that they either do or teach; the "love cult" that robs God of any other prerogative except that of loving us wicked sinners (what else is God for?) ... these are just a few of the evidences of man's intellectual environment having been polluted. An angel of God has poured out the bowl of his wrath upon the sea!

ENDNOTE:

[17] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 467.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea,.... Not literally; and so does not design the stagnation of it, which it is thought will be before the general conflagration; see Amos 7:4 nor is it to be understood of the sea of this world, and the men of it, who are like a troubled sea; but rather of Popish doctrines and councils, which are a sea of errors, and will now be confuted and put an end to. Brightman applies it to the council of Trent, and makes this angel to be Chemnitius, a German divine, who wrote a confutation of it; but as the sea is a collection of many waters, and many waters in this book signify the people and nations under the Romish yoke, sea here may design the whole jurisdiction of Rome, or mystical Babylon; see Jeremiah 51:36 and particularly its maritime powers, Spain and Portugal: and as the second trumpet affected the sea, Revelation 8:8 and brought the Vandals into Spain and Portugal, so this second vial affects the sea, and brings great wars, slaughter, and bloodshed into these parts, when they also will be reformed from Popery:

and it became as the blood of a dead man; thick, clotted together, and putrid, and so never to be returned to their former state:

and every living soul died in the sea: those, that are not reformed will either die by the sword, or fly into other parts; for there will be no comfortable living for the Popish party in those countries where now they live in power, ease, and affluence. This, and the following vial, are referred by Mr. Daubuz, the one to the first crusades, or holy wars, for the regaining of the holy land, and the other to the latter of them.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

4 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it a became as the blood of a dead [man]: and every living soul died in the sea.

(4) The history of the second angel, who troubles and molests the seas, that he may stir up the conscience of men sleeping in their wickedness; (Revelation 8:8).

(a) It was turned into rotten and filthy blood, such as is in dead bodies.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

angel — So B and Andreas. But A, C, and Vulgate omit it.

uponGreek, “into.”

became as  …  blood — answering to another Egyptian plague.

of a dead man — putrefying.

living soul — So B and Andreas. But A, C, and Syriac, “soul of life” (compare Genesis 1:30; Genesis 7:21, Genesis 7:22).

in the sea — So B and Andreas. But A, C, and Syriac read, “(as respects) the things in the sea.”

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea. The first calamity has been upon the earth; the second is upon the ocean. The second angel pours his vial upon the sea. Then the waters become red as blood and in the great mortality that follows it seems to John as if every soul in the sea was dead. Again we ask if, in this series of calamities, there is one that smites the Catholic powers from the seas? Under the {second trumpet} a great and burning mountain fell into the sea. The Vandal power swept the Mediterranean, destroyed the Roman navy and then laid siege to the old imperial Rome. From the sea spiritual Rome, under the second vial, is weakened. The symbolism is fulfilled in the mightiest naval strife ever known. In 1780 France and England, upon the ocean, were nearly equally matched. Among the shores of the struggling colonies of the United States sometimes the English, sometimes the French fleets, rode in triumph. At Yorktown, the superiority of the French at sea cooped Cornwallis in until Washington compelled his surrender. With 1793 begins another contest for the mastery of the seas. It continues after Napoleon sits on the imperial throne, and did not end for twenty years. France, again a Catholic power by Napoleon's concordant with the Pope, rallies under the imperial flag with herself, Catholic Spain, Portugal and Italy, in the struggle. Protestant England and Catholic Europe strive together upon the ocean. The old Catholic powers, those which in the past have been the vile instruments of Papal wrong, the nations whose kings have committed fornication with the great spiritual harlot, suffer the loss in this long and deadly struggle of six hundred ships of the Line, the largest war vessels that then went to sea, besides the thousands of ships of war of smaller size. At the close of the contest, the naval power of Catholic Europe had been swept from the ocean. Once the Pope had claimed the dominion of the seas, and had given away newly discovered islands and continents, but now that proud claim has gone forever.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/revelation-16.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Into the sea (εις την ταλασσανeis tēn thalassan). Like the first Egyptian plague (Exodus 7:12 -41) though only the Nile affected then.

