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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Revelation 9

Verse 1

1) "And the fifth angel sounded," (kai ho pemptos angelos esalpisen) "And the fifth (of the seven) angel trumpeted," as introduced, and one by one successively announce judgments, Revelation 8:2.

2) "And I saw a star," (kai eidon astera) "And I saw or recognized a star;” Apparently Lucifer, the bright one of fallen angels, apollyon, the destroyer, Revelation 9:11; Perhaps referred to as Lucifer meaning "day-star" that fell, Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:12-14.

3) "Fall from heaven unto the earth," (ek to ouranou peptokota eis ges tes) "That had fallen out of heaven (onto) into the earth;" The fall appears to have come about the time of the final war in heaven, Revelation 12:7-12 after which he has but "a short time" on earth to do his work, for 42 months, Revelation 12:13-17.

4) "And to him was given," (kai edothe auto) "And there was given over to it (him)," (the star) perhaps to the Devil, King of demon spirits and hell, called also "prince of this world," John 12:31; John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; Hebrews 2:14.

5) "The Key of the bottomless pit," (he kleis tou phreatos tes abussou) "The key of the shaft or (shaft-key) of the abyss (bottomless pit), of hades, present abode of souls of the unsaved and the devil and fallen angels or demon-slave-spirits to the Devil; This place is prepared for the Devil and his angels, Matthew 25:41; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 17:8.

Verse 2

1) "And he opened the bottomless pit," (kai enoiksen to phrean tes abussou) "And he opened the shaft of the abyss (bottomless pit);” The "he" who opened the bottomless pit is the "star" - bright one, (Lucifer) king or prince of hell itself, Revelation 9:11. This abyss is the present abode of the devil and his angels, not the lake of fire into which they shall later be cast, Matthew 25:41.

2) "And there arose a smoke out of the pit," (kai anebe kapnos kaminou megales) "And there went up (ascended) a smoke out of the shaft-opening;" from the present abyss called hell, Revelation 14:11; where fallen angels are reserved unto judgment of the great white throne judgment era.

3) "As the smoke of a great furnace," (hos kapnos kaminou megales) "Like smoke (originating from) a great furnace," Joel 2:2; Revelation 9:18; In that smoke filled bottomless pit demon spirits now have their habitation, their headquarters from which they go out into the earth and heaven to do their deceptive work, Luke 8:30-33; Judges 1:6; Revelation 12:7-10.

4) "And the sun and the air were darkened," (kai eskotothe ho helios kai ho aer) "And the sun and the air was darkened (by it)," the atmosphere was an heavy fog of smoky-haze, stifling in appearance, and smothering in smog-like strain, torment by which on earth many later died, Revelation 9:18.

5) "By reason of the smoke of the pit," (ek tou kapnou tou phreatos) "By means or by reason of the smoke of the shaft," which boiled out, arose, or ascended from its tormenting scent and sound, Revelation 14:11; Revelation 17:8.

Verse 3

1) "And there came out of the smoke," (kai ek tou kapnou ekselthon) "And there came forth out of the smoke," out of the stench torments and dense smoke from the bottomless pit.

2) "Locusts upon the earth," (akrides eis tes gen) "Locusts into the earth," Locusts are repeatedly referred to in the scriptures as bringing devastating plagues in the East where fires and smoke are frequently used to obstruct or impede their consuming progress, Exodus 10:12-15; Judges 7:12; Joel 2:3.

3) "And unto them was given power," (kai edothe autois eksousia) "And there was given over to them (the Locusts) administrative or functioning authority," as creatures of devastating ruin and destruction to grass, herbs, fruit, trees and men and living animals whose livelihood comes from them, as in Exodus 10:15.

4) "As the scorpions of the earth have power," (hos echousin eksousian hoi skorpioi tes ges) "Just as, or like the stinging scorpions have functional, operative, or administering authority (power) of the earth;" Revelation 9:10.

These 2 to 6 inch long lobster shaped animals have a very painful sting that annoys and sometimes brings death. Deuteronomy 8:15; Ezekiel 2:6; Luke 10:19.

Verse 4

1) "And it was commanded them," (kai errethe autois) "And it was mandated (restricted by command) to them; The "them" commanded by restrictions were the locusts that had come up out of the smoke of the bottomless pit or abyss, Revelation 9:2-3.

