Revelation 16:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance.

English Standard Version
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.

New American Standard Bible
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.

King James Bible
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The sixth 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.

International Standard Version
The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great Euphrates River. Its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east.

NET Bible
Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates and dried up its water to prepare the way for the kings from the east.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the sixth Angel poured his vessel over the great river Euphrates, and its waters dried up that the way of the Kings from the East may be prepared.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great Euphrates River. The water in the river dried up to make a road for the kings from the east.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the sixth angel poured out his vial into the great river Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared.

King James 2000 Bible
And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

American King James Version
And the sixth angel poured out his vial on the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

American Standard Version
And the sixth poured out his bowl upon the great river, the river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way might by made ready for the kings that come from the sunrising.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon that great river Euphrates; and dried up the water thereof, that a way might be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun.

Darby Bible Translation
And the sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates; and its water was dried up, that the way of the kings from the rising of the sun might be prepared.

English Revised Version
And the sixth poured out his bowl upon the great river, the river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrising.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water of it was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

Weymouth New Testament
The sixth angel poured his bowl into that great river, the Euphrates; and its stream was dried up in order to clear the way for the kings who are to come from the east.

World English Bible
The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. Its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings that come from the sunrise.

Young's Literal Translation
And the sixth messenger did pour out his vial upon the great river, the Euphrates, and dried up was its water, that the way of the kings who are from the rising of the sun may be made ready;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

16:12-16 This probably shows the destruction of the Turkish power, and of idolatry, and that a way will be made for the return of the Jews. Or, take it for Rome, as mystical Babylon, the name of Babylon being put for Rome, which was meant, but was not then to be directly named. When Rome is destroyed, her river and merchandise must suffer with her. And perhaps a way will be opened for the eastern nations to come into the church of Christ. The great dragon will collect all his forces, to make one desperate struggle before all be lost. God warns of this great trial, to engage his people to prepare for it. These will be times of great temptation; therefore Christ, by his apostle, calls on his professed servants to expect his sudden coming, and to watch that they might not be put to shame, as apostates or hypocrites. However Christians differ, as to their views of the times and seasons of events yet to be brought to pass, on this one point all are agreed, Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, will suddenly come again to judge the world. To those living near to Christ, it is an object of joyful hope and expectation, and delay is not desired by them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river:Euphrates. Omit "angel" (see on previous verses). (On the Euphrates, see on Revelation 9:14.) This river also figures in the sixth trumpet vision, and possesses the same signification in both places. It is the natural direction from which enemies arise; and it derives this signification from the fact that the enemies of the Jews often came from that direction. The next sentence leaves no doubt that this is the meaning, and supports the view taken of Revelation 9:14. It is to be noticed that, though the vial is poured out upon the Euphrates, it is not with the purpose of inflicting injury on the river, but upon the men who are thus laid open to the attacks of their enemies. And the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. The Revised Version gives the sense more plainly, That the way might be made ready for the kings that [come] from the sunrising. The meaning is that a barrier that wards off hostile hosts is removed. The "kings of the cast" represent God's judgments; those who are laid open to attack are the adherents of the beast. The imagery may be derived:

(1) From the fact (as explained in Revelation 9:14, which see) that the enemies of the Jews generally came from beyond the Euphrates. This accounts for the employment of this figure in Revelation 9, and may reasonably be considered to contain the same allusion here. In this case the minor details do not agree; the idea is merely to convey the central fact of an advance of enemies.

