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Revelation; the First Woe

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posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 04:15 PM
I want to offer some thoughts on Revelation ch9 vv1-12

This passage is about the fifth of the "seven trumpets".
It also counts as the first "Woe"- because, at the end of the previous chapter, the dwelllers on the earth were told to expect woe from the next three trumpets.

So I'm going to be asking the question; what is the First Woe?

When the fifth trumpet is sounded, something is released. But the exact nature of that "something" is not easy to pin down.

They are locusts

The text calls them locusts.
I understand that some of the details of the description are features which might be found on any ordinary swarm.
Ordinary locusts, apparently, have hair and scales, and make a noise in flight, and their normal life-span is around five months. Just like the ones in this passage.
And an ordinary locust-swarm would be a source of terror., because locusts will eat up your crops and bring you close to starvation.

They are not ordinary locusts

But this description has got additional details, bizarre details, which would not be found in any ordinary locust swarm.
They appear "like horses, arrayed for battle".
They have human faces, with golden crowns.
They have the teeth of lions, and stings like scorpions.
The noise of their wings has become thundrous.
And it seems that everything else about them has been magnified; at least their features are surely much more visible and noticeable than they would have been in locusts of ordinary size.

So the image starts with a topical model (a locust swarm) which would have been a source of terror in its own right.
The emotion is then magnified. Further details are thrown into the image to ramp up the intensity of the terror by several degrees.

They come from "outside"

They make their appearance when the shaft of the pit has been opened.
We're not told, strictly speaking, that the locusts themselves come from the pit.
The smoke arises from the pit, and the locusts come from the smoke, but they might have been "generated" in some way after the smoke reached the surface.
But the pit is the ultimate source of the trouble, either way.
The underground pit, by its nature, is outside the inhabited world.
The fact that the pit is called "bottomless" (ABYSSOS) brings an echo of the Creation story.
The same word is used in the Septuagint in their translation of "the deep" which God pushes back to make room for human life.
In both cases, the implication is that "the Abyss" is that region which God has not organised for human habitation
The locusts are under the command of Abaddon or Apollyon- the destroyer or power of destruction.
And destruction, of course, is the polar opposite of order.

They come from God

We're told, in the first verse, that the star, when he opened the shaft, "was given" the key. This is a reverential way of saying that the key came from God. It avoids using the name outright.
This means that the locusts have been released on God's authority.
Similarly, when we read that the locusts "were given power", we can understand that the power came from God.
And when we're told that the locusts "were allowed" to torture men, we can understand that their permission to act and their limitations come from God.

We should also recognise that these locusts are partly modelled on the locust invasions described by Joel.
The first band of locusts in that book have "lions' teeth"- Joel ch1 v6
As for the second band, "Their appearance is like the appearance of horses", and and they leap on the tops of the mountais "as with the rumbling of chariots"- Joel ch2 vv4-5.
But the locusts in Joel are designated as the Lord's army;
"The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble...
The Lord utters his voice before his army, for his host is exceedingly great"- Joel ch2 vv10-11

The implication is that this army of locusts, whatever its immediate origin, is also ultimately acting as God's army and serving his purpose.

They bring torture

They're called locusts, and up to a point they look like locusts. But they don't act like locusts.
Their impact is on the human population, not the crops.
But they don't have the power to kill their victims. Only to torture them.

The effect of the torture is that "men will seek death".
This is the state of mind which we call "despair", and I don't think we need to look any further to identify the nature of the torture.
Despair is the torture.
The function of these locusts is that they are the specialised agents and carriers of Despair.

But this is no ordinary despair.
You would think that "wanting to die" was the deepest, the worst possible, level of despair.
But there's a much deeper level indicated in the words that "men will seek death and will not find it".
There's no need for us to puzzle our minds about the exact mechanism of "not being able to die", because that's not the point.
The real point is that this possibility implies an intensity of Despair beyond anything previously experienced, almost beyond anything that could previously be imagined.

Nevertheless, there's a precedent, contained in one of the complaints of Job;
"Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul,
Who long for death and it comes not, and dig for it more than for hid treasures;
Who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad when they find the grave?...
For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.
I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest; but trouble comes" - Job ch3 vv20-26

This is not a coincidence, because there's another reference to Job at the same stage in the "vials" sequence.
When the fifth vial is poured out, we're told that men "cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores".
And of course this is precisely what Job was advised to do when he was suffering the experience of his own sores.

The message seems to be that the population of the world at large is undergoing a collective "Job" experience. The thing they feared has come upon them. They are not at ease and have no rest, and so they long for death.
Job was plunged into despair by the fact that his world was falling apart.
I suggest that the human race, in this chapter, is plunged into despair for the same reason.

