Revelation Chapter 8:13

Revelation 8:13 – And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

After God smites the luminaries by a third, a flying angel announces more doom coming to the inhabitants of the earth. This angel flies in the “midst of heaven,” which is the same Greek used to describe Earth’s atmosphere in the following verses:

Revelation 14:6-7 – Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people – saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Revelation 19:17-18 – Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

We know John is speaking of the atmosphere and not the cosmos or God’s dwelling place, because the people on Earth can hear the angel preaching the everlasting gospel, and the birds hear the invite for the supper of God. The following passages support this notion, because people acknowledge that the Lord is behind these judgments, as though they have heard what the angels have said, yet they continue in their rebellion:

Revelation 6:15-16 – And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”

Revelation 16:10-11 – Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

As a side note, other Bible versions translate the flying angel as an eagle instead. Many commentators have gone to great lengths to find significance to an eagle announcing the three woes because it departs from the pattern of angels and seraphim calling out judgment in Revelation. Also, there is no other eagle in Scripture that calls out judgment, let alone speak. Personally, I do not favor the eagle translation.

Other translations that have a flying eagle come from a different Greek text. Here are two articles that explain the difference between the two Greek texts: “New Testament Manuscripts,” and “Textual History of the Bible.”

Only angels, the living creatures, and the prophets in the Old Testament call out judgment elsewhere in Scripture. Besides, we find another flying angel later in Revelation in translations based on both Greek texts, which gives strength to the argument for the translation of an angel in this chapter:

Revelation 14:6-7 – Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people – saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

The flying angel in this chapter warns of three “woes” coming on Earth. As we will see in later chapters, these three “woes” will complete God’s wrath, which fits with the meaning of completion in the number “three,” as shown in the last section. The prophets frequently used the word “woe,” usually while they were denunciating someone or something, showing grief, affliction, anguish, deep distress, and lamentation over coming judgment, instead of protection and well-being from the Lord:

Lamentations 3:38 – Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well-being proceed?

Jeremiah 45:3-5 – ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the LORD has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.” “Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the LORD. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”‘”

Recall from Revelation 5:1, Ezekiel ate a scroll that had lamentations, mourning and woes written on the inside and outside like the sealed scroll the Lamb takes from the right hand of God:

Ezekiel 2:9-3:1 – Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe. Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.”

The writing on the scroll given to Ezekiel was a warning to Israel of impending judgment if they did not repent. This scroll was not sealed, as is the one in Revelation. Ezekiel’s warning of coming judgment was conditional, though the Lord knew Israel would continue in rebellion; judgment eventually came as a result (Ezekiel 2-3).

“Sealed” in the Greek means having been closed, or made secure. Ezekiel’s scroll was not sealed; thus its contents contained a conditional warning. In contrast, the scroll in Revelation is a sealed document; its contents cannot be revoked, similar to the way the seal of a king’s signet ring made pronouncements irreversible (Esther 8:8, Daniel 6:17).

The scroll in Revelation is the same as Ezekiel’s scroll, in that the judgments deliver lamentations, mourning and woes. In this case, the three woes announced by the angel are not just cries of distress of the last three Trumpet judgments, but define and characterize the enormity of what will befall the inhabitants of the earth in these coming judgments. In other words, these three woes are specific judgments that are increasingly severe, compared to other judgments already come.

The last three trumpets will be especially severe, as announced by the threefold repetition of Woe, woe, woe. They will be directed toward the inhibitors of the earth, that is, the unbelievers still alive on earth. Both the oldest and the majority of Greek manuscripts read “eagle” instead of angel in the first part of the verse.

“Woe, woe, woe”: One for each remaining trumpet blast. Although the first 4 trumpets are unimaginable, they will be nothing like the three to come (9:1-21; 11:15ff).

Thank God Christians will be spared the Wrath.

From the “woes”, the wrath is about to come.

Even the problems we have already heard about are terrible, but they get even worse. Here again, notice the mid-time separation of this, four angels have sounded, and three more are about to sound

Some believe the third woe is Satan being thrown out of Heaven:

Revelation 12:12 – Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.

This is not the case, as the flying angel specifically tells us that the “woes” are given for the remaining blasts of the trumpet, which are the fifth, sixth, and seventh Trumpet judgments:

First Woe Fifth Trumpet Revelation 9:1-12 Demonic locusts torture men for five months
Second Woe Sixth Trumpet Revelation 9:13-2111:14 Demonic army kills a third of mankind
Third Woe Seventh Trumpet
& Bowl Judgments
Revelation 11:15-1915 Coronation of the King and the Wrath of God complete right before the Lord returns

 

Confusion on where the three woes fall typically stems from a misunderstanding of the interludes interjected in the main narrative of the judgments, as shown below:

Revelation 8-16 Interludes
Recall from Revelation 7:1, an interlude is a parenthesis in the main dialogue, where we are given more information, or a different perspective to the main storyline. There are clear indications in each of these interludes that they reach back or forward in time, and generally return to where the primary narrative left off. The timing of these interludes will make more sense in later chapters.

Note that the two witnesses’ resurrection and earthquake in Revelation 11:11-13 are not a “woe,” but an interlude event that takes place between the sixth and the seventh Trumpet judgments, or the second and third woes. The third “woe” is the last Trumpet judgment and the “Coronation of the King” in Revelation 11:15-19, which rolls into the Bowl judgments in Revelation 15-16Revelation 12-14 are a series of interludes that go back in time to tell us more of the story, before returning to the narrative in Revelation 15. It will become clearer in later chapters, that these three “woes” contain the rest of the judgments of God found within the sealed scroll from Revelation 5.

In closing, while the first four Trumpet judgments are horrible, an increase in severity of the rest of the judgments in future chapters will certainly bring more lamentations, mourning, and woe than ever seen before on the earth; so much so, if the Lord does not shorten the days in the fourth Trumpet judgment, the last of the judgments in the three woes would destroy all flesh:

Matthew 24:19-22 – But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Kind courtesy: trackingbibleprohecy
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image courtesy: Revelation 8- 13 – Brian Laing

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IMPORTANT
We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.

Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.

Please do not waist another a minute.

No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.

If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.

Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.

If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?

I implore you to do this without delay.

Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.

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