What does Revelation 16:6 mean?
ESV: For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!”
NIV: for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.'
NASB: for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.'
CSB: Because they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, you have given them blood to drink; they deserve it!
NLT: Since they shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is their just reward.'
KJV: For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
NKJV: For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.”
Verse Commentary:
The angel who proclaims that God is holy and just says the wicked received what they deserved. They had shed the blood of saints and prophets, and therefore God gave them blood to drink. The wicked had received ample warnings about the coming wages of their sins.

When Moses handed down the civil law to Israel, he decreed the principle of reciprocity, that a murderer must pay for his crime with his own life. Numbers 35:33 states: "You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it." Earlier Moses had warned the Israelites that they could not disobey the Lord without facing the consequences. "Be sure your sin will find you out," he said (Numbers 32:23). Those who disobey the Lord by practicing idolatry in the tribulation will discover the truth of Moses' warnings.
Verse Context:
Revelation 16:1–7 reports the beginning of the bowl judgments which were predicted in Revelation 15:5–8. The first and second judgments resemble the plague of boils and the plague of blood that God brought upon the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews leave Egypt (Exodus 7:19–21; 9:8–12). The third judgment turns the water sources into blood. The second and third judgments resemble the third trumpet judgment (Revelation 8:8), but their intensity is greater. A break occurs in 16:5–7 as an angel reflects on the first three bowl judgment and affirms that God is just to judge the wicked.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter explains the bowl judgments, which are the last and most severe of God's outpouring of wrath on earth. The first three bowls bring sores, seas of blood, and rivers of blood. After a declaration of God's justice come the next three bowl judgments, involving scorching sunlight, darkness, and a drying of the Euphrates to clear the way for an invading army. In the final, seventh bowl judgment, an earthquake tears Jerusalem into three parts, levels cities worldwide, and displaces islands and mountains. Hundred-pound hailstones fall, but unbelievers refuse to repent and instead continue to curse God.
Chapter Context:
Revelation 16 resumes the account of God's judgments on the wicked. It describes the bowl judgments, the third and final series of judgments. The seven seal judgments of Revelation 6:1–17 and 8:1 are the first series of judgments. The trumpet judgments of Revelation 8:1—9:21 and 11:15 are next. All of these judgments vent God's wrath and are recognized as the day of his wrath and the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:17). Chapters 17 and 18 further describe the destruction caused by the judgments. Revelation 19 and 20 will describe the culmination of God's wrath and the final events of the end times.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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