Revelation 9:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.

New Living Translation
Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions.

English Standard Version
Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.

New American Standard Bible
Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

King James Bible
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then locusts came out of the smoke on to the earth, and power was given to them like the power that scorpions have on the earth.

International Standard Version
Locusts came out of the smoke onto the earth, and they were given power like that of earthly scorpions.

NET Bible
Then out of the smoke came locusts onto the earth, and they were given power like that of the scorpions of the earth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And from the smoke, locusts went out over The Earth, and power was given to them which the scorpions of The Earth have.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Locusts came out of the smoke onto the earth, and they were given power like the power of earthly scorpions.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

King James 2000 Bible
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

American King James Version
And there came out of the smoke locusts on the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

American Standard Version
And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And from the smoke of the pit there came out locusts upon the earth. And power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power:

Darby Bible Translation
And out of the smoke came forth locusts on the earth, and power was given to them as the scorpions of the earth have power;

English Revised Version
And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Webster's Bible Translation
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Weymouth New Testament
And from the midst of the smoke there came locusts on to the earth, and power was given to them resembling the power which earthly scorpions possess.

World English Bible
Then out of the smoke came forth locusts on the earth, and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Young's Literal Translation
And out of the smoke came forth locusts to the earth, and there was given to them authority, as scorpions of the earth have authority,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth. The locust is constantly referred to in the Bible, and various illustrations are drawn from their characteristic features. In the East they appear in great numbers and men are helpless against their devastating power. Sometimes an attempt is made to check their progress by lighting fires, and this practice may have suggested the above description of the locusts proceeding from the smoke. The irresistible destruction which they cause is alluded to in Deuteronomy 28:38; Joel 2:25; 2 Chronicles 7:13; their number in Psalm 105:34; Nahum 3:15. The air is sometimes tainted with their dead bodies (Joel 2:20). The natural features of the locust are fully dwelt upon in vers. 7-10. As an illustration, we may quote Niebuhr, who gives an Arab's description of the locust: "In head like the horse, in breast like the lion, in feet like the camel, in body like the serpent, in tail like the scorpion, in antennae like a virgin's hair." Three out of these five points of resemblance are mentioned in vers. 7-10. The locusts here symbolize heretics and infidels. Some writers (e.g. Wordsworth) apply the symbol to the Mohammedans (see Wordsworth, in loc., where the parallel is very fully worked out). But though this may be, and probably is, a fulfilment of the vision, it would be wrong to thus restrict our interpretation. Scarcely any one cause has contributed more to the trouble and destruction of men than the violence which is the result of religious hatred. Whether it be the heathen idolater, the warlike Mohammedan, or the Christian bigot, who is the agent, the effect is the same. It may be said, too, that if the minds of Christians also had not been darkened by the prejudicial influence of Satan, who is the cause of their unhappy divisions, heresies, and apostasies, these troubles could scarcely have fallen upon mankind. The innumerable occasions of such violence may be well illustrated by the countless number of the locusts; and the effect lives after the death of the authors, tainting the moral atmosphere. It is true that the true Christian sometimes suffers also; but tidal is an aspect which is set forth in the visions of the seals. Here another view is set forth, namely, that the ungodly are themselves punished, and punished severely, by means of this evil influence of the devil. Many other interpretations have been suggested:

(1) evil spirits (Andrea,);

(2) Roman wars in Judaea (Grotius);

(3) the Gothic invasion (Vitringa);

(4) De Wette and Alford believe that the interpretation is unknown. And unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. That is to say, just as the natural scorpions of the earth have power to cause suffering, so these allegorical locusts of the vision appeared to possess the means wherewith to plague mankind. The scorpion is "generally found in dry and in dark places, under stones and in ruins, chiefly in warm climates.... The sting, which is situated at the extremity of the tail, has at its base a gland that secretes a poisonous fluid, which is discharged into the wound .... In hot climates the sting often occasions much suffering and sometimes alarming symptoms" (Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible ').

