New International Reader's Version

Revelation 9

1The fifth angel blew his trumpet. Then I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the tunnel leading down into a bottomless pit. The pit was called the Abyss. The star opened the Abyss. Then smoke rose up from it like the smoke from a huge furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. Out of the smoke came locusts. They came down on the earth. They were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree. They were supposed to harm only the people without God’s official seal on their foreheads. The locusts were not allowed to kill these people. But the locusts could hurt them over and over for five months. The pain the people suffered was like the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. In those days, people will look for a way to die but won’t find it. They will want to die, but death will escape them.

The locusts looked like horses ready for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold. Their faces looked like human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair. Their teeth were like lions’ teeth. Their chests were covered with something that looked like armor made out of iron. The sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails that could sting people like scorpions do. And in their tails they had power to hurt people over and over for five months. 11 Their king was the angel of the Abyss. In the Hebrew language his name is Abaddon. In Greek it is Apollyon. His name means Destroyer.

12 The first terrible judgment is past. Two others are still coming.

13 The sixth angel blew his trumpet. Then I heard a voice coming from the four corners of the golden altar. The altar stands in front of God. 14 The voice spoke to the sixth angel who had the trumpet. The voice said, “Set the four angels free who are held at the great river Euphrates.” 15 The four angels had been ready for this very hour and day and month and year. They were set free to kill a third of all people. 16 The number of troops on horseback was 200,000,000. I heard how many there were.

17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision had armor on their chests. It was red like fire, dark blue, and yellow like sulfur. The heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads. Out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of all people were killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of the horses’ mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails. The tails were like snakes whose heads could bite.

20 There were people who were not killed by these plagues. But they still didn’t turn away from what they had been doing. They did not stop worshiping demons. They kept worshiping statues of gods made out of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood. These statues can’t see or hear or walk. 21 The people also did not turn away from their murders, witchcraft, sexual sins and stealing.