Revelation 9:11 tells us that the fifth trumpet locusts are overseen by the angel of the bottomless pit. The angel of the bottomless pit is a mysterious figure known as Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek:
“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:11)
In this article, I will reveal the identity of Abaddon/Apollyon (henceforth known as Apollyon).
Unlike many commentators, I do not believe that Apollyon is an evil spiritual being even though his title is the “angel of the bottomless pit”. I do not see how Apollyon would want to punish the wicked if he and the wicked were on the same side. Apollyon simply oversees the activities of the locusts, the instruments of God to punish the recipients of the Mark of the Beast. In addition, Revelation 9:11 does not state that Apollyon comes out of the abyss like the locusts do. Apollyon’s title “the angel of the bottomless pit” indicates that he has authority over the bottomless pit.
“Abaddon” in Hebrew means “Destroyer” or “Destruction” and “Apollyon” in Greek means “Destroyer”. Therefore, Apollyon is an angel tasked with bringing destruction.
The Old Testament and the New Testament reference a spiritual being known as “the Destroyer”. The Destroyer is most known for smiting the Egyptians first-born, the final plague of the 10 plagues of Egypt:
“For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.” (Exodus 12:23)
“Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” (Hebrews 11:28)
The destroyer is also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:10, which references an event in Numbers 14.
Some argue that the Destroyer is the Angel of the Lord. Proponents of this theory often cite the fact that the Angel of the Lord wiped out the Assyrian Army with a plague (Isaiah 37:36). I believe 1 Chronicles 21:15-18 is a passage that either supports or refutes this theory. The passage mentions the “destroying angel” being in the same location as the Angel of the Lord:
“(15) And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. (16) And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. (17) And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued. (18) Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” (1 Chronicles 21:15-18)
I previously thought that the Angel of the Lord was the Destroyer. However, the more I studied the passage above the more I am convinced that there are two angels at the scene. The Destroyer and the Angel of the Lord. Therefore, I believe Apollyon, the leader of the locusts, most likely is the angelic Destroyer that God has used to inflict punishment on people like the Egyptians and not the Angel of the Lord who smote the Assyrians.
You can learn more about the fifth trumpet by reading my article about the locusts that Apollyon oversees.