The Drying Up Of The Euphrates River And Bible Prophecy

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It is written:

Revelation 16:12-14-Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13  And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14  For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Many reports of late have been noting that the Euphrates River is drying up.

“Starting from the start of May, devastating scenes of gigantic decrease in water level of Euphrates, the longest stream of Western Asia, turned into an image via virtual entertainment stages. The Euphrates runs from Turkey to Syria and afterward to Iraq until it joins the Tigris in Shatt Al Bedouin in Iraq. The Syrian system blamed Turkey for denying Syrians of their water portion of the Euphrates stream, saying power creation at the Euphrates Dam paused and water level in Lake Al-Assad, the Syrian state-possessed news organization SANA wrote about. Throughout the course of recent days, Turkey diminished the water stream to Syria from 500 to 200 cubic meters each second, suspending power creation at the Euphrates Dam and prompted a reduction in the water system promoting drinking water, other than a momentous exhaustion of Lake Assad, SANA said. Countless regular citizens living in the Euphrates Bowl in the city of Al Jazeera are defenseless against and philanthropic disaster. The Independent Organization of Northeastern Syria, which is constrained by Kurds, declared that the water level at Lake Assad declined by three meters, Syrian news online Enab Baladi provided details regarding May 3. According to the 1987 Convention on Monetary Participation among Syrian and Turkey, the yearly 16 billion cubic meters of Euphrates Waterway (500 m3/ s) ought to be delivered at the Syrian-Turkish line for a long time. In 1990, Syria and Iraq signed an agreement for which 42% and 58% were distributed to the two nations, separately. It was the waterway that is said to have watered the scriptural Nursery of Eden and assisted give with birthing to human progress itself. In any case, today the Tigris is kicking the bucket. Human movement and environmental change have gagged its once powerful course through Iraq, where–with its twin stream the Euphrates–it made Mesopotamia a support of civilization millennia prior. Iraq might be oil-rich however the nation is tormented by neediness following quite a while of war and by dry seasons and desertification. Battered by an endless series of catastrophic events, it is one of the five nations generally presented to environmental change, as indicated by the UN. From April on, temperatures surpass 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and extreme dust storms frequently turn the sky orange, covering the country in a film of residue. Loathsome summers see the mercury top a rankling 50 degrees Celsius–close to the furthest reaches of human perseverance with continuous power chops closing down cooling for millions. The Tigris, the life saver associating the celebrated urban areas of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra, has been gagged by dams, the majority of them upstream in Turkey, and falling precipitation. An AFP video columnist went along the waterway’s 1,500-kilometer (900-mile) course through Iraq, from the rough Kurdish north to the Bay in the south, to record the natural debacle that is constraining individuals to change their old lifestyle. Kurdish north: ‘Less water consistently’ The Tigris’ excursion through Iraq starts in the mountains of independent Kurdistan, close to the boundaries of Turkey and Syria, where neighbourhood individuals raise sheep and develop potatoes. “Our life relies upon the Tigris,” said rancher Pibo Hassan Dolmassa, 41, wearing a dusty coat, in the town of Faysh Khabur. “All our work, our farming, relies upon it. “Previously, the water was pouring in downpours,” he expressed, however over the last a few years “there is less water consistently”. Iraq’s administration and Kurdish ranchers blame Turkey, where the Tigris has its source, of keeping water in its dams, decisively decreasing the stream into Iraq. As per Iraqi authority measurements, the level of the Tigris entering Iraq has dropped to only 35% of its typical level over the course of the last hundred years. Baghdad consistently requests that Ankara discharge more water. However, Turkey’s minister to Iraq, Ali Riza Guney, asked Iraq to “utilise the accessible water all the more proficiently”, tweeting in July that “water is to a great extent squandered in Iraq”. He