8 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal [C the final and climactic seal; 5:1], there was silence in heaven for about half an hour [C a dramatic pause induced by awe]. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God and to whom were given seven trumpets [C trumpets often announce God’s appearance, accompanied by judgment and victory; Josh. 6].
3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden ·pan for incense [censer; incense burner]. He was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all ·God’s holy people [T the saints; Ps. 141:2]. The angel put this offering on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke from the incense went up from the angel’s hand ·to [in the presence of] God with the prayers of ·God’s people [T the saints]. 5 Then the angel filled the ·incense pan [censer; incense burner] with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there ·were thunder and loud noises [was rumbling thunder], flashes of lightning, and an earthquake [4:5].
6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them [8:2].
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire mixed with blood were ·poured [thrown; hurled] down on the earth [C similar to the seventh plague against Egypt; Ex. 9:13–35; Joel 2:30–31]. And a third of the earth [L was burned up], and a third of the trees [L was burned up], and all the green grass were burned up.
The Seven Angels and Trumpets
8 Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and something that looked like a ·big [great] mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea [C perhaps referring to a volcano or a flaming meteorite; Jer. 51:25]. And a third of the sea became blood [C echoes the first plague against Egypt; Ex. 7:14–21], 9 a third of the living ·things [creatures] in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a ·large [great] star, burning like a torch, fell from ·the sky [or heaven; C perhaps a meteorite]. It fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 [L And] The name of the star is Wormwood [C a plant with a greenish, bitter oil; a symbol of bitter sorrow; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; 23:15]. And a third of all the water became ·bitter [L wormwood; C again an allusion to the first Egyptian plague], and many people died from ·drinking the water [L the water] that ·was [became; was made] bitter.
12 Then the fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars were struck. So a third of them became dark, and a third of the day was ·without light [kept from shining], and also the night [C echoing the ninth Egyptian plague; Ex. 10:21–23].
13 While I watched, I heard an ·eagle [or vulture] that was flying ·high in the air [L in mid-heaven] cry out in a loud voice, “·Trouble! Trouble! Trouble [ L Woe! Woe! Woe; C reminiscent of OT funeral laments, signifying their doom; Nah. 3:1] for those who live on the earth because of the remaining ·sounds [blasts] of the trumpets that the other three angels are about to blow!”
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