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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The Revelation of John

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8.1–5 : The opening of the seventh seal

introduces the seven trumpets (v. 2 ).

1 :

Silence in heaven: the calm before the storm.

2 :

Seven angels: probably the seven archangels; compare Tob. 12.15 .

3 :

Incense: see Ps. 141.2 . Golden altar: see Exod. 30.1–3 .

5 :

Took the censer … and threw it: compare Ezek. 10.2 .

8.6–9.21 : The first six trumpets

proclaim catastrophes in nature as judgment on the wicked.

6–13 :

Compare the plagues in Egypt, as in Exod. 7.17–21; 9.23, 25; 10.21–23 .

6–7 :

In connection with several trumpet blasts, a third of creation is affected.

8–9 :

The volcanic island of Thera, visible from Patmos, may have suggested a mountain flaming with fire … hurled into the sea.

10 :

Great star: shooting star or meteor.

11 :

Wormwood: a bitter drug; see Jer. 9.15; 23.15 .

13 :

The three woes correspond to the last three trumpet blasts.

9.1 :

Since stars were identified as angels ( 1.20 ), a star that had fallen may refer to Satan as a fallen angel: see v. 11; Isa. 14.12–16; Lk. 10.18 .

2–3 :

Locusts: compare Exod. 10.12–15; Joel 1.4; 2.10 .

4 :

Seal on their foreheads: see 7.3 n.

7 :

Like horses: see Joel 2.4 .

8 :

Teeth like lions': Joel 1.6 .

9 :

Chariots: Joel 2.5 .

11 :

Abaddon (or, Destruction) in the OT is equivalent to Sheol or Hades; see Job 26.6; 28.22; Prov. 15.11 .

13 :

Golden altar: see Exod. 30.1–3 .

14 :

The four angels (not those in 7.2 ) are here at the Euphrates, whence Rome feared a Parthian invasion; compare “the kings from the east” in 16.12 .

20 :

Compare the view of idolatry here with Ps. 115.4–7; 135.15–17; Dan. 5.23 . As frequently in the Bible, idolatry leads (v. 21 ) to further sin.

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