Summary: for all the good our species has accomplished in the past generation there is a long list of injustices. The litany of crimes mounts. God will not remain unmoved forever. His wrath must come in time.
1. And when he opened the seventh seal, in heaven it became silent for half an hour.
2. and I saw the seven angels, who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
3. and another angel came and stood on at the altar, having an gold incense altar, and a lot of incense was given him, in order to offer for all the saints on the gold altar before the throne.
4. and the smoke of the incense went up before God, from the hand of the angel, with the prayers of the saints.
5. and the angel took the incense altar and filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth, and there were thunders and voices (sounds), and lightening, and an earthquake.
6. And the seven angels, those having the seven trumpets, prepared themselves to play the trumpets.
7. and the first sounded the trumpet, and there was hale, and fire mixed with blood, and it was thrown to the earth, and a third of the earth was in flames, and a third of the trees were consumed with fire, and all the green grass was burned.
v 2 As the seventh seal is opened the trumpet judgments come. The ancient book 1 Enoch lists the names of seven “Arch” angels, including Michael, Gabriel, and t other angels. We don’t know which angles are referred to here in Rev. Trumpets have already been discussed in 1:10; 4:1; , also see 8:4, 13; and 9:14.
v 3 The word for incense is frankincense. Note the gold and frankincense in the same scene. As mentioned before, incense relates to prayers (5:8; 6:9-10).
v 5 Voices are discussed in 6:12. See also 11:19; and 16:18.
v 7 Hail speaks of God’s judgment (Exo. 7:19-21; Eze. 32:6. For a third see Eze 5:2, 12.
v. 8 and the second angel played the trumpet, and something like a huge mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea become blood
v. 9 and a third of the creatures having life in the sea died, and a third of the boats were demolished
v. 10 and the third angel played the trumpet, and a huge star fell from the sky, burning like a lamp, and it fell on a third of the rivers, and the springs of water
11. and the name of the star is called Wormwood, and a third of the warts became wormwood, and many of the people died from the waters, because they became bitter.
12 and the fourth angle played the trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that they became dark, and would not shine a third of the day, and likewise, the night.
13. and I saw, and I heard an eagle flying in the midst of the sky, saying with a loud voice “Woe (uai!), woe, woe to those living on the earth, because of the remaining soundings of the trumpet of the three angels that are about to play!
v 8 the sea becoming Blood is another plague on Egypt (Exo 7:19-21); Eze 32:6. For a review of the Trumpet sound please see comments above on Revelation 1:10.
v 10 The ancient Greek language only has one word, star, for planet, star, comet, asteroid and meteor. We have all of these words, and each is distinct. This is, obviously, not describing a star, but a light from the sky which comes into our atmosphere-a meteor, possibly a comet broken into several pieces.
v 11 Wormwood means bitter. The Russian word for Wormwood is Chernobyl. Because of the nuclear power plant melt down in 1986 and the radioactive fallout that resulted throughout much of Europe (cows’ milk had unsafe levels of radiation because the wind carried radiation West, which fell in rain, which radiated grass, which cows ate). For this reason some modern commentators have seen nuclear conflagration here. The destruction described here, of a 1/3 of the seas and rivers, etc. seems much larger than a bomb could possibly create. If this is describing nuclear fallout it is from an all-out nuclear war. But it seems more likely to be describing a natural disaster than a human-made one.
v 12 Darken means obscure. So this is not describing some physical change on the moon or the sun or the stars, but that their view is obscured from the perspective of a viewer from earth.
v 13 The word for eagle is translated angel in some translations, but here the word is not angelos, but the Greek word for eagle (Eze 1:10; 10:4).
Judgment is an uncomfortable issue for many Christians. We’ve already discussed this issue at some length in comments on Chapter 6. We’ve seen that God’s judgment has always been redemptive and protective. Some people paint biblical judgment as But much of the rest of the Revelation describes destruction on a scale that to take the world beyond any possible redemption. This is the end of human history on earth. The new beginning is only for those who are among the redeemed in heaven.