In the previous chapter, the angels sounded the first four trumpets, which described the weapons of war during the end times; most of those weapons have already appeared. The fifth and the sixth trumpet in this chapter correspond to another theme which pertains to types of warfare during the end times.
Even though this passage describes events that are happening on the earth, it cannot entirely be interpreted literally, because it contains such words as: “was like”, “something like”, “resembled”. It cannot be interpreted according to the meaning of the word or according to the original text; because John could only use words he knew at that time to describe events from the 21st century. The finest writer in those times would not have been able to come up with words that we use today. “ Computer”, “telephone”, “television”, those are words which they have never heard of before; even if they saw these things, they would not have known what they were. You need to use your imagination to read this chapter; imagine how John would describe the things that we have today. He has never seen today’s technology and he does not have today’s dictionary.
DISASTER CAME FROM THE REALM OF DARKNESS
11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).
All disasters on earth come from the realm of darkness; they are the works of demons. Their king is called “Destroyer”, whose name in Hebrew if “Abaddon” and in Greek is “Apollyon”. At that time he will show his real identity. In the past, he did many things among human beings, making people feel that he was their friend, that he could help them be successful and wealthy. During the end times, his ruthless nature will be exposed; there will only be hatred in the world, they will kill each other, and the earth will become a living hell.
THE MOST VICIOUS KING OF THE DEMONS APPEARS ON THE SCENE
1 第五位天使吹號，見一個星從天落到地，有無底坑鑰匙賜給他。2 他開了無底坑，便有煙從坑里往上冒，好像大火爐的煙。日頭和天空都因這煙昏暗了。
1 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.
The star is an angel that had fallen from the sky to the earth; he opened the Abyss and liberated the evil demons. The one who opened the door was an angel but the one who gave him the authority was God Himself. The Abyss is the prison where evil angels are locked up. Starting from the 20th century, the evil angels are set free, the earth will experience great disasters and wars and all these events are initiated by the evil one.
When creatures from the spirit world appear, they are often accompanied with a cloud of smoke. That is why ghost movies are always overflowing with smoke. From the Bible we can see that whenever God appears, He does it in a cloud, but those clouds are very luminous. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, a pillar of cloud went in front of the Israelites during the day and a pillar of fire during the night, because the cloud gave out a very bright light.
When the Devil appears, he will be accompanied with smoke, like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The smoke will be so dark that it will block the sunlight. The original language also uses the word “smoke”, not the word “cloud” . However, even if it is smoke, people will think he has profoundly mysterious abilities. The power of the spiritual world is very real indeed. Many people seek the help of the Devil instead of God’s help, because it may seem to bring them fame and fortune. During the end times, people’s heart will be confused, they will prefer to worship the Devil instead of worshiping God; they would rather follow the way of heresy than to follow the way of eternal life.
7 蝗蟲的形狀像豫備出戰的馬，頭上像有金冠冕，臉面像人，8 頭髮像女人，牙齒像獅子的牙，9 胸前有像鐵甲，像許多車馬奔跑上陣的聲音。
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. 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.
The style of wars in the 20th century will rely mainly on fighter aircrafts carrying bombs. In John’s era, of course no one had ever seen an aircraft, so they have difficulty describing the weapons used during the end times.
From the description given to the “locust” from verse 7 to verse 9, we know that it is the description of an airplane. When fighter aircrafts started being used in wars, they were sent out in a large group, not just a single aircraft by itself, which may resemble a swarm of locust.
The sound they made was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle which clearly depicts an “airplane”. It has metal on the outside, “something like crowns of gold”, “they had breastplates like breastplates of iron”. “ Their faces resembled human faces” because the front of an airplane has windows, like two eyes. “Their hair was like women’s hair”, locust don’t have hair and the word used here is not “hair”; it refers to the antennas on the locust, the antenna looked like the adornment of women’s hair, hair pins. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions.
AIRCRAFTS THAT SPRAY CHEMICAL WEAPONS
These aircrafts sprayed chemical weapons, because they had the power like that of scorpions.
3 有蝗蟲飛到地上，有能力好像地上蝎子能力。4 並且他們不傷害地上的植物，惟獨傷害額上沒有神印記的人，5 但不是殺死他們，只叫他們受痛苦五個月。這痛苦，像蝎子螫人。6 人要求死，決不得死，願意死，死卻遠避他們。
3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 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. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
At the beginning of the 20th century, after World War II, people were afraid that another ruthless war would take place again; thus, several powerful nations formed the United Nations hoping to promote peace and international cooperation and security.
Of course, the United Nations cannot prevent wars from happening; it can only hope that if there is a war among the nations, that there would be the least amount of casualties and that every person be treated humanely and that those who commit massacres be punished . During the Korean War, China sent troops to help North Korea fight the US troops employing Human wave military attack tactics. Soldiers used their own bodies to block guns and cannons; the number of casualties was such that the enemy did not want to continue the killing. These kinds of wars are very difficult to fight; soldiers are restricted, and it affects their morale. Thus, later on, in the Vietnam War, chemical weapons were used, so people would not have to suffer the horrific blood shed killings from artillery weapons.
The chemical weapons dropped on the ground seem to have little impact on plants but when people come in contact with it, they will seek death but will not find it, they will long to die, but death will elude them. The chemical weapons produce weird diseases in humans. Those diseases last a very long time. “They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.” The life span of a locust is five months, which means that during the entire time that they are around people will be tormented by their poisoning. Five months represents suffering the whole entire time. As long as the Devil is around, the people will continue to suffer.