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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 9

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1The fifth angel blew his trumpet. I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and the star was given the key to the shaft of the abyss. 2He opened it, and smoke came up from it like smoke from a great furnace and darkened the sun and the air. 3Out of the smoke came locusts over the earth, and they were given the powers of scorpions. 4They were told not to do damage to the grass or to any plant or tree, but only to those people who had not received God's seal on their foreheads. 5They were given permission to torment them for five months with torment like a scorpion's sting; but they were not to kill them. 6During that time people will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

7In appearance the locusts were like horses equipped for battle. On their heads were what looked like gold crowns; their faces were like human faces 8and their hair like women's hair; they had teeth like lions' teeth 9and chests like iron breastplates; the sound of their wings was like the noise of many horses and chariots charging into battle; 10they had tails like scorpions, with stings in them, and in their tails lay their power to injure people for five months. 11They had for their king the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek Apollyon, the Destroyer.

12The first woe has now passed; but there are still two more to come.

13The sixth angel blew his trumpet. I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that stood in the presence of God. 14To the sixth angel, who held the trumpet, the voice said: ‘Release the four angels held bound at the Great River, the Euphrates!’ 15So the four angels were let loose, to kill a third of mankind; they had been held in readiness for this very year, month, day, and hour. 16And their squadrons of cavalry numbered twice ten thousand times ten thousand; this was the number I heard.

17This was how I saw the horses and their riders in my vision: they wore breastplates, fiery red, turquoise, and sulphur-yellow; the horses had heads like lions' heads, and from their mouths issued fire, smoke, and sulphur. 18By these three plagues, the fire, the smoke, and the sulphur that came from their mouths, a third of mankind was killed. 19The power of the horses lay in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails had heads like serpents, and with them they inflicted injuries.

20The rest of mankind who survived these plagues still did not renounce the gods their hands had made, or cease their worship of demons and of idols fashioned from gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk; 21nor did they repent of their murders, their sorcery, their fornication, or their robberies.

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