1 The fifth angel blew his trumpet. I watched a star fall from heaven to earth. He* “He”—referring to the star. was given the key to the opening of the Abyss.† Sometimes translated “bottomless pit.” 2 He opened the entrance to the Abyss, and smoke came up out of the Abyss like the smoke of a huge furnace. The sun and the atmosphere became dark because of the smoke from the Abyss. 3 Locusts came out of the smoke onto the earth, and they were given power like that possessed by scorpions. 4 They were told not to harm the grass or any vegetation or any trees, only those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill, but they could torture these people for five months. The torture was like that of a scorpion when it stings someone.
6 During that time people will look for death, but won't find it; they will want to die, but death will run away from them! 7 The locusts looked like war-horses. They wore what seemed to be golden crowns on their heads, and their faces looked human. 8 They had long hair like women and had teeth like lions. 9 Their breastplates looked like they were made of iron, and the noise made by their wings sounded like many horses and chariots racing into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, complete with stingers. They had the power to hurt people for five months with their tails. 11 Ruling over them as their king was the angel of the Abyss who is called Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek.‡ Abaddon in Hebrew means “destruction” while Apollyon in Greek means “destroyer.” 12 The first Disaster is over, but there are still two more to come.
13 The sixth angel blew his trumpet. I heard a voice come from the horns of the golden altar that stands in front of God 14 speaking to the sixth angel that had the trumpet: “Release the four angels that are tied up beside the great River Euphrates.”
15 The four angels who had been kept ready for this particular hour, day, month and year were released to kill one third of humanity. 16 I was told the number of the army of soldiers on horseback: it was 200 million.
17 In my vision I saw the horses and their riders who wore breastplates as red as fire, and dark blue and yellow.§ Literally, “hyacinth and sulfur.” The heads of the horses looked like lions, and fire and smoke and sulfur streamed out of their mouths.
18 One third of humanity was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and smoke and sulfur streaming out of their mouths. 19 The horses' power was in their tails as well as their mouths, for their tails were like serpents' heads that they used to hurt people.
20 But the rest of humanity who were not killed by these plagues did not repent of what they were doing. They did not stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, and stone—which can't see or hear or walk! 21 They did not repent of their murders, their witchcraft, their sexual sins, or their thefts.
*9:1 “He”—referring to the star.
†9:1 Sometimes translated “bottomless pit.”
‡9:11 Abaddon in Hebrew means “destruction” while Apollyon in Greek means “destroyer.”
§9:17 Literally, “hyacinth and sulfur.”