might have a point, say specialists. Iraqi ranchers will quite often flood their fields, as they have done since antiquated Sumerian times, as opposed to watering them, bringing about tremendous water misfortune. All that is left of the Stream Diyala, a feeder that meets the Tigris close to the capital Baghdad in the focal fields, are puddles of stale water spotting its dry bed. Dry season has evaporated the conduit that is urgent to the district’s agribusiness. This year specialists have been compelled to decrease Iraq’s developed regions considerably, meaning no harvests will be filled in the seriously hit Diyala Governorate. “We will be compelled to quit any pretence of cultivating and selling our creatures,” said Abu Mehdi, 42, who wears a white djellaba robe. “We were uprooted by the conflict” against Iran during the 1980s, he said, “and presently we will be dislodged in view of water. Without water, we can’t live in that frame of mind by any stretch of the imagination.” The rancher strayed into the red to dig a 30-metre (100-foot) well to attempt to get water. “We sold everything,” Abu Mehdi said, however “it was a disappointment”. The World Bank cautioned last year that quite a bit of Iraq is probably going to confront a comparative destiny. “By 2050 a temperature increment of one degree Celsius and a precipitation lessening of 10% would cause a 20 percent decrease of accessible freshwater,” it said. “Under these conditions, almost 33% of the flooded land in Iraq will have no water.” Water shortage hitting cultivating and food security are now among the “fundamental drivers of rustic-to-metropolitan movement” in Iraq, the UN and a few non-government bunches said in June. Furthermore, the Global Association for Movement said last month that “environmental factors” had uprooted in excess of 3,300 families in Iraq’s focal and southern regions in the initial three months of this current year. “Environment movement is as of now a reality in Iraq, Baghdad: shoals and contamination This late spring in Baghdad, the level of the Tigris dropped so low that individuals played volleyball in the waterway, sprinkling scarcely midriff profound through its waters. Iraq’s Service of Water Assets faults sediment due to the stream’s diminished stream, with sand and soil once washed downstream now settling to frame shoals. As of not long ago the Baghdad specialists utilised large equipment to dig the sediment, yet with cash tight, work has eased back. Long periods of war have annihilated quite a bit of Iraq’s water framework, with numerous urban communities, production lines, homesteads and even emergency clinics left to dump their waste straight into the stream. As sewage and trash from More prominent Baghdad fill the contracting Tigris, the contamination makes a concentrated poisonous soup that undermines marine life and human wellbeing. Ecological strategies have not been a high need for Iraqi legislatures battling with political, security and financial emergencies. Natural mindfulness likewise stays low among the overall population, said lobbyist Hajer Hadi of the Green Environment bunch, regardless of whether “each Iraqi feels environmental change through climbing temperatures, lower precipitation, falling water levels and residue storms, South: salt water, dead palms “You see these palm trees? They are parched,” said Molla al-Rached, a 65-year-old rancher, highlighting the earthy colored skeletons of what was once verdant palm woods. “They need water! Would it be advisable for me to attempt to flood them with a glass of water?” he asked harshly. “Or on the other hand with a container?” “There is no new water, there is no more life,” said the rancher, a beige keffiyeh scarf folded over his head. He inhabits Ras al-Bisha where the juncture of the Tigris and Euphrates stream, the Shatt al-Bedouin, exhausts into the Bay, close to the boundaries with Iran and Kuwait. In adjacent Basra–when named the Venice of the Center East–a considerable lot of the exhausted streams are stifled with refuse. Toward the north, a large part of the once popular Mesopotamian Bogs–the immense wetland home to the “Bog Bedouins” and their special culture–have been diminished to abandon since Saddam Hussein depleted them during the 1980s to rebuff its populace. Be that as it may, another danger is affecting the Shatt al-Middle Easterner: salt water from the Bay is pushing at any point further upstream as the stream declines.” (Jay Piper, FACTS ABOUT RIVER EUPHRATES DRYING UP: The impending danger for the world, 3-8 (Kindle Edition))

