Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

First Woe: Locust Described

"The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. 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. They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months." (Revelation 9:7-10 - New International Version)

Some things about John's description of the locust seem fantastic while others fit another Biblical description of actual locust. The book of Joel was written during a terrible plague of locust in Israel. This plague was an attempt by God to turn the people towards repentance. He describes the locust this way:

For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. . . . The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. (Joel 1:6; 2:5,6 – King James Version)

The description of John is not that different from Joel's. There is only one element of John's description which makes these locust abnormal; their tail like a scorpion's tail. It is not impossible that some experiment produces these locust which do not eat plants but feed on animals and have a poisonous venom which they store in their scorpion like tails. If this is the case, then possibly the meteor which strikes the earth sets off another round of volcanic eruptions or earthquakes which in some way allows the escape of these genetically altered creatures into the open.

The more common view of this passage is that John is describing demons which attack man and cause this painful condition. From Scripture, we know that demons can cause many types of physical ailments.


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