Revelation 8:12
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And the fourth angel sounded his trumpet: and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so that the third part of them should be darkened, and that the day should not appear for the third part of it, and the night the same.

World English Bible
The fourth angel sounded, and one third of the sun was struck, and one third of the moon, and one third of the stars; so that one third of them would be darkened, and the day wouldn't shine for one third of it, and the night in the same way.

Young's Literal Translation
And the fourth messenger did sound, and smitten was the third of the sun, and the third of the moon, and the third of the stars, that darkened may be the third of them, and that the day may not shine -- the third of it, and the night in like manner.

Revelation 8:12 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And the fourth angel sounded - See the notes at Revelation 8:6-7.

And the third part of the sea was smitten - On the phrase the third part, see the notes on Revelation 8:7. The darkening of the heavenly luminaries is everywhere an emblem of any great calamity - as if the light of the sun, moon, and stars should be put out. See the notes on Revelation 6:12-13. There is no certain evidence that this refers to rulers, as many have supposed, or to anything that would particularly affect the government as such. The meaning is, that calamity would come as if darkness should spread over the sun, the moon, and the stars, leaving the world in gloom. What is the precise nature of the calamity is not indicated by the language, but anything that would diffuse gloom and disaster would accord with the fair meaning of the symbol. There are a few circumstances, however, in regard to this symbol which may aid us in determining its application:

(1) It would follow in the series of calamities that were to occur.

(2) it would be separated in some important sense - of time, place, or degree - from those which were to follow, for there is a pause here Revelation 8:13, and the angel proclaims that more terrible woes are to succeed this series.

(3) like the preceding, it is to affect "one third part" of the world; that is, it is to be a calamity as if a third part of the sun, the moon, and the stars were suddenly smitten and darkened.

(4) it is not to be total. It is not as if the sun, the moon, and the stars were entirely blotted out, for there was still some remaining light; that is, there was a continuance of the existing state of things - as if these heavenly bodies should still give an obscure and partial light.

(5) perhaps it is also intended by the symbol that there would be light again. The world was not to go into a state of total and permanent night. For a third part of the day, and a third part of the night, this darkness reigned; but does not this imply that there would be light again - that the obscurity would pass away, and that the sun, and moon, and stars would shine again? That is, is it not implied that there would still be prosperity in some future period? Now, in regard to the application of this, if the explanation of the preceding symbols is correct, there can be little difficulty. If the previous symbols referred to Alaric, to Genseric, and to Attila, there can be no difficulty in applying this to Odoacer, and to his reign - a reign in which, in fact, the Roman dominion in the West came to an end, and passed into the hands of this barbarian. Anyone has only to open the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, to see that this is the next event that should be symbolized if the design were to represent the downfall of the empire.

These four great barbarian leaders succeed each other in order, and under the last, Odoacer, the barbarian dominion was established; for it is here that the existence of the Roman power, as such, ended. The Western empire terminated, according to Mr. Gibbon (ii. p. 380), about 476 or 479 a.d. Odoacer was "King of Italy" from 476 a.d. to 490 a.d. (Gibbon, ii. 379). The Eastern empire still lingered, but calamity, like blotting out the sun, and moon, and stars, had come over that part of the world which for so many centuries had constituted the seat of power and dominion. Odoacer was the son of Edecon, a barbarian, who was in the service of Attila, and who left two sons - Onulf and Odoacer. The former directed his steps to Constantinople; Oloacer "led a wandering life among the barbarians of Noricum, with a mind and fortune suited to the most desperate adventures; and when he had fixed his choice, he piously visited the cell of Severinus, the popular saint of the country, to solicit his approbation and blessing. The lowness of the door would not admit the lofty stature of Odoacer; he was obliged to stoop; but in that humble attitude the saint could discern the symptoms of his future greatness; and addressing him in a prophetic tone, 'Pursue,' said he, 'your design; proceed to Italy; you will soon cast away this coarse garment of skins; and your wealth will be adequate to the liberality of your mind.' The barbarian, whose daring spirit accepted and ratified this prediction, was admitted into the service of the Western empire, and soon obtained an honorable rank in the guards.

