Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 8

The message of the seven trumpets

Revelation 8:2

Trumpets are loud musical instruments. However, their most important use in the ancient world was not to make music. Because trumpets are so loud, people used them to gain the attention of large groups of people. This was often for military purposes. So, the sound of the trumpet was the order for soldiers to gather for war. Nehemiah used a trumpet to defend Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4:18-20); Sheba tried to start a revolution with one (2 Samuel 20:1); Gideon used trumpets in battle (Judges 7:16-22).

People sounded the trumpets on happy occasions too. In 2 Chronicles 23:13, it was because there was a new king in Jerusalem. In Numbers 10:10, there is a command to sound trumpets on all joyful sacred holidays, including at the start of each month.

The Feast of Trumpets is the name of Israelís sacred holiday for the new year. Godís instructions to Moses about that holiday appear in Leviticus 23:23-25.

In the Book of Revelation, 7 of Godís special servants, the angels, will sound their trumpets. At the same time, terrible things will happen on the earth, in the sea and in the skies. We might think, therefore, that the angels are declaring war against the earth. However, that idea is not completely correct.

Clearly, wars are happening. However, the most important of these wars is not upon earth. The angels are fighting to defeat the devil and his evil spirits (Ephesians 6:12). The strange series of events in this world will be the result of that war in the world of spirits.

The purpose of the 7 trumpets will become clear when the last angel sounds his trumpet in Revelation 11:15. It is a declaration that Christ is King. His rule is beginning, and it will never end.

Next part: Prayers and judgements (Revelation 8:3-5)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.