What does Revelation 8:8 mean?
ESV: The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.
NIV: The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood,
NASB: The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was hurled into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood,
CSB: The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain ablaze with fire was hurled into the sea. So a third of the sea became blood,
NLT: Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and a great mountain of fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the water in the sea became blood,
KJV: And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
Verse Commentary:
This verse tells what happened when the second angel blew his trumpet. Something like a great mountain burning with fire splashes down into the sea. This colossal object may be a meteor. The first trumpet referred to a rain of hail, fire, and blood. Some suggest the first trumpet will be a kind of meteor shower, preceding an even more disastrous event as described here. The reference to "sea" is distinct from the fresh water resources of earth, such as lakes and rivers. Those will be affected in a later trumpet judgment.

Perhaps this judgment falls upon the Mediterranean Sea, which is under control of the beast described in Revelation 13:11–18. Though only described later, at this point in the tribulation this end-times figure will already have arrived. The beast, who controls commerce in the tribulation period, will experience a great financial loss under this second trumpet judgment, because a third of the sea becomes blood. Once again, this judgment recalls what happened when Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews leave Egypt. Exodus 7:14–22 reports that the Lord commanded Moses to tell Aaron to take his staff and stretch his hand over the waters of Egypt so they would become blood. Moses and Aaron obeyed the Lord and the Nile turned to blood. Just as God punished Pharaoh in this way for his suppression of the people of Israel, even so he will punish the beast for suppressing those who refuse to worship the Head of the Revived Roman Empire.
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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