The locusts of the fifth trumpet described in Revelation 9 are a topic of much speculation. Some believe the locusts are literal locusts while others speculate that the locusts are demonic creatures. I will try to provide insight about the locusts of the fifth trumpet in this article.
The Fifth Trumpet
Revelation 9’s description of the 5th trumpet begins with a “star” descending to Earth. The “star” is given a key and opens the pit of the abyss; giving locusts from the abyss access to Earth:
“(1) And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. (2) 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. (3) And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth:” (Revelation 9:1-3)
The “star” is unlikely a real star because a real star descending to Earth would incinerate it. Some speculate that the star represents Jesus Christ because He has the keys to the abyss:
“(17) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:17-18)
However, the star is unlikely Jesus because the star will be given the keys to the abyss. Christ already possesses the keys so it makes little sense for Christ to hand the keys to Himself.
The “star” mostly likely is an angel because stars can symbolize angels in the Book of Revelation (see Revelation 1:20 and Revelation 12:4).
The locusts from the abyss will be given instructions about what they can and cannot do. The locusts will be permitted to torment those who do not have the “seal of God on their foreheads” (i.e. those with the Mark of the Beast). However, the locusts will not be allowed to kill anyone they torment. Nonetheless, the torture will be so bad that many people will rather die than to endure more suffering:
“(4) 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. (5) 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. (6) And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:4-6)
Revelation 9:7-10 describes the appearance of the locusts:
“(7) And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. (8) And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. (9) And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. (10) And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.” (Revelation 9:7-10)
Some speculate about whether these locusts are supernatural entities. I believe these locusts are indeed supernatural entities because they originate from the abyss, which is a spiritual place where evil souls are temporary held before their final judgment (see Revelation 17:8).1
Some argue that these locusts are demonic because they will come out of the abyss. However, nowhere in Revelation 9 does it directly say that these locusts are demonic. In fact, I argue that these locusts are doing a good thing by torturing wicked people on Earth. In addition, it is inconceivable to me that the wicked survivors of the fifth trumpet and the sixth trumpet would worship demons as described in Revelation 9:20 if they were tormented by demonic creatures:
“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:” (Revelation 9:20)
The fifth trumpet locusts are essentially tools used by God to punish the wicked of the earth at that time. I have more information relating to the fifth trumpet in my article about Apollyon/Abaddon, the leader of the locusts.