Revelation 16:10
And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish
The Seven Vials: Predestined Suffering in the Government of the WorldD. Thomas Revelation 16:1-21
Punishment Concentrated Upon the SinnerWilliam Guild, D. D.Revelation 16:10-11

They repented not to give him glory. This impenitence is told of in Revelation 9:20, and in this chapter again at vers. 11 and 21. This repeated reference is designed to, as it well may, impress our minds with a fact at once so sinful, so solemn, and so sad. For such impenitence is -

I. A VERY CERTAIN FACT. The late Mr. Kingsley, in his book, 'The Roman and the Teuton,' draws out at length the evidence both of the horrible sufferings and the yet more horrible impenitence of the Roman people in the days of their empire's fall. He refers to these very verses as accurately describing the condition of things in those awful days, when the people of Rome "gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed," etc. (ver. 11). And it is to Rome and her fall that St. John is here alluding. There can hardly be doubt of that. But the sinners at Rome were not the only ones who, in spite of the judgments of God resting upon them, have, nevertheless, hardened their hearts. Who has not known of such things?

II. AND VERY WONDERFUL. We say a burnt child dreads the fire, but it is evident that they who have been "scorched with great heat" (ver. 9) by the righteous wrath of God are yet not afraid to incur that wrath again. Nothing strikes us more than the persistent way in which, in the "day of provocation in the wilderness," the Israelites went on sinning, notwithstanding all that it brought upon them in the way of punishment. There was every reason and motive for them to obey God, and yet they did scarce anything but provoke him. And it is so still.

III. AND VERY AWFUL. "Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone." "Why should ye be stricken any more?" - no good comes of it, punishment does not make any difference. Such are the despairing words of the prophets of God. There are few surer signs of perdition than when a man is hardened in sin and more set in enmity against God by reason of his righteous judgments. What can even God do then? If what is designed to lead us to repentance only drive us into more sin, what hope is there? See those told of here; what a description of unspeakable distress - "gnawing their tongues for pain," but blaspheming God the while and repenting not! "From hardness of heart,... good Lord, deliver us."


1. Times of such distress as are told of here are just the most unfavourable times of all others for that serious, earnest thought which would lead to repentance. Distress distracts the mind, drags it hither and thither, so that it cannot stay itself upon God. To trust to the hour of death to turn unto God is, indeed, to build upon the sand.

2. Resentment against their ill treatment holds their mind more than aught else. Thrice are we told how the men who "gnawed their tongues for pain" blasphemed God. Burning rage against him enwrapped their souls. As if he were to blame, and not they! They explain that difficult verse in the ninetieth psalm, "Who regardeth the power of thy wrath? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath." It is only they who have a holy fear of God who will regard his wrath; according to the measure of that fear will be the measure of right regard of the wrath of God. Where that fear is not, God's wrath will exasperate, enrage, and harden, but there will be no repentance.

3. They attribute their sufferings to every cause but the true one. How easy it is to do this! how commonly it is done! How men snatch at every suggestion that will help them to lay the blame upon other men or things! It is part of "the deceitfulness of sin" to make men do this. But until a man is led to cry, with him of old, "God be merciful to me, the sinner!" (Luke 18:13), he may groan in agony of body or mind, but he will never turn in heart to God.

4. Sin has such hold on them that they cannot give it up. Yes, deeper than the dread of its punishment is the love of the sin. Once it might have been broken through as easily as the cobweb that stretches across the garden path; but, indulged and indulged, it has become a cable that holds the man in spite of all the storm of God's judgments and the tempest of his wrath. Cries and tears, protestations and prayers, may be extorted from the man through his terror and pain; but they are but surface sounds, and touch not the depth or reality of the man's soul.

5. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Ecclesiastes 8:11). The interval between the sentence and its being carried out is given for repentance; but men have made it a means of greater sin. Such are some of the reasons that explain the seemingly wonderful fact we are considering.

