Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 8:11

The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Astronomy;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Stars;   Vision;   Water;   Wormwood;   The Topic Concordance - Seals;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Wormwood;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Wormwood;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beast;   Plagues of Egypt;   Wormwood;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Numbers;   Star (2);   Water ;   Wormwood ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Hemlock;   Wormwood,;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Cherubim;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Wormwood;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bitter;   Revelation of John:;   Wormwood;   Wormwood, the Star;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The star is called Wormwood - So called from the bitter or distressing effects produced by its influence.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-8.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the name of the star is called Wormwood - Is appropriately so called. The writer does not say that it would be actually so called, but that this name would be properly descriptive of its qualities. Such expressions are common in allegorical writings. The Greek word - ἄψινθος apsinthos- denotes “wormwood,” a well-known bitter herb. That word becomes the proper emblem of bitterness. Compare Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15; Lamentations 3:15, Lamentations 3:19.

And the third part of the waters became wormwood - Became bitter as wormwood. This is doubtless an emblem of the calamity which would occur if the waters should be thus made bitter. Of course they would become useless for the purposes to which they are mostly applied, and the destruction of life would be inevitable. To conceive of the extent of such a calamity we have only to imagine a large portion of the wells, and rivers, and fountains of a country made bitter as wormwood. Compare Exodus 15:23-24.

And many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter - This effect would naturally follow if any considerable portion of the fountains and streams of a land were changed by an infusion of wormwood. It is not necessary to suppose that this is intended to be literally true; for as, by the use of a symbol, it is not to be supposed that literally a part of the waters would be turned into wormwood by the baleful influence of a falling meteor, so it is not necessary to suppose that there is intended to be represented a literal destruction of human life by the use of waters. Great destruction and devastation are undoubtedly intended to be denoted by this - destruction that would be well represented in a land by the natural effects if a considerable part of the waters were, by their bitterness, made unfit to drink.

In the interpretation and application, therefore, of this passage, we may adopt the following principles and rules:

(a)It may be assumed, in this exposition, that the previous symbols, under the first and second trumpet-blasts, referred respectively to Alaric and his Goths, and to Genseric and his Vandals.

(b)That the next great and decisive event in the downfall of the empire is the one that is here referred to.

(c)That there would be some chieftain or warrior who might be compared with a blazing meteor; whose course would be singularly brilliant; who would appear suddenly like a blazing star, and then disappear like a star whose light was quenched in the waters.

(d)That the desolating course of that meteor would be mainly on those portions of the world that abounded with springs of water and running streams.

(e)That an effect would be produced as if those streams and fountains were made bitter; that is, that many persons would perish, and that wide desolations would be caused in the vicinity of those rivers and streams, as if a bitter and baleful star should fall into the waters, and death should spread over the lands adjacent to them, and watered by them.

Whether any events occurred of which this would be the proper emblem is now the question. Among expositors there has been a considerable degree of unanimity in supposing that Attila, the king of the Huns, is referred to; and if the preceding expositions are correct, there can be no doubt on the subject. After Alaric and Genseric, Attila occupies the next place as an important agent in the overthrow of the Roman empire, and the only question is, whether he would be properly symbolized by this baleful star. The following remarks may be made to show the propriety of the symbol:

(1) As already remarked, the place which he occupies in history, as immediately succeeding Alaric and Genseric in the downfall of the empire. This will appear in any chronological table, or in the table of contents of any of the histories of those times. A full detail of the career of Attila may be found in Gibbon, vol. ii. pp. 314-351. His career extended from 433 a.d. to 453 a.d. It is true that he was contemporary with Genseric, king of the Vandals, and that a portion of the operations of Genseric in Africa were subsequent to the death of Attila (455 a.d. to 467 a.d.); but it is also true that Genseric preceded Attila in the career of conquest, and was properly the first in order, being pressed forward in the Roman warfare by the Huns, 428 a.d. See Gibbon, ii. 306ff.

