With the Fall of the Western Empire in 476 A.D., there was still work left to be done in Elohim’s judgment on the Roman Empire. The Eastern Empire still stood strong. It would be in the time of Heraclius of the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern half of Rome that judgment is now focused.
First, we must establish the use of prophetic language and its fulfillment before we can move forward.
The symbology in Bible prophecy, when depicting a literal nation is based on literal realities among that nation, namely, its gross domestic product, its regional flora and its fauna, its military armaments, its coinage, the moral character of the people, etc.
The wikipedia article on the biogeography of the Mediterranean Bason states,
“Wheat is the dominant grain grown around the Mediterranean Basin. Pulses and vegetables are also grown. The characteristic tree crop is the olive. Figs are another important fruit tree, and citrus, especially lemons, are grown where irrigation is present. Grapes are an important vine crop, grown for fruit and to make wine. Rice and summer vegetables are grown in irrigated areas.”
This is the exact language the Bible uses to depict Israel:
Jer. 11: 16 The LORD called your name,
“A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form”;
With the noise of a great tumult
He has kindled fire on it,
And its branches are worthless.
Rom. 11: 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the [h]rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
Judgment on Damascus
Isa. 17: 4 Now in that day the glory of Jacob will [f]fade,
And the fatness of his flesh will become lean.
5 It will be even like the [g]reaper gathering the standing grain,
As his arm harvests the ears,
Or it will be like one gleaning ears of grain
In the valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleanings will be left in it like the [h]shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three olives on the topmost bough,
Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,
Declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
Isaiah’s prophecy against Israel
Isa. 24:7 The new wine mourns,
The vine decays,
All the merry-hearted sigh.
8 The gaiety of tambourines ceases,
The noise of revelers stops,
The gaiety of the harp ceases.
9 They do not drink wine with song;
Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10 The city of chaos is broken down;
Every house is shut up so that none may enter.
11 There is an outcry in the streets concerning the wine;
All joy [b]turns to gloom.
The gaiety of the earth is banished.
12 Desolation is left in the city
And the gate is battered to ruins.
13 For thus it will be in the midst of the earth among the peoples,
As the [c]shaking of an olive tree,
As the gleanings when the grape harvest is over.
Psa. 80:8 You removed a vine from Egypt;
The cursing of the fig tree, the parable of the landowner and how the vinegrowers killed him where Israel is depicted as a fig tree and a grape vineyard are also striking:
Mat. 21:18 Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. 19 Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He *said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.
And then right after he gives these signs, the cursing of the fig tree and the landowner parable he says,
42 Jesus *said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures,
‘The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the chief corner stone;
This came about from the Lord,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a [m]people, producing the fruit of it. 44 And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.
Egypt is referred to as a reed:
2 Kings 18: 21 Now behold, you [j]rely on the staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt; on which if a man leans, it will go into his [k]hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him.
Ezek. 29:6 “Then all the inhabitants of Egypt will know that I am the LORD,
Because they have been only a staff made of reed to the house of Israel.
Again, the Cyperus papyrus reed is one of the most famously known agricultural products from Egypt:
“Cyperus papyrus (papyrus sedge, paper reed, Indian matting plant, Nile grass) is a species of aquatic flowering plant belonging to the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is a tender herbaceous perennial, native to Africa, and forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water.
Papyrus sedge (and its close relatives) has a very long history of use by humans, notably by the Ancient Egyptians—it is the source of papyrus paper, one of the first types of paper ever made.”
Now to animal symbols:
Judah is depicted by the Lion, from the prevalence of the Asiatic lion in this region.
Genesis 49: 9 “Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up?
Edom is depicted as an eagle in a high mountain region.
Jer. 49:16 “As for the terror of you,
The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
O you who live in the clefts of [n]the rock,
Who occupy the height of the hill.
Though you make your nest as high as an eagle’s,
I will bring you down from there,” declares the LORD.
This is no doubt to to the prevalence of mountain regions in Edom such as Mount Seir and Mount Hor:
The line of Ishmael, the Arabs, are depicted as a wild donkey due to their violent and unstable characteristics, in scripture:
Gen. 16:“He will be a wild donkey of a man,
His hand will be against everyone,
And everyone’s hand will be against him;
And he will [m]live [n]to the east of all his brothers.”
In Daniel 7, the prophet depicts Babylon as a lion, the first beast, which species of animal is native to Mesopotamia and the most prevalent symbol in Babylonian artwork. We even have in Darius’ Palace a winged lion exactly as Dan. 7:4 states:
The second beast in Daniel’s prophecy is the bear depicting the Medo-Persian Empire, the Asiatic Black Bear and the Baluchistan bear being prevalent in the region in the mountainous regions of the Medes.
