Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
III. God in Majesty and Judgment (4:1-16:21) pp. 218-602.
F. God’s Sovereignty in Judgment (4:1-11:19) pp. 219-450.
3. Seven Trumpets (8:2-11:19) pp. 339-450.
b. “First Four Trumpets (8:7-12)” pp. 349-357.
Osborne draws the reader’s attention again to the opening of the seventh seal of the scroll, found in Revelation 8:1. There, an angel casts judgment on the earth. Osborne sees the judgment from the trumpets as part of this motion, as they are thrown from God’s throne room to the earthly realm (Osborne 2002, 349). The first four trumpets signal judgments upon the earth itself.
The first judgment consists of “hail and fire mixed with blood” (8:7). This is reminiscent of the seventh plague in Egypt, found in Exodus 9:13-35). Revelation is the only place in the New Testament where hail is mentioned, and here it goes beyond the Old Testament motifs because of the fire and blood (Osborne 2002, 350). Osborne thinks the “blood” may well be related to rain carrying reddish volcanic debris to earth. Yet the description is certainly of a very severe event. Here it is a terrible situation in which there is also fire which brings such widespread destruction we could not even imagine it (Osborne 2002, 351). Not only a thrid of the trees, but all the grass is burned.
The second trumpet, in 8:8-9, is a parallel to the first of the Egyptian plagues. A third of marine life is destroyed by something like a burning mountain (Osborne 2002, 352). Again, Osborne finds parallels in various pieces of apocalyptic writing but nothing to this extent. The burning, as in the first trumpet, seems related to the angel with a censer in 8:1 (Osborne 2002, 353).
Revelation 8:10-11 describes another plague on water. Osborne notes that this one is also similar to the first of the plagues on Egypt. Fire is again a central feature, related to the work of the angel with the censer, as a burning and shining star falls, contaminating a third of the fresh water of the earth (Osborne 2002, 354). This results in the death of many, again, from a disaster on a scale we can hardly imagin.
The fourth trumpet, in Revelation 8:12, is a replication of the ninth of the plagues on Egypt. Here there is darkness as God strikes the lights in the sky (Osborne 2002, 355). Again, the plague affects “only one-third of the day and night” (Osborne 2002, 356). It is not a dimming of everything but an actual darkness for a third of the day and a third of the night. Osborne continues to emphasize that this plague is evidence of God’s ability to control all things precisely. This is the end of the trumpet judgments which impact the earth specifically.