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And there came out of the smoke locusts the earth,.... Not literally, for these locusts might not meddle with the grass, nor any green thing, or tree, as locusts do, only men, Revelation 9:4; and had a king over them, Revelation 9:11; which locusts have not, Proverbs 30:27, though the allusion is to such, which spawn and breed in pits, and may be properly said to come out of them; hence in the Hebrew tongue they are called from "a pit", or "ditch": nor are devils intended, though they may be compared to locusts for their original, hell, or the bottomless pit; and for their numbers, we read of a legion of them in one man; and for their hurtful and mischievous nature: nor are the Goths and Vandals designed; these, though they harassed some parts of the eastern empire, yet chiefly the western; besides, they appeared under the former trumpets: but these are to be understood of the western and eastern locusts, especially the latter. The western locusts are the clergy of the church of Rome, cardinals, bishops, priests, monks, and friars, of every order; these were not instituted by Christ, but rose out of the bottomless pit, from the antichristian smoke of councils, decrees, and traditions; and are fitly compared to locusts for their number, which have been almost as the sand of the sea innumerable, and have spread themselves all over the nations of the earth, that have gone by the name of Christendom; and for their devouring nature, living in plenty and idleness, upon the fat of the land, in the best commons, glutting themselves with the spoils of others, devouring widows' houses, and impoverishing countries and kingdoms wherever they come. The eastern locusts are the Saracens, and who are chiefly designed; and who were to harass and distress the eastern empire, and prepare for its ruin, which is brought on under the next trumpet by the Turks. These are fitly signified by locusts, because the locusts generally come out of the eastern parts: it was an east wind which brought the plague of locusts into Egypt, Exodus 10:13; and the children of the east, the Arabians, are compared to grasshoppers, or locusts, in Judges 7:12; and one of the names of a locust is "Arbeh", not much unlike in sound to an Arab. To which may be added, that it is a tradition of the Arabians, that there fell locusts into the hands of Mahomet, on whose backs and wings were written these words;

"we are the army of the most high God; we are the ninety and nine eggs, and if the hundred should be made perfect, we should consume the whole world, and whatever is in it.''

And it was a law established by Mahomet, ye shall not kill the locusts, for they are the army of the most high God; and the Mahometans fancy that the locusts were made of the same clay as Adam was: and besides the tradition before mentioned, they say, that as Mahomet sat at table a locust fell, with these words on its back and wings;

"I am God, neither is there any Lord of the locusts besides me, who feed them; and when I please I send them to be food to the people, and when I please I send them to be a scourge unto them;''

hence his Saracens may well go by this name. Now these Saracens sprung up in the times of antichristian darkness, both Papal and Mahometan, and may be said to come out of the smoke of the bottomless pit; and the religion of Mahomet, which they embraced, was no other; and like locusts they were innumerable, they went in troops and bands, as locusts do, Proverbs 30:27; pillaging and ravaging all they could and their sudden and frequent incursions, the desolations and ravages which they made in the eastern empire, are very aptly expressed by the running to and fro of locusts; see Isaiah 33:4.

And unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power; that is, to torment then, by striking them with their stings in their tails, Revelation 9:5. These are called "scorpions of the earth", to distinguish them from sea scorpions, which are a kind of fish: so Aristotle (d) and (e) Pliny speak of terrestrial scorpions, which are the most hurtful; these are of the serpentine kind have an innocent and harmless look, but are soon angry; have stings in their tails, which they are always striking with, that they may miss no opportunity of doing mischief, and with which they strike in an oblique way (f); and which very fitly describes the Saracens, the race of the Ishmaelites, a generation of vipers, a subtle and treacherous sort of people, very furious and wrathful, and who lived by continual robbing and plundering of others at an unawares: and this may be applied to the western locusts, the monks and friars, who are the seed of the serpent; and who by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, have a form of godliness, and speak lies in hypocrisy, and lie in wait to deceive; and being provoked, are full of wrath and anger, and strike very hard with their anathemas and excommunications, and other sorts of punishment, which they have power to inflict.

(d) Hist. Animal. l. 5. c. 26. (e) Hist. Nat. l. 51. c. 25. (f) Hist. Nat. l. 51. c. 25.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. upon—Greek, "unto," or "into."

as the scorpions of the earth—as contrasted with the "locusts" which come up from hell, and are not "of the earth."

have power—namely, to sting.

Revelation 9:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Fifth Trumpet
2He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.…
Cross References
Exodus 10:12
And the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail."

Exodus 10:14
they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again.

2 Chronicles 10:11
My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.'"

2 Chronicles 10:14
he followed the advice of the young men and said, "My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions."

Ezekiel 2:6
And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.

Revelation 9:5
They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.

Revelation 9:7
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.

Revelation 9:10
They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.
Treasury of Scripture

And there came out of the smoke locusts on the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

locusts.

Exodus 10:4-15 Else, if you refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I …

Judges 7:12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the …

Isaiah 33:4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: …

Joel 1:4 That which the palmerworm has left has the locust eaten; and that …

Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the …

Nahum 3:15,17 There shall the fire devour you; the sword shall cut you off, it …

as.

Revelation 9:5,10,11 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that …

Deuteronomy 8:15 Who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were …

1 Kings 12:11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will …

Ezekiel 2:6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of …

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and …

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