Please explain about the star named Wormwood in the Bible (rev.8.11)


I am assuming you are aware that the book of Revelation is written in a
highly symbolic style. The technical term is apocalyptic literature. In
normal writing, the reader is to assume a literal meaning of something
unless the context suggests a symbolic interpretation. With apocalyptic
literature, one assumes a symbolic meaning, rather than a literal one,
unless the context suggests otherwise.

Therefore, our job is to look at the context as well as Jewish literature
to understand the symbolic meaning of the star which is called Wormwood in
Revelation 8:11. There is a pattern in biblical literature for a star to
represent a powerful and influential person who has some impact on
Israel. In Isaiah 14:12, a star is used symbolically to speak of the king
of Babylon. In Daniel 8:10 and 12:3, “stars” are used symbolically of
God’s people. At other times, stars are represented as falling, which is
denoting a time of Judgment (Revelation 6:13, Matthew 24:20). Which is it
in Revelation 8:11? We know for sure it is symbolic of something.

Wormwood represents bitter or polluted water, or more generally pollution
of sin. An example is in Jeremiah 23:15. Having said all this, let me
give you my interpretation of the passage in question. This is a passage
about God’s judgment on sinners. It is about the pronouncement in heaven
of judgment for those who have polluted themselves with sin. I would not
connect this with any specific, exact historical event, as any such
connection would be very speculative. The message is that God will judge
those who eat the bitter root of sin.

John Oakes

Comments are closed.