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Revelation 16 : The 7 cups with the 7 last troubles

v1 Then I heard someone speak to the 7 *angels. He was speaking loudly from God’s house in *heaven. ‘Go and pour out your 7 cups on the earth’, he said. ‘The cups are full because God is very angry.’

v2 The first *angel went and poured out his cup on the land. Very bad and painful places appeared on people’s skins because of what was in the *angel’s cup. These bad places appeared on everyone who had the strange animal’s mark on them. They appeared on everyone who *worshipped the animal’s false god.

v3 The second *angel poured out what was in his cup on the sea. So, the sea became like the blood of a dead person. And everything that was alive in the sea died.

v4 The next (third) *angel poured out what was in his cup on the water. He poured it on the rivers and on the places where water comes up from the ground. And all the water became blood. v5 Then I heard the *angel with authority for the waters say to God:

‘*Lord, you are alive now and you always have been alive.

You are completely good and clean.

You are right in everything that you decide.

v6 These people have caused trouble for your people and your *prophets.

They caused them to bleed and to die.

So you have given the people blood to drink.

That is what ought to happen to them.’

v7 Then I heard someone agree from the special table in front of God. They said:

‘Yes, *Lord God, you have all authority.

And you decide what is right and fair!’

v8 The next (fourth) *angel poured out what was in his cup on the sun. And God gave great power to the sun so that it burned people with its fire. v9 The strong heat burned people and it hurt them very much. Then they said very bad things against God, because he caused these troubles. But they refused to be sorry for the bad things that they had done. They refused to stop doing those bad things. They refused to say how great God is.

v10 The next (fifth) *angel poured out what was in his cup on the strange animal’s *throne. Everywhere that the strange animal ruled became completely dark. And people even bit their mouths because of their great pain. v11 They shouted bad words against the God of *heaven because of their pain and because their skins were hurting them. But they refused to be sorry for the bad things that they had done.

v12 The next (sixth) *angel poured out what was in his cup on the great Euphrates river. So the river became dry, to prepare a way. It was the way for the kings who come from the east. v13 Then I saw 3 bad *spirits like frogs. One bad *spirit came out of the big snake’s mouth. Another bad *spirit came out of the first strange animal’s mouth. And the other bad *spirit came out of the false *prophet’s (the second strange animal’s) mouth. v14 They are the *spirits of demons (bad *spirits from the *Devil). They also do things that surprise people. They go out to all the rulers in the whole world, to bring them together for the war. That war will happen on the great day of God, who has all authority.

Verse 13 Frogs are small animals that many people do not like. They have big mouths and they live in wet places. They have wet skin. They have long legs and they can jump.

v15 The *Lord says: ‘Listen! I will come secretly, like someone who robs. Everyone who goes on watching for me will be happy. You must keep your clothes with you all the time. Then you will not have to walk about without clothes. So you will not be ashamed in front of other people.’

Verse 15 Jesus is telling his people that they must always be ready for him. He will return to this earth. He may come at any time, even at night (see 1 Thessalonians 5:2). Christians must not be like people who are asleep. People like that will not be ready to get up when he comes. Chapter 16 describes the last set of troubles before the end of the world. It is very important that Christians go on believing Jesus. They must be ready for him during this time.

v16 Then the bad *spirits brought the rulers together. They came to the place called Armageddon in the Hebrew language.

Verse 16 Hebrew is the language that God’s people, Israel, spoke.

v17 The last (seventh) *angel poured out what was in his cup into the air. And someone spoke loudly from the *throne in God’s house. ‘It has finished’, he said. v18 There was a great storm, with bright lights and loud noises, and the ground moved very much. The ground has never moved so much during all the time that people have lived on the earth. v19 The powerful city broke into three parts. When the ground moved, it destroyed all the world’s cities. And God did not forget to *punish that powerful city Babylon. God was very angry with Babylon. It was like God had a cup of very bad *wine. Then he caused that city to drink his *wine. The people had to receive all the bad things that God did to them.

v20 He made every island go away. There were no more mountains anywhere. v21 Very big stones of ice fell from the sky upon the people. The weight of each stone was about 50 kilos. The stones of ice caused very much trouble. And the people shouted bad words against God because of the trouble that the ice caused for them.

Verses 17-21 The troubles that the 7 cups bring are the last troubles. They seem to be worse than what the 7 *locks or the 7 *trumpets bring. But the last (seventh) cup brings events like those events that come with the last *trumpet. (See 11:15-19.) There is a great storm and the ground moves. These events also happen after the last *lock is open. (See 8:5.) So perhaps these verses are describing the same events three times.

(Some people think that the events of the first 6 *locks happen before the first 6 *trumpets. After that, the events of the first 6 cups happen. Then the last *lock, the last *trumpet and the last cup may all show the same events.)

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