|In the fifth
trumpet, we had darkness from the smoke rising from the pit. Here it is worse -- total darkness. Then, locust gnawed the earth; here, men gnaw their tongues.
|All commentators --
of all persuasions -- agree: the
throne of the beast is ROME. The
argument is papal Rome versus a revived Roman Empire.
figuratively, would be judgment (or possibly ignorance) -- as it was to the
Egyptians in the 9th plague. It is
particularly associated with the Day of the Lord (Amos 5:18-20, among other
|Literal thoughts --
again, limited to futurists, though not all futurists see it this way --
|• Chuck Smith’s
supernova, now fading (previous arguments still stand on this one).
|• Hal Lindsey has
this as a physical darkness to conceal the invasion of 200,000,000 oriental
soldiers (6th trumpet). This seems to
me a severe violation of chronology.
Hal needs them, however, for his interpretation of Armegeddon.
|The historicist view
is that this represents the final destruction of the Pope’s political
power. This bowl would start in 1848,
when the citizens of Rome rose up and threw out the Pope. He was promptly restored by French
bayonets; but in 1870 the French withdrew to fight the invading
Prussians. The city then voted
overwhelmingly to join the new nation of Italy. Victor Emmanuel then deprived the Pope of
all temporal sovereignty, seizing all church lands. (See maps)
|To this day,
however, the Pope refuses to repent.
Official Catholic doctrine still proclaims the Pope as rightful temporal
ruler of the world. Indeed, in the
same year in which he was deprived of his rule, the Vatican I council
declared him (under pain of excommunication) infallible.
|Since then, by the
courtesy of Mussolini, the Pope now rules 100 acres of Vatican City.