Vincent's Word Studies
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
Read ὅταν, the indefinite particle with the indicative mood. For a similar construction, see Mark 11:19 (correct reading). Alford observes that it occurs in the opening of this seal only, giving it an indefiniteness which does not belong to any of the rest.
There was (ἐγένετο)
More literally, come to pass. Rev., there followed.
And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
Rev., correctly, stand.
See on Revelation 1:10.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
At the altar (ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον)
The best texts read θυσιαστηρίου, which justifies the Rev., "over the altar." For altar, see on Revelation 6:9. Interpreters differ as to whether the altar meant is the brazen altar, as in Revelation 6:9, or the altar of incense, as in Revelation 9:13. There seems to be no reason for changing the reference from the brazen altar (see on Revelation 6:9), especially as both altars are mentioned in this verse. The officiating priest in the tabernacle or temple took the fire for his censer from the brazen altar, and then offered the incense upon the golden altar.
See on Revelation 5:8.
See on Revelation 5:8.
Offer it with the prayers (δώσῃ ταῖς προσευχαῖς)
Lit., should give it unto the prayers. Rev., add it unto the prayers. So that the prayers and the incense might ascend together. Προσευχή is always used of prayer to God.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
Which came with the prayers
An awkward rendering, followed by Rev., though with the omission of the italicized which came. The construction is ἀνέβη went up, with the dative case, to the prayers. "The ascending smoke had reference to the prayers, was designed to accompany them and render them more acceptable" (Winer).
Of the saints (τῶν ἁγίων)
See on Acts 26:10.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
Lit., hath taken. So Rev., in margin.
With the fire (ἐκ τοῦ πυρὸς)
Lit., "from or out off the fire," i.e., the coals or hot ashes. For ἐκ out off see on Revelation 2:7.
Cast it into the earth
And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
To sound (ἵνα σαλπίσωσιν)
Lit., that they should blow the trumpets. Raised their trumpets to their mouths in act to blow.
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
The first angel
Hail and fire mingled with blood (χάλαζα καὶ πῦρ μεμιγμένα αἵματι)
Insert ἐν in before αἵματι blood. Instead of "with blood" as A.V., and Rev., we should render "in blood." The hailstones and fire-balls fell in a shower of blood. Compare the account of the plague of fire and hail in Egypt (Exodus 9:24) to which the reference is here, where the Septuagint reads and there was hail and the fire flaming in the hail. Compare Joel 2:30.
And the third part of the earth was burnt up
This is added by the best texts.
See on pale, Revelation 6:8.
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
As it were (ὡς)
Not a mountain, but a fiery mass so large as to resemble one.
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
Rev., torch. See on Revelation 4:5.
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
Used metaphorically in the Old Testament of the idolatry of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:18); of calamity and sorrow (Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15; Lamentations 3:15, Lamentations 3:19); of false judgment (Amos 5:7).
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
An angel (ἑνὸς ἀγγέλου)
Mid heaven (μεσουρανήματι)