Revelation 14: The Harvest of the Earth

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Bible Study Series: Revealing Jesus in Revelation

Revelation Chapter 14: The Harvest of the Earth 

by I Gordon

Revelation 14 Bible Study Lesson The Harvest oft he EarthWelcome! Well, we are another couple of weeks on since the last message and correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the world has become any saner since we left! Which makes the book of Revelation, which we are in, all the more relevant. We are in the second half of Revelation 14 today exploring the harvest of the earth. For 10 points, can you remember what Jesus said about the harvest? Because John is given a vision of the end-time harvest and it relates directly with what Jesus said. And right from the get-go it should be noted that this vision and message comes with a warning - this is no 'light' passage. I might have to slap an 'M' rating on it - Mature audiences only! If you have been following this series you may remember that in Revelation chapter 9 I said that the 'three most frightening must-miss events' in Revelation are:

  1. The Great White Throne of Judgment (at the end of the Messianic Kingdom)
  2. The Winepress (at the Second Coming of Jesus)
  3. The opening of the Abyss (during the Tribulation)

You do not want to be involved in any of these! Amongst other points, we will be talking about the 2nd one, the winepress, today. So specifically, we'll concentrate on:

  • The Old Testament harvest background - how many harvests are there?
  • The timing of the harvest in Revelation - when does it occur?
  • The workmen in the harvest - who is it that reaps the harvest? 
  • The grape harvest - why is it called the winepress and why do you not want to be a grape?

Background: Three Harvests 

Before we get into this passage, we've got to do a little homework. So as another quiz starter, here are three questions to think about:

  1. What are the harvests in Israel's law and history?
  2. How do the different harvests symbolize different groups of people?
  3. Why do you not want to be involved when the fulfillment of the grape harvest occurs?

I'll let those simmer for a while... ok time up. Israel had and has three main times and types of harvest and each has a different prophetic fulfillment1:

The Three Harvests
  1. The barley harvest came first around March/April and was associated with the Feast of Firstfruits. There are some interesting characteristics of barley. The head bends over bowing down. The chaff is also separated from barley very easily, winnowed through the wind. The barley harvest, at the feast of firstfruits, is associated with Jesus and those that are His at the rapture: 1Co 15:20-23 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep... For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
  2. The wheat harvest came next around May and was associated with the feast of weeks/Pentecost (Ex 34:22). Unlike barley, wheat stands upright and the chaff is more stubborn and requires threshing for separation. Since ancient times a threshing board, inlaid with chips of flint or stone, has been used to separate the wheat from the chaff. The name of this board is the Latin 'tribulum', from which we get the English word 'tribulation'. Hence the wheat harvest speaks of those that will come to the Lord in the Tribulation period. Unlike the barley, those in the wheat harvest don't bend or bow their hearts easily and it will require a more difficult experience, through the Tribulation, to extract the good wheat from the chaff. 
  3. The fruit harvest (grape/figs/pomegranates) came last around September and was associated with the fall feasts. The grapes were trodden underfoot to extract their juice in the winepress. In the Bible this speaks directly to unbelievers in judgment as we shall see later in this chapter. As the Old Testament Prophet Joel said concerning the last days 'Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow-- so great is their wickedness!" (Joel 3:13)

The Coming Harvest

Rev 14:14-15 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of man" with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. (15) Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, "Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe."

So the vision starts with one "like a son of man" seated upon a cloud. Now I must be firm here... definitely no prizes for knowing who this is!

  • Earlier in Revelation we were introduced to this One "like a son of man", dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and a golden sash around his chest, as He walked amongst the lampstands (the churches) (Rev 1:13).
  • The prophet Daniel once saw a vision of 'one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.' (Dan 7:13) Jesus quoted this verse about Himself before the High Priest essentially sealing His fate as this was seen as blasphemy (Matt 26:64)
  • And Jesus used this phrase of Himself in connection with the harvest saying 'one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man' (Matt 13:37) 

So to state the obvious, this One like a son of man, seated on the cloud, is the Lord Jesus Himself. This is a fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy (amongst others) and is a vision of the end at His return at the end of the Tribulation. He has a golden victor's crown upon His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. The sickle had a sharp curved blade at the end of a wooden handle and was commonly used to cut grain during their harvest. Outside of this chapter in Revelation 14, the sickle is only mentioned in one other verse in the New Testament where Jesus spoke this parable of the harvest:

