The fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky. The star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit and, when he opened it, smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace. The sunlight and the air also grew dark from the smoke.
Then locusts emerged from the smoke and descended upon the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. The locusts were told not to kill them, but to torment them for five months with pain like that of the sting of a scorpion. In those days people will seek death, but they won’t find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. They had what appeared to be golden crowns on their heads, and their faces looked like the faces of human. 8 They had hair like women’s hair and teeth like those of a lion. Their armour was made of iron and their wings roared like the sound of an army of chariots rushing into battle. They had tails that stung like those of scorpions and for five months they had the power to torment people. Their king is the angel from the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon—the Destroyer.
The first terror is past, but there are still two more disasters to come!
The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice speaking from the four horns of the golden altar that stands in front of God. This voice said to the sixth angel with the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are held captive at the great river Euphrates.” Then the four angels who had been prepared for this very hour and day and month and year were unleashed to destroy one-third of all the people on earth. I heard the size of their army, which was 200 million mounted troops.
Then, in my vision, I saw the horses and the riders who sat upon them. The riders were equipped with armour that was fiery red, dark blue and sulphurous yellow. The horses had heads like lions, and fire, smoke and burning sulphur poured out of their mouths. One-third of all the people on earth were killed by these three plagues—by the fire, the smoke and the burning sulphur that came out of their mouths. Their power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails had heads like snakes with which they inflict injury.
Yet still the people survived these plagues refused to turn from their evil deeds. They continued to worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of the murders they had committed, their witchcraft, their sexual immorality or their acts of theft.