Last week I wrote about how China may become a participant in armed conflict soon as it prepares for war in all “strategic directions” within the next five years. A reader commented that China could be a participant in future conflict because they could produce 200 million horsemen, which is a direct reference to Revelation 9:16. This comment got me interested in analyzing the topic of the 200 million horsemen because it reminded me that there is a lot of speculation about the 200 million horsemen…
In the coming days I’ll attempt to provide some analysis about the 200 million horsemen. Today I’ll provide an overview of the sixth trumpet which includes the reference to the 200 million horsemen.
- Rev 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
- Rev 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
- Rev 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
- Rev 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
The King James Bible uses the word “army” to describe the 200 million horsemen, which initially suggests that every horseman is fighting for the same side. However, the Greek word for “army” (strateuma-meaning “a body of troops”) is used seven times in the New Testament of the King James Bible to mean “army” or “armies” (it’s used to mean “armies” in Matthew 22:7, Revelation 19:14, Revelation 19:19). Therefore, it’s possible that the 200 million horsemen represent the total number of horsemen from different armies rather than the total number of horsemen from a singular army. This is perhaps why other Bible versions like the New American Standard Bible (NASB) uses the word “armies” to describe the horsemen instead of “army” in Revelation 9:16.
- Note: I am not saying that the NASB is superior to the King James Bible (I believe the King James Bible is the best translation). I’m trying to point out that there is some leeway in how to translate the Greek in Revelation 9:16.
I think the translators of the King James Bible elected to use “army” instead of “armies” in Revelation 9:16 because Revelation 9:17-19 describe the actions of the horsemen collectively. However, I think it’s more likely that the 200 million total horsemen come from different armies than from a single army.
I think the connection between the four angels and the 200 million horsemen is that the angels are responsible for stirring up these horsemen for combat-the reason why they fight is unclear in the passage (I do have a theory about why they fight that I may share in the future). However, it’s not unheard-of for spirits to gather forces for battle. Revelation 16 records that three frog-like spirits travel throughout the world to gather forces for the “battle of that great day of God Almighty”.
- Rev 16:13 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.
- Rev 16:14 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.
I do not believe these horsemen are associated with the fifth trumpet locusts because these horsemen will be capable of killing men (while the locusts specialize in torture). I think the abstract description of the horsemen is a reflection of John’s difficulty in describing them in terms that people in his time could understand.
In any event, the horsemen will eventually kill 1/3 of the world’s population:
- Rev 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
- Rev 9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
- Rev 9:19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.
- Rev 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
- Rev 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
I’ll answer whether it is possible today for 200 million horsemen to participate in battle in Part 2. If you disagree what my analysis so far I still suggest you checkout Part 2 because I have some very interesting data to present…