Revelation Chapter 9:13
Revelation 9:13 – Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God…
Recall from Revelation 8:3-4, an angel offered the incense of the prayers of the saints on the golden altar before the sounding of the Trumpet judgments began. The priestly parallel on Earth reveals that the offering of incense on the golden altar acts as atonement for sin:
“Horns of the golden altar”: God’s design for the golden altar of incense included small protrusions (horns), on each corner (Exodus 30:2; see note on 6:9). Normally a place of mercy, as God responds to His people’s prayers, the altar will resound with a cry for vengeance.
The number six indicates man or mankind. “Horns” mean power and strength. The number four means worldwide. This “golden altar” is where God is. God is never associated with other metals.
The nearness to the throne here could indicate, from the spiritual standpoint, the power of the gospel which would go to the four corners of the world. They did issue from God. Whether spiritual or physical, they are carrying a message from God to loose the four angels in the Euphrates River as we read in the next verse.
Leviticus 16:11-13, 29-30 – “And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself. Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die….. This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.”
Numbers 16:44-48 – And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces. So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped.
In addition to atonement, many viewed the altar of incense as a place to seek refuge and mercy:
1 Kings 1:50-53 – Now Adonijah was afraid of Solomon; so he arose, and went and took hold of the horns of the altar. And it was told Solomon, saying, “Indeed Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; for look, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.'” Then Solomon said, “If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” So King Solomon sent them to bring him down from the altar. And he came and fell down before King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”
1 Kings 2:28-33 – Then news came to Joab, for Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom. So Joab fled to the tabernacle of the LORD, and took hold of the horns of the altar. And King Solomon was told, “Joab has fled to the tabernacle of the LORD; there he is, by the altar.” Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down.” So Benaiah went to the tabernacle of the LORD, and said to him, “Thus says the king, ‘Come out!’ ” And he said, “No, but I will die here.” And Benaiah brought back word to the king, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.” Then the king said to him, “Do as he has said, and strike him down and bury him, that you may take away from me and from the house of my father the innocent blood which Joab shed. So the LORD will return his blood on his head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword – Abner the son of Ner, the commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, the commander of the army of Judah – though my father David did not know it. Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab and upon the head of his descendants forever. But upon David and his descendants, upon his house and his throne, there shall be peace forever from the LORD.”
The one who took hold of the horns on the altar and was deemed righteous was given mercy and lived, but the wicked one died. God authorized only a select group of priests to offer incense. Rebellion against God in this matter left King Uzziah with the plague of leprosy, as he was not authorized to offer incense:
2 Chronicles 26:14-16 – Then Uzziah prepared for them, for the entire army, shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2 Chronicles 26:17-20 – So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the LORD – valiant men. And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the LORD God.” Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the LORD had struck him.
God also judges wickedness and rebellion in the sixth Trumpet judgment with plagues (Revelation 9:20). The following passage suggests the prayers of the saints offered on the golden altar are also prayers for justice and judgment on the wicked:
Psalms 141:1-5 – A Psalm of David. LORD, I cry out to You; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies. Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.
The prayers of the saints offered as incense in Revelation 8:4-5 are prayers of justice, as judgment immediately follows the offering. John’s attention directed toward the golden altar after the angel blows the sixth trumpet shows that this judgment is an answer to the prayers of justice offered on it by the angel. Just as God judged Uzziah’s rebellion with a plague of leprosy, man’s continued rebellion will result in terrible plagues that wipe out a large part of the human population in judgment.
The golden altar has horns like its earthly counterpart:
Exodus 30:1-2 – You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width – it shall be square – and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it.
Leviticus 4:7 – And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
Recall from Revelation 5:6, a horn can represent salvation, strength and protection:
Psalms 18:2 – The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
2 Samuel 22:3 – The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.
Symbolically, a horn can also show the authority, or dominion of a king:
1 Samuel 2:10 – The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; from heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.”
Psalm 89:15-17, 20-24 – Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted. For You are the glory of their strength, and in Your favor our horn is exalted…. I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him, with whom My hand shall be established; also My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him. I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague those who hate him. But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, and in My name his horn shall be exalted.
Daniel 7:24 – The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings.
Recall from Zechariah 1:18-21, the “four horns” that scattered Judah were four kings given authority by God to inflict judgment on His people:
Zechariah 1:18-19 – Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were four horns. And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these?” So he answered me, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”
The passages in this section show us that the four horns on the altar represent the power and authority of God to give mercy to those righteous, being covered by the blood of the Lamb, or mete out judgment on the wicked.
Recall from Revelation 6, the number “four” represents the Creator and the creation, and interaction between the physical and spiritual realms. Indeed, as shown in the next few sections, four angels are given authority to physically kill a large part of the human population with a supernatural army. In fact, the rest of the chapter is replete with the number four, which underscores the interaction between the physical and spiritual realms of God’s creation in this judgment:
|Revelation 9:13||4 horns on the altar of incense
4 spices used in the incense (Exodus 30:34-36)
|Revelation 9:14-15||4 bound angels|
|Revelation 9:15||The Euphrates is the 4th river that flowed out of Eden
|Revelation 9:15||4 markings of time (year, month, day, hour)|
|Revelation 9:17-19||Horses harm or kill in 4 ways (fire, smoke, brimstone, serpent tails)|
|Revelation 9:20||4 idols made of enduring material (gold, silver, brass, stone)|
|Revelation 9:21||4 sins (murder, sorcery, sexual immorality, theft)|
image courtesy: Revelation 9 -13 – bible blender
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.