Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 16:8

The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Astronomy;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Sun;   Temple;   Wicked (People);   The Topic Concordance - Wrath;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Plagues of Egypt;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Suffering;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Vials;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Revelation of John:;   Sore;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Poured out his vial upon the sun - Mr. Robert Fleming, more than one hundred years ago, in his View of Scripture Prophecy, supposed that the sun here meant the French empire, and conjectured that this vial would be poured out on that empire about the year 1794. And it is remarkable that in 1793 the French king was beheaded by the National Assembly; and great and unparalleled miseries fell upon the French nation, which nearly extinguished all their nobility, and brought about a war that lasted twenty-three years, and nearly ruined that country and all the nations of Europe.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun - Toward the sun, or so as to reach the sun. The effect was as if it had been poured upon the sun, giving it an intense heat, and thus inflicting a severe judgment upon people. This corresponds also with the fourth trumpet Revelation 8:12, where it is said, that the “third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars.” For the general meaning of this symbol see the notes on that place. The idea is, that a scene of calamity and woe would occur as if the sun should be made to pour forth such intense heat that people would be “scorched.” It cannot be supposed that the sun would be literally made hotter, or that the exact nature of these calamities would be that people would be consumed by its rays.

And power was given unto him - To the sun. The meaning is, that a calamity would follow as if such an increased power should be given to its rays.

To scorch men with fire - Literally, “And it was given him to scorch men with fire” - that is, with heat so great that it seemed to be fire. The Greek word - καυματίσαι kaumatisai- meaning “to burn, to scorch” - is used in the New Testament only in Matthew 13:6; Mark 4:6; Revelation 16:8-9, in all which places it is rendered “scorch” and “scorched.” Compare, however, the use of the word καῦμα kaumain Revelation 7:16; Revelation 16:9; καῦσις kausisin Hebrews 6:8; καυσόω kausoōin 1 Peter 3:10, 1 Peter 3:12; and καύσων kausōnin Matthew 20:12; Luke 12:55; James 1:11. The notion of intense or consuming heat is implied in all the forms of the word; and the reference here is to some calamity that would be well represented by such an increased heat of the sun.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the fourth poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given unto it to scorch men with fire.

And the fourth poured out his bowl upon the sun ... Can there be any doubt now, that the total physical environment of the earth is the figure here? What is the specific analogy? The sun in the physical realm is "the light of the world," even as Christ and his truth are the true spiritual light of people (John 1:9). When that which should be light is so polluted that it will only scorch and burn with fire, then the bowl of the wrath of God has been poured upon the sun. How ridiculous must be accounted any physical, literal interpretation of this. Lactantius thought that:

God will cause the sun to stand still for three days so that it (the earth) will catch on fire; whereupon the impious and hostile people of earth will suffer by excessive heat and burning.[23]

"This fourth bowl has no parallel in the Egyptian plagues,"[24] which certainly stops the writers who cannot find anything in this series except those plagues. Although there are certainly overtones and resemblances here and there to the plagues of Egypt, this vision is distinctly John's. "Strange how little commentators venture to say with regard to this bowl!"[25]

All of these bowls are represented as destroying, not merely injuring, the physical environment. Any one of them would have been sufficient to that purpose, but the absolute corruption and ruination of all of it are made overwhelming by the seven bowls. That the physical environment is not meant is made evident in the promise of Genesis 8:22, to the effect that the ordered seasons of day and night, summer and winter, seedtime and harvest shall not cease while the earth remains. We cannot believe that anything in this prophecy contradicts that promise.

And it was given unto it ... The sentence of judicial hardening is inherent in this. That the very light which should illuminate human life should be changed into scorching destruction denotes a condition mentioned by Jesus, "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness" (Matthew 6:23).

