By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)By these three . . .—Better, From these three plagues were the third part of mankind slain, by the tire and the smoke and the brimstone which goeth forth out of their mouths. For the power of the horse is in their mouth, and in their tails, for their tails were like serpents, having heads, and with them they hurt (or, injure). The destructive power in this vision is in mouth and tail, in the last trumpet-vision it was in the tail only (Revelation 9:10). The devastating power is increased; the foes come swift as horsemen, strong as lions, venomous as serpents, breathing forth elements that blind and burn with deadly power. We have, then, forces which are mighty, malicious, and relentless, and which are bidden forth against mankind for their sins of worldliness. (See Revelation 9:20-21.) It is not once only in the history of the world that such powers have been let loose. The desolations wrought by invading hordes— the force and ferocity of Turkish power establishing itself in Europe and threatening the power of Christendom—the widespread terror and slaughter promoted by the outbreak of the spirit of unrestrained violence in France, followed by reckless war, may illustrate such a vision as the present; but the main teaching of it is the never-failing truth that the spirit of worldliness provokes its own punishment, wherever it may exist, and its retribution is in a form which serves to reveal what latent power of destruction lurks behind every sin, and what hidden spiritual foes there are to intensify human passions and to increase human misery.
Was the third part of men killed - See the notes on Revelation 8:7-12, on each of which verses we have notices of calamities that came upon the third part of the race, of the sea, of rivers, etc. We are not to suppose that this is to be taken literally, but the description is given as it appeared to John. Those immense numbers of horsemen would sweep over the world, and a full third part of the race of people would seem to fall before them.
by the fire—Greek, "owing to the fire," literally, "out of."
fire, and smoke, and brimstone. Revelation 8:7; so here the eastern Roman empire by the third part of men; vast numbers of the inhabitants of which were destroyed by the Turks, through the use of guns, out of which issued fire, smoke, and brimstone; and Constantinople, the metropolis of it, was taken in this way, as before observed, with the taking of which the empire ceased. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. By these three] Read, by (lit. from) these three plagues were the third part of men killed, by the fire, and the smoke, and the brimstone, &c.Verse 18. - By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths; by these three plagues (as in Revised Version)... the brimstone, which proceeded. Although the last clause technically is attached to "brimstone" only, yet the description applies to all three of the things mentioned. "The third part" again a large, but not the largest, part of mankind (see on Revelation 8:7). The locusts were forbidden to kill (ver. 5); these horsemen are permitted to do so. Each judgment of the trumpet visions appears t) increase in severity. We may here see portrayed the terrible and destructive character of the results of sin. Such results are experienced to the full by the third part of men, the large class who" repent not of their murders, nor of their sorceries," etc. (ver. 21).
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