Revelation 9 ("Army Of Locusts"), The Rise Of Islam?

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

In Revelation chapter 9, John saw an army of locusts come out of the smoke that issued out of the bottomless pit. This army of locusts had power, but their power was limited. They were not to hurt the grass or trees; they were allowed to harm only those men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads; they had the power to torment like a scorpion; they were allowed to hurt men for “five months.” John described their appearance with these words:

  • And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Is it the modern military helicopters? Many historic Christian interpreters have applied the 5th and 6th trumpets of Revelation 9 to the rise of Islam, instead of to literal locusts (as most Futurists do today). “Well into the nineteenth century, a chorus of Protestant prophetic scholars identified Islam’s niche in prophecy as being these fifth and sixth trumpets".

  1. John Foxe, the author of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, said that it is “clearer than light itself” that this a prophecy of the Muslim conquests.
  2. Commentator Albert Barnes wrote: “With surprising unanimity, commentators have agreed in regarding this to the empire of the Saracens [Arab Muslims], or to the rise and the progress of the religion and the empire set up by Muhammed.”
  3. W.B. Godbey began his comments on Revelation 9 by stating, “This chapter is a thrilling description of the rise and progress of the Mohammedan wars.”
  4. Adam Clarke said that John’s description of the army of locusts “certainly agrees better with the Saracens than with any other people or nation” and “agrees very well with the troops of Mohammed.”
  5. Matthew Henry referred to the army of locusts as “the armies of the Mohamedan empire.”
  6. John Wesley said, “All this agrees with the slaughter which the Saracens made for a long time after Mahomet’s [Mohammed’s] death.”

Look with me at some of the details of John’s vision and see how possibly some would describe the rise and spread of Islam. In light of prophecy, how readeth thou? What is your take? CM

SOURCES:

  • -- Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Vol. 18, 398.
  • -- W.B. Godbey, Commentary on the New Testament, Vol. 1, 49.
  • -- Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 18, 1098, 1100.
  • -- Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, Vol. 10, 1167.
  • -- John Wesley, Notes on the Whole Bible, 903.

Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415
    edited January 11

    @C_M_ said:
    Look with me at some of the details of John’s vision and see how possibly some would describe the rise and spread of Islam. In light of prophecy, how readeth thou? What is your take? CM

    My take is to not neglect the time frame given in the book of Revelation itself for when the things written in it must be fulfilled:

    Rev 1:3 (KJV)
    3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.
    Rev 22:6-7 (KJV)
    6 And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
    7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

    It should be obvious that "the sayings of the prophecy of this book" were not about any rise of Islam or whatever rise of other powers (such as Roman Catholic Church Papacy) which happened centuries later, nor about any modern day matters two millenniums later.

    Post edited by Wolfgang on
  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @Wolfgang said:

    @C_M_ said:
    Look with me at some of the details of John’s vision and see how possibly some would describe the rise and spread of Islam. In light of prophecy, how readeth thou? What is your take? CM

    My take is to not neglect the time frame given in the book of Revelation itself for when the things written in it must be fulfilled:

    Rev 1:3 (KJV)
    3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.
    Rev 22:6-7 (KJV)
    6 And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
    7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

    It should be obvious that "the sayings of the prophecy of this book" were not about any rise of Islam or whatever rise of other powers (such as Roman Catholic Church Papacy) which happened centuries later, nor about any modern day matters two millenniums later.

    Thanks, Wolfgang,

    Step back and look at Rev. 9's content and context. What type of prophecy are we dealing with ["Classical" -- prophet's time, conditional or "Apocalyptic" -- symbolic, long time span, single fulfillment, unconditional]? In addition, is chapter 9, historical or future?

    Tell me, how do you define:

    1. "Army Of Locusts"? Are they real locusts?
    2. The "Fifth and sixth trumpets" of Rev. 9?

    I remain. CM

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,209

    @C_M_ said:
    In Revelation chapter 9, John saw an army of locusts come out of the smoke that issued out of the bottomless pit. This army of locusts had power, but their power was limited. They were not to hurt the grass or trees; they were allowed to harm only those men who did not have the seal of God in their foreheads; they had the power to torment like a scorpion; they were allowed to hurt men for “five months.” John described their appearance with these words:

    • And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

    Is it the modern military helicopters? Many historic Christian interpreters have applied the 5th and 6th trumpets of Revelation 9 to the rise of Islam, instead of to literal locusts (as most Futurists do today). “Well into the nineteenth century, a chorus of Protestant prophetic scholars identified Islam’s niche in prophecy as being these fifth and sixth trumpets".

