Revelation Chapter 9:3
Revelation 9:3 – Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Recall from Revelation 9:2, the smoke coming out of the bottomless pit is the byproduct of those aflame there in torment. Supernatural locusts come out of the smoke from the bottomless pit and fly out over the earth. These locusts are given power like that of an earthly scorpion, which is the sting in their tail (Revelation 9:10) that can torment humans (Revelation 9:5).
Just as a scorpion’s tail can cause a sting, “Death” also has a sting:
1 Corinthians 15:54-56 – So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Christ paid the penalty and overcame death so that believers can also overcome death and its painful sting (Acts 2:24, Romans 5-6), but unbelievers will receive the sting of death by paying their wages of their sin by torment in the fire of God (Luke 16). Death is certainly depicted as an enemy that Christ has conquered, so it is interesting that He told his disciples that the power of scorpions is the power of the enemy, which includes demonic spirits and Satan:
Luke 10:18-20 – And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
The passages above suggest the locusts emerging from the smoke from the torments of those in the bottomless pit could be the source of the “sting of death,” and are given power like that of the enemy to inflict torment on living humans on the earth (Revelation 9:5).
These locusts with the sting of a scorpion are clearly not natural locusts, though as an interesting side note, there is such a locust that has a tail that looks like a scorpion’s tail, called a “scorpion fly,” pictured to the right. However, the scorpion fly does not sting, nor does it fit the other characteristics of the locusts from the bottomless pit described in Revelation 9:7-9:
Natural locusts swarm and run to and fro:
Isaiah 33:4 – And Your plunder shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar; as the running to and fro of locusts, He shall run upon them.
Nahum 3:15-17 – There the fire will devour you, the sword will cut you off; it will eat you up like a locust. Make yourself many – like the locust! Make yourself many – like the swarming locusts! You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of heaven. The locust plunders and flies away. Your commanders are like swarming locusts, and your generals like great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges on a cold day; when the sun rises they flee away, and the place where they are is not known.
When the worst ever natural locust invasion overtook Egypt in the Exodus, their swarms were so thick that they darkened the land, much like smoke would:
Exodus 10:12-15 – Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land – all that the hail has left.” So Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt and rested on all the territory of Egypt. They were very severe; previously there had been no such locusts as they, nor shall there be such after them. For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.
Even today, locust swarms can darken the ground and the sky, as shown in the picture below:
Incidentally, the plague that came on Egypt after the locusts in the Exodus was darkness (Exodus 10:21-23). While this type of darkness will not be “felt” until the fifth Bowl judgment (Revelation 16:10-11), the smoke from the bottomless pit will certainly add to the darkness that arrives at the beginning of the Tribulation, which characterizes this whole period, also called the “day of the Lord”:
Joel 2:1-2 – Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand: A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations.
Amos 5:18-20 – Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him! Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
Zephaniah 1:14-15 – The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness….
These are not normal locusts, however, but specially prepared ones that are merely the outward form of demons, who, like locusts, will bring swarming desolation (see notes on Joel 2:2, 4). “Like” appears several times in John’s description; he finds it difficult to describe what he sees in a way the reader can understand.
“Scorpions”: An arachnid that inhabits warm, dry regions and has an erect tail tipped with a venomous stinger. A scorpion’s victim often rolls on the ground in agony, foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth in pain. The demons in locust form are able to inflict the physical, and perhaps, spiritual, pain like the scorpion (verse 5).
The description of the locusts indicates that they are demons who are given physical forms in order to manifest their destruction and torment. Horses show their warlike character. Their crowns depict them as conquerors. Human faces show intelligence. Their feminine hair perhaps makes them seductive and attractive. The teeth of lions show them to be destructive and hurtful. Breastplates of iron make them indestructible. Wings symbolize swiftness. The stings in their tails give them the power to hurt. Fortunately for mankind, their period of torment is limited to five months. But the next judgment is even worse.
Notice, these have to be demons as they had no power in and of themselves. It was given unto them.
Verses 4-6: They do not harm the vegetation, as ordinary locusts would, but only “men” who do not belong to God. They are “not” allowed to “kill” anyone at this point. They only “torment unbelievers for “five months”. The pain will be like that of a “scorpion”. The “torment” will be so great that they will “desire to die”. But part of the judgment will be that men cannot die to escape it.
image courtesy: Revelation 9-3 – devianart
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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.