The Seven Bowls of Wrath


The Seven Vials with the Seven Plagues
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast {who beat Cestius, sent by Nero;}, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”
– Revelation 15:1-8​

A temple built in heaven? Why would you need to open a temple in heaven? Unless heaven is Rome, of course…

OK, let's see, a vision of a sea made of glass mingled with fire, all nations worshiping, those who defeated the beast {Nero, after he sent his images into Jerusalem to be worshiped by them;} now praise God and seven golden vials from the temple: all of these prophecies are fulfilled in Book VII, chapter 5 of the Wars of the Jews recalling the triumph celebrations after the war (VII:5:5) followed by the opening of a temple in heaven (VII:5:7), that makes six story points in this prophecy that are the same as in the Wars and follow the temporal sequence as well:

“Now it is impossible to describe the multitude of the shows as they deserve, and the magnificence of them all; such indeed as a man could not easily think of as performed, either by the labor of workmen, or the variety of riches, or the rarities of nature… demonstrated the vastness of the dominions of the Romans; for there was here to be seen a mighty quantity of silver, and gold, and ivory… and many resemblances of the war, and those in several ways, and variety of contrivances, affording a most lively portraiture of itself. For there was to be seen a happy country laid wasteas also every place full of slaughter, and supplications of the enemies, when they were no longer able to lift up their hands in way of opposition. Fire also sent upon temples was here represented, and houses overthrown, and falling upon their owners: rivers also, after they came out of a large and melancholy desert, ran down, not into a land cultivated, nor as drink for men, or for cattle, but through a land still on fire upon every side; for the Jews related that such a thing they had undergone during this war… [T]he other spoils… that were taken in the temple of Jerusalem, they made the greatest figure of them all; that is, the golden table, of the weight of many talents; the candlestick also, that was made of gold… These lamps were in number seven, and represented the dignity of the number seven among the JewsAfter these triumphs were over, and after the affairs of the Romans were settled on the surest foundations, Vespasian resolved to build a temple to Peace, which was finished in so short a time, andin so glorious a manner, as was beyond all human expectation and opinion… he had this temple adorned with pictures and statues; for in this temple were collected and deposited all such rarities as men aforetime used to wander all over the habitable world to see, when they had a desire to see one of them after another; he also laid up therein those golden vessels and instruments that were taken out of the Jewish temple, as ensigns of his glory. But still he gave order that they should lay up their Law, and the purple veils of the holy place, in the royal palace itself, and keep them there.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, 5:5-7​

Now at this point we will see in the book of Revelation the seven angels pouring out the seven bowls of wrath and these prophecies being fulfilled in those passages in The Wars of the Jews where we find the word “calamity” to describe the miseries and destructions that came upon the Jews as the top seven generals of the war pour out the wrath of God upon those wicked wretches.

The First Bowl of Wrath: Cestius Gallus
“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”
– Revelation 16:2​

This would appear to have its literal fulfillment in Josephus' narration when Cestius is defeated by the Jews. Remember that Nero is the beast with the gematria number of his name “666”, and those who worship his image are most definitely not the Jews. Nero first sent Cestius in to subdue the Jews to punish them specifically for not worshiping his images which he sent into their country, before later sending Vespasian, but for now, those men that had the mark of beast, i.e. the twelfth legion, suffer a defeat under Cestius:

“And then it was that Cestius, despairing of obtaining room for a public march, contrived how he might best run away… But when the Jewsran upon those four hundred who had deluded them, and immediately threw their darts at them, and slew them… the Jews went on pursuing the Romans as far as Antipatris; after which, seeing they could not overtake them, they came back, and took the engines, and spoiled the dead bodies… while they had themselves lost a few only, but had slain of the Romans five thousand and three hundred footmen, and three hundred and eighty horsemen. This defeat happened… in the twelfth year of the reign of Nero {66 AD;}.”
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book II 19:9​
“AFTER this calamity had befallen Cestius, many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink… Cestius sent Saul and his friends, at their own desire, to Achaia, to Nero, to inform him of the great distress they were in, and to lay the blame of their kindling the war upon Florus, as hoping to alleviate his own danger, by provoking his indignation against Florus.”
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book II 20:1​


The Second Bowl of Wrath: Flavius Vespasianus
“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.”
– Revelation 16:3​

The sea was indeed turned into blood and everything in the sea did die when Vespasian went after the people of Joppa:

