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Summary: Here we have one of the pauses in the narrative which the Revelation uses so effectively. Three fearful woes are to come upon the earth when the remaining three angels sound the last blasts on the trumpets; but for the moment there is a pause . . .

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By: Tom Lowe Date: 4-27-2016

Series: Verse By Verse Through Revelation

Title: Three-Fold Woe Announced (8:13)

Revelation 8:13 (KJV)

13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

Introduction

Here we have one of the pauses in the narrative which the Revelation uses so effectively. Three fearful woes are to come upon the earth when the remaining three angels sound the last blasts on the trumpets; but for the moment there is a pause; a pause that provides a transition from the fourth trumpet blasts that caused havoc on nature to the three coming blasts that would let loose the Heavenly forces to attack people on the earth.

Commentary

13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven.” Notice: John says, “I beheld . . . I heard.” Both the eye and ear are engaged, signifying the careful attention and interest of the beloved disciple in the events which passed before him. The angel is flying through mid heaven . . . the firmament, and from there the whole world can hear his three-fold cry, and he can scan the entire earth, from its center to the most remote boundary of the universe. The triple cry of “Woe! woe! woe!,” announces the most horrible judgments ever announced . . . Judgments that are far beyond the imagination of man. The suffering caused by evil powers is answered by the coming of suffering upon those evil powers themselves.

“Saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” A “woe” in Biblical tradition is a prophetic pronouncement of the coming judgment of God, a form also used by Jesus in the Gospels (Isaiah 3:9, 11; Jeremiah 23:1; Ezekiel 24:6, 9; Matthew 11:21; 18:7; 23:13, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29; Matthew 11:21; 18:7; 23:13, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29; Luke 6:24-26). The fifth trumpet is the first woe (see 9:12); the sixth trumpet is the second woe (see 11:14); the third woe is not specified, but see 12:12. The “woes” are to fall especially upon those who have their settled place of abode on the earth. Those who refuse to hear the solemn warnings from Heaven and in spite of all the announcements of judgment cling but to this earth as their home and their dwelling place, as if they would abide here forever. Such people are alive today.

The term “inhabiters of the earth” is used twice before, in chapters 3:10 and 6:10, referring to the peoples upon whom the Tribulation will come, and having to do with the Philadelphia believers and the souls under the altar. The souls under the altar were comforted by being assured that the inhabiters of earth would be judged when their brethren had been killed (during the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation).


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