Revelation of John 8

And when he opened ( κα οταν ηνοιξεν ). Here modal  αν is used with  οτε (used about the opening of the preceding six seals), but  οταν is not here rendered more indefinite, as is sometimes true (Mr 3:11; Re 4:9), but here and possibly (can be repetition) in Mr 11:19 it is a particular instance, not a general rule (Robertson, Grammar, p. 973).

There followed a silence ( εγενετο σιγη ). Second aorist middle of  γινομα. "There came silence." Dramatic effect by this profound stillness with no elder or angel speaking, no chorus of praise nor cry of adoration, no thunder from the throne (Swete), but a temporary cessation in the revelations. See 10:4.

About the space of half an hour ( ως ημιωρον ). Late and rare word ( ημ, half,  ωρα, hour), here only in N.T. Accusative of extent of time.

Stand ( εστηκασιν ). Perfect active of  ιστημ (intransitive). Another "hebdomad" so frequent in the Apocalypse. The article (the seven angels) seems to point to seven well-known angels. In Enoch 20:7 the names of seven archangels are given (Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel, Remiel) and "angels of the Presence" is an idea like that in Isa 63:9. We do not know precisely what is John's idea here.

Seven trumpets ( επτα σαλπιγγες ). We see trumpets assigned to angels in Mt 24:31; 1Th 4:16; 1Co 15:52; Re 4:1,4. See also the use of trumpets in Jos 6:13; Joe 2:1. These seven trumpets are soon to break the half hour of silence. Thus the seven trumpets grow out of the opening of the seventh seal, however that fact is to be interpreted.

Another angel ( αλλος αγγελος ). Not one of the seven of verse 2 and before they began to sound the trumpets. This preliminary incident of the offering of incense on the altar covers verses 3-6.

Stood ( εσταθη ). Ingressive first aorist passive of  ιστημ (intransitive), "took his place."

Over the altar ( επ του θυσιαστηριου ). See 6:9 for the word for the burnt-offering, here apparently the altar of incense (clearly so in Lu 1:11; possibly also Re 9:13), but it is not clear that in apocalyptic the distinction between the two altars of the tabernacle and temple is preserved. Aleph C Q have the genitive, while A P have the accusative  επ το θυσιαστηριον.

A golden censer ( λιβανωτον χρυσουν ). Old word for frankincense (from  λιβανος, Mt 2:11; Re 18:13), but here alone in N.T. and for censer, as is plain by the use of  χρυσουν (golden) with it. Cf. 1Ki 7:50.

Much incense ( θυμιαματα πολλα ). See 5:8 for  θυμιαμα (the aromatic substance burnt, also in 18:13), but here for the live coals on which the incense falls.

That he should add ( ινα δωσε ). Sub-final clause (subject of  εδοθη, was given, singular because  θυμιαματα neuter plural) with  ινα and the future active indicative of  διδωμ, to give, instead of  δω, the second aorist subjunctive.

Unto the prayers ( ταις προσευχαις ). Dative case. In 5:18 the  θυμιαματα are the prayers.

Upon the golden altar ( επ το θυσιαστηριον το χρυσουν το ). Accusative case here, not genitive as above, and apparently the altar of incense as indicated by the word golden (Ex 30:1ff.; Le 4:17). Note triple article here  το (once before the substantive, once before the adjective, once before the adjunct "the one before the throne").

The smoke ( ο καπνος ). Old word, in N.T. only Ac 2:19; Re 8:4; 9:2f., 17f.; 14:11; 15:8; 18:9,18; 19:3. Here from the incense in the angel's hand.

With the prayers ( ταις προσευχαις ). So associative-instrumental case, but it may be dative as in verse 3 (for).

Taketh ( ειληφεν ). Vivid dramatic perfect active indicative of  λαμβανω as in 5:7, "has taken." The angel had apparently ]aid aside the censer. Hardly merely the pleonastic use of  λαμβανω (Joh 19:23). John pictures the scene for us.

Filled ( εγεμισεν ). He drops back to the narrative use of the first aorist active indicative of  γεμιζω.

With the fire ( εκ του πυρος ), live coals from the altar (cf. Isa 6:6).

Cast ( εβαλεν ). Second aorist active indicative of  βαλλω. See Ge 19:24 (Sodom); Eze 10:2 and Christ's bold metaphor in Lu 12:49. See this use of  βαλλω also in Re 8:7; 12:4,9,13; 14:19.

Followed ( εγενοντο ). Came to pass naturally after the casting of fire on the earth. Same three elements in 4:5, but in different order (lightnings, voices, thunders), lightning naturally preceding thunder as some MSS. have it here. Perhaps  φωνα, the voices of the storm (wind, etc.).

Prepared themselves ( ητοιμασαν αυτους ). First aorist active indicative of  ετοιμαζω. They knew the signal and got ready.

To sound ( ινα σαλπισωσιν ). Sub-final (object) clause with  ινα and the first aorist ingressive active subjunctive of  σαλπιζω. The infinitive could have been used.

Sounded ( εσαλπισεν ). First aorist active indicative of  σαλπιζω, repeated with each angel in turn (8:8,10,12; 9:1,13; 11:15).

