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What are the Trumpets and Bowls of Revelation?

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By David Sheldon

Last Updated: March 06, 2023

The book of Revelation speaks of what are called “trumpets” and “bowls”. They are specific events of God’s judgments that will take place at the end of the age. We aren’t told how long the trumpets and bowls will last, but we do know it will be a brief period of time just before Christ’s Second Coming.

Trumpets and Bowls Comparison

The trumpets (Revelation 8:6-9:21; Revelation 11:14-19) and the bowls (Revelation 16:1-21) are not in close proximity to one another in the book. Yet it would seem they are very much linked to one another. The trumpets, occurring before the bowls, will refer to ⅓ of something being destroyed, while the bowls indicate more complete destruction. This is seen in the following chart.

Please note: The seventh bowl corresponds with the sixth seal, which we have included in the chart. You can also see where the “three woes” fit in and what “the days of the voice of the seventh angel” are.

Trumpets and Bowls Char

So, there are a number of similarities between the trumpets and the bowls. The bowls are intensifications of the trumpets. While the trumpets are judgments in and of themselves, they are also warnings of greater disaster to come. The full wrath of God comes in the bowls.

Did you notice that the first and second woes are trumpets (Revelation 8:13), but the third woe is not a trumpet? The first two woes are trumpets 5 & 6 and are in Revelation 9. Then we read in Revelation 11:14 that the third woe is coming quickly. But when?

Where and What is the Third Woe?

We are given a hint as to what the third woe is in Revelation 10:5-7:

Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there will no longer be a delay, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He announced to His servants the prophets.

When the seventh angel blows the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God is finished. Everything is done. But before the seventh trumpet is blown, comes “the days of the voice of the seventh angel” – which is where we find the third woe.

What are the Days of the Voice of the Seventh Angel?

Revelation 11:14-18 tells us that God’s wrath (the bowls) come before the seventh angel sounds the trumpet. It is during the “days of the voice of the seventh angel” that the bowls of God’s wrath occur (Rev. 16). So, we can say three things:

    1. Before everything is finished, including the third woe, the days of the voice of the seventh angel occur.
    2. During the days of the voice of the seventh angel, the bowls of wrath occur.
    3. We could therefore surmise that the bowls of wrath = the third woe.

And these are the days when the mystery of God is finished. This “mystery” is the reality that there is no longer any delay as to the fulfillment of the things spoken by the prophets of old concerning the end of the age! And when the final disasters are finished, the seventh trumpet announces that Christ begins His reign upon the earth!

For further study see: What is the Day of the Lord? By Got Questions

5 Reasons Why Revelation is Hard to Understand

There are several reasons why the Book of Revelation is hard to understand. Grasping these five should give confidence to keep reading & studying the book!

The Beast from the Earth Part 2: The Image and Mark

The Beast from the Earth in Revelation 13 is one of three main players in the global system at the end of this age, along with the Beast from the Sea and the Great Harlot.

The Beast From the Sea Part 3: The Antichrist

The Beast from the Sea is one of three main players in the final world kingdom. Its leader is the Antichrist. He has several defining characteristics and doings.

The Beast From the Earth Part 1: The False Prophet

The Beast from the Earth is a prominent player in the final world system. There are several facets to it including a leader (The False Prophet), mark, & image.

Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

We must correctly understand the four horsemen of the apocalypse in order to properly understand the rest of Revelation. Who are they and what is their mission?

Is Revelation in Chronological Order?

Revelation is more of a montage. Some of the chapters are in chronological order, but many overlap each other. Our charts give a visual explanation of this.

When and Where Will the Antichrist First be Seen?

2 Thessalonians 2:3 states specifically that the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, will be revealed in the end times. Scripture tells us the circumstances.

Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11?

The two witnesses of Revelation 11 proclaim a message of repentance and judgment for a period of 1,260 days during the first half of the end-time tribulation.

Is the Rapture of the Church Found in Revelation 4?

Some believe John’s experience in Revelation 4:1-2 is representative of the rapture of the church before the seven year tribulation period. Is this the case?

When Was Revelation Written?

It was towards the end of Domitian’s reign that John received the vision. We could surmise about 91-96 A.D. And he wrote Revelation while he was still on the island of Patmos.

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