The three series of judgments: the seals, the trumpets and the vials start at different times, but they probably all end at the close of the tribulation. In other words they overlap. The seals start near the beginning of the tribulation. The trumpets start about one fourth of the way through the tribulation. The vials start in the last half of the tribulation period. Some students of Revelation think that the seventh seal contains all of the trumpets and the seventh trumpet contains all of the vials.

Chapter 8 resumes the seal judgments and has the opening of the seventh seal, verse 1. At the opening of the seventh seal there is silence in heaven for about half an hour. The significance of the silence is that the events following the opening of this seal are going to be far more terrible and awesome than any that has gone before.

Johnís third vision begins in verse 2 when he sees the seven angels that stand continuously before the throne receive the seven trumpets. The seven angels before the throne are each given a trumpet. Each angel will blow his trumpet in succession. The trumpet judgments are recorded in 8:2-14:20.

Verses 3-5 look into heaven, and remind us of the altar of sacrifice and the golden altar of incense in the tab- ernacle which are but shadows of these.

At the blowing of the first trumpet a series of judgments begin upon the earth which resemble the plagues that God sent upon Egypt through Moses, Exodus 9:22ff. Hail and fire mixed with blood are cast upon the earth.

At the blowing of the second trumpet a great catastrophe comes to the sea. Something as or like a huge mountain is cast into it. The word "as" indicates that this is a figure of speech, and we do not know exactly what it is that is cast into the sea.

At the blowing of the third trumpet a great burning star falls from heaven into the rivers and springs. The fourth trumpet sounds and the sun, the moon and the stars are darkened.

After the fourth trumpet an angel, some manuscripts say an eagle, flies through heaven announcing the three woes of earthís inhabitants that will come at the sounding of the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpets.

TEXT w/ Scofield Notes

(Rev 8:1 KJV) And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

(Rev 8:2 KJV) And I saw the seven angels[1] which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets[2].

1 "ANGELS": See Heb 1:4, note

2 "TRUMPETS": The seven trumpets follow chronologically the opening of the seventh seal (8:1).

Angels' trumpets; cp. 1 Th 4:16, <the trumpet call of God>

(Rev 8:3 KJV) And another angel[1] came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer[2] it with the prayers[3] of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note

2 "OFFER": Cp. John 14:13; Heb 7:25

3 "PRAYERS": Rev 5:8

(Rev 8:4 KJV) And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints[1], ascended up before God out of the angel's[2] hand.

1 "SAINTS": Cp. Exo 30:7 - 8; Ps 141:2

2 "ANGEL'S": See Heb 1:4, note

(Rev 8:5 KJV) And the angel[1] took the censer, and filled[2] it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings[3], and an earthquake.

1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note

2 "FILLED": Cp. Lev 16:12; Num 16:46

3 "LIGHTNINGS": Rev 4:5; cp. Exo 19:18 - 19; Ps 97:1 - 4

(Rev 8:6 KJV) And the seven angels[1] which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

1 "ANGELS": See Heb 1:4, note

(Rev 8:7 KJV) The first angel[1] sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood[2], and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up[3], and all green grass[4] was burnt up.

1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note

2 "BLOOD": Cp. Exo 9:23 - 24; Ps 18:13; Ezek 38:22

3 "UP": vv. 8 - 10; Rev 9:15 -18

4 "GRASS": Cp. 9:4

(Rev 8:8 KJV) And the second angel[1] sounded, and as it were a great mountain[2] burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood[3];

1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note

2 "MOUNTAIN": Cp. Jer 51:25

3 "BLOOD": Rev 11:6; cp. Exo 7:19 - 20

(Rev 8:9 KJV) And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed[1].

1 "DESTROYED": Cp. Isa 2:12,16

(Rev 8:10 KJV) And the third angel[1] sounded, and there fell a great star[2] from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell[3] upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters[4];

1 "ANGEL": See Heb 1:4, note

2 "STAR": 9:1; cp. Isa 14:12

3 "FELL": Cp. Dan 12:3

4 "WATERS": Rev 16:4; cp. Rev 7:17

(Rev 8:11 KJV) And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood[1]; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

1 "WORMWOOD": Cp. Deu 29:18; Jer 23:15

(Rev 8:12 KJV) And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten[1], 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.

1 "SMITTEN": Isa 13:10; Joel 2:31; Mat 24:29; Rev 6:12; cp. Exo 10:21 - 23; John 12:35

(Rev 8:13 KJV) And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe[1], to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

1 "WOE": Rev 9:12; 11:14; 12:12