Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.Revelation 9:1. Τοῦ φρέατος) Φρέαρ, as it were the orifice of the abyss.
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.Revelation 9:2. Καὶ ἐσκοτίσθη ὁ ἥλιος καὶ ὁ ἀὴφ, and the sun was darkened and the air) It is an instance of ἓν διὰ δυοῖν, as ch. Revelation 1:14, His head and His hair: ch. Revelation 19:16, His vesture and His thigh. The air was obscured, in so far as it is illuminated by the sun; the sun, in so far as it transmits its light through the air to men. Hence ἐσκοτίσθη is used, not ἐσκοτίσθησαν. Wherefore there is no need to inquire separately here, what the sun is, and its obscuring; what the air is, and its obscuring. The darkness, which arose to the Jews in Persia, is here pointed out. [Cent. vi.]
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.
And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.Revelation 9:5. Μῆνας πέντε) Some Lat. MSS. have six months. I was long ago, but easily added to V. The number five is repeated, Revelation 9:10. Five months in prophecy are 79 complete ordinary years, from A. 510 to 589. The men who were tormented were Israelites, who had not received the Divine seal: the locusts were Persians, who dreadfully harassed them.
Revelation 9:5; Revelation 9:10. Βασανισθῶσι· ἀδικῆσαι) The one fact is expressed in a twofold manner, passively and actively. The locusts ἀδικοῦσι, hurt: men βασανίζονται, are tormented. So, to slay and to be slain, Revelation 9:15; Revelation 9:18; to have those who nourish, and to be nourished, ch. Revelation 12:6; Revelation 12:14.
And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.Revelation 9:8. Ὡς τρίχας γυναικῶν, as the hair of women) that is, hair growing long. Thus the Arabians in Pliny: and thus the Persians were in former times. Æschylus, according to Athenæus, l. xiv. f. 627, βαθυχαιτήεις μῆδος. The Persians were called by the Delphic oracle κομῆται.—Herodotus l. vi. f. 176. See altogether Thorn. Hyde Hist. Relig. of the ancient Persians, p. 369. The kingdom of the Persians, Daniel 7:5, is represented as a shaggy bear.
And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.Revelation 9:9. Τρεχόντων) That the construction may be plain, the ἅρματα ἵππων πολλῶν τρέχοντα εἰς πόλεμον have φωνὴν, a sound. Andreas here calls them ἅρματα πολεμικὰ. The running horses draw the chariot: but the chariots themselves in their course strictly and closely cause the noise (“sound”). See Joel 2:5.
And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
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 9:11.  Ἀβαδδὼν—Ἀπολλύων) The Septuagint renders Abaddon by ἀπώλεια: here it is put in the concrete, Ἀπολλύων.—ἐν δὲ τῇ Ἑλληνικῇ) The feminine, put for the neuter, by a Hebraism, as immediately afterwards ἡ οὐαὶ: or by ellipsis of the noun γλῶττα, of the omission of which by the Greeks, L. Bos notes down instances. By the Hebrew and Greek nomenclature of this angel, Patrick Forbes and James Durham acknowledge that the Jews and Greeks, harassed by the locusts, are pointed out.
 τὸν ἄγγελον τῆς ἀβύσσου, the angel of the bottomless pit) This is not Satan himself.—V. g.
One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.Revelation 9:12. Ἡ οὐαὶ ἡ μία) The feminine, as was just before noticed. We shall express the woe sometimes in the neuter gender, with the Latin translators, sometimes in the feminine; just as it shall tend to the perspicuity of my discourse. One woe, that is, the first.
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,Revelation 9:13. Καὶ, and) The second woe relates to the Saracens.—ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων κεράτων) The ancients omit τεσσάρων: the altar of incense had horns; in the writings of Moses it is not read of as having four horns.
 A Vulg. (Amiat. MS.) Memph. Syr. omit τεσσάρων. Bh Cypr. support it.—E.
