Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 6:12

I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Astronomy;   Earthquakes;   Eclipse;   Heaven;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Moon;   Sun;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Remnant;   Thompson Chain Reference - Darkness;   Light-Darkness;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Earthquakes;   Seals;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Earthquakes;   Moon, the;   Sackcloth;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Garments;   Sack, Sackcloth;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Earthquake;   Stars;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Color, Symbolic Meaning of;   Darkness;   Joel, Theology of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Joseph;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Colors;   Earthquake;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beast;   Sun;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Blood;   Clothes;   Colours;   Earthquake ;   Eschatology;   Moon;   Sackcloth ;   Suffering;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Earthquake;   Moon;   Sackcloth;   Sun;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Sackcloth;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sackcloth,;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Blood;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ascension;   Astronomy;   Color;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The sixth seal - This seal also is opened and introduced by Jesus Christ alone.

A great earthquake - A most stupendous change in the civil and religious constitution of the world. If it refer to Constantine the Great, the change that was made by his conversion to Christianity might be very properly represented under the emblem of an earthquake, and the other symbols mentioned in this and the following verses.

The sun - the ancient pagan government of the Roman empire, was totally darkened; and, like a black hair sackcloth, was degraded and humbled to the dust.

The moon - the ecclesiastical state of the same empire, became as blood - was totally ruined, their sacred rites abrogated, their priests and religious institutions desecrated, their altars cast down, their temples destroyed, or turned into places for Christian worship.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-6.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood;

This and the following five verses are a prophetic description of the Second Advent and the judgment of the great day. There is no way that the total imagery of these amazing verses can be accommodated to any other view.

Smith said, "The events here must be placed at the end of this age."[45] "It is the day of the Lord's summing up of all things."[46] "The fullest application of this belongs to the final advent."[47] It is our sincere conviction that those expositors, of many illustrious names, who fancy that these verses are a prophecy of "the decay of society,"[48] or "sudden revolutions that would fill the world with alarm,"[49] are mistaken. These words simply cannot be so explained. It is true, of course, that Joel's very similar language was declared by Peter to have been fulfilled by the momentous events of Pentecost, but there are most essential differences in the prophecy here from those found in the Old Testament.

The cosmic earthquake in view here should be understood in the light of Hebrews 12:28, under which see fuller comment on "the end of the world," in my Commentary on Hebrews, pp. 335ff. "The whole universe will be shaken to pieces, and the only things to survive will be those that are unshakable."[50] Hendriksen was sure that, "This describes the judgment day, the one great catastrophe at the end of the age."[51]

[45] Wilbur M. Smith, Wycliffe Bible Commentary, New Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), p. 1068.

[46] Douglas Ezell, Revelations on Revelation (Waco: Word Books, 1977), p. 43.

[47] W. Boyd Carpenter, Ellicott's Bible Commentary, Vol. VIII (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1959), p. 562.

[48] Charles H. Roberson, op. cit., p. 45.

[49] Albert Barnes, op: cit., p. 136.

[50] F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), p. 383.

[51] William Hendriksen, op. cit., p. 129.

