Revelation 16:1-21

The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”
2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.
4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were;
6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
7 And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.
9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony
11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
13 Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.
19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.
20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.
21 From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds,[a] fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

Revelation 16:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
ESV
1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God."
NLT
1 Then I heard a mighty voice from the Temple say to the seven angels, “Go your ways and pour out on the earth the seven bowls containing God’s wrath.”
MSG
1 I heard a shout of command from the Temple to the Seven Angels: "Begin! Pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on earth!"
CSB
1 Then I heard a loud voice from the sanctuary saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."

Revelation 16:1-21 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 16

This chapter gives an account of the pouring out of the seven vials by the angels; their orders for it are in Re 16:1. The first angel pours out his vial on the earth, the effect of which is a noisome and grievous sore upon the followers of antichrist, and the worshippers of his image, Re 16:2. The second pours out his upon the sea; the events of it are, the sea became blood, and every living creature in it died, Re 16:3. The third pours out his upon the rivers and fountains of water, which thereby became blood; upon which the angel of the waters applauds the justice of God, declaring the righteousness of his judgments, and giving a reason for it; and which is confirmed by another angel from the altar, Re 16:4-7. The fourth angel pours out his vial on the sun, the effects of which are, scorching men with heat, their blasphemy against God, and impenitence, Re 16:8,9. The fifth pours out his on the seat of the beast, the consequences of which are darkness in his kingdom, men gnawing their tongues because of their pains, their blasphemy of the name of God because of them, and their impenitence, Re 16:10,11. The sixth angel pours out his on the river Euphrates, and what followed upon it are, the drying up of that river to make way for the kings of the east; there unclean spirits are seen, described by their original, coming out of the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet; by their form, like frogs; by their internal nature, spirits of devils; by their works, doing miracles; by the errand they are sent, and go upon, to gather the kings of the earth to the battle of God Almighty, which they succeed in; but before this is done, a declaration is made of the suddenness of Christ's coming, exciting the saints to watchfulness, and to keep their garments, that they might not be naked, and exposed to shame, Re 16:12-16 Then the seventh angel pours out his vial into the air, the consequences of which are, a voice from heaven declaring it is done: other voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake; a rupture of the great city into three parts; the fall of other cities; the remembrance of Babylon before God; the flight of every island and mountain, and a great hail storm, which causes men to blaspheme God, Re 16:17-21.

Revelation 16:1-21 In-Context

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”
2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.
4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were;
6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
7 And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.
9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony
11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
13 Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.
19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.
20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.
21 From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

Cross References 64

  • 1. Revelation 11:19
  • 2. S Revelation 15:1
  • 3. ver 2-21; Psalms 79:6; Zephaniah 3:8
  • 4. Revelation 8:7
  • 5. ver 11; Exodus 9:9-11; Deuteronomy 28:35
  • 6. Revelation 13:15-17; Revelation 14:9
  • 7. Exodus 7:17-21; Revelation 8:8,9; Revelation 11:6
  • 8. Revelation 8:10
  • 9. Exodus 7:17-21
  • 10. Revelation 15:3
  • 11. S Revelation 1:4
  • 12. Revelation 15:4
  • 13. Revelation 6:10
  • 14. Luke 11:49-51
  • 15. Isaiah 49:26; Revelation 17:6; Revelation 18:24
  • 16. Revelation 6:9; Revelation 14:18
  • 17. S Revelation 1:8
  • 18. Revelation 15:3; Revelation 19:2
  • 19. Revelation 8:12
  • 20. Revelation 6:12
  • 21. Revelation 14:18
  • 22. ver 11,21
  • 23. S Revelation 2:21
  • 24. S Revelation 11:13
  • 25. Revelation 13:2
  • 26. Exodus 10:21-23; Isaiah 8:22; Revelation 8:12; Revelation 9:2
  • 27. ver 9,21
  • 28. Revelation 11:13
  • 29. ver 2
  • 30. S Revelation 2:21
  • 31. S Revelation 9:14
  • 32. Isaiah 11:15,16
  • 33. Isaiah 41:2; Isaiah 46:11
  • 34. Revelation 18:2
  • 35. Exodus 8:6
  • 36. S Revelation 12:3
  • 37. S Revelation 13:1
  • 38. Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10
  • 39. 1 Timothy 4:1
  • 40. S Matthew 24:24
  • 41. S Matthew 24:14
  • 42. Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:19; Revelation 20:8
  • 43. S Revelation 6:17
  • 44. S Luke 12:39
  • 45. Luke 12:37
  • 46. Revelation 3:18
  • 47. ver 14
  • 48. Revelation 9:11
  • 49. Judges 5:19; 2 Kings 23:29,30; Zechariah 12:11
  • 50. Ephesians 2:2
  • 51. Revelation 14:15
  • 52. Revelation 11:15
  • 53. Revelation 21:6
  • 54. S Revelation 4:5
  • 55. S Revelation 6:12
  • 56. Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21
  • 57. S Revelation 17:18
  • 58. Revelation 18:5
  • 59. S Revelation 14:8
  • 60. Revelation 14:10
  • 61. S Revelation 6:14
  • 62. Ezekiel 13:13; Ezekiel 38:22; Revelation 8:7; Revelation 11:19
  • 63. ver 9,11
  • 64. Exodus 9:23-25

Footnotes 1

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.