2) "That they should not hurt the grass of the earth," (hina me adikesousin ton chorton tes ges) "in order that they shall not harm the grass of the earth;” The judgment that was to be administered by the locusts was not upon vegetation, with causative harm coming thereafter to men and animals, as in preceding judgments, but directly on men of the earth.

3) "Neither any green thing, neither any tree," (oude pan chloron oude pan dendron) "Nor any green (chlorophyl) stuff, nor even a tree;” This type of judgment was totally to avoid any direct hurt or destruction to vegetation, but plague men only.

4) "But only to those men which have not the seal of God," (ei me tous anthropous oitines ouk echousin ten sphigida tou theou) "Except or (but only) those men who have or hold not the seat (mark or identity) of God," who have not the spirit: At least those hundred and forty four thousand of Israel who had been sealed in their foreheads against death and carried to their hiding place in the desert, Revelation 7:3-4; Revelation 12:14.

5) "In their foreheads," (epi ton metopon) "Upon their foreheads;” not one person having the seal of God upon their foreheads on earth is to be hurt or harmed by this judgment plague of scorpions. This sealed people seems to be of natural Israel only, of those remaining on earth, Ezekiel 9:4. As God seals the 144,000 Satan shall kill all other redeemed who do not take his mark in their foreheads, Revelation 13:16-17; Revelation 20:4

"The mind that broods o’er guilty woes Is like the scorpion girt by fire; In circle narrowing as it glows, The flames around their victim close, Till, inly searched by thousand throes, And maddening in her ire, One sad and sole relief she knows: The sting she nourished for her foes, Whose venom never yet was vain, Gives but one pang, and cures all pain, And darts into her desperate brain. So do the dark in soul expire, Or live like scorpion girt by fire. So writhes the mind remorse hath riven, Unfit for earth, undoomed for heaven, Darkness above, despair beneath, Around it flame, within it death!"

Verse 5

1) "And to them it was given," (kai edothe autois) "And it was doled out or given over to them," the locusts of above described powers of a scorpion, a stinging scorpion, Ezekiel 2:6.

2) "That they should not kill them," (hina me apokteinosin autous) "In order that they should not kill (the men)," who had not the seal of God, the seal against coming death by Divine judgment wrath - Suffering, calamity was to be theirs before death came, Luke 21:34-36.

3) "But that they should be tormented five months," (All’ hina basanisthesontai menas pente) "But in order that they (the men) should be tormented (for a period of) five months;” the annual period of time (April to September) that locusts normally plague men and the earth. This particular tormenting plague, without death seems to occur during the early part of the latter 42 months of tribulation the great, Revelation 11:6-8.

4) "And their torment was the torment of a scorpion," (kai ho basanismos auton hos basanismos skorpiou) "And their torment is (exists as) or like the torment of a scorpion," that has the painful, tormenting stinger in his tail, crawling into the house, the bed, one’s shoes, and clothes, to sting unexpectedly, shockingly.

5) "When he striketh a man," (hotan paise anthropon) "Whenever it stings a man," bringing excruciating pain and torture, Revelation 9:10; Revelation 11:7.

Verse 6

1) "And in those days shall men seek death," (kai entois hemerais ekeinas) "And in those days" (zetesousin hoi anthropoi ton thanaton) "The men (without the seal of God) will seek death;” crying in tormented fear, hysteria, and excruciating pain for rocks and mountains to fall on, crush them, to kill them, Revelation 6:16; Isaiah 2:19; Luke 23:30.

2) "And shall not find it," (kai oume heuresousin auton) "And they will by no means at all find it;” they can not (will not) find death by suicide or from any other means for these five tragic torment filled months, when death will be on a vacation, by Divine intervention, so hat Satan can not kill, Hebrews 2:14; Hosea 10:8.

3) "And shall desire to die," (kai epithumesousin apothanein) "And they will yearn or long to die;” Job 3:21; "which long for death, but it cometh not," Jeremiah 8:3. Yes, Christ-rejecting men, when it is too late to repent, will desire to die, to be annihilated, put out of existence, but they can not, because of their wilful, obstinate rebellion against God, Proverbs 1:22-30.