Copyright Statement
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 6:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal,.... Of the sealed book which the Lamb took out of the hand of him that sat upon the throne, in order to open it, and unloose its seals. About this seal interpreters much differ; some refer this to the destruction of Jerusalem, because of the likeness of expressions here used, and in Matthew 24:7; but this was past many years before this seal was opened; and besides, though that time was a day of wrath to the uttermost upon the Jewish people, and it was the Lamb's day of wrath, taking vengeance on them for their unbelief and rejection of him as the Messiah; yet they had no sense of the Lamb, nor any apprehension of his wrath at that time, nor have they now, but imputed their calamity to their divisions and quarrels among themselves. Others think this seal belongs to the destruction of the Roman empire by the Goths, Huns, Vandals, &c. but it should be observed, that the empire stood some hundreds of years after the end of the fifth seal and the opening of this; and it was after the seventh seal, and at the sounding of the trumpets, that that destruction came on; moreover, that calamity was by the savageness of some barbarous nations which overrun the empire, but this here spoken of comes from the wrath of the Lamb; add to which, that that calamity distressed the Christians in the empire, and them chiefly, whereas this falls only upon the enemies of the Lamb, and the persecutors of his people. Others are of opinion that this has respect to the strange change of affairs in the church of Christ, through the rise, power, and tyranny of antichrist; by "the earthquake" they suppose is meant the shaking of both church and state by the man of sin; who shook the doctrines, ordinances, and discipline of the church, and threw all into confusion, and introduced a new face of things; and also shook the kingdoms of the earth, and the thrones and crowns of princes: by the "sun" becoming "black", they think is meant the sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ, who was obscured in the doctrines concerning him, as the one and only Mediator, and justification by his righteousness, and pardon through his blood, by introducing the mediation of angels and saints, the doctrine of justification by works, and the doctrine of merit, works of supererogation, indulgences, pardons, penance, and purgatory: by the "moon" they understand the church, which receives all its light, grace, righteousness, and holiness, from Christ, and which, like the moon, is changeable as to its outward form and circumstances; and this became "as blood", through the persecutions, massacres, and cruelties of the Romish antichrist, who has been made drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus: the "stars" they take to be the ministers of the word; either hypocritical ones, who were like unripe figs, destitute of true grace, and so were easily shaken with the wind of Papal power, and fell into the earth, and apostatized from the faith, and conformed to the corruptions of antichrist; or the true ministers of the Gospel, who were put to death, and that to an untimely and violent one, signified by the shaking of untimely figs by a mighty wind: by the "heaven" departing as a scroll rolled up, they suppose is designed either the church, which fled into the wilderness, and remained invisible during the Papal power and cruelty; or else the Scriptures, which the pope made himself sole judge and interpreter of and shut up from the common people in an unknown language, and forbid the laity the reading of them: by "mountains" they think are intended the kings and princes of the earth, who were obliged to submit to the Romish antichrist, and give their kingdoms to him, and receive their crowns and kingdoms from him, and be his vassals: and by "the islands", the people their subjects, who were forced to acknowledge him as the supreme head, and receive his mark in their right hand or forehead, or they could not buy and sell: and by all ranks and degrees of men, as "kings", &c. hiding themselves in rocks and mountains, and calling upon them to fall on them and cover them, they apply either to their invoking the virgin Mary, and other saints, to intercede for them, and screen them from the wrath of God and Christ, on account of their sins; or else to the persecutors of the saints, of every rank and in every age, and to the punishments that shall fall upon them. But however feasible this interpretation may seem to be, it is certain that this was not the face of things at the close of the fifth seal, or the Dioclesian persecution, and at the opening of the sixth, when Constantine came to the imperial throne, for then the church appeared as she is described in Revelation 12:1; which is just the reverse of this. There are others, who because of the very awful things here spoken of, and the very awful language in which they are expressed, conclude that this seal respects the day of judgment; not considering that the fifth seal ends about the year 313, at the close of the last of the ten persecutions, and that the sixth seal begins where that ends; and though above 1750 years have elapsed since that time, yet the day of judgment is not come, and we know not when it will; besides, here is another seal, a seventh seal, which follows, and introduces punishments on the Roman empire, and seven vials follow, which pour out plagues upon antichrist, all which can never be thought to be after the day of judgment; moreover, the account of the day of judgment stands in its proper place in Revelation 20:12; after the destruction of Babylon, the first resurrection, and the saints' thousand years' reign with Christ. But to proceed; the business which is the subject of this seal is the removing of Paganism, and Pagan governors out of the Roman empire; this was the thing the rider upon the white horse, under the first seal, set out upon to effect, and never ceased until he had accomplished it; and this is what ensued upon the close of the fifth seal, when Pagan persecution ceased, on Constantine, a Christian emperor, having the reins of power in his hands; and it cannot be thought, that so wonderful a change of things as this should be omitted in this prophetic history; and it is easy to observe that changes in kingdoms and governments, both as to the polity and religion of them, are sometimes expressed in such like figurative terms as here; see Isaiah 13:9; and which may be accommodated to this event as follows:

and, lo, there was a great earthquake; or "shaking", both of the heavens and earth, and which, as it denotes in Haggai 2:6; compared with Hebrews 12:26; the removing of Jewish worship and ordinances, in order to make way for the Christian ordinances and institutions, which were to remain; so here it intends the removing of Pagan worship and idolatry, and of Pagan magistrates, that the Christian religion and Christian magistrates might take place. This, with what follows, concerning the darkness of the sun and moon, might be literally true; and it seems by historians, that there were such phenomena about those times; for it is assertedF8Magdeburg. Centuriator. cent. 4. c. 3. p. 86. & c. 13. p. 837. , that a very great earthquake in Syria followed the Dioclesian persecution, which shook and caused to fall the tops of houses at Tyre and Sidon, and killed many thousands; and some such like happened at Rome, and at Spoletum, where above three hundred and fifty Pagans perished, as they were serving their idols. It is also observedF9Alsted. Chronolog. Thesaur. p. 59. , that the moon was turned into blood in the times of Galerius, who succeeded. Dioclesian; and that the sun failed, and the stars shined for four hours, when Licinius was conquered by Constantine; but then these may be considered as symbols of the change in the empire.

And the sun came black as sackcloth of hair; which is made of black hairs; see Isaiah 50:3; as when eclipsed. The sun was the chief deity worshipped by the Heathens, under various names, and this becoming black, may design the removing of their principal gods from their honour and glory, or the downfall of idolatry, which the JewsF11Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 6. 2. call שמשה של עבודה זרה, "the sun of idolatry", which they suppose is meant in Song of Solomon 1:6. And Satan, the god of this world, who was worshipped in different forms, now fell, as Lucifer, the son of the morning, and as lightning from heaven, and was cast down from all his dignity, influence, and power, to the earth; for the casting out of the red dragon, the old serpent, and Satan, after his combat with Michael and his angels, in Revelation 12:3, refers to this very time; likewise the chief magistrate, the Heathen Roman emperor, may be included; and it is remarkable, that Dioclesian the emperor, who had now retired from the imperial government, and was under a cloud, under disgrace, and in distress, had, in the zenith of his glory, caused himself to be worshipped as a god, and as the brother of the sun and moon.

