Revelation 16:17

The Seventh Bowl

17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into 1the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, 2"It is done!"

Revelation 16:17 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 16:17

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air,
&c.] Or "upon the air", as the Alexandrian copy, Syriac and Arabic versions, read; by which is meant the kingdom of Satan, he being the prince of the power of the air, ( Ephesians 2:2 ) not that he has power over the air, to raise or lay winds and storms in it at pleasure; but he is so called because he is the prince of that posse of devils, the principalities and powers of darkness, that have their dwelling in the air; hence the air, encompassing the whole earth, stands for the kingdom of Satan all the world over: and this vial differs from all the rest; that whereas the rest only affect some part or branch of the antichristian state, this will affect all the remains of the Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan powers, gathered and united together at Armageddon; and the pouring out of this vial is the execution of divine wrath and vengeance upon them all at once; and the effects of this vial will not only reach to the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, and their armies, or the united forces of the remains of Pagans, Papists, and Mahometans, who will be slain, and their flesh given to the fowls of the air; and not only to the beast and false prophet, who will be taken in this battle, and cast alive into the lake of fire, which is expressive both of their temporal and eternal punishment, ( Revelation 19:17-21 ) but to the binding of Satan upon the second coming of Christ, of which notice is before given, ( Revelation 16:15 ) and even to the destruction of Gog and Magog at the end of the thousand years' reign; yea, to the casting of the devil into everlasting fire, since this vial is the last plague, in which the wrath of God is filled up, and so brings to the end of all things, ( Revelation 20:1-10 ) . The first accomplishment of this vial will be the decisive battle at Armageddon, when the remains of all Christ's and his church's enemies will have a total defeat; and this will be the third and last woe, which will utterly destroy those that have destroyed the earth, Pagans, Papists, and Mahometans, even all the open enemies of Christ, so that nothing will lie in the way of his kingdom; now will the spiritual reign of Christ, which has been gradually advancing by the pouring out of each vial, be in its full glory: but though antichrist will be no more, and Satan will have no more in form an open kingdom upon earth; yet, towards the close of this reign, great lukewarmness and coldness will seize professors of religion, and immorality and profaneness will abound again; which will bring on the times of the coming of the son of man; who, upon his personal descent from the third heaven into the air, will drive Satan and his posse of devils from their territories, and quickly will the general conflagration begin, when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; and which is no inconsiderable part of the pouring out of this vial into the air.

And there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the
this voice is said to come "out of the temple of heaven", that is, out of the temple which is in heaven, which will now be opened, as under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, with which this vial corresponds, and indeed is contemporary; and which designs the church, enjoying the pure worship of God, the word and ordinances, and the free exercise of religion; and this shows that when this voice will be uttered, as yet the Jerusalem church state will not be begun, since there will be no temple in that; see ( Revelation 11:19 ) ( 14:17 ) ( 15:5 ) ( 21:22 ) the words, "of heaven", are left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, which read, "out of the temple from the throne"; the seat of government in the church, described in ( Revelation 4:2-6 ) the voice came with power, authority, and majesty; not from any of the four and twenty elders, or four living creatures, or angels about the throne; but either from God the Father that sits upon it; or from Christ the Lamb in the midst of it, and rather from the latter, since a like phrase was used by him on the cross, ( John 19:30 ) and the same is expressed by him who is the Alpha and Omega, ( Revelation 21:6 ) and this voice is called a great one, being the voice of a great person, the King of kings, and coming with great power, and was spoken aloud:

saying, it is done;
what the angel swore should be in the days of the seventh angel, namely, that time, antichristian time, should be no more, and the mystery of God in his purposes and providences should be finished, and all the glorious things spoken of his church and people be accomplished; (See Gill on Revelation 10:6), (See Gill on Revelation 10:7) the word (gegone) may be rendered "it has been", or "it was", and the sense is, but now is not; and the meaning may be, Babylon was, but is not, it is now fallen; the beast and false prophet were, but now are not; the Turk, or Mahomet, was, but is no more; all the antichristian powers are destroyed; Christ's body, the church, will be completed, the Jews will be converted, and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in, all the elect called, and the new Jerusalem prepared as a bride for her husband; and when the utmost effects of this vial will take place, the end of all things will be; by the same "fiat" that made the heavens and the earth, they will disappear, and new heavens and earth succeed in their room.

Revelation 16:17 In-Context

15 ("Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!")
16 And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
18 And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.
19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Ephesians 2:2]
  • 2. See Revelation 10:6
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.