|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:13-21 The sixth angel sounded, and here the power of the Turks seems the subject. Their time is limited. They not only slew in war, but brought a poisonous and ruinous religion. The antichristian generation repented not under these dreadful judgments. From this sixth trumpet learn that God can make one enemy of the church a scourge and a plague to another. The idolatry in the remains of the eastern church and elsewhere, and the sins of professed Christians, render this prophecy and its fulfilment more wonderful. And the attentive reader of Scripture and history, may find his faith and hope strengthened by events, which in other respects fill his heart with anguish and his eyes with tears, while he sees that men who escape these plagues, repent not of their evil works, but go on with idolatries, wickedness, and cruelty, till wrath comes upon them to the utmost.
Verse 19. - For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails; for the power f the horses is, etc. Another example of disagreement between Erasmus and all the Greek manuscripts (see on ver. 10). For their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. "Are like," and "have heads," in the present tense. Here (unlike ver. 10) the tails are like serpents themselves. The image is not uncommon among the ancients. We may paraphrase the passage thus: "Their power is for the most part in their mouth; but also, to some extent, in their tails; for their tails are like serpents," etc. An endless variety of interpretations have been given to these details, which are probably not intended to bear any distinct signification. Bengel refers to a species of serpent in which the head and tail were so alike as to be with difficulty distinguished; which he thinks may have suggested the image. Many apply it (though in different ways) to the Turkish horse, who fight as they retreat, etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For their power is in their mouth,.... In what proceeded out of their mouth, or seethed to do so; in their guns, and what came out of them:
and in their tails; which may design their foot soldiers, which were as the tail to their horse, and who sometimes did great service; or their way of fighting when they fled, by casting up arrows into the air, which would fall upon the heads and horses of those that pursued them; or their ambushments, by which they destroyed many; or their perfidious violation of treaties; or it may be their tails may intend the doctrine of Mahomet, the false prophet, who is the tail, Isaiah 9:15,
for their tails were like unto serpents; crooked, crafty, poisonous, and, pernicious:
and had heads; every tail had a head to it; which may be understood of the officers of the foot soldiers, or of the priests and teachers of the Mahometan religion:
and with them they do hurt; with their guns, the power in their mouth, they did hurt to the bodies of men; and with their false doctrines, their tails, they did hurt to the souls of men; the Ethiopic version here adds, "five months"; which seems to be taken from Revelation 9:10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. their—A, B, C and Aleph read, "the power of the horses."
in their mouth—whence issued the fire, smoke, and brimstone (Re 9:17). Many interpreters understand the horsemen to refer to the myriads of Turkish cavalry arrayed in scarlet, blue, and yellow (fire, hyacinth, and brimstone), the lion-headed horses denoting their invincible courage, and the fire and brimstone out of their mouths, the gunpowder and artillery introduced into Europe about this time, and employed by the Turks; the tails, like serpents, having a venomous sting, or, as Elliott thinks, the Turkish pachas' horse tails, worn as a symbol of authority. (!) All this is very doubtful. Considering the parallelism of this sixth trumpet to the sixth seal, the likelihood is that events are intended immediately preceding the Lord's coming. "The false prophet" (as Isa 9:15 proves), or second beast, having the horns of a lamb, but speaking as the dragon, who supports by lying miracles the final Antichrist is a forerunner of him, but not the exhaustive fulfiller of the prophecy here: Satan will, probably, towards the end, bring out all the powers of hell for the last conflict (see on Re 9:20, on "devils"; compare Re 9:1, 2, 17, 18).
with them—with the serpent heads and their venomous fangs.
Revelation 9:19 Parallel Commentaries
Revelation 9:19 NIV
Revelation 9:19 NLT
Revelation 9:19 ESV
Revelation 9:19 NASB
Revelation 9:19 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible