The Seven Trumpets

The Fourth Trumpet

Revelation 8:12 – And the fourth messenger did sound, and smitten was the third of the sun, and the third of the moon, and the third of the stars, that darkened may be the third of them, and that the day may not shine – the third of it, and the night in like manner. (YLT)

The fourth trumpet represents the final destruction of the Roman Empire. By 470 A.D., the Western Roman Empire had been reduced to the Ostrogothic Kingdom, which included Italy. The Visigoths had taken over Spain and the Vandals had taken over Africa. Therefore, only a third of the Roman Empire remained. In 475, Odoacer, a Germanic general of Italy revolted against the last of the Empire. Odoacer defeated the Roman general Orestes and took the throne of Orestes’ son Romulus Augustulus. In 476, Odoacer was officially named the first King of Italy, thus ending the Roman Empire.

In Revelation, the sun, the moon, and the stars represent Romulus Augustulus and the people under him. Revelation says that a third of these were darkened because they were the last remaining third of the Roman Empire.

“Odoacer was the first barbarian who reign in Italy, over a people who had once asserted their just superiority above the rest of mankind. The disgrace of the Romans still excites our respectful compassion, and we fondly sympathise with the imaginary grief and indigination of their degenerate posterity.” – Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chapter 36

The Three Woes

Revelation 8:13 – And I saw and I head one messenger, flying in the mid-heaven, saying with a great voice, ‘Wo, wo, wo, to those dwelling upon the land from the rest of the voices of the trumpet of the three messengers who are about to sound.’ (YLT)

This last verse in Revelation chapter 8 tells us that there is a difference between the first four trumpets and the last three trumpets. This makes sense, because in the fourth trumpet the Roman Empire fell, so the next trumpet will be a new phase in Church history. This verse is also why the last three trumpets are also called the three woes.

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