(2) In the manner of his appearance he strongly resembled a brilliant meteor flashing in the sky. He came from the east, gathering his Huns, and poured them down, as we shall see, with the rapidity of a flashing meteor, suddenly on the empire. He regarded himself also as devoted to Mars, the god of war, and was accustomed to array himself in a especially brilliant manner, so that his appearance, in the language of his flatterers, was such as to dazzle the eyes of beholders. One of his followers perceived that a heifer that was grazing had wounded her foot, and curiously followed the track of blood, until he found in the long grass the point of an ancient sword, which he dug out of the ground and presented to Attila. “That magnanimous, or rather that artful prince,” says Mr. Gibbon, “accepted with pious gratitude this celestial favor; and, as the rightful possessor of the sword of Mars, asserted his divine and indefeasible claim to the dominion of the earth. The favorite of Mars soon acquired a sacred character, which rendered his conquests more easy and more permanent; and the barbarian princes confessed, in the language of devotion or flattery, that they could not presume to gaze, with a steady eye, on the divine majesty of the king of the Huns,” ii. 317. How appropriate would it be to represent such a prince by the symbol of a bright and blazing star - or a meteor flashing through the sky!

(3) there may be propriety, as applicable to him, in the expression - “a great star from heaven failing upon the earth.” Attila was regarded as an instrument in the divine hand in inflicting punishment. The common appellation by which he has been known is “the scourge of God.” This title is supposed by the modern Hungarians to have been first given to Attila by a hermit of Gaul, but it was “inserted by Attila among the titles of his royal dignity” (Gibbon, ii. 321, foot-note). To no one could the title be more applicable than to him.

(4) his career as a conqueror, and the effect of his conquests on the downfall of the empire, were such as to be properly symbolized in this manner:

(a) The general effect of the invasion was worthy of an important place in describing the series of events which resulted in the overthrow of the empire. This is thus stated by Mr. Gibbon: “The western world was oppressed by the Goths and Vandals, who fled before the Huns; but the achievements of the Huns themselves were not adequate to their power and prosperity. Their victorious hordes had spread from the Volga to the Danube, but the public force was exhausted by the discord of independent chieftains; their valor was idly consumed in obscure and predatory excursions; and they often degraded their national dignity by condescending, for the hopes of spoil, to enlist under the banners of their fugitive enemies. In the reign of Attila the Huns again became the terror of the world; and I shall now describe the character and actions of that formidable barbarian who alternately invaded and insulted the East and the West, and urged the rapid downfall of the Roman empire, ‹vol. ii. pp. 314,315.

(b) The parts of the earth affected by the invasion of the Huns were those which would be properly symbolized by the things specified at the blowing of this trumpet. It is said particularly that the effect would be on “the rivers,” and on “the fountains of waters.” If this has a literal application, or if, as was supposed in the case of the second trumpet, the language used was such as had reference to the portion of the empire that would be particularly affected by the hostile invasion, then we may suppose that this refers to those portions of the empire that abounded in rivers and streams, and more particularly those in which the rivers and streams had their origin - for the effect was permanently in the “fountains of waters.” As a matter of fact, the principal operations of Attila were in the regions of the Alps, and on the portions of the empire whence the rivers flow down into Italy. The invasion of Attila is described by Mr. Gibbon in this general language: “The whole breadth of Europe, as it extends above five hundred miles from the Euxine to the Adriatic, was at once invaded, and occupied, and desolated, by the myriads of barbarians whom Attila led into the field,” ii. 319,320.

After describing the progress and the effects of this invasion (pp. 320-331) he proceeds more particularly to detail the events in the invasion of Gaul and Italy, pp. 331-347. After the terrible battle of Chalons, in which, according to one account, one hundred and sixty-two thousand, and, according to other accounts, three hundred thousand persons were slain, and in which Attila was defeated, he recovered his vigor, collected his forces, and made a descent on Italy. Under pretence of claiming Honoria, the daughter of the Empress of Rome, as his bride, “the indignant lover took the field, passed the Alps, invaded Italy, and besieged Aquileia with an innumerable host of barbarians.” After endeavoring in vain for three months to subdue the city, and when about to abandon the siege, Attila took advantage of the appearance of a stork as a favorable omen to arouse his men to a renewed effort, “a large breach was made in the part of the wall where the stork had taken her flight; the Huns mounted to the assault with irresistible fury; and the succeeding generation could scarcely discover the ruins of Aquileia. After this dreadful chastisement Attila pursued his march; and as he passed, the cities of Altinum, Concordia, and Padua were reduced into heaps of stones and ashes. The inland towns, Vicenza, Verona, and Bergamo, were exposed to the rapacious cruelty of the Huns; Milan and Pavia submitted without resistance to the loss of their wealth, and applauded the unusual clemency which preserved from the flames the public as well as the private buildings, and spared the lives of the captive multitude. The popular traditions of Comum, Turin, or Modena, may be justly suspected, yet they concur with more authentic evidence to prove that Attila spread his ravages over the rich plains of modern Lombardy, which are divided by the Po, and bounded by the Alps and the Apennines,” ii. pp. 343,344. “It is a saying worthy of the ferocious pride of Attila, that the grass never grew on the spot where his horse had trod” (ibid. p. 345). Anyone has only to look on a map, and to trace the progress of those desolations and the chief seats of his military operations to see with what propriety this symbol would be employed. In these regions the great rivers that water Europe have their origin, and are swelled by numberless streams that flow down from the Alps; and about the fountains whence these streams flow were the principal military operations of the invader.

