The fifth trumpet
1 The fifth angel made a sound with his trumpet. Then I saw a star that had fallen down from the sky to the earth. Someone gave a key to that star. The key could open the entrance to the deep hole. 2 When the star opened the entrance, smoke came up out of the hole. It was like the smoke from a very big hot fire. The smoke caused the sun and the sky to become dark.
9:1The ‘deep hole’ is under the earth and it has no end. It is a prison that keeps bad spirits inside it.
3 Then locusts came out of the smoke and they came down on the earth. They received power to cause great pain, like the power of scorpions. 4 They knew that they must not do anything bad to the grass on the earth. They must not attack any plant or any tree. They could only attack people who did not have God's seal on the front of their heads. 5 The locusts did not have authority to kill those people. But they could cause them very bad pain for five months. Their pain was like the great pain from a scorpion when it hurts someone. 6 During that time of great pain, people will want to kill themselves. They will want to die, but they will not find any way to die.
7 The locusts were like horses that were ready to fight in a war. They wore something on their heads that seemed to be gold crowns. Their faces looked like human faces. 8 Their hair was like women's hair. Their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9 They had shields over the front of their bodies, like shields made from iron. Their wings made a very loud noise. The sound was like many horses that are pulling chariots into a battle. 10 They had poison in their tails, like scorpions. They had power to attack people with their tails and to cause them pain for five months. 11 The king that ruled them was the angel of the deep hole. His name is ‘Abaddon’ in the Hebrew language. In the Greek language his name is ‘Apollyon’.
9:11These names both mean ‘someone who destroys things’. Abaddon means the devil.
12 The first great trouble has now finished. But after all these things, there are two more great troubles still to come.
The sixth trumpet
13 Then the sixth angel made a sound with his trumpet. I heard a voice that spoke to him from the four corners of the gold altar. This altar is near to God himself. 14 The voice said to the sixth angel, ‘There are four angels at the great Euphrates river. Someone has tied them so that they cannot move. You must go and undo them!’ 15 So the four angels now became free. God had kept them ready for that special time, for that hour, in that day, in that month, in that year. They were now ready to kill a third of people everywhere. 16 I heard how many soldiers there were in their great army. There were 200 million soldiers who rode on horses.
17 In my vision, I saw the soldiers and their horses. The soldiers had shields over the front of their bodies. The shields had many colours. They were bright red like fire, bright blue, and yellow like sulphur. The horses' heads looked like lions' heads. Fire, smoke and sulphur came out of their mouths. 18 The fire, the smoke and the sulphur killed people. These three dangerous things killed a third of people everywhere. 19 The horses had great power in their mouths and in their tails. Their tails were like snakes, with heads that could hurt people very much.
20 But all the people that the fire, the smoke and the sulphur did not kill continued to do bad things. They did not change how they lived. They worshipped things that they had made for themselves. They worshipped demons and idols that they made from gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood. Those idols cannot see anything or hear anything. They cannot walk anywhere. But the people continued to worship them. 21 They were not sorry that they murdered other people. They were not sorry that they used magic to hurt people. They continued to have sex with people in wrong ways. They continued to rob other people. They did not want to change the way that they lived.
9:21This chapter tells us that a lot of pain will come to many people on the earth. Many people will die in pain because they are not sorry for their sins. They do not turn to God. Instead, they enjoy doing what is bad. They do not want to obey God, so God will punish them.