Revelation 9

1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.
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.
7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.
8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.
9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.
10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.
11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).
12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.
13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God.
14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.
16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur.
18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths.
19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Revelation 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

The fifth trumpet is followed by a representation of another star as falling from heaven and opening the bottomless pit, out of which come swarms of locusts. (1-12) The sixth trumpet is followed by the loosing of four angels bound in the great river Euphrates. (13-21)

Verses 1-12 Upon sounding the fifth trumpet, a star fell from heaven to the earth. Having ceased to be a minister of Christ, he who is represented by this star becomes the minister of the devil; and lets loose the powers of hell against the churches of Christ. On the opening of the bottomless pit, there arose a great smoke. The devil carries on his designs by blinding the eyes of men, by putting out light and knowledge, and promoting ignorance and error. Out of this smoke there came a swarm of locusts, emblems of the devil's agents, who promote superstition, idolatry, error, and cruelty. The trees and the grass, the true believers, whether young or more advanced, should be untouched. But a secret poison and infection in the soul, should rob many others of purity, and afterwards of peace. The locusts had no power to hurt those who had the seal of God. God's all-powerful, distinguishing grace will keep his people from total and final apostacy. The power is limited to a short season; but it would be very sharp. In such events the faithful share the common calamity, but from the pestilence of error they might and would be safe. We collect from Scripture, that such ( 1 Corinthians. 11:19 ) early writers plainly refer this to the first great host of corrupters who overspread the Christian church.

Verses 13-21 The sixth angel sounded, and here the power of the Turks seems the subject. Their time is limited. They not only slew in war, but brought a poisonous and ruinous religion. The antichristian generation repented not under these dreadful judgments. From this sixth trumpet learn that God can make one enemy of the church a scourge and a plague to another. The idolatry in the remains of the eastern church and elsewhere, and the sins of professed Christians, render this prophecy and its fulfilment more wonderful. And the attentive reader of Scripture and history, may find his faith and hope strengthened by events, which in other respects fill his heart with anguish and his eyes with tears, while he sees that men who escape these plagues, repent not of their evil works, but go on with idolatries, wickedness, and cruelty, till wrath comes upon them to the utmost.

Cross References 43

  • 1. Revelation 8:10
  • 2. Revelation 1:18
  • 3. ver 2,11; S Luke 8:31
  • 4. Genesis 19:28; Exodus 19:18
  • 5. Joel 2:2,10
  • 6. ver 1,11; S Luke 8:31
  • 7. Exodus 10:12-15
  • 8. ver 5,10
  • 9. S Revelation 6:6
  • 10. Revelation 8:7
  • 11. S Revelation 7:2,3
  • 12. ver 10
  • 13. ver 3
  • 14. Job 3:21; Job 7:15; Jeremiah 8:3; Revelation 6:16
  • 15. Joel 2:4
  • 16. Daniel 7:8
  • 17. Joel 1:6
  • 18. Joel 2:5
  • 19. ver 3,5,19
  • 20. ver 1,2; S Luke 8:31
  • 21. Revelation 16:16
  • 22. Job 26:6; Job 28:22; Job 31:12; Psalms 88:11
  • 23. S Revelation 8:13
  • 24. Exodus 30:1-3
  • 25. Revelation 8:3
  • 26. Revelation 7:1
  • 27. Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 1:7; Joshua 1:4; Isaiah 11:15; Revelation 16:12
  • 28. Revelation 20:7
  • 29. S Revelation 8:7
  • 30. ver 18
  • 31. Revelation 5:11; Revelation 7:4
  • 32. Revelation 11:5
  • 33. ver 18; Psalms 11:6; Isaiah 30:33; Ezekiel 38:22; Revelation 14:10; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 21:8
  • 34. S Revelation 8:7
  • 35. ver 15
  • 36. S ver 17
  • 37. S Revelation 2:21
  • 38. Deuteronomy 4:28; Deuteronomy 31:29; Jeremiah 1:16; Micah 5:13; Acts 7:41
  • 39. S 1 Corinthians 10:20
  • 40. Psalms 115:4-7; Psalms 135:15-17; Daniel 5:23
  • 41. S Revelation 2:21
  • 42. Isaiah 47:9,12; Revelation 18:23
  • 43. Revelation 17:2,5

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 9

This chapter gives an account of the blowing of the fifth and sixth trumpets, and of the effects following upon them. The fifth angel blows his trumpet, and a star falls; the key of the bottomless pit is given to him, which being opened by it, out of it comes smoke to the darkening of the sun and air, and out of the smoke locusts, who have power like scorpions, Re 9:1-3; whose power is restrained from using it to the hurt of the grass, or any green thing or tree, only of those who had not the seal of God in their foreheads; but are permitted, though not to kill men, yet to torment them five months, which is worse than death unto them, Re 9:4-6. The shapes of these locusts, which are said to be like horses, are described by their heads, faces, hair, teeth, breastplates, wings, and tails, and are said to have a king over them, whose name is mentioned, Re 9:7-11. The blowing of this trumpet brings on one of the woes mentioned in Re 8:13, and the two other follow, Re 9:12. The sixth angel blows his trumpet, and a voice is heard from the horns of the altar, directed to the said angel, ordering him to loose four angels bound in the great river Euphrates, where they were prepared, for a determinate time, to slay the third part of men, and they were loosed accordingly, Re 9:13-15. The number of the army, under these angels, is given, Re 9:16, and the horses and horsemen are described; the riders by their breastplates of fire, jacinth, and brimstone; their horses' heads as heads of lions, fire, smoke, and brimstone, issuing out of their mouths, by which the third part of men are killed, Re 9:17,18. The reason of this slaughter is, because they had power both in their mouth and tails, which latter were like serpents, and had heads, with which they did mischief, Re 9:19; and yet such who were not killed by these plagues, but escaped, did not repent of their idolatry, murders, sorceries, fornication, and theft, Re 9:20,21.

Revelation 9 Commentaries