The Leopard symbolizing Greece is no doubt due to the Anatolian Leopard. Pindar, depicts the Magnesians, an ancient Greek people in Ionia, as their native dress including leopard skin:
“And so in time
he came, a man with two spears, stupendous; 
a double garment covered him, 
the Magnesians’ native dress
closely fitting his marvelous limbs,
and round about it a leopard skin
kept off the shivering rain;  ”
Pindar, Pythian 4
In Daniel 8 we are introduced to the He-goat and the Ram depicting Greece and Persia.
The correlation of Greece with the goat is well known with Aegus the Goat-Man.
“In ancient times, there were various explanations for the name Aegean. It was said to have been named after the Greek town of Aegae, or after Aegea, a queen of the Amazons who died in the sea, or Aigaion, the “sea goat”, another name of Briareus, one of the archaic Hecatonchires, or, especially among the Athenians, Aegeus, the father of Theseus, who drowned himself in the sea when he thought his son had died.
A possible etymology is a derivation from the Greek word αἶγες – aiges = “waves” (Hesychius of Alexandria; metaphorical use of αἴξ (aix) “goat”), hence “wavy sea”, cf. also αἰγιαλός (aigialos = aiges (waves) + hals (sea)), hence meaning “sea-shore.”
As to Persia, as we saw before the people of Media and Persia were Mountain tribes, the frequent home of the Bear and the Ram. In Calmet’s Dictionary of the Holy Bible we see that Ancient Persia was well known for the Ram on its coinage:
The Dr. Hunter mentioned is the famous William Hunter:
And his famous Hunterian Museum:
In The Roman History Of Ammianus Marcellinus, Book 19, C. 1, we read of Gumbrates, a 4th century Persian king, riding into war with a Ram’s Head:
“3. And he himself, mounted on his charger, and being taller than the rest, led his whole army, wearing instead of a crown a golden figure of a ram’s head inlaid with jewels”
In Daniel’s most famous prophecy, the Statue Prophecy(Dan. 2) we see the Babylonian(Head of Gold), Medo-Persian(Chest and Arms of Silver), Greek(Belly and thighs of Brass) and Roman Empires(Legs of Iron) laid out for us centuries before these kingdoms existed.
Gibbon states, HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.—Part VI.
“The arms of the republic, sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious in war, advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, and the Ocean; and the images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent the nations and their kings, were successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome.”
On the Greek Brass, we read in Herodotus, Vol. 2, Chap. 152:
“However, not long afterwards certain Carians and Ionians who had left their country on a voyage of plunder, were carried by stress of weather to Egypt where they disembarked, all equipped in their brazen armour, and were seen by the natives, one of whom carried the tidings to Psammetichus, and, as he had never before seen men clad in brass, he reported that brazen men had come from the sea and were plundering the plain. Psammetichus, perceiving at once that the oracle was accomplished, made friendly advances to the strangers, and engaged them, by splendid promises, to enter into his service. He then, with their aid and that of the Egyptians who espoused his cause, attacked the eleven and vanquished them.”
As for Rome and it’s association with Iron we need only look to the famous Lorica Segmenta:
Livy, Roman History, Book 9.40, states in contrast to the Samnite soldiers who were adorned with silver and gold,
“The Romans had been apprized of these splendid accoutrements, and had been taught by their commanders, that “a soldier ought to be rough; not decorated with gold and silver, but placing his confidence in his sword. That matters of this kind were in reality spoil rather than armour; glittering before action, but soon becoming disfigured amid blood and wounds. That the brightest ornament of a soldier was valour; that all those trinkets would follow victory, and that those rich enemies would be valuable prizes to the conquerors, however poor.”
See also Ridpath, Universal History, Vol. 1, pg. 288 on the development of the Iron Age at this time. The iron age melts into the Roman Period(link)
The Bible is literally mapping out history for us before it even begins!
So now moving from the now established fact that the symbology in Bible prophecy, when depicting a literal nation is based on literal realities among that nation, namely, its gross domestic product, its regional flora and its fauna, its military armaments, its coinage, the moral character of the people, etc., we can now interpret Rev. 9:
Revelation 9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.
So here we are introduced to the symbols of this Trumpet Judgment. Let’s take them one at a time:
Locusts power of scorpions, prepared for battle like horses with armor and sounded like the swarming of chariots with teeth like lions but they had hair like women denoting effeminate characteristics (7-9) and are told not to hurt grass but to torment men.
Locusts denote ability to quickly swarm and spread:
Nahum 3:15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.
