Revelation 16 17-21 The Seventh Vial CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The seventh angel pours out his vial into the air and finishes up the plagues of God. This final plague involves a massive, world-wide earthquake and enormous hail. You will notice that the voices, thunders, lightnings and earthquake that accompany the last seal and the last trumpet also accompany this last vial [Revelation 8:1, 5; Revelation 11:15, 19]. In addition, the hail is also seen following the seventh angel sounding his trumpet. Let’s look at the details in each verse.
v.17 – when this vial is poured out, a great voice out of the temple says, “It is done.” This is probably the same voice as in v.1 that commissioned the seven angels to pour out the vials. When the seventh vial is poured out, the tribulation ends, the Lord Jesus Christ finishes his fight for Jerusalem and he becomes king of the whole earth [Zechariah 14:3, 9].
v.18 – a great earthquake – this is the greatest earthquake in the history of man – see the following passages for the full details on this earthquake: Isaiah 24:19-23; Isaiah 29:5-8; Zechariah 14:4-11
v.19 – the great city – this city is Babylon [Revelation 14:8; 18:10, 18] – the earthquake divides the city into 3 parts and destroys the city [Revelation 18:21] – it also causes the cities of the nations to fall – the earthquake right before this one, after the sixth angel sounds his trumpet, causes a tenth part of Jerusalem to fall and kills 7,000 men [Revelation 11:13] – now God gives Babylon the cup of his fierce wrath [Revelation 18:5-8; Revelation 14:8; Jeremiah 50:23-32; Jeremiah 51:24-26] since she made the kings of the earth drink of her cup [Rev 18:3; Jeremiah 51:7]
v. 20 – every island fled away, mountains not found – the earthquake shifts and levels mountains and moves islands – Revelation 6:14; Job 9:5-6; Job 28:9; Psalms 46:1-5; Micah 1:4; Nahum 1:5-6
v.21 – great hail – each hailstone weighs a talent – there is quite a range of figures for the weight of a talent in pounds; however, 45 pounds is on the low end of that range and seems right – at that weight it would be fantastically deadly and destructive – and, of course, the response of men is the same as Rev 16:9, 11 after the plagues of scorching and darkness; they blasphemed God