Revelation 9:4

4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

Revelation 9:4 in Other Translations

KJV
4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
ESV
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
NLT
4 They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
MSG
4 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."
CSB
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green plant, or any tree, but only people who do not have God's seal on their foreheads.

Revelation 9:4 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 9:4

And it was commanded them
The locusts, by Christ, who has a sovereign power over all men, and lays them under the restraints of his providence:

that they should not hurt the grass of the earth:
true Christians, private believers, it may be those of the lower class; who for their numbers, and for their flourishing estate under the dews of heavenly grace, and the distillations of the doctrine of grace, and the clear shining of the sun of righteousness upon them, and for their weakness, may be compared to grass; and yet as these being a company reserved by Christ for himself, who will not break nor bruise them, so neither will he suffer others to hurt them, and resents every offence done to these little ones:

neither any green thing;
who have the truth of grace in them, are spiritually alive, and in prosperous circumstances, in a fruitful condition, being filled with the fruits of righteousness from Christ, the green fir tree, and whose leaves of profession continue green; and are themselves, as David says of himself; like a green olive tree in the house of God, ( Psalms 3:8 ) .

Neither any tree;
any trees of righteousness, good and righteous who are often compared to trees planted by rivers of water, ( Psalms 1:3 ) ( Jeremiah 17:8 ) ; it may be the ministers of the Gospel, then of great grace and gifts, the tall cedars in Lebanon, may be intended; and so by these various expressions, Christians of every size, from the lowest to the highest class, may be signified. Green things and leaves of trees are what the locusts generally destroy, as appears from the plague of them in Egypt, ( Exodus 10:5 Exodus 10:12 Exodus 10:15 ) ; and as they did in Syria in the year 1586, as Thuanus reports F7. Now as grass, green things, and trees, are what locusts most desire to feed upon and hurt, so real believers, truly godly persons, are those which both the eastern and western locusts, the Mahometans and Papists, have been very desirous of rooting out and destroying; but Christ takes care of these; these are as the apple of his eye, his jewels, his sheep, his sealed ones; none shall hurt them, they shall never perish; he knows them that are his, and he will preserve them amidst fire and smoke, amidst all the corruptions and calamities in the world:

but only those men which have not the seal of God in their
foreheads;
see ( Revelation 7:2 Revelation 7:3 ) ; the antichristian party, those of the Romish apostasy, the Papists; and these were they that suffered most by the Saracens, who abhorred image worship, and fell foul on the idolaters of this kind: and, on the other hand, the western locusts, the clergy of the church of Rome, had only influence over the reprobate part of mankind, and only wrought with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, who were giver, up to believe a lie, that they might be damned, but not upon any of the chosen ones, ( 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F7 Hist. sui Temporis, par. 4. l. 84. p. 162. Ed. Francofurt.

Revelation 9:4 In-Context

2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.
3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.
4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.
6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Revelation 6:6
  • 2. Revelation 8:7
  • 3. S Revelation 7:2,3