9 1 The fifth Angel bloweth his trumpet, 3 and spoiling locusts come out. 13 The sixth Angel bloweth, 16 and bringeth forth horsemen, 20 to destroy mankind.
1 And the [a]fifth Angel blew the trumpet, and I saw a [b]star fall from heaven unto the earth, [c]and to him was given the key of the [d]bottomless pit.
2 [e]And he opened the bottomless pit, and there arose the smoke of the pit, the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun, and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
3 [f]And there came out of the smoke Locusts upon the earth, and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 [g]And 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.
5 And to them was commanded that they should not kill them, but that they should be vexed five months, and that their pain should be as the pain that cometh of a scorpion, when he hath stung a man.
6 Therefore in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it, and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
7 [h]And the form of the locusts was like unto horses prepared unto the battle, and on their heads were as it were crowns, like unto gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9 And they had habergeons, like unto habergeons of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots when many horses run unto battle.
10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails, and their power was to hurt men five months.
11 [i]And they have a king over them, which is the Angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is named Apollyon, that is, destroying.
12 [j]One woe is past, and behold, yet two woes come after this.
13 ¶ [k]Then the sixth Angel blew the trumpet, [l]and I heard a voice from the [m]four horns of the golden altar, which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth Angel, which had the trumpet, [n]Loose the four Angels, which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15 [o]And the four Angels were loosed, which were prepared at an hour, at a day, at a month, and at a year to slay the third part of men.
16 And the number of horsemen of war were twenty thousand times ten thousand: for I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in a vision, and them that sat on them, having fiery habergeons, and of hyacinth, and of brimstone, and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions, and out of their mouths went forth fire, and smoke, and brimstone.
18 Of these three was the third part of men killed, that is, of the fire, and of the smoke, and of the brimstone, which came out of their mouths.
19 For their power is in their mouths, and in their tails: [p]for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads wherewith they hurt.
20 [q]And the remnant of the men which were not killed by these plagues, repented not of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood, which neither can see, neither hear, nor go.
21 Also they repented not of their murder, and of their sorcery, neither of their fornication, nor of their theft.
Revelation 9:1The first execution upon the wicked men inhabiting the earth (as a little before the Angel said) wrought by the infernal powers, is declared in this place unto the eleventh verse. And after the sixth execution thence unto the nineteenth verse. And lastly is showed the common event that followed the former execution in the world, in the two last verses.
Revelation 9:1That is, that the Angel of God glittering with glory, as a star fell down from heaven. Whether thou take him for Christ, who hath the keys of hell himself, and by Princely authority, Rev. 1:18, or whether for some inferior Angel, who hath the same key permitted unto him, and occupieth it ministerially, or by office of his ministry, here, and Rev. 21, so the word falling, is taken, Gen. 14:10, and 24:64, and Heb. 6:6.
Revelation 9:1The key was given to his star. For those powers of wickedness are thrust down into hell, and bound with chains of darkness: and are there kept unto damnation, unless God for a time do let them loose, 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6, and of this book, Rev. 20:20, the history of which chapter hath agreement of time with this present chapter.
Revelation 9:1By the bottomless pit, he meaneth the deepest darkness of hell.
Revelation 9:2Unto this is added, the smoke of the hellish and infernal spirits, all dark, and darkening all things in heaven and in earth. The spiritual darknesses are the causes of all disorder and confusion. For the devil at a time certain (whereof the fifth verse) sent these darknesses into his kingdom, that he might at once and with one impression overthrow all things, and pervert if it were possible the elect themselves. By this darkness all spiritual light, both active as of the Sun, and passive, as of the air which is lightened by the Sun, is taken away: and this is that which goeth before the spirits: it followeth of the spirits themselves.
Revelation 9:3A description of the malignant spirits invading the world, taken from their nature, power, form and order. From their nature, for that they are like unto certain locusts, in quickenness, subtlety, hurtfulness, number, and such like in this verse. From their power, for that they are as the scorpions of the earth, of a secret force to do hurt. For our battle is not here with flesh and blood, but with powers, etc., Eph. 6:12. This place of the power of the Devils generally noted in this verse, is particularly declared afterwards in the three next verses.
Revelation 9:4Here that power of the devils is particularly described according to their actions and effects of the same. Their actions are said to be bounded by the counsel of God: both because they hurt not all men, but only the reprobate (for the godly and elect, in whom there is any part of a better life, God guardeth by his decree) whom Christ shall not have sealed, in this verse: and also because they neither had all power not at all times, no not over those that are their own, but limited in manner and time, by the prescript of God, verse 5. So their power to afflict the godly, is none, and for the wicked is limited in act and in effect by the will of God: for the manner was prescribed unto them that they should not slay, but torment the wretched world. The time is for five months or for an hundred and fifty days, that is, for so many years in which the devils have indeed mightily perverted all things in the world: and yet without that public and unpunished license of killing, which afterward they usurped when the sixth Angel had blown his trumpet, as shall be said upon verse 13. Now this space is to be accounted from the end of that thousand years mentioned, Rev. 20:3, and that is from the Popedom of that Gregory the seventh, a most monstrous Necromancer, who before was called Hildebrandus Senensis: for this man being made altogether of impiety and wickedness, as a slave of the devil, whom he served, was the most wicked firebrand of the world: he excommunicated the Emperor Henry the fourth: went about by all manner of treachery to set up and put down empires and kingdoms as liked himself: and doubted not to set Rodolph the Swedon over the Empire instead of Henry before named, sending unto him a Crown with this verse annexed unto it: Petra dedit Petro, Petrus diadema Rodolpho: that is, The Rock to Peter gave the crown, and Peter Rodolph doth renown. Finally, he so finely bestirred himself in his affairs, as he miserably set all Christendom on fire, and conveyed over unto his successors the burning brand of the same: who enraged with like ambition, never ceased to nourish that flame, and to enkindle it more and more: whereby Cities, Commonwealths, and whole kingdoms set together by the ears amongst themselves by most expert cut-throats, came to ruin, whiles they miserably wounded one another. This term of an hundred and fifty years, taketh end in the time of Gregory the ninth, or Hugolinus Anagniensis (as he was before called) who caused to be compiled by one Raimond his chaplain and confessor, the body of Decretals, and by sufferance of the Kings and Princes to be published in the Christian world, and established for a law. For by this sleight at length the Popes arrogated unto themselves license to kill whom they would, whiles others were unawares: and without fear established a butchery out of many of the wicked Canons of the Decretals, which the trumpet of the fifth Angel had expressly forbidden, and had hindered until this time. The effects of the bloody actions are declared upon the sixth verse: that the miserable world languishing in so great calamities, should willingly run together unto death, and prefer the same before life, by reason of the grievousness of the miseries that oppressed them.
