The Book of Revelation-Chapter 9

This chapter describes a flood of false religion through demonic deception coming on the earth. As we have said before, many things in Revelation are taking place in the spiritual realm but they will also have manifestations in the physical realm. For instance, a flood of false religion and teaching will manifest in what the false messiah and the false prophet are doing. This chapter describes what will darken scriptural counsel during the Birth-pains.
1) And the fifth angel sounded and I saw a star (in Jewish literature, stars were living beings-Judges 5.20; Job 38.6-7; Dan 8.10 and sometimes evil beings-Jude 13; 1 Enoch 18.15-16; 21.6; 86.3; 88.1-3 and occasionally Satan-1 Enoch 86.1; Luke 10.18. Here, this star is more of a positive agent, representing God rather than evil. Notice the parallel in Rev 20.1) from heaven which had fallen (notice that John did not actually see this star/angel fall but witnesses the effects) to the earth; and the key (authority given by God to do this) of the bottomless pit (the abyss) was given to him.
2) And he opened the bottomless pit and smoke went up out of pit (the “shedim” or demons try to disrupt Torah study by darkening counsel by words without knowledge (“blow smoke”), empty, no substance, irritates the spiritual senses and blinds), like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun (Messiah and his teachings) and the air (means “to breathe” and alludes to the Ruach or Holy Spirit) were darkened (Eph 6.10-17-Satan tries to “darken” spiritual” knowledge) by the smoke of the pit.
3) And out of the smoke came forth locust (evil spirits/entities) upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power (to sting, poison with false teaching and can be literal, like with Job).
4) And they were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green (life) thing, nor any tree (these are the 144,000, the two witnesses and the righteous), but only the men who do not have the seal of God (the letter “shin” for the name of God, the truth) on their foreheads (the truth of the Torah/Scriptures in their intellect, mind, reason and profession. This proves that this judgment is supernatural because only the unrighteous are affected).
5) And they were not permitted to kill anyone (a literal army would), but to torment for five months (Nisan to Tishri); and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man (idiom for “trouble”-Ezek 2.6; Mark 16.17-18).
6) And in those days men will seek death and will not find it, and they will long to die and death flees from them.
7) And the appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle (we have battle imagery here, but this is a spiritual battle. Spirits are associated with horses and chariots in 2 Kings 2.11; 6.16-17; Psa 68.17 and Zech 6.1-5 and horses is an idiom for “power”); and upon their heads, as it were, crowns like gold (“like” meaning a counterfeit authority and power), and their faces were like (these were not men) the faces of men (false teaching of men, a show of wisdom but were satanic).
8) And they had hair like women (the Scriptures have much to say about hair, especially of women. It is associated with beauty and the passions it arouses, which is necessary to sustain life for the right reason. However, Jewish literature also associates a woman’s hair with evil. For instance, Lilith is a demon who has long hair and lives in the abyss and is said to tempt men with sexual sin. So, in this passage the hair has an evil connotation meaning to “ensnare with a show of compassion but they deceive with false teachings”), and their teeth were like the teeth of lions (cruel, devouring with their mouth. In other words, the false teachings that were anti-Torah devours the spiritual lives of men).
9) And they had breastplates like breastplates (motive, heart) of iron (an iron will) and the sound of their wings (their “habitat” is the “air”-Eph 6.10-17) was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing (eager) to battle (again, spiritual entities are associated with horses and chariots-see verse 7).
10) And they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.
11) They have a king over them (locusts have no king-Prov 30.27), the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon ( meaning “place of destruction.” His identity is uncertain, but this is an angel and one of the “locusts” of the abyss, just like “angels” that belong to certain congregations-Rev 1.20; chapters 2 and 3), and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon (“destroyer” and this means he is one of God’s “destroying angels.”).
12) The first woe (lamentation) is past; behold, two woes (lamentations) are still coming after these things.
13) And the sixth angel sounded and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar (also associated with the four corners of the globe-Rev 7) which is before God,
14) one saying to the sixth angel who had a trumpet, “Release the four angels (messengers) who are bound at the great river Euphrates (symbolic of religious Babylon. This area is significant because it had the first sin, first murder, first revolt against the Lord, first world ruler).”
15) And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year (their release was predetermined by God, an appointment), were released so that they might kill a third of mankind.
16) And the number of the armies (this may be literal or it means a “flood” of false religion and doctrine through heavy demonic influence by the false messiah and false prophet) of the horsemen was two hundred million (meaning a great number); I heard the number of them.
17) And this is how I saw in the vision the horses (strength, power) and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates (motive, affection, heart) the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone (all correspond to the smoke out of their mouths); and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions (king of beasts) and out of their mouths (to devour) proceed fire and smoke and brimstone (immorality, corrupt and false teachings and doctrine and darkened counsel).
18) A third of mankind was killed (they were spiritually dead) by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths (to devour by false teaching).
19) For the power of the horses is in their mouths (where false teaching comes out of) and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents (satanic) and have heads (profession, intellect); and with them they do harm (with their false doctrine).
20) And the rest of mankind (the unrighteous) who were not killed by these plagues did not repent (they were not affected by these even though God has spared them so far. So, the principle of “midah knegged midah” meaning “measure for measure”, is in action here. As man turns from God to demons, God turns demons on man) of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk,
21) and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries (drugs or “plugging into” the spiritual realm to draw power) nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

Posted in Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, Understanding the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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