“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:13-14)
Not much is written explicitly about frogs in the Scriptures. Much of what is written is found in the Old Testament in 2 books : Exodus and Psalms. The verse in Revelation 16 is actually the only place in all of the New Testament where we find the word “frog”. If we would understand the vision of chapter 16 we should look at the “frog verses” in the Old Testament (Exodus chapter 8, Psalm 78 and Psalm 105). The most pertinent verses are in Exodus.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs.” (Exodus 8:1-2)
Historically God sent a vast number of literal frogs as a plague against Egypt, a kingdom of idolaters who oppressed God’s people. God also plagued Egypt with literal locusts (Exodus chapter 10), literal boils (Exodus 9), water turned into blood (Exodus 7), literal darkness (Exodus 10) and literal hail (Exodus 9).
In the Book of Revelation the people of God (a.k.a. “the Israel of God” – Galatians 6:16) are persecuted by “spiritual Egypt” (Revelation 11:8) and its Pharaoh, “the son of perdition” (2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, Revelation 11:7, Revelation chapter 13). The literal plagues which afflicted literal Egypt have figurative counterparts in Revelation. “Spiritual Egypt” is plagued with “locusts” (chapter 9), a “grievous sore” (chapter 16), “water” turned into blood (chapter 16), “darkness” (chapter 16) and “hail” (chapter 16) which are all to be understood figuratively according to Scriptural prophetic language.
As able Bible expositors of the past have shown the “locusts” of chapter 9 point to the historic rise of Islam. That means that the “frogs” which appear after the “locusts” are to be found historically after the rise of Islam in the Middle Ages and near the end of time. Just like the “locusts” these “frogs” symbolically represent an anti-Christian nation or kingdom. Just like the “locusts” of chapter 9 these “frogs” would weaken/torment “spiritual Egypt” (Roman Catholic Europe, papacy, Catholic Rome, Roman Catholic Church) for some time (see “Revelation 9’s Locusts Are Not Revolution 9’s Beatles – Part 6”) without destroying it completely prior to its final destruction which will occur at the time of Christ’s Return.
“all thy borders”: there was no place in literal Egypt untouched by this plague of frogs.
“And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house [Pharaoh’s hourse], and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.” (Exodus 8:3-4)
The literal frogs of Exodus chapter 8 affected all classes of society : Pharaoh, his servants and the rest of the people. The rulers and the ruled. The rich and the poor. Great and small. I believe that the figurative “frogs” of Revelation 16 like the literal frogs of Exodus affected all branches of society : rulers and the ruled, poor and rich, men and women, each race and each nation. That is what happened with the French Revolution and everything that followed (e.g. communism, socialism, infidelity, growing immorality, feminism, political revolutions, social unrest, human “rights”). The unbelieving world for the last 200 years plus has been mainly characterized by the growth and spread of the THREE Revolutionary principles of : 1) Liberty (politics : legalizing sin and immorality), 2) Equality (economics : socialism and communism) and 3) Fraternity (religion : ecumenism).
It is interesting to mention that it’s only after the plague of frogs that Pharaoh first made a promise of freedom for the Hebrew slaves. Of course it was a FALSE PROMISE OF FREEDOM. While promising “Liberty” did not the French Revolution make a false promise of freedom as well since he who practices sin is the slave to sin and only Christ can make us free (John chapter 8) not atheism and the practice of sin?
Unclean spirits are associated with the frogs of Revelation 16. What could their use symbolically represent in connection with the frogs apart from deception and falsehood (false miracles)? I suspect Mark chapter 5 – the story of the Gadarene demon-possessed man – may give some hints. The Gadarene demon-possessed man was immodestly clothed (if clothed at all – Mark 5:15), loud, suicidal, violent and he could not be tamed/controlled (anarchic). Two of the traits in the particular – immodesty/immorality and violent anarchy – exploded during this “Revolution Era” which began officially with the French Revolution (first vial of judgment – Revelation 16).
For an interesting audio sermon dealing with the vision of Revelation chapter 16 may I suggest the following?
“Prophecy Fulfillment in Revelation 16” by Francis Nigel Lee (post-millennialist*)