Blood as of a dead man (αιμα ως νεκρουhaima hōs nekrou). At the trumpet (Revelation 8:11) the water becomes wormwood. Here ως νεκρουhōs nekrou is added to Exodus 7:14-24, “the picture of a murdered man weltering in his blood” (Swete). “Coagulated blood, fatal to animal life” (Moffatt).

Every living soul (πασα πσυχη ζωηςpāsa psuchē zōēs). “Every soul of life” (Hebraism, Genesis 1:21, marked by life).

Even the things that were in the sea (τα εν τηι ταλασσηιta en tēi thalassēi). “The things in the sea,” in apposition with πσυχηpsuchē Complete destruction, not partial as in Revelation 8:9.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

It became ( ἐγένετο )

Or there came.

Blood

Compare Exodus 7:19.

As of a dead man

Thick, corrupt, and noisome.

Living soul ( ψυχὴ ζῶσα )

The best texts read ψυχὴ ζωῆς soulof life.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-16.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

The second poured out his phial upon the sea — As opposed to the dry land.

And it become blood, as of a dead man — Thick, congealed, and putrid.

And every living soul — Men, beasts, and fishes, whether on or in the sea, died.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-16.html. 1765.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3.] And the second poured out his vial into the sea: and it (the sea, cf. ch. Revelation 8:8; Revelation 8:11; not, “there was,” as De Wette: for the question would arise, where? the analogy of the Egyptian plague is surely decisive) became blood as of a dead man (blood as when a dead corpse lies in its blood: loathsome and corrupting): and every soul of life (living soul, ref. Gen.: ψυχή in its physical sense of animal soul) died, (all) the things in the sea ( τά is in apposition with and exegetical of πᾶσα ψ. ζωῆς).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-16.html. 1863-1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angel

(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 16:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-16.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

Ver. 3. Upon the sea] The popish council (called a sea, from the concourse thereunto from all parts), that of Trent especially, with their deadly decrees, making the traditions of the Church the rule of faith, &c. And these deadly decrees were written with the blood of heretics.

Died in the sea] As the fishes of Jordan do as soon as they fall into the Mare mortuum, Sea of Death and as the fishes in the River Nile did, when the waters thereof were turned into blood.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-16.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, That this second and third plague poured out upon the sea, and the rivers of waters, whereby they became blood, have a manifest allusion to that plague of Egypt whereby all the waters were turned onto blood, Exodus 7:19.

Observe farther, That by the sea and the rivers full of blood, the bloody persecutors in the antichristian church are supposed to be meant, who by slaughter and bloodshed seek to plant and propagate a bloody religion throughout the earth.

Observe lastly, That the pouring out of these vials gradually and successively upon idolaters and persecutors, and not altogether and all at once, but one after another, teaches us how abounding the patience, forbearance, and long-suffering goodness of God is, even towards the worst of sinners; not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-16.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 16:3. The second vial changes the great sea into blood, as that of a dead man, so that every thing living therein dies.

καὶ ἐγένετο αίμα ὡς νεκροῦ. According to the analogy of Revelation 8:8; Revelation 8:11, θάλασσα is to be regarded as the subject to ἐγένετο.(3676) The advance of the present plague, in comparison with Revelation 8:8, lies not only in that now the entire sea is changed into blood, and that every thing living therein dies, but also in that the sea becomes “as the blood of a dead man,” i.e., not a great pool of blood, as of many slain,(3677) but the horribleness of the fact is augmented in that the sea seems like the clotted and already putrefying blood of a dead man.(3678)

ψυχὴ ζωῆς. The var. correctly give the meaning: ψ. ζῶσα.(3679) The expression originates from Genesis 1:30 : ἔχει ἐν ἐαυτῷ ψυχὴν ζωῆς. Cf. on the gen. limitation ζωῆς, Winer, p. 177 sq.

The τὰ before ἐν τ. θαλ.(3680) refers, as to meaning, to the individual κτίσ΄ατα comprised in the collective πᾶσα ψυχ.(3681)

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This answered the first plague upon Pharaoh, Exodus 7:20, All the waters that were in the river were turned to blood; and the fish that was in the river died. By the sea here Dr. More understands the jurisdiction and dominion of the papacy, wherein he agrees with Mr. Mede. I rather agree with those who understand the whole system of the popish religion; their rites and ceremonies, their doctrines of indulgences and purgatory, &c. God showeth his prophet, and instructeth us, that he will bring the papacy to ruin:

1. By bringing his clergy (which are the earth upon which he stands) into scorn and contempt; discovering their frauds and cheats.

