In Revelation 11:18 (NIV) it is written,

18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

It would appear from the text that God saw that the nations were angry and he then executed his wrath upon the nations for being angry.

Would this be the point that the author is making? I find it difficult to understand considering that the nations could be justifiably angry and I know that God is a just God.

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” (Psalm 89:14).

  • I see no discernible causative link here.
    – Dottard
    Jan 31 at 0:14
  • A causative link between the nations being angry and God's wrath. Is that what your question asks?
    – Dottard
    Jan 31 at 10:29
  • @Dottard- My understanding is that the nations were angry and when God saw this, He caused events on earth to happen........ Matthew 25:31-33....“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the NATIONS will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
    – Bagpipes
    Jan 31 at 11:24
  • that is true but that is NOT the passage you have asked about - we are looking at Rev 11:18 where no explicit link exists between the nation's anger and God's wrath
    – Dottard
    Jan 31 at 19:35
  • good for you. Why did you ask the question? Is the link a theological one or a textual one?
    – Dottard
    Jan 31 at 19:58

Revelation 11:18 alludes to Psalm 2:1 English Standard Version

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

They are angry with God as they plot to persecute the believers. So God intervenes and shows his wrath against these ungodly nations/peoples.

This is how an earlier verse is satisfied:

15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will reign for ever and ever.”

God exhibits his wrath and destroys the ungodly peoples to turn the world into the kingdom of God.

  • Thanks. God bless you!
    – Tony Chan
    Jan 30 at 16:58

Actually this question opens up something we need to understand. The place and role of nations - in Gods eyes. Nations are important, and, part of the [end time] purposes of God is to reclaim the nations.

God’s intention was for nations. For the people to spread and divide. We see this after the flood. But, the people of the world rejected God. We see this at Babel. So, God gave ‘them’, the people, their desire, and gave them over. We see this in Deuteronomy 32. But more, he divided the people up into ‘nations’, set boundaries, and because they had rejected Him, He ‘put’ the nations ‘under’ the sons of god, who became these nations ‘gods’. We see evidence of this with Egypt, (Moses),and Babylon, (Daniel). Then we see Satan offering the nations back to Jesus in the temptation, because Satan knows that was one of the reasons Jesus came. (To reclaim the nations).

And, as well, we hear Jesus speaking parables about nations, sheep and goat nations. This relates to the end times, and ‘edges’ into the doctrine of the Millennium, so we’ll leave this here. (Although to get a full understanding of this question you will need to bring in your view of Revelation, and, not all ‘views’ will ‘fit’ this outline.)

Now, in Revelation we see the climax, the fulfilment of this. That is, ‘reclaiming’ the nations. But, those ‘over’ those nations aren’t impressed, and [those gods] have no intention of giving them up. Exactly the same as we saw with Egypt! Now, God Judges nations based on their leaders. We see this with Israel in the Old Testament. If they had a good leader/king, all went well, but if not, judgement came on them. So in Revelation, the ‘nations’ being angry is a reflection that the ‘leaders’ [leaders ‘motivated’ by their gods, just as pharaoh was] were angry.

Egypt, the nation (people) suffered under wrath, were the object of that wrath, [all] because of pharaoh, their leader, who was ‘motivated’ by the gods of Egypt. And, the same way the plagues were ‘put’ onto Egypt, will happen again during the Tribulation, thus invoking the response of those afflicted. (Nations).

So, that’s what’s being described in Revelation 11. “The nations were angry, and your wrath has come”.

REV 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ,

  • The nations will be ruled with a rod of iron, being dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel. There is no possibility of 'reclamation'. There is only an Armageddon, coming shortly. Those who are saved are saved through repentance and a new birth.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 30 at 22:59
  • 1
    @Nigel J As I said in my response, this question edges towards one’s view of the Millennium, during which the Nations will be ‘ruled’ with a rod of Iron by Him on the throne in Jerusalem [my view]. But, this is after the nations have been ‘won’ back at end of the Tribulation - [still my view]. But now, with these responses, we are entering another fiercely debated doctrine:-)
    – Dave
    Jan 30 at 23:39

Rev 11:18 is part of what happens under the 7th trumpet of Revelation. Whatever system one uses to understand this book of symbols, one thing is clear - the 7th trumpet (Rev 11:15-18) has the following series of events:

  • V15 - “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” (V17) “We give thanks to You, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
  • V18a - The nations were enraged,
  • V18b - and Your wrath has come.
  • V18c - The time has come to judge the dead
  • V18d - and to reward Your servants the prophets as well as the saints and those who fear Your name, both small and great—
  • V18e - and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

Thus, there is no causative link between the nations being enraged and God's wrath, at least in this verse. This 7th trumpet clearly describes a time near or around the second coming of Jesus when Jesus begins his forma reign of all nations. [A Causative link is provided in Rev 6:15-17 and Rev 16:11, 21 but not in Rev 11.]

Thus, we cannot say, at least from this verse, that God's wrath is initiated by the angry nations any more that we can say that God's wrath is initiated by the judging of the dead and rewarding the prophets.

  • I suspect part of the anger of the nations would have to do with all the plagues being poured out on them
    – Robert
    Jan 30 at 22:27
  • @Robert - very likely as well as the political unrest that such disasters create. Whether this anger is against the various nations or against God is not explicitly stated but I suspect that it contains at least some anger against God.
    – Dottard
    Jan 30 at 22:36
  • yes, Rev 16.21, 16.11 makes this explicit
    – Robert
    Jan 30 at 22:41
  • @Robert - good point - I fully agree. That is the fundamental matter in the book of Revelation - whether we 9at the end) are angry with God (Rev 6:15-17) or are glad to see Him (Isa 25:9, Rev 22:4).
    – Dottard
    Jan 30 at 22:49

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