V. 5 is an expansion of the seven angels that we saw in verse one.
The testimony that is mentioned in verse 5 is the Ten Commandments which Moses placed in the ark.
V. 6 There is only one place in Greek or Hebrew outside of Revelation where “seven plagues” occurs (Lev. 26:21). The context of Leviticus is concerned with idolatry and it is repeated four times that God will judge the people for their unfaithfulness (Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 28).
V. 7 Because the altar and the bowls are mentioned in such conjunction it appears that the judgments are the answer of God to the prayers of the saints (8:3-5; cf. 6:9-11).
Bowl 4: A bowl is poured on the sun, which scorches people with fire. Trumpet 4 : A third of sun, moon and stars are struck, and darkness results for a third of a night and day. (Exod. 10:21ff) Bowl 3: A bowl is poured on rivers and fountains and they become blood Trumpet 3: A blazing star (wormwood) falls on a third of the rivers and fountains; their waters are poisoned and many die. (Exod 7:17ff) Bowl 2: A bowl is poured on the seas, which become blood, and every living thing in them dies. Trumpet 2 : A blazing mountain falls into the sea. One third of the sea becomes blood, and a third of the creatures in it die and a third of the ships are destroyed. (Exod. 7:17ff.) Bowl 1: A bowl is poured on the earth. Sores come on those who have the mark of the beast. Trumpet 1: Hail, fire, and blood fall on the earth, on third of which is burned up (Exod. 9:22ff.)
Bowl 7: A bowl is poured into the air, and a loud voice from God’s throne announces “It is done.” Lighting, thunder, and an unprecedented earthquake occur, and terrible hail falls. Trumpet 7: Loud voices in heaven announce the coming of the kingdom of God and of Christ: Lightning, thunder, earthquake, and hail occur. (Exod. 9:22ff; 19:16-19) Bowl 6: A bowl is poured on the Euphrates, which dries up for kings from the east. Demonic frogs deceive the kings of the world to assemble for battle at Armageddon. Trumpet 6: Four angel bound at the river Euphrates are released, with their cavalry of two hundred million, which kills a third of humanity. (Exod. 8:2ff) Bowl 5: A bowl is poured on the throne of the beast. His kingdom is darkened and people are in anguish. Trumpet 5: the shaft of the pit is opened. Sun and air are darkened with smoke from which locusts emerge to torment people without the seal of God. (Exod. 10:4ff)
The trumpets and the bowls present the plagues in the exact same order: (1) earth, (2) the sea, (3) rivers, (4) the sun, (5) sphere of wickedness and darkness, (6) the Euphrates, and (7) the world with the final judgment (note the same imagery of lightning, sounds, thunders, earthquake and great hail).
Both the trumpets and the bowls are modeled on the exodus plagues.
The second plague resembles the plague of blood in Exodus 7:14-24, and it is parallel to the second trumpet (8:8-9). The main difference between the trumpet and the bowl is that of its affect: the trumpet is partial (one third) and the bowl is universal.
The third bowl pictures the economic punishment of the persecutors of God’s people. Furthermore, it is parallel with the third trumpet because both are to have an effect on the rivers and the springs of water (cf. the plague on the Nile Exod. 7:17-21; Ps. 78:44).
This plague is much like the plague of darkness in the Exodus account (Exod. 10:21-23). It is unleashed and emptied on the throne of the beast; that is, over the sovereign ability of the beast’s realm.
This radically affects the beast’s ability to rule his domain.
The sixth plague illustrates the preparations for the final battle; God gathers together the forces that are opposed to him and he punishes them decisively at the end of the age.
God judged Babylon by raising up Cyrus and his princes who came from the east (Isa. 41:2). Furthermore the kings coming from the Euphrates is much like the OT prophecy that God will bring a kingdom to judge his sinful nation of Israel.
Verse 12 summarized the content of the sixth bowl, and verses 13-16 illustrate in more detail the substance of the bowl.
“Elsewhere in the NT the ‘false prophet’ without exception speaks falsehood within the covenant community of Israel or the church in order to deceive (Matt. 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; Luke 6:26; Acts 13:6; 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 4:1)” (Beale, Revelation , 831).
The frog plague in Egypt was partly a polemic against Heqt, the goddess of resurrection, represented by a frog. The deceptive activity is appropriately portrayed as froglike, since the evil triumvirate are attempting to deceive people about the purported fact of the beast’s resurrection
“to gather them together for the war of the great day of God Almighty.” (16:14; 19:19; 20:8)
“The nations are deceived into thinking that they are gathering to exterminate the saints, but they are gathered together ultimately by God only in order to meet their own judgment at the hands of Jesus (19:11-21)” (Beale, Revelation , 835).
the demonic forces gathering the kings of the earth together at the place known as Armageddon. The final outcome of this war is described in detail several places in Revelation (17:14; 19:14-21; and 20:7-10).
It is important to note that just as “Babylon” and the “Euphrates” are not literal in nature, neither is the place known as “Armageddon.” Armageddon is not then a small field in the region close to Megiddo in Israel; rather, it is symbolic for the whole world.
“Lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a severe earthquake” are all imagery associated with the last judgment of God. This was the same imagery used in Exodus at mount Sinai (cf. the descriptions of judgment in 6:12).
The effect of the earthquake is seen in verse 19. The OT expected a final end-time catastrophic earthquake that would accompany the appearance of God in Judgment (Hag. 2:6; Zech. 14:4; Heb 12:26-27). Moreover, the object of this earthquake is “the Great city and the cities of the nations.”
“ The removal of all islands and mountains in 16:20 corresponds to the final shaking of the earth in 6:14 and 20:11 (cf. Heb 12:26-27). Elsewhere, the fall of Babylon is immediately followed by the marriage supper of the Lamb (19:1-10). In 17:14-17, the fall of Babylon is immediately associated with the final battle, which takes place at the second coming (19:11-21).” Poythress
The huge hailstones complete the series of plagues (Exod. 9:19-35) that fall upon the unfaithful who do not believe and overcome. Unlike the exodus, this plague has a worldwide scope. Not just one nation is in mind, but all nations who are opposed to God.