Different learned Protestant commentators of the past have understood the important prophecy of the Revelation chapter 9 locust invasion as pertaining to Islam in its initial rise :
Albert Barnes : “All that is necessary to say further on this point is, that on the supposition that it was the design of the Spirit of inspiration in the passage before us to refer to the followers of Muhammed, the image of the locusts was that which would be naturally selected. There was no other one so appropriate and so striking; no one that would so naturally designate the country of Arabia.”
Jonathan Edwards : “First, the Saracens, who were some of his followers, and were a people of the country of Arabia, where Mahomet lived, about the year 700, began dread- fully to waste the Roman empire. They conquered a great many countries belonging to the empire, and continued their victories for a long time. These are supposed to be meant by the locusts that we read of in the ninth chapter of Revelation.”
Adam Clarke : “Locusts – Vast hordes of military troops: the description which follows certainly agrees better with the Saracens than with any other people or nation, but may also apply to the Romans.”
Thomas Coke : “The Arabians likewise are properly compared to locusts, not only because numerous armies frequently are so; but because swarms of locusts often arise from Arabia. In the plagues of Egypt, to which constant allusion is made in these trumpets, the locusts are brought by an east wind (Exodus 10:13), that is, from Arabia, which lay eastward of Egypt; and in the Book of Judges, the people of Arabia are compared to locusts or grasshoppers for multitude; for, in the original, the word for both is the same. As the natural locusts are bred in pits and holes of the earth, so these mystical locusts are truly infernal, and proceed with the smoke from the bottomless pit.”
John Gill : “The eastern locusts are the Saracens, and who are chiefly designed; and who were to harass and distress the eastern empire, and prepare for its ruin, which is brought on under the next trumpet by the Turks. These are fitly signified by locusts, because the locusts generally come out of the eastern parts: it was an east wind which brought the plague of locusts into Egypt, Exodus 10:13; and the children of the east, the Arabians, are compared to grasshoppers, or locusts, in Judges 7:12; and one of the names of a locust is “Arbeh”, not much unlike in sound to an Arab. To which may be added, that it is a tradition of the Arabians, that there fell locusts into the hands of Mahomet, on whose backs and wings were written these words: “we are the army of the most high God; we are the ninety and nine eggs, and if the hundred should be made perfect, we should consume the whole world, and whatever is in it.” And it was a law established by Mahomet, ye shall not kill the locusts, for they are the army of the most high God”
Matthew Poole : “I therefore rather agree with the learned and judicious Mr. Mede, with whom I also find John Napier and others agreeing, that by these locusts are meant the Turks and Saracens. 1. Their time agreeth; for they first appeared formidably to the world about the year 620. 2. They were always very numerous. 3. They came the locusts’ road, from Arabia, and the eastern parts. The Arabians (which the Saracens are) are called the children of the east, and said to be like grasshoppers for multitude.”
Thomas Newton : “At the sounding of the fifth trumpet (ver. 1 3.) a star fallen from heaven, meaning the wicked impostor Mohammed, opened the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke out of the pit, and the sun and the air were darkened by it ; that is, a false religion was set up, which filled the world with darkness and error; and swarms of Saracen or Arabian locusts overspread the earth. A false prophet is very fitly typified by a blazing star or meteor. The Arabians likewise are properly compared to locusts, not only because numerous armies frequently are so, but also because swarms of locusts often arise from Arabia : and also because in the plagues of Egypt, to which constant allusion is made in these trumpets, the locusts, (Exod. x. 13.) are brought by an east-wind, that is, from Arabia, which lay eastward of Egypt: and also because in the book of Judges (vii. 12.) the people of Arabia are compared to locusts or grasshoppers for multitude, for in the original the word for both is the same. As the natural locusts l are bred in pits and holes of the earth, so these mystical locusts are truly infernal, and proceed with the smoke from the bottomless pit. It is too a remarkable coincidence, that at this time the sun and the air were really darkened. For we learn from an eminent Arabian historian, that ” in the seventeenth year of Heraclius half the body of the sun was eclipsed, and this defect continued from the former Tisrin to Haziran, (that is, from October to June) so that only a little of its light appeared.” The seventeenth year of Heraclius coincides with the year of Christ 626, and with the fifth year of the Hegira ; and at this time Mohammed was training and exercising his followers in depredations at home, to fit and prepare them for greater conquests abroad.”
