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Keys to Revelation - Chapter 9

Written by: Capoccia, Tony    Posted on: 05/12/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

                        Keys to Revelation - Chapter 9

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 9:1  The fifth angel sounded          [star] - Symbolic reference to an his trumpet, and I saw a star that        angel since the star was given a key had fallen from the sky to the            to open the Abyss.  Most likely this earth. The star was given the key        star is Satan. to the shaft of the Abyss.                                                          [fallen] - Term has been used of                                           Satan falling or being hurled to the                                           earth (see ISA 14:12-17, LUK 10:18)                                           and includes other angels along with                                           Satan in Rev 12:7-9.

                                          [key] - Jesus has the keys to Death                                           and to Hell (REV 1:18) and it would                                           fit that He also has the keys to                                           the Abyss, the place where the wicked                                           angels are detained.  Satan does not                                           have any control over any place,                                           demon, or person unless Jesus gives                                           him that power.

                                          [Abyss] - Means the "bottomless pit"                                           and is a place in the "underworld"                                           for certain wicked demons that is                                           made up of "gloomy dungeons"                                           (2PE 2:4).

REV 9:2  When he opened the Abyss,        [smoke] - Part of God's torment on smoke rose from it like the smoke        wicked men and angels is fire (MAT from a gigantic furnace. The sun          25:41 and LUK 16:24).  The Abyss is and sky were darkened by the smoke        not only a "holding place" (2PE 2:4) from the Abyss.                          but also a place of torment.  The                                            smoke is so intense that it literally                                           blackens the sun and sky.

REV 9:3  And out of the smoke            [locusts] - Throughout the OT the  locusts came down upon the earth          locust was a symbol of destruction, and were given power like that of        and here are being used as a judgment scorpions of the earth.                  from God on mankind.  It is important                                           to remember that these creatures are                                           demon-possessed from the Abyss, much                                           like the demon-possessed pigs in MAT                                           8:31.

                                          [power...scorpions] - The locusts                                           have the power of the scorpions which                                           is a wasp-like sting and the ability                                           to secret a poison into their victim.

REV 9:4  They were told not to harm      [told not to harm grass] - This fact the grass of the earth or any plant      reveals that they are real locusts or tree, but only those people who        who normally would follow their did not have the seal of God on          natural desire to eat grass and their foreheads.                          plants.  God has to command them to                                           go against their natural instinct and                                           to harm unredeemed man instead. 

REV 9:5  They were not given power        [not given power to kill] - God has to kill them, but only to torture        sovereign control over Satan and the them for five months. And the agony      demons and God alone determines just they suffered was like that of the        how much power they will have. Demons sting of a scorpion when it strikes      are "set" on destruction and God a man.                                    merely uses them for His purpose.

                                          [torture] - God is not being cruel to                                           the unbeliever, but the time has come                                           to judge wickedness. 

                                          [five months] - A limited duration                                           judgment allowing men and women to                                           turn from their wickedness and                                           repent.  It is also interesting to                                           note that the life cycle of locusts                                           is five months.  These locusts were                                           all created by Jesus when the Abyss                                           was opened and thus would all reach                                           five months of age at the same time.

REV 9:6  During those days men will      [seek death] - A reminder that it is seek death, but will not find it;        Jesus who determines our moment of they will long to die, but death          death and man cannot change that. will elude them.                          These people who are under the                                           judgment of God try to commit suicide                                           but Jesus prevents their deaths.

REV 9:7  The locusts looked like          [looked like horses] - Locusts have horses prepared for battle. On            heads that are shaped like horses and their heads they wore something          here they were made to resemble the like crowns of gold, and their            protective armament of war and the faces resembled human faces.              eagerness to go into battle and                                           inflict damage to their foes.

                                          [like crowns of gold] - They were not                                           crowns but looked something like them                                           which may symbolize their already                                           determined victory over mankind.

                                          [resembled human faces] - These were                                           not the passive expressions of an                                           insect but rather the highly intel-                                           ligent cunning and cruelty of demonic                                           beings.

REV 9:8  Their hair was like              [women's hair] - The Bible makes a women's hair, and their teeth were        distinction that women's hair is  like lions' teeth.                        longer in length than men's. These                                           locusts appear to have long hair                                           which could be longer than normal                                           antennae for some added capability.                                           This feature is extremely difficult                                           to define as to meaning.

                                          [lions' teeth] - This feature would                                           emphasize the fierceness of the                                            locusts.

