The Fourth Bowl (16:8-9)

Unlike the first three, this plague is not a direct parallel to the plagues on Egypt. The sun, instead of being darkened (as in Ex 10:21-29), was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God . . . but they refused to repent and glorify him (vv. 8-9). The accent on fire recalls not so much the Exodus story as the first three trumpets (8:7-11) with their recurrent theme of fire from the sky. The only similarity to the Exodus story is the defiance of those who suffered from the plague. But their reaction here goes well beyond Pharaoh's persistent hardness of heart. They cursed [literally "blasphemed"] the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him (v. 9). The "eternal gospel" call to "fear God and give him glory" (14:7) has had no visible effect on a defiant and rebellious world.

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