Revelation 9: The 5th and 6th Trumpets


  • Overview of the Historicist view
  • Overview of the Preterist view
  • Overview of the Futurist view


One of Aesop’s fables speaks about the scorpion and the fox. The scorpion wants to get across the river but can’t swim, so the fox offers to swim him over if he doesn’t sting him. The scorpion stings the fox and they both drown. That story which illustrates well the irrational and self-destructive nature of our sins, and helps us prepare for the insanity portrayed in the chapter before us. We will see idolaters abused by the demons they worship which not give up their worship. We will witness God sending the worst of conditions to judge sinners, an immeasurable invading army, but they will not repent.

We are in the middle of the 7 trumpets. We have seen that the trumpets are God’s judgements poured out in response to the prayers of the saints. The judgements are not literal and chronological events but a clear indication using Jericho and the 10 plagues against Egypt as a backdrop, that God is acting in judgement, He does hear prayer, but scarily He is acting to harden the sinner. We have looked at the first 4 trumpets which show graphic acts of God against man’s environment, and those things used to create idols. However, there is an intensification which kicks in in 8:13, ‘Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!”’ We move now into the 5th and 6th trumpets which portray plagues against man specifically.

Along with the background of a Jericho type siege, and the 10 plagues against Egypt, the prophesy of Joel 2 which links locusts with judgement as well as Jeremiah 46 which talks about the downfall of Egypt are the borrowed OT capital that these next visions are made up of. Let us begin by considering some of the other ways people have sought to interpret this section.