(2) From the historical fact of the taking of Babylon by Cyrus, by means of a diversion of the waters of the Euphrates - a circumstance referred to in Jeremiah 51:31, 32, etc.; Isaiah 13; Isaiah 44:27, 28. In this case the details are more in accordance with the general symbolism of the Apocalypse. Babylon would signify the kingdom of the beast (as in ver. 19). The kings of the east would still represent God's judgments, which now assail the kingdom of Satan. Satan attempts to meet this assault by the three spirits, which gather kings from the whole world (ver. 14) to battle against the Almighty. The "kings of the east" are certainly the forces ranged on the side of God. Many writers see an allusion to Christ and the saints. The sun is a frequent figure of Christ in Scripture (cf. Malachi 4:4; Zechariah 3:8 and Zechariah 6:12, LXX.; Luke 1:78; also Revelation 7:2; Revelation 12:1; Revelation 22:16). "The kings of the east" may thus be identified with the armies of Revelation 19:11-16.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the sixth angel poured his vial on the great river Euphrates,.... Which is not to be understood literally of the river Euphrates, which ran through Mesopotamia and Chaldea, and by the walls of Babylon; and of the drying of it up to make way for the Jews in the eastern parts of the world, to pass into their own land, and possess it; when a like miracle will be wrought for them as was when they came out of Egypt, by dividing the Red sea for them; and as when they entered into Canaan's land, by laying the waters of Jordan on heaps, so that they passed over as on dry land; in favour of which sense the passage in Isaiah 11:15 is thought to be, which the Targum interprets of God's smiting the river Euphrates; though the river Nile in Egypt seems rather to be meant: but it does not appear that there is any number of Jews beyond the river Euphrates; the far greater number of them is in the western and northern parts of the world; so that there will be no need for the drying up of this river for their passage into their own land; nor, if there were any in those parts, can any reason be given why they should be called the kings of the east, who, wherever they are, are a poor contemptible people, and have never had any ensigns of royalty among them for many hundreds of years; nor can that river be thought much to hinder, were all other impediments out of the way, nor the drying of it up much facilitate their passage to Judea, and much less affect their conversion: besides, this vial, as the rest, is a plague on antichrist, in some branch or other, or on some part or other, of the antichristian state; which, if not designed here, is nowhere in the account of this vial, and therefore this must be understood mystically; there is no doubt an allusion to the draining of this river at the taking of Babylon by Cyrus, according as was predicted in prophecy, Isaiah 44:27 who, making sluices and drains, turned the river another way, and marched through it with his army, and surprised and took the city at once, while Belshazzar and his nobles were indulging themselves in rioting and drunkenness, as Daniel relates, Daniel 5:1. Now some, because that Babylon was situated upon the river Euphrates, and Rome, or the Romish antichrist, is mystical Babylon, think that is here designed, and is the object of this vial; and that the drying up of this river designs the withdrawing of nations and kingdoms, signified by waters, Revelation 17:15 from its jurisdiction and power, which will bring on its ruin; and also the stoppage of dues and tithes, annates, Peter's pence, and of all its traffic in indulgences, pardons, &c. whereby it will be greatly impoverished, and brought to nothing: but it should be observed, that the fifth vial affects Rome, the seat of the beast; and as for the beast himself, he will not be destroyed till the battle of Armageddon; and mystical Babylon, or the antichristian state, in the whole compass of it, will not be destroyed until the pouring out of the seventh vial; wherefore rather the eastern antichrist, the Turks are meant, in whose dominions this river is; for as the Assyrian monarch is signified by the waters of this river, when he was in his glory, and had his seat at Babylon, by which this river ran, Isaiah 8:7 so may the Turks, who inhabit by this river, be intended by it; and the rather, as this sense exactly corresponds with the sixth trumpet; for as the sounding of that trumpet looses the four angels bound in the great river Euphrates, which founded the Turkish empire, as we have seen; so the pouring out of this sixth vial affects the same empire, and brings it to ruin. Mr. Daubuz is of opinion that this plague refers to the depopulation and destruction of the Grecian empire, and the bringing of the Turks into Europe, who have greatly distressed and tormented the corrupted Christians or Papists.

And the water thereof was dried up; the Ottoman empire will be extinct, just as the destruction of the Babylonish monarchy is expressed by the drying up of its sea, Jeremiah 51:36 so the destruction of the Turkish empire is signified by the drying up of the water of this river, which is in the heart of it: and this is the passing away of the second woe, Revelation 11:14

that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared; which some understand of Christians in general, who are made kings and priests unto God, and of Christian kings in particular, whose way will be prepared, by the declining state of antichrist, to express their hatred to the whore of Rome, and burn her flesh with fire; but the Romish antichrist is not here intended: others think, as before observed, that the Jews are designed; that the Jews will be converted in the last days seems manifest from Hosea 3:5 and other places; and that they will return to their own land is suggested in abundance of prophecies, particularly in Ezekiel 37:21 Amos 9:14 and it must be allowed that the eastern, as well as the western antichrist, is a stumbling to them; and especially the advantage which the Turks have gained over the powers that go under the Christian name, and their possession of their land is an hinderance to their return to it; so that the destruction of the Turkish empire will undoubtedly make way for their conversion, and restoration to their own land; but then this will be equally advantageous to the Jews in the west as to those in the east, if there be any numbers of them there, which does not appear, and therefore there seems no reason why they should be pointed at, and be called the kings of the east: rather therefore to me it seems, that, through the fall of the Ottoman empire, way will be made for the kings and princes of the east, literally understood, to have and embrace the Gospel of Christ; for, the Turks being destroyed, the Mahometan religion will decline, the Gospel will be carried into the eastern parts of the world, into those vast kingdoms and countries which lie in those parts, when they will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and the kings and princes of them will come to the brightness of Zion's rising; so that the ruin of this monarchy will pave the way for the spread of Christ's kingdom from sea to sea, and front the river, the river Euphrates, to the ends of the earth; and this also will prepare the way, and lead on for all the saints, who are kings, and shall reign with Christ a thousand years, who is said to come from the east, Revelation 7:2 or from the rising of the sun, as these are said to do, as the words may be rendered, to possess the kingdom under the whole heaven: Philo the Jew (z) has some expressions illustrating the literal sense of this, where he speaks of a Roman army on the banks of Euphrates, which kept the passage of "the eastern kings".

