Revelation 9:8
And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8)And they had hair . . .—Translate, And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions, and they had breastplates as iron breastplates; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of (having, i.e., drawn by) many horses, running to war. The hair: It is said that some locusts are hairy, and the passage in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 51:27) has been quoted as evidence (the rough caterpillars here spoken of being said to be “locusts bristling with hair”), but the application of the passage is uncertain: the rough caterpillar may be the locust in the third stage, when the wings are still enveloped in rough horny cases which stick upon their backs. Others think the idea of the woman-like hair has its basis in the antlers of the locust. The teeth like those of the lion is a description the origin of which is found in the prophet Joel, in his prediction of the locust plague: “a nation cometh upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek-teeth (or, grinding-teeth) of a great lion.” The terrible destructiveness of the locusts, and their strong, ceaseless, and resistless voracity, were thus described. Their breastplates are taken as descriptive of their thoraxes, which in the vision seemed strong as iron. The comparison of the sound of the wings to the thunderous sound of chariots and horses rushing into battle is repeated from Joel 2.

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.And they had hair as the hair of women - Long hair; not such as men commonly wear, but such as women wear. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 11:14. This struck John as a peculiarity, that, though warriors, they should have the appearance of effeminacy indicated by allowing their hair to grow long. It is clear from this, that John regarded their appearance as unusual and remarkable. Though manifestly designed to represent an army, yet it was not the usual appearance of men who went forth to battle. Among the Greeks of ancient times, indeed, long hair was not uncommon (see the notes above referred to on 1 Corinthians 11:14), but this was by no means the usual custom among the ancients; and the fact that these warriors had long hair like women was a circumstance that would distinguish them particularly from others. On this comparison of the appearance of the locusts with the hair of women see the remarks of Niebuhr, in the notes on Revelation 9:7.

And their teeth were as the teeth of lions - Strong; suited to devour. The teeth of the locust are by no means prominent, though they are strong, for they readily cut down and eat up all vegetable substances that come in their way. But it is evident that John means to say that there was much that was unusual and remarkable in the teeth of these locusts. They would be ravenous and fierce, and would spread terror and desolation like the lions of the desert.

8. hair of women—long and flowing. An Arabic proverb compares the antlers of locusts to the hair of girls. Ewald in Alford understands the allusion to be to the hair on the legs or bodies of the locusts: compare "rough caterpillars," Jer 51:27.

as the teeth of lions—(Joe 1:6, as to locusts).

And they had hair as the hair of women; dishevelled, or hanging loose; the Arabians were wont to go so; or this may signify, that they were beautiful as well as terrible to look upon.

And their teeth were as the teeth of lions; sharp and strong: see Joel 1:6. And they had hair, as the hair of women,.... Some locusts have smooth, others hairy heads (n): this fitly points at the Arabians or Saracens, who, as Pliny says (o), used to wear long hair without cutting it, and attired as women, and have their names also from women: they were called Hagarenes, from Hagar, Abraham's handmaid, by whom he had Ishmael, the father of these people; afterwards they took the name of Saracens, from Sarah, the wife of Abraham, whose posterity they would be thought to be; though they may have the latter name, either from to "rob" and "steal", with the Arabians, or from the same word, as it signifies to "comb", from the combing and plaiting: of their hair. This may also point at the effeminacy of the western locusts, the monks and friars, who dress more like women than men; and many of them claim the virgin Mary for their patroness; and may in general design the votaries of the church of Rome, who are under the vow of a monastic life, as those among the Jews, under a Nazarite's vow, wore long hair.

And their teeth were as the teeth of lions; so in Joel 1:6; which may denote the ravages and devastations of the Saracens in the empire, robbing, pillaging, and destroying all they met with; and is applicable enough to the devouring jaws of the Romish clergy, their plundering the estates of men, their cruelties and barbarities exercised by their Inquisition, &c. Pliny says (p), that locusts will gnaw the doors of houses.

(n) Gloss. in T. Bab. Cholin. fol. 65. 1.((o) Hist. Nat. l. 6. c. 28. (p) L. 11. c. 29.

{7} And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

(7) The form of these hellish spirits and administers, is outlined by signs and visible figures in this manner: that they are very expert and swift: that wherever they are in the world, the kingdom is theirs: that they manage all their affairs with cunning and skill, in this verse: that making show of mildness and tender affection to draw on men with, they most impudently rage in all mischief: that they are most mighty to do hurt Re 9:8 that they are freed from being hurt by any man, as armed with the colour of religion and sacred authority of privilege: that they fill all things with horror, Re 9:9 that they are fraudulent: that they are poisonous and extremely offensive though their power is limited. Re 9:10. All these things are found in the infernal powers and communicated by them to their ministers and vassals.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. as the hair of women] It is said that, in Arabic poetry, the same comparison is used of the antennæ of the natural locust: but more probably this is one of the supernatural features of the description.

teeth of lions] Joel 1:6.Revelation 9:8. Ὡς τρίχας γυναικῶν, as the hair of women) that is, hair growing long. Thus the Arabians in Pliny: and thus the Persians were in former times. Æschylus, according to Athenæus, l. xiv. f. 627, βαθυχαιτήεις μῆδος. The Persians were called by the Delphic oracle κομῆται.—Herodotus l. vi. f. 176. See altogether Thorn. Hyde Hist. Relig. of the ancient Persians, p. 369. The kingdom of the Persians, Daniel 7:5, is represented as a shaggy bear.Verse 8. - And they had hair as the hair of women. This (like the succeeding clause) seems merely the enumeration of an additional feature, in which these creatures resembled locusts, and which helped to establish their claim to the name. The antennae of the insect are probably referred to. Wordsworth sees here an allusion to the flowing hair of Mohammed and the Saracens. And their teeth were as the teeth of lions. The powerful nature of the teeth of the locust is a remarkable feature of the insect; and it is here more fully referred to in order to enhance the general terror of their aspect (cf. Joel 1:6). Hair of women

The antennae of the locust. There is said to be an Arabic proverb in which the antennae of locusts are compared to girls' hair.

Teeth of lions

Compare Joel 1:6.

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