Revelation 8:8-9: The Second Trumpet’s Burning Mountain

There’s been a lot of speculation about the second trumpet discussed in Revelation 8:8-9 in recent years. For instance, I listened to a “prophecy expert” on the radio discuss the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill shortly after it transpired. The “expert” proclaimed his belief that prophecies inside and outside the Bible accounted for the Deepwater Water Horizon Oil Spill. The “expert” suggested that the prophecies concerning the second trumpet of the Book of Revelation may be linked to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

I disagreed with this “expert” at the time because I believe there’s a much greater disaster that will fulfill the second trumpet. In this article, I will discuss this upcoming disaster.

Revelation 8:8-9 describe a burning mountain falling into the sea. The result is massive destruction and massive loss of life.

The Second Trumpet

(8) And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; (9) And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:8-9)

The description of a burning mountain collapsing into the sea sounds like a description of a volcano collapsing into the sea as volcanoes can easily be described as “burning mountains”. The impact of the burning mountain’s collapse has wide-scale impact; likely over a large geographic area since 1/3 of the world’s ships are destroyed from its collapse.

No mountain is large enough to destroy 1/3 of the world’s ships by just crashing into them. However, the resulting tsunami from a collapsing mountain would have the potential to create massive destruction far beyond the area of the collapse.

The Cumbre Vieja

I believe that the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma (Canary Islands) is likely going to be the burning mountain that falls into the sea. Geologists found that the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja is ready to collapse into the Atlantic Ocean during its next big eruption. Geologists’ computer models and experiments estimate that the collapse of the Cumbre Vieja’s western flank into the Atlantic Ocean would unleash a monster mega-tsunami that would devastate a huge swath of the Atlantic coastline, including the entire U.S. eastern seaboard.[1] There would be catastrophic destruction to shipping and coastlines in wake of the tsunami and a tremendous loss of life.

Video: The Collapse

The following video discusses how a volcanic eruption is crucial to causing the Cumbre Vieja to collapse into the Atlantic Ocean.

Video: The Mega-Tsunami

The following video shows how a large landslide (like a collapsing Cumbre Vieja) can generate a massive mega-tsunami that can travel large distances.

Video: East Coast U.S. Impacts

The following video discusses the potential impact that the collapsing Cumbre Vieja could have on the East Coast of the U.S.

I hope you found this article interesting. If you would like to read about other end time disasters like a plague of 100 lbs. hailstones hitting the earth, click this link for my article on the seventh vial judgment hailstones: Revelation 16:21: The Largest Hailstones Ever

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  1. Ward, Steve. N. and Simon Day. “Cumbre Vieja Volcano — Potential Collapse and Tsunami at La Palma, Canary Islands”. Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 28, Issue 17, p. 3397-3400.
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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 several end time books, including 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. Oct 2021 ***Right on the money! The Canary at the end of the mineshaft. This volcano is the canary God is warning us with. Insightful article!

  2. the imagery of a burnt mountain comes from Jeremiah 51:25..where babylon will be like a burnt mountain and thrown into the sea…
    the burnt mountain is the judged empire or nation and throwing it into the sea indicates total destruction of that kingdom or empire if we read the whole of jeremiah 51…..its talking about the coming doom for babylon…”I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burned-out mountain.
    : the receiver of the judgement is the burning mountain.. so if we extract from Jeremiah that a burnt mountain is the receiver of judgement …then in revelation 8:8….we need then to apply the symbol to the actual texts….
    the first part of revelation 8:8…… and as it were a great mountain burning 👈🏿👈🏿👈🏿 John sees a nation ,empire,or kingdom under judgement
    There is a striking parallel to this prophetic description in Revelation 8:8, where the destruction of a great empire is likened to the submersion in the sea of a great burning mountain: without putting even historical details…..i can safely say the second trumpet is describing collapse of an empire or nation..but i don’t know which empire or nation it is at this point
    : if you go back to Jeremiah 51 and we read it in full………where was the burnt mountain to be thrown into ?
    …from verse 25….the burnt mountain is rolled down the cliff into the ……we read down……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
    the imagery is getting fuller in Jeremiah………the kingdom of Babylon was to be destroyed…in imagery or symbols this is shown as a burnt mountain being rolled down the cliff ….into the sea and covered!gone!
    which Jeremiah illustrates as he ends the chapter…63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:

    64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
    so back to trumpet number 2…And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea………John is writing in literal mountain or volcano is intended(took me years to understand prophetic language)…A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed

    Symbol Meaning
    burning mountain cast into the sea Jer. 51:24-25 collapse of a great empire
    sea. Isaiah 17:12-13 Rev.17:15 nations in rebellion against God

    blood Micah 3,10 oppression, conflict
    ships and sea creatures 1Kings 10:22-23 Habak. 1:14-17 mankind and its possessions

  3. If the Cumbre Vieja is just waiting for an earthquake to dislodge it, I’m sure the 6th seal Wrath of the Lamb earthquake would certain do the job. Or at least loosen in until the 2nd trumpet sounds.

