8:1 And 1 when he had opened the seventh seal, there was
silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
(1) He returns to the history of the seals of the book, which
the Lamb opens. The seventh seal is the next sign, a
precise commandment for the execution of the most severe
judgment of God on this wicked world, and being understood
by the seal, all things in heaven are silent, and in horror
through admiration, until the command to act is given by
God to the ministers of his wrath. So he moves to the
third part which I spoke of before in (Re 6:1) which
is the enacting of those evils with which God most justly
determined to afflict the world.
8:22 And I saw the seven angels which a stood before God;
and to them were given seven trumpets.
(2) Now follows the third branch of the common history, as even
now I said: which is the execution of the judgments of God
on the world. This is first generally prepared, down to
(Re 8:3-6). The administers of the execution are seven
angels: their instruments, trumpets, by which they sound the
alarm at the commandment of God. They are seven in number,
because it did not please God to deliver all his wrath on
the rebellious world at once, but at various times, in
segments, and in slow order, and as if unwilling to
exercise his judgments on his creatures, so long called on
both by word and signs, if perhaps they should decide to
(a) Who appear before him as his ministers.
8:33 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.
(3) This is the great emperor, the Lord Jesus Christ, our King
and Saviour, who both makes intercession to God the Father
for the saints, filling the heavenly sanctuary with most
sweet odour, and offering up their prayers, as the calves
and burnt sacrifices of their lips, in this verse: in such
manner as every one of them (so powerful is that sweet savour
of Christ, and the reliability of his sacrifice) are
reconciled with God and made most acceptable to him,
(Re 8:4). Then also out of his treasury and from the
same sanctuary, the fire of his wrath descends on the world,
adding also divine signs to it: and by that means (as of
old the heralds of Rome did) he proclaims war against the
8:4 And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers
of the saints, b ascended up before God out of the angel's
(b) Our prayers are worth nothing, unless the true and sweet
savour of that only sacrifice be especially and before
all things with them, that is to say, unless we are
first of all justified through faith in his Son,
acceptable to him.
8:64 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets
prepared themselves to sound.
(4) This is the work of the administers. The angels, the
administers of Christ, by sounding trumpet and voice (for
they are heralds) effectually call forth the instruments of
the wrath of God, through his power. Until now, things
have been general. Now the narration of specific things
follows, which the angels fix in number wrought in their
order, set out in (Re 8:7) and is concluded with the
declaration of the event which followed these things done
in the world, and in chapters ten and eleven.
8:75 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.
(5) The first execution at the sound of the first angel, on the
earth, that is, the inhabitants of the earth (by metonymy)
and on all the fruits of it: as comparing this verse with
the second part of (Re 8:9) does plainly declare.
8:86 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;
(6) The second execution on the sea, in this verse and all things
that are in (Re 8:9).
8:107 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
(7) The third execution on the floods and fountains, that is,
on all fresh water, in this verse: the effect of which is,
that many are destroyed by the bitterness of the water, in
the verse following.
8:11 And the name of the star is called 8 Wormwood: and the
third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died
of the waters, because they were made bitter.
(8) This is spoken by metaphor of a commonly known bitter
herb: unless perhaps a man following those that note the
derivation of words would rather explain it as an adjective
for that which cannot be drunk because of its bitterness,
causing the liquid it is made into to be more bitter than
any man can drink.
8:129 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.
(9) The fourth execution on the lights of heaven, which give
light to this world.
8:1310 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
(10) A lamentable prediction or foretelling of those parts of
the divine execution which yet are behind: which also is a
passage to the argument of the next chapter. Of all these
things in a manner Christ himself expressly foretold in
(Lu 21:24) and they are common plagues generally
denounced, without particular note of time.