Monday, January 8, 2024

Trumpets One to Four (8.7–13)


And the first blasted, and there was hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was thrown onto the earth. And a third of the earth burned, and a third of the trees burned, and all the green grass burned.

And the second angel blasted, and something like a huge mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

And the third angel blasted, and a huge star burning like a torch fell from heaven. And it fell into a third of the rivers and a third of the streams of waters. And the star is called the name Wormwood. And a third of the waters became wormwood, and many of the men died from the waters because they were made bitter.

And the fourth angel blasted, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon and a third of the stars, so that a third of them should be darkened and the day should not appear for a third of it, and likewise the night.

And I saw, and I heard one eagle flying in mid-heaven, saying in a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to those dwelling on the earth because of the remaining sounds the three angels’ trumpets about to blast.’


The first four trumpets are broadly inspired by the plagues from Exodus. The reduction of divine punishment in the trumpets to being ‘one-third’ their full strength seems intended to follow after the fourth seal from chapter 6, which was limited to ‘a fourth of the earth’. The degree to which this ‘one-third’ limitation is stressed is abrupt given what preceded it.



9.15 Therefore, thus says Yhwh of armies, the god of Israel: I am feeding this people with wormwood, and giving them poisonous water to drink.

23.15 Therefore thus says Yhwh of armies concerning the prophets: ‘I am going to make them eat wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink’

51.25 I am against you, O destroying mountain, says Yhwh, that destroys the whole earth; I will stretch out my hand against you, and roll you down from the crags, and make you a burned-out mountain.


28.49 Yhwh will bring a nation from far away, from the end of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle


3.15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.


7.20 he struck the water in the river, and all the water in the river was turned into blood, and the fish in the river died.

9.23 Then Moses stretched out his staff towards heaven, and Yhwh sent thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth.

10.21–23 Then Yhwh said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand towards heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand towards heaven, and there was dense darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. People could not see one another, and for three days they could not move from where they were; but all the Israelites had light where they lived.

Sibylline Oracles

5.158–160 a great star will come from heaven to the wondrous sea and burn the deep sea and Babylon itself and the land of Italy

3.539–544 God will make a great bronze heaven on high and cause drought over the whole earth, and make the earth iron. But then all mortals will weep terribly for the lack of sowing and plowing, and the one who created heaven and earth will set down much lamented fire on the earth. One third of all mankind will survive.

No comments:

Post a Comment