4) "And death shall flee from them," (kai pheugei ho thanatos ap’ auton) "And the death (they long for), a release from torment, flees from them;” Luke 23:30. It is said that the stinging scorpion can and will commit suicide by stinging itself thru its own brain when it is hemmed in or caught by fire and near suffocating smoke, but man can not even commit suicide when this hour of torment comes upon those who have wilfully ignored God’s call to prepare to meet him, Luke 21:34-36. For illustration read the preceding poem, Matthew 24:44; Hebrews 9:27-28.

Verse 7

1) "And the shapes of the locusts," (kai ta homoiomata ton akridon) "And the likeness (appearances shape) of the locusts;” This is a comparison with the Arab horses, familiar to the Arabs in battle array, Nahum 3:17.

2) "Were like unto horses prepared unto battle," (homoioi hippois hetoimasmenois eis polemon) "(was) similar to that (of) horses already prepared (geared) for war," moving in ranked array having war-gear or armor of protection from spears and swords and sharp instruments. The Greeks called it "the horse of the earth," Joel 2:4; Proverbs 30:27.

3) "And on their heads," (kai epi tas kephales auton) "And upon their (the horses’) heads;” or locusts’ heads, similar to an horse’s head, with head-gear for warfare.

4) "Were as it were crowns of gold," (hos stephanoi homoioi chruso) "A likeness appeared as crown’s of gold; the crown of gold symbolizes kingly rulers, Revelation 16:12.

5) "And their faces were as the faces of men," (kai ta prosopa auton hos prosopa anthropon) "And their faces (of the locusts) had the likeness in appearance of men," Nahum 3:17-18; Daniel 7:8.

Verse 8

1) "And they had hair," (kai eichon trichas) "And they had hair," on their heads, or hairs on their head they had The armor-laden horse-like locusts, with golden crowns of kingly headgear arrayed and ranked for battle had antennas like a woman’s hair or horse’s mane failing over their faces.

2) "As the hair of women," (hos trichas gunaikon) "As the hairs of women," considered to be long hair upon their heads, antennae appearing on their heads as a woman’s long flowing hair, untied, loose in the wind, and abundant, moving as if to do battle, to attack their victims.

3) "And their teeth were as the teeth of lions," (kai hoi odontes auton hos leonton hesan) "And their teeth were (in appearance) similar to the teeth of lions," king or ruler of the beasts; these locusts shall be devastating administrators of excruciating pain to men for a period of five months, having not only stings to give men excruciating pain but also lion-like teeth to tear the flesh of men, but to cut, to tear their flesh, not reaching into the vitals enough to kill them, but to cause fear, torments, and horror, as their calamity rages against the enemies of God, Joel 1:6. Lions’ teeth are set (four of them) crossed, to cross each other like a pair of scissors, to cut, to tear flesh for his protection or for food.

Verse 9

1) "And they had breastplates," (kai eichon thorakas) "And they held breastplates;- armor of breast protection, for the thorax area of the body, covering the area of the vitals of the body.

2) "As it were breastplates of iron," (hos thorakas siderous) "Similar to breastplates of iron," referring to a hard scale-covering on the locust, almost hard as iron. Such is the appearance, viciousness, and durable structure of these creatures of Divine plague judgments that are to fall on men under the sounding of the angel of the fifth trumpet, Revelation 9:1-11.

3) "And the sound of their wings," (kai he phone ton pterugon auton) "And the sound (noise) of their wings," as they came up out of the smoke, out of the bottomless pit, where they were released by the fallen star, the Devil, Revelation 9:1-3.

4) "Was as the sound of chariots of many horses," (hos phone harmaton hippon pollon) "Was similar to the sound or noise of many chariots of running horses," headed for battle in prancing and galloping fear and horror, Joel 2:5.

5) "Running to battle," (trechonton eis polemon) "Running into battle;” as the goat or ox to slaughter, bleats and bellows in horror at the smell of blood, as it approaches the slaughter, while the sheep opens not his mouth, Proverbs 7:22; Isaiah 53:7; Ezekiel 21:22.

Verse 10

1) "And they had tails like unto scorpions," (kai echousin ouras homoias skopriois) "And they have tails similar in appearance to scorpions," often classified or mentioned with serpents or snakes, painful tormentors of men. Deuteronomy 8:15; Leviticus 21:6; 1 Corinthians 10:9.

