Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 16

Giant hailstones

Revelation 16:21

Hailstones are pieces of ice that fall as rain. The hailstones in Revelation 16:21 are of course, immense. Each hailstone is a talent in weight; a talent was 75 pounds or 34 kilos.

At such a terrible judgement, people should be humble in front of God. They should confess their evil deeds to him; they should appeal to him to show kindness. However, the people who suffer from these hailstones will be completely evil. So, instead, the hailstones are a reason for them to curse God.

In Job 38:22-23, God says that he keeps hailstones for the day of battle. Revelation 16:17-21 has not mentioned any battle, although the previous passage (16:12-16) was clearly preparation for it. Zechariah 14:1-15 shows that a battle is happening at this time. The storm with the terrible hailstones is one way that God is fighting in this battle.

God is fighting to save the people in Israel. When Christ returns, he will rule the whole world from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-4). His rule will be completely right and perfect. It will be a time of perfect peace (Revelation 20:4-6; Isaiah 11:1-9).

John will describe that battle, but not until Revelation 19:11-21. Before that, in chapters 17 and 18, his subject is Babylon. John will show how evil the world’s systems, powers and governments are. He will describe the kind of power that these things have over the world. He will show how completely God will defeat them. Also, he will describe the reaction of different people to the news of God’s judgement against these things. It will be clear to everyone that God has decided to change this world completely. Nothing in this world, therefore, can remain the same.

Next part: The evil power that causes rulers and people to oppose God (Revelation 17:1)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.