Revelation 16:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 16:18, NIV: Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.

Revelation 16:18, ESV: And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.

Revelation 16:18, KJV: And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

Revelation 16:18, NASB: And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since mankind came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.

Revelation 16:18, NLT: Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck--the worst since people were placed on the earth.

Revelation 16:18, CSB: There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder. And a severe earthquake occurred like no other since people have been on the earth, so great was the quake.

What does Revelation 16:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Lightning, thunder, and a devastating earthquake occurred when the seventh angel poured his bowl into the air. A similar occurrence followed the seventh seal judgment (Revelation 8:5) and the sixth and seventh trumpet judgments (Revelation 11:13, 19). It's reasonable to assume those earthquakes would have brought severe destruction, but the earthquake that follows the outpouring of the seventh bowl is unprecedented in magnitude and destruction. Revelation 16:18 describes it as the greatest earthquake to strike the earth in human history. What is described in the following verses has led interpreters to suggest that the geography of the entire world will be changed—that this event will be worldwide, and not restricted to the region of Israel. If so, then global mountains and coastlines will be altered.

This judgment is a precursor to the calamities that follow. It may also be a preview of what happens when Jesus returns to earth to establish His kingdom. Zechariah 14:4 predicts that when the Lord returns to earth, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, the place from which He ascended into heaven, and the Mount of Olives will experience an earthquake. The Mount of Olives will split in two from east to west, with a northern half and a southern half.