17 And the seventh one1 poured out his bowl into the air2, and a loud3 voice went out from the temple from the throne, saying,4 “It has been done5.” 18 And there were lightning, voices, thunders, and there was a great earthquake, such as has not come since man came on the earth; an unfathomable earthquake6. 19 And the great city was split7 into three parts8 and the cities of the nations fell9 . And Babylon the Great was remembered before God10 to give it the cup of the wine of the wrath of his anger11. 20 And every island fled and mountains were not found12. 21 And great hail weighing about one hundred pounds each13 came down from heaven upon the people, but14 the people blasphemed15 God for the plagues of hail, because the plague was so great.
1 The TR/KJV adds ἄγγελος (angel).
2 Air is mentioned in 9:2 as well.
The Greek word carries the sense of “metaphorically of waning
It might be said the cold grip of judgment is felt from the fire of God’s wrath.
3 μεγάλη (loud)
4 Here is a reminder of the source of all things. There is nothing that is that does not fall within His authority.
5 γέγονεν (It has been done)
or “it has happened”. γέγονεν is in the perfect tense here.
This is true of those in Christ and thereby are sealed in the Holy Spirit. What has been done is just as sure as that which awaits fulfillment. The Word of God cannot be broken and will not return empty. It will be done as surly as it was spoken. True and faithful is our God. He alone is worthy of our faith.
6 τηλικοῦτος σεισμὸς οὕτω μέγας (an unfathomable earthquake)
Greek: “so great an earthquake so great”. An allusion to Daniel 12:1.
7 ἐγένετο (was split)
Greek: “became” as in “the great city became into three parts”. From John’s standpoint, the Great City probably would have been Rome. Beale* universalizes the Great City as “all the world’s culture, political, economic, and sociological centers.” (Pg. 843).
Once again our attention is directed toward a reference to the number three. While it is understood that this number reflects the stamp of the divine, there may be another message in its appearance.
8 Osborne*** states that the “the three parts” in which the city is split, indicates its total or “complete” devastation. (Pg. 598) and Mounce** (Pg. 304).
9 Once the capital city falls, all of the other “imperial” cities fall. Thus the network of of the empire is broken.
10 Osborne*** suggests that the angels brings prayers to God to remind him of the deeds of humanity. (Pg. 599).
There is one book of life, but multiple books that will be opened in the presence of God for all whose name is not found in that one book. The difference might be explained from my example. Because I believe and place my faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, only my name is needed for an entry because I believe in His name. Until that took place, my sins were numerous and unforgotten, revealed by the law that came through the chosen hand of Israel, and judged by that same law. It may be that an entire book would be required for my transgressions alone. Nothing is done in secret to Him. The heart of every man is plain to Him.
What a blessing it is to know I’ve been cleansed and my sins will be remembered no more. This is the peace and life He offers to all that would come.
11 τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ οἴνου τοῦ θυμοῦ τῆς ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ (the cup of the wine of the wrath of his anger)
This could also be translated “the cup of the wine of his furious anger” as τοῦ θυμοῦ τῆς ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ “of wrath of his anger” could be seen as an intensification.
12 This parallels with 6:14.
13 ταλαντιαία (weighing about one hundred pounds each)
Greek: “the weighing of talents”. A talent was a Greek monetary unit. Osborne*** states that a hail stone of such size would measure 17.6 inches in diameter. He also points out that “The Guinness Book of Records” states that the largest hailstones to be recorded fell on Bangladesh on April 14, 1986. They were 2.25 pounds and killed 92 people! (Pg. 600).
We see another example of the Divine manifestation of God in creation. Though we can’t see Him face to face without dying, we are told that He is revealed in creation, and it is there His purpose and will is done.
He seeks those that seek Him, and He chooses all that would choose Him.
It is in dying to self that allows us come into His presence through the Holy Spirit. This truth and acknowledgment is given voice every time a believer is baptized.
In fact, He comes to us where we are so that we might be with Him. Jesus spoke this, of abiding and walking with Him. Our hope, expectation, and joy rest in the Word. The life experienced now confirms His promise of life to come.
14 καὶ (but)
15 ἐβλασφήμησαν (blasphemed)
or “spoke against”. In spite of everything that had happened to the unbelievers, their hearts are “hardened” like the Egyptians and refuse to repent.
Unable to accept the word of God, they still choose the words of rebellion.
NT = New Testament
OT = Old Testament
ESV = English Standard Version
NASB = New American Standard Bible
NIV = New International Version
KJV = King James Version
TR = Textus Receptus (A late Byzantine Greek text of the NT. A
predecessor of the TR was used in the translation of the KJV)
LXX = Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT)
The Greek New Testament with Greek-English Dictionary B. Aland (Editor), K. Aland (Editor), J. Karavidopoulos (Editor), B. M. Metzger (Editor), C. M. Martini (Editor)
(BDAG) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition Walter Bauer (Author), Frederick William Danker (Editor)
A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament Bruce M. Metzger
(Kittel) Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (VOLUMES 1-10) Gerhard Kittel (Editor), Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Translator)
*The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.).) G. K. Beale
**The Book of Revelation (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Robert H. Mounce
***Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) Grant R. Osborne
+Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics Daniel B. Wallace
++An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek C. F. D. Moule
+++Biblical Greek (Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici) Maximilian Zerwick
A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament Max Zerwick (Author), Mary Grosvenor (Author)