v8: Here comes the "like" term used within the Bible. The second trumpet is sounded. Something "like" a great mountain is burning and thrown into the sea. Upon entering the sea, one-third of the sea became blood, one-third of the creatures (life) died, and one-third of the ships on the sea were destroyed. Since the words are "like a great mountain" or "as it were a great mountain", we must look again at the real meaning of what John saw. Bruce Metzger once said referencing Revelation and John (paraphrased) It means what 'it means" not necessarily what it says. This is what we have been saying all along. We are examining what John saw. It was being given to him to transmit to us in words we might be able to understand.
©Salem Kirban, Inc.The use of mountain it an indication of power and unmoveability. If we had enough faith we could move mountains is what Jesus said. What He meant is with enough faith we could do things that simply seem impossible. We could speculate for hours what this great burning mountain is that is cast into the sea. Perhaps it is a gigantic volcano which erupts. It could be something like a meteor type catastrophe because of the description and extent of the damage. This type of catastrophe CAN cause the damage described. Since the symbolism is power, some believe the "something like" a mountain could be a powerful, terrorizing nation. Being cast into the "sea" may again refer to the water or sea as people and nations that in turmoil and great commotion.
John did not run an analysis on the water which APPEARS to be blood. It is what he sees. It COULD have been turned to blood if we can accept God allowed Moses to turn water into blood. If we accept the strong nation discussion in the previous paragraph, the blood symbolism may not be symbolism at all. It could be the shed blood in tremendous wars and fighting. Rabbis liked to use examples to explain. The great amount of blood is an indication of the great number of people that will die.
v9: The description of the creatures can be taken in accordance with your interpretation of what the great mountain is. If it is something like a meteor of a volcano, it could be literally sea life that will be destroyed. However, if we look at the "warring nations" understanding, we could be talking about lives lost in island and on shores. The commerce could be totally destroyed. A third of the ships could be referring again to real damage or from damage of ship materials, fuels, and, of course, people to run the ships. Maritime traffic would be one-third destroyed.
Note was said before. God causes the judgments; but, He does not destroy all. He shows His power and wait for the "other two-thirds" to turn to Him.
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