Revelation 9:8

they had hair like women’s hair
Jeremiah described horses that would “come up like the bristling locusts” [emphasis added] (Jer. Jer. 51:27). The word for bristling is סָמָר [sāmār] : “Pertaining to a short, stiff, coarse hair or filament not soft to the touch, and possibly painful to very soft tissues as the feature of an insect whisker.”1 The participial form is used of a nail (Ecc. Ecc. 12:11; Isa. Isa. 41:7). “Johnson suggests, ‘The comparison of their hair with that of women may refer (as in other ancient texts) to the locusts’ long antennae.’ ”2 “An Arabic proverb compares the antlers of locusts to the hair of girls.”3 However, these are not natural locusts, so the hair that John sees appears to be long, like that of a woman.

their teeth were like lion’s teeth
Joel describes the natural plague of locusts of his day as a “nation” with teeth of a lion:

For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a fierce lion. He has laid waste My vine, and ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; its branches are made white. (Joel Joel 1:6-7) [emphasis added]

In Joel’s description, the teeth are said to be lion-like because of their ability to consume and strip all vegetation bare. Here, the mention of teeth parallels Joel’s locust vision and is an indication of their rapaciousness. There is no indication that the demon locusts will utilize their teeth directly against their victims—it is their tails with which they strike.4


1 James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament), electronic ed. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997).

2 Mal Couch, “Angelology in the Book of Revelation,” in Mal Couch, ed., A Bible Handbook to Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001), 159.

3 A. R. Fausset, “The Revelation of St. John the Divine,” in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, 1877), Rev. 9:8.

4 Those who suggest they will rip and tear their victims by way of their teeth are without scriptural support. That the victims are to be refused death argues against such an understanding. It is better to see the teeth as a parallelism to the destructive abilities of lions as Joel utilizes in relation to rapacious natural locusts which devour every living thing.