The Seven Trumpets
Revelation – The Seven Trumpets
The seven trumpets begins in Revelation chapter 8 and takes place after the six seals. Remember that the seventh seal contains the seven trumpets.
Revelation 8:1 – And when he openth the seventh seal, there came silence in the heaven about half-an-hour, (YLT)
Verse 1 says that there was half an hour of silence before the first trumpet. Remember from our previous discussions on Biblical prophecy that a day can mean a literal day of 12 or 24 hours, one year, 360 years, or a thousand years. In this case, 360 years makes the most sense since the seven seals dealt with years. Using ratios, we can determine what half an hour represents:
30 minutes out of a 12 hour day = 1/24
1/24 x 360 years = 15 years
The sixth seal ended in 395 A.D. with the death of Theodosius I. Therefore, there was a 15 year period of peace from 395-410 A.D.
The First Trumpet
Revelation 8:6-7 – And the seven messengers who are having the seven trumpets did prepare themselves that they may sound; and the first messenger did sound, and there came hail and fire, mingled with blood, and it was cast to the land, and the third of the trees was burnt up, and all the green grass was burnt up. (YLT)
The first trumpet represents the sacking of Western Rome by the Visigoths in 410 A.D. This attack was led by the Visigoth king Alaric I. The Visigoths originated from the Goths, a tribe from northern Europe which first appeared in the first or second century. This was the first time in over 800 years that Rome fell to an enemy attack.
What about the words hail, trees, and grass in Revelation? These words are symbols of war which can be seen elsewhere in the Bible:
Job 38:22-23 – Hast thou come in unto the treasure of snow? Yea, the treasures of hail dost thou see? That I have kept back for a time of distress, For a day of conflict and battle. (YLT)
Deuteronomy 20:19 – When thou layest siege unto a city many days, to fight against it, to capture it, thou dost not destroy its trees to force an axe against them, for of them thou dost eat, and them thou dost not cut down – for man’s [is] the tree of the field – to go in at thy presence in the siege. (YLT)
Mark 8:24 – and he, having looked up, said, ‘I behold men, as I see trees, walking. (YLT)
Isaiah 40:6 – A voice is saying, ‘Call,’ And he said, ‘What do I call?’ All flesh [is] grass, and all its goodliness [is] As a flower of the field: (YLT)
In Job, God compares hail to a weapon of war. In Deuteronomy and Mark, men are called trees. In Isaiah, grass is all flesh or all of creation. Therefore, the first trumpet is a war that will destroy men and other living things. The invasion of Rome affected about a third of the Western Roman Empire, killing men, their livestock, and their crops just as Revelation describes. Here is a quote from the historian Edward Gibbon:
“This awful catastrophe of Rome filled the astonished empire with grief and terror. So interesting a contrast of greatness and ruin disposed the fond credulity of the people to deplore, and even to exaggerate, the afflictions of the queen of cities. The clergy, who applied to recent events the lofty metaphors of Oriental prophecy, were sometimes tempted to confound the destruction of the capital and the dissolution of the globe.” – Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, Chapter 31
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