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Revelation 16

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The Bowls of God’s Wrath

16:1 Then 1  I heard a loud voice from the temple declaring to the seven angels: “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls containing God’s wrath.” 2  16:2 So 3  the first angel 4  went and poured out his bowl on the earth. Then 5  ugly and painful sores 6  appeared on the people 7  who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

16:3 Next, 8  the second angel 9  poured out his bowl on the sea and it turned into blood, like that of a corpse, and every living creature that was in the sea died.

16:4 Then 10  the third angel 11  poured out his bowl on the rivers and the springs of water, and they turned into blood. 16:5 Now 12  I heard the angel of the waters saying:

“You are just 13  – the one who is and who was,

the Holy One – because you have passed these judgments, 14 

16:6 because they poured out the blood of your saints and prophets,

so 15  you have given them blood to drink. They got what they deserved!” 16 

16:7 Then 17  I heard the altar reply, 18  “Yes, Lord God, the All-Powerful, 19  your judgments are true and just!”

16:8 Then 20  the fourth angel 21  poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was permitted to scorch people 22  with fire. 16:9 Thus 23  people 24  were scorched by the terrible heat, 25  yet 26  they blasphemed the name of God, who has ruling authority 27  over these plagues, and they would not repent and give him glory.

16:10 Then 28  the fifth angel 29  poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast so that 30  darkness covered his kingdom, 31  and people 32  began to bite 33  their tongues because 34  of their pain. 16:11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their sufferings 35  and because of their sores, 36  but nevertheless 37  they still refused to repent 38  of their deeds.

16:12 Then 39  the sixth angel 40  poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates and dried up its water 41  to prepare the way 42  for the kings from the east. 43  16:13 Then 44  I saw three unclean spirits 45  that looked like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 16:14 For they are the spirits of the demons performing signs who go out to the kings of the earth 46  to bring them together for the battle that will take place on the great day of God, the All-Powerful. 47 

16:15 (Look! I will come like a thief!

Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose 48  his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked and his shameful condition 49  be seen.) 50 

16:16 Now 51  the spirits 52  gathered the kings and their armies 53  to the place that is called Armageddon 54  in Hebrew.

16:17 Finally 55  the seventh angel 56  poured out his bowl into the air and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying: “It is done!” 16:18 Then 57  there were flashes of lightning, roaring, 58  and crashes of thunder, and there was a tremendous earthquake – an earthquake unequaled since humanity 59  has been on the earth, so tremendous was that earthquake. 16:19 The 60  great city was split into three parts and the cities of the nations 61  collapsed. 62  So 63  Babylon the great was remembered before God, and was given the cup 64  filled with the wine made of God’s furious wrath. 65  16:20 Every 66  island fled away 67  and no mountains could be found. 68  16:21 And gigantic hailstones, weighing about a hundred pounds 69  each, fell from heaven 70  on people, 71  but they 72  blasphemed God because of the plague of hail, since it 73  was so horrendous. 74 

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1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

2 tn Or “anger.” Here τοῦ θυμοῦ (tou qumou) has been translated as a genitive of content.

3 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the directions given by the voice from the temple.

4 tn Grk “the first”; the referent (the first angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

6 tn Or “ulcerated sores”; the term in the Greek text is singular but is probably best understood as a collective singular.

7 tn Grk ‘the men,” but this is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") and refers to both men and women.

8 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “next” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

9 tn Grk “the second”; the referent (the second angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

11 tn Grk “the third”; the referent (the third angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the somewhat parenthetical nature of the remarks that follow.

13 tn Or “righteous,” although the context favors justice as the theme.

14 tn Or “because you have judged these things.” The pronoun ταῦτα (tauta) is neuter gender.

15 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate that this judgment is the result of what these wicked people did to the saints and prophets.

16 tn Grk “They are worthy”; i.e., of this kind of punishment. By extension, “they got what they deserve.”

17 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

18 tn Grk “the altar saying.”

19 tn On this word BDAG 755 s.v. παντοκράτωρ states, “the Almighty, All-Powerful, Omnipotent (One) only of God…() κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ π. …Rv 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 21:22.”

20 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

21 tn Grk “the fourth”; the referent (the fourth angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

22 tn Grk “men,” but this is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") and refers to both men and women.

23 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “thus” to indicate the implied result of the bowl poured on the sun.

24 tn Grk “men,” but this is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") and refers to both men and women.

25 tn On this phrase BDAG 536 s.v. καῦμα states, “burning, heat Rv 7:16καυματίζεσθαι κ. μέγα be burned with a scorching heat 16:9.”

26 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

27 tn For the translation “ruling authority” for ἐξουσία (exousia) see L&N 37.35.

28 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

29 tn Grk “the fifth”; the referent (the fifth angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

30 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so that” to indicate the implied result of the fifth bowl being poured out.

31 tn Grk “his kingdom became dark.”

32 tn Grk “men,” but this is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") and refers to both men and women.

33 tn On this term BDAG 620 s.v. μασάομαι states, “bite w. acc. τὰς γλώσσας bite their tongues Rv 16:10.”

34 tn The preposition ἐκ (ek) has been translated here and twice in the following verse with a causal sense.

