The Book of Revelation 8:10-11

Wormwood

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.”

(Rev 8:10-11 KJV)

Wormwood means ‘bitter’. Many have speculated that Wormwood would be a nuclear meltdown, pointing to the disaster of Chernobyl. There are several problems with that interpretation. First, Chernobyl took place in 1986, so it can’t fit into the still future events of Revelation. Second, verse 10 calls it a great star that fell from heaven. This description is very specific. Wormwood will poison a third of the drinkable water, killing many who drink it. Wormwood is a bitter plant that represents God’s judgment. Regardless of what Wormwood is, it surely represents God’s judgment on the inhabitants of Earth at the sounding of the third trumpet.

“Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;” (Deu 29:18 KJV)

“But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.” (Pro 5:4 KJV)

“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.” (Jer 9:15 KJV)

“Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,” (Amo 5:7 KJV)

Great – 3173 μέγας megas {meg’-as}

Meaning:  1) great 1a) of the external form or sensible appearance of things (or of persons) 1a1) in particular, of space and its dimensions, as respects 1a1a) mass and weight: great 1a1b) compass and extent: large, spacious 1a1c) measure and height: long 1a1d) stature and age: great, old 1b) of number and quantity: numerous, large, abundant 1c) of age: the elder 1d) used of intensity and its degrees: with great effort, of the affections and emotions of the mind, of natural events powerfully affecting the senses: violent, mighty, strong 2) predicated of rank, as belonging to 2a) persons, eminent for ability, virtue, authority, power 2b) things esteemed highly for their importance: of great moment, of great weight, importance 2c) a thing to be highly esteemed for its excellence: excellent 3) splendid, prepared on a grand scale, stately 4) great things 4a) of God’s preeminent blessings 4b) of things which overstep the province of a created being, proud (presumptuous) things, full of arrogance, derogatory to the majesty of God

Star – 792 ἀστήρ aster {as-tare’}

Meaning:  1) a star

Origin:  probably from the base of 4766; TDNT – 1:503,86; n m

Wormwood (Greek) – 894 Ἄψινθος apsinthos {ap’-sin-thos}

Meaning:  1) wormwood 2) the name of a star which fell into the waters and made them bitter

Wormwood (Hebrew) – 03939 לַעֲנָה la`anah {lah-an-aw’}

Meaning:  1) wormwood 1a) bitterness (metaph.)

Origin:  from an unused root supposed to mean to curse; TWOT – 1121; n f

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