Revelation 9:5

Thursday, 7 January 2021

And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. Revelation 9:5

These locusts that came out of the smoke of the abyss were given power like scorpions and were commanded to not harm the grass or any green thing. They are only given permission to harm the people who don’t have the seal of God on their forehead. As John says, “And they were not given authority to kill them.”

What is being described here is not unlike a modern battle using aerial weapons. This will become more evident in the verses ahead. Locusts are flying creatures. Scorpions are creatures that have a hard exoskeleton. And more, scorpions have stingers to harm their enemies.

Unlike real locusts, these have an authority over them. That authority has determined to torment, but not to kill. This is exactingly what happened during the Vietnam war at times, also in the Gulf War, and in many battles since. It is also what happens in Israel constantly. The air forces of these nations are given authority to attack the enemy from the air, but they are actually not given permission to kill anyone. Hence, for example, they will give a warning that a building is going to be destroyed. Once the occupants clear out, down it goes.

An example of this is recorded on Wikipedia, saying –

“As early as 2006 the IDF had the practice of warning the inhabitants of a building that was about to be attacked. Roof knocking was used during the 2008–2009 Gaza War, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014. In the six months prior to its use, Israel collected data on Hamas members, which they used to issue warnings. Typically, Israeli intelligence officers and Shin Bet security servicemen contacted residents of a building in which they suspected storage of military assets and told them that they had 10–15 minutes to flee the attack, although in some cases the delay has been as little as five minutes.’

This was common practice in the Gulf War as well. Coalition forces would give demonstrations of their capabilities to the enemy battle lines. This would be followed with a warning to surrender or be destroyed in the same manner. Again, from Wikipedia –

“Eleven BLU-82Bs were palletized and dropped in five night missions during the 1991 Gulf War, all from Special Operations MC-130 Combat Talons. … Later, bombs were dropped as much for their psychological effect as for their anti-personnel effects. Due to the size of the conventional blast, a British SAS unit that witnessed the explosion mistakenly assumed the U.S. had used a nuclear weapon and radioed back to their headquarters exclaiming, ‘Sir, the blokes have just nuked Kuwait!’”

In one such drop, intended for psychological effect, an entire battle line surrendered rather than face such a terrifying weapon. This type of warfare is then a perfect example of John’s next words. The locusts were given authority not to kill, “but to torment them for five months.”

The Gulf War lasted forty-two days. During much of that time, surgical strikes were made that were intended to harm but not to kill. Operations in the Gaza war lasted various time lengths, and the intent by Israel was to wage war with as little loss of enemy life as possible. What John is seeing in Revelation is certainly such a battle. This is then evidenced by the next words. He notes that “Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.”

John is describing what he calls locusts. These have power as the scorpions of the earth have (certainly offensive, but not excluding defensive – meaning its exoskeleton), and they are given authority to torment, but not to kill. The offensive torment of a scorpion is a sharp and painful sting.

A person two thousand years ago who is watching a modern battle would see jet fighters shooting their missiles at the enemy (who has already been given warning to evacuate a building) and think he was watching some sort of creature shooting its sting. John, not understanding what he was seeing in a modern sense, is accurately describing exactly such a modern scenario with imagery that was known to him. This will continue to be exactingly described by him in the verses ahead.

Life application: What is happening here is similar to the account in Ezekiel Chapter 9 where judgment came on the Israelites for rejecting God and turning after idolatry.

In that passage, those without the seal of God are killed. However, these unbelievers during the Tribulation are only tormented for five months but are not killed. There is a mixture of grace and punishment in this. The mercy is that their lives are spared, but the punishment is that they have to endure the torment as if being struck by a scorpion when it strikes a man. In other words, there is great affliction, pain, and suffering involved in a scorpion sting and these people will endure through that. Lamentations 4:9 tells us that sometimes death is preferable to life in such dire situations –

Those slain by the sword are better off
Than those who die of hunger;
For these pine away,
Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.”

In the end, such trials and troubles are brought upon us. We can’t point our finger at God and blame Him when He has revealed Himself to us in the Person of Jesus, as testified through His word. Even more so, we have to accept the fact that the world has been told, in advance, of what is coming and how to avoid it. Surely God is just.

But in His love for His people, He sent an offer of peace in the giving of His Son. Through Him is pardon from sin and reconciliation to God through adoption. All God asks man to do is to believe. Accept the gospel today. Call on JESUS.

Lord, our eyes look to You for all good things, and surely all the necessities of life are graciously given to us. But when we receive them, we look at them as the work of our own hands, forgetting that they came from You. Eventually, we push You out of our lives completely and reap the harvest of such unrighteousness. Surely You are justified when You judge us in our faithlessness. But Lord, soften our hearts and remind us that You are the Source of all goodness and blessing. May we always return gratitude to You for such things. Amen.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Revelation 9:5

  • Thursday, January 7th, 2021 at 8:47 am
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    Thank you for this daily study. My husband and I have been watching Sunday services online for about 2 months and found your site through Seegio and Rhoda’s channel.
    May God continue to bless the ministry He has given you in Florida! I am thankful that He provides us with all we need for life and godliness. Glory and honor belong to Him!!!
    Shona

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  • Thursday, January 7th, 2021 at 9:21 am
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    Well that is a very interesting view of the locust and scorpions and it makes perfect sense! Let’s take this vision a step further. The recent advent of Drone technology has ( at least to me) made John’s visions more literal. We have drones of all sizes from from full size aircraft down to miniature flying bugs and birds. Who is to say the military doesn’t have mini drones that look like locust or scorpions? We have seen the many presentations using thousands of drones to simulate a fire works display and more. Thousands of them controlled by a computer program. Who says John’s drones programs aren’t written to only inflect damage and not death? Yes John’s visions may not be that far fetched. No mater it looks like we will be out of here at any moment! After seeing the total failure to release the kraken and the total failure of government officials, Supreme Court to do their job. We can now see we were set up just as I predicted In. 2016. Expect to see Trump buddy buddy with Biden, the same way Bush was buddy buddy with Obumer after Obumer threw him under the bus for every problem Obumer claimed to have. The politicians are nothing more than actors playing their part. Not one of them cares about the people or this country or even the world. It’s all about them and their elite status in the world. Trump was not a reprieve from leftist insanity and a rock for Christian values no he was the catalyst to bring us to this point where America is a demoralized and broken country! Something Hillary could not have done if she had won the election. The silver lining around this….and yes there is an awesome silver lining here and that is the rapture is imminent. I don’t think we will be here to see Biden sworn in as President! I pray we won’t be here to see it and right now the odds are in our favor amen we need to get our focus off of a man (Trump) and get it back where it belongs on Jesus! Focus on man and be lead into darkness, Only Jesus can lead us into the light.

    Sorry for the rant here but we need to get ourselves refocused NOW that is why I believe the lord is using me and this rant to get the message out there! Our time is up get you eyes back on Jesus NOW for we fly soon Amen

    We are another day closer to home
    Grace, Mercy and peace on you and yours
    God Bless my friends we fly soon

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  • Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 12:06 am
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    Thank you Charlie! People are so proud and filled with self love and self righteousness that they cannot open themselves up to God. I hope too Charlie that God will soften their hearts so that they will be more willing to accept Jesus than waiting too late

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  • Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 7:16 am
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    Good stuff. As far as drones, that is explained in todays (9:6) commentary. Definitely jets as they have people in them.

    Have a great day <><

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