God’s fierce anger is connected in thought with the Trumpets from Chapter 8-11, and in Chapter 14:8 we have the statement that “Babylon” or Rome has Fallen, not falling.
1st Trumpet (Fire) = 1st Bowl (Blistering Sores)
2nd Trumpet (Seas) = 2nd Bowl (Seas)
3rd Trumpet (Rivers/Springs) = 3rd Bowl (Rivers/Springs)
4th Trumpet (Sun) = 4th Bowl (Sun)
5th Trumpet (Pit & Locusts) = 5th Bowl (Beasts Throne & Sores)
6th Trumpet (Euphrates) = 6th Bowl (Euphrates)
7th Trumpet (Voices) = 7th Bowl (Voice)
Note the “hail” from the 1st Trumpet is shown in the 7th Bowl, the clear message is this: Total Annihilation against every facet of the Roman Empire, remember, what the Trumpets were warning against. 1-Agriculture, internal commerce. 2-International trade. 3-Worship of Emperors. 4-Emperors Edicts Themselves. 5-Cultural morals/ethics. 6-Military. The 7th trumpet warned the church of the enemy in the ultimate victory and recognition of Christ. The total annihilation of God’s enemy is stated in literal terms using symbols, but this is an example of how symbols don’t mean exactly what they literally say. Zechariah and Isaiah both used symbolic language to prophesy total annihilation, but did the enemy literally get total annihilation, yes, but not in the way that the symbol was used. God spoke of coming doom on Judah in Zec. 1:2-4, but after you read the details, his language pointed to total destruction, but didn’t mean literal total annihilation. We might ask, “If God doesn’t mean total annihilation, why does He use that kind of language? The answer: He’s promoting horror, symbolic and apocalyptic language is truly emotional, this is a visual description of the horror the enemy would feel. Read Isaiah 13:17 concerning Babylon, falling to the Medes and it did. The Medo-Persian King Cyrus took Babylon down and it hasn’t come back up to this day. The description of this fall is in Isaiah 13:10-13, 17-22, and none of it LITERALLY happened because Babylon fell with out a single shot being fired, the gates were opened by her own priests to let Cyrus’ troops in after some had sneaked in by a river bed, and had slain Belshazzar. Babylon was not destroyed by the Greeks either, Alexander the Great made it his headquarters, and died there. In fact, people live in and around ancient Babylon today, so has it really fallen? Yes! It remains weak, torn and will never rise to it’s former glorious power, size or influence to this day.
“Euphrates” v12, This river has always symbolized military might forthcoming, Assyria came from this river to pounce on Israel. Babylon came from this river to pounce on Judah. In the advance of armies, it is said to rush or overflow, Isa. 8:7-8 & 17:12. Now it’s drying up, why? Because Roman armies must retreat and will be defeated, when God angrily uses our prayers and his tools to exercise his justified wrath. The drying up of water has always been a way of escape or deliverance for God’s people, remember the Red Sea and twice on the Jordan, Ex. 14:21-22, Josh. 3:15-17 & 2nd Kings 2:7-14.
“Har-Magedon” v16, See Joshua 17:11 where Meggido is an area which had 3 towns and a large valley, hills and towns around it are what the Hebrew language refers to. Judges 4-5 (Jud. 5:19) show Israel thrashing Jabin into oblivion and where Sisera was blistered and stars in their courses fought against God’s enemies. The consistent message from Meggido is this: If you are obeying God’s word you are on God’s side and win a victory that LASTS. Even Pharoah Necho who had a message from Jehovah descended upon the Judean King Josiah in Meggido, defeating him and leaving Judah never to laugh at Egypt again, 2nd Chron. 35:20-27. To the Jews of Johns day, the very place-name reminded them of this: whoever was on God’s side, wins forever, they have the last word.
“Accomplished” v17-21, Rome and her allies are as good as buried. Some elements of the bowls have yet to be developed, such as Rome’s burial in Rev. 17 & 18 and the battle of Armageddon in Rev. 19 and the Devil himself defeated “in the air”, and it is fully described in Revelation 20. The three divisions of Rome may be pointing to the permanent disunity of Economy, Religion & Military power, which Rome once had united.