The fifth Angel trumpeted. I saw a Star plummet from Heaven to earth. The Star was handed a key to the Well of the Abyss.
He unlocked the Well of the Abyss - smoke poured out of the Well, billows and billows of smoke, sun and air in blackout from smoke pouring out of the Well.
Then out of the smoke crawled locusts with the venom of scorpions.
They were given their orders: "Don't hurt the grass, don't hurt anything green, don't hurt a single tree - only men and women, and then only those who lack the seal of God on their foreheads."
They were ordered to torture but not kill, torture them for five months, the pain like a scorpion sting.
When this happens, people are going to prefer death to torture, look for ways to kill themselves. But they won't find a way - death will have gone into hiding.
The locusts looked like horses ready for war. They had gold crowns, human faces,
women's hair, the teeth of lions,
and iron breastplates. The sound of their wings was the sound of horse-drawn chariots charging into battle.
Their tails were equipped with stings, like scorpion tails. With those tails they were ordered to torture the human race for five months.
They had a king over them, the Angel of the Abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, in Greek, Apollyon - "Destroyer."
The first doom is past. Two dooms yet to come.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)