Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Second Trumpet and Second Bowl

The Second Trumpet - The Sea becomes blood.

 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mixed with blood, and they were cast on the earth. And the third part of trees was burned up, and all green grass was burned up. 
Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 
And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 8:7-9 

   Verse 8 sounds as if it refers to a volcano whose ash and lava end up in the sea.  First, we need to notice the term, the sea.  This is not any sea, not all seas, but distinctly the Mediterranean Sea; many times, throughout the Bible, the term, the sea, refers specifically to the Mediterranean Sea.   

  If verse 8 is specifically for that area only, so probably also is the devastation of verse 7, for it also does not say anything about the whole earth. 

   In this destruction, thirty-three percent of the creatures of the Mediterranean Sea are destroyed, as are also thirty-three percent of its ships.  Here it might be well to remind ourselves that to Jewish writers of two thousand years ago numbers frequently represented unspecified amounts.  The meaning might well be something as casual as "many but not as many as half of them".

  Some teachers suggest that this description refers to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, in AD 79; even though Mt. Vesuvius erupted before John wrote The Revelation.  The problem with this idea is that if that eruption of Mt. Vesuvius is being referred to here, John was writing history, not prophecy. 

   Here is another idea: a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea. 8:8. I am simply conjecturing, but still, isn't it possible that when, in the video he was watching, John saw the fire in the lava, in The Sea, the water appeared to be red, "like blood"?

  If we were to update this prophecy so that it is relevant to our time could we see that this might refer to modern warfare on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea?  Think Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Libya.

  It is also worth noticing that the word creatures (Strong G2938) does not exclude humans.  Is it unthinkable that John, writing prophecy, was referring to the many refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach the safety of Europe?  He even mentions the fact that many ships are destroyed; this is also part of the latest news stories.

The Second Bowl - The Sea becomes blood.

Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.16:3

   Now, back to the idea of a mountain erupting and sending its lava into the Mediterranean Sea.

   The striking similarity between the second trumpet and the second bowl of wrath is that both affected the sea so that the waters of The Mediterranean Sea became blood and caused death in the sea. It is interesting to note that the word became can also mean seemed. (Strong G1096).  With so many deaths happening in the sea you may as well think of it as a sea of blood.

  Even though the similarities between the second trumpet and the second Bowl are too great to ignore there is a notable difference; in 8:9 Saint John, writing about the second trumpet says, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, but in 16:3 the writer, not Saint John, writing about the second bowl, is not so optimistic; he says that every living creature in the sea died.

On the other hand:
   Sometimes it is necessary to insert words such as like or as, in order to have statements make sense.  it became blood is that kind of a statement.  It seems as if that kind of insertion is needed here to make the phrase read, it became like blood.  

   For those who object to this line of reasoning; note that we, Protestants, use that same argument when it relates to the elements of the communion service.  Of course, we do not believe that "the bread" is the actual body of Christ, even though Christ said it was; this is my body which was broken for you.  We take the bread to be a symbol of the body of Christ.  We have changed the apparent meaning of the words of Christ so that they actually become logical.  

   In 8:8 John wrote that the sea became blood.  Here, in 16:3, another major fact is added; the sea...became (like the) blood as of a dead man.  The blood of a dead person is congealed, it does not move.  The blood of a living person provides life: For the life of the flesh is in the blood. Lev 17:11 KJV.   The waters of the Mediterranean Sea no longer support life as they used to.

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