Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Revelation
Book: Revelation
Chapter: 9

The fifth trumpet is followed By a representation of another
Star as falling from Heaven and opening the bottomless Pit, out
of which come swarms of locusts. (1-12) The sixth trumpet is
followed By the loosing of four angels bound in the great River
Euphrates. (13-21)

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 apostasy. 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.

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