II. The second vial.


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.” This vial filled with the undiluted wrath of God is ceremoniously brought forth by the second angel. This vial was poured upon the sea. Now there are obvious problems with spiritualizing the term sea here. Those that wish to make the sea to be a picture of the nation’s only envision here a time of great blood shed among the individual nations. If sea is meant to picture the nations of men and every living soul in sea died here then there would be no room for the rest of the book. So there is a literal fulfillment that we look to with this vial just as we did when we spoke of the sounding of the second trumpet judgment (8:8). There may be some debate over whether “the sea” here is localized to the region of the Holy Land (as the Euphrates will be later) of if it is meant of all seas. There is reason to believe that as the first vial affecting all the men of the earth was universal so shall this be. Man was given dominion over the earth and all the fish of the sea (universally – Ps. 8). This is one of two vials that correlate to the water being turned into blood in the ten plagues of Egypt. The oceans provide man with sustenance and it also has a major effect on the environment of man. Here it becomes a symbol of death covering the globe. It did not become blood but became “as” blood. It became dark as the blood of a dead man. There is no indication that this is the product of man-made pollution but is a judgment that comes directly upon God. The result was that “every living soul” that was in the sea died. There is no doubt that much marine life will die as well but the judgment belongs to man. Mankind that goes out into the deep dies. It is hard to imagine the exactness of this prophecy but iftwo thirds of the earth is covered with water then two thirds of the earth surface becomes death.