The Locust is depicted as coming from the East of Egypt in scripture, which is the lands of the Arabs:
Exo. 10:13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
Judges 6: 3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites[Midian is Northwest Arabia – DS] came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; 4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers [the same word for Locust] for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.
Again, the scorpion is also denoted in scripture to be associated with this area:
Deuteronomy 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
Arabia was the original native land of the horse.
Gibbon, History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part I,
“Arabia, in the opinion of the naturalist, is the genuine and original country of the horse;”
As I have already shown, the lion is also native and associated with this region.
As for the description of verses 7 and 8 of the locusts having faces of men but long hair as women, we see on an ancient Achaemenid coinage, Daric in 490 B.C. depicted as bearded with long hair:
The Achaemenid Empire was greatly comprised of the Arab people:
We see the same with the Sasanian rock reliefs:
Pliny States in Natural History, Book Six, C. 32,
“The Arabs either wear the mitra, or else go with their hair unshorn, while the beard is shaved, except upon the upper lip: some tribes, however, leave even the beard unshaved.”
Jerome states, writing in the late 4th century, in his The Life of Malchus, the Captive Monk,
“4. On the road from Beroa to Edessa adjoining the high-way is a waste over which the Saracens[Another word for Arabs – SI] roam to and fro without having any fixed abode. Through fear of them travellers in those parts assemble in numbers, so that by mutual assistance they may escape impending danger. There were in my company men, women, old men, youths, children, altogether about seventy persons. All of a sudden the Ishmaelites[Another word for Arabs – DS] on horses and camels made an assault upon us, with their flowing hair bound with fillets, their bodies half-naked, with their broad military boots, their cloaks streaming behind them, and their quivers slung upon the shoulders.“
Crowns on the heads of the Locusts
This is no doubt the well known Turban worn by commoners and noble families alike:
[From the movie El Cid]
Breastplates of Iron(vs 9)
Gibbon, Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part V,
“The resentment of the public and private loss stimulated Abu Sophian to collect a body of three thousand men, seven hundred of whom were armed with cuirasses”
A cuirass is body armor usually consisting of a single piece.
Thus the Koran states in Surah 16:81,
“And GOD hath provided for you, of that which he hath created, conveniences to shade you from the sun, and he hath also provided you places of retreat in the mountains, and he hath given you garments to defend you from the heat, and coats of mail to defend you in your wars”
George Sale (English Translation)
Seeing we are well passed the zenith of the iron age, the fact that this armor was made of iron is considerably strong and should go without saying.
The Star-judgment Angel, the Smoke and the Pit
Rev. 1:b 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.
The pit is no doubt referring to the Biblical doctrine of hell, the pit of destruction not the Catholic doctrine of eternal torment:
Psalm 55:23 But thou, O Elohim, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction(Not eternal torment): bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.
The one with the keys to hell is the master Yeshua:
Revelation 1:18 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.
This same angel is spoken to in Rev. 20:
20: 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Heb. 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
And we read in verse 1 of Rev. 9 that the star-judgment angel was given the key to the bottomless pit so the star-judgment angel is not Yeshua but his instrument in this trumpet judgment.
So thus, we see the Master Yeshua through his judgment angel apocalyptically opening hell to release a hellish swarming apocalyptic host led by Abaddon or Apollyon who is also the angel of the bottomless pit.
This is no doubt the fallen Angel himself, Shatan the adversary:
Luke 10:18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like? lightning from heaven.”
It was this fallen angel who inspired Muhammed:
Gibbon, Vol. 5, Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.—Part III,
“From his earliest youth Mahomet was addicted to religious contemplation; each year, during the month of Ramadan, he withdrew from the world, and from the arms of Cadijah: in the cave of Hera, three miles from Mecca, he consulted the spirit of fraud or enthusiasm, whose abode is not in the heavens, but in the mind of the prophet. The faith which, under the name of Islam, he preached to his family and nation, is compounded of an eternal truth, and a necessary fiction, That there is only one God, and that Mahomet is the apostle of God.”
We see that Muhammad was unsatisfied with the religious sects of his homeland and was seeking to blaze his own path. Why is that? I want to consider this for a moment.
