Revelation 16 describes the pouring out of the seven bowls of God’s wrath upon the earth as part of the final judgment. Each bowl brings about a specific and severe plague, such as painful sores, the sea turning to blood, rivers and springs becoming blood, scorching heat from the sun, darkness, and a great earthquake. Despite the intensity of these judgments, there is a portrayal of people refusing to repent and turning away from God. The chapter emphasizes the righteousness of God’s judgment and the consequences for those who persist in rebellion against Him. From a Jewish perspective, understanding Revelation 16 through the lens of the Exodus highlights the theological continuity between the Tanakh and New Testament. 

Revelation 16:1
I heard a loud voice out of the Temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!”

The Celestial Temple is in the Fourth Heaven named Zevul, according to Chagigah 12b,

“… Resh Lakish said: [There are] seven (heavens), namely, Vilon, Rakia, Shehakim, Zebul, Ma’on, Makon, Arabot…Zebul is that in which [the heavenly] Jerusalem and the Temple and the Altar are built, and Michael, the great Prince, stands and offers up thereon an offering, for it is said: ‘I have surely built You a house of habitation [Zebul], a place for You to dwell in forever…”
Chagigah 12b, Soncino Press Edition

Revelation 16:2
The first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth, and it became a harmful and evil sore on the people who had the mark of the beast, and who worshiped his image.

The plagues described in this chapter, and throughout Revelation, parallel that of the Exodus

“And HaShem said unto Moshe and to Aaron, “Take handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moshe sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall become a boil breaking forth with sores upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moshe sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with sores upon man, and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moshe because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.”
Exodus 9:8-11

Revelation 16:3
The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea died.

The Holy One, blessed be He, will cause a dew of blood to fall, but it will appear to be water to the gentile nations. They will drink of it and die. Moreover the wicked of Israel—those who have abandoned all hope of redemption—will drink of it and die. . . The whole world will become blood for three entire days, as Hosea (sic) has said: ‘I will place portents in the heavens and on earth: blood, fire, and columns of smoke’ (Joel 3:3).
Otot HaMashiach, The Second Sign, Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic, translated by John C. Reeves

Revelation 16:4
The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.

The turning of water into blood in Revelation 16 resonates with the first plague in Exodus.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.”
Revelation 16:19, New King James Version

Revelation 16:5
I heard the angel of the waters saying, “You are righteous, who is and who was, you Holy One, because you have judged these things.

Revelation 16:6
For they poured out the blood of the holy ones and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve this.”

Revelation 16:7
I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.”

Revelation 16:8
The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given to him to scorch men with fire.

“The Holy One, blessed be He, will introduce heat into the world from the heat of the sun, along with consumption and fever, many terrible diseases, plague, and pestilence. Every day there will die among the gentile nations one million people, and all the wicked ones among Israel will perish.”
Otot HaMashiach, The Second Sign, Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic, translated by John C. Reeves

Revelation 16:9
People were scorched with great heat, and people blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

Throughout both narratives of the Exodus and Revelation, there is a persistent call to repentance. In the Exodus, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened despite the plagues, illustrating the human tendency to resist divine guidance. Similarly, in Revelation 16, there is a portrayal of people refusing to repent even in the face of escalating judgments, reflecting the spiritual hardness of hearts.

Revelation 16:10
The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of the pain,

Revelation 16:11
and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. They did not repent of their works.

Revelation 16:12
The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. Its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings that come from the sunrise.

Revelation 16:13
I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs.

The Holy One, blessed be He, will cause three kings to arise who are apostates from their religion. They will behave deceptively, for they will make themselves appear to people (as if) they serve the Holy One, blessed be He, but they (in fact) do not serve (Him). They will lead astray and confuse the entire created order, and all the nations of the world will become apostates by following their laws.
Otot HaMashiach, The First Sign, Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic, translated by John C. Reeves

Revelation 16:14
for they are spirits of demons, performing signs; which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of that great day of God, the Almighty.

Revelation 16:15
Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he does not walk naked, and they see his shame.

“But know this, that if the head of the house knew when the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, as the Son of Man will come in a time that you don’t realize.”
Matthew 24:43-44

Revelation 16:16
He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Har-Megiddo.

From the words “Har Megiddo” (mountain of Megiddo) we have the word Ἁρμαγεδών “Armageddon”. Joshua defeated many kings in a prototype of the final war (Joshua 12). One of these kings was the king of Megiddo. The prophetic Song of Devorah references this event,

“The kings came and fought;
Then the kings of Canaan fought
At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo…”
Judges 5:19, NASB

Revelation 16:17
The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the Temple of heaven, from the Throne, saying, “It is done!”

Revelation 16:18
There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders, and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.

Revelation 16:19
The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

Revelation 16:20
Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

Revelation 16:21
Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent, came down out of the sky on people. People blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.