Revelation 9:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 9:3, NIV: And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.

Revelation 9:3, ESV: Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth.

Revelation 9:3, KJV: And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Revelation 9:3, NASB: Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Revelation 9:3, NLT: Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions.

Revelation 9:3, CSB: Then locusts came out of the smoke on to the earth, and power was given to them like the power that scorpions have on the earth.

What does Revelation 9:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse reports that "locusts" emerge from the billowing smoke that arises from the bottomless pit. Later verses will expand this description, showing that these creatures only bear resemblance to insects. Some interpreters even suggest that John might have seen military machines from the future.

John would have been familiar with a plague of locusts. These voracious insects often troubled the Middle East. Sometimes clouds of locusts were so dense that they blotted out the sun and covered so much of the land that scarcely a square inch was untouched. Exodus 10:12–20 identifies the eighth plague the Lord imposed on Egypt in the time of Moses as a plague of locusts. The swarm of locusts was so thick that it covered the entire land of Egypt and darkened it. When the locusts had eaten all the vegetation, not a green thing remained.

However, the locusts John saw were far different from the ordinary kind. As this verse states, they received "power like the power of scorpions." The most potent ability of a scorpion is its sting: painful with venom that inflames the nerves. The ill-effects of the sting may last for days. This passage will continue to explain the terrible effects of these demonic creatures.