Bible Study

Bible Study Revelation 8 and 9

The Bible Study Revelation 8 and 9 is online now and can be watched here.

An outline is available for download here.

Revelation 8

Vs. 1: Seventh seal opened!

silence: goes to climax!

During half hour: preparation for the seven trumpets.

Trumpets: to announce. The seven trumpets are going to announce the Judge.

They indicate: the time is near now and the great judgment is at hand!

Compare seven seals to seven trumpets: increased intensity.

Fourth seal: a quarter of mankind was killed (6:8) by sword, hunger, death (plague) and beasts.

Sixth trumpet: a third of mankind was killed (9:18) by three plagues: fire, smoke, brimstone.

Two groups of trumpets:

1-4 : the vegetation on the land, the seas, the waters and the heavens are struck.

Number four: entire creation.

5-7 : three woes (see 8:13): mankind itself is struck, not nature anymore.

Bowls with the prayers of the saints, see 5:8

Fire from the altar: holy fire! God’s wrath.

The censer filled with incense and prayers of the saints. Now together with God’s wrath: see 6:

Noises, thundering, lightnings and an earthquake. See 4:5. End of the series of seven seals and the beginning of the series of seven trumpets.

Vs. 6-13:

Reminder of Joel 2, and Exodus: plagues of Egypt.

Joel 2:1 : Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD is coming. For it is at hand.

First trumpet: see Exodus 9:23 : now mingled with blood.

Disasters with vegetation: bush fires, drought, crop failure, is a part of God’s warnings!

Second trumpet: Big mass of fire, as big as a mountain.

One third of the ships destroyed: God’s wrath in storms and disasters on the sea are also a warning!

Third trumpet: waters on the land: the source of life. è Wormwood. Bitter. Toxic.

Disasters with drinking water is also part of God’s warnings!

Fourth trumpet: The heavens struck.

Third of the sun: Joel 2:31 : The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

Darkened: by the smoke of fire, which destroys the earth. Bushfires, fires of war, volcanoes: all warnings from God.

Vs. 13: angel? ESV, NIV: EAGLE.

Eagle: foreboding, omen.

Inhabitants of the earth: used to indicate the unbelievers.

Revelation 9:

Star fallen from heaven: See Isaiah 14:12 : How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.’ And verse 15: Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.’

Terrifying, but keep in mind 1:18 : ‘I have the keys of Hades and of Death!’ Christ rules, even though He allows this fallen angel to unleash the powers of hell.

Bottomless pit: hell. Underworld. Separated from the earth. Demons from this world could not come on earth, until God allowed this fallen star to open the pit.

Smoke came out: With locusts.

See Exodus 10: eighth plague. See Joel 2:1-11 !

But here: not normal locusts: combination of locusts and scorpions.

But: do not destroy the vegetation. They are to torture the unbelievers.

Five months: one season, the usual life span of locusts.

Central verse: verse 6!

A: Fallen star/angel of the bottomless pit

B: Locusts/Scorpions torment mankind

C: Men will seek death

B: Locusts/Scorpions hurt mankind

A: king: angel of the bottomless pit.

Torture: spiritual, mental, physical: can be either or all. Torture drives them to madness.

Eph. 6: spiritual hosts of wickedness.

Angel of the bottomless pit: his name mentioned in Hebrew and in Greek! Meaning: Destroyer. Contrast with Jesus Christ: not the Redeemer but the Destroyer.

Sixth trumpet: Voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God: see 8:3: the prayers of the saints were offered to God. Also the altar in 6:9, the fifth seal: the souls under the altar praying.

Euphrates: Isaiah 7:20; Isaiah 8:7; Jeremiah 46:10. Place from where God’s punishment comes.

Vs. 15: Hour and day and month and year: all at the right time: at God’s time.

Vs. 16: two hundred million horsemen: see ESV: The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.

Reference to Psalm 68:17 : The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands. Or ESV: The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands;

Vs. 17: the colours fiery red, hyacinth blue and sulfur yellow: the colours of their plagues: fire, smoke and brimstone. 

Vs. 18: Fire, smoke, brimstone are the means with which God’s wrath comes in the OT (Gen. 19: Sodom, Isaiah 34:9-10). These three give a picture of hell!

Tails of the horses: like serpents, which can bite and wound. These creatures can attack from two sides: mouth and tail. See also the locusts/scorpions in the fifth seal.

