The fifth trumpet
1The fifth angel made a sound with his trumpet. Then I saw a star that had fallen down from the sky to the earth. Someone gave a key to that star. The key could open the way that goes down into the deep hole. 2The star opened the way into the deep hole. Smoke came up out of the hole. It was like the smoke from a very big hot fire. The smoke caused the sun and the sky to become dark. #9:2 The deep hole is under the earth and it has no end. It is like a prison that keeps bad spirits inside it.
3Then Locusts came out of the smoke and they came down on the earth. They received power to cause much pain, like the power of scorpions. 4They knew that they must not do anything bad to the grass on the earth. They must not attack any plant or any tree. They could only attack people who did not have God's seal on the front of their heads. 5The locusts did not have authority to kill those people. But they could cause them very bad pain for 5 months. Their pain was like the great pain from a scorpion when it hurts someone. 6During that time of great pain, people will want to kill themselves. They will want to die, but they will not find any way to die.
7The locusts were like horses that were ready to fight in a war. They wore something on their heads that seemed to be gold crowns. Their faces looked like human faces. 8Their hair was like women's hair. Their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9They had shields over the front of their bodies, like shields made from iron. Their wings made a very loud noise. The sound was like many horses that are pulling carts to go and fight a war. 10They had poison in their tails, like scorpions. They had authority to attack people with their tails and to cause them pain for 5 months. 11The king that ruled them was the angel of the deep hole. His name is ‘Abaddon’ in the Hebrew language. In the Greek language his name is ‘Apollyon’. #9:11 These names both mean ‘someone who destroys things’.
12The first great trouble has now finished. But after all these things, there are two more great troubles still to come.
The sixth trumpet
13Then the sixth angel made a sound with his trumpet. I heard a voice that spoke to him from the 4 corners of the gold altar. This altar is near to God himself. 14The voice said to the sixth angel, ‘There are 4 angels at the great Euphrates river. Someone has tied them so that they cannot move. You must go and undo them!’ 15So he went and he made those 4 angels go free. God had kept them ready for that special time, for that hour, in that day, in that month, in that year. They were now ready to kill a third of people everywhere. 16I heard how many soldiers there were in their great army. There were 200 million soldiers who rode on horses.
17It was like a dream when I saw the soldiers and their horses. The soldiers had shields over the front of their bodies. The shields had many colours. They were bright red like fire, bright blue, and bright yellow like sulphur. The horses' heads looked like lions' heads. Fire, smoke and sulphur came out of their mouths. 18The fire, the smoke and the sulphur killed people. These three bad things killed a third of people everywhere. 19The horses had great power in their mouths and in their tails. Their tails were like snakes, with heads that could hurt people very much.
20But all the people that the fire, the smoke and the sulphur did not kill continued to do bad things. They did not change how they lived. They continued to worship things that they had made with their own hands. They did not stop worshipping demons and idols. These idols were made from gold, or of silver, or of bronze, or of stone, or of wood. They could not see anything and they could not hear anything. Nor could they walk anywhere. But people still worshipped them. 21They were not sorry that they murdered other people. They were not sorry that they used magic to hurt people. They continued to have sex with people who were not their husbands or wives. They continued to rob other people. They were not sorry about it at all. #9:21 This chapter tells us that a lot of pain will come to many people on the earth. Many people will die in pain because they are not sorry. They do not turn to God. God will punish people who do not respect him. Instead, they enjoy doing what is bad. They do not want to be God's servants.