In Revelation 8:6 we read,

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

The first angel sounded his trumpet, and after this in v.7 we read,

A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up and all the green grass was burned up.

In 9:3-4, after the fifth angel has sounded his trumpet we read,

And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

When the first angel sounded his trumpet a third of the trees were burned up and all the green grass was burned up, and when the fifth angel sounded his trumpet the locusts were ordered not to harm the grass, etc.

Did the grass, trees and plants grow again between the sounding of the first and fifth trumpets? Or, was the fifth trumpet the first trumpet to be sounded.

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    Only a third was destroyed. So when the fifth angel sounded his trumpet the locusts would not be permitted to touch what survived. – user2027 Sep 23 '13 at 22:29
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    @Sarah,when i read your comment it appeared that you had answered my question, but if you read the first angel you will find that all the green grass was burned up.Now read the fifth angel and you will find that the locusts were ordered not to harm the GRASS. – Bagpipes Sep 24 '13 at 8:44
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    Grass grows back after being burned. – user2027 Sep 24 '13 at 12:20
  • @Sarah,Hmm! would you agree that the plants must have got burnt as well when the first trumpet was sounded? – Bagpipes Sep 24 '13 at 18:08
  • In chapter 8, the Greek for "green grass" is "chloros, chortos". In chapter 9 the Greek is chloros, chloros (same twice). Perhaps that will help. – user2027 Sep 24 '13 at 20:16

Avoiding doctrinal bias and sticking to the text, there seems only one answer. The description is of angels blowing a trumpet with a resulting effect. The first blows a trumpet, something happens. The second, another things happens, etc. They can't all be blowing at the same time, otherwise John would not be able to distinguish the listed effects for each. Indestibuishable chaos would occur from all the judgments combined, if they all sounded together. Therefore the fifth angel to sound his trumpet is the fifth trumpet being sounded.

How this is applied/interpreted under the main doctrinal frameworks is varied. One can believe they are all sounded together every day under a very symbolic view. One can also try and figure out a practical hyper literal futurist view in terms of their partial literal destructions, possibly all closely occurring. However regardless from what doctrinal position one takes, the text arrays them in sequence for the purposes of the vision itself.

  • ,I would agree that the text arrays the trumpets in sequence for the purpose of the vision itself.However we do not know in what sequence John saw the trumpets in his vision.We are told in the book of Acts that John was an "uneducated man" so there is good reason to believe that John received help when the book was compiled.Also the state of the trees, grass etc,from the first to fifth trumpet(in my view) cannot be over-looked when trying to establish the sequence of the trumpets. – Bagpipes Sep 25 '13 at 9:52
  • ,I am of the same view that the angels cannot be blowing the trumpets all at same time.I do believe that a trumpet is sounded every 180 days or [exactly] every 6 months. – Bagpipes Sep 25 '13 at 10:17

Rev 8:7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

Rev 9:4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree.

I agree, the command of Rev 9:4 would be meaningless if there were no green grass left. As Mike observed, we have no business speculating about the order of events when John clearly differentiates them by "first", "second", "third", etc. The last verse in Rev 8, v13, also gives us a clear sense of chronology: "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!" The observation you made about the grass is one of several indications that some time passes between different events in Revelation. Grass does not need more than a few weeks to grow after it has been scorched (try it in your garden!), so at least a few weeks passed between the first and fifth trumpet. Whether we interpret this passing of time literally or figuratively is a different question.

  • ,yes that is correct that grass grows quickly,but when the first angel sounds his trumpet a third of the trees are also burnt.They can not have possibly grown between the first and fifth trumpet.NOTE,when the locusts appear at the fifth trumpet they are told not to harm any PLANT or TREE. – Bagpipes Oct 21 '13 at 16:15
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    The word translated "grass" in Rev 8:7 (where the grass is destroyed) and Rev 9:4 (where the grass is not to be harmed) is the same: "chortos", meaning "grass", and is translated "grass" in the KJV, NKJV, NIV, NLT, ESV, NASB, ASV, and YLT. Concerning the other plants, the first trumpet caused the destruction of only a third of other plants, and left plenty left to be destroyed by locusts. – Niobius Oct 21 '13 at 20:51

Often times when you read apparent contradictions in the bible, they are not contradictions. This is God's way of allowing "Close" is all you are getting on this subject.

  • Hi Ken, welcome and thanks for answering! What do you mean by "close"? Can't we resolve apparent contradictions by using reasoning skills? Thanks. – phil-al-sophy Dec 9 '18 at 17:12

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