  4. If we let the Bible explain itself, a mountain represents a nation that is in rebellion against God. In Jeremiah 51:25 God calls rebellious Babylon a destroying mountain that He will burn down:”Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.” When John writes the book of revelation we are in the time of the reign of the Roman empire. Peter calls Rome ‘babylon (1 Pe. 5:13). Rome had made a disgrace of Christianity by mixing all kinds of heathen practices into the Christian religion. The name of God was greatly dishonnered. Rome had indeed become spiritual Babylon. A historicist interpretation of the seven trumpets applies the second trumpet as a judgement on the Roman empire. Between the year 460 AD and 468 AD the complete Roman fleet and half their army was destroyed at see, about 1300 warships. After that the Roman empire lost its rulership over the mediteranian see and all its trade. This caused the downfall of the empire: the mountain was burned down’ and it all happened in the see!
    As all the prophecies of Daniël and Revelation are an expansion of the dream of Nebukadnezzar we must apply a historicist interpretation. The seven trumpets as the seven seals and seven churches cover the period from John until the restoration of Gods kingdom. The iron legs and feet of the image in de first prophecy of Daniel is the timeperiod of the seven trumpets, the seals and the churches. “The wise shall understand” Daniel 12:10
    God bless you.

  5. And here I was thinking that I was the lone visionary who understood the image of the burning mountain falling into the sea as the DeepWater Horizon spill. How about that,,someone else understands as well. However,,there is more meaning hidden within the image,,now what is that meaning?
    That I will not tell. Sorry can not. But indeed, someone else *the expert* has seen what the image partly means. I live in new orleans and visited that area the day Obama madea helicopter view of the disaster.

  6. Asteriod when it enters our atmosphere can be likened to a burning mountain. And the possibility of it landing on the sea is very high.

  7. It could be the mountain that San Francisco sits on. The presidio is full of eucalyptus trees a known fire hazard in a region prone to wild fires. SF sits on a huge fault line WAY OVER DUE to go off. If those trees burn and there is a massive quake to send SF into the sea, the resulting tsunami would deviate ships in the Pacfic with all the commotion over North Korea a lot of navy’s are there right now.

  8. The burning mountain mentioned in Rev 8:8-9 could very well be a huge under sea volcano like Tamu Massif ( although extinct now… could become active in the future) or another massive undersea volcano mass like the Ontong Java Plateau. Either one of these huge volcanic masses under the sea would cause 1/3 of the sea creatures to die from lava and toxic gases contaminating the sea and the huge tsunami waves generated from such powerful underwater volcanic eruptions would definitely destroy 1/3 of the ships . The text “…as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea” , could describe the formation of the enormous build up of magma surging from under the sea .

  9. Right now with all the earthquakes a piece of the island is cracking off and collapsing into the ocean which will cause a tsunami r
    That will wipe out more then we can I agine

  10. Within the last few days experts have been called in as this volcano, as well as at yellowstone, is showing possible signs of eruption..

    • Yellowstone eruptting would be too severe for the world at this time, so I’m not concerned about it. I really think the Cumbre Vieja is reserved for the end times.

      • I watched a video about the 1961 Alaska earthquake years ago. They talked about super tsunami from land falling into the sea. As you stated about Cumbre Vieja, it was mentioned in that video too. It has a lot more land mass that would fall into the sea and send a mind blowing amount of water onto the eastern seaboard of the US. I think that video stated it would go 12 miles inland. Lots of boats are made on the east coast. Not sure how 1/3 of the sea life dies in this event? In the end I think you are right on track though, but who am I to say……

        • If it was the Pacific Ocean, it’d be far more than 1/3 of the sea life. The Indian Ocean is smaller than the Atlantic Ocean. The Arctic Ocean is frozen. The Southern Ocean wouldn’t have enough ships. The Atlantic Ocean seems like a good fit for 1/3 of the sea life.