“…Now as soon as Vespasian knew of their conspiracy, he sent both footmen and horsemen to Joppa…Now as those people of Joppa were floating about in this sea, in the morning there fell a violent wind upon them; it is called by those that sail there "the black north wind," and there dashed their ships one against another, and dashed some of them against the rocks… a great many were embarrassed with shipwrecks. But some of them thought that to die by their own swords was lighter than by the sea, and so they killed themselves before they were drowned; although the greatest part of them were carried by the waves, and dashed to pieces against the abrupt parts of the rocks, insomuch that the sea was bloody a long way, and the maritime parts were full of dead bodies; for the Romans came upon those that were carried to the shore, and destroyed them; and the number of the bodies that were thus thrown out of the sea was four thousand and two hundred… but Vespasian, in order to prevent these pirates from coming thither any more, erected a camp there… But now, when the fate of Jotapata was related at Jerusalem, a great many at the first disbelieved it, on account of the vastness of the calamity…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 9:2-5​

Third Bowl of Wrath: Placidus the Tribune
“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”
– Revelation 16:4-7​

This bowl of wrath comes as a calamity upon the Jews when Josephus, near the beginning of the Jewish rebellion and after he has been made a general of the Jews, takes his armies to try to secure the neighboring villages against the approaching Romans and thereby provokes the Romans to attack:

“NOW the auxiliaries which were sent to assist the people of Sepphoris, being a thousand horsemen, and six thousand footmen, under Placidus the tribuneJosephus marched against the city, as hoping to take what he had lately encompassed with so strong a wall… by which means he proved too weak, and failed of his hopes… By this means he provoked the Romans to treat the country according to the law of war; nor did the Romans, out of the anger they bore at this attempt, leave off, either by night or by day, burning the places in the plain, and stealing away the cattle that were in the country, and killing whatsoever appeared capable of fighting perpetually, and leading the weaker people as slaves into captivity; so that Galilee was all over filled with fire and blood; nor was it exempted from any kind of misery or calamity…”
– Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book III 4:1​

Placidus is here referred to as the “angel of the waters” because he forced a prodigious number of Jews into the Jordan river and filled the waters of the land with their bodies:

“…But Placidus, relying much upon his horsemen, and his former good success, followed them, and slew all that he overtook, as far as Jordan; and when he had driven the whole multitude to the river-side, where they were stopped by the current, (for it had been augmented lately by rains, and was not fordable,)… At which fight, hand to hand, fifteen thousand of them were slain, while the number of those that were unwillingly forced to leap into Jordan was prodigious. There were besides two thousand and two hundred taken prisoners… Now this destruction that fell upon the Jews, as it was not inferior to any of the rest in itself, so did it still appear greater than it really was; and this, because not only the whole country through which they fled was filled with slaughter, and Jordan could not be passed over, by reason of the dead bodies that were in it, but because the lake Asphaltitis {the Dead Sea;} was also full of dead bodies, that were carried down into it by the river…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 7:5-6​

The Fourth Bowl of Wrath: Sextus Cerealis
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”
– Revelation 16:8-9​

The fourth bowl of wrath, where men are scorched with a violent heat, is fulfilled early in the war when Vespasian sends Cerealis to Samaria to put down a small uprising on Mount Gerizzim:

“…for they {the Samaritans;} assembled themselves together upon a mountain called Gerizzim… which collection of theirs, as well as the courageous minds they showed, could not but threaten somewhat of war; nor were they rendered wiser by the miseries that had come upon their neighboring cities… Vespasian therefore thought it best to prevent their motions, and to cut off the foundation of their attempts. For although all Samaria had ever garrisons settled among them, yet did the number of those that were come toMount Gerizzim, and their conspiracy together, give ground for fear what they would be at; he therefore sent thither Cerealis, the commander of the fifth legion… the Samaritans, who were now destitute of water, were inflamed with a violent heat, (for it was summer time, and the multitude had not provided themselves with necessaries,) insomuch that some of them died that very day with heatCerealis understood that those which still staid there were very much broken by their misfortunes. So he… in the first place, exhorted them to take the security of his right hand, and come to terms with him, and thereby save themselves; and assured them, that if they would lay down their arms, he would secure them from any harm; but when he could not prevail with them, he fell upon them and slew them all, being in number eleven thousand and six hundred… And these were the calamities that befell the Samaritans at this time.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, 7:32​


