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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Revelation 8

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-13


The Seventh Seal. The Four Trumpets

1. The seventh seal is opened. Heaven waits in hushed awe for a brief period.

Revelation 8:2 to Revelation 11:19. The Seven Trumpets.

2. The seven angels, regarded in later Jewish belief as having a special position in God's presence (cp. Tobit 12:15; Luke 1:19), are given seven trumpets, symbols of judgment: cp. Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It is best to understand the vision of the trumpets as being the contents of the seventh seal. This appears from the character of the events belonging to the first four trumpets, which spring from the third division of Christ's prophecy (Matthew 24:29. Luke 21:25.), and are parallel with the sixth seal: see on Revelation 6. Therefore the trumpets represent the judgments on the heathen world, especially on the Roman empire, to come after the Fall of Jerusalem. It will be noticed that the arrangement of the trumpets is parallel to that of the seals, and that there is an episode of two visions between the sixth and seventh trumpets as there was between the sixth and seventh seals

3-5. The incense of the prayer of heaven is joined to the Church's prayer that Christ will not tarry, cp. Revelation 6:10; Romans 8:26; (Revelation 8:3.), and, in answer, the fire of God's judgment is cast on the earth, cp. Ezekiel 10:2; (Revelation 8:5), after which the sounding of the trumpets begins.

3. Offer it with] RV 'add it unto.'

4. Which came] RV omits.

5. Were] RV 'followed.'

6-13. The first four trumpets announce convulsions of nature, affecting earth, sea, rivers and the heavenly bodies. The language is in part borrowed from the narrative of the plagues of Egypt, but the whole fourfold vision looks like the picture of a volcanic eruption. Destruction comes upon one-third only, i.e. the mercy is greater than the judgment. The details are not to be pressed. The general idea is that the convulsions of nature are the shadow cast before by the approach of the terrible day of Christ (Revelation 8:6-12).

After the fourth trumpet, an eagle (not 'angel,' as AV), whose swoop upon the prey is another symbol of judgment (cp. Hosea 8:1; Matthew 24:28), announces three woes upon the ungodly (Revelation 8:13). Each of the last three trumpets heralds one of these woes.

7. Hail and fire mingled, etc.] RV 'hail and fire, mingled,' etc. Upon the earth] RV adds, 'and the third part of the earth was burnt up.'

10. As it were a lamp] RV 'as a torch.'

13. Angel] RV 'eagle.'

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Revelation 8:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/revelation-8.html. 1909.

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