The sixth Angel trumpeted. I heard a voice speaking to the sixth Angel from the horns of the Golden Altar before God:
"Let the Four Angels loose, the Angels confined at the great River Euphrates."
The Four Angels were untied and let loose, Four Angels all prepared for the exact year, month, day, and even hour when they were to kill a third of the human race.
The number of the army of horsemen was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard the count
and saw both horses and riders in my vision: fiery breastplates on the riders, lion heads on the horses breathing out fire and smoke and brimstone.
With these three weapons - fire and smoke and brimstone - they killed a third of the human race.
The horses killed with their mouths and tails; their serpentlike tails also had heads that wreaked havoc.
The remaining men and women who weren't killed by these weapons went on their merry way - didn't change their way of life, didn't quit worshiping demons, didn't quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn't see or hear or move.
There wasn't a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.
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)