The Seven Trumpets

The Third Trumpet

Revelation 8:10-11 – And the third messenger did sound, and there fell out of the heaven a great star, burning as a lamp, and it did fall upon the third of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters, and the name of the star is called Wormwood, and the third of the waters doth become wormwood, and many of the men did die of the waters, because they were made bitter. (YLT)

The third trumpet yet again represents more judgment on the Roman Empire. In 435 A.D., Roman emperor Theodosius II made a treaty with the Huns to have open markets with the Huns and pay a ransom for each Roman taken prisoner by the Huns. However, in 440, Attila the Hun declared war on the Roman Empire, claiming that they did not keep their end of the treaty. This began with an attack on the merchants at the north bank of the river Danube. This continued with attacks on the Balkans, Sofia, Plovdiv, and Arcadiopolis. In 451, Attila the Hun invaded Gaul (modern France). This can be confirmed by H.G. Wells:

“In 451 Attila declared war on the western empire. He invaded Gaul. So far as the imperial forces were concerned, he had things, all his own way, and he sacked most of the towns of France as far sound as Orleans. Then the Franks and Visigoths and the imperial forces united against him, and a great and obstinate battle at Troyes (451), in which over 150,000 men were killed on both sides, ended in his repulse and saved Europe from a Mongolian overlord.” – H.G. Wells, The Outline of History, section 28.5


How does this event connect with the words in Revelation? What was Wormwood? The Bible mentions this several other times:

Deuteronomy 29:18 – lest there be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart is turning to-day from Jehovah our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations, lest there be in you a root fruitful of gall and wormwood: (YLT)

Jeremiah 23:15 – Therefore, thus said Jehovah of Hosts, concerning the prophets: Lo, I am causing them to eat wormwood, And have caused them to drink water of gall, For, from prophets of Jerusalem Hath profanity gone forth to all the land. (YLT)

According to these verses, wormwood was a bitter drink that came from “gall” plants which were probably opium poppy plants. Thus, it was a poisonous drink. In both Deuteronomy and Jeremiah, God says that He will make people drink wormwood as punishment for disobeying Him. God is not talking about literal wormwood, but figurative wormwood. In other words, God will punish those based on the crimes they have committed. The Roman Empire persecuted Christians with violence and death as I mentioned in the fifth seal. Therefore, God punished the Romans with violence and death. There is also a similarity between the “gall” plant and the territory of “Gaul” which was invaded by Attila the Hun. Finally, Attila the Hun is the “star” of this event or the enforcer of this punishment.

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