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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Revelation 9

Introduction

Revelation 9. On the ordinary theory ch. 9 continues the account of the trumpets commenced in Revelation 8. But if we follow Charles in excising Revelation 8:7-2 Kings :, there were originally not seven but three trumpets, an account of two of which forms the theme of ch. 9 .

Verses 1-12

Revelation 9:1-2 Kings : . The Fifth Trumpet or the First Woe.— The seer sees a star fallen on the earth. The star seems to represent a person, possibly Satan ( cf. Luke 10:18).— abyss: the word properly means “ bottomless,” and is used in OT of the abode of the dead, e.g. Psalms 71:20. The abyss is approached by a “ shaft” or “ well,” here translated “ pit,” which is closed and kept under lock and key.

Revelation 9:3 . out of the smoke came . . . locusts: cf. Exodus 10:13 and Driver’ s quotation of the observations of a modern traveller: “ we observed large dark clouds resembling smoke moving to and fro . . . One morning these clouds came down and proved to be locusts.” (CB, Joel, p. 90 ).— power was given to them: these locusts were specially endowed with the scorpion-like power of tormenting men.

Revelation 9:4 . not hurt the grass: this conflicts with Revelation 8:7 , where, as the result of the first trumpet, “ all green grass was burnt up.”— seal of God: Revelation 7:3 ff *.

Revelation 9:5 . five months: this is supposed to represent the ordinary duration of a plague of locusts. The object of the plague is not to kill, but to torture and torment.

Revelation 9:7 . like unto horses: this description is taken from Joel 2:4.— crowns . . . men’ s faces: these two features seem to be peculiar to the locusts of the abyss; there is nothing about the ordinary locust to account for this description.

Revelation 9:11 . They have . . . as king: In Proverbs 30:27 it is stated that locusts have no king, but these locusts belong to the abyss.— Abaddon: the word only occurs in what is known as the Wisdom Literature ( Job 26:6; Job 28:22, Psalms 88:11, Proverbs 15:11 *, etc.), where it means “ ruin” or “ destruction,” either on earth or in Sheol. Here “ Destruction” is personified.— Apollyon is the Greek equivalent for Abaddon.

Verses 13-21

Revelation 9:13-Ecclesiastes : . The Sixth Trumpet or the Second Woe.— The loosing of the four angels of death, and the slaughter of a third part of the human race.

Revelation 9:13 . the horns: the corners.— the golden altar: cf. Revelation 8:3.

Revelation 9:14 . Loose the four angels: these angels are kept bound in the river Euphrates ( cf. Revelation 16:12) waiting for the day of vengeance. There is a striking parallel in a Syriac Apocalypse of Ezra, “ Let these four kings be loosed which are bound near the great river Euphrates which shall destroy a third part of mankind.” Many commentators see in this reference an expectation that the armies of Parthia were soon to be loosed on the Roman Empire.

Revelation 9:16 . The figure 200 , 000 , 000 is probably derived from Psalms 68:17, “ The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands upon thousands.”

Revelation 9:17 . hyacinth is sometimes used as ( a) the name of a precious stone ( Revelation 21:20), ( b) of a dye, i.e. blue. The breastplates appeared as flame-coloured, smoky blue, and yellow like sulphur.

[ Revelation 9:19 . their tails: The Parthians twisted their horses’ tails to a point. There may be a further reference to their skill in shooting backwards.— A. J. G.]

Revelation 9:20 . the rest of mankind, i.e. the two-thirds who were not killed.— worship devils: both in OT and NT the worship of the pagan world is said to be given to demons ( cf. Deuteronomy 32:17, Psalms 106:37, 1 Corinthians 10:20).

Revelation 9:21 . The four sins mentioned in this verse are the characteristic vices of the pagan world. For the connexion between idolatry and immorality cf. Romans 12:1-Ecclesiastes :.— [sorceries: the Gr. word means magic spells inciting to illicit lusts.— A. J. G.]

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Revelation 9". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/revelation-9.html. 1919.