2) "And there were stings in their tails," (kai kentra kai en tois ourais auton) "And they had (have) with (in) their tails stings," as stinging scorpions. As the fangs of the mouth of a venomous (poisonous) serpent stings when the snake strikes, so does the tail stinger of the scorpion, 1 Kings 12:11; 1 Kings 12:14; Ezekiel 2:6; Luke 10:19.

3) "And their power was to hurt men five months," (he eksousia auton adikesai tous anthropous menas pente) "And their authority (executive or functional power) is (exists) to harm (torment) the men (without the seal of God) for a period of five months," The seal of God Revelation 9:4, refers to a "forehead mark" against death, which was placed on the 144,000 of natural Israel, not just to the seal of the Holy Spirit on all children of God, Revelation 7:3-4; Luke 21:34-38 charges people of God to so live and watch (be careful) for the coming of the Christ "that they may be accounted worthy to escape all these things" that shall come upon the whole earth during the latter time (last 42 months) of the time of Jacob’s trouble or the tribulation the great. It is always proper, never dangerous, for children of God to be ready, watching, looking for that blessed day, that they be not cut asunder (left on earth) for death during this horrible judgment period, Matthew 21:44; Luke 12:45-48; Hebrews 9:27-28.

Verse 11

1) "And they had a king over them," (echousin ep’ auton Basilea) "They have or hold over them (over their actions) a king, a ruler," one who directed them in their pain inflicting plague. He is called "The prince of this world," of this world-order, John 14:30; John 16:11; Ephesians 2:2.

2) "Which is the angel of the bottomless pit," (ton angelon tes abussou) "(Even) the angel of the bottomless pit," the Devil himself, having chief control of the occupants of the Abyss, or hell, out of which the demon creatures like-locusts came thru brimstone and smoke to torment men of the earth for these five months, Revelation 9:1-3; Revelation 9:10.

3) "Whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon," (onoma auto Hebraisti Abaddon) "With a Hebrew name given to him as Abaddon," meaning "one who destroys or destruction."

4) "But in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon," (kai en te hellenike onoma echei apolluon) "And in the Greek he has or holds the name Apollyon," or "destroyer," to inflict not only tribulation suffering, but also death, and who causes "perdition" to mankind, John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; Hebrews 2:14.

Its locality is untold, its creation and date are left in obscurity, its names are various - but all rather veils the discoveries of what seems elaborately concealed. It is hell, the hidden or sunken place; it is Gehenna, Tophet; it is a smoke ascending, as if to darken the universe; it is a lake burning with fire and brimstone, but of which the interior is unseen; it is a pit bottomless, a fire unquenchable, a worm undying, a death - the second and last; it is “ without", yet not visited or unseen; they shall be tormented in the presence of the Lamb and the holy angels; they shall go forth, and look on the carcasses of them that are slain, whose worm dieth not. This is all, or nearly all we know of it. And yet how unspeakably tremendously Like the disjointed words upon the wall (in Coleridge’s "Dream"), taken singly, each word is a riddle -put them together, and what a lesson of horrid terror do they combine to teach!

Verse 12

1) "One woe is past," (he ouai he mia apelthen) "The first (in order) woe passed away," was finished or ended -the one of the three is passed, as seen and described by John, Revelation 8:13.

2) "And, behold there come," (idou erchetai) "Behold there come forward;” note: The Gk. verb (erchetai) though singular, is followed by a neuter plural subject much as the Hebrew feminine. These grammatical irregularities frequently occur but are not of sufficient importance in general interpretation, in opinion of the author, to encumber or distract the reader.

3) "Two woes more hereafter," (heti duo ouai meta tauta) "Yet two (more) woes after these things," that have come and gone, after the torment of the scorpion-like locusts of the first woe. The writer can not record one vision on top of the other, thus suspense is added by the term "hereafter," or in addition to what was previously described. This is not to be interpreted to mean that the plagues, woes, etc. are all to come in exact chronological time order as recorded from chapter to chapter. The reason is that the seven year period of the man of sin’s covenant with the Jews is described, redescribed, and divided into two separate 42 months or 3 1/2 year periods repeatedly, Revelation 6:1 to Revelation 20:15; Revelation 7:3-4; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 11:2-3; Revelation 11:6; Revelation 12:6-14; Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 12:1; Daniel 12:6-13.

