Revelation 16:1-21

The seven bowls with the seven last troubles

1 Then I heard a loud voice speak from God's house in heaven. It said to the seven angels, ‘Take your seven bowls that are full of God's anger. Go and pour them out on the earth.’

2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land. As a result, very bad and painful sores appeared on people's skin. Everyone who had the wild animal's mark on them and who worshipped the animal's image had those sores.

3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea. As a result, the sea became like the blood of a dead person. Everything that was living in the sea then died.

4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and on the springs of water. As a result, all the water became blood.

5 Then I heard the voice of the angel who had authority over the waters. He said to God,

Holy One, you are alive now and you always have been alive.

You are right in everything that you decide.

Now you have judged these people.

6 They have killed your people and your prophets.

They have caused your servants to bleed and to die.

So now you have given these bad people blood to drink.

That is what ought to happen to them. It is right.’

7 Then I heard a voice from the altar in heaven. It said,

‘Yes, Lord God, you have all authority.

When you judge people, it is the punishment that they deserve.’

8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun. God gave authority to the sun so that it burned people with fire. 9 The strong heat burned people and it hurt them very much. As a result, they said bad things against God's name, because he had the power to cause these terrible troubles. But they refused to change how they lived. They refused to agree that God is great.

10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the wild animal. As a result, the whole kingdom that the wild animal ruled became dark. People were biting their tongues because of their great pain. 11 They cursed the God of heaven because of their pain and because of the sores on their skin. But they did not stop doing bad things.

12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates river. As a result, the river became dry. This prepared a way for kings from the east to march across it. 13 Then I saw three bad spirits that looked like frogs. One bad spirit came out of the dragon's mouth. Another one came out of the first wild animal's mouth. The third one came out of the false prophet's mouth. 14 Those bad spirits are the spirits of demons. They had the power to do miracles. They went to all the rulers in the whole world, to bring them together to fight in a big war. That war will happen on the great day of God, who has all power and authority.

16:13We read about the dragon in Revelation 12:3, 4.
16:13The false prophet is probably the same as the second wild animal. See Revelation 13:16-18.

15 The Lord says: ‘Listen! I will come secretly, like someone who robs people. If you continue to watch carefully, you will be happy. Keep your clothes with you all the time. Then, when I come, you will not be ashamed because you have no clothes.’

16:15Jesus is telling his people that they must always be ready for him. He will return to this earth. He may come at any time, even at night. See 1 Thessalonians 5:2. Christians must not be like people who are asleep. People like that will not be ready to get up when he comes. Chapter 16 describes the last set of troubles before the end of the world. It is very important that Christians go on believing Jesus. They must be ready for him during this time.

16 Then the bad spirits brought the rulers together to fight in the big war. They came to the place that is called Armageddon in the Hebrew language.

17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. A voice spoke loudly from the throne in God's house. The voice said, ‘Now it has happened!’ 18 There was a great storm, with bright lightning and loud noises of thunder. The ground shook with a strong earthquake. The earthquake was stronger than anything that had happened since people first lived on the earth. 19 As a result, the great city of Babylon broke into three parts. When the ground shook, it also destroyed the big cities of other nations in the world. God did not forget the evil things that the people of the great city of Babylon had done. So they had to drink wine from the cup of God's great anger.

20 When the ground shook, every island in the sea disappeared. There were no more mountains anywhere. 21 Strong rain with stones of ice fell from the sky. The stones hit people and caused them great pain. The weight of each stone was about 50 kilograms. The people cursed God because the strong rain and the stones of ice caused them to have such terrible pain.

16:21The troubles that the seven bowls bring are the last troubles. They seem to be worse than the troubles that the seven seals or the seven trumpets bring. But the last bowl brings events like those events that come with the last trumpet. See Revelation 11:15-19. There is a great storm and the ground moves strongly. These events also happen after the last seal becomes open. See Revelation 8:5. So perhaps these verses are describing the same events in three different ways. Some people think that the events of the first six seals happen before the first six trumpets. After that, the events of the first six bowls happen. Then the last seal, the last trumpet and the last bowl may all show the same events.