What does Revelation 6:16 mean?
ESV: calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,
NIV: They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
NASB: and they *said to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the sight of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
CSB: And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb,
NLT: And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.
KJV: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
NKJV: and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
Verse Commentary:
This verse shows us how dreadful the situation looks to those who experience the Lamb's judgment. From the strongest to the weakest among them, they urge the rocks of the mountains to fall on them and hide them from God and the wrath of the Lamb. Dying in an avalanche seems better to them than experiencing God's judgment. Although they recognize that God reigns supreme from His throne, they refuse to repent and submit to His rule.

That particular statement is important. The people of earth, at this point, know they are the objects of wrath. More specifically, that they are the objects of the wrath of Jesus Christ—the Lamb (Revelation 5:5–7). This calamity inspires all of mankind to admit, in some way, a knowledge that most suppress: that they are accountable to God.

This response agrees with other Scripture, indicating that knowledge about God does not always lead to faith in Him. Paul wrote in Romans 1 that the heathen had enough evidence in nature to know God exists, but they did not turn to Him in faith. Paul wrote: "They are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:20–22). Indeed, as Jeremiah 17:9 declares, "The heart is deceitful above all things."
Verse Context:
Revelation 6:12–17 continues the episode of Jesus' opening of the seven seals of God's judgment. The first four opened seals brought devastation at the hands of four horsemen. The fifth opened seal revealed a company of martyrs under the altar in heaven. This sixth opened seal launches horrific terrestrial and celestial disturbances that cause earth's mighty men to hide among the rocks of the mountains. These men call upon rocks to fall on them, hiding from the face of God and from the wrath of the Lamb. They know the day of the wrath of God and the Lamb has arrived.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter typifies the dramatic, heavily symbolic description of end-times events for which Revelation is famous. John sees a series of visions corresponding to Jesus opening the first six seals of the scroll He received in chapter 5. The first four seals unleash four horsemen, respectively symbolizing a world leader, war, famine, and death. The fifth seal reveals the prayers of martyrs pleading with God to avenge their deaths. The sixth seal unleashes massive natural disasters. In response, the people of the world cower in fear, admitting that they are suffering under the wrath of God.
Chapter Context:
The largest section of Revelation extends from chapter 4 to the end and describes events ''that are to take place after this'' (Revelation 1:19). Chapter 5 focused on a scroll containing God's judgment on sin and a search for someone to open it. Only Jesus is worthy to open it. When Jesus took the scroll from God, He received praise from every creature in heaven and on earth. Now, in chapter 6 our attention focuses on the events that transpire when Jesus opens six of the seven seals, one at a time. This process will continue through chapter 8.
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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