Revelation 9:7The form of these hellish spirits and administers, is shadowed out by signs and visible figures in this sort: that they are very expert and swift: that wheresoever they are in the world, the kingdom of theirs: that they manage all their affairs with cunning and skill, in this verse, that making show of mildness and tender affection to draw on men withal, they most impudently rage in all mischief: that they are most mighty to do hurt, Verse 8, that they are freed from being hurt of any man, as armed with the color of religion, and sacred authority of privilege, that they fill all things with horror, Verse 9, that they are fraudulent: that they are venomous and extremely noisome, though their power be limited, Verse 10. All which things are properly in the infernal powers, and communicated by them unto their ministers and vassals.
Revelation 9:11The order of the powers of maliciousness: that they are subject to one infernal King, whom thou mayest call in English, The Destroyer: who driveth the whole world both Jews and Gentiles into the destruction that belongeth unto himself. And I cannot tell whether this name belongeth unto the Etymological interpretation of Hildebrand, by a figure often used in the holy Scripture: which albeit it may otherwise be turned of the Germans (as the sense of compound words is commonly ambiguous) yet in very deed it signifieth as much as if thou shouldest call him the firebrand, that is, he that setteth on fire those that be faithful unto him.
Revelation 9:12A passage unto the next point, and the history of the time following.
Revelation 9:13The sixth execution done upon the world by the tyrannical powers thereof working in the four parts of the earth, that is in most cruel manner executing their tyrannous dominion through the whole world, and killing the miserable people without punishment, which before was not lawful for them to do in that sort, as I showed upon the fourth verse. This narration has two parts: a commandment from God, in verse 14, and execution of the commandment, in the verse following.
Revelation 9:13The commandment given by Christ himself, who is governor over all.
Revelation 9:13He alludeth to the altar of incense, which stood in the Court which the Priests were in, over against the Ark of the Covenant, having a veil betwixt them.
Revelation 9:14As if he should have said, These hitherto have been so bound by the power of God, that they could not freely run upon all men as themselves lusted, but were stayed and restrained at that great flood of Euphrates, that is, in their spiritual Babylon (for this is a Paraphrase of the spiritual Babylon by the limits of the spiritual Babylon long since overthrown) that they might not commit those horrible slaughters which they long breathed after. Now go to: let loose those four Angels, that is, administers of the wrath of God, in that number that is convenient to the slaughtering of the four quarters of the world: stir them up and give them the bridle, that rushing of that Babylon of theirs, which is the seat of the wicked ones, they may fly upon all the world, therein to rage, and most licentiously to exercise their tyranny, as God hath ordained. This was done when Gregory the ninth by public authority established for law his own Decretals, by which he might freely lay trains for the life of simple men. For who is it that seeth not that the laws Decretal most of them are as snares to catch souls withal? Since that time (O good God!) how great slaughters have there been? how great massacres? All histories are full of them: and this our age aboundeth with most horrible and monstrous examples of the same.
Revelation 9:15The execution of the commandment is in two points: one, that those butchers are let loose, that out of their tower of the spiritual Babylon they might with fury run abroad through all the world, as well the thief of that crew which are most prompt unto all assays, in this verse: as their multitudes, both most copious, of which a number certain is named for a number infinite, Verse 16, and in themselves by all means fully furnished to hide and to hurt, Verse 17, as being armed with fire, smoke and brimstone, as appeareth in the color of their armor, which dazzleth the eyes of all men: and have the strength of Lions to hurt withal, from which (as out of their mouth) the fiery, smoky, and stinking darts of the Pope are shot out, Verse 18. The other point is, that these butchers have effected the commandment of God by fraud and violence, in the two verses following.
Revelation 9:19That is, they [are] harmful every way: on what part soever thou put thine hand unto them or they touch thee, they do hurt. So the former are called Scorpions, Verse 3.
Revelation 9:20Now remaineth the event (as I said upon the first verse) which followed of so many and so grievous judgments in the most wicked world: namely an impenitent affirmation of the ungodly in their impiety and unrighteousness, though they feel themselves most vehemently pressed with the hand of God: for their obstinate ungodliness is showed in this verse: and their unrighteousness in the verse following. Hitherto hath been the general history of things to be done universal in the whole world: which because it doth not so much belong to the Church of Christ, is therefore not so expressly distinguished by certainty of time and other circumstances, but is woven, as they say with a slight hand. Also there is none other cause why the history of the seventh Angel is passed over in this place, than for that the same more properly appertaineth unto the history of the Church. But this is more diligently set out according to the time thereof, Rev. 11 and 16, as shall appear upon those places.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
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