the main Central Park Church of Christ page.

Revelation 16

Produced by TheMediaDesk, ©2021 and 2020
Posted on CCPC's website 2022

The study Index page.

     Again. This study is verse by verse, IMAGE by Image, IDEA by Idea, and concept by concept. Which means it is a Marathon.
     We are using sources that John the Apostle and those mentioned as the recipients of the letter, the Seven Churches and other First Century Christians, the majority of which were Jews, would / should / could have been familiar with. We will also reference newer translations and versions of the book, beginning with the 1560 Geneva Bible (the bulk source for the 1611 KJV, which we also use) all the way up to much more current publications, and examinations of the text from various scholars, as well as beginning the analysis of the text from the Greek.
     It should be said here, as we are beginning with the Greek, we are going in remembering that John was writing in an 'apocalyptic' style. It seems many translations have forgotten that and 'moderated' the language.
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”
- Helen Keller

     And John hears a “megales phones” (great voice) from the temple speaking to the seven angels, “Hypagete” (Be gone) and “ekcheete” (pour out) the seven “phialas” (wide shallow bowls (not 'vials', 1611)) of the “thymou” (passionate wrath) of God onto the land.
     Once again, we do not know who is speaking with the 'great voice'. It could be GOD, but it is more likely one of those Mighty Angels we keep seeing here and there, or one of the Beasts who have spoken up and issued orders, or the throne, or something else.

As most of the action is the same, we're just going to look at the plagues from the bowls and whatever else happens after they are poured out.

     The first bowl revisits the sixth plague from the Exodus, chapter 9 verses 8 - 12, and perhaps even 1 Samuel 5 where 'tumors' appeared on those who served the false god Dagon (an Annunaki-like being with the upper body of a man and the tail of a fish), which seems to have been worshiped first in the area around the Euphrates river. (talk about connecting the dots!)
     According to the text, the sores only afflict those with the mark of the Beast, or those that worship it without the mark.

     The second bowl adapts the first of the Exodus plagues, except instead of the Nile river, this time it is the sea that turns to blood and everything in the sea dies.

     Third bowl, and this time it recreates the first Egyptian plague, turning all the fresh water to blood, but then something else happens....

5 and 6
     The Angel of the Waters says “Dikaios” (Righteous) are You, being and have been, “Hosios” (Beloved of God / Holy One) because these things “ekrinas” (distinguished / decided) because of the blood of the saints and prophets has been poured out, and “haima autois dedokas piein” (blood to them You have given to drink); “axioi eisin” (worthy are).

     The Angel of the Waters is a reference to the angel that stirred the water in the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem where Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath in John 5. Or it may be a reference to a fountain with a female angel on top in New York's Central Park, see link below.
     And think about it, the people have open sores on them, and they can't wash because all the water is now nasty.

     Then John hears the Altar say “Nai ho Theos ho Pantokrator” (Yes, Lord the God the Almighty), “alethinai” (made of truth) and “dikaiai” (righteous) are the “kriseis” (decisions / justice) of You.

     The fourth bowl is poured on the “helion” (the sun itself), and it was given to it to “kaumatisai” (burn (with heat)) humans with “pyri” (fire).

     Once again, we're talking about a known stellar phenomenon, such as a Coronal Mass Ejection.
     One of those hit the Earth in 1859. Called the Carrington Event, the solar storm was so intense that it caused the the Northern Lights to be visible into the Caribbean, and caused telegraph equipment to catch fire. See article linked below for more.
     An even more intense storm would do more to our current technologically heavy society than set a telegraph set on fire.

     And “ekaumatisthesan” (were burnt) the humans with “kauma mega” (heat great) and they “eblasphemesan” (yes, that) the Name of God, the One “echontos ten exousian” (having the mastery of) these plagues, and they did not “metenoesan” (reconsider / think differently (repent)) and give Him the glory.

     Fifth bowl. Poured out upon the throne of the beast and its “basileia autou eskotomene” (realm darkened/ obscured) and they were “emasonto tas glossas” (chewing their own tongues) in “ponou” (anguish / suffering)...

     This one is the ninth plague from the Exodus. In chapter 10 verse 21 and following.
     In the current context, this just makes sense. The CME affected the output of the sun and left dust between us and it, as well as totally crashed the electrical grid, it would be 'dark'. Also, given the reign of the beast, you probably really can't complain out loud because of fear of retribution from it or its followers.

