6. First four trumpet blasts – description
The first four trumpet blasts signal four waves of destruction.
Note: The Greek word γῆ (gē) often translated as earth is the same word used in this and earlier passages in Revelation. It is from the root word meaning soil. In King James, the same word was translated in the following ways:
earth – 188
land – 42
ground – 18
country – 2
world – 1
Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
Since John Darby popularized the rapture doctrine in 1827, the general assumption is that ge/earth in the book of Revelation means the planet earth.
Hal Lindsey’s book The Late, Great Planet Earth also had a huge impact back in the 1970’s. Even though I never read the book, its impact caused me to think I shouldn’t have children, think about a career or business, or save money. Dropping out, living off the land, and survivalist communes and cults were prevalent.
Thankfully, that fear-inducing, “we’ll-soon-be-out-of-here” (hopefully) type of thinking wore off for the most part.
The following blurb is taken from an editorial review posted on Amazon:
The impact of The Late Great Planet Earth cannot be overstated. The New York Times called it the “no. 1 non-fiction bestseller of the decade.” For Christians and non-Christians of the 1970s, Hal Lindsey’s blockbuster served as a wake-up call on events soon to come and events already unfolding—all leading up to the greatest event of all: the return of Jesus Christ.
I mention this because I’m realizing how much of the church’s beliefs and fear about end times were shaped by two men. Prior to the teachings of these two influential ministers, Christians viewed the Book of Revelation and the end times very differently.
The Greek word means earth as in ground or land, as opposed to sea.
So, this passage may not mean a global event. When John saw the vision, no one knew the earth was a huge, round planet. Certainly John didn’t know that.
Just my thought on the subject. I’m trying not to assume anything as I read this.
First trumpet: “…hail and fire mixed with blood were dumped on earth. A third of the earth was scorched, a third of the trees, and every blade of green grass—burned to a crisp.” MSG
This is very similar to what happened in Egypt when Moses called for hail and fire to fall (Exodus 9:18-24). Many people and animals were killed by this hail and fire in Egypt (Exodus 9:19), and thus this plague is said to be mingled with blood. Many people will die from this.
The plagues of Egypt were literal, and I have no reason to doubt these plagues are literal. One-third of all the trees on earth will be destroyed and all the green grass. This is a devastating plague. AWMI
Some commentators, however, believe trees represent leaders and grass represents commoners.
Second trumpet: “Something like a huge mountain blazing with fire was flung into the sea. A third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the living sea creatures died, and a third of the ships sank.” MSG
This may refer to the destruction of a kingdom.
Mountain, in prophetic language, signifies a kingdom; Jeremiah 51:25, 27, 30, 58. Great disorders, especially when kingdoms are moved by hostile invasions, are represented by mountains being cast into the midst of the sea, Psalm 46:2. Seas and collections of waters mean peoples, as is shown in this book, Revelation 17:15.
The third part of the sea became blood—Another allusion to the Egyptian plagues, Exodus 7:20, 21. Third part is a rabbinism, expressing a considerable number. “When Rabbi Akiba prayed, wept, rent his garments, put of his shoes, and sat in the dust, the world was struck with a curse; and then the third part of the olives, the third part of the wheat, and the third part of the barley, was smitten” Rab. Mardochaeus, in Notitia Karaeorum, p. 102. Adam Clarke’s Commentary.
The third part of the ships were destroyed—These judgments seem to be poured out upon some maritime nation, destroying much of its population, and much of its traffic. Adam Clarke’s Commentary.
The star is called Wormwood—So called from the bitter or distressing effects produced by its influence. Adam Clarke
The “star” that fell to the earth in Revelation 9:1 was some created being. So, this star could likewise be some created being instead of some physical piece of rock.
The eagle was the symbol of the Romans, and was always on their ensigns. The three woes which are here expressed were probably to be executed by this people, and upon the Jews and their commonwealth. Adam Clarke
7. God limits the scope of destruction
The prophecy about the four trumpet blasts in this passage outlines sizeable destruction. But everything is not destroyed. Not even half.
8. a. Attributes of God
- God executes justice.
- God tempers justice with mercy.
- God delays judgment because He is longsuffering.
- God desires no one perish, but all to come to repentance.
- God warns before executing judgment.
- God gives time for repentance.
- God doesn’t destroy to the uttermost.
b. God’s mercy and patience cause me to worship Him.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100 ESV