H. Grattan Guinness : “The next two trumpets give events in the East instead of the West, the fifth predicting the Saracenic con- quests of the seventh and eighth centuries (symbolized as the ravages of an army of locusts), and the sixth the Turkish invasions of eastern Europe, which extended from the middle of the eleventh century to the middle of the fifteenth. These, and the intolerable misery they occasioned to the Greek Churches of the East, are symbolized under the sixth trumpet by the career of the Euphratean horsemen in the ninth chapter of the book. This vision brings down the prophetic history to the fall of Constantinople, the capital of the eastern empire of Rome, before the Turks in A.D. 1453; and the remainder of the fifteenth century seems covered in the prophecy by the statement that ” the rest of the men who 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 wood.” This description of continued obdurate and inveterate apostasy and idolatry applies both to eastern and western Christendom at that time.”
E. B. Elliott : “Next I shall expect that he will take up the first or scorpion-locust Woe; and distinctly encounter my main argument, from the asserted fact of all the characteristics of that symbol answering to the Mahomedan Saracens of the seventh century, so as they can be shewn to answer to no other nation that ever existed on the face of the earth…. First, and chiefly, the locust, the ground- work of the symbol, is peculiarly Arabic. So the sacred history of ancient times informs us. ” It was the east wind,” it says, “which brought the locusts” on Egypt from which the inference arises, that the country they issued from must have been that which, in all its extent, lies east of Egypt, that is Arabia. Such too, in modern times, is the testimony of Volney ; ” the most judicious,” as Gibbon calls him, “of Syrian travelers.” “The inhabitants of Syria,” he observes, ” have remarked that locusts come constantly from the desert of Arabia.”… Again, as of the locust, so of the scorpion, the native locality was by the Jews considered the Arabian desert. Witness Moses’ own words to the Israelites, on emerging from it, after forty years wandering ; ” that great and terrible wilderness wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions.” — And who knows not, if facts so notorious be worth mentioning, that it is Arabia, still Arabia, that is regarded by naturalists as the original country of the horse*… “
Thomas Goodwin : “In c. ix. 4, when these Saracen-locusts, under their ring-leader Mahomet, were first set loose, and had their commission, then comes in this clause of exception, “That they should hurt only those men that were not sealed,” which privilege of sealing, then and there only mentioned, argues the chief intent and accomplishment of their sealing to have taken place under the blasts of these locusts, though in the vision it comes in here beforehand.”
David Steele : “Locusts constituted one of the plagues of Egypt, and they are the emblem of a destroying army. (Exod. x. 14-19; Joel i. 4-6.) And this is their import here. They represent the deluded and destructive followers of Mahomet, who in vast multitudes laid waste the nations of western Asia, southern Europe, and northern Africa. The Saracens, originating in Arabia, the national locality of the literal locusts, in great multitudes like clouds, laid waste the fairest and most populous portions of the earth for a succession of ages. These symbolic locusts have also the property of scorpions, a poisonous reptile, resembling in some degree a lizard combined with a lobster, armed with a sting in the end of its tail. Wicked and impenitent men are compared to scorpions. (Ezek. ii. 6.)”
* Wikipedia : “With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. IT IS ALSO ONE OF THE OLDEST BREEDS, with archaeological evidence of horses that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years.”
My comment : is it just a coincidence that the same prophecy would contain the symbols of horses, locusts** and scorpions which together fittingly point to Arabia? The Book of Revelation was written hundreds of years before the 7th century rise of Islam. Was there anything in the 1st century AD when the Roman empire was dominant to suggest that Arabia would become a great world power through the spread of a new religion? No one could have foreseen that except by revelation of God.
** NASA : “Rain falling on the arid soil of the Arabian Peninsula brings a brush of green to the landscape. It also provides the key ingredient in initiating an outbreak of desert locusts.”
Though John Wesley , Matthew Henry and Johann Bengel did not believe the locusts at the beginning of Revelation chapter 9 specifically referred to Islam they did believe that the latter part of the same chapter pointed to Islam (Wesley and Bengel : Saracens, Henry : Turks).
Isaac Newton, the famed scientist, also held the same view. He wrote the following concerning Revelation chapter 9 : “This plague began with the opening of the bottomless pit, which denotes the letting out of a false religion: the smoke which came out of the pit, signifying the multitude which embraced that religion; and the locusts which came out of the smoke, the armies which came out of that multitude. This pit was opened, to let out smoke and locusts into the regions of the four monarchies, or some of them. The King of these locusts was the Angel of the bottomless pit, being chief governor as well in religious as civil affairs, such as was the Caliph of the Saracens. Swarms of locusts often arise in Arabia and from thence infest the neighbouring nations: and so are a very fit type of the numerous armies of Arabians invading the Romans.”
Francis Nigel Lee in the following message does give a list of Bible teachers who did interpret the prophecy of chapter 9 as pointing to the historic rise of Islam :
Before I end this post I want to ask a few questions and I also want to talk about the historical fact of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ:
1 – QUESTIONS TO MOSLEMS:
a) The Quran teaches that Allah gave the Bible (Judeo-Christian Scriptures) according to Sura 2:136 and Sura 3:65 of the Quran for example. In the Torah, it says that new revelation cannot contradict previous revelation (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). The Gospels testify that Jesus was crucified while the Quran denies this (Sura 4:157). Even the Jewish Old Testament predicted the sufferings of the Messiah (Psalm 22, Isaiah chapter 53, Daniel chapter 9) hundreds of years before the crucifixion of Jesus. There are other examples where the Quran (supposedly a new revelation from God) contradicts the Judeo-Christian Bible. How then in light of these facts could Mohammed be considered another prophet of the God of the Bible? How could it be believed that the Allah of the Quran and the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible are the same being? How can the Quran be trusted? Was Allah unable to make sure that the new revelations of the Quran would not contradict previous revelations?
b) The Quran calls the Bible the “Word of God” (Sura 2:75). The Quran also teaches that the words of Allah cannot be altered (Sura 10:64). If the Bible has supposedly been corrupted by Jews and Christians as Moslems claim then does that not mean necessarily that the Allah of the Quran was not powerful enough to prevent his words being altered? If the Bible has not been corrupted and if the Quran contradicts the Bible then how can the Quran still be true? If the claim that the Bible was corrupted is true then that creates a problem for the reliability of the Quran because the same Allah who could not prevent the Bible from being corrupted (if the Moslem claim is true) is just as likely to not be able to prevent the Quran from being corrupted.
c) If the Allah of the Quran is unknowable then how can one know this?
d) God is holy and just and He must punish sin. How can you erase all of your past evil works? How can you have perfect and lasting peace with Allah? How can you have peace in your conscience knowing that you have done evil works that you cannot erase? No one can pay off a debt with money that is already owed. Good works are already required of us by God so we cannot erase sins with what we already owe God (good works).
e) If the theory that Judas Iscariot was crucified instead of Jesus is true then does not that imply that the Allah of the Quran willingly deceived the disciples of one of his prophets (Jesus)? Isn’t that self-contradictory behavior? Could you trust a god who lied to the sincere believers of one of his prophets? How do you know that the Allah of the Quran is not deceiving you right now? Would Judas (a traitor) on the cross have cried out the following words: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)?
2 – THE HISTORICAL FACT OF THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
The historical event of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a strong proof of the deity of Christ. All of the counter-theories (e.g. Christ survived the crucifixion, the apostles stole His body) that have been brought forth in the past to explain away the resurrection are not able to give a coherent answer which can plausibly explain everything that happened after the resurrection (e.g. appearances of Christ, rapid spread of the Gospel).
If the resurrection was just a carefully crafted lie invented by the apostles then how can anyone explain that the apostles (and disciples of the centuries preceding the Constantinian corruption of the Church) chose to die atrociously (e.g. devoured by lions, burned, crucified) rather than renounce their faith in Jesus Christ? Who would want to die ignominiously and very painfully for something they know is a lie?
If no resurrection happened then how does one explain the appearances of Jesus Christ before many witnesses at the same time (e.g. over 500 witnesses at the same time – see 1st Corinthians chapter 15) and at different settings during the 40 days after His resurrection? Not only the apostles saw Jesus but they also touched Him and saw Him eat food. If those appearances of Christ were merely “collective hallucinations” (as if it were possible that many different people could simultaneously hallucinate about the same thing at the same time!) then how does one explain that the “hallucinations” ceased suddenly after 40 days?
How does one explain the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul before his conversion) who was a fierce persecutor of the early apostolic Church?
How does one explain away all of the many lives transformed (i.e. ex-alcoholics, ex-junkies, ex-prostitutes, ex-thieves, ex-occultists, etc…) throughout the centuries, in different cultures and on different continents by the Gospel message which is founded on the resurrection of Christ if Christ did not rise from the dead but was merely a man?
The empty tomb was never contested by the Jewish enemies of the Church in the first century because their accusation that the apostles had stolen the body of Christ presupposes an empty tomb. If the Romans and the Jewish enemies of the Church had wanted to destroy Christianity they needed only to present the dead body of Christ publicly to the people of Jerusalem if they had had it in their possession. If the apostles had truly stolen the body then one would have to believe the testimony of the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb of Christ who had to be asleep at the time of the supposed “theft”. How could someone who was asleep be a good eyewitness when his eyes were shut?!