Verse 13

1) "And the sixth angel sounded," (kai ho hektos angelos esalpisen) "And the sixth angel (of the seven) trumpeted," let forth a further judgment warning.

2) "And I heard a voice," (kai ekousa phonen mian) "And I heard one voice” The voice of the administrator of judgment, Jesus Christ as judge, John 3:35; John 5:27; 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

3) "From the four horns," (ek ton tessaron keraton) "Out of (originating from) the four horns, as described in the blueprint of the altar of the tabernacle of Israel in the wilderness, Exodus 27:2; Exodus 29:12; Exodus 30:3; Exodus 30:10.

4) "Of the golden altar," (tou thusiasteriou tou chrusou) "Of the altar of gold," as described, Revelation 6:9; Revelation 8:3; Exodus 30:3. It was overlaid with gold and had a crown of gold attached around encircling it, denoting or signifying that here royalty and reigning rights of the Redeemer and his fallen creatures found reconciliation, by his blood, thru faith in his blood, Romans 3:25; Revelation 5:9-10; Hebrews 7:25.

5) "Which is before God," (tou enopion tou theou) "Of the one altar in the presence of God," before his face in heaven, where Christ lives to make intercession for believers, and from which the angels announcing and administering tribulation judgment shall go forth over the earth during The Tribulation the Great, Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:2.

Verse 14

1) "Saying to the sixth angel," (legonta to hekto angelo) "Saying to the sixth (of the seven) angel," as presented, Revelation 8:1-2. The Divine order coming from the voice presiding over the four-horn, golden altar was that of Jesus Christ, judge of the quick and the dead, issuing instructions, 2 Timothy 4:1.

2) "Which had the trumpet," (ho echon ten salpinga) "The one who was holding the trumpet," the sixth trumpet of the seven that were to announce judgments yet to come upon the earth, to execute vengeance upon those who know not God and have disobeyed all his commandments that they did know, Deuteronomy 32:35; Luke 21:22; Romans 12:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9.

3) "Loose the four angels," (luson tous tessaras angelous) "Loose thou or let loose the four angels,” turn the quartet loose; perhaps the same four angels who were formerly instructed not to administer judgment on the earth or the sea until after the sealing of the 144,000 Israelite servants of God against physical death, Revelation 7:1-4; Revelation 12:6.

4) "Which are bound in the great river Euphrates”

(tous dedemenous epi to potamo to megalo Euphrate) "Those that have been held, bound or contained upon (at) the great river Euphrates," a line of defense until this time against the kings, rulers, and armies of the East.

It appears that at this time, the Tribulation the Great is to begin in a rising crescendo of terror, known also as the Battle of Armageddon, which is to occur after the Special living Israel saints are sealed in their foreheads against death during the following 42 months, Revelation 12:6-14. Note also that this idea seems to be confirmed, Revelation 16:12-16.

Verse 15

1) "And the four angels were loosed," (kai eluthesan hoi tessares angeloi) "And the four angels (having been over the Euphrates) were released, loosed," as the sixth angel was directed from the throne to release them, and as they had formerly been restrained for a time (until the proper time) to execute vengeance Revelation 9:1-4; Revelation 9:13-14.

2) "Which were prepared for an hour," (hoi hetoimas menoi eisten horan) "The four who had been prepared for (with reference to) the hour," but held in waiting, restrained from their part in bringing sudden death to the human race until their hour, period of executing divine judgment should come.

3) "And a day, and a month, and a year," (kai hemeran kai mena kai eniauton) "And (also having been prepared for a day, a month, and a year;” This means until God’s time schedule for them was ready. Even our Lord, as a man, often said "Mine hour is not yet come," John 2:4; John 17:2; Galatians 4:4-5. There is a time and a season for everything under the sun; God alone knows all details of his future purpose in time, Ecclesiastes 3:1; Ecclesiastes 3:7; Acts 1:7.

4) "For to slay the third part of men," (hina apokteinosin to triton ton anthropon) "in order that they should slay (kill) the third part of men, one third of those who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, Revelation 7:1-4; It appears that one year, one month, one day and one hour is the length of time period that the wicked city of Babylon on the great river Euphrates may be besieged by the armies of the kings of the East (the rulers of the Far East) as Armageddon swords flash, brimstone fires burn, and smoke stifles to death men by the millions who go into do battle, wave after wave of the columns, Revelation 16:12-21.

