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Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 9

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

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Verse 1

Earlier ( Rev_1:20 ), we were informed that the seven stars were the angels of the seven churches. The star here has fallen (ASV) and we believe this to be Satan. ( Luk_10:18 ; Isa_14:12-14 ; Eze_28:1-19 ) Isaiah's prophecy is first concerning the king of Babylon, and Ezekiel's concerns the king of Tyre, but in both instances much is said about them which could not have been true of men. Such must suggest they are personifications of Satan. The bottomless pit, or abyss, is the abode of demons ( Luk_8:31 ), a place of temporary punishment for the beast and Satan himself. ( Rev_17:8 ; Rev_20:2-3 ) Satan is given the key to the abyss, which shows us that God limits Satan's authority. ( Job_1:12 ; Job_2:6 ; Luk_22:31-32 )

Verse 2

When the pit was opened, it belched forth the blue-black smoke of an industrial furnace. This represents the light (truth) darkening influence of sin and the delusion which comes with it. ( 2Co_4:3-4 ; Eph_2:1-3 )

Verses 3-4

Since they do not eat grass or other green plants, we know these locusts should be taken figuratively. Out of the smoke of sin and delusion comes lies and false doctrine. Scorpions have a very painful, but rarely fatal sting. Christians are not hurt by lies and false doctrine because they have the truth. Obviously the limitation is a spiritual one since lies and false doctrines can lead to many deaths, as was the case duringWorld War II which was brought on by the Nazi lies.

Verses 5-6

Their victims suffer mental and spiritual pain because of the sting, but, though they desire it, they do not die. The word for torment is used of Lot and by the demon who possessed the man in the land of the Gadarenes. ( 2Pe_2:8 ; Mar_5:7 ; Luk_8:28 ) Again, we can see that God is in control because he only allows this to continue for five months.

Verses 7-10

Though lies and false doctrines do not actually war against us, their shape, breastplate and the sound of their wings should warn us war is not far behind. Their victory crowns were not lasting, since they are only "like gold." The appearance of their faces, hair and teeth lets us know these are men gone wild on the false teachings.

Verse 11

This has to be a description of the fallen star of verse 1 and can be none other than Satan. In both Hebrew and Greek, his name is destruction or destroyer. ( Joh_8:44 )

Verse 12

The first woe ends with the sins of the wicked turning on them and placing them in a tortured state.

Verses 13-14

In Rev_6:9-10 , the martyrs cried out from under the altar and, in 8:3-4, the prayers of the saints were offered upon the gold altar. The voice now coming from the horns of the golden altar lets us know both sets of prayers have been heard. It is said that Solomon's empire extended to the Euphrates River, which would be a fulfillment of the prophecy to Abraham. ( 1Ki_4:21 ; Gen_15:18 ) Just as armies from unknown territories would cross the river and plunder Israel when she was disobedient, these verses indicate God has armies prepared and held ready to punish a disobedient world.

Verse 15

God controls events and precisely sets the time for his workings.

Verses 16-19

This army of 200,000,000, which must describe a complete number, would surely terrorize anyone. Its destructive work includes the killing of one-third of mankind and should serve as a powerful reminder, or warning, to turn to God.

Verses 20-21

Like Pharaoh of old, these wicked people do not know when to yield to the Almighty. The one-third of mankind killed clearly did not include Christians since this description of those remaining lets us know they were idol worshipers. ( Rom_1:18-28 ) The word demon goes with idols because they were false deities and evil spirits would be associated with this worship. ( Deu_31:17 ; Psa_106:37 ; 1Co_10:19-20 ) When one turns away from proper respect for God, he will next turn to abuse of man whom God made. "Sorceries" comes from the Greek word pharmakeia, which is translated witchcraft in Gal_5:20 , and means the use of drugs in association with the worship of the occult.

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 9". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/revelation-9.html. 2014.
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