This must be seen in the context of what was happening when the first four trumpets were blown. I was discussing this in the attached thread;
Battered planet
My impression was that the first four trumpets were describing a massive catastrophe, with an impact on the planet at large, spoiling the land, the sea, and the atmosphere.
I thought the "vials" of ch16 were describing the culmination of the same process, in which case it looked like the kind of process which would ultimately render the planet almost uninhabitable.
If this was a correct interpretation, then a state of intense Despair becomes understandable.
Their world would be falling apart.
And, in consequence, their mental world would fall apart as well.
It would collapse under the impact of "the Destroyer".
Perhaps we can see the "locusts" as a symbolic description of that state of mind.

But there is one part of the population which would be immune.
We're told that those who have "the seal of God" are immune. They cannot be touched.
And this would make sense if, as I believe, the "seal of God" is that same sealing "with the promised Holy Spirit" which belongs to those who have put their trust in Christ (Ephesians ch1 v13).
The torture of Despair is essentially a spiritual attack, against which there is a spiritual defence.
Because the effect of the Holy Spirit would include the confirmation and strengthening of Faith.
And of course Faith is the polar opposite of Despair.
Those who had been "sealed by God" would still be putting their trust in the Creator-God, whatever else was happening.

They bring a call to repentance

The "scorpion sting" has been used (eg by Rehoboam) as a metaphor for chastisement.
And I'm also reminded of the "hornets" which were sent, according to Judges, against the enemies of Israel when they were moving into Palestine.
But these locusts have been modelled chiefly on the locusts of Joel.
And the function of those locusts in Joel was that they were a call to repentance;
"Yet even now (says the Lord) return to me with all your heart,
With fasting and with weeping and with mourning" Joel ch2 v13

However, the implied opportunity for repentance is not taken in this chapter;
"The rest of mankind...did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshipping demons and idols...nor dod they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their immorality or their thefts"- Revelation ch9 vv20-21

So if the function of the First Woe is to be a call to repentance, it appears to be a call which a few do not need, and most do not heed.

edit on 17-10-2010 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 04:39 PM
Nice threat, very interesting indeed!

I'm a half-half believer (I see it as possible) of the UFO/Alien=fallen angels theorie. The last 50 years or so, we can see an increasing amount of UFO/alien stories, and I count the Fatima happening as one of them (false sign in the sky). I think if Israel is under atack (just wait for it, pretty soon folks) from a country like Iraq, or a Muslim alliance, Israël will use it's nukes. All scale war is the result, and a perfect time for satan's great and last deception. "We created you, we modified your DNA, we'll help you on the road to enlightment". Bull#. Fallen angels appearing as aliens will drop millions of people's jaws. People will lay aside their religion and embrace the "alien gospel", and only a small group of christians will remain (or the rapture will happen before).

Now, to the point (a fitting repost of some of my conclusions):

Rev. 9/3: 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

If we go back into the original Greek scripture, it says: The root word of scoripon is: observer, watchman. Power is translated form "exousia", which means: power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, phiscal and mental power, power of authority or influence and right of privelage. It talks about an authority over the earth. It aren't really scorpions but beings more powerful ("the watchers"). God allows it, but I don't think everything described in the revelations is God's will, God allows it so it all fullfills the prophecies. A very, very hard thing to think about. God allowed the holocaust, the killing of millions of Jews (his chosen people) and disabled people, homosexuals etc. As a (in)direct result, Israël was founded once again. I know it didn't have to be this way, God can prevent everything, but still he didn't for reasons unknown. Now I can be wrong, and we can't decipher the Revelations completely, but we can have possible theories on the trumpets. It helps us prepare for when TSHTF Translation is a hard and important thing if we look at the verse above.
edit on 17-10-2010 by WeZet because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 04:49 PM
according to scripture
all of this happens after the rapture

then I have no reason to know
what's gonna happen as I'll
be gone

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 04:55 PM

Originally posted by WeZet

If we go back into the original Greek scripture, it says: The root word of scoripon is: observer, watchman.

I'm not sure this is right. I've just checked my largest lexicon.
The words are;
SKORPIOS- scorpion
SKOPOS- watcher
It doesn't look as though the first is derived from the second, because there's an "R" missing. My lexicon derives it from SKORPIZO, meaning "to cut", preumably a reference to the pain of the sting.
This slightly undermines at least some of your interpretation.
Have you read "Battered Planet", the earlier thread? This was considering "war" as at least one of the catastrophes leading to the state of mind described here.
Thank you for your contribution.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 04:55 PM
reply to post by boondock-saint
Big S&F for D ...
" according to scripture
all of this happens after the rapture
correct?" I dont look at it that way .Although I once did, I found a better way of understanding the verses atributed to the so called rapture . Take the time and do a google on dee dee waren and really look into these things ...peace

edit on 17-10-2010 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 04:55 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

I personally do not believe the scripture means a locust as in a bug. I think it refers to people assigned to this earth on behalf of god, that when the time is right they will expose the greed and corruption of the wicked. For 5 months they will assail the wicked in an unrelenting attack against everything they hold dear to them. The wicked will run in fear that they might be exposed, and wish the whole thing would just end.