Verse 16

1) "And the number of the army," (kai ho arithmos ton strateumaton) "And the number of the body of soldiers," battling in endless columns along the Great River Euphrates and before the Armageddon battle that begins at the Euphrates is over it will recede or advance near 800 miles west in the Holy Land proper, where blood shall flow to the horses bridle in the valley of Jehoshaphat, Joel 3:2; Joel 3:12-16; Revelation 14:20.

2) "Of the horsemen," (tou hippikou) "Of the cavalry," these are men from among the Gentile nations in battle array - "nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom," men in throes of death, Matthew 24:7-8.

3) "Were two hundred thousand thousand," (dismuriades muriadon) "Was two myriads of myriads," or some two hundred million soldiers, human soldiers, doing battle against one another incited by the very Devil, the Star out of the bottomless pit who incites men to death and war; Ezekiel 38:4; Ezekiel 39:1-1; Revelation 9:1-2; Hebrews 2:14.

4) "And I heard the number of them," (ekousa ton arithmon auton) "I (even), also heard their number," given or called. God is a God of numbers and order, both in redemptive work and in judgment; Each person is precious in his sight. No one is lost to his sight or concern among the masses. One by one men are born, given life, breath, and all things; and one by one each shall die, and thereafter give account of or for himself at the judgment bar of God, even to be judged, Luke 14:35; Luke 15:7; Luke 10:32; Romans 14:11-12; Philippians 2:10-11; John 3:16; John 6:37; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.

Verse 17

1) "And thus I saw the horses in the vision," (kai houtos eidon tous hippous en te horasei) "And thus (like this) I perceived the horses in the vision"; Joel 2:11.

2) "And them that sat on them," (kai tous kathemenous pep I auton) "And those sitting upon them" riding them into battle and to their own death.

3) "Having breastplates of fire," (echontas thorakas purinous) "Having or holding fire-colored breastplates," of three colors; (1) of fiery red,

4) "And of jacinth, and of brimstone," (kai huakinthinous kai theiodeis) "And 2) dusky-red or moderate red sulfurous," in color or appearance, or smoky-blue and sulfurous yellow.

5) "And the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions," (kai hoi kephaloi ton hippon hos kephalai leonton) "And the heads of the horses appeared to be like heads of lions;” kings of beasts, symbolizing rulers of gentiles for whom these men fought and died, Joel 2:4-11.

6) "And out of their mouths issued," (kai ekton stomaton auton ekporeuetoi) "And out of their mouths pour forth, goes forth;” the three plagues as follows, Revelation 9:18.

7) "Fire and smoke and brimstone," (pur kai kapnos kai theion) "Fire, smoke, and sulphur;”- symbolized on the breastplates of the fire, smoke, and brimstone riders headed for death.

Verse 18

1) "By these three," (apo ton triton plegon touton) "By these three plagues," of 1) fire, 2) smoke, and 3) brimstone.

2) "Was the third part of men killed," (apektonthesan to triton ton anthropon) "Were killed the third part of men," who had not the seal of God in their foreheads; It is not clear whether the "third part of men," refers to one third of all men on earth who had not God’s seal or one third of the two hundred million in battle array at the River Euphrates, Revelation 9:14. Perhaps the latter is meant.

3) "By the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone," (ek tou puros kai tou kapton kai tou theiou) "Out of (originating from) the cause of the fire, smoke, and sulphur," which seem to be instruments of destruction, Divinely appointed by God’s voice and the four appointed angels to administer vengeance in this one battle, Revelation 9:13-16.

4) "Which issued out of their mouths," (tou ekporeuomenou ek ton stomaton auton) "Which poured forth out of their mouths," the mouths of the lion-headed horses. The riders were or are destroyed by the very horses on which they ride into battle, while suddenly out of the horses’ mouths, engulfing their riders with fire, smoke, and brimstone they are stifled, smothered, then burned to death. Out of man’s own carnal, corrupt, covetous body of self-will comes his own destruction as he rebels against God’s call to salvation and separation, Proverbs 1:22-30; 2 Peter 3:9.

Verse 19

1) "For their power," (he gar eksousia ton hippon) "For the executive power (authority) of the horses," their power to hurt, harm, and to kill.