35 tn Grk “pains” (the same term in Greek [πόνος, ponos] as the last word in v. 11, here translated “sufferings” because it is plural). BDAG 852 s.v. 2 states, “ἐκ τοῦ π. in painRv 16:10; pl. (Gen 41:51; Jos., C. Ap. 2, 146; Test. Jud. 18:4) ἐκ τῶν π. …because of their sufferings vs. 11.”

36 tn Or “ulcerated sores” (see 16:2).

37 tn Grk “and they did not repent.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but nevertheless” to express the contrast here.

38 tn Grk “they did not repent” The addition of “still refused” reflects the hardness of people’s hearts in the context.

39 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

40 tn Grk “the sixth”; the referent (the sixth angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

41 tn Grk “and its water was dried up.” Here the passive construction has been translated as an active one.

42 tn Grk “in order that the way might be prepared.” Here the passive construction has been translated as an active one.

43 tn Grk “from the rising of the sun.” BDAG 74 s.v. ἀνατολή 2.a takes this as a geographical direction: “ἀπὸ ἀ. ἡλίουfrom the east Rv 7:2; 16:12; simply ἀπὸ ἀ. …21:13.”

44 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

45 sn According to the next verse, these three unclean spirits are spirits of demons.

46 tn BDAG 699 s.v. οἰκουμένη 1 states, “the inhabited earth, the worldὅλη ἡ οἰκ. the whole inhabited earthMt 24:14; Ac 11:28; Rv 3:10; 16:14.”

47 tn On this word BDAG 755 s.v. παντοκράτωρ states, “the Almighty, All-Powerful, Omnipotent (One) only of God…() κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ π. …Rv 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 21:22.”

48 tn Grk “and keeps.” BDAG 1002 s.v. τηρέω 2.c states “of holding on to someth. so as not to give it up or lose it…τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ Rv 16:15 (or else he will have to go naked).”

49 tn On the translation of ἀσχημοσύνη (aschmosunh) as “shameful condition” see L&N 25.202. The indefinite third person plural (“and they see”) has been translated as a passive here.

50 sn These lines are parenthetical, forming an aside to the narrative. The speaker here is the Lord Jesus Christ himself rather than the narrator. Many interpreters have seen this verse as so abrupt that it could not be an original part of the work, but the author has used such asides before (1:7; 14:13) and the suddenness here (on the eve of Armageddon) is completely parallel to Jesus’ warning in Mark 13:15-16 and parallels.

51 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the resumption and conclusion of the remarks about the pouring out of the sixth bowl.

52 tn Grk “they”; the referent (the demonic spirits, v. 14) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

53 tn Grk “gathered them”; the referent (the kings and [implied] their armies, v. 14) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

54 tc There are many variations in the spelling of this name among the Greek mss, although ῾Αρμαγεδών (&armagedwn) has the best support. The usual English spelling is Armageddon, used in the translation.

tn Or “Harmagedon” (a literal transliteration of the Greek), or “Har-Magedon” (NASB), meaning “the Mount of Magedon” in Hebrew.

55 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “finally” to indicate the conclusion of the seven bowl judgments.

56 tn Grk “the seventh”; the referent (the seventh angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

57 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

58 tn Or “sounds,” “voices.” It is not entirely clear what this refers to. BDAG 1071 s.v. φωνή 1 states, “In Rv we have ἀστραπαὶ καὶ φωναὶ καὶ βρονταί (cp. Ex 19:16) 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18 (are certain other sounds in nature thought of here in addition to thunder, as e.g. the roar of the storm?…).”

59 tn The singular ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used generically here to refer to the human race.

60 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

61 tn Or “of the Gentiles” (the same Greek word may be translated “Gentiles” or “nations”).

62 tn Grk “fell.”

63 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of Babylon’s misdeeds (see Rev 14:8).

64 tn Grk “the cup of the wine of the anger of the wrath of him.” The concatenation of four genitives has been rendered somewhat differently by various translations (see the note on the word “wrath”).

65 tn Following BDAG 461 s.v. θυμός 2, the combination of the genitives of θυμός (qumo") and ὀργή (orgh) in Rev 16:19 and 19:15 are taken to be a strengthening of the thought as in the OT and Qumran literature (Exod 32:12; Jer 32:37; Lam 2:3; CD 10:9). Thus in Rev 14:8 (to which the present passage alludes) and 18:3 there is irony: The wine of immoral behavior with which Babylon makes the nations drunk becomes the wine of God’s wrath for her.

66 tn Grk “And every.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

67 tn Or “vanished.”

68 sn Every island fled away and no mountains could be found. Major geographical and topographical changes will accompany the Day of the Lord.

69 tn Here BDAG 988 s.v. ταλαντιαῖος states, “weighing a talentχάλαζα μεγάλη ὡς ταλαντιαία a severe hailstorm with hailstones weighing a talent (the talent=125 librae, or Roman pounds of c. 343 gr. or 12 ounces each) (weighing about a hundred pounds NRSV) Rv 16:21.” This means each hailstone would weigh just under 100 pounds or 40 kilograms.

70 tn Or “the sky.” Due to the apocalyptic nature of this book, it is probably best to leave the translation as “from heaven,” since God is ultimately the source of the judgment.

71 tn Grk “on men,” but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used here in a generic sense to refer to people in general (the hailstones did not single out adult males, but would have also fallen on women and children).

72 tn Grk “the men”; for stylistic reasons the pronoun “they” is used here.

73 tn Grk “the plague of it.”

74 tn Grk “since the plague of it was exceedingly great.”



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