Revelation 9:13-14. Φωνὴν μίαν—λέγοντα) I regard this reading of the Alexandrian Manuscript as genuine. See App. Crit. Ed. ii. In the Cod. of Berlin, the masculine gender is transferred from the participle to the adjective, a stop being inserted between, vocem, unum, etc.—ἘΝΏΠΙΟΝ—, before—) where the heavenly liturgy is performed.
 A reads μίαν—λέγοντα. But h Vulg. Cypr. 322, “vocem, unum—dicentem.” Rec. Text, λέγουσαν, with inferior authorities.—E.
Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.Revelation 9:14. Ὁ ἔχων) See App. In what manner τῷ ἀγγέλῳ ὁ ἔχων is said, will be plain from the note on ch. Revelation 20:2.—ΜΕΓΆΛῼ) I have said that this frequent epithet of the Euphrates is more necessary at ch. Revelation 16:12 than at ch. Revelation 9:14. Wolf thinks that it is equally adapted to the two passages: but the greatness, or the width and depth of the river, certainly increases the miraculousness of its being dried up: Psalm 74:15. But here the same greatness of the river does not so greatly apply to the angels who are bound in the river: nay, it is even more inappropriate, if the angels were bound in that quarter, where that river is less; a matter which no one can either affirm or deny. However it is, the commentary of Apringius is added to the authorities which are without this adjective. The great river Euphrates is also read, Deuteronomy 1:7; Joshua 1:4; but it is the river Euphrates, Deuteronomy 11:24, in the Hebrew: for in that place also in the Greek τοῦ μεγάλου is added. Nor is the article repeated without reason, τῷ ποταμῷ τῷ Εὐφράτῃ; for thus we read, Genesis 19:9, τὸν ἀνδρὰ τὸν Λώτ. In Ezek. it is often read, ἐπὶ τοῦ ποταμοῦ τοῦ Χοβάρ. It is Apposition.
 ὁ ἔχων, AB. ὃς εἶχε, Rec. Text. Vulg. Cypr. h, “qui habebat” (h, “portabat.”—E.
 A Vulg. h, Cypr. 322, support μεγάλῳ, with Rec. Text.—E.
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.Revelation 9:15. Τὴν) The article removes the distributive force, as E. Schmid teaches in his Notes on the New Testament, f. 806; wherefore it is not any hour, day, month, year, whatever that is meant, but a definite period of times; that is, a period of about 207 years, if it seem correct, from A. 629 to A. 836, or from A. 634 to A. 840, that is, from the last time of Abubeker to the death of Motassem. See especially the Saracenic Chronicle of Drechsler enlarged by Reiske, pp. 14–37, and Hottinger Eccl. Hist. Sec. vii. viii. and ix., and Comp. Theatr. Orient. Part i. ch. 3.
 Abubeker, the friend and successor of Mahomet.—T.
 Motassem, the last of the Caliphs.—T.
