The Messianic Judgments, 6:1-16:21
2. The judgment of the seven trumpets, 8:6-11:18
v] Sounding the seventh trumpetSynopsis
The day of judgment continues to unfold with the sounding of the seventh and final trumpet. Unlike the opening of the seventh seal where there is silence in heaven, here John hears loud voices proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God. The twenty-four elders join in, praising God for exercising his authority over all powers, both for blessing and cursing.
The kingdom of God is at hand, the Great Day of the Lord, the day of judgment, is upon us, repent and believe!
i] Context: See 8:6-13.
ii] Background: See 1:1-8.
iii] Structure: Sounding the seventh trumpet:
The three woes, 8:13.
The third woe:
The seventh trumpet is sounded, v15;
"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah
and he will reign for ever and ever."
The hymn of the twenty four elders, v16-18;
The third Woe is not very woe-like, but it involves the setting right of all things; this can be good, or bad news, depending on where one stands. In the judgment of the seals this setting-right was done in silence, here it is done in a word of praise - the old has passed away, the new has come, the kingdom of God is now fully realized. What is woe to the unrighteous facing the ultimate destruction of the world, is eternal glory for the righteous by faith. So, John completes his second judgment cycle bringing us to the point where the aggressive secular city is judged and "your servants, the prophets and saints, those who revere your name" are rewarded.
Text - 11:15
Sounding the seventh trumpet - the third woe, v15-18: i] The judgment of the seventh trumpet culminates in the realization of the kingdom of God - God's kingship / reign over the world. The reign of the secular city is ended, replaced by the reign of the Lord God and the Lamb.
kai "-" - and. Transitional. Here probably used instead of de to indicate a step in the narrative.
legonteV (legw) pres. part. "[there were loud voices in heaven] which said" - [the seventh angel trumpeted and there were loud voices in haven] saying. The NIV has taken the participle as adjectival, attributive, limiting "voices". This seems the best classification although the participle is masculine whereas the noun "voices" is feminine. This has prompted the variant feminine legousai, although it is more likely that the masculine is according to sense where the agents of the "loud voices" is in mind. Commentators divide on who they are, eg., the redeemed, so Beale, the seven angels, the four living creatures, ..... John typically introduces what is heard in his vision with the participle "saying"; see legwn 1:17. "And voices in heaven began to shout", Barclay.
tou kosmou (oV) gen. "[the kingdom] of the world" - [the kingdom] of the world [became the kingdom of the lord of us and the anointed one of him]. If we take basileia in the sense of "reign", in same way we take "the kingdom of God" to ultimately mean "the reign of God" (here "the reign of our Lord"), then we would classify the genitive as verbal, subjective. The noun kosmoV, "world", is probably being used negatively, a world in rebellion against God = the secular city, Babel / Babylon. The reign of the secular city is over, the powers of darkness overcome by the reign of our Lord God and his Messiah / Christ / the Anointed One = the Lamb.
eiV + acc. "for [ever and ever]" - [and he will reign] into [the ages of the ages]. Temporal use of the preposition. This idiomatic phrase expresses the sense "eternally". The genitive twn aiwnwn, "of the ages", would be classified as adjectival, partitive. For this temporal phrase see 1:18.
ii] The hymn of the twenty four elders, v16-18: The elders now get involved and proclaim the consequences of the Great Day of the Lord; The day of judgment has arrived, a day of cursing, a day of blessing. The aggressive secular city, Babylon, will now get to taste divine aggression in the judgment of the living and the dead. So, the time has come for the Christian community, Christ's witnessing saints, to taste eternal reward, and for those who ruin others to face ruin themselves.
oiJ ...... kaqhmenoi (kaqhmai) pres. mid. part. "who were seated" - [and the twenty four elders] the ones [before god] sitting. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the twenty-four elders", as NIV; "who sit on their thrones before God", REB.
epi + gen. "on [their thrones]" - on [the thrones of them]. John's favorite spacial preposition, + gen. = "on, upon."
enwpion + gen. "before [God]" - Spacial preposition; "before" = "in the presence of."
tw/ tew/ (oV) dat. "[worshipped] God" - Dative of direct object after the verb "to do obeisance to"; "prostrated themselves and, with bowed heads, worshipped God", Phillips.
legonteV (legw) "saying" - Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "worshipped"; "worshiped God and said". The participle can also be classified as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of their worship, as NIV. Note John's use of the participle "saying", legwn 1:17.
soi dat. pro. "[we give thanks] to you" - [we thank] you. Dative of direct object after the verb "to give thanks to."
kurie voc. "Lord" - "Lord God Almighty" stands in apposition to the dative "you", but "Lord" takes a vocative of address, so it is not in concord. Both "God" and "Almighty" are nominative, used for the vocative.
oJ w]n (eimi) pres. part. "the one being" - the one being [and he who was]. The participle serves as a substantive, standing in apposition to "Lord", nominative serving as a vocative; "you are and you were", CEV.
oJti "because" - because [you have taken the great power of you and reigned]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why "we give thanks"; "because you applied your great power and have entered upon your eternal reign", ie., God has set about to punish and save, as revealed to those who believe. The following verse packages this in a curse / blessing / curse package. Note that the aorist verb "you reigned" is often viewed as ingressive, "you have begun to reign." This seems unlikely. Mathewson gives weight to aspect and suggests it is timeless, "you reign."
