I have spent a lot of time studying the prospect for a major large-scale conflict to transpire in the latter portion of the end times. I believe the four angels bound at the Euphrates River are key players in this conflict. In this article, I share insight on the four angels bound at the Euphrates River.
The Four Angels
Revelation 9:13-16 describes the release of four angels who are bound at the Euphrates River and the aftermath of their release: the slaying of a 1/3 of mankind by 200 million horsemen:
(13) And 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 which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. (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. (16) And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” (Rev 9:13-16)
The angels released from the Euphrates River are probably fallen angels because they have been bound there. The Greek word for “bound” (deō) is only used twice in the Book of Revelation. The other verse where this word appears is in Revelation 20:2, which describes Satan being bound for 1,000 years.
“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,” (Rev 20:2)
Revelation 20:7 indicates that the binding of Satan for one thousand years is connected to his imprisonment:
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,” (Rev 20:7)
Given the context of how the word “deō” is used in Revelation 20:2, 7, it is likely that the use of deō in Revelation 9:14 is meant to convey the sense that the four angels bound at the Euphrates River are imprisoned in a similar manner that Satan will be imprisoned for one thousand years.
The treatment of these four angels is interesting to note because they will be temporarily released from their bondage unlike the group of angels described in Jude 1:6 and 2 Peter 2:4.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6)
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” (2 Peter 2:4)
I believe the Bible is inerrant and without contradiction, so I do not believe there is a contradiction between Revelation 9:14, Jude 1:6, and 2 Peter 2:4. I think these verses can be harmonized by the likely possibility that the four angels are kept at a different location than the group of angels mentioned in Jude 1:6 and 2 Peter 2:4 (the location Peter mentioned is hell/Tartarus).
Revelation 9:14-15 states that the four angels who will be released “were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year” at the Euphrates River. This phrase indicates that these angels are reserved for a specific purpose-primarily causing the type of chaos that leads to the death of a third of mankind.1
I believe the four angels may play some role in stirring up a large-scale conflict like the unclean spirits will rally the kings of the earth to battle following the opening of the sixth vial (Revelation 16:13-14).
If you would like to learn more about the 200 million horsemen connected to the four angels, click this link for my article on the topic.