Two Hundred Million Troops
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38. Two Hundred Million Troops
Revelation 9.12-21

"The first woe is past. Two other woes are yet to come. The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns before God's golden altar. It said to the sixth angel with the trumpet, 'Release the four angels bound at the great Euphrates river.' And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of humankind. The number was two hundred million mounted troops. I heard their number. I saw the horses and riders in my vision. They looked like this, 'Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled those of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur.' The three plagues that came out of their mouths killed a third of humanity. The horses' power was in their mouths and tails, for their tails were like snakes, having heads to inflict injury. The rest of humanity not killed by these plagues still did not repent of their work. They did not stop worshipping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, idols that could not see, hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, magic arts, sexual immorality, or thefts." (Revelation 9.12-21) ✞

Two Myriads of Myriads

Chinese ArmyIn Revelation, there comes a series of destructions upon the earth by a powerful force of two hundred million troops. The American Standard Version translates this verse, "The number of the horsemen's armies was twice ten thousand times ten thousand." In Greek, this number is two myriads of myriads or two hundred million, which by any estimation is an exceedingly large number and would have been a frightening military opponent.

The Biggest Army

DemonsIn John of Patmos' day, millions of troops in an army were almost inconceivable. However, the fourth king of Persia, King Xerxes 1 (BC 519-465), assembled one such enormous army in ancient times to invade Greece. King Xerxes (BC 486-465), otherwise called "Xerxes the Great," "Ahasuerus" or "Artaxerxes," appears in the "Book of Esther 1.1" "This is what happened during the time of Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush." Daniel 9.1. begins, "In the first year of Darius, the son of Xerxes (or Ahasuerus) (a Mede by descent) made ruler over the Babylonian (or Chaldean) kingdom."

Other Armies

The Greek historian, Herodotus (BC c484-425), later referred to as "The Father of History," said that Xerxes brought two and a half million men to the battle. We may compare that with the "one hundred and fifty-six thousand American, British, Canadian and other Allied troops who landed at Normandy on D-Day during the Second World War. In more recent times, the thirty-four nation coalition that liberated Kuwait deployed roughly one million troops."

The Revelation Army

Model ArmyAn army of two hundred million troops would cover an area one mile wide and eighty-five miles deep, by some accounts. Today, however, countries like China or India could gather this many soldiers. This vast Revelation army, led by the four demons, was sent out to destroy one-third of humanity.

The Death Toll

AngelThe judgment is still not complete, for four angels appear who are "exceedingly destructive." They do not, however, have the power themselves to inflict their evil work on earth. They are held back by God to be released at a specific date and time, doing what God allows them to do and only when he wants them to act. Here, God destroys one-third of all humanity. "A third of humanity perishes by the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur." In earlier chapters, one-fourth of humanity died. Thus, half of the world's population dies during God's great judgment. If God had not set the limits, even more, would have perished.

Fire Smoke and Sulfur

UnrepentantThe earth's inhabitants in Revelation are so hard-hearted that they do not repent despite fire, smoke, and sulfur. Like the Egyptian pharaoh in Exodus, the remaining people on earth do not turn back from their sins. Fire, smoke, and sulfur are reminiscent of the violent earthquake in Sodom and Gomorrah. Sulfur is a pungent yellow substance spouted from deep in the rock when volcanic plates violently rub together.

City of Gomorrah

Interestingly, modern tourists can still see the remains of what appears to be windows and doors in the cliff faces at the site of the ancient city of Gomorrah right next to the fortress at Masada. The archaeological researcher and adventurer Ron Wyatt spent considerable time in the area. He documented all five of the cities destroyed by fire and brimstone in the days of Abraham and Lot. Layers of sterile white ash cover the entire area. On the ground, there are numerous golf ball-sized sulfur pellets. Wyatt tested the sulfur pellets and found they were ninety-eight percent pure sulfur with a trace of Magnesium. Naturally occurring sulfur usually is forty to forty-five percent pure, so that these brimstone balls would have burned extremely hot! A thin, crust-like shell, a rock-like slag possibly due to burning, encased some of them. One broken open "rock" had an intensely pungent sulfur pellet still inside! The sulfur ignited violently with a toxic flame.


Despite the threat of fire, smoke, and sulfur, the people "did not repent of the work of their hands." People don't usually fall into immorality and evil suddenly, but they slide into it a little bit at a time until they hardly realize what has happened. Anyone who allows sin to take root can find themselves in this predicament. Temptation entertained today becomes sin tomorrow, then a habit the next day, then death and separation from God for eternity.

"Two Hundred Million Troops"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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