9 The fifth angel blew his trumpet. Then I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the tunnel leading down into the Abyss. 2When the star opened the Abyss, smoke rose up from it like the smoke from a huge furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.
3Out of the smoke came locusts. They settled down on the earth. They were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree. They were supposed to harm only the people who didn’t have God’s seal on their foreheads. 5They were not allowed to kill them. But they could hurt them over and over for five months. The pain the people suffered was like the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man.
6In those days, people will look for a way to die but won’t find it. They will want to die, but death will escape them.
7The locusts looked like horses ready for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold. Their faces looked like human faces. 8Their hair was like women’s hair. Their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9Their chests were covered with something that looked like armor made out of iron. The sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions. And in their tails they had power to hurt people over and over for five months.
11Their king was the angel of the Abyss. In the Hebrew language his name is Abaddon. In Greek it is Apollyon.
12The first terrible judgment is past. Two others are still coming.
13The sixth angel blew his trumpet. Then I heard a voice coming from the corners of the golden altar that stands in front of God. 14The voice spoke to the sixth angel who had the trumpet. It said, “Set the four angels free who are held at the great river Euphrates.”
15The four angels had been ready for this very hour and day and month and year. They were set free to kill a third of all people. 16The number of troops on horseback was 200,000,000. I heard how many there were.
17The horses and riders I saw in my vision had armor on their chests. It was flaming red, dark blue, and yellow like sulfur. The heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads. Out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18A third of all people were killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of the horses’ mouths. 19The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails. The tails were like snakes whose heads could bite.
20The people who were not killed by these plagues still did not turn away from what they had been doing. They did not stop worshiping demons. They kept worshiping statues of gods made out of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood, which can’t see or hear or walk. 21The people also did not turn away from their murders, witchcraft, sexual sins and stealing.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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