V. AND IT IS FULL OF WARNING. Even torture does not turn a man, nor suffering save. That old and awful puritanic cry to sinners, "Turn or burn!" - a cry which, we believe, never yet turned one heart to God, for it is not the nature of terror to do that - has a yet more dread sequel; that if a man will not now, in "the day of salvation," turn to God, he may burn and yet not turn. Such is the teaching, not of our text alone, but of all experience too. O God, fill our hearts with the fear and love of thee! - S.C.

The fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast.
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.)

Armageddon, Babylon, Euphrates River, Patmos
Agony, Angel, Anguish, Beast, Biting, Bowl, Dark, Darkened, Darkness, Distress, Fifth, Full, Gnawed, Gnawing, Kingdom, Messenger, Pain, Plunged, Pour, Poured, Seat, Throne, Tongues, Vessel, Vial, Wild
1. The angels pour out their bowls of wrath.
6. The plagues that follow.
16. Armageddon.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Revelation 16:10

     5132   biting
     5193   tongue
     5581   throne
     5782   agony

Revelation 16:1-21

     4113   angels, agents of judgment

Revelation 16:8-11

     6195   impenitence, results

Revelation 16:9-11

     6734   repentance, importance

Revelation 16:10-11

     4609   beast, the
     4812   darkness, God's judgment
     5567   suffering, emotional
     5831   depression

Sin Charged Upon the Surety
All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. C omparisons, in the Scripture, are frequently to be understood with great limitation: perhaps, out of many circumstances, only one is justly applicable to the case. Thus, when our Lord says, Behold, I come as a thief (Revelation 16:15) , --common sense will fix the resemblance to a single point, that He will come suddenly, and unexpectedly. So when wandering sinners
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

The Sins of Communities Noted and Punished.
"Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation." This is predicated of the judgments of God on those who had shed the blood of his saints. The Savior declares that all the righteous blood which had been shed on the earth from that of Abel down to the gospel day, should come on that generation! But is not this unreasonable and contrary to the Scriptures? "Far be wickedness from God and iniquity from the Almighty. For the work of man shall be render unto him, and cause every
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

Opposition to Messiah Ruinous
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel T here is a species of the sublime in writing, which seems peculiar to the Scripture, and of which, properly, no subjects but those of divine revelation are capable, With us, things inconsiderable in themselves are elevated by splendid images, which give them an apparent importance beyond what they can justly claim. Thus the poet, when describing a battle among bees, by a judicious selection of epithets
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Healing a Demoniac in a Synagogue.
(at Capernaum.) ^B Mark I. 21-28; ^C Luke . IV. 31-37. ^b 21 And they [Jesus and the four fishermen whom he called] go into { ^c he came down to} Capernaum, a city of Galilee. [Luke has just spoken of Nazareth, and he uses the expression "down to Capernaum" because the latter was on the lake shore while Nazareth was up in the mountains.] And ^b straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught. { ^c was teaching them} ^b 22 And they were astonished at his teaching: for he taught
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Instruction for the Ignorant:
BEING A SALVE TO CURE THAT GREAT WANT OF KNOWLEDGE, WHICH SO MUCH REIGNS BOTH IN YOUNG AND OLD. PREPARED AND PRESENTED TO THEM IN A PLAIN AND EASY DIALOGUE, FITTED TO THE CAPACITY OF THE WEAKEST. 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.'--Hosea 4:6 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This little catechism is upon a plan perfectly new and unique. It was first published as a pocket volume in 1675, and has been republished in every collection of the author's works; and recently in a separate tract.
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Revelation 16:10 NIV
Revelation 16:10 NLT
Revelation 16:10 ESV
Revelation 16:10 NASB
Revelation 16:10 KJV

Revelation 16:10 Bible Apps
Revelation 16:10 Parallel
Revelation 16:10 Biblia Paralela
Revelation 16:10 Chinese Bible
Revelation 16:10 French Bible
Revelation 16:10 German Bible

Revelation 16:10 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Revelation 16:9
Top of Page
Top of Page