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Homer Dewayne Shappley
The Fifth Trumpet of Revelation 9
Prophecies of Revelation for centuries XX and XXI?
7 “In appearance, the locusts were like horses equipped for battle. On their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; 9 they had scales like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails like scorpions, with stings, and in their tails is their power to harm people for five months. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, he is called Apollyon. 12 The first woe has passed. There are still two woes to come.”
The format of Scenes 1, 2, and 3 is retained.
4. The "appearance” of the “locusts." Revelation 9:7-10. Let us keep before us what has already been established, at least, to my satisfaction, in the previous three Scenes, to wit: that the “locusts” are human beings at the service of secular rulers of the nations deceived once again by Satan. In the Fifth Trumpet prophecies, metaphorical language is employed to identify the salient characteristics of the “locusts.”
a) “In appearance the locusts were like horses equipped for battle.”
Locusts like horses! A mere insect like a great horse? And to top it off, with a human face, hair like a woman’s, teeth like those of a lion, a breastplate of iron, the poisonous stinger-tail of a scorpion and with a crown on its head, as well as wings enabling it to fly rapidly.
Simply, very difficult even to try to imagine such a phantasmagoric creature! Surely, for the majority of us. Nevertheless, some artists have tried to capture that surreal image in drawings and paintings. For example, in the painting at the beginning of this study. Most failing rather spectacularly, as, in my opinion, in the painting to the left.
It would not be surprising that just about any person not familiar with the literature, sculpture, drawings, and paintings of ancient civilizations would exclaim: “How absurd and ridiculous! One of the reasons I do not read the Bible. Such very strange, unreal, creatures. So many mythical beings; so many fantastical tales. Lions with human heads. Human bodies with animal heads. Like the Egyptian god Anubis, with the head of a jackal. A beast with seven heads. A scarlet dragon with seven heads and ten horns. A woman dressed with rays of the sun and the moon under her feet. Everything so bizarre and primitive!”
But just a minute! Before you reject God and the Bible, especially the book of Revelation, on the basis of such observations, have you realized, esteemed reader, that more or less the same type of metaphorical, surreal, phantasmagoric artistic representation permeates the present-day (first half of the 21st century) digital cultures of electronic games, many movies, even very popular ones, comics, paintings, drawings, and much science fiction literature?
An infinity of different humanoids in those categories. Creations with more or less the configuration of men and women, children and teenagers too, but stylized to project superhuman strength, skills, and movements, supernatural intelligence, futuristic combat weapons, and fantastical attributes, for example, a head with eyes, ears, and a mouth on the knee of the humanoid in the graphic to the left.
“Oh! But that visualization is symbolical, metaphorical. It is to be taken for granted that it does not exist in reality.” Certainly! Though little children might not understand that. But any intelligent adult should just as quickly and naturally understand that the “locusts” of Revelation 9 are to be taken as symbolical, metaphorical! A very interesting and instructive linguistical instrument to identify and emphasize attributes and actions of human beings in prophetical scenarios.
With all that in mind, let us proceed to discover the attributes and actions of these “locusts” of Revelation 9 so that, whenever and wherever they are manifested, we may quickly recognize them for what they are in reality, taking measures to avoid being tormented “five months” by them in the eventuality we should experience the special conditions of that time period. Fully understanding that they torment only those humans “who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads,” and, consequently, also comprehending the imperious importance of obtaining that “seal” at all costs if, indeed, we desire to avoid being victimized by the persecuting “locusts” to such a terrible degree that death would be preferable.
(1) The “appearance of the locusts was like that of horses.” What are the outstanding attributes of the horse? Physical strength and endurance, speed, and the facility with which the animal can be tamed and trained for sports, work, or war. Making the rather obvious applications, we, then, visualize strong-spirited men and women, aggressive and tireless, who can be taught to submit to the will of powerful rulers who become their “handlers,” even to the evil will of rulers deceived by Satan, servilely helping them to achieve their agendas and enforce their directives. Protected by the iron breastplates their owners provide, including official authority for their actions and exemption from penalties for the consequences.
(2) "...equipped for battle." “Battle.” Physical battle, material, political, mental, philosophical, cultural, social, religious, spiritual; over differing moral criteria, over individual human identity, over origins and purposes, definitions of human life, inclusion, tolerance, personal rights, etc., etc. The extent of this “battle” is more fully revealed in the previous three Scenes. Of a certainty, it is as fearful as chilling to the perceptive mind and heart.
b) “On their heads were what looked like crowns of gold…” That is, they act with authority. They are emissaries of their “king… Abaddon,” “the angel of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 9:11), he who is Satan himself who gives them all authority to take action against human beings considered inferior or dangerous in the context of the secular-political-social-cultural-atheistic nations of the time of the
“…looked like crowns…” Not that they are true crowns but rather appear to be, an expression that highlights the metaphorical aspect of the objects and beings in this vision prophecy of the Fifth Trumpet. Though metaphorical, it may be, nevertheless, that those objects that “looked like crowns” represent something material, for example, a cap, hat, scarf, or band with an insignia of some kind, the design and color of which would transmit the attribute of authority.
c) “…their faces were like human faces…” In reality, these “locusts” are human beings, and their faces reflect the superior intelligence that is characteristic of our race. However, because they are people without spirituality or moral values, the normal traits of compassion, natural affection, sane intelligence, and divine wisdom are not detected in their eyes, the way they look upon other human beings, nor in other facial expressions. While some of these human “locusts” evidence an IQ below the normal, speaking and acting vulgarly and brutishly, others are gifted with a sharp intellect, agile, penetrating, and inventive, these latter ones being, by far, the most dangerous of all.
d) "...their hair like a woman’s hair…”
(1) Is it possible that reference could be to certain men “locusts” that, during the “five months” of the “little while,” let their hair grow so much that it looks like “a woman’s hair?” Possibly, I think. Interestingly, in some cultures, long hair in a man is interpreted as a manly trait, while in others it is a sign of rebellion against “nature itself.” 1 Corinthians 11:14
Regarding people who closely follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, long hair in a man is, indeed, interpreted as a sign of opposition to the
directives of God that govern the conduct of a man. 1 Corinthian 11:14-15. Jewish men in the 1st century did not wear their hair long. The “long-haired Jesus” in many paintings does not reflect the true practice of men in the time of his earthly life among the Israelites.
