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Revelation 9:7-19

Context

9:7 Now 1  the locusts looked like horses equipped for battle. On 2  their heads were something like crowns similar to gold, 3  and their faces looked like men’s 4  faces. 9:8 They 5  had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9:9 They had breastplates 6  like iron breastplates, and the sound of their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots charging into battle. 9:10 They have 7  tails and stingers like scorpions, and their ability 8  to injure people for five months is in their tails. 9:11 They have as king over them the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon. 9 

9:12 The first woe has passed, but 10  two woes are still coming after these things!

9:13 Then 11  the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a single voice coming from the 12  horns on the golden altar that is before God, 9:14 saying to the sixth angel, the one holding 13  the trumpet, “Set free 14  the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates!” 9:15 Then 15  the four angels who had been prepared for this 16  hour, day, 17  month, and year were set free to kill 18  a third of humanity. 9:16 The 19  number of soldiers on horseback was two hundred million; 20  I heard their number. 9:17 Now 21  this is what the horses and their riders 22  looked like in my 23  vision: The riders had breastplates that were fiery red, 24  dark blue, 25  and sulfurous 26  yellow in color. 27  The 28  heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads, and fire, smoke, and sulfur 29  came out of their mouths. 9:18 A third of humanity was killed by these three plagues, that is, 30  by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came out of their mouths. 9:19 For the power 31  of the horses resides 32  in their mouths and in their tails, because their tails are like snakes, having heads that inflict injuries.

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the introduction of the description of the locusts, which is somewhat parenthetical in the narrative.

2 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

3 tn The translation attempts to bring out the double uncertainty in this clause in the Greek text, involving both the form (ὡς στέφανοι, Jw" stefanoi, “like crowns”) and the material (ὅμοιοι χρυσῷ, {omoioi crusw, “similar to gold”).

4 tn Or “human faces.” The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpos) is often used in a generic sense, referring to both men and women. However, because “women’s hair” in the next clause suggests a possible gender distinction here, “men’s” was retained.

5 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

6 tn Or perhaps, “scales like iron breastplates” (RSV, NRSV) although the Greek term θώραξ (qwrax) would have to shift its meaning within the clause, and elsewhere in biblical usage (e.g., Eph 6:14; 1 Thess 5:8) it normally means “breastplate.” See also L&N 8.38.

7 tn In the Greek text there is a shift to the present tense here; the previous verbs translated “had” are imperfects.

8 tn See BDAG 352 s.v. ἐξουσία 2, “potential or resource to command, control, or govern, capability, might, power.

9 sn Both the Hebrew Abaddon and the Greek Apollyon mean “Destroyer.”

10 tn Grk “behold.” Here ἰδού (idou) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in the context.

11 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

12 tc ‡ Several key mss (Ì47 א1 A 0207 1611 2053 2344 pc lat syh co) lack the word τεσσάρων (tessarwn, “four”) before κεράτων (keratwn, “horns”). The word seems to have been added by scribes because a “horned” altar (described in the OT [Exod 30:2, 10]) could have only four “horns” or projections at the corners. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

13 tn Grk “having.”

14 tn On λῦσον (luson) BDAG 606-7 s.v. λύω 2 states, “set free, loose, untie – a. lit. a pers., animal, or thing that is bound or tied…Angels that are bound Rv 9:14f.”

15 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

16 tn The Greek article τήν (thn) has been translated with demonstrative force here.

17 tn The Greek term καί (kai) has not been translated here and before the following term “month” since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

18 tn Grk “so that they might kill,” but the English infinitive is an equivalent construction to indicate purpose here.

19 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

20 tn Grk “twenty thousand of ten thousands.”

21 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the introduction of the description of the horses and riders, which is somewhat parenthetical in the narrative.

22 tn Grk “and those seated on them.”

23 tn Grk “the vision”; the Greek article has been translated as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

24 tn L&N 79.31 states, “‘fiery red’ (probably with a tinge of yellow or orange).”

25 tn On this term BDAG 1022 s.v. ὑακίνθινος states, “hyacinth-colored, i.e. dark blue (dark red?) w. πύρινος Rv 9:17.”

26 tn On this term BDAG 446 s.v. θειώδης states, “sulphurous Rv 9:17.”

27 sn The colors of the riders’ breastplates parallel the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur in v. 18.

28 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

29 tn Traditionally, “brimstone.”

30 tn The phrase ἐκ τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ τοῦ καπνοῦ καὶ τοῦ θείου τοῦ ἐκπορευομένου ἐκ τῶν στομάτων αὐτῶν (“by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came out of their mouths”) is taken as epexegetical (explanatory) to the phrase τῶν τριῶν πληγῶν τούτων (“these three plagues”).

31 tn See BDAG 352 s.v. ἐξουσία 2, “potential or resource to command, control, or govern, capability, might, power.

32 tn Grk “is.”



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