What does Revelation 8:6 mean?
ESV: Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
NIV: Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
NASB: And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
CSB: And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
NLT: Then the seven angels with the seven trumpets prepared to blow their mighty blasts.
KJV: And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Verse Commentary:
This verse reports that the seven angels holding seven trumpets prepared to blow them. We do not know whether John saw this preparation in a sense as literal as witnessing the motion of angels raising the trumpets to their mouths. We do know, however, that preparation is always in order before we do God's will. Moses' preparation to lead the people of Israel through the Negev involved forty years of shepherding herds in that land. Joshua prepared to lead the Hebrews into the Promised Land, and was commanded to meditate upon and obey God's Word (Joshua 1:1–9). Jesus prepared for His work of redemption by praying (Matthew 26:30–46). The disciples prepared for the task of proclaiming the gospel in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8) by praying (Acts 1:12–14). The apostle Paul prepared for the task of preaching the gospel by spending three years in the Arabian Desert (Galatians 1:11–24).

These upcoming judgments are part of an ever-increasing tide of trouble on earth, which is why this era is referred to as "the tribulation."
Verse Context:
Revelation 8:6–13 follows a lengthy hush in heaven, after which seven angels receive seven trumpets and another angel mixes the prayers of the saints with incense. After emptying the censer of incense, he fills it with fire and casts it down to the earth. Thunder, rumblings, lighting, and an earthquake ensue. Now four of the seven angels blow their trumpets with disastrous effects on earth.
Chapter Summary:
Revelation 8 tells us John saw seven angels receive seven trumpets. Another angel brought incense and the prayers of the saints at the golden altar, then filled the container with fire and cast it down to the earth. Next, four angels blew their trumpets in succession. The consequences were devastating: hail and fire mixed with blood; a third of the earth and trees were burned up; all green grass was consumed; a third of the sea became blood; a third of sea life died; a third of the ships were destroyed; the water supply became bitter, and many people died. Further, a third of the sun, moon, and stars experienced some kind of blackout, and darkness extended for a third of the day and night.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 7, an interlude occurs between the opening of the sixth seal and the seventh seal. In the interlude an angel seals 144,000 saved Jews as God's servants. Chapter 8 introduces the second series of judgments, the trumpet judgments. They begin when Jesus the Lamb opens the seventh seal. The trumpet judgments seem to follow the seal judgments without overlapping them. They are more severe than the seal judgments, resulting in catastrophic damage to plant life, salt waters, fresh waters, and light. Even so, this passage warns that the remaining judgments are even worse.
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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