Seven Angels Prepare to Sound Their Trumpets: Page 4 of 4 (series: Lessons on Revelations)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Each of the seven angels holds a trumpet{5]. Trumpets in Scripture are used in various ways. Their sounding was a summons to worship (Numbers 10:3, 7; 23:15-24; 1 Chronicles 16:42) and warfare (Numbers 10:5-9; Judges 3:27, 30; Nehemiah 4:9-20). The idea of the trumpet originated with God and He controlled its use (Numbers 10:1-10). Only priests were qualified to blow them (Numbers 10:8). There were different sounds for each occasion, thus it was important that the priest blow with accuracy. How important it was that the summons to warfare not be confused with that which called the people to worship (1 Corinthians 14:8)! The sound of the trumpet in Israel indicated the intervention of God in the affairs of men on earth.

We have now come to the middle of the Tribulation. These trumpet judgments take us on to the time when Christ descends to the earth, destroys His foes, and ushers in His kingdom. The first four judgments affect man’s natural environment, the last three affect man himself. Many commentators note the resemblance between these plagues and the ones which fell on Egypt (Exodus 7-12).

In the next lesson, and verse 8:7, the trumpet judgments begin: “The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up” (Revelation 8:7). Just as the seven seals fall into two groups of four and three, so the seven trumpets divide themselves, the first four having distinct reminiscences of the Egyptian plagues at the Exodus. In 15:3 the second coming is tacitly compared to the Exodus (the redeemed sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb); so here that redemption is heralded by similar plagues on the ungodly.


{1] Imprecatory psalms, contained within the Book of Psalms of the Hebrew Bible, are those that invoke judgment, calamity, or curses, upon one's enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God. Major Imprecatory Psalms include Psalm 69 and Psalm 109, while Psalms 5, 6, 11, 12, 35, 37, 40, 52, 54, 56, 58, 69, 79, 83, 137, 139, and 143 are also considered imprecatory.
{2] A Censer (or firepan; see 1 Kings 7:50) is a vessel made for burning incense or perfume in some solid form. These vessels vary greatly in size, form, and material of construction, and have been in use since ancient times in many cultures, in both secular and religious contexts. In many cultures, burning incense has spiritual and religious connotations, and this influences the design and decoration of the censer.
{3] Balustrade—a kind of low wall that is placed at the sides of staircases, bridges, etc., and that is made of a row of short posts topped by a long rail.
{4] Saints—scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christians are saints—and at the same time are called to be saints. First Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints.
{5] Trumpet—the Greek salpinges, meaning “trumpets,” could be either the Roman army type trumpet, or possibly here a ram’s horn shofar trumpet “used in Jewish life as a signaling instrument. They sounded alarms for war or danger as well as for peace and for announcing the new moon, the beginning of the Sabbath or the death of a notable.”
{6] Extremity—“an extreme condition or state (especially of adversity or disease).” The duty of the Angel of Peace was to see that Israel “did not fall into the extremity of Israel,” that is, was not harmed by other nations (war) or sickness.

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