If it is a bug, then we will know it when we see locusts with human faces flying around and their will be no doubt. Otherwise I will stick with my interpretations that the locusts are a group of people here to expose the wicked to the world. To sting the wicked and send them into panic so that they may repent and be fair and good to others.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 05:00 PM

Originally posted by boondock-saint
according to scripture
all of this happens after the rapture

Sorry, the rapture isn't in my understanding of scripture.
That means you're going to have to face it after all.
Except that dates for these things aren't in my understanding of scripture either, so it's possible that none of us will live long enough to see them.
See the "Battered planet" thread for fuller examination of the issue.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 05:05 PM
reply to post by ExPostFacto

Thank you for that contribution.
No, I don't see them as a literal bug either.
I think my interpretation is inclined to seeing them more as a metaphor for a state of mind.
(Though that probably doesn't come across clearly)

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 05:07 PM
reply to post by the2ofusr1

Hi there.
You made your comment to Boondock while I was still writing mine.
I'm glad to see that we agree.
Thank you for your contribution.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 05:32 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

So what this tells me is we have a God that says "worship me or die"
Is that correct?
In fact worse, its worship me or be tortured.

Sorry but thats not the mercifull God I was taught about in Sunday school.
And you wonder why many are turning away from religion.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 05:50 PM
reply to post by scitpeks

It might be a case of "if you don't listen to me, you will kill yourselves, and torture yourselves".
Anyway, whether we like it or not, this "warning" aspect of God is clearly present in the New Testament as well as the Old, so a full representation of what the Bible says has got to take account of it.

edit on 17-10-2010 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 07:48 PM
this thread is what the first woe is all about.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 07:57 PM
reply to post by iamnot

I'll have a look at that link.
But what have you got against the theory that this thread is what the first woe is about?
I thought I had good reasons for this line of interpretation.
(Obviously it follows on from "Battered Planet")

PS Are you identifying the first woe with the Antichrist? (going by that thread)
To me, the woes (with the rest of the trumpets) are what God does against the power of the Antichrist.

edit on 17-10-2010 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 08:07 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

This thread doesn't narrow it down and specify any group which may be the locusts. I'm not saying this thread is in error, it just isn't specific. It doesn't identify any particular group. Not that that is wrong either, I may be jumping the gun but I really don't think so.

In the link provided, you will learn about the Baha'is. The Islamic Faction that is going to take over America, oppress and enslave it while Christian churches slumber. Time to wake up everyone up.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 08:18 PM
reply to post by iamnot

No, I'm approaching things from a different angle. I'm thinking more in terms of the locusts as metaphor for a collective state of mind (ie intensified despair) rather than trying to suggest that there is an objectively visible group.
However, I appreciate the warning about the Bahai. I've glanced at that thread before.

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 09:22 PM
I think it's important to note the connection between the locusts and the beast out of the bottomless pit, which eventually kills the witnesses. It wasn't the 2nd woe or the 3rd woe which killed them, it was specifically the beast that came out of the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:11
And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

Revelation 11:7
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by iamnot

Yes, the ABYSSOS seems to be the term for the source of evil in general.
As I put it in the OP, "that region which God has not organised for human habitation".
"The sea" in Revelation is really the same place, because Genesis ch1 explains the sea as the lower portion of the "great deep" of waters.
Hence the Beast of ch13 coming out of the sea (which is just another name for "the bottomless pit"), and the promise at the end that there will be "no more sea"- ie that the production of evil will come to an end.

edit on 17-10-2010 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 10:23 PM
reply to post by DISRAELI

A wonderful and well thought out post! I just have a little bit to add. You're speaking about the waters the beast came out of in Rev 13, right? In Rev 17:15 "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sittith, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." So this is basically saying that the beast arises from a metaphorical sea but actually a sea of multitudes of people, if I'm reading it correctly. Perhaps it was the intention of the writers to compare the 'deep' to this sea of evil peoples? What are your thoughts?

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 11:50 PM
This is indeed very interesting!
Im sure that you know that parts of the bible are purely symbolic. So when it says there are human faces it could mean something like humans are the cause of the locusts?
Either way, go to
and look up the occult anatomy of man, whats in there will answer some of your questions.
At the end of revelations when it talks about the 7 seals that we need to open, it is refering to the seven ways to interpret the bible.
One obviously is symbolism, another is actual events, and i am unaware about the others.
I shall keep on reading this thread and let you know about any other ideas i have

posted on Oct, 17 2010 @ 11:54 PM
reply to post by littlecloud

Also, the statement that they may only torture their victim points to that they may be some form of lower vibrational being.

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