     ... and they blasphemed God in Heaven because of their suffering and their sores, and did not repent of their works.
     This verse is a reminder that the earlier plagues have not vanished. It is well possible that as the people continue to have the sores from the first bowl and the water is still rancid.

     Sixth. The Euphrates makes another appearance, or rather, now, a disappearance....
     ... it is dried up to “hetoimasthe” (prepare the way) for the “basileon” (sovereigns) of the “anatoles heliou” (rising of the sun (the east)).
     The Euphrates continues to play a huge role in the Apocalypse. Not the Jordan, or the Nile, the river from Eastern Turkey that takes a scenic route to the Indian Ocean. Which, incidentally, was one of the four rivers mentioned in the vicinity of the Garden of Eden.

A Major Break in the Action.
     John sees some things, “eidon ek” (coming out of) the mouths of the dragon, and the beast, and the “pseudoprophetou”...

A False Prophet Tangent
     This is the first time we've seen this term used as the identifier or ... ?title? ... of an individual in the Apocalypse.
     Jesus talked about false prophets (plural) in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. And are discussed by Peter in chapter 2 of his second book and by John in 1 John 4. All of these are plural and all of them are saying that Many false prophets will be at work in the world. The term in Revelation 16 is singular.
     The singular False Prophet seems to be the one who went around working wonders and proclaiming how great the beast was in Revelation 13: 11, but was called the 'beast from the land', and is the one that shows up again later, including chapter 19.
     The modern working definition of 'false prophet' would include something like a spokesperson on a commercial for the latest incarnation of “Coke Zero Sugar”, which has been touted as 'best tasting Coke ever', but which, instead tastes like a chemistry book (link below) and includes Acesulfame Potassium which has been shown to have adverse effects on gut health when regularly consumed, as well as increasing the risk of weight gain, see NIH link below. It also contains Potassium Benzoate, which in certain conditions can release benzene, which, well, is bad for you. See Healthline link below. We'll skip the endless controversy and conflicting studies about Aspartame, but there is a link below about it as well.
     When somebody knowingly and willingly lies about something they know is bad, or even harmful, they would be a 'false prophet'. The difference is that the talking heads on the soft drink commercial are simply selling flavored water with swallowing sound effects and a demonic voice, the False Prophet from Revelation is selling Eternal Damnation.
End tangent.

     ... “pneumata tria akatharta” (spirits three impure / demonic) like “akatharta” (frogs),

     Hekt (or Heqet) was the Egyptian goddess with the head of a human sized frog. She was the a fertility symbol closely associated with the annual floods along the Nile.

     For they are “pneumata daimonion” (spirits of demons / heathen deities) “poiounta semeia” (performing signs) to, as the 1611/KJV says: gather the rulers of the Earth to gather them to war against God Almighty.

     In the 1560 Geneva Bible, this verse is inside parenthesis.
     “Idou erchomai hos kleptes” (“Behold, I am coming like a thief” (we'll come back to that in a moment)) “makarios” (blessed) is the one that “gregoron” (awake and watching) “teron ta himatia” (holds on to their tunic) so that they will not have to “gymnos peripate” (naked walk around) and “bleposin ten aschemosynen autou” (that they will see the shame of them (1560: “se his filthines”)).

     The line about the thief is also an echo of Matthew 24, down a ways from verse 11 with the false prophets, beginning around verse 40, and also First Thessalonians 5 and Second Peter 3.
     The comment about keeping your cloak is also from Matthew 24 and Mark 13.
     The “shame” is possibly a reference to the fact that is often ignored in artwork depicting the Crucifixion. The Romans weren't in the habit of publicly executing people who were wearing diapers. The “modesty cloth” seen in everything from illustrations in Bibles to the Passion scene in movies is fiction. In the scripture, when the soldiers played dice for His clothes, it was because He was no longer wearing any of them.

     The 1611 is pretty close to the Greek text.
     The place “kaloumenon Hebraisti Har-magedon” (called in Hebrew Armageddon (actually the Greek for its Hebrew name!)), which is identified as the site of the ancient city of Tel Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley some 80 miles due north of Jerusalem where the Kishon River flows from the Gilboa Hills into the Mediterranean.
     There was a World War One battle between various Allied Forces, which were predominately troops from British Empire nations, against units from the Ottoman Empire with German support in this area. Very little of the action took place anywhere near the old city, but because of the name recognition, the engagement was called the Battle of Megiddo.