And the moon became as blood; as when obscured; the Alexandrian copy and some others, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, "the whole moon"; this may design the next Heathen deity, or class of deities, for the moon was also worshipped by the Heathens under different names; and may likewise include the Pagan priesthood, which was next, and was annexed to the imperial dignity; and which was disused by, Constantine and his successors; and even the very title, and the robe which was a symbol of it, were laid aside as unworthy of Christian princes; see Mede upon the place.

Copyright Statement
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 6:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

9 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as c sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

(9) The sixth sign, a narration, has two parts: the sign and the event. The sign is that the earth, heaven, and the things that are in them, for the horror of the sins of the world after those most heavy warnings from God, and complaints of the saints shall be shaken most severely, trembling in horrible manner, and losing their light, in this verse: things falling from heaven (Revelation 6:13) withdrawing themselves and fleeing from the greatness of the trouble (Revelation 6:14). So completely do all creatures depend on the will of God, and content themselves in his glory.

(c) So they called in old time those woven works that were of hair.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-6.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming”; imagery describing the portents of the immediate coming of the day of the Lord; but not the coming itself until the elect are sealed, and the judgments invoked by the martyrs descend on the earth, the sea, and the trees (Revelation 7:1-3).

and, lo — So A reads. But B and C omit “lo.”

earthquakeGreek, “shaking” of the heavens, the sea, and the dry land; the shaking of these mutable things being the necessary preliminary to the setting up of those things which cannot be shaken. This is one of the catchwords [Wordsworth] connecting the sixth seal with the sixth trumpet (Revelation 11:13) and the seventh vial (Revelation 16:17-21); also the seventh seal (Revelation 8:5).

sackcloth — One kind, made of the “hair” of Cilician goats, was called “cilicium,” or Cilician cloth, and was used for tents, etc. Paul, a Cilician, made such tents (Acts 18:3).

moon — A, B, C, and oldest versions read, “the whole moon”; the full moon; not merely the crescent moon.

as blood — (Joel 2:31).

Copyright Statement
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 6:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-6.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

There was a great earthquake (σεισμος μεγας εγενετοseismos megas egeneto). “There came a great earthquake.” Jesus spoke of earthquakes in his great eschatological discourse (Mark 13:8). In Matthew 24:29 the powers of the heavens will be shaken. ΣεισμοςSeismos is from σειωseiō to shake, and occurs also in Revelation 8:5; Revelation 11:13, Revelation 11:19; Revelation 16:18. The reference is not a local earthquake like those so common in Asia Minor.

As sackcloth of hair (ως σακκος τριχινοςhōs sakkos trichinos). ΣακκοςSakkos (Attic σακοςsakos), Latin saccus, English sack, originally a bag for holding things (Genesis 42:25, Genesis 42:35), then coarse garment of hair (τριχινοςtrichinos old word from τριχthrix here only in N.T.) clinging to one like a sack, of mourners, suppliants, prophets leading austere lives (Matthew 3:4; Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13). Here the hair is that of the black goat (Isaiah 50:3). Cf. Joel 2:10; Ezekiel 32:7.; Isaiah 13:10; Mark 13:24. See Ecclesiastes 12:2 for eclipses treated as symbols of old age. Apocalyptic pictures all have celestial phenomena following earthquakes.

As blood (ως αιμαhōs haima). In Acts 2:20 we find Peter interpreting the apocalyptic eschatological language of Joel 2:31 about the sun being turned into darkness and the moon into blood as pointing to the events of the day of Pentecost as also “the great day of the Lord.” Peter‘s interpretation of Joel should make us cautious about too literal an exegesis of these grand symbols.

Copyright Statement
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 6:12". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-6.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The sixth seal

“The Apocalypse is molded by the great discourse of our Lord upon 'the last things' which has been preserved for us in the first three Gospels (Matthew 24:4; 25.; Luke 21:8-36; compare 17:20-37). The parallelism between the two is, to a certain extent, acknowledged by all inquirers, and is indeed, in many respects, so obvious, that it can hardly escape the notice of even the ordinary reader. Let any one compare, for example, the account of the opening of the sixth seal with the description of the end (Matthew href="/desk/?q=mt+24:29&sr=1">Matthew 24:29, Matthew 24:30), and he will see that the one is almost a transcript of the other. It is remarkable that we find no account of this discourse in the Gospel of St. John; nor does it seem as sufficient explanation of the omission that the later Evangelist was satisfied with the records of the discourse already given by his predecessors” (Milligan).

