Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.Revelation 8:1
Mr. A. C. Benson writes: 'I think that there are few verses of the Bible that give one a more sudden and startling thrill than the verse at the beginning of the eighth chapter of the Revelation. "And when he had opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." The very simplicity of the words, the homely note of specified time, is in itself deeply impressive. But further, it gives the dim sense of some awful and unseen preparation going forward, a period allowed in which those that stood by, august and majestic as they were, should collect their courage, should make themselves ready with bated breath for some dire pageant.'
References.—VIII. 1.—W. F. Shaw, Sermon Sketches for the Christian Year, p. 66. VIII. 11.—J. Keble, Sermons for the Saints' Days, p. 362.
Compare Mrs. Oliphant's analysis of Botticelli's special trait, in her Makers of Florence (p. 853). 'It is,' she observes, 'to be seen in his pictures of all subjects, even in his "Venus"—a cloud somewhere shadowing the sun, a perception dim and terrible of griefs that must come, howsoever they may be disguised, or how distant soever they may be for the moment. This is the very soul and sentiment of his work, his highest inspiration in art.'
And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!