Friday, March 29, 2013

The Third Trumpet and Third Bowl

  

                                                  

The Third Trumpet – fresh waters are affected.  



Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 
The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.8:10-11 

   There fell out of the heaven a great meteor blazing like a torch. Wuest#  Many men, the word, men, is better understood as, people, died.


   There is a danger of rewriting the Bible if one adds or subtracts words from the text, and yet, the meaning must make sense or it is nonsense. 

  Certainly here, in 8:11, when it says, the water became wormwood, something needs to be done with the meaning.  The only way this statement could be true, as it is, is if The Mediterranean Sea became a plant called wormwood.  A much more likely meaning is that the waters became as bitter as wormwood.  The Lord, writing to His sinful chosen race, used these words figuratively, representing hard times and tears.  Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. Jeremiah 9:15 

  Thirty three percent of the rivers and fresh water sources running into the Mediterranean Sea become bitter; so bitter that the water could not be used for drinking.

   The text does not specify that thirty-three percent of the people died.  Those that died, died because the water was bitter.  The Greek word for Wormwood is apainthion.  It is a bitter plant used in medicine and for making the liqueur called absinthe.

The Third Bowl - fresh waters are affected.


Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.” And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.16:4-7 

   The striking similarity between the third trumpet and the third bowl is that both affected the fresh water sources: rivers and streams. According to the trumpet’s warning, the fresh water (the source of life) became bitter, but about the bowl, we read that the fresh water became as blood.  In either case, the fresh waters became undrinkable. The people of the earth delighted in shedding innocent blood; now they have blood to drink. With the Lord, the punishment fits the crime.


   You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.” This same angel, the one with the bowl of wrath, now magnifies the Lord for having poured judgment upon those who deserved it, because they are the ones who martyred God's saints.

  
   It seems as if 16:7 is an echo in a chorus in 16:5-6; a second voice responds to the words of the first voice with the words of praise, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.

______________________________
# An Expanded Translation, K.W. Wuest.