Today (the first half of the 21st century), not a few men in different countries and cultures have “hair like a woman’s hair.” I make this observation without any intention to classify them among the “locusts” of Revelation 9.
(2) Or does this detail of “hair like a woman’s hair” meant to project the dominion or rule of many women “locusts” during a determined period of the “little while?” For example, the “five months” covered by the Fifth Trumpet. An intriguing possibility and perhaps of considerable concern. “Concern” because the history of the human race confirms that, when the completely secular-atheistic-humanistic woman, especially those who believe in the superiority of the feminine sex, rise to power, she is capable of being as cruel, as evil, and as soulless, as any tormenting “locusts,” as any male of the same mentality and character.
Does the prophecy teach or imply that women “locusts” would occupy positions of great power among the rulers of nations deceived again by Satan, be that of some or of many? Possibly. As a matter of fact, the agenda of many feminists of present times is to be the commanding presence and voice in every social and political sphere, with the purpose of imposing their political-social-sexual convictions around the whole world.
In actuality, women who are declared atheists and lesbians, some well-known, play leading roles in the feminine liberation movement. Not a few women who support this movement, plus other causes of a social-sexual-political nature, tenaciously espouse new, non-traditional families (partners that cohabit without being married, families of one parent with a child or children, same sex marriages, etc.), abortion, special rights for alphabet people, etc. It seems completely proper to ask: What kind of global society-culture would we have if they could impose, without limitations, their will worldwide? How would they treat dissidents?
An example, as relevant today as in the past century, of extremists, authoritarian, bold, and aggressive women is the French woman Simone de Beauvoir. Of her it is said:
“During a discussion in 1975, the famous French feminist Simone de
Prohibit mothers from staying at home to raise their own children! Such an abnormal, unreasonable, evil mentality is that of “locusts” who torment.
Beauvoir was so bold as to affirm (citing her words): No woman should have the authority to remain at home to raise her children… Women should not have that option, precisely because, if they have it, too many of them will take it.” The Broken Hearth. By William J. Bennett. Doubleday. October 2001. Page 25.
e) “…their teeth like lion’s teeth…” This comparison means that human beings represented by the “locusts” would come perfectly prepared to violently grasp their prey and torture them. Cruelly subjugating them and making them suffer, even so much that they could wish for death. Surprising and pouncing like lions in the jungle. Treating their victims like the hungry, powerful lion treats the animal he has captured, not killing it immediately but playing with it maliciously, striking it, clawing it, then letting it loose for a short time, only to catch it again, biting it, etc.
f) “…they had scales like iron breastplates…” The breastplate protects. These “locusts” have the strong protection the secular-political-atheistic state provides. They are practically invincible.
The “noise of their wings” represents all their movements in cities, towns, villages, and county sides in devilish, unrelenting persecution of their diabolical objectives. It symbolizes, I understand, their tremendous propaganda machine. All the media and methods they utilize to subvert the minds and souls of the masses. All their public, noisy convocations, and other frenetic activities in favor of their “new world vision for humanity and planet Earth.” Whatever that “new world vision” might be, it does not include the God who created the heavens and the earth, with the original two human beings, male and female, as his crowning achievement, created in his own image and likeness. Nor does it include Jesus Christ and his Kingdom-Church “not of this world.”
Of course, “the noise of their wings” is metaphorical language, as also “the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle.” These “many chariots” drawn by “horses” being used in times before the Industrial Age. Today, we understand that language better thinking of tanks, troop transports, howitzers, machine guns, fighter planes, helicopters, and rockets.
h) “They have tails like scorpions, with stings…” The meaning of these attributes of the “locust” has already been explored in this series of Scenes.
5. The “king” of these “locust” is the “angel of the bottomless pit.” “…his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.” Revelation 9:11
a) The “angel of the bottomless pit” is Satan.
b) Both “Abaddon” and “Apollyon” mean “destructor.”
c) Clearly, if the “king” of the “locust” is the leader of those who destroy, his hordes of “locusts” who blindly follow him will also be fully dedicated to destroying both human beings and their possessions or creations, including governments, cultures, religions, and civilizations. In the scenario of the Fifth Trumpet prophecies, their particular victims are the masses of human beings who “do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.”
Esteemed reader of this study, do you have “the seal of God?”
Text and Document Composition by Homer Dewayne Shappley
Category. Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment. Commentary.
The Sixth Trumpet. Also called "the second woe."
Revelation 9:13 through 11:14
Introduction to the Sixth Trumpet of Revelation also called "the second woe." In this Commentary, the visions and prophecies of the Sixth Trumpet are presented in fourteen Scenes. Timelines composed of multiple graphics and texts help fix the temporal parameters for their fulfillment.
Revelation 10:6. Going out into the FUTURE to the LAST DAY of TIME. Looking back at planet Earth in the 20th and 21st centuries.