    1. John Foxe, the author of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, said that it is “clearer than light itself” that this a prophecy of the Muslim conquests.
    2. Commentator Albert Barnes wrote: “With surprising unanimity, commentators have agreed in regarding this to the empire of the Saracens [Arab Muslims], or to the rise and the progress of the religion and the empire set up by Muhammed.”
    3. W.B. Godbey began his comments on Revelation 9 by stating, “This chapter is a thrilling description of the rise and progress of the Mohammedan wars.”
    4. Adam Clarke said that John’s description of the army of locusts “certainly agrees better with the Saracens than with any other people or nation” and “agrees very well with the troops of Mohammed.”
    5. Matthew Henry referred to the army of locusts as “the armies of the Mohamedan empire.”
    6. John Wesley said, “All this agrees with the slaughter which the Saracens made for a long time after Mahomet’s [Mohammed’s] death.”

    Look with me at some of the details of John’s vision and see how possibly some would describe the rise and spread of Islam. In light of prophecy, how readeth thou? What is your take? CM

    SOURCES:

    • -- Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Vol. 18, 398.
    • -- W.B. Godbey, Commentary on the New Testament, Vol. 1, 49.
    • -- Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 18, 1098, 1100.
    • -- Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, Vol. 10, 1167.
    • -- John Wesley, Notes on the Whole Bible, 903.

    Thanks CM, I think this is the best interpretation so far.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @C_M_ said:

    @Wolfgang said:
    My take is to not neglect the time frame given in the book of Revelation itself for when the things written in it must be fulfilled:

    Rev 1:3 (KJV)
    3 Blessed [is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand.
    Rev 22:6-7 (KJV)
    6 And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
    7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

    It should be obvious that "the sayings of the prophecy of this book" were not about any rise of Islam or whatever rise of other powers (such as Roman Catholic Church Papacy) which happened centuries later, nor about any modern day matters two millenniums later.

    Step back and look at Rev. 9's content and context.

    Should I do so by isolating the text from its overall context and the obvious time frame given in the verses from Rev 1 and Rev 22 mentioned above? Or would it be a good idea to observe that context?

    What type of prophecy are we dealing with ["Classical" -- prophet's time, conditional or "Apocalyptic" -- symbolic, long time span, single fulfillment, unconditional]? In addition, is chapter 9, historical or future?

    Why complicate the matter with such "artificial" categories of prophecy? The verses I mentioned give you rather precisely the time frame in which the words of this prophecy must have come to pass ... they were about to come to pass almost 2000 years ago

    Tell me, how do you define:

    1. "Army Of Locusts"? Are they real locusts?

    Obviously not ... obvious to anyone with a bit of knowledge regarding the use of figures of speech used in the Bible.

    1. The "Fifth and sixth trumpets" of Rev. 9?

    What about those? Do you think this is talking about literal trumpets playing the 5th and 6th movement of a concert?

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @Wolfgang said:

    @C_M_ said: Step back and look at Rev. 9's content and context.

    Should I do so by isolating the text from its overall context and the obvious time frame given in the verses from Rev 1 and Rev 22 mentioned above? Or would it be a good idea to observe that context?

    No! Yes, observe the context. This I encourage. What is the context?

    What type of prophecy are we dealing with ["Classical" -- prophet's time, conditional or "Apocalyptic" -- symbolic, long time span, single fulfillment, unconditional]? In addition, is chapter 9, historical or future?

    I will address this later.

    Why complicate the matter with such "artificial" categories of prophecy? The verses I mentioned give you rather precisely the time frame in which the words of this prophecy must have come to pass ... they were about to come to pass almost 2000 years ago

    Tell me, how do you define:

    1. "Army Of Locusts"? Are they real locusts?

    Obviously not ... obvious to anyone with a bit of knowledge regarding the use of figures of speech used in the Bible.

    I know it's a symbolic language, but what does it mean? What's the message? This is the point of inquiring of content, context, the message to the original audience, and application for today. Without these Revelation in general and chapter 9, in particular, has no meaning.

    1. The "Fifth and sixth trumpets" of Rev. 9?

    What about those? Do you think this is talking about literal trumpets playing the 5th and 6th movement of a concert?

