Seven angels blow seven trumpets in the second cycle of judgements leading up to the second coming!
Trumpets led to the fall of the city of Jericho, these likewise lead to the fall of the worldly city. The first five trumpets echo the Exodus plagues. And just like in Exodus, the plagues don’t lead to repentance.
|Trumpet||What||Parallel in Exodus|
|1st – 8:7||Hail and fire||7th – hail and fire|
|2nd – 8:8-9||Blood||1st – blood|
|3rd – 8:10-11||Bitter water|
|4th – 8:12||Darkness||9th – darkness|
|5th – 9:1-11||Locusts||8th – locusts|
|6th – 9:13-21||Army|
|7th – 11:15-19||Storm||Exodus 19:16-19|
These trumpets with their vivid descriptions show that the intensity of judgements has increased but still only for a limited time and with limited scope. The first four affect the four regions of creation – land, sea, fresh water and sky – likewise in chapter 15, the bowls will affect the same regions, but more devastatingly.
|One third of the land||All the land|
|One third of the sea||All sea|
|Bitter drinking||Drinking blood|
|One third of heavenly bodies||The Sun|
The first four trumpets occur to show that God is the true God and call people to repentance, but like the Egyptians, people harden themselves.
After the fourth trumpet an eagle appears, showing that the last three trumpet plagues will be worse, announcing them as woe. The fifth trumpet is a horrific army of demonic locusts – foreshadowed in Exodus 10:13 -15 and prophesied in Joel 2:1-11. A normal locust swarm lasts a few days – this one for five months, v.5, led by Apollyon – an ironic allusion to the Roman Emperors Nero and Domitian, who saw themselves as imitators of the Greek god Apollo. Wickedness brings suffering rather than the desired success. The last three trumpets discriminate between the righteous and the wicked just like the later Exodus plagues.