Can someone seriously believe that after all the torture Christ endured over many hours He survived it all and had enough strength to remove the large stone in front of the tomb’s door and then overpower many Roman soldiers?
Even a counter-theory widely spread amongst Moslems that Jesus had not really been crucified but had been secretly delivered by the Allah of the Quran (who is NOT the triune God of the Bible who saves sinners by grace) and which teaches that Judas Iscariot or someone else, who resembled Jesus or had been made by Allah to resemble Jesus (I forget the exact details of this theory), had been crucified instead of Jesus is even more problematic for the people who promote it than other counter-theories:
First of all, the Quran does not EXPLICITLY teach this “substitution” theory. This theory is based upon a questionable interpretation of an obscure verse of the Quran.
Secondly, in Sura 19 of the Quran, Jesus predicted His death.
Thirdly, Judas Iscariot (or someone else crucified in Christ’s place) would have made a great effort to tell the public that they were crucifying the wrong person. Who would want to be crucified for 3 hours?! Think about it! I would have screamed at the top of my lungs!
Fourthly, the mother of Jesus being near the foot of the Cross would have surely discovered that it wasn’t Jesus being crucified but another person. That person had spoken to the mother of Jesus and told her the following words which Judas Iscariot (or another person) would not have pronounced: “Woman, behold thy son!” (John 19:26) The mother of Jesus would have surely recognized the face and voice of her son. Let us not forget that the enemies of Christ who are also near the Cross had a great interest in Jesus being the one crucified and not some other person. The apostle John, who knew Christ more intimately than the other disciples, was also near the foot of Cross and had heard the voice and seen the face of the person being crucified. Were they all simultaneously fooled? Did Allah allow Mary the mother of Jesus to be fooled? That’s what one needs to believe prior to believing this “substitution” theory.
Fifthly, Joseph of Arimathaea, one of the disciples of Jesus, took time to cover the body of Jesus with linen clothes. Shouldn’t he have been able to recognize Jesus up close? Again, for the theory to be true, one must believe that the Allah of the Quran deceived Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of one of his prophets (Jesus)?
Sixthly, if it’s true that the Allah of the Quran kept Jesus from being crucified then it means that Allah DECEIVED the disciples of one of his prophets (Jesus) if Islam is true!!! It also means that Jesus Himself would have participated in this DECEPTION if the theory was true. Why would the Allah of the Quran deceive followers of one of his prophets? Isn’t that incoherent behaviour? If this “substitution” theory is true then how can one know with certainty that the Allah of the Quran has not also deceived the disciples of his prophet Mohammed in the past? How could I trust such a god who has already deceived followers of his own prophet if Islam is true? If this theory is true then why did the god of Islam wait almost 6 centuries to reveal this so-called “work of deception” when this same “work of deception” led men to believe Jesus Christ is God which Islam strongly and ferociously denies? If this theory is true then Christianity was a result of an “imposture” brought about by the actions of the Allah of the Quran and it would imply that the Allah of the Quran acted incompetently, having by his actions given birth to a rival religion.
Seventhly, this theory offers no answer to the appearances of Jesus to His disciples after the resurrection and it does not explain the empty tomb.
Eighthly, some of the words pronounced by the person being crucified would not have been pronounced by the traitor Judas Iscariot (or anyone else for that matter): “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46), “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) and “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Ninthly, the death of Jesus was prophesied by Old Testament prophets (i.e. Isaiah chapter 53, Daniel chapter 9, Zechariah chapter 12, Psalm 22).
Tenthly, very early New Testament manuscripts mention the death of Jesus so the whole theory that the Scriptures were tampered with in order to teach the death or resurrection of Jesus is bogus.
Eleventhly, non-Christian historians such as Josephus (1st century AD) and Tacitus mention the death of Jesus.
Twelfthly, the Jews who are enemies of Jesus and Christianity mention the death of Jesus in the Talmud despite the fact that they would have a great interest in denying the existence of Jesus, His crucifixion and their participation in His crucifixion because of all the persecution the Jews have faced throughout the centuries mainly by Roman Catholics.
Revelation 9′s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9′s Beatles – Part 1
Revelation 9′s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9′s Beatles – Part 2
Revelation 9′s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9′s Beatles – Part 3
Revelation 9′s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9′s Beatles – Part 4
Revelation 9′s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9′s Beatles – Part 6