Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 16:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Poured out his vial upon the sun - Mr. Robert Fleming, more than one hundred years ago, in his View of Scripture Prophecy, supposed that the sun here meant the French empire, and conjectured that this vial would be poured out on that empire about the year 1794. And it is remarkable that in 1793 the French king was beheaded by the National Assembly; and great and unparalleled miseries fell upon the French nation, which nearly extinguished all their nobility, and brought about a war that lasted twenty-three years, and nearly ruined that country and all the nations of Europe.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun - Toward the sun, or so as to reach the sun. The effect was as if it had been poured upon the sun, giving it an intense heat, and thus inflicting a severe judgment upon people. This corresponds also with the fourth trumpet Revelation 8:12, where it is said, that the “third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars.” For the general meaning of this symbol see the notes on that place. The idea is, that a scene of calamity and woe would occur as if the sun should be made to pour forth such intense heat that people would be “scorched.” It cannot be supposed that the sun would be literally made hotter, or that the exact nature of these calamities would be that people would be consumed by its rays.

And power was given unto him - To the sun. The meaning is, that a calamity would follow as if such an increased power should be given to its rays.

To scorch men with fire - Literally, “And it was given him to scorch men with fire” - that is, with heat so great that it seemed to be fire. The Greek word - καυματίσαι kaumatisai- meaning “to burn, to scorch” - is used in the New Testament only in Matthew 13:6; Mark 4:6; Revelation 16:8-9, in all which places it is rendered “scorch” and “scorched.” Compare, however, the use of the word καῦμα kaumain Revelation 7:16; Revelation 16:9; καῦσις kausisin Hebrews 6:8; καυσόω kausoōin 1 Peter 3:10, 1 Peter 3:12; and καύσων kausōnin Matthew 20:12; Luke 12:55; James 1:11. The notion of intense or consuming heat is implied in all the forms of the word; and the reference here is to some calamity that would be well represented by such an increased heat of the sun.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 645

Verse 8

The Fourth Plague. — It is worthy of notice that every succeeding plague tends to augment the calamity of the previous ones and highten the anguish of the guilty sufferers. We have now a noisome and grievous sore preying upon men, inflaming their blood, and pouring its feverish influence through their veins. In addition to this, they have only blood to allay their burning thirst; and, as if to crown all, power is given unto the sun, and he pours upon them a flood of liquid fire, and they are scorched with great heat. Here, as the record runs, their woe first seeks utterance in fearful blasphemy.DAR 645.4

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The heart of man is so desperately wicked, that the most severe miseries never will bring any to repent, without the special grace of God. Hell itself is filled with blasphemies; and those are ignorant of the history of human nature, of the Bible, and of their own hearts, who do not know that the more men suffer, and the more plainly they see the hand of God in their sufferings, the more furiously they often rage against him. Let sinners now seek repentance from Christ, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, or they will have the anguish and horror of an unhumbled, impenitent, and desperate heart; thus adding to their guilt and misery through all eternity. Darkness is opposed to wisdom and knowledge, and forebodes the confusion and folly of the idolaters and followers of the beast. It is opposed to pleasure and joy, and signifies anguish and vexation of spirit.
Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 628

In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun “to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.” Verses 8, 9. The prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time: “The land mourneth; ... because the harvest of the field is perished.... All the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” “The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate.... How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture.... The rivers of water are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.” “The songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.” Joel 1:10-12, 17-20; Amos 8:3. GC 628.1

These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals. All the judgments upon men, prior to the close of probation, have been mingled with mercy. The pleading blood of Christ has shielded the sinner from receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final judgment, wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy. GC 628.2

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 649

In all ages the Saviour's chosen have been educated and disciplined in the school of trial. They walked in narrow paths on earth; they were purified in the furnace of affliction. For Jesus’ sake they endured opposition, hatred, calumny. They followed Him through conflicts sore; they endured self-denial and experienced bitter disappointments. By their own painful experience they learned the evil of sin, its power, its guilt, its woe; and they look upon it with abhorrence. A sense of the infinite sacrifice made for its cure humbles them in their own sight and fills their hearts with gratitude and praise which those who have never fallen cannot appreciate. They love much because they have been forgiven much. Having been partakers of Christ's sufferings, they are fitted to be partakers with Him of His glory. GC 649.1

The heirs of God have come from garrets, from hovels, from dungeons, from scaffolds, from mountains, from deserts, from the caves of the earth, from the caverns of the sea. On earth they were “destitute, afflicted, tormented.” Millions went down to the grave loaded with infamy because they steadfastly refused to yield to the deceptive claims of Satan. By human tribunals they were adjudged the vilest of criminals. But now “God is judge Himself.” Psalm 50:6. Now the decisions of earth are reversed. “The rebuke of His people shall He take away.” Isaiah 25:8. “They shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord.” He hath appointed “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isaiah 62:12; 61:3. They are no longer feeble, afflicted, scattered, and oppressed. Henceforth they are to be ever with the Lord. They stand before the throne clad in richer robes than the most honored of the earth have ever worn. They are crowned with diadems more glorious than were ever placed upon the brow of earthly monarchs. The days of pain and weeping are forever ended. The King of glory has wiped the tears from all faces; every cause of grief has been removed. Amid the waving of palm branches they pour forth a song of praise, clear, sweet, and harmonious; every voice takes up the strain, until the anthem swells through the vaults of heaven: “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” And all the inhabitants of heaven respond in the ascription: “Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever.” Revelation 7:10, 12. GC 650.1

In this life we can only begin to understand the wonderful theme of redemption. With our finite comprehension we may consider most earnestly the shame and the glory, the life and the death, the justice and the mercy, that meet in the cross; yet with the utmost stretch of our mental powers we fail to grasp its full significance. The length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of redeeming love are but dimly comprehended. The plan of redemption will not be fully understood, even when the ransomed see as they are seen and know as they are known; but through the eternal ages new truth will continually unfold to the wondering and delighted mind. Though the griefs and pains and temptations of earth are ended and the cause removed, the people of God will ever have a distinct, intelligent knowledge of what their salvation has cost. GC 651.1

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