And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.Revelation 9:16. Δισμυριάδες μυριάδων) A chiliad is 1000; but a myriad, 10,000. Myriads (the plural number being taken in its strictest sense, for a twofold number, as ch. Revelation 12:14), 20,000. Therefore one chiliad of chiliads is 1,000,000; a chiliad of myriads is 10,000,000; a myriad of myriads, 100,000,000; myriads of myriads, 200,000,000. But what are δισμυριάδες μυριάδων, δὶς being added in the best copies to the plural number of myriads? ΔΙΣΜΎΡΙΟΙ often occurs in the 2d Book of Maccabees. Thence ΔΙΣΜΥΡΙᾺς (like ΔΙΣΧΙΛΙᾺς, the former part of the compound being unchangeable, as is the case with numerals), that is, a myriad doubled [400 millionen, auf das wenigste.—Not. Crit.]: such as also are those expressions, Genesis 32:2, two camps; Ecclesiastes 6:6, a thousand years twice (told); Psalm 68:17, two myriads, thousands upon thousands: Geier especially being the interpreter. Whoever translated it in Primasius, as 80,000, was neither a Grecian nor an arithmetician: and yet he also appears to have read δισμυριάδες μυριάδων, as others did in Primasius; and, unless I am deceived, he at first thought that myriads of myriads, which appeared to denote something squared, were four myriads, or 40,000: then having doubled this very sum, on account of the particle δὶς, he took it as 80,000, when there were in reality 400,000,000 horsemen. The Apocalypse expresses in a twofold manner several periods of times, especially under the first and third woe: but it marks the duration of the second woe once only, by an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year; and in turn under that woe, instead of a second indication of time, it indicates the number of equestrian armies, that is, of the horsemen. The second woe is a period of about 207 years of men: therefore for every year (if there arose other or fresh horsemen every year) the immense body of 2,000,000, or at least, if that δὶς is not satisfactory to any one, 1,000,000 horsemen, are collected. When John adds, that their number was heard by him, he hints, that the certain number specified, if it is put for an uncertain one, yet has not a wide uncertainty; and that the greatness of the number, however incredible it may appear, is still to be credited. At the last even a greater multitude springs forth: ch. Revelation 20:8.
 A and Cypr. have δισμυριάδες.: Vulg. “vicies millies dena millia:” Rec. Text, δύο μυρ.: B, μυριαδες.—E.
And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.Revelation 9:17. Πυρίνους καὶ ὑακινθίνους καὶ θειώδεις, of fire, and of jacinth, and of brimstone) Lucretius joins together the same colours in another matter: lib. iv.—
Lutea russaque vela
(yellow, red, and black hangings). Ferruginea are the same as hyacinthina. Virgil says, ferrugineos hyacinthos; that is, according to Servius, of a dark colour. Wherefore in this passage, the breast-plates of jacinth and the smoke answer to one another; as the breast-plates of fire and the fire, and the breastplates of brimstone and the brimstone. Literal and figurative things are blended together in this and the following verses.
By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.Revelation 9:19. Αἱ γὰρ οὐραὶ αὐτῶν ὅμοιαι ὄφεσιν, ἔχουσαι κεφαλὰς, καὶ ἐι αὐταῖς ἀδικοῦσι, for their tails (are) like serpents, and have heads, and with them they do hurt) Such is the serpent, the amphisbœna, ἀμφικάρηνος, of which Pliny speaks, lib. viii. c. 23: The amphisbœna has a double head, that is, one from the tail also, as though it were not enough that poison should be poured from one mouth. Lucan: And the dreadful amphisbœna rising upon its double head. Solinus, ch. 30: The amphisbœna rises upon its two heads, of which the one is in its proper place, the other is in that part where the tail is; by which it is occasioned, that by the leaning of the head on both sides it creeps along in circular trails. Add Nicander, and Hesychius, who says that it is εἶδος ὄφεως—τὴν οὐρὰν κολοβὴν ἔχον, καὶ ταύτῃ πολλάκις τὴν πορείαν ποιούμενον, ὥστε τινὰς ἀμφισβητεῖν, μὴ δύο κεφαλὰς ἔχει. Of whatever kind the head in the tail of the amphisbœna is, it illustrates this picture in the Apocalypse.
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:Revelation 9:20-21. Οὔτε—καὶ οὐ) A Predicate of two members—in Latin, neque, neque (neither, nor). There are similar particles, John 4:11; 3 John Revelation 9:10; Mark 5:3-4. [Their repentance had been the aim of the plagues.—V. g.]—τὰ εἴδωλα, idols) The worship of images was solemnly established in the East, A. 842.—τῆς πορνείας) The plural, πορνεῖαι, is used, 1 Corinthians 7:2; and yet in this place the singular number is placed between plurals. Other acts of wickedness are performed by men at intervals: there is one perpetual πορνεία in the case of those who are without purity of heart.
Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.