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Revelation 9:16

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16 And [kai] the number [arithmos] of the army [strateuma] of the horsemen [hippikon] were two hundred [duo] thousand [murias] thousand: [murias] and [kai] I heard [akouo] the number [arithmos] of them. [autos]   KJV-Interlinear



16 And the number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.    NASB



There are times in scripture when a large number is used to generalize simply that, a large number.And there are times when the number is exact and intended to be clear as being precise.  This is one of those times.


John gave the number of the army of demons, and then he reinforced the number when he said, ‘I heard the number.’


How did he hear the number?


In the military counts are always done for one reason of another.  In morning assembly, squads report to platoons, platoons report to companies, companies report to battalions, battalions report to divisions, divisions report to corps, and corps make up the army reporting to the general staff.


They report, ‘All present or accounted for.X number present. X number reported sick. X number on leave. X number here or there.’  The total number or men and women who belong to the entire group are always accounted for.


John heard the number, ‘arithmos,’ which means reckoned count, calculation, record of.


And it was two-hundred million, under the command of the four demons we studied earlier. We presume by inference that they are divided up equally in fifty-million members for each army.That may or may not be the case, but there is no indication otherwise that there is some imbalance in the groups.


In human militaries there might be engineering battalions, or artillery battalions and so forth that might cause one corps to have more units than another.  However, this is not an army of human beings, nor is this an army with specialties.  This is a demon army of which each member is a fighter, requiring no support for logistics, or cover fire or anything else.


Back in World War Two, the United States had an army of eleven million men and women at the end of the war.That has been the largest standing army in history.And even though today, both China and India can boast of the ability to call up far greater armies, neither country has the economic capacity to support huge armies.


This army of demons does not require support.They do not require food or ammunition or transportation or wages.  They are a self supporting, self sustaining force, that no human, no human organization can oppose.


This demon army is going to travel around the world, presumably in the four directions of the compass, unopposed, and they are going to kill (with great violence) at will, anyone and everyone that they find.And with great violence simply means that they are going to enjoy their killing and the process of the killing.


Back in the days of Isaiah, Jerusalem was surrounded by a large force of the Sennacherib army from Babylon.Everyone in the city was in terror because of the reputation of the enemy force that was surrounding the city.One of the games that they played with their captives, was to see how far they could skin a prisoner, before they actually died.  So being taken captive was not a good thing.  Other atrocities occurred as well.


This is the type of great violence and probably worse, that will occur when the killing begins.  Likewise, the size of this force implies a much larger human population in the world which would be sufficient to fill the killing frenzy that this force is going to be capable of.  Remember that this demon force cannot be opposed.And each individual demon is capable of killing hundreds if not more.


There will be no defense, no escape, for anyone, except for one, and that is Gods control over how many will die – one-third of humanity, no more and no less.  There will be no innocent victims, no mistakes.


The next two verses will describe in terrible and dramatic detail, the slaughter that is going to take place.


And although this event is future and from our perspective, if you are a believer in Christ already, you are not going to see any of it.  But for those who have rejected Christ, and presumably may never read this study or any scripture from any source for that matter, then this event may very well be a part of their life, assuming that the Rapture and tribulation will occur within our generation.


Personally I believe that it is still set for a distant generation, but that is just a personal opinion, of course.


What we today should make note of, for our own lives, is that God is extremely loving and generous, and patient.


You have a phenomenal opportunity for your life right now, and that means you have to grow up spiritually in order to obtain it.But, if you choose not to or do not quite see the importance of the application of these principles to your own life, then there will come a time in your life, when God will pull the plug, and your opportunity will cease.


You will not go to heaven with great trepidation, of course, but when you get there and all of the realities of truth come rushing at you and then you really see the truth, then your attitude will turn to great embarrassment --- for being such a dummy.  And of course you will be a great loser in what could have been a far better eternal destiny.


But, you have to figure that out for yourself.Hopefully sooner, than later.



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