And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness…
1. As we see in the plagues of Egypt, so we see here, that the Lord begins farther off at first, to wit, at the earth, waters, and sun, before He comes nearer to the throne or seat of the beast; which should teach men, before God come near them with His plagues or punishments, to draw near to God by true and timely repentance.
2. The wonted glory and lustre that the beast's kingdom had by ignorance, error, and idolatry, is now turned to darkness; which teaches us, that all seeming good, profit, pleasure, advancement, which is got by sin, ends at last in the contrary.
3. As nothing could hinder the darkness of Egypt, so nothing could hinder this; which teaches us, that when God is to punish, none are able to impede His judgments.
4. It is said here, that they gnawed their tongues for pain, where we see that as the Lord makes the guilty conscience of the wicked to be their own accuser and condemner, so He makes them likewise to be their own tormentor and burden.
5. We see here again the Lord's suitable judgments to the sin; they seduced and sinned by their tongue, therefore here they are punished in their tongue; wherefore beware in what manner, or by what member we sin, lest by the same we be likewise punished.
(William Guild, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,