In the Book of Revelation, we are told some facts about the Euphrates River drying up and its’ connection to Bible prophecy.

What can we learn from these Scriptures?

Let’s study.

The Bible here mentions the “great river Euphrates.” This river is mentioned at least 21 times in the Bible, from the beginning in the Garden of Eden to the end of the Bible.

“u-fra’-tez (perath; Euphrates, “the good and abounding river”): The longest (1,780 miles) and most important stream of Western Asia, generally spoken of in the Old Testament as “the river” (Ex 23:31; De 11:24). Its description naturally falls into 3 divisions—the upper, middle and lower. The upper division traverses the mountainous plateau of Armenia, and is formed by the junction of 2 branches, the Frat and the Murad. The Frat rises 25 miles Northeast of Erzerum, and only 60 miles from the Black Sea. The Murad, which, though the shorter, is the larger of the two, rises in the vicinity of Mt. Ararat. After running respectively 400 and 270 miles in a westerly direction, they unite near Keban Maaden, whence in a tortuous channel of about 300 miles, bearing still in a southwesterly direction, the current descends in a succession of rapids and cataracts to the Syrian plain, some distance above the ancient city of Carchemish, where it is only about 200 miles from the Northeast corner of the Mediterranean. In its course through the Armenian plateau, the stream has gathered the sediment which gives fertility to the soil in the lower part of the valley. It is the melting snows from this region which produce the annual floods from April to June. The middle division, extending for about 700 miles to the bitumen wells of Hit, runs Southeast “through a valley of a few miles in width, which it has eroded in the rocky surface, and which, being more or less covered with alluvial soil, is pretty generally cultivated by artificial irrigation. …. Beyond the rocky banks on both sides is the open desert, covered in spring with a luxuriant verdure, and dotted here and there with the black tent of the Bedouin” (Sir Henry Rawlinson). Throughout this portion the river formed the ancient boundary between the Assyrians and Hittites whose capital was at Carchemish, where there are the remains of an old bridge. The ruins of another ancient bridge occur 200 miles lower down at the ancient Thapsacus, where the Greeks forded it under Cyrus the younger. Throughout the middle section the stream is too rapid to permit of successful navigation except by small boats going downstream, and has few and insignificant tributaries. It here has, however, its greatest width (400 yds.) and depth. Lower down the water is drawn off by irrigating canals and into lagoons. The fertile plain of Babylonia begins at Hit, about 100 miles above Babylon; 50 miles below Hit the Tigris and Euphrates approach to within 25 miles of each other, and together have in a late geological period deposited the plain of Shinar or of Chaldea, more definitely referred to as Babylonia. This plain is about 250 miles long, and in its broadest place 100 miles wide. From Hit an artificial canal conducts water along the western edge of the alluvial plain to the Persian Gulf, a distance of about 500 miles. But the main irrigating canals put off from the East side of the Euphrates, and can be traced all over the plain past the ruins of Accad, Babylon, Nippur, Bismya, Telloh, Erech, Ur and numerous other ancient cities. Originally the Euphrates and Tigris entered into the Persian Gulf by separate channels. At that time the Gulf extended up as far as Ur, the home of Abraham, and it was a seaport. The sediment from these rivers has filled up the head of the Persian Gulf for nearly 100 miles since the earliest monumental records. Loftus estimates that since the Christian era the encroachment has proceeded at the rate of 1 mile in 70 years. In early times Babylonia was rendered fertile by immense irrigating schemes which diverted the water from the Euphrates, which at Babylon is running at a higher level than the Tigris. A large canal left the Euphrates just above Babylon and ran due East to the Tigris, irrigating all the intervening region and sending a branch down as far South as Nippur. Lower down a canal crosses the plain in an opposite direction. This ancient system of irrigation can be traced along the lines of the principal canals “by the winding curves of layers of alluvium in the bed,” while the lateral channels “are hedged in by high banks of mud, heaped up during centuries of dredging. Not a hundredth part of the old irrigation system is now in working order. A few of the mouths of the smaller canals are kept open so as to receive a limited supply of water at the rise of the river in May, which then distributes itself over the lower lying lands in the interior, almost without labor on the part of the cultivators, giving birth in such localities to the most abundant crops; but by far the larger portion of the region between the rivers is at present an arid, howling wilderness, strewed in the most part with broken pottery, the evidence of former human habitation, and bearing nothing but the camel thorn, the wild caper, the colocynth-apple, wormwood and the other weeds of the desert” (Rawlinson). According to Sir W. Willcocks, the eminent English engineer, the whole region is capable of being restored to its original productiveness by simply reproducing the ancient system of irrigation. There are, however, in the lower part of the region, vast marshes overgrown with reeds, which have continued since the time of Alexander who came near losing his army in passing through them. These areas are probably too much depressed to be capable of drainage. Below the junction of the Euphrates and the Tigris, the stream is called Shat el Arab, and is deep enough to float war vessels.” (James Orr, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE), 58164-58168 (Kindle Edition): OSNOVA)

