The First Trumpet

FIRST TRUMPETThe first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)

Hail and Fire Mixed with Blood – This judgment corresponds with the judgements on Egypt in Exodus 9:22–25. However, John’s vision adds blood to the hail and fire of the Exodus narrative. See also Ezekiel 38:22.(1) The Prophet Joel also prophesied “blood and fire” in the last days (Joel 2:30). If this is a direct supernatural judgment from God, it is not necessary to try to explain how hail, fire, and blood become mingled. Fire could refer to the lightning of a severe electrical storm, albeit on a magnitude never experienced before.(2) If it is John trying to describe 21st century warfare (thermonuclear exchange raining down, blood from the carnage and the devastating effects of the heat, fallout and radiation) the mingling of “hail,” fire, and blood is also easy to visualize.

Hurled Down to The Earth – The language does seem to indicate, however, that this is a direct object of divine wrath (but could also refer to nuclear missiles). The same language is also used of the fiery coals in Revelation 8:5.(3)

A Third of The Earth and Trees Were Burned Up – There are three principal views on this judgment.

Specific Region – The first view sees the 1/3rd of the earth’s surface as a specific locale (like the judgments on Egypt), which comprises 1/3rd of the total earth’s land mass, but is not 1/3rd of all the earth.(4)

Revived Roman Empire – The second view holds that the 1/3rd refers only to the area covered by the revived Roman Empire, ruled over by the anti-Christ.(5)

Global – The third view sees this judgment affecting 1/3rd of all the earth’s land masses.

All the Green Grass Was Burned Up – Refers to all the grass located in the “third of the earth” (see three views above) that suffered from the first trumpet blast. Probably inclusive of all great vegetation, as in the Exodus account, which states “all the plants of the field” were affected.(6) It is easy to see how “grasses” would suffer greater harm than trees due to their more fragile structure and shallower root structure. In the Bible, trees are often used to symbolize the pride on man, while grass is used to symbolize the frailty of man.

Putting It in Perspective – The target for this judgment is green vegetation (the trees and the grass), 1/3rd of which is burned up. One can well imagine how this would affect not only the balance of nature, but also the entire world’s food supply, with the indirect impact on meat, poultry, egg and milk production.(7) Figure 15.2(8) helps put such devastation into perspective.

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Up Next – The Second Trumpet

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  1. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 8:7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 593). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  3. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 8:7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  4. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 8:7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  5. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 819). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  6. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 8:7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  7. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 593). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  8. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/continents/Land.shtmleferences

 

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