(12) The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.
The fourth angel blew its warning. With the third trumpet we began to see the lights going out for the Jews (see comments on 8:10), and here we see the darkness continue to flourish. This language is so consistent throughout the scriptures, every time showing a nation being judged by God for their sins (see comments and chart on 6:12-17).
(13) Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”
Just as the opening of the first four seals (the four horsemen) were set apart from the opening of the last three, so the sounding of the first four trumpets are set apart from the last three. The visions will take another turn, and the last three warning blasts will only increase in terrible intensity.
“An eagle crying with a loud voice.” The eagle is used for carrying either deliverance (Exodus 19:4) or judgment. In Deuteronomy 28:49, the eagle is used of God’s judgment against the covenant people who disobey the covenant; this is the same Deuteronomy 28 that is seeing its final fulfillment in the days of Revelation.
“Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth.” A woe is an exclamation of warning. In Matthew 23, Jesus gave a seven-fold woe upon the scribes and Pharisees before Jesus entering into a discussion of the judgment of the Jews and the destruction of Jerusalem. The last three trumpets will provide the Jews with intense woes as a final chance for repentance. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).