Seventh Trumpet - Third Woe

When the seventh seal was opened, a half-hour of “silence” ensued before the seven angels began to sound their “trumpets.” During that interlude, the prayers of the “saints” were heard ascending to the throne of God. Now, when the “seventh trumpet” sounds, “loud voices” declare the triumph of the kingdom and the possession of the nations by the “Lamb” as promised in the second Psalm.

The “seventh trumpet” is the “third woe” that was pronounced on the “inhabitants of the earth.” When the angel blows this horn, it means vindication and glory for the “saints,” but also judgment and condemnation for the unrepentant.

  • (Revelation 11:15-16) – “And the seventh angel sounded, and there came to be loud voices in heaven, saying: The kingdom of the world has become that of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for the ages of ages. And the twenty-four elders who before God do sit upon their thrones fell down upon their faces and rendered homage to God, saying: We give thanks to you, O Lord God, the Almighty, Who is and Who was; because you have taken your great power and become king.”


The description of the one “who is and who was” uses the same phrase found in the prologue of Revelation and the vision of the Throne.  But here, the third stanza is dropped. It no longer refers to “He who is coming,” but only to “who is and who was.

Because the “Day of the Lord” has arrived, the coming of God is no longer anticipated. We have reached the end of the age, the consummation of the victory of the “Lamb.”

  • (Revelation 11:17-19) – “And the nations were angered, and your wrath came, and the fit time of the dead to be judged, and to give their reward to your servants the prophets and to the saints, and to them who revere your name, the small and the great, and to despoil them who were despoiling the earth. And the sanctuary of God which is in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant in his sanctuary appeared, and there came to be flashes of lightning and voices and claps of thunder and an earthquake, and great hail.”

The time has arrived for the dead to be judged, and for “those who are destroying the earth” to be destroyed. This last phrase alludes to the dirge from the book of Jeremiah issued against Ancient Babylon, a passage used previously when the second angel blew his trumpet:

  •  (Jeremiah 51:25) - “I am against you, O destroying mountain, THAT DESTROYED ALL THE EARTH; I will stretch out my hand upon you, roll you down from the rocks and make you a burnt mountain” - (Revelation 8:8-9).

In addition, the declaration that follows the blowing of the “seventh trumpet” echoes words found in the prophecy of Daniel:

  • (Daniel 7:26-27) - “But the JUDGMENT SHALL BE SET, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and TO DESTROY IT TILL THE END. And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most-High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”


The sanctuary of God…and the ark of his covenant.” In the Tabernacle, the lid of the ark constitutes the “mercy seat” from which Yahweh reigns over Israel - “between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony.”

The ark symbolizes His covenant faithfulness and loving-kindness. And in the Tabernacle, the mercy seat was the point of contact between heaven and earth, the place where His presence was found - (Exodus 25:21-22).

But in John’s vision, the sanctuary is now open, and the ark is in plain sight. This anticipates the reality in the vision of “New Jerusalem” where there is no “sanctuary” - “The Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its sanctuary, and the nations walk amidst its light and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it” - (Revelation 21:22-24).

The “seventh trumpet” signals the time of the judgment - “Your wrath came, and the dead were judged,” and thus, the series of trumpets ends with the “wrath of God” completed.

Before the “seven angels” began to blow their trumpets, another angel hurled fire from the “golden altar” onto the earth, which was followed by “claps of thunder and voices, and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”

The same phenomena repeat at the close of the “seven trumpets,” only with the addition of “great hail.” They also occurred in the vision of the Throne and will be seen again at the end of the series of “seven bowls of wrath.” Each time these phenomena are seen and heard, a new element is added - an “earthquake,” “hail,” “a great earthquake,” and “great hail” - (Revelation 4:5, 8:5, 11:19, 16:17-18).


There are verbal links between the “seventh bowl of wrath” and the “seventh trumpet.” When the seventh bowl is emptied, a great voice from the sanctuary declares, “It is done!” Likewise, when the “seventh trumpet” sounds, “great voices” declare the victory of God over the kingdoms of the world.

The “seventh bowl” produces a “great earthquake” that divides the “great city.” Likewise, prior to the “seventh trumpet” blast, a “great earthquake” causes a tenth part of the “great city” to fall.

The final trumpet signals the time for the “dead to be judged, and to reward your servants the prophets, the saints, and them that fear your name, the small and the great.” This echoes the “Great White Throne of Judgment” when the dead, the “great, and the small” are seen standing to be judged. The clause, “great and small” links the two passages.

Likewise, when the seventh trumpet is heard, the wicked are condemned just as they are before the “Great White Throne of Judgment.” Thus, both visions include the final judgment of the dead.

The wicked are condemned, and the overcoming saints receive their “reward.” The same final events are described in both visions, though from different perspectives - (Revelation 11:5-19, 20:11-15).

The “third woe” brings the series of “seven trumpets” to their intended conclusion at the end of the age. The “Lamb” reigns uncontested over the nations, all those who were “destroying the earth” have themselves have been destroyed, and the righteous have been vindicated and inherited all that was promised to “him who overcomes.”



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