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7 The first angel sounded his trumpet

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along with

fire mixed with blood,

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were hurled

upon the earth,

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so that

of the earth,

a third of it

was burned up;

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of the trees

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one third were

burned up,

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and of the green grass,

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all of it was burned up.


The first angel delivered his foretaste of what was to come, it was characterized by divine vengeance from God upon nations and kingdoms which had opposed Him and His people, and devastating punishment;

this punishing vengeance was brought to bear violently upon the systems of the earth.

However, on behalf of the things man is familiar with and has confidence in, there was a limiting effect of the destructive punishment thereof;

regarding God’s provision for the big things in life, there was

a limiting of

the destruction intended as punishment on mankind, but regarding the basic things necessary for survival, destruction was complete, intended as punishment on mankind.



These “trumpets” are both a command to punish and a warning of impending punishment; this is so because it is not the true punishment yet. We will observe shortly that this punishment is cut short, thus it serves as a warning that the future punishment will not be mixed with mercy, and is a foretaste of what the real thing will be like. Anyone on the receiving end of the punishments this time around will think they are the real thing; the primary difference will be their duration and intensity.

2: “hail”

The Old Testament records that God used hail several times to demonstrate His power and bring vengeance on the enemies of His people.


“Fire” and “blood” point to fairly similar things: punishment, destruction and loss of life; when put together they mean very strong punishment.


“The earth” here does not just mean our physical planet, or the majority of people who live on it. It appears from context that God is focusing on the powerful people and the systems they establish in order to gain control over others. These systems could be governmental power, military might, or banking genius. In their quest for more power these powerful people have violated God’s standards and have opposed God by opposing His people.

5: "burned up"

“Fire” always has the idea of judgment or purification.


Trees were large and visible parts of God’s provision for man. They provide wood for building and for fires. They provide olives and grapes which were important in sustaining life in ancient times. God knew that trees give off oxygen, but the people of that day did not know it.


“Burned up” does not just mean destruction in general, but destruction with the purpose to punish or purify. It is not the trees and the grass that need punishment but mankind. Here God destroys a part of the trees as a warning for man and a call to repentance.


Why is grass treated differently than trees? While trees are borderline necessary, grasses are definitely necessary. Without grass the animals cannot survive, and if the animals all die, the entire economy begins to collapse. That is how the people of ancient times would have seen the difference between trees and grass. This is a serious punishment and warning. No one should oppose a figure with so much power as to be able to produce this kind of emergency situation in an instant.