Mar 4:26-29 And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; (27) and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows--how, he himself does not know. (28) "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. (29) "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

Now when did Jesus say the harvest was? That's a slightly tricky question because there are two answers. Firstly it is 'now' because He said that the fields are already white and ready for harvest (Luke 10:2, John 4:35). But from a prophetic point of view, which is before us today in Revelation 14, Jesus said 'the harvest is the end of the age'. Do you remember the parable of the weeds where the enemy sowed tares among the wheat? In giving His explanation of that parable, Jesus said:

"The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. (38) The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, (39) and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. (40) As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. (41) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. (42) They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Mat 13:37-43) 

"If we compare this passage (Rev 14) with Mat 13:39-43 and Mat 25:31-46, we learn that the harvest of the earth takes place at the Second Advent of our Lord. Here He is said to do the reaping; in Mat 13:39 the angels are the reapers. Both are true; Christ does it through the agency of angels. "
William MacDonald, Believers Bible Commentary

Rev 14:16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

In the Old Testament there is a law that I'm sure all you sickle swingers out there would have memorized. 

Old Testament Picture - Where you can and cannot reap

Deu 23:25 If you enter your neighbor's grain field, you may pick kernels with your hands, but you must not put a sickle to his standing grain.

You can only swing your sickle over that which you own. In other words, you can't wander onto someone else's property and start harvesting all their wheat or any produce for that matter. Tempting as it may be, that's what they call, 'theft'. But take note of the spiritual application here for Jesus in Revelation is able to swing His sickle over the entire earth. Why? Because it is all His. As both creator and redeemer He owns this world and all it contains and He can harvest it all... and does! As a side note, it does say you can pick kernels from your neighbor's property by hand so finally... finally, I've found some Biblical support for my misspent youth! : )

So there is a division of the good and bad at the second coming of Jesus. As well as the parable of the wheat and tares this is also seen in the parable of the sheep and the goats. In both parables the righteous and unrighteous amongst the nations will be divided and judged accordingly. There are however different views amongst prophecy scholars as to whether the harvest of the good is seen in this passage in Revelation. Two views are expressed:

  1. Some see the Son of man reaping that which is good from the harvest in contrast with the grape harvest that the angels perform later in this chapter which is definitely a harvest unto judgment. 
  2. Others believe that the harvest of the good grain is not seen in this passage and it focuses solely on the removal 'out of his kingdom of everything that causes sin and all who do evil.' 

It could be either as the wheat harvest does involve both the good and the bad2. There is an interesting word used in verse 15 to take note of where the cry to harvest the earth is heard because 'the harvest is ripe'. The Greek word for 'ripe' here is 'xērainō' literally meaning 'To dry up, wither'. Some Bible versions translate this verse 'the harvest is fully ripe'. The word is used 16 times in the New Testament such as the plant that had no root and was dried up by the sun (Matt 13:6), the man who had a withered hand (Mark 3:1), the fig tree that withered when Jesus cursed it (Mar 11:21) and the branches that were cut from the vine and dried up (John 15:6). Each of the other 15 times this word is used in the New Testament is in a negative sense. So I doubt that Revelation 14:15 is an exception. God has been incredibly patient with the world but the second half of Revelation 14 pictures a time when the people will reap what they have sown.   

"For the harvest of the earth is ripe: This ancient Greek word for ripe has a negative sense, "to become dry or withered."  The idea is of something that is over-ripe.  This means that God will judge the earth only when it is over-ripe for judgment.  He doesn't rush into judgment."
David Guzik

The Harvest of that which is good
Now, that said, let us not forget that the harvest of the true wheat will come at the end of the age as well, though it could also be said of them that they are 'fully ripe'. That is, they have left it very late! Jesus, as the harvester, will take what is His from the earth at the rapture of His bride. And at the second coming, which is the scene before us in Revelation 14, He will also separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats. So there is still going to be a tremendous harvest of that which is good, righteous and true at this time. Though it comes from the most difficult of days. 
Let us also not forget the words of the Apostle Paul about not growing weary in this life for we too will reap a harvest. He wrote: 

Gal 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (10) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

We will reap in rewards what we have sown in the Spirit so stay close to the Lord and allow Him to live through you! 