2. By discovering the folly and vanity of their pompous and theatrical religion, consisting only in vain shows, and idle rites and ceremonies, without any regard to that religion which is spiritual, and pure, and undefiled before God; discovering the cheats of their confessions and absolutions, their masses, pardons, and indulgences; making them appear to be not only idle, but pernicious and damnable; so as Christians could not live in the communion of their church, but it must be damnable to those who keep in the communion of it.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-16.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Второйчашувсе одушевленное умерло в море Это напоминает о второй трубе (8:8, 9) и о первой казни Египта (Исх. 7:20-25). Однако бедствие будет всеобъемлющим и более суровым. Вода в мировом океане станет густой (плотной), темной и свернется как кровь мертвеца. Гибель и разложение миллиардов морских животных только усугубит ужас этого бедствия.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Upon the sea; probably here, as often elsewhere, a symbol of revolutions accompanied with a terrible amount of bloodshed, and preparing the way for the overthrow of the beast.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

We have here the second Angel's ministry, and the effect of the second vial poured upon the sea. Perhaps, as the earth might mean the home of the Pope, so the sea might mean the distant parts, where his influence extended. As the sea opens a turnpike for commerce and trade, by the sea, it is probable might be meant, death to the Pope's interest abroad, as well as at home. For, as those vials poured out, were full of God's wrath, so wherever they came, they brought destruction to his heresy. And it is possible, that this vial had respect to the death of the Pope's interest in this kingdom. Death I am sure it must be, to all that do receive the image of the beast in future. And death it is, to all that have received it, in all that is past.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-16.html. 1828.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And the second poured out his bowl into the sea and it became blood as of a dead man, and every living soul died, even the things that were in the sea.’

Compare Exodus 7:20-21; Psalms 105:29; Isaiah 50:2 where again the effect on the fish is emphasised. This parallels Revelation 8:8 to some extent but while more intense it only refers to sea creatures. Through pollution from undescribed causes man’s sources of food are attacked, and his means of sustenance are smitten. Again we are not told which sea is in mind. It is not intended to be too specific. It can be applied to many catastrophes from the time of John onwards.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-16.html. 2013.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

3. The plagues followed the pattern of the experiences of the Israelites in Egypt, as indicated in verses three through four; and Pharaoh Rameses, the oppressor of Israel, parallels Nero Caesar, the imperial persecutor of the church. It again presented the comparison of the old testament and new testament people of God--Israel and the Church.

(2) The sea of dead blood which putrified the society of imperial idolatry: "And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea."--16:3.

In accordance with the definitions of the symbols in the first section, the sea represented society in various descriptions- tossed and troubled, or placid and peaceful. Here the sea became as the blood of a dead man--signifying the complete dissolution of the emperor-beast and his subject.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-16.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

3. The second bowl16:3

This judgment resulted in the destruction of all sea life, not just one-third of it, as in the second trumpet judgment ( Revelation 8:8-9). This may involve actual coagulated, rotting blood or a liquid that resembles blood (cf. Exodus 7:19-25). I think it probably means real blood. Some commentators interpret the sea as the masses of humanity, but there are no clues in the text that this sea is any more symbolic than the waters that Moses turned to blood.

"The sea is a great reservoir of life. It is teeming with life, and the salty water is a cathartic for the filth of the earth. However, in this plague, blood is the token of death; the sea becomes a grave of death instead of a womb of life." [Note: McGee, 5:1023.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-16.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 16:3. The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea. The whole sea, and not merely a part of it as at chap. Revelation 8:8-9, is affected by this plague. The increased potency of the plague is also shown in the description given of the blood,—not merely blood, but blood as of a dead man, thick, unnatural, offensive to the eye.

