Revelation: The Seventh Seal and Four of Seven Trumpets

Why was Heaven silent for half an hour after the seventh seal was opened?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 8:1 When the seventh seal was opened, Heaven was silent for half an hour.
King James
Revelation 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

What happened when the ‘messenger arrived with incense? Why was this important?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 8:3–4 Another messenger came to the gold altar before the throne, holding a gold censer filled with incense to be offered with the prayers of God’s people. From where the messenger poured the incense, the sweet-smelling smoke rose before God with the prayers of his people.
King James
Revelation 8:3–4 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

Why did the messenger fill the emptied censer with fire? How could the messenger throw the fire from Heaven to Earth?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 8:5 Then the messenger took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it down to Earth. Lightning flashes were followed with thunder and booming sounds as an earthquake shook the land.
King James
Revelation 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

How would you describe the effect of the first trumpet blast—in Heaven and on Earth? In what ways might people have reacted?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 8:6–7 The seven messengers raised their trumpets, ready to make their sound. With the first messenger’s trumpet blast, hail and fire and blood fell upon the earth, burning up a third of the trees and all the grass.
King James
Revelation 8:6–7 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 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.

How could a mountain of fire turn a third of the water into blood?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 8:8–9 With the second messenger’s trumpet blast, a great mountain of fire was thrown into the sea, turning a third of the water into blood, killing a third of the sea life, and destroying a third of the ships.
King James
Revelation 8:8–9 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

What explanation would scientists have for a star poisoning a third of Earth’s rivers and springs?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 8:10–11 With the third messenger’s trumpet blast, a very bright star fell like a torch from the sky upon a third of Earth’s rivers and springs. The star’s name was Bitterness because it poisoned a third of Earth’s drinking water, causing many to die.
King James
Revelation 8:10–11 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

What could cause both day and night to be 33 percent darker?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Revelation 8:12 With the fourth messenger’s trumpet blast, a third of the sun, moon, and stars were darkened, so both night and day were 33 percent darker.
King James
Revelation 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.