Papal
Having to do with the Pope or the Roman Catholic Church.
Revelation 9 Commentary
Summary: Read Revelation 9 KJV along with a helpful commentary.
 
 

Revelation 9 KJV

Commentary

1And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

9:1-2 The Fifth Trumpet, The First Woe: Many Christian expositors, including Martin Luther, the great Reformer; Sir Isaac Newton, the famous scientist; and the historian, Edward Gibbon; have seen in the fifth and sixth trumpets the rise and progress of Islam. In view of the tremendous military, religious, economic and cultural impact Islam has had on the Christian world in the nearly fourteen hundred years since its rise in the 600s, this interpretation deserves our serious attention.

Islam, the religion of the followers of Mohammed, originated around A.D. 612.

As we have seen before, a “star” represents a leader. The “bottomless pit” comes from the Greek word “abbusos,” where we get our word “abyss,” and it means a desolate empty place; similar to the word “void” in Genesis 1:2. This star or great leader was Mohammed, the founder of Islam. The “bottomless pit” applies here to the vast desolate wastelands of present day Saudi Arabia, from which “the smoke,” the religion of Islam, issued forth, darkening the light of Christ and Christianity in all the lands that come under their control.

3And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

9:3 Out of the “smoke” comes “locusts.” When conditions are favorable a swarm of hundreds of millions of locusts may hatch at the same time. After exhausting the local food supply, they spread out gobbling up nearly every green plant in their path, and leaving desolation and famine behind them. By the time of his death in A.D. 632 Mohammed had united the Arabian Peninsula under Islam. Over the next 100 years the Muslim tide spread in a raging flood across the earth until the year 732 when they were narrowly defeated at the Battle of Tours in France. This victory saved Western Europe from conversion to Islam.

4And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

5And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

6And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

7And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

9:4-7 The “trees” and “grass” are here set as opposites to ‘those men which have not the seal of God.” The “trees” and “grass” represent the many groups of Christians who still preserved the true Biblical faith of early Christianity. See notes on Revelation 7:2-3. The “locusts” were not to hurt these pure commandment-keeping people. The Islamic conquerors did not destroy property wantonly or kill Christians and Jews so long as they agreed to pay tribute. They did, however, relentlessly attack the remainder of the Roman Empire centered in Constantinople, at whom this judgment is directed.

The “locusts” are given power to “torment” like the sting of a “scorpion” for 5 months, or 150 literal years. Starting in 1299 at the Battle of Bapheum the Turkish Muslims began a persistent assault on the eastern Roman Empire. In 1449, after 150 years of conflict, the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire became a vassal state, subordinate to the Ottoman Empire. At that time Constantine XI needed the permission and backing of the Ottoman Empire to outmaneuver the other claimant to the throne, so as to become emperor. During this time period the Byzantine Empire was “tormented” by the Ottoman Empire but not yet destroyed.

8And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

9And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

10And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

9:8-10 The cavalry was a prominent feature of the Arabian and Turkish military. Their horsemen wore turbans over long hair, “as the hair of women.” They came with the strength and rapacity of “lions,” and were seemingly unstoppable, pictured by the “breastplates of iron.” The locust “wings,” like the leopard wings of Daniel 7, represent speed.

11And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

12One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

9:11-12 “Abaddon” in Hebrew and “Apollyon” in Greek are named that means “the destroyer.”

13And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

9:13-14 The Sixth Trumpet, The Second Woe: The four angels mentioned in Revelation 7:1 had worldwide power to restrain the winds; in contrast the present four appear to be localized. These can be viewed as the four sultans of the Turkish Ottoman Empire; Aleppo, Iconium, Damascus, and Baghdad, or as destructive forces that moved against the western world. These angels had been restrained from their work of judgement until the sixth angel sounded his trumpet.

The Byzantine Empire had been holding the Muslims in check, now that they were no longer a threat, the Ottoman Empire turned its attention to Papal-dominated Europe, the target of this trumpet’s judgment. The Islamic wars played a key role in helping Protestantism thrive by diverting the attention of Papal persecution long enough to help it become established.

15And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

9:13-10:15 The time set forth here represents 391 years and 15 days (360+30+1+1/24 of a year) which indicates the time remaining for the Ottoman empire to do its work. From the end of the Fifth Trumpet in 1449, 391 years extends to 1840. In that year the Ottoman Empire could no longer protect itself, and accepted the protection of four European nations, effectively ceasing as an independent power.

16And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

9:16 In ancient times the cavalry was the swiftest, most mobile branch of the military. The number 200,000,000 is symbolic of a vast, innumerable host.

17And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

18By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

19For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

9:17-19 “Fire” and “brimstone” are symbols of judgement. Genesis 19:24. The predominate colors of the Turkish uniforms were red (fire), blue (jacinth and smoke) and yellow (brimstone). “Fire and smoke and brimstone” from the horses’ mouths refers to the use of gunpowder and firearms, introduced about this time. “Heads of lions” denotes ferocity and majesty. “Their power (authority) was in their mouth and in their tails”, perhaps was representing the Turkish cavalry’s guns, speed, mobility and devious tactics, for which they were widely recognized.

20And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

21Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

9:20-21 After all these judgements the rest of the men “represented not.” God’s object in sending these judgements were not only to punish but also to call Papal dominated Europe to repentance. The rest of the men are said to worship “idols.” At this time the Western Church worshiped images of “saints.” “The men” also did no repent of “their murders,” the Christians slaughtered for their belief in Bible truth; their “fornication,” a symbol of doctrinal impurity, or of their “thefts,” the usurping of God’s authority.

Ahead to Revelation 10

This commentary is adapted from Amazing Prophecies, © 2010 Family Heritage Books.

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