2) "Is in their mouth," (en to stomati auton) "Resides in and comes forth from their mouth," As they spew forth, shoot forth smoke, fire, and brimstone; perhaps this is a mechanized horse that utilizes chemicals and explosives.

3) "And in their tails," (estin kai en tais ourais auton) "And in their tails," resides in and emanates or comes forth, from their tails. From both ends of this man ridden horse creature the fire, smoke and brimstone shoot to stifle, smother, poison, and kill.

4) "For their tails were like unto serpents," (hai gar ourai auton homoiai ophesin):’For their tails are similar to serpents," in tapered appearance.

5) "And had heads," (echousai kephalas) "Having heads;” this creature appears to have two heads, and is an aberration- monster. These appear to have no example, parallel, or creature with which to be compared in all the scriptures, Matthew 24:21-22.

6) "And with them they do hurt," (kai en autois adikousin) "And in (with) them, their head-like tails, they do harm," to men. It appears that these war-bound battle-bound, monstrous horses have at least two heads and two tails on each end of their body; Jeremiah 30:6-7; Revelation 7:14.

Verse 20

1) "And the rest of the men," (kai hoi loipoiton anthropon) "And the remaining men," of those who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, which were riding in Gentile-war making power on the monstrous horses. This verse details man’s sin against God in their turn to worship devils, (demons).

2) "Which were not killed by these plagues," (hou ouk apektan thesan en tois plegois tautois) "Who were not (had not been) killed by these plagues," of fire, smoke, and brimstone, with its immediate death dealing and delayed poisonous effects.

3) "Yet repented not of the works of their hands," (oude metenoesan ek ton ergon ton cheiron auton) "Not even repented out of or from the (evil) works or deeds of their hands," what they had done in sin, in perhaps having taken the mark of the beast, to do his service, to bow to him in obeisance, Revelation 13:13-18.

4) "That they should not worship devils," (hina me proskunesousin ta daimonia) "in order that they will not worship demons;" It is clear that men must either repent of their sins or they will worship and serve idols under the antichrist in this era of tribulation, Deuteronomy 32:16-17.

a) "and idols of Gold," (kai ta eidala) "And the idols, they had worshipped," (ta chrusa) "the gold ones," (idols) of devils.

b) "and silver," (kai to argura) "And the silver ones," idols of silver, of the devil or devils, demons.

c) "and brass," (kai ta chalka) "And the bronze ones," idols of brass or bronze, of devils (demons).

d) "and stone," (kai ta lithina) "And the stone ones," idols of stone, of demons or devils they worship, etc.

e) "and wood," (kai ta kailina) "And the wooden idols,"

5) "Which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk," (ha oute blespein dunantai oute akouein oute peripatein) "Which neither has the power to see, or to walk, or to hear," Psalms 115:4-9; 1 Corinthians 10:21-22.

Verse 21

1) "Neither repented they," (kai ou metenoesan) "And they turned not, or repented not;" To repent not or repent too late is to perish, Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30-31; Luke 16:19; Luke 16:31. This verse details man’s sins against his fellow man, as the previous verse does against God.

2) "Of their murders," (ek ton phonon auton) "out of their guilt of murders," they repented or turned not with remorse from their murders till too late, Isaiah 1:18; Romans 10:21.

3) "Nor of their sorceries," (oute ek ton pharmakeion auton) "Nor out of (from) their sorceries;” they repented not, nor turned away from them. God will not be mocked, have his spirit’s call resisted forever, Hebrews 4:7; Revelation 21:27.

4) "Nor of their fornication," (oute ek porneias auton) "Not even from (out of) their fornication," illicit, immoral sex relations between the unmarried did they repent or turn away, Revelation 22:15; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 6:8.

5) "Nor of their thefts," (oute ek ton klemmaton auton) "Nor out of their guilt or practices of thievery, theft," did they repent or turn away, 1 Corinthians 6:10. Their immoral, degenerate passions of selfishness and obstinacy against the word of God, and call of his spirit and grace, had been deferred, ignored, resisted, and spurned too long; hence the seventh and final trumpet judgment is being justifiably prepared to be poured out upon them; Romans 2:4-10; Proverbs 29:1.

Too late t’will be, for you to cry,

When mercies day, has past you by,

Too late, too late, to be made whole,

To late, too late, too late.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Revelation 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/revelation-9.html. 1985.