What does this mean? It means that institutions of learning, and even churches and religious organizations, are teaching: evolution, humanism, communism, libertinism, a new morality, atheism, and a host of other lies. It means that churches are preaching the philosophies of men, the commandments of men, the prejudices of men, and the traditions of men instead of the word of God. It means that the prophetic voice of the Scriptures no longer disturbs what few church-goers are left, the great worldwide mission of saving souls having been replaced by "social programs," endowing the church with her new status of carrying the bedpan for the sick society, instead of proclaiming the true light of the fire of God's word to a wicked world. Thank God, this picture is by no means true of all, but it is sufficiently true to raise the question of whether or not the angel of God has poured the bowl of heavenly wrath upon the sun. The general apostasy of Christianity is almost certainly indicated by this. Instead of being lamp-bearers of the true light, many are instead merely waving the smoking torches of human wisdom.

[23] Lactantius, Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died, Divine Institutes, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1951), VII, 26.

[24] James D. Strauss, The Seer, the Saviour, and the Saved (Joplin, Missouri: College Press, 1972), p. 204.

[25] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 471.

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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 16:8". "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 fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun,.... Not literally; and so designs not a violent heat, which shall go before, and be a preparation for the burning of the world; nor any sore famine arising from it, which would be common to all, good and bad; but mystically: some understand this of Christ, the sun of righteousness, not of any wrath that shall be poured forth on him again, being now justified in the Spirit; but either of that clear shining of Christ in the ministry of the word, in those times this vial refers to; when Zion's light will be come, and the light of the sun will be seven fold, and Christ alone will be exalted; which clear ministration of Christ, though it will not savingly enlighten, yet will convict and confound the antichristian party; they will be scorched with the beams of heat and light, which will dart from hence; these will torture them, and fill them with envy, rage, and malice, because they will not be able to obscure this light, or stop the progress of it; they themselves will be so enlightened by it, as to see and know the truth of Christ's person, and offices, and grace, and yet will sin against it, and so be guilty of blasphemy against the Spirit of God, a sin which will greatly prevail among them; and they will, like the clay, be the more hardened by this light and heat, and will not repent of their sins and errors, nor confess them, nor own the light and conviction they have received: or else of the wrath of Christ, which he will be moved by this angel to stir up against the antichristian party, and which they will be sensible of, and be fearfully looking for. Others, and which comes much to the same sense, understand this of the Scriptures, the fountain of spiritual light, and of the clear interpretation of them in those times; when the watchmen shall see eye to eye, and when the day shall declare and make manifest every man's work, and the fire reveal and try it; and the same effects upon the antichristian party shall follow as before: but I rather think this refers to some part of the antichristian state, as in the other vials, or to something belonging to it; some have thought that the house of Austria, the chief family in the empire, or the king of Spain, or the emperor, who were both formerly of that house, or Germany itself, is meant; but the empire, as we have seen, seems to be designed by the earth in the first vial; wherefore, rather as the smiting of the third part of the sun, moon, and stars, under the fourth trumpet, signifies the utter extirpation of the Roman emperor, and all other Roman magistrates, who were the sun, moon, and stars in that empire; so this vial upon the sun refers to the pope, and his creatures, the cardinals, &c. who is the sun in the antichristian kingdom; and this angel may design the kings of the earth, who will be stirred up against him, by whom he and his dependents will suffer sorely, if not destroyed.

And power was given unto him to scorch men with fire; which may either respect the burning of Rome, and the adjacent parts; or rather the filling of the antichristian party with rage and malice, at the destruction of the pope, and his creatures; for these men are the same with those in Revelation 16:2.

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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 16:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

7 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

(7) The story of the fourth angel, who throws the plague on the heavens and on the sun, of which Luke notes the effects in (Luke 21:26). The one peculiar, that it shall scorch men with heat in this verse. The other proceeding accidentally from the former, that their fury shall so much more be enraged against God in (Revelation 16:9), when yet (O wonderful mercy and patience of God) all other creatures are first stricken often and grievously by the hand of God before mankind, by whom he is provoked: as the things before declare.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "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 Coptic and Andreas. But A, B, C, Vulgate, and Syriac omit it.

upon — not as in Revelation 16:2, Revelation 16:3, “into.”

sun — Whereas by the fourth trumpet the sun is darkened (Revelation 8:12) in a third part, here by the fourth vial the sun‘s bright scorching power is intensified.

power was given unto him — rather, “unto it,” the sun.

menGreek, “the men,” namely, those who had the mark of the beast (Revelation 16:2).