    Wolfgang, you know I don't believe this! You're being facetious and enjoying a "light moment". Now, let's get serious:

    1. What the overall message of the chapter?
    2. What are the trumpets in general and the 5th and 6th in particular of chapter 9?
    3. What is chapter 9 saying to us today?
    4. God gave John this message for the present and/or future?

    Wolfgang, if you're not prepared to give your finding of this chapter, at this time; that's alright. We can mine it together. No one expects you to know everything.

    In addition, you may want to review your understanding of:

    • "...keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand".
    • "...the things which must shortly be done".

    Are these from God's view (time) or man's? Keep studying. CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @C_M_ said:

    @Wolfgang said:

    @C_M_ said: Step back and look at Rev. 9's content and context.

    Should I do so by isolating the text from its overall context and the obvious time frame given in the verses from Rev 1 and Rev 22 mentioned above? Or would it be a good idea to observe that context?

    No! Yes, observe the context. This I encourage. What is the context?

    The time frame context is "soon, near, shortly" from the time the apostle was given the vision and prophecy ...

    1. "Army Of Locusts"? Are they real locusts?

    Obviously not ... obvious to anyone with a bit of knowledge regarding the use of figures of speech used in the Bible.

    I know it's a symbolic language, but what does it mean? What's the message? This is the point of inquiring of content, context, the message to the original audience, and application for today. Without these Revelation in general and chapter 9, in particular, has no meaning.

    Keeping the time frame in mind and the overall understanding of "locusts" as picturing destruction, if the vision follows any pattern at all, we are reading of hordes of men coming from the empire which would bring destruction on the people (apostate Judah in particular)
    Historically speaking, in early spring of 67 AD Nero called for Vespasian and his son Titus, and Nero gave Vespasian the imperial order of war against Israel. Vespasian then ordered his son Titus to Egypt, where he should gather the fifth and tenth legions to return with them for the war.

    1. The "Fifth and sixth trumpets" of Rev. 9?

    What about those? Do you think this is talking about literal trumpets playing the 5th and 6th movement of a concert?

    Wolfgang, you know I don't believe this! You're being facetious and enjoying a "light moment". Now, let's get serious:

    1. What the overall message of the chapter?

    The vision shows in rather vivid emphatic pictures the destruction that would be brought on to apostate Judah and Jerusalem shortly

    1. What are the trumpets in general and the 5th and 6th in particular of chapter 9?

    I don't necessarily know the details of to what exactly the destruction would refer, but I would include the devastation caused by the Zealots and other sects cause havoc at Jerusalem during the time of the siege, etc., setting themselves up as God in Jerusalem and the temple, etc ...

    1. What is chapter 9 saying to us today?

    The chapter -- as the book as a whole -- tells us today of God's judgment at the last day and related events at the end of the then world. which happened almost 2000 years ago, within the time frame prophesied and taught by Jesus and his apostles

    1. God gave John this message for the present and/or future?

    The message was expressly given to the believers in those churches in Asia at the time, as they were facing terrible difficulties while the Roman army was approaching on their way into Syria and on to Jerusalem. The message was to give them comfort and encouragement to resist temptation and to stand fast in times of severe persecution.

    We today may learn some things in general from the example of what happened then and was given those believers as instruction and revelation. However, the visions do not predict any calamities etc in our future or our day and time.

    Wolfgang, if you're not prepared to give your finding of this chapter, at this time; that's alright. We can mine it together. No one expects you to know everything.

    See above ... I ma trying to reply in detail to questions asked of me ... sometimes I simply do not know what others perhaps would like to know.

    In addition, you may want to review your understanding of:

    • "...keep those things which are written therein: for the time [is] at hand".
    • "...the things which must shortly be done".

    Are these from God's view (time) or man's?

    Were these things communicated to man or to God? Were man to understand the terms used or was God supposed to understand them? Since God revealed the info and had it communicated to humans with the intent for the recipients to understand, it should be obvious that the references to time are given in man's understanding of time ...
    In addition, I would point out that there is actually no such thing as God's time point of view vs man's time point of view. When God speaks to man and uses "morning" or "next day", He is NOT talking about the beginning of a new millennium, is He ?? When God reveals that something is to happen soon and warns the recipients to act a certain way concerning the matter, He obviously is not talking about something thousands of years in the future when the recipients of the information who were addressed have long died.

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