Poole on Revelation 8:2: The Seven Angelic Trumpeters

Verse 2:[1] (Tob. 12:15;[2] Matt. 18:10; Luke 1:19) And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; (2 Chron. 29:25-28) and to them were given seven trumpets.



[I saw the seven, etc., τοὺς ἑπτὰ, etc.] Those seven (emphatically, or, that are soon to be discussed [Cluverus]; or, who were discussed in Revelation 4:5; 5:6 [certain interpreters in Cluverus, thus Pareus], which does not satisfy [Cluverus]) angels, etc. (Beza, Piscator, Pareus, etc.), ministers of God. In the case of the Seals, Horses go forth; here, Angels, either, 1. evil (Gravius, certain interpreters in Lapide), for these also stand in the presence of God, 1 Kings 22; Job 1, but as accusers, Job 1, and servants, for the execution of the judgments of God (Gravius): or, 2. good (certain interpreters in Gravius), even indeed those of the first rank (Cluverus, similarly Cotterius, Lapide, Menochius,[3] Tirinus), or of more intimate admission, concerning whom we spoke on Matthew 18:10 (Grotius). Those closest to God and most familiar (Tirinus), to whom the care of men and of the Church was committed by God (Menochius, similarly Ribera, Tirinus). God does not make use of these except for the most extraordinary matters (Grotius). They are said to be seven, either, so that they might be placed over against those seven spirits in Revelation 4; or, so that the multitude and universality of the heretics might be denoted (Gravius).


[And were given to them seven trumpets] One trumpet to each Angel (Piscator, Ribera), according to the benignity of God, so that these evils might come in gradually, and so that thus men might be forewarned and fortified (Durham). A hebdomad, as in other matters, so also where there is mention of plagues, signifies that nothing is wanting. And thus those threats of God against the posterity of Jacob, Leviticus 26:28, are here fulfilled (Grotius). In the seven Trumpets the consummation of the world is indicated; and, as Jericho fell,[4] so the world will fall, at the sound of the seventh Trumpet (Ribera). The use of Trumpets is manifold, 1. in the feasts and worship of God. See Psalm 47:5; 81:3; 98:5-7; 150:3; etc. (Cluverus). 2. In calling the people together (Cluverus, Durham, Pareus), Jeremiah 4:5; 6:1; Joel 2:15 (Cluverus). 3. In announcing wars and dangers (Cluverus, similarly Ribera, Durham), Jeremiah 4:19, 21; 42:14; Ezekiel 33:3; Amos 3:6; etc. (Cluverus). Trumpets indicate that there are going to be battles, Jeremiah 42:14; Hosea 5:8; and elsewhere (Grotius). The edicts of Princes are also published with Trumpets (Pareus). It signifies that the Angels, by their own advertisement, as if by Trumpet (Menochius), are going to proclaim the sentence of God brought against the impious (Tirinus), and are going to deliver them immediately to execution (Tirinus, similarly Menochius). A great many maintain that these Angels represent preachers of the Divine word (Pareus, similarly Menochius), whose it is to proclaim the will of God to men, not indeed inelegantly concerning the six former, but the seventh is undoubtedly that Archangel in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (Pareus). The Trumpets here regard, both, 1. the pious, whom they forwarn, 1 Corinthians 14:8; and, 2. the impious, against whom God sends assembled enemies (Durham). The Trumpets here denote, 1. that these matters are most grievous: for trumpeters are forerunners of great matters; 2. the counsel of God, so that the world of the dead might be roused to repentance, or be rendered more inexcusable. Inasmuch as these are given to the Angels, it is declared to him that they undertake nothing without special authority and commandment (Forbes).


The seven angels which stood before God; the seven mentioned hereafter, which blew with the trumpets; for we presently read, that seven trumpets were given to them. Trumpets were used to call the people together, to proclaim festivals, and in war. The use of these trumpets we shall hereafter read, which was to proclaim the will and counsels of God, as to things to come.

[1] Greek: καὶ εἶδον τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἀγγέλους οἳ ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἑστήκασι, καὶ ἐδόθησαν αὐτοῖς ἑπτὰ σάλπιγγες. [2] Tobit 12:15: “I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.” [3] John Stephen Menochius (1576-1656) joined the Society of Jesuits at an early age. His superiors in the order, recognizing his academic abilities, set him apart for training in the exposition of Holy Scripture. His Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam displays great learning and sound judgment. [4] Joshua 6.

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