(c) With equal propriety is he represented in the symbol as affecting “a third” part of these rivers and fountains. At least a third part of the empire was invaded and desolated by him in his savage march, and the effects of his invasion were as disastrous on the empire as if a bitter star had fallen into a third part of those rivers and fountains, and had converted them into wormwood.

(d) There is one other point which shows the propriety of this symbol. It is, that the meteor, or star, seemed to be absorbed in the waters. It fell into the waters; embittered them; and was seen no more. Such would be the case with a meteor that should thus fall upon the earth - flashing along the sky, and then disappearing forever. Now, it was remarkable in regard to the Huns, that their power was concentrated under Attila; that he alone appeared as the leader of this formidable host; and that when he died all the concentrated power of the Huns was dissipated, or became absorbed and lost. “The revolution,” says Mr. Gibbon (ii. 348), “which subverted the empire of the Huns, established the fame of Attila, whose genius alone had sustained the huge and disjointed fabric. After his death the boldest chieftains aspired to the rank of kings; the most powerful kings refused to acknowledge a superior; and the numerous sons, whom so many various mothers bore to the deceased monarch, divided and disputed, like a private inheritance, the sovereign command of the nations of Germany and Scythia.” Soon, however, in the conflicts which succeeded, the empire passed away, and the empire of the Huns ceased. The people that composed it were absorbed in the surrounding nations, and Mr. Gibbon makes this remark, after giving a summary account of these conflicts, which continued but for a few years: “The Igours of the north, issuing from the cold Siberian regions, which produced the most valuable furs, spread themselves over the desert, as far as the Borysthenes and the Caspian gates, and finally extinguished the empire of the Huns.” These facts may, perhaps, show with what propriety Attila would be compared with a bright but beautiful meteor; and that, if the design was to symbolize him as acting an important part in the downfall of the Roman empire, there is a fitness in the symbol here employed.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-8.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the name of the star is called Wormwood,.... Because of the bitter afflictions, sorrows, and distresses which it was the instrument of; just as Naomi called herself Mara, because the Almighty had dealt bitterly with her, 1:20;

and the third part of the waters became wormwood; that is, the inhabitants of the provinces and cities belonging to the Roman empire were afflicted with grievous and bitter afflictions and calamities; so great distresses are called wormwood, and waters of gall given to drink, Jeremiah 9:15;

and many men died of the waters, because they were bitter; through the barbarities and cruelties of these savage people, who afflicted the empire: there seems to be an allusion to Exodus 15:23.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the name of the star is called 8 Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

(8) This is spoken by metaphor of a commonly known bitter herb: unless perhaps a man following those that note the derivation of words would rather explain it as an adjective for that which cannot be drunk because of its bitterness, causing the liquid it is made into to be more bitter than any man can drink.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The symbolizers interpret the star fallen from heaven as a chief minister (Arius, according to Bullinger, Bengel, and others; or some future false teacher, if, as is more likely, the event be still future) falling from his high place in the Church, and instead of shining with heavenly light as a star, becoming a torch lit with earthly fire and smoldering with smoke. And “wormwood,” though medicinal in some cases, if used as ordinary water would not only be disagreeable to the taste, but also fatal to life: so “heretical wormwood changes the sweet Siloas of Scripture into deadly Marahs” [Wordsworth]. Contrast the converse change of bitter Marah water into sweet, Exodus 15:23. Alford gives as an illustration in a physical point of view, the conversion of water into firewater or ardent spirits, which may yet go on to destroy even as many as a third of the ungodly in the latter days.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-8.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Wormwood (ο Απσιντοςho Apsinthos). Absinthe. Usually feminine (ηhē), but masculine here probably because αστηρastēr is masculine. Only here in N.T. and not in lxx (πικριαpikria bitterness, χοληcholē gall, etc.) except by Aquila in Proverbs 5:4; Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15. There are several varieties of the plant in Palestine.

