Revelation 9:13-21

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 9:13-21 Meaning and Commentary

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 9:13-21 In-Context

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.

Cross References 20

  • 1. Exodus 30:1-3
  • 2. Revelation 8:3
  • 3. Revelation 7:1
  • 4. Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 1:7; Joshua 1:4; Isaiah 11:15; Revelation 16:12
  • 5. Revelation 20:7
  • 6. S Revelation 8:7
  • 7. ver 18
  • 8. Revelation 5:11; Revelation 7:4
  • 9. Revelation 11:5
  • 10. ver 18; Psalms 11:6; Isaiah 30:33; Ezekiel 38:22; Revelation 14:10; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 21:8
  • 11. S Revelation 8:7
  • 12. ver 15
  • 13. S ver 17
  • 14. S Revelation 2:21
  • 15. Deuteronomy 4:28; Deuteronomy 31:29; Jeremiah 1:16; Micah 5:13; Acts 7:41
  • 16. S 1 Corinthians 10:20
  • 17. Psalms 115:4-7; Psalms 135:15-17; Daniel 5:23
  • 18. S Revelation 2:21
  • 19. Isaiah 47:9,12; Revelation 18:23
  • 20. Revelation 17:2,5
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