Finished! - Seventh Bowl

The seventh “bowl of wrath” anticipates the fuller description of the destruction of “Babylon” in chapters 17 and 18. It echoes the Old Testament story of the plague of hail inflicted on Egypt at the word of Moses. Emptying the bowl “on the air” prepares for the “great hail” that will conclude this last “plague” and seal Babylon’s doom.

When the “seventh bowl” is emptied, the “great” voice from the throne declares - “It is finished!” Thus, the judicial sentence of God against “Babylon” is consummated. The word “great” occurs seven times in the paragraph, and in the book, the number ‘7’ symbolizes completion.


This sevenfold repetition of “great” stresses the finality of this judgment, and it brings the entire series of the “last plagues” to completion.

  • (Revelation 16:17-21) – “And the seventh angel poured out his bowl on the air; and there came forth a great voice out of the sanctuary from the throne, saying, It is done! And there were flashes of lightning and voices and claps of thunder, and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men upon the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail, every stone about the weight of a talent, comes down out of heaven upon men, and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof is exceeding great” - (Exodus 9:22-23).

The “flashes of lightning, voices, and claps of thunder” allude to the story of Israel gathered before Mount Sinai where similar phenomena accompanied the presence of Yahweh.

Previously, the same description was employed in the visions of the throne, the “seventh seal,” and the “seventh trumpet.” When the latter sounded, the same manifestations accompanied the final judgment, and a voice also declared, “It is finished!” - (Exodus 19:16-18, Revelation 4:5, 8:5, 11:19).

The description of the final great earthquake echoes two Old Testament passages:

  • (Exodus 9:18) – “Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as has not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now.”
  • (Daniel 12:1-2) – “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people will be delivered, everyone that will be found written in the book.”

The book of Daniel describes the future tribulation when God will resurrect faithful martyrs and the wicked, the latter for “reproach and everlasting shame.” The verbal link demonstrates that the “seventh bowl” points to the final judgment at the end of the age, and to the preparation for the arrival of the “new heaven and earth.”


In Revelation, the great earthquake causes islands to “flee away and mountains not to be found,” which also occurred in the “sixth seal,” the “day of the wrath of the Lamb.

The same “great earthquake” was also portrayed when the “seventh trumpet” sounded - (“There were flashes of lightning, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail”). Thus, the same climactic point is reached at the end of the “sixth seal,” the “seventh trumpet” and the “seventh bowl of wrath.”

The verbal links at the end of the series of seals, trumpets, and bowls demonstrate they are not in chronological sequence - All three culminate in the final judgment. The cosmic chaos and terrestrial upheaval at the end of each series point to the cessation of the existing world order and anticipate its replacement by the New Creation - (2 Peter 3:8-12).

The description “Babylon the Great” is derived from a passage in the fourth chapter of Daniel. In response to the boast of Nebuchadnezzar, God removed his sovereignty for a period of “seven seasons.” And in the present passage, the clause stresses that end-time “Babylon” possesses the same arrogance as its ancient predecessor - (Daniel 4:30-31).

Thus, the draining of the “seventh bowl” anticipates the fuller judgment of Babylon described in the next two chapters of Revelation, the end of the age, and the final judgment.


Destruction of Babylon

Gog and Magog