Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Revelation 9:7

    Revelation 9:7 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the shapes of the locusts were like to horses prepared to battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for war; and upon their heads as it were crowns like unto gold, and their faces were as men's faces.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the forms of the locusts were like horses made ready for war; and on their heads they had crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

    Webster's Revision

    And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for war; and upon their heads as it were crowns like unto gold, and their faces were as men's faces.

    World English Bible

    The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for war. On their heads were something like golden crowns, and their faces were like people's faces.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for war; and upon their heads as it were crowns like unto gold, and their faces were as men's faces.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 9:7

    The locusts were like unto horses - This description of the locusts appears to be taken from Joel 2:4. The whole of this symbolical description of an overwhelming military force agrees very well with the troops of Mohammed. The Arabs are the most expert horsemen in the world: they live so much on horseback that the horse and his rider seem to make but one animal. The Romans also were eminent for their cavalry.

    Crowns like gold - Not only alluding to their costly tiaras or turbans, but to the extent of their conquests and the multitude of powers which they subdued.

    Their faces were as the faces of men - That is, though locusts symbolically, they are really men.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 9:7

    And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for battle - The resemblance between the locust and the horse, dissimilar as they are in most respects, has been often remarked. Dr. Robinson (Bib. Research. i. 59) says: "We found today upon the shrubs an insect, either a species of black locust, or much resembling them, which our Bedouin called Farras el Jundy, 'soldiers' horses.' They said these insects were common on Mount Sinai, of a green color, and were found on dead trees, but did them no injury." The editor of the Pictorial Bible makes the following remarks: - "The first time we saw locusts browsing with their wings closed, the idea of comparing them to horses arose spontaneously to our minds - as we had not previously met with such a comparison, and did not at that time advert to the present text Joel 2:4. The resemblance in the head first struck our attention; and this notion having once arisen, other analogies were found or imagined in its general appearance and action in feeding. We have since found the observation very common. The Italians, indeed, from this resemblance, called the locust cavaletta, or little horse. Sir W. Ouseley reports: 'Zakaria Cazvine divides the locusts into two classes, like horsemen and footmen - mounted and pedestrian.' Niebuhr says that he heard from a Bedouin, near Bussorah, a particular comparison of the locust to other animals; but as this passage of Scripture did not occur to him at the time he thought it a mere fancy of the Arab's, until he heard it repeated at Baghdad. He compared the head of the locust to that of the horse; the feet to those of the camel; the belly with that of a serpent; the tail with that of a scorpion; and the feelers (if Niebuhr remembered rightly) to the hair of a virgin" (Pict. Bib. on Joel 2:4). The resemblance to horses would naturally suggest the idea of cavalry, as being referred to by the symbol.

    And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold - The writer does not say either that these were literally crowns, or that they were actually made of gold. They were "as it were" (ὡς hōs) "crowns," and they were like (ὅμοιοι homoioi) "gold." That is, as seen by him, they had a resemblance to crowns or diadems, and they also resembled gold in their color and brilliancy. The word "crown" - στέφανος stephanos - means properly a circlet, chaplet, encircling the head:

    (a) as an emblem of royal dignity, and as worn by kings;

    (b) as conferred on victors in the public games - a chaplet, a wreath;

    (c) as an ornament, honor, or glory, Philippians 4:1.

    No particular shape is designated by the word στέφανος stephanos and perhaps the word "crown" does not quite express the meaning. The word "diadem" would come nearer to it. The true notion in the word is that of something that is passed around the head, and that encircles it, and as such it would well describe the appearance of a turban as seen at a distance. On the supposition that the symbolic beings here referred to had turbans on their heads, and on the supposition that something was referred to which was not much worn in the time of John, and, therefore, that had no name, the word στέφανος stephanos, or diadem, would be likely to be used in describing it. This, too, would accord with the use of the phrase "as it were" - ὡς hōs. The writer saw such head-ornaments as he was accustomed to see. They Were not exactly crowns or diadems, but they had a resemblance to them, and he therefore uses this language: "and on their heads were as it were crowns." Suppose that these were turbans, and that they were not in common use in the time of John, and that they had, therefore, no name, would not this be the exact language which he would use in describing them? The same remarks may be made respecting the other expression.

    Like gold - They were not pure gold, but they had a resemblance to it. Would not a yellow turban correspond with all that is said in this description?

    And their faces were as the faces of men - They had a human countenance. This would indicate that, after all, they were human beings that the symbol described, though they had come up from the bottomless pit. Horsemen, in strange apparel, with a strange head-dress, would be all that would be properly denoted by this.

    Wesley's Notes on Revelation 9:7

    9:7 And the appearances - This description suits a people neither throughly civilized, nor entirely savage; and such were the Persians of that age. Of the locusts are like horses - With their riders. The Persians excelled in horsemanship. And on their heads are as it were crowns - Turbans. And their faces are as the faces of men - Friendly and agreeable.