Destroyer Locust Demon
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40. Destroyer Locust Demon
Revelation 9.7-11

"The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads, they wore something like golden crowns, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. They had breastplates like iron breastplates, and their wings' sound was like many horses' and chariots' thundering into battle. They had stinger tails like scorpions and the power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the Abyss Angel, whose Hebrew name is 'Abaddon' and in Greek, 'Apollyon' (that is, Destroyer). (Revelation 9.7-11)✞

What is a destroyer locust demon?

scorpion locustsRevelation describes the destroyer locust demon in vivid detail. Their golden crowns indicate their power to succeed like kings. Their faces may refer to their human-like intelligence. Locusts move like an army directed by their leader. "People have dug trenches, lit fires, and even fired cannons to stop them but without success. They come in a regular column that climbs hills, enters houses, and leaves scorched earth behind them. There is no more world destructive visitation than a destroyer locusts plague."

What do demons do?

Locust DestroyersJohn of Patmos sees the terrible devastation of the destroyer locust demons from the pit. They are different and far more destructive than any earthly insect he may have seen before. The leader is called "The Destroyer." John of Patmos gives us the Hebrew term "Abaddon," meaning "destruction." In Greek, the same word is "Apollyon," but it is not the usual word used to translate "Abaddon." In Aramaic, "Abaddon" means "destruction or ruin." John of Patmos' wordplay here may be an attempt to show that worshippers of the Greek and Roman deity Apollo worship the destroyer locust demon. Emperor Domitian (51-96 AD) believed he was an enlightened leader destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new brilliant era. Domitian also thought of himself as Apollo's reincarnation. He was, however, a little mad. The play on words "Apollyon" and "Apollo" may also be John of Patmos's way of referring in a subtle way to the terrible evil of the worst Roman Emperor, Domitian.

How large can a swarm of locusts be?

Solar EclipseThe destroyer locust demon swarms produce darkness like a solar eclipse and the terrible devastation of all living things. Deadly locust swarms breed in desert places and then invade cultivated lands for food. These insects are usually about two inches long, with a wingspan of four to five inches. They belong to the household cricket and the grasshopper family. Locust swarms, however, can be a hundred feet deep and four miles long. The locust swarm's destructive power is almost beyond belief.

What sounds do locusts make?

Locust in GrassWhen the destroyer locust swarms leave an area, the land looks scorched like after a wildfire. Not one green plant, grass blade, or any green vegetation remains. The locusts even strip the tree's bark. An Algiers locust plague caused the famine of 1866, in which 200,000 people perished. Revelation's writer explains the many scorpion locusts' sounds. Some hiss, but most make crackling sounds by rubbing body parts against one another, known as "stridulation." Some scorpion locust sounds are like "the waters dashing in a mill-wheel" or a "great waterfall sound." They may roar like the 3,212 feet Angel Falls in Bolivar State, Venezuela, the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall. Witnesses describe millions of locusts eating as "a prairie fire crackling." The sound of marching scorpion locusts sometimes resembles "heavy rain falling on a distant forest."

What kind of locusts are there?

TerrorThe Old Testament mentions many "locust types." Joel 2.25 lists several Hebrew scorpion locusts' names. "I will repay you the years that the locusts have eaten, the "great locust," the "young locust," the other locusts or "the cutter" and the locust swarm, the great army that I sent among you." The "great locust" is known as "the hopper," the "young locust" as "the destroyer," and then there is the "swarming locust." The precise meanings of the Hebrew words used here for locusts are uncertain, but translators try to differentiate between them. The King James Version reads, "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you."

What are the locusts' characteristics?

Each locust's characteristics also account for its name. Strong's Concordance calls one locust type "gazam" another the "gnawing locust." The "shearer" describes how they cut down all living vegetation in its path. Another named "arbel," or "the swarmer" represents its immense numbers. Another is called "hasil," the "finisher," which pictures the swarm's utter devastation left behind after they had eaten. Some locusts are named "solam," the "swallower," or the "Annihilator." "Hargol," meaning the "galloper," describes the scorpion locust's rapid progress like a horse across the land. "Tzelatzel," the "Creeker," explains the particular sound this variety makes. In Revelation, the demonic locusts do not attack the vegetation. They advance against people without God's forehead seal. The locust's king is Satan, the Abyss angel, whose Hebrew name is "Abaddon" or the Greek "Apollyon." Both mean "The Destroyer, the Destruction Place or Destruction" and refer to "Hell," Satan's abode.✞

What are scorpion's tail stings?

ScorpionThe Revelation scorpions' attacks last for five months, which is the total life-span of a "locust." Five months represents birth, through the larval stage, to death. A whole scorpion generation in this Revelation passage launches simultaneously. Ordinary locusts devastate vegetation and crops but do not harm human beings. However, Revelation's destroyer locust demons have the scorpion's power added to them. The scorpion is like an undersized lobster with large claws to clutch its prey. Unlike the lobster, its long tail curves up over its back and head. A curved rear claw and a "telson stinger" inject poison to paralyze its captive. Lobsters, shrimps, prawns, and horseshoe crabs also have the scorpion's claw.

What is the deathstalker scorpion?

Brown ScorpionDeathstalker Scorpion's stings are still one of Palestine's scourges. This scorpion is up to six inches long, and its claw strikes and secretes poison into its victim. They live in wall cracks and under almost every stone. Near Eastern Campers lift and examine every rock before pitching their tent if a "Deathstalker Scorpion" or the "Palestine Yellow Scorpion" is beneath. A scorpion's sting is worse than a hornet bite and is not necessarily fatal, but it can, in some instances, kill a human being. Only two of 1,500 worldwide scorpion species, in Israel and Brazil, have venom capable of killing an adult human being.

How can pain so bad that people wish to die?

Death The pain caused by the scorpion's sting is so bad that people are in terrible agony. Job 3.21 speaks of the supreme misery of those "who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure." Jeremiah 8.3 also tells of the day when people "will prefer death to life." A Roman orator, Cornelius Gallus in BC 70-26, adds of the scorpion sting. "Worse than any wound is to wish to die and yet not be able to do so."

"Destroyer Locust Demons"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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