The Fifth Bowl of Wrath: Flavius Titus
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”
– Revelation 16:10-11​

The fifth bowl of wrath appears to meet its fulfillment when Titus besieges the city of Jerusalem, where the seditious are preyed upon by the famine and blasphemed God but did not repent of their seditions or of murdering their own populace:

THUS did the miseries of Jerusalem grow worse and worse every day, and the seditious were still more irritated by the calamities they were under, even while the famine preyed upon themselves {the seditious;}, after it had preyed upon the people. And indeed the multitude of carcasses that lay in heaps one upon another was a horrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench, which was a hinderance to those that would make sallies out of the city, and fight the enemy: but as those were to go in battle-array, who had been already used to ten thousand murders, and must tread upon those dead bodies as they marched along, so were not they terrified, nor did they pity men as they marched over them; nor did they deem this affront offered to the deceased to be any ill omen to themselves; but as they had their right hands already polluted with the murders of their own countrymen, and in that condition ran out to fight with foreigners, they seem to me to have cast a reproach upon God himself, as if he were too slow in punishing them…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 1:1​

The Sixth Bowl of Wrath: Cesennius Petus

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”
– Revelation 16:12​

And the sixth bowl of wrath was very clearly fulfilled after the war when emperor Vespasian was handling various commotions about the empire, Vespasian sends Petus to take the capital of Commagene (to dry up the water) which strategically lies upon the Euphrates to prevent the rebellion with the help of the kings of the east:

“AND now, in the fourth year of the reign of Vespasian, it came to pass that Antiochus, the king of Commagene, with all his family, fell into very great calamities. The occasion was this: Cesennius Petus, who was president of Syria at this time… sent an epistle to Caesar, and therein told him that Antiochus, with his son Epiphanes, had resolved to rebel against the Romans, and had made a league with the king of Parthia to that purpose; that it was therefore fit to prevent them, lest they prevent us, and begin such a war as may cause a general disturbance in the Roman empire. Now Caesar was disposed to take some care about the matter… for the neighborhood of the kingdoms made this affair worthy of greater regard; for Samoseta, the capital of Commagene, lies upon Euphrates, and upon any such design could afford an easy passage over it to the Parthians, and could also afford them a secure reception. Petuswas accordingly believed, and had authority given him of doing what he should think proper in the case; so he set about it without delay, and fell upon Commagene before Antiochus and his people had the least expectation of his coming: he had with him the tenth legion, as also some cohorts and troops of horsemen. These kings also came to his assistance: Aristobulus, king of the country called Chalcidene, and Sohemus, who was called king of Emesa…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, 7:1​

If the capital of Commagene really did lie upon the Euphrates then any such design would hopefully dried up the river; this also could afford an easy passage to the kings of the east.


The Seventh Bowl of Wrath: Simon bar Cathlas
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
– Revelation 16:17-21​

The seventh bowl of wrath takes place before the triumph during the war in the siege of Jerusalem which is related in the fourth, fifth and sixth books. Jerusalem was divided into three factions {as prophesied;} in an internal civil war during the war with the Romans. These were lead by John, Simon and Eleazar {or Lazarus;}. Simon was the leader of the Idumeans and pours out his vial of the wrath of God upon the other factions while the Romans besiege the city in the last stage of the war, with an a storm and an earthquake in Book IV, a hail of stones weighing about a talent in Book V and during the massacre in Book VI we will see even the ground fleeing away:

“And now did the Idumeans make an acclamation to what Simon had saidthere broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continued lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and any one would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming.”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, 4:5​

White stones about the weight of a talent:

“However, John staid behind, out of his fear of Simon, even while his own men were earnest in making a sally upon their enemies without. Yet did not Simon lie still, for he lay near the place of the siege; he brought his engines of war… The engines, that all the legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived… those that threw stones were more forcible and larger than the rest, by which they not only repelled the excursions of the Jews, but drove those away that were upon the walls also. Now the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and further. The blow they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a great space…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book V, 6:3​

Every island fled and the mountains were not found:

“…The people also that were left above were beaten back upon the enemy, and under a great consternation, and made sad moans at the calamity they were under; the multitude also that was in the city joined in this outcry… Pera did also return the echo… and augmented the force of the entire noise. Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething hot, as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number than those that slew them; for the ground did no where appear visible {not even the mountains?;}, for the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them {the islands, I suppose;}…”
– Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, 5:1​