Vs. 20-21: Despite urgent warnings the rest of mankind does not repent.


The seven trumpets, just like the seven seals, are describing in symbols what is happening on this earth before Christ returns. We see in it the warnings of His coming as judge. The Lord Jesus also speaks about the signs of His return in Matthew 24. These signs are given to us as encouragement to be prepared. Can you look at this world and what happened in the past years, and give examples of these warnings, which go unheeded by this world? And does that exhort us to be ready for Christ’s coming?

10 thoughts on “Bible Study Revelation 8 and 9

  1. Question:
    1. Rev 8 is it the original translation that refers to an Eagle?

    There are a few manuscripts of the Greek text which have ‘angel’ but the large majority has ‘eagle’. In the time the King James version was made (on which the New King James version is based) they did not have many manuscripts. Most manuscripts were discovered after that, because in the Middle Ages the church didn’t find the Greek text important. The Latin Bible was good enough. The Reformers wanted to go back to the original text, and it took centuries to discover important manuscripts again and they are still being discovered. Generally those manuscripts all have ‘eagle’.

  2. Question:
    What is the definition of – being ready? Is it simply that we accept God’s plan for our life, confess Christ our Saviour, and await His return? Or is that being too theoretical? After all we do continue with the busyness of life which takes us lots of places that I wouldn’t necessarily class as – being ready?

    yes, you are correct. It is mostly that we put our trust in Jesus Christ and are eager to meet Him. It is that we are not being absorbed by the busy-ness of life but constantly confess Him in our daily life, and have time for Him, daily, as well as on Sundays. It is living in the hope of faith.
    Wherever you are, and whatever you do, you do it for the LORD. If He comes back you don’t need to be in church if it is not Sunday. But are you happy to meet the LORD there where you are? That is being ready. Not being ashamed for what you are doing.

  3. Do the ‘inhabitants of the earth (unbelievers)’ still have opportunity to repent during the last 3 trumpets or is this already part of their eternal judgment and suffering although the actual Day of Judgment has not arrived yet?

    1. Yes, they still have time to repent, until the day of judgment. The day of judgment comes when the seventh trumpet sounds, see Revelation 11:15-19. The trumpets describe how one third of the world is hit by the plagues. The other two thirds still can repent. 9:20-21 implies that the rest of mankind still has a chance to repent, even though they don’t.

  4. The locusts are only released from the bottomless pit at God’s time, when satan gets the key for it. Does that mean that these are different to the evil spirits of the air against whom we must arm ourselves with the armour of Ephesians 6? A ‘worse version’ perhaps?

    1. Probably. Demons are already roaming on this earth and in the time of our Lord on earth there were demon possessed people. However, this indicates that the gates of hell will be opened for the evil forces to come out in large numbers. The worst of them who have been held in check by God can now come out en masse to do their evil work. The way it is described makes us think of demons using hellish torture and bring that on earth. While before they were not allowed to do that, now they can. Towards the end, God will more and more give unbelievers up to the power of Satan.

  5. If we see the calamities and woes of Revelation as having occurred and are occurring since Christ’s Ascension, how should we explain that also believers (the sealed) are caught up in the disasters that have, and are, affecting earth and mankind?

    1. For believers it is a testing of their faith. They know that God is sending His warnings for unbelievers, and they should put their hope in Christ, that He will keep them safe from Satan. That does not mean that they will not be affected, but they will be protected by Christ so that Satan will not overpower them. They know that these warnings are God’s work and accept it in faith. At the same time, we see that with the fifth trumpet, the locusts/scorpions, this does not affect the believers, but only those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (9:4). These locusts/scorpions bring a foretaste of hell on earth, and that will not affect the believers.

  6. Chapter 9 : 6: ‘they will desire to die, and death will flee from them’ because God does not allow the locusts to kill. How would this fit with these times when we see an increase in euthanasia and its being increasingly made legal? Or the increase in suicide levels?

    1. This is meant as a foretaste of hell: in hell they will not die and not be able to flee from death. Their torment will continue. We must see this spiritually. People are seeking to flee from torment but they can’t. People can be so much filled with hatred that they don’t want to live but don’t want to die either. They realise that their death will not make the object of their hate disappear. That is how hell is, that is how people now already can live. Hell will only be exponentially worse but is in fact the same torture. The sixth trumpet shows that people will be killed (one third) so what is said in vs. 6 is not absolute. It is for some people, especially those who are being tortured spiritually and are filled with hate.

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