The Euphrates River was very important in the Old Testament, as it was a boundary maker for the people of Israel (cf. Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:1; 11:24; Joshua 1:4; 1 Chronicles 18:3; 9:26; Isaiah 27:12). This was an important consideration when looking at the distinctions (geographically and spiritually) between the Hebrews and other nations.

In regards to Old Testament prophecy, the Euphrates is especially prominent in the Book of Jeremiah.

For example, in chapter 56, God promises to destroy the Babylonians for their atrocities which they have committed against the Jewish people. Speaking specifically of a sign that would be given to the Hebrews, Jeremiah is instructed to take a copy of his Book and throw it into the Euphrates:

Jeremiah 51:63-64-Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates. 64  Then you shall say, ‘Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.’ ” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

What is especially interesting is that earlier, God had promised to dry up the sea:

Jeremiah 51:36-Therefore thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.

Earlier, God had also promised to dry up her sea (i.e., the Euphrates):

Jeremiah 50:38-A drought is against her waters, and they will be dried up. For it is the land of carved images, And they are insane with their idols.

Throughout the Old Testament, the drying up of seas was a symbol for both the salvation of God’s people and judgment upon His enemies. For example, when the Lord parted the waters of the Red Sea, the Jewish people walked through on dry ground to a place of safety: yet the Egyptians walked through and were destroyed.

Psalm 106:9-11-He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; So He led them through the depths, As through the wilderness. 10  He saved them from the hand of him who hated them, And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. 11  The waters covered their enemies; There was not one of them left.

Indeed, the Canaanites recognized the Red Sea incident as a powerful miraculous sign showing God’s favor on Israel and His judgments against her enemies. Rahab tells us:

Joshua 2:8-11-Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9  and said to the men: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11  And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

In the same way, when the Hebrews crossed the Jordan River in their invasion of Canaan, it was a promise that they would be victorious in their new home: and yet it was also a clear sign that they would defeat their enemies in Canaan.

Joshua 3:13-17-And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” 14  So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15  and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), 16  that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17  Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

So, the drying up of rivers in the Old Testament was a sign of both Divine salvation (for the people of God), and of Divine retribution (against the enemies of God).

The Prophet Jeremiah discussed how one day, Babylon’s Euphrates would be dried up (a sign of Divine wrath and judgment for her wickedness). Amazingly, it was the drying up of the Euphrates that led to the downfall of Babylon (just as prophesied)!

“When Cyrus surveyed Babylon’s fortifications, he said: “I am unable to see how any enemy can take walls of such strength and height by assault” (Xenophon, VIII.V. 7). Accordingly, he devised a brilliant strategy for capturing the city. The Euphrates river ran under the walls through the center of Babylon. From the river, canals—quite broad and sometimes navigable—were cut in every direction. The Jews in captivity could thus lament: “By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept, When we remembered Zion” (Psalm 137: 1). Just to the west of the city was a huge lake-basin, some thirty-five feet deep and covering forty miles square, but which, at the time of the invasion, was but a marsh. Cyrus stationed soldiers at the point where the river entered the city, and also where it exited. At a given time, he diverted the Euphrates from its bed into the marshy lake area. His forces then entered Babylon under the city walls (Herodotus, I. 191). Consider what the prophets declared regarding Babylon’s fall. Isaiah, writing more than a century and a half earlier, referred to Jehovah’s decree. The Lord “saith to the deep: Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers, that saith of Cyrus, he is my shepherd and shall perform my pleasure” (Isaiah 47: 27). Some contend that the language of this passage is an allusion to the Exodus, which occurred in Israel’s early history. That cannot be the case, however. The utterance is framed in the future tense, and the context specifically relates this matter to Cyrus. The prophecy “is usually taken as referring to the device Cyrus used in order to capture Babylon” (Fitch, 1954, p. 593). Later, in his famous oracle against Babylon, Jeremiah exclaimed: “A drought is upon her waters, and they shall be dried up: for it is a land of graven images, and they are mad over idols” (50: 38). Again, “I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry” (51: 36). Though these passages have been interpreted in various ways, the language is quite consistent with the diversion of the river, which allowed the Persians to take the city virtually unopposed (see Wiseman, 1979, p. 849).” (Kyle Butt, Behold! The Word of God, 1688-1704 (Kindle Edition); Montgomery, Alabama: Apologetics Press, Inc.)

When we turn to the Book of Revelation, we see that the nation of Rome had begun to be referred to symbolically as “Babylon” long before the time of Christ.

“HERE the doom of Rome is prophesied. Throughout Revelation, Rome is described as Babylon, a description which was common between the Testaments. The writer of 2 Baruch begins his pronouncement against Rome: ‘I, Baruch, say this against you, Babylon’ (2 Baruch 11:1). When the Sibylline Oracles describe the imagined flight of Nero from Rome, they say: ‘Then shall from Babylon a king shameless and fearless, whom all mortals and the noble men loathe’ (Sibylline Oracles 5:143). In the ancient days, to the prophets, Babylon had been the very incarnation of power and lust and luxury and sin; and, to the early Jewish Christians, Babylon seemed to have been reborn in the lust and luxury and immorality of Rome….Babylon is said to have made all the nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication. In this phrase, two Old Testament ideas have been fused into one. In Jeremiah 51:7, it is said of Babylon: ‘Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine, and so the nations went mad.’ The idea is that Babylon had been a corrupting force which had lured the nations into a kind of insane immorality. The background is the picture of a prostitute persuading a man into immorality by filling him full of wine, so that he could no longer resist her seductive charms. Rome has been like that, like some glittering prostitute seducing the world.” (William Barclay, The New Daily Study Bible: The Revelation Of John, Volume Two, 125-126 (Kindle Edition); Louisville, KY; Westminster John Knox Press)

The events of Revelation 16 deal contextually with “Babylon” (i.e., Rome-see Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17: 18:2, 10, 21). When we consider the fact that the Book of Revelation is patterned in such a way that each vision John has begins with the First Coming, goes through the Christian Age, and ends with the Second Coming, this becomes very relevant to our study: for in each of the seven visions, the human enemies of the church are in some way related to Babylon.

John-drawing from the well-known history of the fall of ancient Babylon-describes for us in symbolic language that one day, the Babylon of the Christian Age (i.e., spiritual Rome) would be destroyed. Just as the Old Testament references to rivers and seas drying up were both literal and symbolic, it is possible that the drying up of the Euphrates river may be taken in both senses as well.

We are also told in an earlier vision in Revelation about a similar occurrence:

Revelation 9:13-17-Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14  saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15  So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16  Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17  And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.

As this is similar to the pattern in Revelation 16, we can learn many lessons from this passage as well.

The text tells us about angels that are bound at the Euphrates. As they are released, 1/3 of mankind is to be killed. This sounds very similar to the events of the book of 1 Enoch, where several fallen angels have been trapped or “bound.” These angels are now released, and with them a demonically empowered army is unleashed.