Every living soul, too, died, and not merely ‘the third part’ of the creatures that were in the sea. It can hardly be doubted that we have in this bowl a reference to one of the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7:19). But literal interpretation cannot be thought of.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-16.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 16:3. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, &c. — This, says the same pious author, must begin where the other ended, as to the period of time. Now I find that in the year 1566 the wars between the king of Spain and the states of the Netherlands began. The Spaniards, indeed, were often victorious at first, yet they were at length compelled to declare them free states. It was then that the sea became blood to the Romanists, their votaries being miserably defeated in their expectations. For after their cruelties under the duke of Alva, in the Low Countries, and their massacre of the Protestants, in France and other places, the scene was changed very quickly; so that, in the year 1588, the Spaniards lost their vast armada, and ever after declined in their power. And the duke of Guise, the inveterate enemy of the Protestants, was killed the same year; and A.D. 1598 Philip II. of Spain died, being eaten of vermin: the edict of Nantz was also issued the same year in France in favour of the Protestants. So that, as the Reformed interest was in peace everywhere, and conquered in Holland and England, the Popish party, on the other hand, saw Spain, the late terror of the Protestants, brought to a languishing condition, and all their allies weary of wars and persecutions. And as in the year 1609 the truce was made between the Spaniards and the Dutch, so the war, though renewed and carried on afterward, became languid and faint, so as hardly to be regarded by either party, especially the Dutch, who were generally victorious and successful. Hence, as the period of this vial began in 1566, so we may reckon it continued about fifty years, namely, till the year 1617, when the third vial began.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-16.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And the second. On pouring out the vial follows the divine judgment. There appears blood, like that of a dead man. This passage, Pastorini is of opinion alludes to the Arian heresy, which, like blood, flowed in vigorous circulation whilst in health and strength, gradually retarded its motion, as in a dying man, and was at last totally lost and stopped, like the circulation in a dead man. Hence every living soul died in the sea. (Pastorini) --- Calmet interprets it as a prediction of the calamities which befell the Roman empire, during the invasion of the Persians on the east, and the Goths and other barbarous nations on the west.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-16.html. 1859.

A Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy Scriptures

SECOND VIAL .

(Blood On the Sea.)

Revelation 16:3.

"And the "Second Angel" poured out his Vial upon the sea: and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea."

We saw that at the sounding of the "Second Trumpet," that the third part of the sea became blood, and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. Revelation 8:8-9. Here the whole of the sea is affected. This may mean only the Sea of Galilee, or the Mediterranean Sea, and not the oceans of the earth. It does not follow that this blood is that of men. It may be only of the living creatures that are in the sea. The Revised Version translates (in the margin) the word "soul" as the "soul of life," and we know that the word "soul" implies "self conscious life," and this is common to all animal life. The blood is certainly not the blood of sailors and marines caused by some great naval battle. The inference is that the creatures in the sea died, not because of the loss of their own blood, but because the waters of the sea became "AS the blood of a dead man"--that Isaiah, corrupt.

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Larkin, Clarence. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". A Study of the Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/clr/revelation-16.html.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The second trumpet brought harm to one-third of the sea and this bowl does, too. (Revelation 8:8) God"s promise to Noah (Genesis 8:20-22) would not allow us to think these plagues actually are upon the literal sea, fresh water or sun. Instead, these figures are used to show mankind, in every facet of his being, is to be punished for wickedness. The sea likely represents the teeming masses of humanity. As it turns to wickedness, it begins to rot and stink like the blood of a dead man and all who join in this wickedness likewise die. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-16.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

angel. Omit.

dead man. App-139.

living soul. Literally soul of life. Compare App-13.

living. App-170.

soul = creature. App-110.

in. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

Angel. So B, Andreas; but A C, Vulgate, omit.

Upon - `into.'

Became as the blood - answering to another Egyptian plague Became as the blood - answering to another Egyptian plague.

Of a dead man - putrefying.

Living soul. So 'Aleph (') B, Andreas: but A C, Syriac, 'soul of life' (cf. Genesis 1:30; Genesis 7:21-22).