Earthquake ( σεισμὸς )

Lit., shaking. Used also of a tempest. See on Matthew 8:24, and compare Matthew 24:7. The word here is not necessarily confined to shaking the earth. In Matthew 24:29, it is predicted that the powers of the heavens shall be shaken ( σαλευθήσονται , see on Luke 21:26). Here also the heaven is removed (Revelation 6:14). Compare Hebrews 12:26, where the verb σείω toshake (kindred with σεισμὸς ) is used.

Black as sackcloth of hair ( μέλας ὡς σάκκος )

Compare Matthew 24:29; Isaiah 50:3; Isaiah 13:10; Jeremiah 4:23; Ezekiel 32:7, Ezekiel 32:8; Joel 2:31; Joel 3:15; Amos 8:9, Amos 8:10; Micah 3:6. For sackcloth, see on Luke 10:13.

The moon ( ἡ σελήνη )

Add ὅλη wholeRev., the whole moon.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-6.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

And I saw — This sixth seal seems particularly to point out God's judgment on the wicked departed. St. John saw how the end of the world was even then set before those unhappy spirits. This representation might be made to them, without anything of it being perceived upon earth. The like representation is made in heaven, Revelation 11:18.

And there was a great earthquake — Or shaking, not of the earth only, but the heavens. This is a farther description of the representation made to those unhappy souls.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-6.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Ver. 12. There was a great earthquake] Understand hereby those horrible commotions and confusions that occured in the Roman empire upon those ten bloody persecutions, and the earnest supplications of the saints which can work wonders in heaven and earth. The death and destruction of the persecutors was (as it was said of the death of Arius) precationis opus non morbi, the effect of faithful prayers calling for full and final vengeance. (Socrates i. 15.)

The sun became black] It is ordinary in Scripture to set forth horrible commotions of commonwealths by such figurative expressions as these, Jeremiah 4:23-31, Joel 2:10-11, Isaiah 13:10.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-6.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

A threefold interpretation is given relating to this sixth seal, and the opening of it.

1. Some apply it altogether to the Jews, and that their destruction in Judea and at Jerusalem was so dismal, that it was represented to St. John as the darkening of the sun, and the moon looking like blood, and the stars falling, such calamities impending as if heaven and earth were dissolving: doubtless at and before the destruction of Jerusalem there was a confluence of such calamities, so dismal, and so dreadful, as can very difficultly be represented or described.

2. Others apply it to the overthrow of Paganism, and the destruction of the Heathen emperors; the fall of Paganism, by means of Constantines's conversion to the Christian faith, was the most terrible judgment that ever fell upon the devil's kingdom: and accordingly, by the earth's quaking, the sun's becoming black, the moon's becoming blood, and the stars falling from heaven to earth, is to be understood the great changes that were made in the Roman empire, by overturning the whole Pagan state, and making Christianity the religion of the greatest part of the world; so that the sense of the foregoing expression is metaphorical, and signifies a great and general alteration of the face of affairs, as if the world was to be another thing.

But, 3. There are that interpret all this of the great and horrible confusion of the Christian world under Antichrist, when Christ the Sun of righteousness began to be obscured, that is, his doctrine concerning his offices and benefits darkened; the moon or church turned into blood; the stars or pastors fallen from heavenly offices; the scriptures, like the heavens rolled up, forbidden to be read; the mountains, kings and princes, in jeopardy; and the islands brought under Antichrist's yoke and tyranny.

Lastly, Some apply all this to the last dissolution of the world, and the final judgment of the great day; according to what follows in the three next verses.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-6.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 6:12. τὴν ἕκτην, the sixth) See notes at Revelation 6:9. D. Lange, Comm. Apoc., f. 11, says, that it is proved by the agreement of almost all interpreters, that the events of the sixth seal are future. But almost all interpreters, with the exception of those who refer it to the very consummation of the world, interpret it of the past; as even the Apocalyptic Parallels of Sentiments by Jungnitius teach, p. 138, and following. As far as relates to the subject, he has not proved that this seal refers to those things which are about to take place before the end of the world, and have not however as yet taken place: and yet on this theory he has built up the whole mass of his superstructure, fol. foll. Wherefore this ought to have been demonstrated as firmly as possible. We lately vindicated the passage from Matthew 24, to which there is a parallel in Luke 21— ἥλιος σελήνη,(79) the sun—the moon) They are here taken in their literal sense. There is a description of the alarm occasioned to the dead by that condition of the universe which there shall be at the last day: an alarm occasioned at the time when the Apocalypse was written: which even at that early time truly said, it is coming. [It is plain that these things cannot be referred to the destruction of the world itself; for there follows at length (not until after the sixth) the seventh seal, containing many things, and those of importance: nor to any other judgment, to be put into execution against enemies; of whom, in fact, the mention is made afterwards. In like manner, under the fifth seal, it was revealed to the souls under the altar, out of favour to them, what was being done on their account. The beginning is made from the earth; as ch. Revelation 20:11.—V. g.](80)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-6.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal; the sixth of those seals with which the book was sealed, mentioned Revelation 5:1: this signifieth the revelation of some things which should happen in some certain period of time, but what period is the question, as to which interpreters differ. Some think, the time when Jerusalem was taken; but this was a time past twenty-six or twenty-seven years before John was in Patmos, where he had this vision about things that shall be, Revelation 1:1 22:6. Some think, that period of time which shall be immediately before the day of judgment; but that guess seemeth worse, for after this there was a seventh seal to be opened. Some think, the period of the church’s conflict with antichrist. But Mr. Mede’s judgment (followed by many other famous men) seems best, that it denotes that period when Constantine, the first Christian emperor, restored peace to the church, by overturning the whole pagan state, and making Christianity the religion of the greatest part of the world. This was about the year 311, and perfected upon his victory over Licinius, 325. In this I acquiesce. Let us now see how what is said in this and the following verses about this period will agree to that time.

