Scorpions and Serpents in Prophecy

| March 6, 2012

Notice the tails that these idols have. They are serpents.

When the fifth and sixth trumpets of Revelation 9 blow we are told that many people will be hurt by creatures described as having tails like scorpions and tails like unto serpents. For centuries people have been perplexed as to the meaning of this. However, much of the confusion surrounding these things, as well as many other difficult passages in the Bible, can be alleviated if we simply let the Bible do our interpreting for us.

For there was a time, I believe, that our Lord Jesus Christ looked out into the future and explained to us exactly what the scorpions and serpents of Revelation 9 represent.

But before we get into that, let us review the scriptures in Revelation 9 where these two symbols are used.

5th Trumpet – Tails like Scorpions

When the fifth trumpet blows, the Apostle John says:

I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

And he opened the bottomless pit: and there arose a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth; and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them…

And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. –Revelation 9:1-6, 10

6th Trumpet – Tails like Serpents

And during the sixth trumpet John says:

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.

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.

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. -Revelation 9:15-17

Watch video about the 6th Trumpet:

What does all this mean?

Idols of false gods

Images of false gods and demons like this, and like the picture at the top of this article, are oftentimes portrayed as having a tail or some other portion of their body resembling a “serpent”.

Well, If you look closely at the verses above, you’ll notice that in both the fifth and sixth trumpets “the tails” of the creatures described therein display a great deal of destructive power. During the fifth trumpet those without the seal of God are tormented for five months by creatures described as having “tails like unto scorpions”, and during the sixth trumpet it says concerning those creatures that “their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads; and with them thy do hurt.”

Sounds pretty weird doesn’t?

However, like I said earlier, I believe our Lord Jesus Christ explained exactly what these scorpions and serpents represent.

Scorpions and serpents explained

For there was a time when Jesus appointed seventy disciples to go throughout the cities and preach that The Kingdom of God was near. Immediately after they returned from this mission is when I believe Christ interpreted the symbolism of the fifth and sixth trumpets.

Let’s take a look:

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”

And He said unto them, “I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven.

Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” –Luke 10:17-20

In other words, Christ is explaining to us, and to them, that serpents and scorpions are symbols of Satan and his power. More specifically, Jesus is equating serpents and scorpions with evil spirits. That’s why He said, “Rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you” immediately after He said, “I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions”.

But there is more to this.

Did you notice that Jesus prefaced this statement by saying, “ I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven”. This seems to be identical with the prophecy of the fifth trumpet! For at the time of the fifth trumpet John says that he saw “a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit” (Rev 9:1).

Though the two passages are worded a little differently, many scholars see both of these passages, Luke 10:18 and Rev 9:1, as referring to one and the same thing.

On top of that, we are told in Revelation 9 that those with the seal of God cannot be harmed by the “sting of the scorpions”, and in Luke 10 Jesus says, “I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Interesting. We know from history that evil people did persecute and kill many of God’s servants, probably even some of these seventy. So a physical enemy isn’t what Jesus is referring to. In both cases it is evident we are being told that evil spirits cannot harm us, as long as we exercise the power and authority given to us, in the name of Jesus Christ.

So evil spirits must be what we are talking about!

Understanding this point makes prophecies such as those given in Psalms 91 and others unfold before our very eyes. God’s Word sure does such a wonderful job explaining itself doesn’t it?

Well, in our next post in this series on Revelation 9 we will go into more detail on the meaning of the “sting of the scorpion” and how all of this all ties together with Psalms 91. If you wish to make an in depth verse-by-verse study of all of the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials of Revelation, a series of studies covering these is available on CD or DVD. Please click on the title for details.

Links to our series of studies on Revelation 9

  1. The Bottomless Pit
  2. Demons from the Abyss
  3. Infernal Locusts of Revelation 9
  4. Scorpions and Serpents in Prophecy

In His Service,
Pastor Ben Heath

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Category: End Times Prophecy

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