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Discussion Forum : Miracles that follow the plow : 200 million

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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2237

 200 million

Revelation 9:16

"The army had 200 million soldiers on horses. I heard them say how many there were."

There are under 59 million horses in the world. The largest army to date is about 4 million. Go figure!

 2022/8/7 9:14Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 6255

 Re: 200 million

The behind the scenes backers of the coming Antichrist have a secret horse cloning program.


 2022/8/7 13:33Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4663

 Re: 200 million

Hi savannah,

There are several potential explanations for this:

1.) This refers to a spiritual rather than physical army of mounted troops. The rationale seems quite sound when read in the context rather than just the verse:

13 "Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.
16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

17 And this is how I saw in my vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire, of hyacinth, and of brimstone; and THE HEADS OF THE HORSES ARE LIKE THE HEADS OF LIONS; AND OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS CAME FIRE AND SMOKE AND BRIMSTONE.
18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire, the smoke, and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.
19 FOR THE POWER OF THE HORSES IS IN THEIR MOUTHS AND IN THEIR TAILS; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm."


This definitely doesn't sound like any horses (or their fossils) that I've ever seen. In fact, it seems that the horses (and horsemen) are deployed by the army of the four "bound" angels that are held at the Euphrates River (verse 14).

So, in this sense, the horsemen and horses are spiritual beings sent out to complete this physical work -- and they seem rather successful at it as they kill a third of mankind (verse 15).

2.) The verse refers to physical solders and physical horsemen -- not necessarily that all 200 Million must be mounted at the same time.

This is more in line with some of the prophecy "experts" who attempt to assign a contemporary earthly explanation to correspond with Biblical prophecy. For every supernatural work alluded to in prophecy, they often attempt to correlate it to some earthly explanation.

Now, this isn't without merit. For instance, the words of Daniel the prophet often invoke striking imagery that was subsequently fulfilled in earthly ways by specific kingdoms and individuals.

So, this type of interpretation seeks to rationalize the prophecy through earthly means. Instead of spiritual horsemen riding spiritual horses, these individuals suggest that the prophecies refer to a physical earthly army (including China or a coalition of the Chinese and Russian troops) riding earthly modes of transport and war -- such as tanks, motorcycles, ships, transports, etc.

Those who support this belief often point to a "modern technology looked strange to a first century man." They will point that a nation like China or a coalition of China/Russia have the potential of arming 200 Million individuals.

3.) This prophecy refers to a physical "army" of tech in the future.

I've read this interpretation recently in which individuals point that technology is advancing quite rapidly. We're at the point where drones and robot creatures (such as the prototypes introduced by Boston Dynamics) can be manufactured en masse for the next generation of all-out-warfare.

Thus, the interpretation would be of four angels enticing rulers to engage in warfare using modern and futuristic tech. These mounted "horsemen" and "horses" would be, according to this theory, a first century description of 21st century technology.

The problem with this is that, while the description in Revelation 9 can refer to aspects of tech warfare (e.g., "breastplates of iron," "...sound of chariots and horses running to battle," "tails like scorpions," etc.), there are some things that sound very spiritual and/or fleshly. For instance, these horses have a "king over them" (verse 11) and the creatures have tails will make people suffer for five months (verse 10).


If I were to say which sounds the most likely, I would say that these sound like spiritual creatures that inflict physical death, pain and destruction. There are other references in the Bible of this type of spiritual-earthly crossover to carry out God's will.

I suppose that the thing about prophecy is that it is often only understood clearly and completely AFTER it has happened.

Many Jews were waiting for a conquering Messiah who would save and restore the Kingdom of Israel by power and ruling authority. Yet, when Jesus came into the world, those who studied the words of the prophets so intently kind of missed the words that foretold so much about him.

Many were so sure of their interpretation of what the prophets said that Messiah would be that they missed him when he stood in their midst. Some even wanted him crucified! Still others believed in a timetable set by Daniel and a notion that the Messiah would come in a type of military power and overthrow the ruling Roman Empire.

When my dad visited Israel (as a member of the U.S. military), he toured Masada. Masada was the mountain fortress with a palace built into it for Herod. During the revolt around 73-74 A.D., many of the Sicarii zealots fled from the Romans up into Masada. They had recently seen the Temple in Jerusalem destroyed and ransacked. For them, the end of the world they knew was at hand.

The tour guide pointed out that many of the Jews who joined the uprising were deeply devout zealots -- who believed that the coming of the Messiah was imminent. Some even invoked the prophecy from Isaiah who, in chapter 33, wrote about those who would flee to a mountain fortress with their needs provided for -- and that they would see the King (i.e., Messiah). Yet, they had already missed the true Messiah when he was killed some four decades earlier.

