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.
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.