And, lo, there was a great earthquake: the great question is here, what is meant by this great earthquake, the darkening of the sun, the moon becoming as blood, &c. No history recording any such prodigies, hath made many (taking these things in the natural, literal sense) to say the period under the first seal signifies either the time when Jerusalem was taken, or the day of judgment; but there is a metaphorical sense of these expressions, very usual in the prophetical writings, to show great changes in states; and in this sense it is to be taken here. Thus the prophet describeth the great change God would make in Jerusalem, Isaiah 29:6, Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire: and Jeremiah 15:9, Her sun is gone down whlie it was yet day. And, Ezekiel 32:7, the change God would work in the ruin of Egypt, is thus expressed: When I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee. So Joel 2:10,31, and Joel 3:15. What is an earthquake, but the shaking of the earth? And under this notion God expresseth the changes he makes in states and kingdoms, Isaiah 2:19,21 24:18 Haggai 2:6,7. Thus by

earthquake here is to be understood a great change in the Roman empire.

And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: the sun signifies those that are in the highest power; the moon, those that are next to them in place and dignity.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-6.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

шестую печать Сила, описанная действием после этой печати, вызывает мистический ужас (ср. Лк. 21:26). Если действия, вызванные снятием пяти печатей, появились в результате человеческой деятельности, которую Бог использовал для достижения Своих целей, в этот момент Он начинает прямое вмешательство (ср. Мф. 24:29; Лк. 21:25). Предыдущие пять печатей станут предвестницами полного неистовства дня Господня (судного дня), который начнется с шестой печати (ст. 17). События после снятия этой печати открывают возможность снятия седьмой, в которой содержатся трубы гнева (гл. 8; 9; 11:15 и послед.) и чаши гнева (гл. 16).

великое землетрясение Этому землетрясению предшествовало много других (Мф. 24:7), но это будет более чем землетрясение. Вся земная кора покроется трещинами, которые начнут ломаться одновременно, что приведет к катастрофическому, глобальному землетрясению.

луна сделалась как кровь Одновременно с землетрясением произойдут извержения вулканов, сопровождающиеся выбросом большого количества пепла и лавы, в результате чего солнце станет черным, а луна приобретет кроваво-красный оттенок (Зах. 14:6, 7).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-6.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

When he had opened the sixth seal; according to either of the interpretations of this seal above given, the course of events indicated in the preceding five seals had a remarkable fulfilment in history. For an account of the events preceding the overthrow of paganism by Christianity, and of the old Roman empire by the northern invaders, the history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire should be studied, with the fuller commentaries on the Apocalypse, in which the interpretation of these prophetic symbols is discussed at large.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-6.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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

The shaking of the nations (sixth seal)--6:12-17.

The judgments depicted in this seal indicate a response to the plea of the souls under the altar in the fifth seal. The representations, symbols and language are so similar to the descriptions of Matthew 24:29-31 as to be identical in their significance. It describes the coming of the Son of man after the tribulation mentioned in the verses before it, as the sixth seal of Revelation 6:1-17 joins with the contents of the fifth seal before it. The divine visitations in the signs of terrestrial upheavals and celestial disturbances form an identical imagery. The comparison is impressive, if not conclusive evidence of their fulfillment in the same series of events.

1. There was a great earthquake--6:12.

In all of these scenes the earth is the place of the nations. The earthquake is the symbol of revolution, the shaking up of the nations in their various places. It is the figure of the agitations, upheavals, resulting in the revolutions and wars of Matthew 24:29. It is the symbol of divine judgment on the nations persecuting the cause of the Lamb. The same signal of the earthquake is found in the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah 29:6, in the former judgments on Judah and Jerusalem. It has the same adaptations and similar applications, in Matthew 24:6-7, describing the wars in the tributaries of Rome and all over Palestine, Galilee, Samaria, 177 A.D. 66, preceding the destruction of Jerusalem.