In the sea. So B, Andreas; but A C, Syriac, 'as respects the things in the sea.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) And the second angel . . .—Better, And the second (angel) poured out his vial on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man, and every soul of life died (even) the things that were in the sea. The reference to the first of the Egyptian plagues is clear (Exodus 7:20; comp. Revelation 8:8-9). It has been remarked that “the Egyptian plagues stood in a very close connection with the natural state and circumstances of Egypt. The Nile, which was their strength, became worse than useless when its waters were turned to blood.” There is a similar feature here. The sea, out of which the wild beast rose, from which the world-power drew strength, is turned to blood, the blood as of a dead man, corrupt and loathsome. The sea represented the tumultuous impulses and passions of the masses; there is a certain healthy force in these, but under certain conditions, when devoted to selfishness and earthliness, they become corrupt and deadly. Ruled by God and by right, the voice of multitudes is melodious as the voice of the sea, and the free movement of peoples, like the ocean, a health-giving moral environment to nations; but swayed by impulse, or directed by worldliness, they become an element of corruption, killing every token of better life.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
upon
8:8; 10:2; 13:1
it became
11:6; Exodus 7:17-21; Psalms 78:44; 105:29; Ezekiel 16:38
and every
8:9; Genesis 7:22
Reciprocal: Psalm 78:45 - frogs;  Isaiah 34:3 - and the mountains;  Ezekiel 14:19 - and pour;  1 Corinthians 15:45 - The first

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-16.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

SECOND BOWL OF WRATH.

Revelation 16:3. — "And the second poured out his bowl on the sea; and it became blood, as of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea." All the Vials are poured on the earth, not geographically but prophetically considered (v. 1). But the terms "earth" (v. 2) and "sea" (v. 3) both form part of the prophetic scene referred to in verse 1; that is, the term earth in verse 1 is of larger and wider import than the earth of verse 2. The latter is contrasted with the sea, and as a symbol denotes that special part of the prophetic earth then in ordered external relation to God, while the sea signifies that portion of the sphere of prophetic dealing, not organised, but revolutionary in character — the masses in general. It is important to lay hold of the force of these symbols and of their application in detail. The grand desideratum, however, is to hold in the soul and understanding the moral principles and teaching of the book. A detailed exposition, however interesting, and to some minds fascinating, should be subordinated to the moral element — to that which deals with the conscience and with God. The great moral principles of truth which run through all Scripture are meant to govern the heart and control the life.

The sea "became blood" is not a physical fact, as in the first Egyptian plague (Exodus 7:17-25), when the Nile, the justly celebrated river of Egypt, with its canals, streams, and tributaries, was turned into blood literally and actually. But in the Vial plague the sea becoming blood points symbolically to a scene of moral death. Christianity, or at least what then represents it, is abandoned. So complete and thorough is the apostasy that the blood (life, moral or physical, as the case may be) is "as of a dead man." Here we have death in a double sense. First, spiritual death, as in Ephesians 2:5, even in the case of those naturally alive; second, by apostasy, the giving up of all religious profession — the open, public renunciation of all external relationship to God, as in Jude 1:12 — "twice dead," even when physically alive.

"Every living soul died in the sea." The masses of people within the bounds of the prophetic earth are signified by the restless sea, while those in special outward relation to God within that same sphere are signified by the solid earth. "Every living soul died." Each mere professor makes shipwreck of faith, of conscience, of truth, and gives up every vestige of religious profession. The apostasy and alienation from God are complete, not one left, save those who are real and whose names are in the Lamb's book of life.

It has been contended that a violent physical death is here signified by the term blood, but this, we judge, is a mistake. A sword symbolically sets forth death by war or violence, and that is absent here (Revelation 6:8; Revelation 19:15). The scene before us represents a general state of corruption and apostasy amongst the peoples and masses of mankind not in ordered relation to God, as also the open apostasy of "every" one. A pagan world we have read and heard of with all its disgusting and filthy practices. A papal Europe shrouded in moral darkness there has been, and that at no very distant date. But an apostate world, with its blasphemy, cruelty, and frightful misery, abandoned by God and given over to Satan, is the appalling picture in the Apocalypse, one most sure, and, moreover, not far off. The character of the times unmistakably points in that direction.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-16.html.

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

Blood of a dead man. When a man dies his blood dies with him and becomes poisonous. That which would come in contact with it would be killed. The blood of Christ was dead when it was poured out, hence it will kill the sins of the world if brought into contact with them. (See 1 John 1:7.)

