When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
Jesus broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Clearly, this judgment was going to be exceedingly severe. Seven angels from near God’s presence were given seven trumpets, each which represented an individual judgment, all under the umbrella of the seventh seal.
3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
An eighth angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer. Much incense was given to him to add it to the prayers of the saints on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints went up before God out of the angel’s hand. All of the prayers for justice from God’s people who have suffered throughout the ages and particularly during the tribulation period were remembered by God. The atrocities committed against God’s people were going to be held to the account of the wicked, first on earth, the first death, and during their judgment at the Great White Throne, the second death (Revelation 20:11-15). The angel then took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. What followed were peals of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. It was then time for the seven angels with the seven trumpets to begin to sound them so that the judgments of God could be poured out upon the earth.
7 The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
The first trumpet brought forth hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were sent to the earth, burning up a third of the earth including a third of all trees and green grass. This was not just any ordinary hailstorm, but it was the fiery wrath of God.
8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
The second angel sounded the second trumpet, and John saw something like a huge mountain burning with fire cast into the sea. The result was that a third of the sea turned to blood, and a third of the creatures in the sea which were alive died. A third of the ships were also destroyed.
10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11 The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
The third angel sounded the third trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven. It was burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and springs of waters. The star had the name Wormwood because it turned a third of the waters bitter to the extent that it killed people.
12 The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
The fourth angel sounded the fourth trumpet, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck. The result was darkness on the earth for a third of the day, and there was no light during a third of the night (see also Luke 21:25-26). Regardless of whether this will be a supernatural phenomenon, atmospherical in nature, or cosmological, it will be frightening and a major warning shot to those who still remain on the earth (supernatural darkness also happened in Exodus 10:21-23 during the plagues, judgments brought upon Egypt by God Himself). God could have done damage to two-thirds or three-thirds of the earth and the heavens right away, but He was still giving people time to repent, even to the last possible moment before His appearing.
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
As if it wasn’t bad enough already, an eagle flying through the midst of heaven, as the KJV renders it, cried out a threefold woe upon those who were still alive on the earth. This was indicative of the severe devastation and anguish which was to accompany the remaining blasts of the trumpet which were about to sound.