Revelation 6:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 6:14, NIV: "The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."

Revelation 6:14, ESV: "The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."

Revelation 6:14, KJV: "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."

Revelation 6:14, NASB: "The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."

Revelation 6:14, NLT: "The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places."

Revelation 6:14, CSB: "the sky was split apart like a scroll being rolled up; and every mountain and island was moved from its place."

What does Revelation 6:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse John continues his description of what he saw when the Lamb opened the sixth seal. The sky convulsed like a scroll being rolled up. The exact implication John is making here is hard to visualize. John uses the Greek word hōs, which is used for comparisons, often translated "as it were," or "like." So John is not implying that the air itself is literally being "split apart," as if the atmosphere was being removed.

The earlier references to falling stars and eclipses are important to consider. Most likely, this somehow involves a blocking or cluttering of the sky, including the ability to see objects like the sun, moon, and stars. This seems to continue John's echo of Isaiah 34:4 from the prior verse. Then again, certain natural disasters can cause massive shockwaves of moving air and wind: the sky being "split apart." Seeing clouds racing due to storms, hurricanes, or pressure waves might fit this description as well.

That possibility coordinates with the description of each mountain and island being "removed from its place." Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions are consistent with the idea of shaking, blocking of the sky, and even the disruption of the sky and weather patterns.

As the next verse shows, a primary result of this chaos will be terror. The people of earth, even the rich and powerful, will be so terrified that they will hide in fear. Today, when a tsunami inundates a populated area or a volcano erupts, panic results. On the news we see evidence of the destruction and panic caused by natural disasters. We can only imagine the panic that will break out when the sky vanishes like a scroll being rolled up.