Revelation 16:21: The Largest Hailstones Ever

Revelation 16:17-21 tells us that an unprecedented hailstorm will occur after the pouring of the seventh vial (seventh bowl) judgment. The hailstones falling to the earth the will weigh about a talent. The plague of hail will be so bad that men will blasphemy God:

(17) 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. (18) 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. (19) 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. (20) And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (21) 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)

In this article, we’ll explore how large the great hailstones of Revelation 16:21 will be.

The Hailstones of Revelation 16:21

Matthew Kneisler, who has a background in aeronautical engineering, estimated the size of the great hailstones that will fall and their velocity when they reach sea level.

  • Kneisler used a hailstone that measured 5.581 inches in diameter and weighed 1.68 lbs (the largest ever to fall in the U.S. at the time of his work) to estimate the size of the great hailstones of Revelation 16:21.
  • Kneisler also assumed that the great hailstones would weigh 75 lbs in his analysis.

Several Bible commentators state that a talent’s weight is closer to 100 lbs. Given this, I thought it might be useful to recalculate the size of the hailstone using 100 lbs as the weight.

  • I followed the same steps Kneisler used to calculate the size of a 100 lbs hailstone.
  • However, I used a different hailstone than Kneisler. The largest hailstone discovered in the U.S. fell in Vivian, South Dakota in July 2010. The roughly volleyball-size hailstone weighed 1.9375 lbs, measured 18.62 inches in circumference, and measured 8 inches in diameter. Below is a photo of the hailstone:
hailstones

Great Hailstone Stats

  • A 100 lbs hailstone is around 29.8 inches in diameter.
  • The hailstone would arrive at sea level traveling 284 miles per hour.
  • The hailstones’ diameter would be larger than the diameter of an average mountain bike wheel.

The photo below shows a 29-inch (left) and a 26-inch (right) mountain bike wheel.

bicycle wheels

Hailstones & the Winepress

Imagine how much damage a 29.8-inch diameter 100 lbs hailstone would cause when falling on people and objects at 284 miles per hour!

The treading of the winepress analogy in Revelation 14:20 is fitting.

  • The hailstones landing on people will have the same effect a person’s foot has when he or she lands on grapes.
  • The hailstones would absolutely crush anyone or anything that got in their way.

The great hailstones of Revelation 16:21 is not the only plague that will kill many people. Read my article on the second trumpet’s burning mountain to learn about another event that will kill many.

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Wayne Croley
Wayne Croley

Hi! I’ve studied and written about Bible prophecy since I was a teenager. My goal is to make Bible prophecy easy for you to understand while avoiding the sensationalism seen elsewhere. I am the author of Prophecy Proof Insights on the End Times, a comprehensive book about the end times. I hold an M.B.A. and degrees in Managerial Economics and Political Science.

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  1. Thank you for your information and research. I think the message is we need to repent and turn to Him to avoid such prophecies. The bottom line is large hailstones are going to destroy crops and many other things if we don’t turn to God and His commandments.

  2. As Judea based their talent upon the Babylonian one, except that they used the common talent not the royal one, (according to Josephus, and I think he would know better than us) using a Greek talent as your foundation would seem to show that you need to do a little more research. While the New Testament may have been written in Greek, it does not follow that their system of measurement was Greek and in fact it apparently was not. My research provided the information below which in fact makes the hailstone even bigger than Wayne had indicated.

    As for name-calling ranting and all that other nonsense, it would seem that the lack of understanding does not fall upon Wayne’s shoulders. He has insight and intelligence and does an enormous amount of research. He has a very good grasp of what the Scriptures teach. What seems to be eluding you is the very thing that eluded Eve when Satan asked her if God really meant what He said, and she figured He didn’t. But in fact, He did. And that is how we are to understand the Scriptures. We should take it at face value unless it makes absolutely no sense that way. Most of it, practically all of it, does make sense at face value. So that is the first way we should understand it, for as Peter told us, prophecy is not for private interpretation, and the only way to avoid that is to take everything at face value, or as literally as possible. God means exactly what He says. To utilize a private symbolic interpretation, or spiritualize it means that 100 or 1,000, or 100,000 people can all have a different meanings. On the other hand, people who take it at face value will come up with the same meaning. I believe that is what Peter wanted us to do, thus the warning about private interpretations.

    Just FYI, my brief research turned up the following.

    The Israelite system was thus as follows:
    1 shekel = 20 gerah
    1 litra = 60 shekels
    1 kikkar = 60 litra

    There were, however, different versions of the talent/kikkar in use; a royal and a common version. In addition, each of these forms had a heavy and a light version, with the heavy version being exactly twice the weight of the
    lighter form.

