1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
1 For we also read in the Gospel that the prayers of the Church are sent from heaven by an angel, and they are taken up by a holy angel against the outpouring of wrath and the darkness of the kingdom of Antichrist. For he says: "Pray that you might not fall into temptation" (Mt 26:41). For there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world; and except the Lord shortens those days, there would not be any flesh saved upon the earth (Mt 24:21-22). Therefore, He will send these seven great Archangels for the piercing of the kingdom of Antichrist. For as He also says in the Gospel: "Then the Son of Man will send His messengers, and they will gather His chosen ones from the four winds, from the end of heaven to its (other) end" (Mt 24:31; Mk 13:27). And he says before: "then there will be peace in the earth, when seven shepherds will arise in it, and eight attacks (lit. ‘bites’) of men, and they will encircle Assur, that is, Antichrist, in the ditch of Nebrothd" (Mic 5:5-6) in the damnation of the devil. And Ecclesiastes similarly says: "When the guardians of the house will be moved" (Eccl 12:3). For the Lord Himself says thus: When the workers come to him and say to him: "Lord, have we not sowed good seed in your field? So, from where are the weeds there?’" He answered them: "An enemy has done this.’ To whom they say: "Do you want us to go and remove that?" He says to them: "No, leave them together so they are growing until the harvest." And at that time, He says, "I will say to the harvesters to collect the weeds and throw them in the fire, and to lay up the wheat in the granaries" (Mt 13:27-30). This Apocalypse shows these harvesters and shepherds and workers to be the Archangels.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
2 And the trumpet is the word of power. And it may be repeating by the bowls, not as though it was said twice, but because what will happen only once, it is decreed by God that it will be, therefore it is said twice. Accordingly, whatever was said in the trumpets less, it was said in the bowls more. Neither (should you be) regarding the order of sayings, because the sevenfold Holy Spirit, where He hurries through to the final times and the end, returns back to the same time and adds to what little He said. Nor (should you be) seeking order in the Apocalypse, for that is also false prophecy; rather be seeking the meaning. They are, therefore, those things which are written in the trumpets and the bowls, either destructions by plagues sent out into the world, or the insanity of Antichrist himself, or the decline of peoples, or different kinds of plagues, or the hope in the Kingdom of the saints, or the ruin of cities, or the ruin of Babylon, that is, the city of the Romans.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
3 An eagle flying in the midst of heaven: the Holy Spirit is indicated, testifying by the two prophets to threaten plagues of great wrath, if in any way, even in the final time, anyone may still be saved.
[St. Victorinus does not cover chapter 9. Proceed to chapter 10.]