The seven bowls containing the plagues are emptied in sequence, rapidly—in a short period of time. The plagues are judgments and are somewhat parallel to the plagues on Egypt (Exodus Chapters 7 through12) and to the trumpets (Revelation Chapters 8 and 9). The contents of the bowls are more total and universal in their effects than were the trumpets, and generally affect people more directly. What follows are the plagues released by the trumpeting angels and from the seven bowls compared to the plagues which God released upon Pharaoh—and how the offenders spoken of in Revelation will not repent and how God kept hardening Pharaoh’s heart in Exodus. God’s warnings are consistent:
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls [seven vials] of the wrath of God on the earth.” 2So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast [the Antichrist] and those who worshiped his image.
Exodus 9:9 “And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt,” and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.
3Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.
Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
10Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood [undrinkable water], and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.
17‘Thus says the LORD: “By this you shall know that I am the LORD. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. 18And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river.”’” 19Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’” 20And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
God covered the light of the sun over Egypt to further harden Pharaoh’s heart, and He will also display power over the sun to cause extreme heat when the fourth bowl is poured out:
Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.
8Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
10Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast [the Antichrist], and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
12Then sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Eūphrātēs, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan], out of the mouth of the beast [Antichrist], and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle [Armageddon] of that great day of God Almighty.
“And the frogs shall come up on you, on your people, and on all your servants.”’”
Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4‘Or else, if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 5aAnd they shall cover the face of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of what is left, which remains to you from the hail, and they shall eat every tree…
The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood…
So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
Revelation 16:16, 21
16And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” …
21And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent [80 to 100 pounds!]. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
Indeed, God is consistent with His warnings…as so He is…in keeping all His promises.
“For I am the LORD, I do not change;”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.