|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.
Verse 9. - And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron. Again, a natural feature of the locust is specifically alluded to, in order to portray the terrible nature of their appearance. The horny substance which appears behind the face of the locust is not unlike the plates of iron with which the breast and shoulders of war horses were protected. And the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle; the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to war (Revised Version). The sound of the two things together, viz. that of rushing horses, and that of the chariots which they draw. The same simile is used in Joel 2:5.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron,.... Alluding to the hard skin of the locusts, with which nature has fenced it (q); see Joel 2:8; and denotes the armour with which the Saracens were accoutred: and if to be understood of the western locusts, the hardness of their hearts, their seared consciences, or their protection by the princes of the earth, the many privileges they are possessed of, the laws made in their favour, and for their security; their breastplates were not breastplates of righteousness, faith, and love, nor in defence of truth, but against it. And some think the iron colour may denote the colour of their habit, their black garments:
and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle; see Joel 2:5. The sound of locusts, when they fly or march in large companies, is very great. Pliny says (r), they make such a noise with their wings, when they fly, that they have been thought to have been other winged creatures; hence a locust, in Hebrew, is sometimes called the same name that is given to the high sounding cymbal. The sound of them is said to have been heard six miles (s). Aristotle (t) ascribes it to the rubbing of their legs or thighs one against another; and so the Ethiopic version here renders it, "the sound of their feet": this may be expressive of the swift and rapid incursions of the Saracens, and of the dreadful alarms to the nations which their invasions made; and may be applied to the noisy declamations, anathemas, excommunications, and interdicts of the Romish clergy.
(q) Claudian. Epigram. 13. (r) Plin. l. 11. c. 29, 51. (s) Altissiodorensis in Joel ii. 5. (t) Hist. Animal. l. 4. c. 9. Vid. Plin. l. 11. c. 51.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. as it were breastplates of iron—not such as forms the thorax of the natural locust.
as … chariots—(Joe 2:5-7).
Revelation 9:9 Parallel Commentaries
Revelation 9:9 NIV
Revelation 9:9 NLT
Revelation 9:9 ESV
Revelation 9:9 NASB
Revelation 9:9 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible