And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(Revelation 9:13-16)
The Euphrates river is a place deeply embedded in Salvation history, and indeed holds a prominent place in the history of human civilization. The name ‘Euphrates’ is a greek Transliteration of the Hebrew ‘Parat’, which means ‘fruitful’, coming from the same Hebrew root as the name Ephraim,’God has made me fruitful’.The prefix “Eu” means good or well, thus the Euphrates is the” Well fruited river”.
The Euphrates was one of the original four rivers which watered the garden of Eden, and is acknowledged even by secular scholars as being at the site of the very cradle of civilization.
Various early City State kingdoms abounded in and around the ‘fertile crescent’, and between the two Rivers,(Mesopotamia, means “between the rivers”).The Sumerian,Accadian ,Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian Empires ruled at various times in History, and the area was traversed by various Biblical figures at times.
Abram became a “Hebrew”,(One who crosses over) , when he obeyed God, leaving UR of the Chaldees and crossing the Euphrates to find the Land God would give He and his seed forever.
From the wilderness, and Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, the whole land of the Hittites, and even unto the great sea toward the setting of the sun, shall be your border (Josh. 1:4).
To thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt even unto the great river, the river Euphrates (Gen. 15:18).
Thou madest a vine to journey out of Egypt. Thou hast sent out its shoots even unto the sea, and its twigs unto the river (Ps. 80:8, 11);
The Euphrates is the true eastern border of the land God has allotted to Israel! They have never realized their full possession other than briefly in the days of David and Solomon.
Waves of distraught Jews had to make the sorrowful journey back across the Euphrates in the days of the Babylonian Captivity, including Daniel, Ezekiel and Shadrach, Meshec and Abednego . The “Waters of Babylon” refers to the Euphrates,
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.(Psalm 137:1-9)
In the book of the Revelation, the Euphrates is revealed as being the location of four mighty, destructive messengers, bound for centuries, but set to be loosed upon the earth to unleash an unprecedented savage fury the world has never seen before, nor will it ever see again!
By the time the pent up fury of these angels is spent, one third of all mankind will have been killed.
I have always just thought of these angels as Holy Angels, waiting to execute God’s command. But I have been looking at this a slightly different way lately; for example they have been “bound” for a specific time.
Could these be ‘territorial Spirits’ , associated with the nations touching the Euphrates, as the “Prince of Persia and the Prince of Grecia’ were revealed in Daniel?
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.(Daniel 10:12-13)
Consider the four nations through which the Euphrates runs to borders… Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Consider the horrors and carnage already unleashed upon these places just in the past thirty years. Look at the horrifying changes occurring in recently moderate and even modern Muslim nations such as Turkey.
Events are churning Like quickly gathering black clouds on a hot midwestern summer day, the light is dimming and the sky turns dark as the winds pick up. Something terrible is about to be unleashed from the Euphrates area which will end in the near destruction of all life on earth.
Lets consider some of these changes and the implications of them…