REV 9:9  They had breastplates like      [breastplates of iron] - The scaly breastplates of iron, and the sound      backs and flanks of the locusts of their wings was like the              resembled coats of armor made of iron thundering of many horses and            which may stand for the hopelessness chariots rushing into battle.            of any effort trying to destroy these                                           messengers of judgment.

REV 9:10  They had tails and stings      [tails] - These locusts are designed like scorpions, and in their tails        to carry out God's judgment by the they had power to torment people          unusual Scorpion tail with stinger. for five months.                         

REV 9:11  They had as king over          [angel of the Abyss] - This army has them the angel of the Abyss, whose        a leader whose task is to lead them name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in        to torment the unbelievers.  The evil Greek, Apollyon.                          angels have rank and structure as                                           indicated in EPH 6:12 and the locusts                                           have one known as the "Destroyer."

                                          [Abaddon] - Hebrew word meaning                                           "destruction" or "ruin" and more                                           often "the place of ruin" in Sheol,                                           or "death," or "the grave."

                                          [Apollyon] - Greek word meaning                                           "exterminator" or "destroyer."

REV 9:12  The first woe is past;          two other woes are yet to come. 

REV 9:13  The sixth angel sounded        [voice...from the horns] - Means from his trumpet, and I heard a voice          the center of the altar table where coming from the horns of the golden      the incense burned.  It would be the altar that is before God.                the voice of God.

REV 9:14  It said to the sixth            [four angels] - These are wicked angel who had the trumpet, "Release      demons who have been "bound" at a the four angels who are bound at          a particular place along the river the great river Euphrates."              Euphrates.  They are held captive                                           until this moment in history when                                           they are released to accomplish their                                           evil deeds.

REV 9:15  And the four angels who        [released to kill] - These demons had been kept ready for this very        are demons of death, in that, when hour and day and month and year          they are free to act, death occurs. were released to kill a third of mankind.                                  [third of mankind] - The first kill-                                           ing occurred in REV 6:8 where one-                                           fourth of the earth's population was                                           destroyed.  That would have been near                                           1.5 Billion people (assuming current                                           world population).  In 9:15 we now                                           see one-third of the remaining 4.5                                           Billion or another 1.5 Billion                                           people killed.

REV 9:16  The number of the mounted      [mounted troops] - Indicates that the troops was two hundred million. I        demon's weapon of death was a large heard their number.                      army that they (demons) have caused                                           to attack other countries.

                                          [two hundred million] - Some estimate                                           that at the time of the writing of                                           the Book of Revelation there were not                                           even 200,000,000 people on earth!                                           For centuries man has doubted this                                           verse that predicts a 200,000,000 man                                           army. Yet in 1968 the Chinese boasted                                           they could put on the battlefield the                                           Red Guard Army of over 200,000,000                                            men and women.

REV 9:17  The horses and riders I        God presents to John a picture of the saw in my vision looked like this:        200,000,000 army and it is in terms Their breastplates were fiery red,        that he would understand.  It may in dark blue, and yellow as sulfur.          fact be that these are not really The heads of the horses resembled        horses, but rather modern weapons of the heads of lions, and out of            war.  For example, a tanklike vehicle their mouths came fire, smoke and        with red, blue, and yellow markings. sulfur.                                  The fire, smoke, and sulfur could be                                           the actual discharge of the weapon.

REV 9:18  A third of mankind was          [out of their mouths] - From the killed by the three plagues of            front of the vehicle. fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 

REV 9:19  The power of the horses        [power...in...mouths, tails] - Again was in their mouths and in their          I believe these are pictures of tails; for their tails were like          modern weapons of war.  These weapons snakes, having heads with which          discharge their bullets, lasers, or they inflict injury.                      fire, etc., from both the front and                                           the rear of the vehicle.

REV 9:20  The rest of mankind that        [rest...still did not repent] - God were not killed by these plagues          is not only judging the sin of the still did not repent of the work of      earth, but is also trying to bring their hands; they did not stop            the sinner to repentance.  Yet those worshiping demons, and idols of          not killed would not repent. gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood--idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 

REV 9:21  Nor did they repent of          A very clear picture of the sins of their murders, their magic arts,          the last days of the earth. their sexual immorality or their thefts. 



Tony Capoccia BIBLE BULLETIN BOARD Box 130 Shreveport, LA 71110 Modem (318) 949-1456 300/1200/2400/9600 Baud



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