The Seven Last Plagues. 1* Then I saw in heaven another sign,* great and awe-inspiring: seven angels with the seven last plagues, for through them God’s fury is accomplished.
2Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire.* On the sea of glass were standing those who had won the victory over the beast and its image and the number that signified its name. They were holding God’s harps,a 3and they sang the song of Moses,* the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
“Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.b
4Who will not fear you, Lord,
or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”c
5* After this I had another vision. The temple that is the heavenly tent of testimony* opened, 6and the seven angels with the seven plagues came out of the temple. They were dressed in clean white linen, with a gold sash around their chests.d 7One of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven gold bowls filled with the fury of God, who lives forever and ever. 8Then the temple became so filled with the smoke from God’s glory and might that no one could enter it until the seven plagues of the seven angels had been accomplished.e
* [15:1–16:21] The seven bowls, the third and last group of seven after the seven seals and the seven trumpets, foreshadow the final cataclysm. Again, the series is introduced by a heavenly prelude, in which the victors over the beast sing the canticle of Moses (Rev 15:2–4).
* [15:1–4] A vision of the victorious martyrs precedes the vision of woe in Rev 15:5–16:21; cf. Rev 7:9–12.
* [15:2] Mingled with fire: fire symbolizes the sanctity involved in facing God, reflected in the trials that have prepared the victorious Christians or in God’s wrath.
* [15:3] The song of Moses: the song that Moses and the Israelites sang after their escape from the oppression of Egypt (Ex 15:1–18). The martyrs have escaped from the oppression of the Devil. Nations: many other Greek manuscripts and versions read “ages.”
* [15:5–8] Seven angels receive the bowls of God’s wrath.
* [15:5] Tent of testimony: the name of the meeting tent in the Greek text of Ex 40. Cf. 2 Mc 2:4–7.
b. [15:3] Ps 92:6; 98:1 / Dt 32:4; Ps 145:17.
c. [15:4] Ps 86:9–10; Jer 10:7.
e. [15:8] 1 Kgs 8:10; Is 6:4.