Revelation 8:5

5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:5 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 8:5

And the angel took the censer
The golden one before mentioned, the use of which was to take and carry in it burning coals of fire:

and filled it with fire of the altar;
of burnt offering, for upon that, and not upon the altar of incense, fire was; the allusion is to the priest

``that was worthy to use a censer F5; who took a silver censer, and went to the top of the altar (of burnt offering), and having removed the coals there, and there took them in his censer, and went down and emptied them into a golden one, and there was scattered from it about a kab of coals;''

for the golden one held a kab less than the silver one F6;

and cast [it] into the earth:
the Roman empire: by "fire" some understand the Spirit of God, and his gifts and graces, which sat upon the apostles as cloven tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost; and which they suppose were now plentifully bestowed on the ministers of the word, to enlighten them, inspire them with zeal, and abundantly fit them for the work of the ministry, in consequence of Christ's mediation and intercession: and others think the Gospel is intended, which is sometimes compared to fire, ( Jeremiah 20:9 ) ( 23:29 ) , or else those contentions and quarrels which, through the corruptions of men, arise on account of the Gospel, ( Luke 12:49 ) ; though rather by fire here are meant the judgments of God, and his wrath and fury poured forth like fire upon the Roman empire, now become Christian; and so was an emblem of those calamities coming upon it at the sounding of the trumpets; and shows that as Christ prays and intercedes for his, own people, for their comfort and safety, so he will bring down, his judgments upon his and their enemies; see ( Ezekiel 10:2 ) ; and the Targum on it:

and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an
which may be understood either of the nature, use, and effects of the Gospel, speaking to the hearts of men by the sons of thunder, enlightening their minds, and shaking their consciences; the like were at the giving of the law, ( Exodus 19:16 ) ; or rather of those terrors, distresses, and commotions in the world, because of God's righteous judgments, and which particularly will be at the sound of the seventh trumpet, and the pouring out of the seventh vial, ( Revelation 11:15 ) ( Revelation 16:17 Revelation 16:18 ) ; the allusion is to the sounds that were heard at the time of the daily sacrifice; for besides the blowing of the trumpets by the priests, and the singing of the Levites, of which (See Gill on Revelation 8:2); there was a musical instrument called (hprgm) , "magrephah" F7, which being sounded, a man could not hear another speak in Jerusalem: yea, they say it was heard as far as Jericho.


F5 Misn. Tamid. c. 5. sect. 5.
F6 Vid. Misn. Yoma, c. 4. sect. 4.
F7 Misn. Tamid. c. 5. sect. 6. & 3. 8.

Revelation 8:5 In-Context

3 Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.
5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets made ready to blow them.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were hurled to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.