We ended Revelation 9:6 with people wanting to die, but could not, thanks to locusts that sting like a scorpion. I have never been stung; don’t want to. I suspect, it would incapacitate me. With the premise that I would be running for my life, do you think I would really care what their agitated little faces look like? I learned of the killer hornets from the Discovery channel, several years ago. I have never had any desire to look one of those in the eyes either. Let’s see how it goes.
So, I am torn, to paint a verbal picture of their faces as John did, or merely slide past it to something more poignant.
Revelation 9:7-11 NASB “The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle, and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. (8) They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. (9) They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. (10) They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. (11) They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.”
“ The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle;”
I might take this to mean that they fly in battle rank and order. Already, I am intimidated.
“ on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.”
Something that seems to be, and “they had gold crowns” are two entirely different things. What I do know, is that Jesus wears a crown of gold, and this little demon horde also seems to wear a crown of gold. Bright and shiny it may be, but we really know nothing more.
“They had hair like the hair of women,”
This is beginning to come off like some horror movie. The mere fact that they had hair like the hair of a woman makes you think that there would be some attractiveness to them. I don’t think so.
“and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.”
Locusts have no need for teeth like a lion’s; unless, the full intent is to send humans into a depressing delusion. Just knowing that they have sharp cutting and tearing teeth opens the door to other nightmares.
“They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.”
You will be able to hear them coming.
“They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.”
This nightmarish aspect is not what most would like to hear, because we see humans crying out to die and cannot.
“They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.”
A king? This is the Greek word basileus and means a sovereign – a foundation of power.
Ask yourself, who is the angel that has the power over Sheol/hell, although he is lacking the keys anymore?
The answer is Lucifer, the day star. We now call him Satan. There is no doubt in my mind that someone will try to start an argument because scripture tells us his name, in Hebrew, is Abaddon.
Good luck defending your argument, as the only place you will find this reference in the KJV is in Revelation 9:11. Unfortunately, you are sadly lacking the appropriate amount of witnesses if you stay with the KJV, what many think is the only valid Bible translation. Fortunately, it is also found in Job and Proverbs if you can find it in your heart to switch to the NASB.
It is evident, to me, that John, spoke at least two languages, and may have understood Aramaic. The logical assumption is that John heard the rabbinical teachers referring to Abaddon, and Apollyon as the ruler over Sheol; and, therefore throws it into the setting as part of his explanation.
By the way, even though I have not knowingly mentioned it in the last several posts, John was writing to a community of Jewish believers.
How can I know that?
For one, there is his reference, here in Revelation 9, to a subject that is explained in both Greek and Hebrew. Some might try to point out that under Roman rule, it was mandatory to speak Greek and the fact that Jewish language and writings were illegal. Add this understanding to the descriptions within the Revelation, that we have already seen, that point back to the Old Testament, books not familiar to most Gentile populations. Secondly, in the first three chapters of the Revelation the conversation is directed at the early and historic church bodies. One of those church bodies is described as worshiping at the synagogue of Satan;
Revelation 2:9 NASB ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Revelation 3:9 NASB ‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
– this is a conversation that means little to someone with no knowledge of Jewish synagogues. All this plays into our understanding of this angel that has power over Sheol – a Jewish word and concept.
The Greek for Abaddon is Ἀβαδδών and means a destroying angel, or, as Mounce’s commentary tells us, the angel who rules in hell.
Does that help you?
Yeah, me neither. And so I have to take someone’s word for it or spend hours searching for an answer.
The Word Study Dictionary tells us that Abaddon is a transliteration from the Hebrew. Transliteration by definition, is to write or print (a letter or word) using the closest corresponding letters of a different alphabet or script.
Abaddon, according to Strong’s concordance, designates this place as the abode of unbelievers following death and is synonymous with She’ōl (H7585) which is expressed by destruction and loss.
How can it be the name of the fallen angel and a place at the same time?
The answer to that question lies in the fact it was named after the entity that held the keys. While the name may not have changed, this fallen angel, Lucifer/Satan, no longer holds the keys. I give you the entirety of the passage as it demonstrates the magnificence of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 1:12-18 NASB (12) “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; (13) and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. (14) His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. (15) His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. (16) In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. (17) When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, (18) and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.“
Hades is the place of the dead.
So all these demonic entities, coming out of the smoke, are responding to the commands of the deceiver, Satan.
Abyss grk – abussos: is the bottomless pit; place or abode of the dead.
The Word Study Dictionary tells us it occurs only twice outside the book of Revelation (Romans 10:7, simply the abode of the dead; Luke 8:31, the prison destined for evil spirits.)
Effectively, Abaddon and the Abyss are the same place.
Luke 8:26-31 AMPC “Then they came to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. (27) Now when Jesus stepped out on land, there met Him a certain man out of the town who had [was possessed by] demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he lived not in a house but in the tombs. (28) And when he saw Jesus, he raised a deep (terrible) cry [from the depths of his throat] and fell down before Him [in terror] and shouted loudly, What have You [to do] with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? [What have we in common?] I beg You, do not torment me! (29) For Jesus was already commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For many times it had snatched and held him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and fetters, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilderness (desert). (30) Jesus then asked him, What is your name? And he answered, Legion; for many demons had entered him. (31) And they begged [Jesus] not to command them to depart into the Abyss (bottomless pit).”
Answer me this, how is it that these demons knew of this abyss and that they did not want to go there?