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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 16:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Upon the sun (επι τον ηλιονepi ton hēlion). Not ειςeis (into) as in Revelation 16:2, Revelation 16:3, Revelation 16:4. The fourth trumpet (Revelation 8:12) affected a third of the sun, moon, and stars with a plague of darkness, but here it is a plague of extreme heat.

To scorch with fire (καυματισαι εν πυριkaumatisai en puri). First aorist active infinitive of καυματιζωkaumatizō late (Plutarch, Epictetus) causative verb (from καυμαkauma heat), in N.T. only here and Revelation 16:9; Matthew 13:6; Mark 4:6. The addition of εν πυριen puri (in fire, with fire) intensifies the picture.

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "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

The fourth angel

Omit angel.

Power was given ( ἐδόθη )

Rev., it was given.

With fire ( ἐν πυρί )

Lit., “in fire.” The element in which the scorching takes place.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "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 fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

The fourth poured out his phial upon the sun — Which was likewise affected by the fourth trumpet. There is also a plain resemblance between the first, second, and third phials, and the first, second, and third trumpet.

And it was given him — The angel.

To scorch the men — Who had the mark of the beast.

With fire — As well as with the beams of the sun. So these four phials affected earth, water, fire, and air.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-16.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angel

(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 16:8". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-16.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

Ver. 8. Upon the sun] The pope’s supremacy, say some, the Scriptures, say others, by the light whereof they are laid open to the world (dancing naked in a net, and yet not seeing their own nakedness, as Mr Philpot, martyr, told Chadsey), and by the dint whereof, "God smites the earth;" Isaiah 11:4, that is, the consciences of those popelings, glued to the earth. He even "hews them by his prophets, and slays them by the words of his mouth," Hosea 6:5. But this interpretation touching the Scriptures some hold to be dangerous; because upon what subject soever these vials fell, the wrath of God fell together with them upon the same, Revelation 16:1; they understand therefore by sun the house of Austria, or the highest authority that holds on Rome.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". 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, 1. That the fourth vial is said to be poured forth upon the sun, which metaphorically taken in scripture usually signifies some great prince or potentate: here the head of the antichristian party is supposed to be the sun, upon which the wrath of this vial falls.

Observe, 2. The effect which followed hereupon, power was given him to scorch men with fire; and the event which ensued was double, men blasphemed the name of God, and repented not to give him glory.

Learn hence, 1. That although God sends his judgments to call the wicked to repentance, yet they will not repent of sin, even when they lie under the wrathful hand of God, but will rather break forth to further wickedness, even to blaspheme the holy name of God.

Learn, 2. That what the damned do in hell, where the wrath of God is poured out upon men to the uttermost, that do incorrigible and unreclaimable sinners upon earth; they are scorched with great heat, the vengeance of God cometh upon them, they are mad and enraged, and blaspheme the holy and just God, who bringeth such plagues upon them; but they have no sense of their sins, no thoughts of turning unto God, or of giving glory to him: these men here blasphemed, but repented not.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-16.html. 1700-1703.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Here we have no history to guide us in the government of our fancies and judgments, but their opinion seems most probable to me, who, by

the sun, understand some great prince or potentate, or the whole civil power in the antichristian heaven; suppose the Spaniard, or the emperor. It seems to signify either some destruction of such civil powers, or some defection of them from the papacy, which will vex and enrage antichrist and his party, as if they were scorched with fire. This I look upon as much more probable than theirs who interpret it of the natural sun, or the word of God.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". 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

