9:1–12 The trumpet blast sets in motion a horrific army of locusts, energized by demonic sources (vv. 1, 2). The imagery derives from Ex. 10:13–15 and Joel 2:1–11, where a literal locust plague foreshadows even more devastating judgment coming from a divinely commissioned army (Joel 2:11). Their terrorizing powers compare only to those of the beast (13:1–10). These infernal monsters attack only the wicked, not the saints (v. 4).
The wicked sometimes suffer even in this life as a preview of their final punishment (20:11–15). According to idealist interpreters (Introduction: Interpretive Difficulties), the vision depicts the self-defeating and tormenting nature of wickedness in the human soul. Powers from the abyss attack not the saints but only the wicked. Historicists have generally seen the vision as a depiction of Islamic conquest of a degenerate Western Europe (a.d. 612–762), but such an application would be only one embodiment of the principle, and an imperfect one at that. Futurists understand the vision as a supernatural plague of demonic spirits, to be loosed on the earth shortly before the Second Coming. The fundamental principle is the same in all these interpretations, and multiple applications of the principle are possible.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the King James Study Bible. Try it free for 30 days!