Hail and fire mingled with blood ( χαλαζα κα πυρ μεμιγμενα εν αιματ ). Like the plague of hail and fire in Ex 9:24. The first four trumpets are very much like the plagues in Egypt, this one like a semitropical thunderstorm (Swete) with blood like the first plague (Ex 7:17ff.; Ps 106:35). The old feminine word  χαλαζα (hail) is from the verb  χαλαω, to let down (Mr 2:4), in N.T. only in Re 8:7; 11:19; 16:21. The perfect passive participle  μεμιγμενα (from  μιγνυμ, to mix) is neuter plural because of  πυρ (fire).

Were cast ( εβληθη ). First aorist passive singular because  χαλαζα and  πυρ treated as neuter plural. "The storm flung itself on the earth" (Swete).

Was burnt up ( κατεκαη ). Second aorist (effective) passive indicative of  κατακαιω, old verb to burn down (effective use of  κατα, up, we say). Repeated here three times for dramatic effect. See 7:1-3 about the trees and 9:4 where the locusts are forbidden to injure the grass.

As it were ( ως ). "As if," not a great mountain, but a blazing mass as large as a mountain.

Burning with fire ( πυρ καιομενον ). Present middle participle of  καιω. Somewhat like Enoch 18:13, but perhaps with the picture of a great volcanic eruption like that of Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Strabo tells of an eruption B.C. 196 which made a new island (Palaea Kaumene).

Became blood ( εγενετο αιμα ). Like the Nile in the first plague (Ex 7:20ff.). Cf. also 16:3.

Of the creatures ( των κτισματων ). See 5:13 for this word  κτισμα. Even they that had life ( τα εχοντα ψυχας ). Here the nominative articular participle is in apposition with the genitive  κτισματων, as often in this book. See Ex 7:20 for the destruction of fish, and Zep 1:3.

Was destroyed ( διεφθαρησαν ). Second aorist passive indicative of  διαφθειρω, old compound, to corrupt, to consume, to destroy (perfective use of  δια ), also 11:18. The plural  πλοιον just before the verb makes the idea plural.

Burning as a torch ( καιομενος ως λαμπας ). See 4:5; Mt 2:2, perhaps a meteor, striking at the fresh-water supply (rivers  ποταμων, springs  πηγας ) as in the first Egyptian plague also.

Wormwood ( ο Αψινθος ). Absinthe. Usually feminine ( η ), but masculine here probably because  αστηρ is masculine. Only here in N.T. and not in LXX ( πικρια, bitterness,  χολη, gall, etc.) except by Aquila in Pr 5:4; Jer 9:15; 23:15. There are several varieties of the plant in Palestine.

Became wormwood ( εγενετο εις αψινθον ). This use of  εις in the predicate with  γινομα is common in the LXX and the N.T. (16:19; Joh 16:20; Ac 5:36).

Of the waters ( εκ των υδατων ). As a result of ( εκ ) the use of the poisoned waters.

Were made bitter ( επικρανθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  πικραινω. Old verb (from  πικρος, bitter), as in 10:9f. In a metaphorical sense to embitter in Col 3:19.

Was smitten ( επληγη ). Second aorist passive indicative of  πλησσω, old verb (like  πληγη plague), here only in N.T.

That should be darkened ( ινα σκοτισθη ). Purpose clause with  ινα and the first aorist passive subjunctive of  σκοτιζω, from  σκοτος (darkness) as in Mt 24:29, but  σκοτοω in Re 9:2.

And the day should not shine ( κα η ημερα μη φανη ). Negative purpose clause with  ινα μη and the first aorist active subjunctive of  φαινω, to shed light upon, as in 18:23, not the second aorist passive subjunctive  φανη with different accent. The eclipse here is only partial and is kin to the ninth Egyptian plague (Ex 10:21).

An eagle ( ενος αετου ). "One eagle," perhaps  ενος ( εις ) used as an indefinite article (9:13; 18:21; 19:17). See 4:7 also for the flying eagle, the strongest of birds, sometimes a symbol of vengeance (De 28:49; Ho 8:1; Hab 1:8).

Flying in mid-heaven ( πετομενου εν μεσουρανηματ ). Like the angel in 14:6 and the birds in 19:17.  Μεσουρανημα (from  μεσουρανεω to be in mid-heaven) is a late word (Plutarch, papyri) for the sun at noon, in N.T. only these three examples. This eagle is flying where all can see, and crying so that all can hear.

Woe, woe, woe ( ουαι, ουαι, ουα ). Triple because three trumpets yet to come. In 18:10,16,19 the double  ουα is merely for emphasis.

For them that dwell on the earth ( τους κατοικουντας ). Accusative of the articular present active participle of  κατοικεω, is unusual (Aleph Q here and also in 12:12) as in Mt 11:21. There is even a nominative in 18:10.

By reason of the other voices ( εκ των λοιπων φωνων ). "As a result of ( εκ ) the rest of the voices." There is more and worse to come, "of the three angels who are yet to sound" ( των τριων αγγελων των μελλοντων σαλπιζειν ).

Copyright information for RWP