9 Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw one who had fallen to earth from heaven,[a] and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 When he opened it, smoke poured out as though from some huge furnace, and the sun and air were darkened by the smoke.
3 Then locusts came from the smoke and descended onto the earth and were given power to sting like scorpions. 4 They were told not to hurt the grass or plants or trees, but to attack those people who did not have the mark of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not to kill them, but to torture them for five months with agony like the pain of scorpion stings. 6 In those days men will try to kill themselves but won’t be able to—death will not come. They will long to die—but death will flee away!
7 The locusts looked like horses armored for battle. They had what looked like golden crowns on their heads, and their faces looked like men’s. 8 Their hair was long like women’s, and their teeth were those of lions. 9 They wore breastplates that seemed to be of iron, and their wings roared like an army of chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had stinging tails like scorpions, and their power to hurt, given to them for five months, was in their tails. 11 Their king is the Prince of the bottomless pit whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon (and in English, the Destroyer).[b]
12 One terror now ends, but there are two more coming!
13 The sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice speaking from the four horns of the golden altar that stands before the throne of God, 14 saying to the sixth angel, “Release the four mighty demons[c] held bound at the great River Euphrates.” 15 They had been kept in readiness for that year and month and day and hour, and now they were turned loose to kill a third of all mankind. 16 They led an army of 200,000,000 warriors[d]—I heard an announcement of how many there were.
17-18 I saw their horses spread out before me in my vision; their riders wore fiery-red breastplates, though some were sky-blue and others yellow. The horses’ heads looked much like lions’, and smoke and fire and flaming sulphur billowed from their mouths, killing one-third of all mankind. 19 Their power of death was not only in their mouths, but in their tails as well, for their tails were similar to serpents’ heads that struck and bit with fatal wounds.
20 But the men left alive after these plagues still refused to worship God! They would not renounce their demon-worship, nor their idols made of gold and silver, brass, stone, and wood—which neither see nor hear nor walk! 21 Neither did they change their mind and attitude about all their murders and witchcraft, their immorality and theft.
- Revelation 9:1 one who had fallen to earth from heaven, literally, “a star fallen from heaven”; it is unclear whether this person is of satanic origin, as most commentators believe, or whether the reference is to Christ.
- Revelation 9:11 (and in English, the Destroyer), implied.
- Revelation 9:14 mighty demons, literally, “[fallen] angels.”
- Revelation 9:16 If this is a literal figure, it is no longer incredible, in view of a world population in excess of 6 billion in the near future. In China alone, in 1961, there were an “estimated 200 million armed and organized militiamen” (Associated Press Release, April 24, 1964). warriors, literally, “horsemen.”
New International Version
9 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth.(A) The star was given the key(B) to the shaft of the Abyss.(C) 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace.(D) The sun and sky were darkened(E) by the smoke from the Abyss.(F) 3 And out of the smoke locusts(G) came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions(H) of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm(I) the grass of the earth or any plant or tree,(J) but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.(K) 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months.(L) And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion(M) when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.(N)
7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle.(O) On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.(P) 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth.(Q) 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.(R) 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.(S) 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss,(T) whose name in Hebrew(U) is Abaddon(V) and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).
12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.(W)
13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns(X) of the golden altar that is before God.(Y) 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels(Z) who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”(AA) 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released(AB) to kill a third(AC) of mankind.(AD) 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.(AE)
17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths(AF) came fire, smoke and sulfur.(AG) 18 A third(AH) of mankind was killed(AI) by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur(AJ) that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.
20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent(AK) of the work of their hands;(AL) they did not stop worshiping demons,(AM) and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.(AN) 21 Nor did they repent(AO) of their murders, their magic arts,(AP) their sexual immorality(AQ) or their thefts.