Keys to Revelation – Chapter 9
AUTHOR: Capoccia, Tony
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                        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

          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

                                          [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

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 

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

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

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