What does Revelation 9:20 mean?
ESV: The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,
NIV: The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood--idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
NASB: The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands so as not to worship demons and the idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;
CSB: The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk.
NLT: But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood — idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk!
KJV: And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
A running theme of the Bible is humanity's stubbornness. The events of Revelation, in large part, are meant to demonstrate that God's wrath and judgment on man is well-deserved; even when confronted with the most terrible consequences imaginable, humanity at large refuses to submit or to repent. According to this verse, unbelievers who are not killed by the events described in this chapter still refuse to repent. They show no remorse or indication of a change of mind and heart. They continue to practice idolatry by worshiping demons and manmade idols of gold and silver and bronze and wood.
Whether in the literal sense of bowing to statues, or the symbolic sense of emphasizing wealth and pleasure above God, idolatry is among the most dangerous and most often condemned sins in Scripture. It is no wonder Paul warned the Corinthians about idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:19–21), and the apostle John commanded, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21).
John's description here notes that these idols cannot see or hear or walk. They are lifeless. Daniel charged King Belshazzar of Babylon with the sin of idol worship. He told him: "You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know" (Daniel 5:23). He also told Belshazzar the price of his idolatry: his kingdom would come to a sudden end, given to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:26–28).
Revelation 9:13–21 provides further insight into the assault by the northern invader. Earlier in chapter 9 we read about a horde of demonic locusts ascending from the bottomless pit. Now we read about two hundred million heavily armed cavalrymen, whose horses have heads like those of lions and tails like those of snakes. Four angels residing at the Euphrates allow the demonic army to advance across the river. The swarm of locusts described earlier may control or even possess these two hundred million cavalrymen. What follows is the annihilation of one third of humanity. However, the rest of humanity refuse to repent of their evil deeds, idolatry, murders, sorceries, or sexual immorality. Joel 2 and Ezekiel 38 also prophesy this northern army's invasion of Israel. Revelation 10 will provide another interlude between the judgments.
Revelation 9 tells us that under the fifth trumpet judgment John sees a star fall from heaven to earth. This ''star'' is Satan, and he is given the key to the bottomless pit. Using this key, Satan unleashes a plague of supernatural demons resembling locusts. They torment unbelievers for five months with such pain that people seek death unsuccessfully. They appear like horses prepared for battle, and they have a king, whose name is Apollyon, meaning ''Destroyer.'' Under the sixth trumpet judgment John sees four angels released from the Euphrates river. Their release coincides with a horde of two hundred million demonic mounted troops that kill a third of mankind. However, the survivors refuse to abandon their idolatry and to repent of their evil deeds.
The ninth chapter of Revelation continues the report of what happens when the seven angels blow their trumpets. Chapter 8 described the first four trumpet judgments; chapter 9 reports the fifth and sixth. The events in chapter 9 are much more severe than those which came before. The severity of judgments increases dramatically with each trumpet blast. These judgments precede the final series of events, called the bowl judgments. Revelation chapters 15 and 16 will reveal what happens under these judgments.
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
Accessed 11/30/2023 6:57:58 AM
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