The Grape Harvest

Rev 14:17-18 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. (18) Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, "Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe."

Verses 17-18 introduce the third harvest. As a recap:

  1. The first harvest is the barley harvest. The barley bows its head and its chaff is separated simply in a winnowing process. Barley typifies those that are Christ's at His return
  2. The second harvest is the wheat harvest, Wheat stands upright and requires the use of threshing on the 'tribulum' to separate the chaff. It typifies those that come to the Lord during the tribulation.
  3. The third harvest is the grape harvest. Grapes are crushed in the winepress, often underfoot, and this typifies the judgment of unbelievers at the end of the tribulation.3

As opposed to the wheat harvest seen earlier, which was reaped by 'the son of man', the grape harvest is gathered by angels. Two angels are seen in this passage with one, who has come from the altar in heaven, telling the other to take his sickle and reap the clusters of grapes. The altar and the angel that ministers there has been seen previously in Revelation 8:3-5 and was associated with the prayers of the saints and martyrs.

Rev 8:3-4 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. (4) The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand.

So it seems that the judgement call from this one angel in charge of the fire at the altar is a direct response to the many prayers of the saints throughout the Tribulation. And they will be answered in a most dramatic way! Notice also that this grape harvest occurs when the grapes are 'ripe'. This is a different word as translated 'ripe' earlier in the chapter (Rev 14:15) and means 'mature' or 'fully ripe'. Again the thought is that God has given these grapes plenty of time before judgement occurs. But they are fully mature now and fully deserving of what is to come. 

The Winepress

Rev 14:19-20 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. (20) They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

Now this is where things get hairy and the 'M' rating comes in. As I have mentioned in other studies, I first learned about 'the winepress' in a book by Allen Beechick (now called 'The Rapture Solution') and that chapter has stayed with me for the three decades since!4 Concerning this winepress of the grapes, Beechick begins the chapter writing: 

The most terrifying ordeal for any human being, outside of hell itself—what is it? The winepress. I want to tell you about the winepress because it will demonstrate the harmony of the Bible by answering several puzzling questions and because it will teach us some important principles about God and our lives.

So let's lay out a few scriptures to get a wider few of what is happening here in this grape harvest and winepress. In the context of the end times, Jesus spoke of a day when one would be taken and one left. While this sounds like the rapture, He was speaking in this context of another event where the ones taken are taken to judgment. He said:

Luk 17:34-37 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. (35) Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left. " (37) Where, Lord? they asked. He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather."

So in the last days people will be taken supernaturally to the place where there are dead bodies and vultures gathering. The reference to the vultures gathering around the dead takes us directly to the 2nd Coming of Jesus as described in Revelation 19 which states:

Rev 19:17-18,21 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, (18) so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great... (21) The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh."

You will notice that this death and destruction is not just of kings, generals and armies... but also of 'all people, free and slave, small and great'. This describes a great judgment at the second coming and is the place that the ones mentioned in Luke 17:34-37 are taken to for judgement. So it isn't any coincidence that right before this Revelation 19 passage we read of the winepress:

Rev 19:11, 15 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war... (15) Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

Again, it is at the return of Jesus at His second coming that this judgment occurs and He 'treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.' This was also seen by the Prophet Joel who instructed all the nations to come to the valley of Jehoshaphat... where the Lord would judge them and tread these 'grapes' in the 'winepress' because of their wickedness: 

Joe 3:9-14 Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. (10) Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, "I am strong!" (11) Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD! (12) Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. (13) Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow-- so great is their wickedness!" (14) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

As a side note, the vivid imagery of judgment presented here was used in a popular American patriotic song written by Julia Ward Howe during the American Civil War. It is called The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the opening verse states:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,
He is trampling out the vineyard where the grapes of wrath are stored
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on!

So where is the valley of Jehoshaphat? 

The site of the judgment will be the Valley of Jehoshaphat, mentioned only in Joe 3:2, Joe 3:12. Whether such a geographical site was known by this name in ancient Israel is not certain. Some scholars suggest it is a yet-future valley, to be formed by the splitting of the Mount of Olives at the Messiah’s return (Zec 14:4). At any rate, the importance of the name is not in its geographical location, but in its meaning, “the Lord judges.”
Bible Knowledge Commentary

But it is not just at Jerusalem that the winepress of the unbelieving nations is trodden. It will extend to Bozrah in Edom (modern day Jordan) where the Israelites flee to, as Isaiah graphically tells us:

Isa 63:1-4 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." (2) Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? (3) I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. (4) For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come.