This Greek sentence is somewhat complex. After the opening statement "the nations raged, but in the face of this anger your wrath came", we are told it's "time". This is explained in three epexegetical infinitival constructions, namely, it's time "for the dead to be judged", "to give the reward to your servants", and "to destroy those who destroy." Following the word "servants" we have three appositional statements explaining what is meant by "servants": they are "the prophets", "the saints", and "the ones fearing your name", and one appositional quote from Psalm 113:21, "the small and the great", further explaining "the ones fearing your name."
wrgisqhsan (orgizw) aor. pas. "[the nations] were angry" - It is unusual for a plural verb to be used in conjunction with a neuter plural noun, as here, although in the Revelation this rule often does not apply, particularly when the neuter refers to persons. "The angry nations now get a taste of your anger", Peterson.
kai "and" - Quite possibly adversative here. The nations are enraged, focusing their rage on the Lord, and his anointed, "but" in the face of this rage the Lord acts with orgh, "wrath", ie., with a righteous reaction to defiant human sin.
kriqhnai (krinw) aor. pas. inf. "[the time has come] for judging" - [your wrath came and the time of the dead] to be judged. The infinitive is epexegetic, specifying the time in mind, namely, judgment time. Smalley sees a consecutive sense carried in this epexegetic passive infinitive; "this is the moment that (as a result of which) the dead should be judged."
twn nekrwn gen. adj. "the dead" - of the dead. The adjective serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, attributive, idiomatic / temporal, "the time when the dead are judged." The "judgment of the dead" clearly refers to the final / last eschatological judgment, ie., the sounding of the seventh trumpet, as with the breaking of the seventh seal, takes us to the final moment in salvation history. What actually happens on the day of judgment is clouded by apocalyptic imagery, but there is some Biblical support for the view that the all humanity is raised to be either blessed or cursed, cf., Dan.12:2, Rev.20:12-13. None-the-less, it seems likely that the judgment of the wicked will simply involve eternal annihilation, although eternal punishment is proposed by some commentators.
dounai (didwmi) aor. inf. "[and] for rewarding" - [and] to give [the reward]. The infinitive as for "to be judged." The positive side of the day of judgment entails blessing for the righteous by faith. The "reward" is depicted variously in the Revelation: entry into the new Jerusalem, eating from the tree of life, receiving a new name, etc.
toiV profhtaiV (hV ou) dat. "[your] servants the prophets" - [to the servants of you] the prophets [and the saints, holy]. As for the substantive adjective toiV aJgioiV, "the saints", dative in apposition to "servants", which serves as a dative of indirect object of the verb "to give." The NIV links "servants" with "prophets", but it may link with "prophets and saints"; "your servants, namely the prophets and saints", so Mounce. The reference is not to a particular group in the Christian community, but to the Christian community as a whole, Christ's witnessing saints.
kai "and" - The conjunction here may be epexegetic; "your servants, the prophets and saints, that is, those who revere your name", so Mathewson, Smalley, .... None-the-less the statement obviously stands in apposition to "servants".
toiV foboumenoiV (fobew) dat. pres. mid./pas. part. "your people who revere [you name]" - the ones fearing [the name of you]. The participle serves as a substantive, dative in apposition to "servants". Note that fobew, "fear", is not used in the same way that we use the word "fear". To "fear" God is to reverence him, give him due honor by submitting to his call for repentance and faith. Note again that "the name", as a part of a person, is used to represent the whole. When used of the divine, personal authority dominates.
touV mikrouV acc. adj. "both great [and small]" - the small ones [and the great ones]. The adjective serves as a substantive. Again John ignores concord when quoting from scripture, cf., Ps.115:13 (MT); 113:21 (LXX), "he will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great." The substantive construction, "the small and the great", stands in apposition to "the ones fearing your name" and as such should be dative and not accusative. The Christian community, the witnesses / prophets who serve the Lord and revere his name, is made up of both the insignificant and the mighty.
diafqeirai (diafqeirw) aor. inf. "[and] for destroying" - [and] to destroy. The infinitive as for "to be judged." The coming time / day is a time that involves judgement, both reward and destruction. Destruction is set for those who destroy the earth; those who ruin others will themselves be ruined.
touV diafqeirontaV (diafqeirw) pres. part. "those who destroy [the earth]" - the ones destroying [the earth]. The participle serves as a substantive. The verb is inclusive, so "utterly / completely destroy." "To destroy the destroyers of the earth", Peterson.