I was studying the Book of Revelation, and there were some concepts that weren’t very clear to me. Could you help?: Rev. 10:6 – “There should be time no longer” – is this a reference to the end of God’s waiting for the end of the apostasy? Rev. 9:14 Here our Bible says an alternate translation is ‘the bottomless pit,’ but I can’t find this anywhere else. Also, what is this referring to? Rev. 9:11- Who is this Abaddon? Is it the devil? Thank you.
Before I answer, I need to remind you that much of what is in Revelation has not been explained fully by the prophets. In fact, there are several acknowledgements in scripture that they are not to be had publicly, but individually through the Spirit only.
The first passage you reference is one instance of some information that is not to be had among the children of men. Rev 10:4 reads:
And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
Much of Revelation, however, can be better understood by simply reading what is actually there. We need to be careful about interpreting things. But we can get a pretty clear idea of meaning by simply reading the literal words that are actually there.
The reference you gave in verse 6 certainly has an ambiguous meaning. But we can get better understanding by looking at context and other translations. The context is that John was given specific information in his vision about things in the last days and in the Millennium. Then the phrase that is oft translated as “there should be time no longer” also has two alternate translations that come up in other English versions of the Bible:
- “There shall be no more delay.”
- “The time is not yet.”
It seems strange that these alternate translations appear to be opposite in meaning. But if you ponder both these meanings you can begin to understand the meaning of the phrase. Study, ponder, and pray and you may understand through the Spirit.
Let me clarify what you’re asking for our other readers. Rev 9:14 in the KJV states:
Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
The footnote on the word “in” in the LDS version of the Bible indicates a “JST” which stands for “Joseph Smith Translation.” In it, the prophet Joseph Smith replaced “in the great river Euphrates” with “in the bottomless pit.”
The change should seem obvious since the context would indicate all the evils of the world are to come out of the Euphrates. However, in rabbinical tradition, the Euphrates has been symbolic of all of the Lord’s blessings. It doesn’t make much sense that the symbol of all the Lord’s blessings are then becoming the source of all the world’s evils.
The Bible Dictionary states:
Destroyer, a Greek translation of the Hebrew word Abaddon, or “Destruction”; in Rev. 9:11 it is the name of the Angel of the Abyss (bottomless pit) made familiar to English readers by Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. BD: “Apollyon”
Apart from that we really don’t know. No prophetic guidance has been given as to the identity of this individual. I’d also point out that with the figurative nature of this entire narrative, it isn’t necessarily a person so much as a concept. If the name Abaddon itself means “destruction,” then we may see this as a force of nature or the general state of the earth during the time of the realization of the vision.
The bottom line is that we will experience great destruction in the last days. And those who do not have the name of the Lamb of God in their foreheads as opposed to the mark of the beast, will have greater suffering.
While I can’t give a full and complete interpretation, I hope I have at least explained what the words actually mean and what is actually written. This should give you a good starting point for continued study and prayer.