The WT Study of 12/15/19 (w19
10/15, p. 16 pars. 8-9) has the idea that Rev 16:21 refers to some sort of "hard" message that will "provoke" the nations into turning against God's people.
There are two points of note regarding this WT idea:
1. As has always been the case, this WT interpretation is based only on weasel words ("will likely," "we may well deliver," "we may proclaim," "in time, we will find out," "we will have to wait and see," "it seems . . .," and "quite likely . . ." ─ Yes, all those weasel words were in just these two paragraphs!).
Even the question for paragraph 8 was 'weaselly': "8. How will our message likely change in the future?" (The question for paragraph 9 was, "9. How may the nations react to our message, but of what can we be sure?")
Can WT hedge their bets any more than this? And then there is this:
2. The "hailstones" of Rev 16:21 occur after the disappearance of the "islands and mountains" of Rev 16:20 occurs. Even the WT interprets Rev 16:20 as referring to the destruction of the governments of this system. So that the "hailstones" of Rev 16:21, even if they did refer to some sort of hard message, they would be too late to provoke the national governments to wrath. The same order of events can be seen in Rev 19:20-21. Governments and their militaries first, populations next. The hailstones, if it were describing a "hard" message, would be too late to provoke the nations. (Similarly, Rev 6:14-17 has the same order of events. And Ezek 39:1-6 does also.)
For reference, these are the more recent WT publications that discuss this topic:
Rev16:21 it-2 1063; rr 198; w15 7/15 16; nwt 1795; w09 2/15 4; w08 7/15 7; re 234.
This list is right out of the WT publications index for 1986-present. One need only check these references to see that the entire basis for this idea is nothing more than the use of weasel words
along with the subtle pressure put on JWs to voice no disagreement with their GB. These are the only things that hold this idea together. Scripturally, the idea is patently bogus.
On the other hand, the command to "be praising our God" in Rev 19:5, right after Babylon the Great's destruction, may be divinely intended to draw the attention of the nations against God's people. Compare how a subtle turn in direction during the Exodus had the same purpose. (Ex 14:1-4) It is curious that WT does not use this passage. It would be a much more scriptural application. In comparison, the bogus 'hailstone message' sounds more like someone's pet idea that WT HQ couldn't resist foisting on JWs.
For an even more detailed discussion of this hailstone = hard hitting message idea, see this thread
Does Isa 61:2 (which Jesus partly quotes in Luke 4:19) support the idea of a 'hard message' at the very end? Well, did Jesus withhold stating anything about the coming of God's "day of vengeance" against the disobedient Jews in the 1st century?
Even John the Baptist foretold a coming 'day of vengeance.' (Mt 3:7, 10, 12; Lu 3:7, 9) And on numerous occasions Jesus is recorded as warning about a coming 'day of vengeance.' (Mt 10:15; 11:20-24; 12:36, 37, 41-42; 13:30, 49; 16:4; 23:13, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29, 33-38; 24:2, 14, 21-22, 30, 34) And on occasion, Jesus' message was 'hard-hitting.' (Mt 21:13, 15, 31, 43-46; 22:22, 29, 46)
In addition to these warnings, Jesus had his disciples flee from Jerusalem and Judea when they saw what was foretold at Mt 24:15. So one might ask, if the Jews were to receive a last minute 'hard-hitting' message, who was around to give it? The Christians weren't. That's for sure.
Just from this sampling of Matthew, one can confidently say that Jesus understood his commission in Isa 61:1-2 to include a proclamation of both the "year of goodwill" and the "day of vengeance." Once the "day of vengeance" began, Proverbs 1:24-32 began to be fulfilled.
In connection with Pr 1:24, Barne's Notes
The threats and warnings of Wisdom are also foreshadowings of the teaching of Jesus. There will come a time when "too late" shall be written on all efforts, on all remorse. Compare Matthew 25:10, 30.
Where hail is found in the Bible. Here is every reference to hail in the Insight
article on hail: Ex 9:18-26; Jos 10:3-7, 11; Job 38:22-23; Ps 78:47-48; 105:32-33; 148:8; Isa 28:1-2, 14, 17; 30:30; 31:1-3; Ezek 38:22; Hag 2:17; Rev 8:7; 11:19; 16:21.
Outside of Revelation, every reference to hail, whether literal or figurative, is portraying destruction of some sort. So that there is no scriptural precedence for a 'hail-like' message or preaching campaign. (For Rev 8:7 see this post
where it discusses Trumpet 1. For Rev 11:19 and 16:21 see this post
. If I am understanding things correctly, Rev 8:7 might be the only place where "hail" is related to speech in that the good news includes the "day of vengeance" as part of its message.)