2. The sun black, the moon blood--6:12.

These exact metaphors were employed by the prophet Isaiah to signify the darkness that was then to settle over the Babylonian people in the destruction of their city, Babylon. (Isaiah 13:10) The same figures of speech were adapted by Jesus to describe the end of the Jewish state which resulted from the destruction of Jerusalem, and of their theocracy in the demolition of the temple. (Matthew 24:27-29) The figurative description is appropriated in the sixth seal of Revelation as a preview of the divine visitations on the persecuting powers.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-6.html. 1966.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

At the opening of the sixth seal....a great earthquake, &c. Many think that these dreadful signs, of the sun turning black, &c. are not to happen till the time of antichrist, a little before the end of the world. See Matthew xiv.; Luke xxi.; Isaias xiii. and xxxiv.; Ezechiel xxxiii.; Daniel xii.; &c. Others apply these prodigies to God's visible chastisements, on the heathen emperors and persecutors of the Christians, before the first Christian emperor Constantine. (Witham) --- And I saw. The sixth seal being opened, St. John sees painted before him the severe and terrible manner in which the Almighty would revenge himself on his enemies. It may refer either to the time of Constantine, when we behold the Christian religion triumphing on the ruins of paganism, and after his death, and that of his sons, the empire of Rome given up a prey to barbarians, Rome itself taken and pillaged, and all the provinces thrown into dreadful disorder and consternation; or it may likewise refer to the day of general judgment, when the Almighty will make sinners drink the wine of his indignation, in presence of all the just; of which dreadful time of vengeance all other particular judgments are only imperfect figures. (Victorin; Ven. Bede; Tichon) --- St. John, in imitation of the ancient prophets, makes use of the earthquake, &c. hyperbolically, to mark more strongly the dreadful and horrible evils with which the Roman empire, and its persecuting emperors, we to be overwhelmed. Rome itself was filled with wars and seditions, both at home and abroad. The emperors were all destroyed by the Almighty in a most singular manner; witness Maxentius, who was thrown headlong into the Tiber; Maximin Jovius, who, under a horrible and incurable disease, owned the hand of the Almighty afflicting him; Maximin Daia, who, being overcome in battle, fled away in disguise, and at last, seized with a strange disease, his bowels were all consumed, he lost his eyes, and died reduced to a mere skeleton. Witness likewise Licinius, who, being engaged with Constantine, was always beaten, and at length strangled. Maximian also, the rival of Constantine, who strangled himself in Marseilles, where he had been confined. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-6.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The language of this verse is very similar to prophetic descriptions of God"s judgment against Babylon and the opening of the doors to the kingdom, which also meant the bringing to a close the Jewish system. (Isaiah 13:1; Isaiah 13:10-13; Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21) Here is the prophetic language describing the Lord"s vengeance upon the persecutors.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-6.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sixth seal. The signs immediately preceding the Advent of Rev 19.
Matthew 24:4-5 (1st. The False Messiah), Revelation 6:1-2
Matthew 24:6-7 (2nd. Wars.) Revelation 6:3-4
Matthew 24:7 (3rd. Famines.) Revelation 6:5-6
Matthew 24:7 (4th. Pestilences.) Revelation 6:7-8)
Matthew 24:8-28 (5th Martyrdoms.) Revelation 6:9-11
Matthew 24:29-30 (6th. Signs in heaven of Advent.) Revelation 6:12-17.

lo. Omit.

was = came to be.

earthquake. Greek. seismos. See Haggai 2:6, Haggai 2:7, Haggai 2:21, Haggai 2:22. Zechariah 14:5. Matthew 8:24. Hebrews 12:26. Compare Psa 46.

moon. The texts add "whole", i.e. the full moon.

as blood. i.e. as to color.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

As Revelation 6:4; Revelation 6:6-8, the sword, famine, and pestilence, answer to Matthew 24:6-7; Revelation 6:9-10, as to martyrdoms, answer to Matthew 24:9-10 : so this passage, Revelation 6:12-17, answers to Matthew 24:29-30, the portents of the immediate coming of the day of the Lord; not the coming itself, until the elect are sealed, and the judgments invoked by the martyrs descend on the earth, the sea, and the trees, (Revelation 7:1-17.)

And, lo. So A but B C 'Aleph (') omit "lo."

Earthquake - `shaking' of the heavens, the sea, and the dry land: the shaking of these mutable things, the necessary preliminary to setting up those things which cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:26-28). One of the catchwords (Wordsworth) connecting the sixth seal with the sixth trumpet (Revelation 11:13) and the seventh vial (Revelation 16:17-21); also the seventh seal (Revelation 8:5).

Sackcloth - made of the "hair" of Cilician goats: 'cilicium,' or Cilician cloth, used for tents, etc. Paul, a Cilician, made such tents (Acts 18:3).

Moon. 'Aleph (') A B C h, Vulgate, read, 'the whole' or 'full moon:' not merely the crescent.

