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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 16 - Verse 21

Verse 21. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven. Perhaps this is an allusion to one of the plagues of Egypt, Ex 9:22-26. Compare Barnes on "Re 11:19".

For a graphic description of the effects of a hail storm, see Barnes on "Isa 30:30"

second edition. Compare Barnes on "Job 38:22".

 

Every stone about the weight of a talent. The Attic talent was equal to about 55 lbs. or 56 lbs. Troy weight; the Jewish talent to about 113 lbs. Troy. Whichever weight is adopted, it is easy to conceive what must be the horror of such a storm, and what destruction it must cause. We are not, of course, to suppose, necessarily, that this would literally occur; it is a frightful image to denote the terrible and certain destruction that would come upon Babylon; that is, upon the Papal power.

And men blasphemed God. See Barnes on "Re 16:9".

 

Because of the plague of the hail. Using the word plague in allusion to the plagues of Egypt.

For the plague thereof was exceeding great. The calamity was great and terrible. The design of the whole is to show that the destruction would be complete and awful.

This finishes the summary statement of the final destruction of this formidable Antichristian power. The details and the consequences of that overthrow are more fully stated in the subsequent chapters. The fulfilment of what is here stated will be found, according to the method of interpretation proposed, in the ultimate overthrow of the Papacy. The process described in this chapter is that of successive calamities that would weaken it and prepare it for its fall; then a rallying of its dying strength; and then some tremendous judgment that is compared with a storm of hail, accompanied with lightning, and thunder, and an earthquake, that would completely overthrow all that was connected with it. We are not, indeed, to suppose that this will literally occur; but the fair interpretation of prophecy leads us to suppose that that formidable power will, at no very distant period, be overthrown in a manner that would be well represented by such a fearful storm.

{a} "great whore" Re 19:2; Na 3:4 {b} "many waters" Jer 51:13

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