Summary: The Pit of the Abysss
Revelation 9:1-2, “Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. When he opened it, smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace, and the sunlight and air were darkened by the smoke.”
This star fallen from the earth to the sky is not identifiable in any of the commentaries that I read. Some have said it is Satan on the basis of Isaiah 14:12 and others have said it was Uriel and archangel on the basis of 1st Enoch 19:1;20:2 we are told that Uriel is the archangel of the abyss, but more than likely it was not a celestial matter, but an angelic being (Job 38:7). The reason why it cannot be a reference to Satan is because Satan will not be thrown down to earth until Chapter 12 of Revelation, only then will he have no access to God’s immediate presence where he goes to accuse the brethren as he did with Job in Job 1. So it has to be the fifth trumpet angel the same angel who in 20:1 of Revelation comes down out of heaven with the key to the Abyss.
Abusos (bottomless) appears seven times in Revelation always in reference to the abode of incarcerated demons (9:2,11;11:7;17:8). Satan himself will be held their during the Millennial reign of Christ chained and locked up with the other demonic prisoners (20:1,3) God is soveringly chosen to place demons in the pit for the purpose of punishment. This is why those demons who wished to cry out to Christ in Luke 8:31were in fear of the evils spirits lest they be sent to the pit. So we see here the purpose of this. Our deepest and worse nightmares will be revealed on this day when the darkness will come up from the pit. We don’t have much information as to what the pit might look like other than the creatures that come from this pit as we will examine here briefly before we close. Smoke in Revelation may refer to holy thing (8:4;15:8), but is most often associated with judgment (9:17-18;14:11;18:9,18;19:3; Genesis 19:28;Isa 34:10;Joel 2:30; Nah 2:13).
Revelation 9:3-6, “Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. They were told not to hurt the grass or plants or trees but to attack all the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with agony like the pain of scorpion stings. In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee away!”
And our greatest fears now become a reality. With the unleashing of this spirit being comes one of the great horrors in the entire Bible, not to mention one of the hardest pieces to even comment on. Here we see the mission of the locusts to not hurt those with the seal of God which goes back to Revelation 7:2. The destructive power of locusts is mentioned throughout the Bible (Deut 28:38; 2nd Chron 7:13; Psalm 105:35; Joel 2:25; Nah 3:15). There are of course similarities between what happened in Egypt with the stubbornness of Pharaoh and the stubbornness of the people here above and today who refuse to repent get down upon bended knee and accept Christ. The mission of the locusts in Egypt was to expose Pharaoh’s great pride and that is the purpose that Lamb of God the Messiah is now using here to show the world that He alone is the only One who is the God in heaven. This description of their mission is much more in depth than Joel 1:1-7 and 2:2:1-5 gives us.
A great description of what locusts are is given by Raymond Dillard, in his commentary on Joel gives the following information about locust plagues:
“In our generation areas having the potential for a locust outbreak are monitored by international agencies using satellite reconnaissance and other technology; incipient swarms are met by aircraft and trucks carrying powerful pesticides. However, if the locusts are not destroyed or contained shortly after the hatch, once the swarm has formed, control efforts are minimally effective even today. For example, in 1988 the civil war in Chad prevented international cooperation in attacking the hatch, and a destructive swarm spread throughout North Africa devastating some of the poorest nations and threatening Europe as well. It is difficult for modern Western people to appreciate the dire threat represented by a locust plague in earlier periods. Such outbreaks had serious consequences for the health and mortality of an affected population and for a region’s economy. Scarcity of food resulting from the swarm’s attack would bring the population to subsistence intake or less, would make the spread of disease among a weakened populace easier, would eliminate any trade from surplus food products, and would stimulate high inflation in the costs of food products. Disease outbreaks are further aggravated when swarms die; the putrefaction of the millions of locust bodies breeds typhus and other diseases that spread to humans and animals (see the description in Augustine’s City of God 3.31). Baron (Desert Locust, pp. 3-7) catalogues many locust outbreaks known to have been accompanied by outbreaks of pestilence.