Became wormwood (εγενετο εις απσιντονegeneto eis apsinthon). This use of ειςeis in the predicate with γινομαιginomai is common in the lxx and the N.T. (Revelation 16:19; John 16:20; Acts 5:36).

Of the waters (εκ των υδατωνek tōn hudatōn). As a result of (εκek) the use of the poisoned waters.

Were made bitter (επικραντησανepikranthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of πικραινωpikrainō Old verb (from πικροςpikros bitter), as in Revelation 10:9. In a metaphorical sense to embitter in Colossians 3:19.

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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 8:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-8.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Wormwood ( ἄψινθος )

Used metaphorically in the Old Testament of the idolatry of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:18); of calamity and sorrow (Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15; Lamentations 3:15, Lamentations 3:19); of false judgment (Amos 5:7).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-8.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

And the name of the star is called Wormwood — The unparalleled bitterness both of Arius himself and of his followers show the exact propriety of his title.

And the third part of the waters became wormwood — A very considerable part of Afric was infected with the same bitter doctrine and Spirit. And many men (though not a third part of them) died - By the cruelty of the Arians.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Ver. 11. Was called Wormwood] Because himself was in the gall of bitterness, and did embitter others. See Jeremiah 23:15; Deuteronomy 29:18, with Junius’s note there.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-8.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 8:11. καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ ἀστέρος λέγεται ἄψινθος, and the name of the star is called Wormwood) Arianism, full of bitterness. Theodoret, book ii. H. E. c. 14, respecting the Arians who drove out the bishops under Georgius of Cappadocia, says, οὕτω πικρωσ ἤλασαν αὐτοὺς, κ. τ. λ., with such bitterness they drove them out, etc. Victor, book i., respecting the Vandal persecution, thus expresses pity for Augustine, in the siege of Hippo: The sweetness of delight is changed into the BITTERNESS OF WORMWOOD. ἄψινθος is formed from α privative, and ψίνθος, which is τέρψις in Hesychius. And the Greek word, ἀψίνθιον, appears to have been changed into a word of three syllables from the Hebrew pronunciation אפסינתין or אפסינתא.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-8.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

His doctrine was as bitter as wormwood; and he was the ruin of many souls. But if any do rather choose to understand it of a political star, Mr. Mede’s notion bids as fair for the sense as any, because the western empire determined in Augustulus, and he reigned but a very short time; and he was a prince of many sorrows and afflictions, and many perished with him in those sorrows and afflictions which he underwent. Whether we understand it of some eminent political magistrate, (such was Augustulus), or some eminent light in the church, (such was Pelagius), they both fell about this time, the one from his terrene dignity, the other spiritually from the honour he had in the church; and many fell with them, either in a civil or in a spiritual sense.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-8.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

полынь Из корня растения получают горькое ядовитое вещество, которое одурманивает и в конечном счете приводит к смерти (Втор. 29:18; Пр. 5:4; Иер. 9:15; Плач 3:15).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-8.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Wormwood; indicating the bitter and fatal distresses which the presence of this star would produce upon the wicked, especially the persecutors of God’s people. Continuance in sin inevitably leads to misery; and the greatness of the numbers, wealth, and power of persevering transgressors will do nothing towards diminishing the certainty, the greatness, or the perpetuity of their torment.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-8.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Wormwood. Greek. apsinthos. Only occurance.

