REVELATION CHAPTER 8: SILENCE IN HEAVEN
- First Trumpet: hail + fire + blood = war. Many are killed and ‘a third’ meaning destruction alluding likely to Sodom and Gomorrah. All of this is symbolic of Sodom and Gomorrah.
- Second Trumpet: fire again = war. A great nation ( I take it Israel) is thrown into sea and again ’a third’ are killed including those in ships.
NOTE: Matthew 21:21-22 says, “Truly I tell you”, Jesus replied, ‘if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to the mountain , ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea ,’ it will happen. 22 If you believe you will receive what you ask for in prayer.” In context, this passage comes as Jesus cursed the fig tree and commented on judging Israel.
- Third Trumpet: blazing star = judgement from sky/heaven (result being war). As a result of the war, the river and springs become bitter waters with the result being dysentery or sickness. Death comes because of the polluted waters. We also see this as a reverse of polluted water being purified in the Exodus from Egypt. Israel fell and is judged (see Deuteronomy 29:18, Jeremiah 23:15).
- Fourth Trumpet: Sun, Moon, and Stars do not give ‘a third of their light.’ There is spiritual darkness on the land. The eagle in the sky is a symbol of bringing a message and the message is… Woe, Woe, Woe. The dark sky means God has removed His hand of protection over the land. He has removed His light. The following trumpet then will open the door to what comes out in the dark.
NOTE: The eagle is communicating the Gospel Message. It is a message of “woe” because the ones to whom the message is given have rejected the Gospel.
COMMENTS TO HELP YOU STUDY:
There was silence in heaven for a half an hour then the judgment released on land/earth. We should note the language in Ezekiel 5:2 which speaks of ‘partial judgement’ and uses one-third language that we also see in this passage. This is not the end of all things in this passage, but only a partial judgement to allow more to have time to come to Christ.
What of the silence in Heaven? Like a calm before a storm. but in this case God himself pausing before releasing angels bringing judgement. For, the seven seals are opened and there before God are seven angels given trumpets.
The People of God (Israel) are sealed. The Trumpets historically run through 70 AD and then the last trumpet is the end of the world which comes in chapter 11. Again, note the ‘1/3’ language like in Ezekiel. This is judgement on Israel like the exile. In 70 AD, we historically see starvation, cannibalism, destruction, death and piles of dead bodies. These real-world things happened (see Josephus War of the Jews for historical background) and this is a symbolic representation of that war.
We must remember that John is using Old Testament prophetic language in to describe his visions and mixes them as the Spirit leads him to describe what he is seeing. He does not draw from one passage, but multiple at the same time. See Exodus 10:21-23 and Isaiah 13:9-11 (for example) to see prophetic language talking about governing powers.
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