Четвертыйчашужечьогнем Солнце, которое обычно дает свет, тепло и энергию, станет убийцей. Не имея питьевой воды, население земли будет страдать от ужасной жары. Испепеляющая жара растопит полярные льды. Некоторые считают, что это поднимет уровень мировых океанов на 200 футов (61 м), приведет к затоплению многих больших городов, что приведет к дальнейшим катастрофам и уничтожению жизни (ср. Ам. 9:5, 6). В результате разрушения водных транспортных путей будет трудно распределять скудные запасы продовольствия и воды.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Upon the sun; not extinguishing him, but kindling in him an unnatural and scorching heat. The symbol, according to some, denotes the turning of civil power into a means of oppressing men.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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

(4) The smitten sun that scorched blasphemous men with fire: "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire"--16:8.

This plague was the symbol of the punishment inflicted on the persecutors who had blasphemed God in the assumption of the powers and prerogatives of God by compelling the worship of the emperor's image; and had thus branded the mark in the hands and on the foreheads of all who bowed in submission. This symbol portended the end of the activities of the emperor and his colleagues.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "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

The fourth trumpet judgment darkened the sun ( Revelation 8:12), but this judgment increased the sun"s intensity. There is a definite article before "men" in the Greek text. The men in view are evidently the people who have the mark of the beast and who worship him ( Revelation 16:2). The faithful will apparently escape this judgment. Similarly the Israelites escaped some of the plagues on Egypt.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "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 16:8. The fourth poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given unto him to scorch men with fire. We have not yet passed into a world different from that with which the previous bowls were connected. ‘Men’ are still plagued, though through the instrumentality of the sun which is used by the angel of judgment for this purpose, the ‘fire’ referred to being the scorching heat of that luminary. As compared with chap. Revelation 8:12 there is again increased intensity of judgment, for the whole sun is affected, and not merely a third part of it; and its scorching heat, which had not there been spoken of, is now particularly noticed.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-16.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And the fourth Angel. Here is the punishment of the Greeks during the siege of Constantinople by the Turks, where the fire engines, that were then made use of for the first time, so reduced the Grecian army, that the walls of the city were reduced to ashes, and the whole town to flames. Hence it appears how the Greeks were scorched with great heat; and how they blaspheme the name of God, appears too evident from the history of Notaros, admiral of the Constantinopolitan fleet. (Pastorini)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

upon. App-104.

power, &c. = it was given.

unto = to.

with. Greek. en. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "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 fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

Angel. So 'Aleph ('), Coptic, Andreas; but A B C, Vulgate, Syriac, omit.

Upon. Not as Revelation 16:2-3, 'into.'

Sun. Whereas by the fourth trumpet the sun is darkened (Revelation 8:12) in a third part, here, by the fourth vial, the sun's bright scorching power is intensified.

Power was given unto him - rather, 'unto it:' the sun.

Men - `the men;' those who had the mark of the beast (Revelation 16:2).

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
upon
6:12; 8:12; 9:2; Isaiah 24:23; Luke 21:25; Acts 2:20
and power
7:16; 9:17,18; 14:18; Jonah 4:8; Matthew 13:6
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:16 - to rule;  Joshua 10:13 - So the sun;  Psalm 140:10 - burning coals;  Psalm 148:8 - Fire;  Isaiah 1:5 - ye will;  Nahum 1:6 - his fury;  Revelation 9:20 - yet;  Revelation 22:11 - that is unjust

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-16.html.

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

The sun is a part of the creation which was commented upon at verse4. It is specified in the present group of symbols because of the particular item it contributes to the welfare of humanity when it is used normally. It is the source of light and heat without which man could not live. But it is now used as a symbol of torment of fire by increasing the volume of the rays upon men. In Malachi 2:2 the Lord was making threats against some of His ancient people for their wickedness in which he says "I will curse your blessing." The thought is similar to the one of our verse. The sun is normally a blessing to the people of the earth, but it is used as a symbol of cursing.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". 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 16:8

