Notes on Revelation

Chapter 9

by Jeff Smelser

This document contains Greek words or phrases. Netscape 3.0 and Explorer 3.0 will properly display the Greek if you install SGreek, a font available from Silver Mountain Software.

9:1 THE FIFTH ANGEL SOUNDED This corresponds to the first woe.

A STAR FROM HEAVEN FALLEN UNTO THE EARTH The verb is a perfect participle. This meaning is brought out clearly in the NAS: "which had fallen." The star did not fall as John was observing. It did not fall as the fifth angel sounded. Rather it had fallen sometime previously. There seems to be no good reason to deny the identity of the star with Satan. Jesus described him "fallen as lightning from heaven" (Lk. 10:18). Revelation 12:7-9 makes it clear that this occurred in connection with Satan's defeat when the Christ was raised from the dead and ascended to the Father.

THE KEY OF THE PIT OF THE ABYSS The terms "pit" and "abyss" are worthy of some discussion. fre/ar is used in the LXX to represent the Hebrew be'er (pit). Metaphorically, the word was equivalent to Sheol / Hades. An instance of this is seen in comparing Ps. 55:23 {54:24 in LXX) with Ps. 55:15 (54:16 in the LXX). Also note Ps. 69:15 (68:16 in LXX).

There are seven occurrences of a)/bussoj in Revelation (9:1,2,11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1,3) and two additional occurences elsewhere in the N.T. (Lk. 8:31; Rom. 10:7). In the LXX, the word was used of the deep, i.e., the sea (Gen. 1:2, Jb. 28:14). It is also used of the bowels of the earth (Gen. 7:11). So also in Ps. 70:20 (=71:20 in Heb. and English texts) where it represents the grave, or the realm of the dead, and is equivalent to Sheol / Hades.

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