This treading of the nations5 lines up with what Habakkuk also saw concerning the return of Jesus:

Hab 3:10-13 The mountains saw You and quaked; The downpour of waters swept by. The deep uttered forth its voice, It lifted high its hands. (11) Sun and moon stood in their places; They went away at the light of Your arrows, At the radiance of Your gleaming spear. (12) In indignation You marched through the earth; In anger You trampled the nations. (13) You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For the salvation of Your anointed. You struck the head of the house of the evil To lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah.

The distance of the slaughter

Rev 14:20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia (200 miles).

Unbelievers will be powerless against the King of kings on that day. This is His 'day of vengeance' as it states in Isaiah 34:8 to uphold Zion's cause. And as theologian Joseph Seiss writes: "What strength have grapes against the weight and power of a man when he comes to set his feet upon them?  And the riper they are, the more helpless... The heel of Omnipotence is upon them, and they can only break and sink beneath it." It should be noted that Jesus' method of judgment upon the unbelievers will come through His word - the 'sharp sword' that comes out of His mouth. But the blood and destruction is real none the less.

"Ah, such a fearful sight! Rivers of human blood “unto the bridles of the horses”! Yet it will be. If Josephus could say that when Jerusalem was taken by Titus, the Roman soldiers “obstructed the very lanes with dead bodies; and made the whole city run down with blood, to such a degree indeed that the fires of many of the houses was quenched with these men’s blood” (Wars: 6, 8) - what folly to doubt this word of God that a river of blood will run when the Son of God tramples the nations of all the earth in the Almighty’s anger! Yea, a river from Edom to Carmel, 1600 furlongs! We dare not read the verse that tells this, except as God’s literal fore view of fact!"
William Newell: Revelation, A Complete Commentary

It is possible, as Beechick suggests, that the blood flowing for 200 miles takes us from Jerusalem to Bozrah (Petra) and down to the Red Sea. Or from the north of Israel down to Bozrah in Edom as Newel suggests. Time will tell. What we do know is that what is coming for unbelievers has been spoken about right throughout scripture and is terrifying for those that rebel against the Lord. 


So... like I said, this is not a light topic! As a recap the Bible gives three main harvests in the barley, the wheat and the grape/fruit gatherings. And each speaks of a different harvest for different groups of people. You want to be part of the barley harvest spiritually speaking. You want to be someone that bows down easily to the Lord like barley does. You want to have the chaff separated easily by the wind of the Spirit like barley. But others are like wheat. They don't bow so easily. Their chaff isn't removed easily. In fact it will take the Tribulation to cause them to bow their hearts. You don't want to be part of this group but it is still far better than being a grape. They hate and oppose the Lord and will be part of the winepress when the Lord returns with vengeance and judgment in His heart. Do. Not. Be. A. Grape!

So what can we learn from all this? Let me close with a few takeaways:

  • This passage speaks to the patience of God. The harvest is seen as being fully or even over-ripe. God has left and given them as long as He can before judgment comes. God desires all to repent and come to know Him. His patience, even in the midst of a generation that shakes its fist at God, is amazing.
  • But the passage also speaks to God's hatred of sin. Sin has messed this whole world up and is evident everywhere. It cannot just be overlooked by a Holy God. There must be judgment and if a person will not accept Jesus as the One who took that judgment, he will have to accept that same judgment upon himself. Jesus or judgment - those are the only two options. 
  • Thus, this passage is a warning to the world. Most have no idea what is coming and the world is already ripe for judgement - but for the patience of God. If people lose it today because you get their preferred pronoun wrong, how will they stand with what is coming?  
  • Finally, for the believer this passage is a two-fold reminder. 
    • Firstly, that we want to see others know the Lord so that they can be part of the first coming harvest when Christ returns for His Church. There is a promise given to the true Church that she will be kept from this hour of trial that will engulf the entire world (Rev 3:10) and we should want as many as possible to board the Ark and be included there. 
    • And this passage is a reminder to believers that we too will reap a harvest if we sow to the things of God today. God not only watches, He takes notes! And all things done with the right motivation and spirit will be rewarded by Him.