“Third, the Septuagint text of Amos 7: 1 mentions Gog as the king of the locust invasion described in that chapter. Locust imagery for invading armies is familiar in the Old Testament, but Rev 9 connects that language with demonic entities from the abyss. This is significant not only since the abyss (a Greek term, abyssos) is connected to the Underworld/ Sheol, but also because the original offending sons of God of Gen 6 (cf. 2 Pet 2: 4; Jude 6; 1 Enoch 6–11) were imprisoned in such a place. Rev 9 may therefore describe their release at the end of days to participate in a climactic confrontation with God and Jesus. This matrix of ideas may be designed to tell us that the Gog invasion does not describe an earthly enemy but a supernatural, demonic enemy. But as we have seen, both reality planes are frequently connected in the biblical epic.” (Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, 13201-1323 (Kindle Edition): Bellingham, WA; Lexham Press)

Just because the text connects this army with demonic beings, however, does not eliminate the possibility of there being a human army as well:

“These verses take us into who is released by the angel of 9:1. Given the connections to 1 Enoch, where the Abyss is the prison of the Watchers, they are the leading candidates for interpretation. The most suitable sequel to the time of imprisonment described in 1 Enoch 10 can be found in Rev[elation] 9 where the key to the abyss is given to a fallen star (or to the fifth, trumpet-blowing, angel?) who uses it to open the shaft to the abyss and facilitate the release of imprisoned demonic forces who emerge to terrorize earth dwellers.9 There is clearly a textual relationship between Revelation 9 and Enochian and other 2nd temple Jewish material that has the original offending Watchers imprisoned in the pit to await final judgment (1 Enoch] 10:4–14; 18:11–16; 19:1; 21:7; 54:1–6; 88:1–3; 90:23–26; Jubilees 5:6–14; 2 Pet[er] 2:4; cf. 4 Ezra 7:36; Prayer of Manasseh 3). The Underworld is also home to their disembodied offspring, the demons (disembodied giants who were killed).10 As I wrote in Reversing Hermon: “The bizarre description of the beings released from the Abyss as “locusts” (Revelation 9:3) that were “like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth” (Revelation 9:7–8) does not undermine their identification as the fallen Watchers. Hybridized theriomorphic (“animal-shaped”) descriptions applied to demonic spirits are common in ancient Jewish and classical literature.11 In regard to this imagery, Beale and McDonough note a range of Old Testament connections: The portrayal in 9:7–9 is based on Joel 1–2, which describes a plague of locusts devastating Israel’s land (cf. Jer. 51:27). The locust judgment in Joel 2 is introduced and concluded with the phrase “sound the trumpet” (2:1, 15). This judgment in Joel is modeled on the plague of locusts in Exod. 10… Jewish tradition held that in Sheol and Abaddon there were “angels of destruction,” who were in authority over thousands of scorpions. The sting of the scorpions was lethal (Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, 1967: 1:11–16). However, some of the stings do not kill, but only torment the inhabitants of hell (Ginzberg 1967: 2:312).”12 Beale has a more extensive treatment of the imagery in his commentary on Revelation. What follows is only a portion of the data Beale marshals: In exercising this power the locusts execute judgment, as has already been intimated by their association with “smoke” (see on 9:2). Could Isa. 14:29, 31 also stand in the background, “since it strikingly portrays an enemy who will oppress and “demoralize” (see below on 9:5–6) unbelieving Philistia as “a flying serpent” associated with “smoke”? The harmful nature of the judgment in Rev. 9:3 is also expressed by the description of the beings here as “locusts” going out “into the earth.” They are destructive as a swarm of locusts devouring all vegetation in their path. The wording of this expression is based on Exod. 10:12 (“let the locust come up on the land/earth”), which introduces the locust plague against Egypt. Therefore, the fifth trumpet is partly modeled literarily and thematically on the exodus plagues, as were the preceding trumpets… The locusts in Exod. 10:15 destroyed “the land and devoured the vegetation and all the fruit of the trees… [and] there was no green thing left on the trees” (so also Ps. 105:33–35). But the locusts here are commissioned “not to harm the grass of the earth or any green thing or any tree.” They are to harm only unbelievers, “those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” but have the “mark of the beast” “on the forehead” (13:16–17)… Deuteronomy 