Revelation 9:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.

New Living Translation
They had tails that stung like scorpions, and for five months they had the power to torment people.

English Standard Version
They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails.

Berean Study Bible
They had tails with stingers like scorpions, which had the power to injure people for five months.

Berean Literal Bible
And they have tails and stingers like scorpions, and their power to injure men for five months is in their tails.

New American Standard Bible
They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.

King James Bible
And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
and they had tails with stingers like scorpions, so that with their tails they had the power to harm people for five months.

International Standard Version
They had tails and stingers like scorpions, and they had the power to hurt people with their tails for five months.

NET Bible
They have tails and stingers like scorpions, and their ability to injure people for five months is in their tails.

New Heart English Bible
They have tails like those of scorpions, and stings. In their tails is their power to harm men for five months.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they had tails like scorpions and a sting in their tails, and their authority is to hurt people for five months.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They had tails and stingers like scorpions. They had the power to hurt people with their tails for five months.

New American Standard 1977
And they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months.

King James 2000 Bible
And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

American King James Version
And they had tails like to scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

American Standard Version
And they have tails like unto scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men five months.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they had tails like to scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had over them

Darby Bible Translation
and they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and their power [was] in their tails to hurt men five months.

English Revised Version
And they have tails like unto scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men five months.

Webster's Bible Translation
And they had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Weymouth New Testament
They had tails like those of scorpions, and also stings; and in their tails lay their power of injuring mankind for five months.

World English Bible
They have tails like those of scorpions, and stings. In their tails they have power to harm men for five months.

Young's Literal Translation
and they have tails like to scorpions, and stings were in their tails; and their authority is to injure men five months;
Study Bible
The Fifth Trumpet
9They also had thoraxes like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the roar of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails with stingers like scorpions, which had the power to injure people for five months. 11They were ruled by a king, the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek it is Apollyon.…
Cross References
2 Chronicles 10:11
Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'"

2 Chronicles 10:14
He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions."

Ezekiel 2:6
"And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house.

Revelation 9:3
And out of the smoke, locusts descended on the earth, and they were given power like that of the scorpions of the earth.

Revelation 9:5
The locusts were not given power to kill them, but only to torment them for five months, and their torment was like the stinging of a scorpion.

Revelation 9:19
For the power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; indeed, their tails were like snakes with heads to inflict harm.
Treasury of Scripture

And they had tails like to scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

tails. See on ver.

Revelation 9:3,5 And there came out of the smoke locusts on the earth: and to them …

(10)And they had tails . . .--Better, And they have tails like to scorpions, and stings, and in their tails is their power to hurt men five months. In this verse the secret of their power is mentioned: they have tails like scorpions' tails, and stings which wound and so cause agony to men. On the period of five months, see Revelation 9:5. In the exposition of this passage it is utterly vain to look for features of the ordinary natural locust corresponding to the several particulars set forth by the sacred seer: this is admitted even by those who seem anxious to find such counterparts. "We must regard the comparison as rather belonging to the supernatural portion of our description." The rule is a good one. Like the description of the Divine Presence in Revelation 4, most of the visions of the book are incapable of pictorial realisation without incongruities which would be grotesque and profane; nor need we be surprised, since the principles and truths are the main points with the writer. This general rule must be kept in mind if we would avoid the danger of dwelling too much on the bearing of details. It is not in the locust that we shall find even the suggestive basis of the details in the description here. The smoke rises from the pit of the abyss; the heaven is darkened, and out of the smoke emerges the pitchy cloud of locusts. The seer then adds certain characteristics of this locust plague, partly drawn from the earlier prophets, but, as his custom is, with some original additions. They are locusts, but they have the malice of scorpions; they advance like horse-soldiers to battle; they wear crowns; they bear a resemblance to men; there is something womanlike also in their appearance, and in their voracity they are as lions. The exigencies of the symbolism are quite beyond the features of the ordinary locust: the sacred writer shows us a plague in which devastation, malice, kinglike authority, intelligence, seductiveness, fierceness, strength, meet together under one directing spirit, to torment men. Some parts may be purely graphic, as Alford says, but surely the vision shows us a great symbolical army multitudinous as locusts, malicious as scorpions, ruling as kings, intelligent as men, wily as womanhood, bold and fierce as lions, resistless as those clad in iron armour. The symbolism of course must not be pressed too closely, but its meaning must be allowed to widen as new elements are added, especially when those elements are not suggested by anything in the locust itself, but are additions clearly designed to give force to the symbol employed. The locust-like army has characteristics partly human, partly diabolical, partly civilised, partly barbarous. They have been variously interpreted: the historical school have seen in them the Saracens under Mohammed, who gave to them a religion which was "essentially a military system;" others are inclined to refer them to "the hordes of Goths and others whose unkempt locks and savage ferocity" resemble this locust host. There is a good ground for taking the vision to prefigure the hosts of a fierce invading army. Even those who believe that Joel's prophecy foretold a plague of literal locusts, yet acknowledge that these "may in a subsidiary manner" represent "the northern, or Assyrian enemies of Judah" (Introduction to Joel, Speaker's Commentary). But, as the writer there says, these were "themselves types of still future scourges;" so may we see here a vision which neither the history of the Zealots, nor that of Gothic hordes, nor of Saracens, have exhausted, but one which draws our thoughts mainly to its spiritual and moral bearing, and teaches us that in the history of advancing truth there will come times when confused ideas will darken simple truth and right, and out of the darkness will emerge strange and mongrel teachings, with a certain enforced unity, but without moral harmony, a medley of fair and hideous, reasonable and barbarous, dignified and debased, which enslave and torment mankind. The outcome of these teachings is oftentimes war and tyrannous oppression; but the sacred seer teaches us distinctly that those who hold fast by the seal of God are those who cannot be injured, for he would have us remember that the true sting of false conceptions is not in the havoc of open war, but in the wounded soul and conscience. Nor is it altogether out of place to notice (by way of one example) that the power of Mohammed was more in a divided and debased Christendom than in his own creed or sword; the smoke of ill-regulated opinions and erroneous teachings preceded the scourge. Here, as in other parts of the book, we may notice that subtle, plausible errors pave the way for dire troubles and often sanguinary revolutions. Falsehoods and false worships that have been diffused over the world become "the forerunners and foretellers of a conflict between the powers of good and evil." Yet as the trumpet sounds we know that every battle is a step towards the end of a victorious war.