(z) De Legat. ad Caium, p. 1022.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. angel—so Coptic and Andreas. A, B, C, Vulgate, and Syriac omit.

kings of the east—Greek, "the kings who are from the rising of the sun." Reference to the Euphrates similarly occurs in the sixth trumpet. The drying up of the Euphrates, I think, is to be taken figuratively, as Babylon itself, which is situated on it, is undoubtedly so, Re 17:5. The waters of the Euphrates (compare Isa 8:7, 8) are spiritual Babylon's, that is, the apostate Church's (of which Rome is the chief, though not exclusive representative) spiritual and temporal powers. The drying up of the waters of Babylon expresses the same thing as the ten kings stripping, eating, and burning the whore. The phrase, "way may be prepared for," is that applied to the Lord's coming (Isa 40:3; Mt 3:3; Lu 1:76). He shall come from the East (Mt 24:27; Eze 43:2, "the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the East"): not alone, for His elect transfigured saints of Israel and the Gentiles shall accompany Him, who are "kings and priests unto God" (Re 1:6). As the Antichristian ten kings accompany the beast, so the saints accompany as kings the King of kings to the last decisive conflict. De Burgh and others take it of the Jews, who also were designed to be a kingdom of priests to God on earth. They shall, doubtless, become priest-kings in the flesh to the nations in the flesh at His coming. Abraham from the East (if Isa 41:2, 8, 9, refers to him, and not Cyrus) conquering the Chaldean kings is a type of Israel's victorious restoration to the priest-kingdom. Israel's exodus after the last Egyptian plagues typifies Israel's restoration after the spiritual Babylon, the apostate Church, has been smitten. Israel's promotion to the priest-kingdom after Pharaoh's downfall, and at the Lord's descent at Sinai to establish the theocracy, typifies the restored kingdom of Israel at the Lord's more glorious descent, when Antichrist shall be destroyed utterly. Thus, besides the transfigured saints, Israel secondarily may be meant by "the kings from the East" who shall accompany the "King of kings" returning "from the way of the East" to reign over His ancient people. As to the drying up again of the waters opposing His people's assuming the kingdom, compare Isa 10:26; 11:11, 15; Zec 10:9-11. The name Israel (Ge 32:28) implies a prince with God. Compare Mic 4:8 as to the return of the kingdom to Jerusalem. Durham, several centuries ago, interpreted the drying up of the Euphrates to mean the wasting away of the Turkish power, which has heretofore held Palestine, and so the way being prepared for Israel's restoration. But as Babylon refers to the apostate Church, not to Mohammedanism, the drying up of the Euphrates (answering to Cyrus' overthrow of literal Babylon by marching into it through the dry channel of the Euphrates) must answer to the draining off of the apostate Church's resources, the Roman and Greek corrupt Church having been heretofore one of the greatest barriers by its idolatries and persecutions in the way of Israel's restoration and conversion. The kings of the earth who are earthly (Re 16:14), stand in contrast to the kings from the East who are heavenly.

Revelation 16:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The First Six Bowls of Wrath
11and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. 12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. 13And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs;…
Cross References
Isaiah 11:15
The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals.

Isaiah 41:2
"Who has stirred up one from the east, calling him in righteousness to his service? He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow.

Isaiah 41:25
"I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes-- one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, as if he were a potter treading the clay.

Isaiah 44:27
who says to the watery deep, 'Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,'

Isaiah 46:11
From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.

Jeremiah 50:38
A drought on her waters! They will dry up. For it is a land of idols, idols that will go mad with terror.

Jeremiah 51:36
Therefore this is what the LORD says: "See, I will defend your cause and avenge you; I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.

Revelation 7:2
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:

Revelation 9:14
It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."
Treasury of Scripture

And the sixth angel poured out his vial on the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

upon.

Revelation 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels …

Revelation 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes quickly.

Isaiah 8:7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord brings up on them the waters of the …

and the water.

Revelation 17:15 And he said to me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, …

Isaiah 11:15 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; …

Isaiah 42:15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; …

Isaiah 44:27 That said to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers:

Jeremiah 50:38-40 A drought is on her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is …

Jeremiah 51:36 Therefore thus said the LORD; Behold, I will plead your cause, and …

that the.

Isaiah 41:2,3,25 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his …

Ezekiel 38:1-39:29 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying…

Daniel 11:43-45 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, …

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