28 also predicts that “in the latter days” (so 32:20; 4:30) Israel will suffer the plagues of Egypt (vv. 27, 60), including the plague of locusts (vv. 38–39, 42), because of idolatry (e.g., v. 14; 29:22–27; 30:17; 31:16–20)… Detailed description is now given of the locusts. The use of “likeness” (homoiōma) and the repeated “like” (homoios) in vv. 7–10 expresses the inability of John to describe precisely what he has seen. The vision sparks in his mind similar scenes from the OT, as the following verses reveal, and his approximate portrayal of what he has seen is based on his understanding of how the vision relates to the OT prophetic tradition. The same process of depiction has occurred repeatedly and will again, since it is part of the warp and woof of John’s method throughout the Apocalypse. The portrayal in vv. 7–9 is based on Joel 1–2, which describes a plague of locusts devastating Israel’s land (whether “the description there is literal or figurative for an invading army67 is not crucial for the present purposes). Just as here a trumpet has signaled the coming of the locusts (Rev. 9:1), so also in Joel 2 the locust judgment is introduced and concluded with “sound the trumpet” (2:1, 15). This judgment in Joel is itself modeled on the plague of locusts in Exodus 10 (note the clear allusions in Joel 1:2 and 2:2 [Exod. 10:6, 14]; 1:3 [Exod. 10:2]; 2:9 [Exod. 10:6]; 2:27 [Exod. 10:2; 8:18, 22]). It is natural, therefore, that John uses Joel to supplement the description from Exodus already alluded to in vv. 3–5… The locusts are said to be “like horses prepared for battle.” It is hard to know if horses are only one metaphor for the locusts followed by others or whether all the pictures in vv. 7–10 are part of a larger horse metaphor (the description in vv. 17–19 would point to the latter). But this ambiguity does not affect the overall meaning. The locusts (or horses) have “faces like human faces.” Similarly, Joel 2:4–7 describes the locusts there as “like the appearance of horses, and like war horses so they run… like a mighty people arranged for battle… like mighty men… like soldiers… “Iron breastplates” is a general description of part of the armor of a soldier (or battle horse; cf. Job 39:19–20; Targ. Nah. 3:17 likens the scaled armor of Assyrian soldiers to the scaled thoraxes of locusts). This may allude partly to Job 39:19–25 (LXX and MT), which describes a war horse going forth only at the “trumpet sound,” clothed “in terror” and “in perfect armor,” and “who leaps like the locust.” “The sound of their [the locusts’] wings as the sound of chariots, of many horses running into battle” alludes to Joel 2:4–5: “their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses, so they run, like the sound of chariots they leap on the tops of the mountains… arranged for battle… Included likewise are echoes of Jer. 51:14, 27: “I will fill you with people like locusts, and they will cry out” (the targum has “troops of nations who are as many as the locust, and they will lift up their “voice”); “Bring up the horses like bristly locusts.” This allusion is confirmed in that: (1) Jer. 51:27 is introduced by “sound the trumpet among the nations” in the same way that a trumpet has signaled the coming of the locusts here in Revelation. (2) The second trumpet (8:8–9) has already alluded to the burned out mountain cast into the sea from Jer. 51:25, 63–64, so that what we have here is a continuation of the earlier allusion. (3) The LXX of Jer. 51:27 (28:27 LXX) is closer to Revelation than the Hebrew is: “bring up horses against her as a multitude of locusts.” The allusion reinforces the idea that the trumpet woes are directed to a significant degree against idolatrous persecutors outside the church, since Jer. 51:14, 27 is an announcement of coming vindication for Israel against idolatrous Babylon (51:10, 17–18), who has wrongfully come against Israel and its temple (e.g., 51:11)… Testament of Solomon 2:2–4 speaks of demons who have wings, fly, and resemble human-like lions.”13.” (Michael Heiser, John’s Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Revelation: Notes from the Naked Bible Podcast, 178-182 (Kindle Edition): Naked Bible Podcast)

The combined texts of Revelation 9 and 16 in regard to the Euphrates make it clear that the enemy which deceives and attacks humanity is both demonic and human.

With these things in mind, it would seem that it is at least possible (and perhaps likely) that we are seeing the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in our day and age.

Are you ready for that great Day of the Lord?

Acts 2:38-Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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