As blood - (Joel 2:31.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-6.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
there
8:5; 11:13; 16:18; 1 Kings 19:11-13; Isaiah 29:6; Amos 1:1; Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:7; Matthew 27:54; 28:2
the sun
Isaiah 13:9,10; 24:23; 60:19,20; Ezekiel 32:7,8; Joel 2:10,30,31; 3:15; Amos 8:9; Haggai 2:6,7,21,22; Matthew 24:29; 27:45; Mark 13:24,25; 15:33; Luke 23:44,45; Acts 2:19,20
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:14 - and let;  Joshua 10:13 - So the sun;  Psalm 9:3 - they shall;  Isaiah 2:19 - when he;  Isaiah 5:30 - if one look;  Isaiah 30:30 - the flame;  Isaiah 34:2 - the indignation;  Isaiah 42:15 - GeneralIsaiah 50:3 - GeneralIsaiah 51:6 - the heavens;  Jeremiah 4:28 - the heavens;  Ezekiel 38:20 - the fishes;  Luke 21:25 - signs;  Acts 16:26 - suddenly;  Revelation 8:1 - And;  Revelation 16:8 - upon;  Revelation 17:14 - the Lamb shall

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-6.html.

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

Following the opening of the fifth seal John saw some of the results of persecution, and it had been brought against Christians by Pagan (heathen) Rome. But there came a change in the general conditions. The emperor Constantine professed to be converted to Christianity, and it caused him to make many reverses in the activities of men in high places. The statements through the rest of this chapter are worded as if John saw the works of creation undergo radical changes. Such is to be expected in a book written with symbols. Hence the earthquake and darkening of the heavenly lights are tokens of the disturbances in the government.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-6.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 6:12

Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

In this Vision of the

sixth Seal

St. John had the revelation of the great revolution of the Roman pagan empire, which should put an end unto the bloody persecutions of the heathen emperors, and all their tyrannical torturing of the Christians by cruel deaths; which revolution is there set forth in a prophetical style and manner of speaking. For when the Prophets did foretell the destruction of Kingdoms, or some great changes and revolutions therein they used such figurative and metaphorical terms, words and expressions, as are in the following verses; viz.

a great earthquake, the Sun black, the Moon blood, &c..

{Read Isaiah 26:6; Matthew 24:7; Joel 3:16; Haggai 2:6-7; Haggai 2:21-22; Isaiah 2:19-22; Isaiah 13:10; Jeremiah 15:9; Joel 2:10-11; Ezekiel 32:7; Amos 8:9; Isaiah 24:13}

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-6.html.

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

Sixth Seal

Revelation 6:12. And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake, and the sun was black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon was like blood.

In place of the earthquake, Züllig puts a commotion generally, on the ground that the heavens and the sea were also affected by it. But the word when standing alone is always used of the earthquake. So in particular in Revelation, ch. Revelation 8:5, Revelation 11:13; Revelation 11:19, Revelation 16:18. And Zullig's reason is disposed of by the remark that the heavens and the sea are spoken of in a figurative sense, and in point of fact the whole catastrophe is confined to the earth." Storms, earthquakes, are not images of God's omnipotence in general; they are the natural symbols of the destroying omnipotence of God, and were regarded as such by the nations of antiquity. Earthquakes were viewed as precursors of approaching ruin; comp., for example, the remarkable passage of Herodian, VI. 98, from which it appears that he himself, participating in the general belief, held them to be such; also IV. 28; Thuc. II. 8; Justin. XL. 2. As the manifestation of the destroying power of God in inanimate nature calls forth, even in the rudest minds, the anticipation that the same destroying power shall also manifest itself in the relations of men; as in every storm, in every earthquake, we behold a sort of prophecy in act concerning God's judgments on men; so, on the other hand, where these judgments are experienced, where mournful disorder and distress on all sides prevail, even external nature seems, to the troubled and anxious mind, to be dissolved; it feels as if heaven and earth were convulsed together. And this explains how the manifestations of the destroying power of God in nature—how storms and earthquakes should be so frequently used in Scripture as images of similar manifestations of the same power in the affairs of man. Hence, for example, the description of the storm in Psalms 18, to denote the fearful ruin which God was ready to bring on the enemies of the Psalmist. Hence, too, Isaiah 13:13, where the contemplation of the destruction that overhung Babylon is extended so as to embrace a judgment over the whole earth, of which it was a prelude, an execution in part, and at the same time a matter-of-fact prophecy. "Therefore will I make the heaven to tremble, and the earth shall quake from its place, through the anger of the Lord of Hosts, and in the day when his anger burns." So also Psalms 60:3, where sore calamities of the covenant people appear under the image of an earthquake, by which great breaches of the earth had been occasioned. Even in the poetical prose of the first book of the Maccabees, 1 Maccabees 1:28, the terrible sufferings by which the covenant people had been visited, appears directly as an earthquake." (Christology on Haggai 2:6.) In Psalms 46:6, "the nations roared, the kingdoms were moved," is parallel; and "he utters his voice, the earth melts." The tumultuous roaring of the nations, the moving of the kingdoms, appears as a spiritual earthquake sent among them by God; so also in Psalms 46:2, In Haggai 2:6 the words, "I shake the heaven and the earth and the sea and the dry land," are explained by those in Haggai 2:7, "and I shake all heathen." If it is established, that by the latter is meant the causing of the foundations of empire among the heathen to shake, the dissolving of their power, then the shaking of heaven and earth must be referred to the same. In Haggai 2:22 likewise, by the words, "I shake heaven and earth," great revolutions are indicated, through which the condition of things on earth was to be so changed that the highest should become lowest. This is manifest from Haggai 2:22, which serves as an explanation, "and I overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen, and I overthrow the chariots of war and their warriors, and the horses and the riders come down, every one by the sword of his brother." From this commentary we perceive that the shaking of heaven and earth denotes great revolutions, which God by his almighty power brings about in the state of nations—bloody wars, by which he precipitates from their seat of power those who proudly lifted themselves up against him. It is this that is denoted by the words: and there was a great earthquake, which we can the more readily understand, as we have now the beginning of such an earthquake before our eyes, and which always takes place where the earth rises up in rebellion against its Creator and Redeemer. The shining of the heavenly lights is the symbol and the visible reflection of the grace of God. Hence its extinguishment by the sun and moon becoming dark in storms and earthquakes, &c., is regarded as a prelude of severe judgments. Comp. Joel 3:4, "the sun shall be changed into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes," and the Christology on the passage. The main point in such representations was not the sign itself, but the state of mind it indicated, the consciousness of guilt, which filled the soul with thoughts of an avenging God, and the posture of affairs which brought him strikingly into view. Hence we find an explanation, why in the Old Testament the darkening of the sun and moon usually appears as an image of troublous and distressing times. When such really come, the lights of heaven appear to be extinguished. The sun seems to shine only for the prosperous. Isaiah, after having described heavy troubles that were going to break in upon the land for its ungodliness, says, in Isaiah 5:30, "There was darkness in its heaven." Jeremiah, when describing the judgment that was impending over Judah, says, in Jeremiah 4:23, "and I saw the earth, and behold! it was waste and desolate, and the heaven and it had no lights." And in Jeremiah 15:9, "her sun went down while it was yet day." In Ezekiel. Ezekiel 32:7-8, we meet with the extinguishing of the heavenly lights in his delineation of the overthrow of Pharaoh the king of Egypt, to indicate such unutterable evils as it would be impossible to escape from. In Amos, Amos 8:9-10, it is said, "and it comes to pass in that day, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I make the sun to go down at mid-day, and give darkness to the land in clear day. And I turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentations; and I bring upon all loins sackcloth, and upon every head baldness; and I make it as the mourning for a first-born, and its end as a bitter day." Michaelis: "I make the sun to go down, that is, I make all that is mournful suddenly rush in." In Micah 3:6 it is said, "And the sun goes down for the prophets, and the day becomes dark for them," meaning, "that everything of a dismal kind was ready to overtake them." Comp. besides Isaiah 13:10; Zechariah 14:6; Joel 3:15.