  12. I was reading Revelation 8:8 and My first thought was volcano. I googled 2nd trumpet and volcano and here I am. I was glad to find others who think alike. Thanks for putting the information together.

  13. Hi,
    why wouldn’t a burning mountain be an asteroid or meteorite?
    Before I assumed a given geographical location like La Palma, wouldn’t it be more prudent to have biblical references backing that up?
    AFAIK, there are biblical references as to what this mountain could be, so ANYTHING is a possibility, no? And, more prudent to say that than make a prediction of La Palma???
    Ben Gillis

  14. Yes, the “something like a burning mountain” is a volcano, but is cast into the sea by an end time believer to protect a populace. The result on this sea is of course widespread destruction, but many more would have died if the believer had not acted; many who had not yet come to faith amidst the end time chaos.

    Wormwood is a different event.

  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sean.  I haven’t written an article specifically about what I think Wormwood is, but in the past I’ve thought about the possibility of a comet since its tail and the contents of its tail would spread out over the world as it descends.  I don’t rule out an object from space in the third trumpet or even in the second trumpet if the events are connected.

  16. I think we can learn a few things from these passages from the NIV version at  8:3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

    This tells me that ALL of GODS people are home with him. The Rapture has already occurred by this point. Good bet the restraining force of Christians missing from the planet(RAPTURE) starts the final act. The Antichrist gets his cue to take over right here. The rest of the passages speak of things coming from space.
    8:8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 

    Note: The distinction of space based is the word THROWN versus Falls. A quake or a volcanic event could cause the Canary Island slide and Tsunami but unlikely to kill by poisoning the waters of 1/3 of the ocean. This might be true if it was in the Pacific. The Canaries affect the Atlantic. This and the next passages make it fairly clear we are talking about damage from space. Wormwood
    might not be a single event from a single source. IT could be a far larger object breaking up as it approaches the sun. This gives us varying levels and time frames of damage from a single massive object which it toxic to life on earth. In any case their is an unlimited number of objects that could easily be directed at earth from either of the asteroid belts. 10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood.[a]

    It is my guess that Asteroids,Meteors, and possibly pieces of planets or moons are used to create a giant Tsunami and hole in the earth that collectively distributes “WORMWOOD” around the globe. This poisons the waters,causes a Tsunami, and creates a devastating earthquake. The future events from these objects black out the sun and the moon for maybe three days.

    A similar event has already occurred in earths history,
    Chicxulub crater

    I agree with the assessment that this Canary islands volcano will collapse and cause an unbelievably destructive Tsunami but I think this may be a different event. 

    • golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

      Where do we find a golden censer in the Bible apart from Rev. 8? What was it use? I don’t think this is talking about rapture. Yes, the description in the Rev. 8:3-6, give a message of hope to the people of God, is not about rapture, I think.

      MY Resolution:
      The alter of incense is found in the OT, in the earthly sanctuary and was placed in first apartment. Check Exo. 30:1-; chp 8:9 for more about the alter of incense.

      John seeing it in heaven in a vision suggest there is a heavenly sanctuary.

      As the alter was used for the work of ministration for the people of God, so this alter of incense is being used for the ministration of all the saints of God.
      This is a message of hope for the people of God, given as an assurance for the saints that despite the terrible scenes about to take place by the sound of the seven warlike trumpets, God still care and intercede for them.

      Now the trumpets:

      first trumpet: what does it stand for? You will never understand trumpets in Rev 8 without doing injustice to the text, unless you’ve read through “The History of Decline and Fall of Roman Empire.” by Gibbon.
      Rev. 8 is about the beginning of the fall of Rome.

      The first trumpet signifies the Goths invasion of Rome led by Alaric, which opened the door for invasion that eventually collapsed of the empire.
      Some of these prophecies has now become history (passed), and as Christians we at need history to confirm the fulfilled prophecies else we will do injustice to the text, ourselves and others.

      • The saints are the royal priesthood that ministers at the golden altar before the throne of God to intercede for Israel and for the nations during and up to the end of the millennium.

  17. Interesting theory. I always pictured a flaming mountain coming down from the sky, like a nuclear missile trying to seal up the oil leak, but somehow having an accident, and polluting the ocean (the oil slicks also look like blood, to fit the part about the waters becoming like blood). But your theory, on the surface, seems very plausible.