Revelation 16:8-9 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

By the sun here, we are to understand the emperor of Germany, the French King, and the Pope of Rome, who are the great lights in the Roman papal kingdom, who rule the day of the anti-Christian state, as the sun in the firmament doth, { Genesis 1:15} rule and govern the natural day. The effect of this vial or plague is the scorching of the men of the beasts kingdom with great heat. { Revelation 16:9} They that worship the beast or his image, or receive his Mark, etc. are tormented with fire, { Revelation 14:8-11} see the exposition. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 14:8See KNOLLYS: Revelation 14:9 See KNOLLYS: Revelation 14:10 See KNOLLYS: Revelation 14:11And they repented not to give glory to God. Impenitent papists will be tormented for ever and ever.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-16.html.

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

Fourth Vial

Revelation 16:8. And the fourth poured out his vial on the sun, and it was given to him to scorch men with fire. The sun is introduced here, not in respect to his light-giving quality (so that ch. Revelation 8:12 is not to be compared), but in respect to his scorching power; so that ch. Revelation 7:16 is parallel, "the sun shall not light upon them, nor any heat," and the fundamental passage of Isaiah 49:10, quoted in the remarks there. As in ch. Revelation 8:12, the splendour of the sun represents a happy condition, its darkening distress, so here the sun in its scorching heat is the image of the sufferings of this life. That the angel pours out his vial on the sun, denotes the extraordinary growth, which through the righteous judgment of God, as a punishment for the growth of sin, was imparted to the sufferings of life for the enemies of Christ, the servants of the beast. It is not of the natural scorching of the sun's rays that we are here to think, and of the injurious effects flowing from it; as Bossuet, for example, conceives, "signifying excessive heats, drought, and at length famine. One sees in St Denis of Alexandria the Nile dried up, as it were, by scorching heat." It is not this, however, as appears not only from the symbolical keeping of the whole,—in the preceding portion, the earth, the sea, the water in a figurative sense—but also from the addition, with fire. Fire in the Apocalypse is the usual symbol of the divine wrath and judgment (ch. Revelation 14:18). Only when we consider the sun in a figurative sense, is the fire, which is poured out of the vial (comp. ch. Revelation 15:7) homogeneous to the fire of the sun.

That we must not render, "it was given to it," the sun, but "it was given to him," the angel, is still more decidedly clear from ch. Revelation 7:2 (comp. also ch. Revelation 4:8), than from Bengel's remark, "it was more properly given to an angel than to the sun." But we must explain thus: it was given him so, through the medium of the sun, when inflamed to an unusual heat by the pouring out of the vial.

The heat, as a figurative designation of sufferings and assaults, is found also in Jeremiah 17:8; 1 Peter 4:12. Men are not of themselves to be regarded as fleshly men, as Vitringa supposes; but the limitation is to be understood here, as in ch. Revelation 9:20, from the consideration that in the whole context the subject of discourse is the judgments that were to befal an ungodly world. It is remarked in the Berleb. Bible, "But since they will also be self-tormentors, and one shall vehemently inflame another, one child of the world others around him; so they shall be in the highest degree a hell to themselves, each shall do to his neighbour the part of a tormentor and executioner." In regard to the fate of the members of the church in this vial, which, like all the rest, comprises in one image what is realised by successive stages in different epochs of the worldly power, the solution is given in ch. 7. The preservation of the children of Israel during the plagues which fell on the Egyptians, among whom they dwelt, and with whose fate their own seemed inseparably bound up, has the import of a matter-of-fact prophecy for all times; only, we must thoroughly discard all Mahommedan views of prosperity in life. Here the word holds that is written in Jeremiah 17:7-8, "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. He is like a tree planted by the water, and rooted on the brook. And he fears not when heat comes, and his leaf remains green, and he is not concerned when a year of drought comes, and ceases not to bear fruits."

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Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-16.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.Unto him—To the sun, and not, as some think, to the angel. With (solar) fire—A very intense expression. Note Revelation 18:8.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 16:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-16.html. 1874-1909.