Since there is such a regular figurative use in Old Testament Scripture of the darkening of the sun and moon, we shall not think of anything else in the declaration of our Lord, which forms the immediate basis of the passage before us, "But soon after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light;" we shall only find in it a description of the most dismal and mournful times—such times as existed immediately before the destruction of Jerusalem, and as are now again beginning to appear, when the lights of heaven are as good as extinguished for the miserable, because these are no longer sensible of the enlivening rays they emit. This view also is rendered necessary by the falling of the stars from heaven that immediately follows which must be figuratively understood, both from the parallel passages in the Old Testament, and because the stars falling from heaven, if understood otherwise, would crush and destroy all, while in the following verses the tribes of men are spoken of as being still in existence.

The comparison of the sun with sackcloth of hair (sackcloth as the mourning-garb again in ch. Revelation 11:3, comp. Matthew 11:21) is not to be referred to the blackness—for hair-cloth was usually made of camel's hair, Matthew 3:4—but to the want of all bright and shining colour. No stronger contrast to the glittering splendour of the sun could be found than the sackcloth of hair worn by mourners, the natural hatefulness of which is still further heightened by its symbolical use.

On the expression: the whole moon, Zllig remarks, "as she appears only when at full moon, so that the sight would be still more terrible." The whole, however, is wanting in many manuscripts; and is also rendered somewhat suspicious by never occurring in the fundamental passages of the Old Testament.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-6.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Sixth seal—Final earthly DISSOLUTION AND DOOM, Revelation 6:12-17.

12.And—”The interpretation of the sixth seal,” says Alford truly, “is a crucial point in apocalyptic exegesis. We may unhesitatingly set down all interpretations as wrong which view as the fulfilment of this passage any period except the coming of the Lord.” The parallel passages are Matthew 24:29-35; Matthew 25:31-46. Hengstenberg’s objection, that the resurrection and other things are omitted, is equally true of both these passages. No one picture in Scripture of the final day is complete. The completion must be attained by a blending of cognate passages.

A great earthquake—The Greek word for earthquake does not limit the quake to the earth, but implies a concussion which, as here, may include heaven as well as earth.

Sun’ moon—On their obscuration by the atmospheric commotions of the day of dissolution, see our note on Matthew 24:29.

Black as sackcloth—The cilicium, on which see note, Acts 18:3.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 6:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-6.html. 1874-1909.