Verse 10. - And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails; and they have tails like unto scorpions, and stings (Revised Version). The next words are included in the following clause. Not that their tails possessed the appearance of scorpions (as Bengel, Hengstenberg, and others), but that their tails were like the tails of scorpions in respect of having stings in them. Cf. 2 Samuel 22:34; Psalm 18:33, "He maketh my feet like hands" (omit "feet"); also Revelation 13:11, "Two horns like a lamb" (see the description of the scorpion quoted above, under ver. 3). And their power was to hurt men five months; and in their tails is their power to hurt, etc. (Revised Version) (see the preceding clause). As no Greek manuscript gives the reading of the Textus Receptus followed by the Authorized Version, the probability is that this is an example of a passage in which the Greek of his edition was supplied by Erasmus, by the simple process of retranslating into Greek the Vulgate Version. By the possession of the noxious sting, the locusts here described are represented as being yet more terrible than the natural locusts. (See the description of the locusts given under ver. 3. For the signification of the "five months," see on ver. 5.) They limit the period of this judgment to the time of man's existence on this earth. And they had tails like unto scorpions,.... Locusts are said to have the tail of a serpent, and of the vipers of the earth (u); See Gill on Revelation 9:3, Revelation 9:5. And there were stings in their tails; either in the baser sort of them, the Saracens and Papists; or in their doctrines, the prophet being the tail, Isaiah 9:15; with which both Mahomet, who set himself up for a prophet, and the Romish clergy, who set up their decrees and unwritten traditions above the word of God, have poisoned and destroyed multitudes of souls:

and their power was to hurt men five months; See Gill on Revelation 9:5.

(u) Scriptores Arab. 10. tails like unto scorpions—like unto the tails of scorpions.

and there were stings—There is no oldest manuscript for this reading. A, B, Aleph, Syriac, and Coptic read, "and (they have) stings: and in their tails (is) their power (literally, 'authority': authorized power) to hurt."9:1-12 Upon sounding the fifth trumpet, a star fell from heaven to the earth. Having ceased to be a minister of Christ, he who is represented by this star becomes the minister of the devil; and lets loose the powers of hell against the churches of Christ. On the opening of the bottomless pit, there arose a great smoke. The devil carries on his designs by blinding the eyes of men, by putting out light and knowledge, and promoting ignorance and error. Out of this smoke there came a swarm of locusts, emblems of the devil's agents, who promote superstition, idolatry, error, and cruelty. The trees and the grass, the true believers, whether young or more advanced, should be untouched. But a secret poison and infection in the soul, should rob many others of purity, and afterwards of peace. The locusts had no power to hurt those who had the seal of God. God's all-powerful, distinguishing grace will keep his people from total and final apostacy. The power is limited to a short season; but it would be very sharp. In such events the faithful share the common calamity, but from the pestilence of error they might and would be safe. We collect from Scripture, that such errors were to try and prove the Christians, 1Co 11:19. And early writers plainly refer this to the first great host of corrupters who overspread the Christian church.
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Revelation 9:9
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