What a terrible thought for those who would ultimately end their own lives in mass suicide! I wonder if any of them had considered the possibility that they had misinterpreted the prophecy of the Messiah and that those in Jerusalem had crucified him roughly a generation earlier. They read the prophecy of a mighty ruling Messiah who would judge the Earth (after his second coming) instead of all of the passages that referred to a humble Messiah who would come to sacrifice himself for the sins of the world.

Similarly, I don't want to misinterpret the words of Revelation using my own limited human intelligence or any sort of earthly wisdom. My wife and I are reading through the prophets right now. It is very easy to be unsure of the time period for each particular passage and how some passages in a single chapter can refer to the near future, a distant future and even a further distant future period.

I suppose that when we are on the other side of this "glass darkly" of life and we have inherited our incorruptible bodies (with a mind that perceives all things), then we'll understand what it all referred to with holy precision. Until then, we can only consider the words and pray that they are revealed in God's good time.


 2022/8/9 1:17Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 6255


Matthew Henry’s take:

“ Here let us consider the preface to this vision, and then the vision itself.

I. The preface to this vision: A voice was heard from the horns of the golden altar, Rev. 9:13, 14. Here observe, 1. The power of the church’s enemies is restrained till God gives the word to have them turned loose. 2. When nations are ripe for punishment, those instruments of God’s anger that were before restrained are let loose upon them, Rev. 9:14. 3. The instruments that God makes use of to punish a people may sometimes lie at a great distance from them, so that no danger may be apprehended from them. These four messengers of divine judgment lay bound in the river Euphrates, a great way from the European nations. Here the Turkish power had its rise, which seems to be the story of this vision.

II. The vision itself: And the four angels that had been bound in the great river Euphrates were now loosed, Rev. 9:15, 16. And here observe, 1. The time of their military operations and executions is limited to an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year. Prophetic characters of time are hardly to be understood by us; but in general the time is fixed to an hour, when it shall begin and when it shall end; and how far the execution shall prevail, even to a third part of the inhabitants of the earth. God will make the wrath of man praise him, and the remainder of wrath he will restrain. 2. The army that was to execute this great commission is mustered, and the number found to be of horsemen two hundred thousand thousand; but we are left to guess what the infantry must be. In general, it tells us, the armies of the Mahomedan empire should be vastly great; and so it is certain they were. 3. Their formidable equipage and appearance, Rev. 9:17. As the horses were fierce, like lions, and eager to rush into the battle, so those who sat upon them were clad in bright and costly armour, with all the ensigns of martial courage, zeal, and resolution. 4. The vast havoc and desolation that they made in the Roman empire, which had now become antichristian: A third part of them were killed; they went as far as their commission suffered them, and they could go no further. 5. Their artillery, by which they made such slaughter, described by fire, smoke, and brimstone, issuing out of the mouths of their horses, and the stings that were in their tails. It is Mr. Mede’s opinion that this is a prediction of great guns, those instruments of cruelty which make such destruction: he observes, These were first used by the Turks at the siege of Constantinople, and, being new and strange, were very terrible, and did great execution. However, here seems to be an allusion to what is mentioned in the former vision, that, as antichrist had his forces of a spiritual nature, like scorpions poisoning the minds of men with error and idolatry, so the Turks, who were raised up to punish the antichristian apostasy, had their scorpions and their stings too, to hurt and kill the bodies of those who had been the murderers of so many souls. 6. Observe the impenitency of the antichristian generation under these dreadful judgments (Rev. 9:20); the rest of the men who were not killed repented not, they still persisted in those sins for which God was so severely punishing them, which were, (1.) Their idolatry; they would not cast away their images, though they could do them no good, could not see, nor hear, nor walk. (2.) Their murders (Rev. 9:21), which they had committed upon the saints and servants of Christ. Popery is a bloody religion, and seems resolved to continue such. (3.) Their sorceries; they have their charms, and magic arts, and rites in exorcism and other things. (4.) Their fornication; they allow both spiritual and carnal impurity, and promote it in themselves and others. (5.) Their thefts; they have by unjust means heaped together a vast deal of wealth, to the injury and impoverishing of families, cities, princes, and nations. These are the flagrant crimes of antichrist and his agents; and, though God has revealed his wrath from heaven against them, they are obstinate, hardened, and impenitent, and judicially so, for they must be destroyed.

III. From this sixth trumpet we learn, 1. God can make one enemy of the church to be a scourge and plague to another. 2. He who is the Lord of hosts has vast armies at his command, to serve his own purposes. 3. The most formidable powers have limits set them, which they cannot transgress. 4. When God’s judgments are in the earth, he expects the inhabitants thereof should repent of sin, and learn righteousness. 5. Impenitency under divine judgments is an iniquity that will be the ruin of sinners; for where God judges he will overcome.”


 2022/8/9 14:28Profile

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