In my book, One Hundred and Sixty-Six Theses Against the Jews, the Hebrew Roots, the Ebionites, the Muslims and the Premillennialists, I state in Theses 32:
“Ebionism and the Rise of Islam
32. A cursory examination of Ebionite doctrine clearly reveals the roots of Islam. The Ebionites denied that Yeshua pre-existed his birth. They taught he was a mere man. The Ebionites rejected Paul as an apostate. They rejected the whole New Testament except Matthew but still deny the Virgin Birth, thus Matthew itself was suspect. The Ebionites were Premillennialists and they rejected the Penal Substitutionary Atonement of Yeshua. The evolution to Islam from this platform is an easy one. Though the Muslims accept the Virgin Birth in large, they still see Yeshua as only a mere man. The Muslims deny Penal Substitutionary Atonement which itself brings the essence of Biblical Judaism into question as well as the Premillennial idea of the rebuilt Temple. And having rejected the entire New Testament a basis for belief in Yeshua and the Abrahamic God was needed. Thus, Muhammed and the Koran was erected. To reject the New Testament while holding faith in Yeshua is arbitrary and ad hoc. On what basis other than the Islamic tradition can you appeal to? They will demand that the Muslims do not hold the Torah to be perfect, but then neither does the Ebionite/Hebrew Roots, for they reject the Torah on Blood Atonement and add to the Torah with Ezekiel’s Temple.”
We also see a strong influence of Nestorianism concernign the rise of Islam. The Muslim religion also has some stark similarities to Catholicism. They believe in the Virgin Birth, and they admit to venerating Mary much higher than the Bible:
This is why their women are dressed just like Catholic Nuns.
Nestorius himself was a Catholic and participated in the early Catholic Ecumenical Councils. He was a staunch defender of the Trinity and the Council of Nicea which is why the Nestorian Churches have monasteries, priests, idolatrous and extra biblical liturgies, the traditional Catholic forms of Church government, etc.
The first and cherished wife of Muhammed, Khadija had Nestorians in her family such as Waraka ibn Nawfal who was a Nestorian Priest.
The problem was that the two groups, the Ebionites and the Nestorians had such gaping holes in their doctrines that another tradition was needed. The Ebionites claimed to believe in Yeshua but rejected every book of the New Testament! The Nestorians believed Yeshua was two persons as if there were two Messiah’s! And this is why we see Muhammad seeking his own way.
The Seal on the Forehead
Rev. 9:4 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.
The Seal of Elohim on the foreheads of men was defined by the Torah as keeping the commandments of Yahuah.
Exo. 13: 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. 8 And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. 9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the Lord brought thee out of Egypt.10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year. 11 And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 12 That thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the Lord’s. 13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. 14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. 16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt.
Thus, the mark or seal of Elohim is keeping his commandments while the mark of the beast is the refusal to obey the commands of Elohim.
Torment for five months
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence edited by Mark Juergensmeyer, Margo Kitts, Michael Jerryson (Oxford University Press, 2013), pg. 126, states that Muhammad began his preaching ministry in 612 A.D.
Thus, Gibbon, Vol. 5, Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part II,
“Constantinople and the Greek fire might exclude the Arabs from the eastern entrance of Europe; but in the West, on the side of the Pyrenees, the provinces of Gaul were threatened and invaded by the conquerors of Spain.”
At the Battle of Tours, 732 A.D., the exact point when the 4th month ended and the fifth began the Muslims were crushed by Charles Martel.
With the Abbasid Revolution weakening the unity of the Muslim movement even more, ending in 750 A.D., the Muslim movement began to transition from invasion to Empire building. And thus the victorious Abbasid Caliphate established their Capital City Baghdad 762 A.D., exactly 150 years or 5 prophetic months from 612 A.D.
Gibbon says, Vol. 5, Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part II,
“Mecca was the patrimony of the line of Hashem, yet the Abbassides were never tempted to reside either in the birthplace or the city of the prophet. Damascus was disgraced by the choice, and polluted with the blood, of the Ommiades; and, after some hesitation, Almansor, the brother and successor of Saffah, laid the foundations of Bagdad, 41 the Imperial seat of his posterity during a reign of five hundred years. 42 The chosen spot is on the eastern bank of the Tigris, about fifteen miles above the ruins of Modain: the double wall was of a circular form; and such was the rapid increase of a capital, now dwindled to a provincial town, that the funeral of a popular saint might be attended by eight hundred thousand men and sixty thousand women of Bagdad and the adjacent villages. In this city of peace, 43 amidst the riches of the East, the Abbassides soon disdained the abstinence and frugality of the first caliphs, and aspired to emulate the magnificence of the Persian kings.”
And again Gibbon states in the next chapter, Chapter LII: More Conquests By The Arabs.—Part III,
“War was no longer the passion of the Saracens; and the increase of pay, the repetition of donatives, were insufficient to allure the posterity of those voluntary champions who had crowded to the standard of Abubeker and Omar for the hopes of spoil and of paradise.”
Remember, the prophet said(9:5) the Locusts were only intended to torment, not to conquer and kill the Eastern Empire.
And thus, the Fifth Trumpet was fulfilled.