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Revelation 8: How Long Is the Silence in Heaven?

The Bible, as I’ve written elsewhere, is a “complex compendium of spiritual, historical and prophetic truths”. Because it’s so incredibly rich, the process of reading and re-reading yields a deeper understanding over time. Certain things that we might not pay particularly close attention to will, one day, suddenly stand out as significant and worthy of further consideration. The “silence in heaven” in Revelation 8 is an example of one of those things that can be easily missed, however, as with all of God’s words, these few words are very much worthy of consideration.

Revelation 8:1-2
Share or Download Revelation 8:1-2

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Revelation 8:1-6)

The seventh seal denotes the pause between the end of tribulation (and great tribulation) and the beginning of wrath. As the seventh seal is opened, all of heaven is silent for about the space of half an hour. The fact that this apparently tiny sliver of time is written in scripture cannot be overlooked. Silence in heaven is a big deal. No praising the Lord God Almighty. Just silence. No words or sound issued forth from the mouth of God. Just silence. A pregnant pause as all await the moment when God begins to pour out his wrath.

If we use the same principles of calculation to this specific half an hour as we do to the seventy weeks in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 9:24) — in which one week of prophecy represents seven years on earth — let’s see what happens when we reduce that week to half an hour. Note, this is simply a theory, but one that’s worthy of consideration:

1 week/7 days (prophecy in Daniel) = 7 years (on earth) > divide both by 7:
1 day/24 hours (prophecy in Daniel) = 1 year/360 days (on earth) > divide both by 24:
1 hour (prophecy in Daniel) = 15 days (on earth) > divide both by 2:
½ hour (prophecy in Daniel) = 7.5 days (on earth)

Thus, the silence in heaven “about the space of half an hour” could very well be seven and a half days on earth. Seven and a half days of fearful anticipation in the hearts of the unbelievers, following the cataclysmic events that occur when the sixth seal is opened.

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:12-17)

Are you saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ? Read our Salvation page to ensure that you won’t be amongst the fearful and unbelieving who will face God’s wrath on the day of the Lord.

Related: Jesus’ Death Is a Picture of His Return & the Temple Veil is a Picture of the Sky that Covers Heaven