Previously: Revelation 9: the sixth trumpet army and the lion
The first post in the Revelation series
Now the Seljuk Turks made many inroads against the Eastern Empire, but a new family of Turks began coming to power within the Seljuk empire, the Ottoman Turks. They began expanding at the expense of the Seljuks by 1362. They continued to increase, and it was under the Ottomans that Constantinople was finally captured in 1453. Here is John describing the sixth trumpet army:
“And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, …” Revelation 9:17
The colors of this army are red (fire), blue (sapphire), and yellow (sulfer). Barnes quotes an English historian named Daubuz as saying:
On the application of this passage to the Turks, Mr. Daubuz justly remarks, that “from their first appearance the Ottomans have affected to wear warlike apparel of scarlet, blue, and yellow: a descriptive trait the more marked from its contrast to the military appearance of the Greeks, Franks, or Saracens contemporarily.” Barnes Notes on the New Testament
Now, John continues:
“… and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.” Revelation 9:17-19
The destruction the sixth trumpet army brings is by fire, smoke, and sulfer. In fact, Barnes considers that to John, who had not ever seen guns or gunfire before, it would appear that the horses themselves were belching forth smoke and sulfurous flame, as a mounted army fired guns against their enemy, thus bringing death. In fact, the Turks were among the first army to use gunpowder. The Muslims invented the firearm, and the Ottomans used artillery against Constantinople successfully, whose thick walls had withstood invaders for over a thousand years.
“Nor was it possible to circumscribe the secret within the pale of the church; it was disclosed to the Turks by the treachery of apostates and the selfish policy of rivals; and the sultans had sense to adopt, and wealth to reward, the talents of a Christian engineer. By the Venetians, the use of gunpowder was communicated without reproach to the sultans of Egypt and Persia, their allies against the Ottoman power; the secret was soon propagated to the extremities of Asia; and the advantage of the European was confined to his easy victories over the savages of the new world,” Gibbon, chapter 65.
The only description which remains is the horses tails which were like serpent’s heads.
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 9: the trumpets did not inspire repentance
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