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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – The Fifth Bowl (16:10-11)
The Fifth Bowl (16:10-11)

This time the bowl is poured out specifically on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness (v. 10). The plague of darkness marks a return to the theme of the Exodus, when there was darkness over Egypt, "darkness that can be felt" (Ex 10:21). A kind of cumulative effect of the first five bowls sets in as people gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores (v. 11; compare the "painful sores" of verse 2). The verdict after five plagues is the same as after four: they refused to repent of what they had done (v. 11).

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