men. App-123. The second occurance is preceded by "the".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-8.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Symbolizers interpret the star fallen from heaven a chief minister (Arius, etc., or some future false teacher) falling from his high place, and instead of shining with heavenly light as a star, becoming a torch lit with earthly fire and smouldering with smoke. Wormwood, though medicinal, if used as ordinary water, would not only be disagreeable, but also fatal; so 'heretical wormwood changes the sweet Siloas of Scripture into deadly Marahs' (Wordsworth). Contrast the converse change of Marah water into sweet, (Exodus 15:23, etc.) Alford instances the conversion of water into fire-water-ardent spirits-which may destroy a third of the ungodly in the latter days.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-8.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) And the name of the star . . .—Translate, And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many of mankind died from the waters, because they were embittered. The bitter, nauseous plant known as wormwood (apsinthos) is used to represent troubles and calamities. In Jeremiah 9:15 we have an example of this: “Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.” It is worth noticing that the Israelites are warned against idolatry as “a root that beareth gall and wormwood” (Deuteronomy 29:18); and we may recall the symbolical act of Moses, who ground the golden calf to powder, cast the powder in the brook, and made the children of Israel drink (Exodus 32:20). Some have thought that this falling star signified some false teacher, whose evil influence poisoned the pure currents of the gospel, and perverted the minds of men of original genius, who are represented here as fountains. The passages cited above favour the thought, and it may be included in the general meaning of the vision; but the main point seems to be to give us hints of those stages which will mark the advance of Christianity. The fall of the great men, the rulers and leaders, will take place, and their fall will bring misery to mankind. Doubtless the appearance of false teachers in the Church is one of the evidences find an unavoidable accompaniment of a progressing faith (Matthew 13:26). But all such false lights shall fall before Him who is the true Light and Morning Star, and who will heal all embittered waters of life. (Comp. Exodus 15:23, and 2 Kings 2:19.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
Wormwood
Deuteronomy 29:18; Ruth 1:20; Proverbs 5:4; Jeremiah 9:15; 23:15; Lamentations 3:5,19; Amos 5:7; 6:12; Hebrews 12:15
many
Exodus 15:23
Reciprocal: Hosea 10:4 - thus;  Revelation 9:15 - for to;  Revelation 16:4 - upon

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-8.html.

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

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

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-8.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 8:11

Revelation 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Wormwood

put into pure water, or good wine, doth make it bitter; so the doctrines and commandments of men being mixed with the doctrines of Christ: Also the inventions and traditions of men being mixed with the Holy Ordinances of God, maketh them bitter and unwholesome. Any Prayer of Manasseh, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth from the Lord, and committeth idolatry, is compared to a root that beareth gall and Wormwood. {Deuteronomy 29:18}

And the third part of the waters;

that Isaiah, of the doctrine and worship,

became wormwood;

that Isaiah, bitter and deadly poisonous.

And many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Their souls were infected, poisoned, and perished.

Historians tell us, that in this century came in Extream Unction, in imitation of the sacred ordinance of anointing the sick (or infirm) with oil. { James 5:14-16} Falex, Patriarch of Rome, appointed the Chancel or Choire to be separated from the Stoney Church, for the second service, and sacrament to be said and administered in the Chorie or Chancel, as the most holy place in the temples of stone, called the church, the parish church, etc. And the patriarch Gregory, caused the image of the virgin Mary to be carried in procession; and candles were then brought into the temples or churches for Candlemas-day (Cent. Magd. Cent5). At that time also, Benedict the Father of Monks, and little Denis the maker of cycles for Easter, are said to live. Thus popery crept gradually into the church by the fall of the stars, angels, ministers, etc.

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Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-8.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.Name’ wormwood—Wormwood, (often associated with gall,) seems to have been either the trouble produced by an apostate, or an emblematic penalty for apostasy. So, in Deuteronomy 29:18, the apostate from Jehovah is a “root that beareth gall and wormwood,” producing on Israel the guilt and punishment of apostasy. In Jeremiah 23:15, God threatens against apostate prophets, “I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall.” And as Jeremiah, personating the apostasy and downfall of Israel, says, Lamentations 3:15, “He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.” This explains that “root of bitterness,” of Hebrews 12:15, where the “root” is the apostate, and the “bitterness” the result of his apostasy. Says Wordsworth, “Wormwood is very bitter, and in certain cases produces convulsions, delirium, epilepsy, and death,” a fit emblem of the ruin of mind and body produced by the primal apostasy and by sin. The symbolism of our seer in this passage represents vividly how, by this means, those springs and streams which should, in the ideal, be the sources of delight, nourishment, health, and buoyant vitality, become a bitterness, a miasm, a death.

 

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 8:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-8.html. 1874-1909.