His manners were gradually polished, his military skill improved; and the confederates of Italy would not have elected him for their general unless the exploits of Odoacer had established a high opinion of his courage and capacity. Their military acclamations saluted him with the title of king; but he abstained during his whole reign from the use of the purple and the diadem, lest he should offend those princes whose subjects, by their accidental mixture, had formed the victorious army which time and policy might insensibly unite into a great nation" (Gibbon, ii. 379, 380). In another place Mr. Gibbon says: "Odoacer was the first barbarian who reigned in Italy, over a people who had once asserted their superiority above the rest of mankind. The disgrace of the Romans still excites our respectful compassion, and we fondly sympathize with the imaginary grief and indignation of their degenerate posterity. But the calamities of Italy had gradually subdued the proud consciousness of freedom and glory. In the age of Roman virtue the provinces were subject to the arms, and the citizens to the laws, of the republic; until those laws were subverted by civil discord, and both the city and the provinces became the servile property of a tyrant. The forms of the constitution which alleviated or disguised their abject slavery were abolished by time and violence; the Italians alternately lamented the presence or the absence of the sovereigns whom they detested or despised; and the succession of five centuries inflicted the various evils of military license, capricious despotism, and elaborate oppression.

During the same period the barbarians had emerged from obscurity and contempt, and the warriors of Germany and Scythia were introduced into the provinces, as the servants, the allies, and at length the masters of the Romans, whom they insulted or protected," ii. 381, 382. Of the effect of the reign of Odoacer Mr. Gibbon remarks: "In the division and decline of the empire the tributary harvests of Egypt and Africa were withdrawn; the numbers of the inhabitants continually decreased with the means of subsistence; and the country was exhausted by the irretrievable losses of war, famine, and pestilence. Ambrose has deplored the ruin of a populous district, which had been once adorned with the flourishing cities of Bologna, Modena, Rhegium, and Placentia. Pope Gelasius was a subject of Odoacer; and he affirms, with strong exaggeration, that in Aemilia, Tuscany, and the adjacent provinces the human species was almost extirpated. One-third of those ample estates, to which the ruin of Italy is originally imputed, was extorted for the use of the conquerors," ii.383.

Yet the light was not wholly extinct. It was "a third part" of it which was put out; and it was still true that some of the forms of the ancient constitution were observed - that the light still lingered before it wholly passed away. In the language of another, "The authority of the Roman name had not yet entirely ceased. The senate of Rome continued to assemble as usual. The consuls were appointed yearly, one by the Eastern emperor, one by Italy and Rome. Odoacer himself governed Italy under a title - that of Patrician - conferred on him by the Eastern emperor. There was still a certain, though often faint, recognition of the supreme imperial authority. The moon and the stars might seem still to shine in the West, with a dim reflected light. In the course of the events, however, which rapidly followed in the next half-century, these too were extinguished. After above a century and a half of calamities unexampled almost, as Dr. Robertson most truly represents it, in the history of nations, the statement of Jerome - a statement couched under the very Apocalyptic figure of the text, but prematurely pronounced on the first taking of Rome by Alaric - might be considered at length accomplished: 'Clarissimum terrarum lumen extincturn est' - 'The world's glorious sun has been extinguished;' or, as the modern poet Byron (Childe Harold, canto iv.) has expressed it, still under the Apocalyptic imagery:

'She saw her glories star by star expire, '

Till not even one star remained to glimmer in the vacant and dark night" (Elliott, i. 360, 361).

continued...

Revelation 8:12 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Justification by an Imputed Righteousness;
OR, NO WAY TO HEAVEN BUT BY JESUS CHRIST. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This is one of those ten excellent manuscripts which were found among Bunyan's papers after his decease in 1688. It had been prepared by him for publication, but still wanted a few touches of his masterly hand, and a preface in his characteristic style. He had, while a prisoner for nonconformity, in 1672, published a treatise upon this subject, in reply to Mr. Fowler, who was soon after created Bishop of Gloucester; but that was
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Annunciation to Zacharias of the Birth of John the Baptist.
(at Jerusalem. Probably b.c. 6.) ^C Luke I. 5-25. ^c 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judæa [a Jewish proselyte, an Idumæan or Edomite by birth, founder of the Herodian family, king of Judæa from b.c. 40 to a.d. 4, made such by the Roman Senate on the recommendation of Mark Antony and Octavius Cæsar], a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course [David divided the priests into twenty-four bodies or courses, each course serving in rotation one week in the temple
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Exodus 10:21
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt."

Isaiah 13:10
For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light.

Ezekiel 32:7
"And when I extinguish you, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud And the moon will not give its light.

Joel 2:10
Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon grow dark And the stars lose their brightness.

Joel 2:31
"The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

Joel 3:15
The sun and moon grow dark And the stars lose their brightness.

Zechariah 13:8
"It will come about in all the land," Declares the LORD, "That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.

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