     The seventh bowl is poured out “epi ton aera” (upon the air) and then a great voice speaks from the throne in the temple saying: “Gegonen” (come to be).
     The Voice says something different than Christ stated as His last words on the cross: John 19 "Tetelestai” (it is accomplished).

     And there was “astrapai” (flashes of lightning), “phonai” (vocalizations), and thunder, and a great earthquake “egeneto megas” (was great) such as there had not been since “anthropos egeneto epi tes ges” (men had been on earth), so great and mighty was the earthquake.

A Seismic Tangent.
     The December 2004 earthquake that struck off the coast of Sumatra broke a 900 mile section of the fault line and lasted an incredible ten minutes. The quake measured a magnitude of 9.1 to 9.3 with Mercalli intensity of IX.
     The following tsunami traveled at 500mph, and reached one hundred feet tall in places. Damage was reported in South Africa and Australia. A boat of the Thai Navy was washed over a mile inland and left stranded in a field by the wave.
     The reported total number of deaths was over 250,000, with over a million displaced or left destitute in fifteen countries around the Indian Ocean.
     A Royal Navy survey after the event recorded that the ocean floor rose by 130 feet in places around Sumatra. The Andaman and Nicobar islands were shifted south-west by over four feet. Several other islands were found to have moved by several inches horizontally, while others were either lifted higher or even partially submerged when the tectonic plates finally came to rest. As a result of the quake, the rotation of the Earth slowed slightly.

     That was the third strongest earthquake recorded since 1900. Third.
     The most powerful one recorded is the 1960 Chilean Earthquake listed at 9.5 when a 500 mile section of the fault along the Pacific coast ruptured. Several areas around the quake reported an elevation change of dropping by five feet or being uplifted by as much as ten feet.
     The four earthquakes that occurred from December 1811 through February 1812 New Madrid that caused the Mississippi to flow backward, created several lakes, and rang bells in Boston, are projected to have been 7.2 to 8.6.
     The highest death toll ever attributed directly to an earthquake (without an associated tsunami) was 830,000 in the 1556 Shaanxi region of China. In some counties up to 60% of the population was killed by landslides and building collapses. By comparison, the 2010 event in Haiti killed 316,000 (total is disputed).

     Ancient seismic events, such as the ones that devastated at least a couple of the cities of the Seven Churches, are much more difficult to research. A link to some of those, as well as the specific ones above, are included below.
     To be more powerful than the one that moved two groups of islands a significant distance, the Revelation earthquake would have to be something special.
End tangent

     And “egeneto he polis he megale es tria mere” (caused the city great to be split into three), and the cities of the foreign nations “epesan” (fell) and “Babylon he megale” (Babylon the great) was “emnesthe” (recalled to the mind) of “Theou” (God) “dounai” (to give) her the “poterion tou oinou” (cup of the wine) of the “thymou tes orges” (passion the abhorrence) of Him.

     The 1611 is close enough.

     And “chalaza megale” (hail great), about a “talantiaia” (talent weight (depending on which system it was under would be between 50 and 129 pounds)) “katabainei” (descends) out of “ouranou” (heaven / sky) upon the humans. And “eblasphemesan” the humans against God on account of the plague of hail which was “sphodra” (very great).

     Just regular thunderstorm type of hail was the seventh plague in Exodus 9: 13.
     However, hailstones weighing fifty pounds would be something special.

End 16

Selected Sources for this chapter:
About Dagan / Dagon

The Angel of the Waters, at least the one in New York City's Bethesda Terrace, Central Park

The Carrington Event

The saturation marketing radio commercial for this product is just like something from The Apocalypse:
“Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Aspartame, Potassium Benzoate (to Protect Taste), Natural Flavors, Potassium Citrate, Acesulfame Potassium, Caffeine.
Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine”

The artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium affects the gut microbiome and body weight gain in CD-1 mice

Potassium Benzoate

does not cause cancer (from 2019)...

But then again, 2021.

1960 Chile earthquake

Alaska 1964

Ancient Earthquakes

A talent was heavy: Talent Weight

big ice

Sources used throughout entire study:
Bible Hub Interlinear pages:

the Geneva Bible downloadable

the 1611 KJV

The study Index page.

NOTE: The Bible Study Lesson presented above is posted as a reference document to begin a conversation of the topic. And that's it. Please accept it at such.

With the assistance and cooperation of The Media Desk.