    According to Josephus, it was the heavy common talent, and its mina and shekel, that was the normal measure of weight in Syria and Judea.

    A Babylonian talent was 30.3 kilograms (67 lb). Ancient Israel, and other Levantine countries, adopted the Babylonian talent, but later revised the mass. The heavy common talent, used in New Testament times, was 58.9 kilograms (130 lb).

  3. All this guessing and exaggerating!

    The classic fish tale: The fact of the matter is that, had you done due diligence you would have found that a Greek talent of the time prophesied in Revelation, weighed 654 oz., or 44.88 lbs, or 20.4 kg.

    If you are going to purport yourself as yet another eraserhead spouting philosophical sophistries and meta-physical Mumbo-Jumbo in fantasies of grandeur at least sit there with your mouth agape, looking for all the world like an insipid idiot.

    It is patently clear that you have no understanding whatever of Scripture: It’s similes, allegories, tense subtleties… they completely elude you.

    If you will forgive my name-calling rant, and wish some true insight into what Scripture is about, please feel free to contact me. I will be more than happy to help you.

    Before you castigate me and demand my credentials, why not test the knowledge?

    • Dear Sir , I was fascinated by your response & appreciated your grasp of Biblical measures. May I dialogue with you over your exegetical approach to Revelation & other apocalyptic Scriptures?

    • Sir, you may or may not have knowledge, but you obviously do not have love. As you admonish the author of this site to research mundane things such as weights, may I admonish you to research 1 Corinthians 13. Love is never rude and is not easily provoked, and you have shown both such behaviors. Your letter was shocking in it’s rudeness and you show yourself to be a “clanging cymbal”. It’s not a matter if “if (he) will forgive (you)”. It is a matter of you acknowledging how un-Christ-like your response was and asking to be forgiven. His gentle response towards you is a model of turning the other cheek.

    • Remember, the text in Revelation does not state what type of talent is being referred to. You may assume it’s a Greek talent, but I caution being dogmatic about a passage that does not specifically state it. It would be more accurate to state, “If a Greek talent is being referred to….”

  4. I have not done any research into these two groups yet.  The fact that these two movements exist does
    not surprise me as there is a lot of false information out there.  

    There
    was a very famous football player named Reggie White who got a lot of media
    attention during his playing career for being an ordained minister and for being overt about his beliefs during actual games (White was
    like the Tim Tebow of his era).  After
    White retired his beliefs changed radically, and if I’m not mistaken White
    became a member the Hebrew Roots movement. 
    I remember the sports media
    covering White’s change in beliefs.

  5. This is completely off topic, but I I have been stunned in in the past couple of weeks at how big the following two movements are becoming. I’ve had encounters with people from both recently and it made me look deeper into this. One is the Christian Identity, which was mentioned before in regards to Sherry Shriner. I started doing some research on it, and wow, I’m amazed at how big it is becoming. Very disturbing. The other is the Ephraimite/Hebrew Roots/Two House Movement. I knew they were taking a strong stand on returning to the Law, but I had no idea that it is being taught that Christ cannot come back until  Christians (the House of Ephraim) not only return to the Law, but adopt Hebrew as the global language, and return to Israel.  Only then do they teach that the tribulation temple will be rebuilt and Christ can return.  People are saying that God is telling them which tribe they belong to.  Clearly they are not reading their Bibles, as God does not lift the blindness from the eyes of Israel until after the fulness of the Gentiles comes, at which time the Lord will be returning. If a person is a Christian now, they are not part of the Ephraim which will be joined back to Judah for the millennium. I haven’t found out a lot about their teachings yet, but I am wondering if they are amillennial. Both of these groups seem to be making themselves candidates for the title “synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews but not” from Revelation the way they are going.  I myself have turned from the paganism of the church and its apostasy, but there is a big difference between doing that and putting oneself back under the law. I still believe the book of Galatians, which they have completely demolished. Have you done any research into all this? 

    • I am amazed at the size of the hailstones mentioned in Revelation. I didn’t know the terminal velocity would be so fast. I suppose that would depend on the starting altitude and using the formula V=16 t squared to calculate the final speed when it hit! I first thought of what a chunk of ice that size would do if it landed on a car, at say, 120 mph. But the immense power one of these would have, would just one of them take out a modern tank? Certainly it would squash a man and all left would be probably some clothes and a red bloody spot.