God Bless.


  1. Michael Norton, in his book Unlocking the secrets of the feasts, writes: 'The head of the barley is very soft and easily crushed. This reminds me of the birth of the church at Pentecost where the Holy Spirit came like a wind and indwelt believers as reported in Acts 2:1-2... In the order of the resurrections, the church is first to be resurrected, just as the barley is the first to be harvested... Since the head of the wheat is hard, it must be threshed or crushed to separate the wheat from the chaff. A man who is threshing the wheat stands on a large board, which has bits of glass underneath it, and is pulled by a horse over the wheat to do the crushing. I found it quite telling that the board is called by a Latin word: "tribulum". Many people. including Jews. will come to Christ in the tribulation, as noted in Revelation 7:9-14. It is interesting that you can also tell the difference between a field of wheat and a field of barley. While the heads of the stock of barley bend down like they are bowing in humility (see picture above), the heads of the stocks of wheat stay straight up. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 31:27 where Moses said to the children of Israel: 'For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord, then how much more after my death?' The church will he resurrected first (the barley). while those who become believers in the tribulation (the wheat) shall be resurrected during the tribulation if they die in that period. In a sense they were harvested under the crushing of the "tribulum". Finally we have the fruit harvest in the Autumn (Fall) season. This is the last of the harvests and in scripture applies to unbelievers. Revelation speaks in graphic detail of this harvest unto judgement.

  2. Many have noted both the good and bad aspects in the coming wheat harvest. For example:

    "It must be remembered that evil has its harvest as well as good.  There is a harvest of misery and woe, - a harvest for the gathering, binding, and burning of the tares, - as well as for the gathering of the wheat into the garner of heaven."
    Joseph Seiss

    You will remember that our Lord Jesus spoke about the harvest. He declared that it is the end of the age, the time when the wicked are going to be separated from the just. He is going to gather the wheat into His garner, but burn up the tares with fire unquenchable (Matthew 13:37-42). This is what you have here; it is discriminating judgment. The earth is reaped. The Son of man will claim for Himself everything that is of God. All that is contrary will be given up to judgment. Observe that it is the Son of man who sits on the cloud and directs the reapers. All judgment is committed to the Son. The One who once hung on Calvary’s cross is the same blessed person who is coming to execute judgment.
    H.A Ironside

  3. The vineyard in scripture is often associated and symbolic of Israel (Psa 80:8; Isa 5:1-7; Jer 2:21; Jer 6:9, Mat 21:33-41) so some prophecy teachers think that the winepress of grapes here speaks of the judgment of unbelieving Israel. But when we compare scripture with scripture we see that it is much wider. It is a judgement of the unbelieving nations as seen in Joel 3:9-14.

  4. Beechick's entire book including the chapter on the winepress can be seen online now. The chapter on the winepress goes into a few different aspects that I haven't so if interested in this topic I encourage you to have a read. A lot of what I now believe had it's foundation in this book/chapter:

  5. To this we could add: 

    Psa 110:1-7 A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet." (2) The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, "Rule in the midst of Your enemies." (3) Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew. (4) The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." (5) The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath. (6) He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country. (7) He will drink from the brook by the wayside; Therefore He will lift up His head.

    Isa 34:2-8 The LORD is angry with all nations; his wrath is upon all their armies. He will totally destroy them, he will give them over to slaughter. (3) Their slain will be thrown out, their dead bodies will send up a stench; the mountains will be soaked with their blood. (4) All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree. (5) My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; see, it descends in judgment on Edom, the people I have totally destroyed. (6) The sword of the LORD is bathed in blood, it is covered with fat-- the blood of lambs and goats, fat from the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in Edom. (7) And the wild oxen will fall with them, the bull calves and the great bulls. Their land will be drenched with blood, and the dust will be soaked with fat. (8) For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause.

    And notice the timing of the passage in Isa 34 above that speaks of the Lord's destruction of the nation's armies. It occurs when 'All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.' This is the 6th seal and lends weight to the belief I expressed in the study on Revelation 6 that the seals go right through to the end of the chapter.

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