I. THE SEVEN PLAGUES 16:1-20
II. THE RESPONSE OF EVIL MANKIND 16:21
The pouring out of the seven vials or bowls seems to come near the end of the tribulation period and in fairly rapid succession since there has been enough time for the second beast to set up the image, require the beastís mark and bring about the worship of the beast before the first vial is poured out. The vials are poured out in rapid succession. As the vials are poured out it is obvious that there is a definite parallel in several ways between the seven trumpets and the seven vials.
The first vial is poured out upon the earth, and the results resemble the sixth plague of boils that came upon the Egyptians before Israelís exodus from Egypt.
The second vial is poured out upon the sea, from which the first beast came. This symbolizes evil government. The results of this vial resemble the first plague to come upon Egypt. This symbolizes Godís judgment upon evil government.
The third vial is poured out on the rivers and springs. They turn to blood. This symbolizes Godís judgment upon the sources of evil government.
The fourth vial is poured out upon the sun. The results is the heat of the sun is intensified so much that people are scorched by it, still they do not repent. The word power in some translations is not in the Greek. The phrase is, "and it was given to it to scorch men with fire." The "it" refers to the sun not to the angel.
The fifth vial is poured out upon the throne of the beast, and his kingdom is full of darkness. This is in contrast to the scorching of the sun which takes place at the pouring out of the fourth vial. The darkness is like the ninth plague that came upon Egypt. Those who serve the beast gnaw their tongues from the distress, blasphem God and still do not repent.
The sixth vial is poured out upon the Euphrates river, and it dries up; thus, making way for the kings "from the rising of the sun." The Euphrates river has special significance since it forms the eastern boundary of the land which God promised to Abraham, Gen. 15:18 and Exodus 6:8.
Three demons come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, verse 13. This infernal unholy trinity stands in contrast to the eternal holy Trinity. The dragon symbolizes Satan, the beast symbolizes the Antichrist and the false prophet symbolizes someone who works with Satan to deceive the nations. The purpose of the demons is to go to the kings of the earth and to bring them to the great battle. The frogs thus symbolize the descendents or products of Satan, evil government and false religion. The frogs come from the mouth probably meaning that their chief means of deception is by speech. They gather all the earthís nations to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Verse 16 says they are gathered to the place called Armageddon. The demon spirits and God are both said to gather the kings of the earth to this place. Armageddon is literally the Mount of Megiddo. This is the valley of Megiddo and the plain of Esdraelon. This valley has been the place of many battles in history. This will be the place of the last great battle.
The seventh vial is poured out into the air. This is followed by a great voice from heaven, voices, thunders, lightnings and a mighty earthquake. Jerusalem is the great city and Babylon seems to stand for Rome. Great hail stones weighing over 100 pounds fall upon the earth. The hailstones plague is similar to the seventh plague of Egypt.
TEXT w/ Scofield Notes
(Rev 16:1 KJV) And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
1 "ANGELS": See Heb 1:4, note
2 "EARTH": Cp. Ps 79:6
(Rev 16:2 KJV) And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
1 "EARTH": Cp. Rev 8:7
2 "IMAGE": Cp. Exo 9:8 - 11
(Rev 16:3 KJV) And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.
1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note
2 "SEA": Cp. Rev 8:8 - 9
(Rev 16:4 KJV) And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4; note
2 "WATERS": Cp. Rev 8:10 - 11
3 "BLOOD": Cp. Exo 7:17 - 20
(Rev 16:5 KJV) And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
1 "THUS": Cp. Rom 3:3 - 6
(Rev 16:6 KJV) For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
1 "PROPHETS": Cp. Mat 23:35; Rev 18:24
2 "WORTHY": Isa 49:26
(Rev 16:7 KJV) And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
(Rev 16:8 KJV) And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note
2 "FIRE": Cp. Rev 8:12
(Rev 16:9 KJV) And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
1 "POWER": Or <authority>
(Rev 16:10 KJV) And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note
2 "DARKNESS": Cp. Exo 10:21; Rev 9:2
(Rev 16:11 KJV) And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
(Rev 16:12 KJV) And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note
2 "PREPARED": Cp. Rev 9:14
(Rev 16:13 KJV) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
1 "UNCLEAN": Cp. Exo 8:1 - 6; 1 Tim 4:1; 1 John 4:1 - 3
2 "SPIRITS": Cp. Exo 8:1 - 6; 1 Tim 4:1; 1 John 4:1 - 3
3 "FALSE": <Antichrist:> v. 13; Rev 19:20. (Mat 24:5; Rev 13:11, note)
4 "PROPHET": Cp. Rev 13:11
(Rev 16:14 KJV) For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
1 "MIRACLES": Cp. Rev 13:13
2 "WORLD": Gk. <oikoumene .> See Luke 2:1, note
3 "BATTLE": <Armageddon> (battle of): vv. 13 - 16; Rev 19:17. (Isa 10:27; Rev 19:17)
(Rev 16:15 KJV) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
1 "I": <Christ> (second advent): vv. 13 - 16; Rev 19:11. (Deu 30:3; Acts 1:11, note)
2 "GARMENTS": <Righteousness> (garment): v. 15; Rev 19:8. (Gen 3:21; Rev 19:8)
(Rev 16:16 KJV) And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
1 "ARMAGEDDON": Although the battle of Armageddon is described in ch. 19 (see 19:17, note), only in this verse is the location given. The word is generally interpreted as meaning <the mountain of Megiddo.> Megiddo is located on the north side of the plain of Jezreel, and is often referred to in the O.T. as a military stronghold (Josh 12:21; 17:11; 2 Ki 9:27; 23:29; see Jud 5:19, note).
(Rev 16:17 KJV) And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
1 "IT": <Day> (of the LORD): vv. 12 - 17; Rev 19:19. (Ps 2:9; Rev 19:19)
2 "DONE": Cp. Rev 10:6 - 7
(Rev 16:18 KJV) And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
1 "EARTHQUAKE": Cp. Rev 6:12; 11:13
(Rev 16:19 KJV) And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
1 "NATIONS": <Times of the Gentiles:> vv. 14,19. (Deu 28:49; Rev 16:19)
2 "GREAT": Rev 17:5,18
3 "BABYLON": The Times of the Gentiles, Summary: "The times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) is that long period that began with the Babylonian captivity of Judah, under Nebuchadnezzar, and is to be brought to an end by the destruction of Gentile world power by the "stone cut out without hands" (Dan 2:34 - 35,44), i.e. the coming of the Lord in glory (Rev 19:11,21). Until then Jerusalem will be, as Christ said, "trodden down by the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24).
Rev 14:8; see Isa 13:1, note.
4 "WRATH": Rev 14:10; 18:5; cp. Isa 51:21 -23
(Rev 16:20 KJV) And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
1 "FOUND": Cp. Rev 6:14
(Rev 16:21 KJV) And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
1 "HAIL": Cp. Exo 9:22 - 35
2 "TALENT": See Measures and Weights (N.T.), Acts 27:28, note