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-16.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 16:3

Revelation 16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

By sea here, we may understand the see of Rome, the see of Canterbury, the see of York, and all other ecclesiastical, metropolitan, and diocesan sees; especially, the Popes See, etc. In which see of the church of Rome, those kings of the earth, who give their power, strength, and kingdom to the beast, and all Babylon merchants, and ship masters, and as many as trade by sea, and traffic for estates, for slaves, and for souls of men. { Revelation 18:9-19}

And it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

So that the effects of this vial is death, unto them that worship the beast or his image, or receive his Mark, name, or the number of his name, { Revelation 18:8} not only temporal but eternal death. { Revelation 14:9-11} See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 14:9 See KNOLLYS: Revelation 14:10 See KNOLLYS: Revelation 14:11

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-16.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Second Vial

Revelation 16:3. And the second poured out his vial in the sea, and it became blood as of one dead, and every living soul died, that is in the sea. The sea in the language of the Apocalypse, the sea of the peoples, the restless wicked world (comp. on ch. Revelation 13:1). On no account can we think of the sea in the literal sense. For that is no sphere for God's punitive and avenging agency. If any doubt might still exist, it would be removed by a comparison of the corresponding symbolical representation in ch. Revelation 8:8-9, "and the second angel sounded, and like a great mountain burning with fire, was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood. And the third part of the living creatures in the sea died." What was said on this passage, serves also in substance for an explanation of the one before us. That the sea is the subject in the expression, "and it was," is plain from the words in the passage referred to, "and the third part of the sea became blood." Here, as also in ch. Revelation 8:8-9, there is a reference to the first Egyptian plague; Exodus 7:20, "And all the water that was in the Nile was changed into blood, and the fish that were in the Nile[Note: According to the fundamental passage "which (were) in the Nile," the well-supported reading τὰ ἐ ν τῇ θαλά σσῃ is to be preferred, not: all living creatures died in the sea; but: all living creatures in the sea died.] died." This plague itself possessed a symbolical character; it indicated, that the blood of the Egyptians should in just recompense be shed, if they did not repent. Peculiar here is the expression, "as of one dead." This refers to the import of the symbol. If the blood has the appearance as of that of the dead, we are not to think merely of the blood-colour of the water, as anciently in Egypt. In point of fact it is the blood of the dead. Only, here, we have not the fact itself, but merely its symbol. The as has respect to this, comp. on ch. Revelation 9:7; Revelation 9:9. The dead did not need to be more definitely described than as the slain, because it is only in this kind of death that the blood flows out. That we are not to think here of some general mortality, but of the shedding of blood in war, is evident alone from the symbol of the sea, out of which the beast arose. In ch. Revelation 20:13 also the dead that are in the sea, are those who perished by a violent death in political conflicts.

The scourge of destroying war is placed before our eyes by a double image—the changing of the sea into blood, and the dying of the living creatures in the sea. But the two, perhaps, are not simply co-ordinate. In the Egyptian plague the changing of the sea into blood stands in a causal connection with the dying of the fish. Accordingly. the changing of the sea into blood may be referred to those, who perish in actual battle, while the dying of all the living creatures in the sea may be understood of the infinitely greater number of those, who die in consequence of the war, by distress, hunger, sorrow, and disconsolateness, as we may learn from what happened in the thirty years' war. In reference to the all, see my work on Egypt, p. 107.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-16.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Blood of a dead man—The magnificent blue and billowy sea’ became, not like the crimson and fluid blood, still living, but black and coagulated, as being dead. This was fatal not only to the fisherman, the sailor, and the merchant, but to the life of every living thing in its waters. Notes on Revelation 18:15-19; Revelation 18:24.

Living soul—Literally, every soul of life; that is, the animal soul, in which the vitality is inherent. To the power that has used the sea for oppression, the sea must pour back corruption and death.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-16.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 16:3. “Coagulated blood,” fatal to animal life (as in first Egyptian plague). This plague is final, as compared, e.g., with that of Revelation 8:8.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-16.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

3. Poured out his bowl on the sea. All disasters which involve the sea. (See note on Revelation 8:8.)

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 16:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-16.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.