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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “…whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon…”

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And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.



John’s vision reveals the angel of the bottomless pit as “Abaddon” or “Apollyon”.  These titles share the same basic meaning … “Destroyer”.

There are many who believe this symbolic angel is speaking of Satan.  Certainly, if this is the case, the title “Destroyer” fits him to a tee.  After all, we are told that Satan is like a “a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1Pe 5:8 KJV) and Christ Himself described Satan as a “murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44).  Certainly Satan is a great destroyer.

However, there is another One that could easily retain these titles.  Believe it or not, there are several places in the Bible where our Lord and His work are described using these same Hebrew and Greek words for “Destroyer” (Pro 15:11, Jere 10:10-11, Dan 7:9-11, Matt 10:28, 22:7, Luke 17:27-29, 1 Cor 10:10, James 4:12, Jude 5).  Please note that: In every one of these texts, the wrath of God against sin and sinful beings is being described.

Based upon the context of Rev 9:11 (God’s wrath being poured out during His second coming), I believe it is very possible that the titles “Abaddon” and “Apollyon” are, in actuality, referring to our Lord.  Certainly our Lord will destroy the powers and effects of darkness of this world.  Included in this would be Satan, other fallen angels (aka demons), rebellious lost mankind, and the results of sin (death, pain, sorrow, sicknesses etc).   All of these will be done away by the Destroyer… our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


It is so easy to think of our Lord as a kind, loving, merciful Lord who would never consider harming or punishing anyone.  After all He truly is the epitome of love… “God is love”.  But it is also important for us to always remember that Christ is a holy and just God (Acts 3:14) who cannot allow sin to go unpunished, nor will He allow sin to stand in His presence throughout eternity (Matt 7:21-27).

For sin to be dealt with properly, and for justice to be done, He must be a Destroyer who will bring eternal punishment upon those who have rebelled against Him…

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”  (2 Thess 1:7-10)


May we give praise to our Lord for being a holy and just God who will rid this world of sin, justly punish those who oppose Him and create for us a perfectly holy eternity with Him on the New Heavens and New Earth!

May we all think on these things today and find encouragement and comfort for our hearts!


For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation


  1. Heather says:

    Wow. I’ve never encountered this particular interpretation before. But it does make sense, especially in light of God’s personal destruction of the firstborn of all Egypt in the Exodus 12 account

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Heather,

      Yeh, I know this interpretation is different from many. What really opened up my eyes was the fact that both words “Abaddon” and “Appollyon” NEVER refer to Satan in the Bible. Every other times these words are used, in their context they speak of Christ’s judgment against the lost mankind. If you want to see the entire listing of the uses of these words, you can find them in my notes from the weekly Rev series Bible study referred to at the end of this posting or also any concordance will give you the same list. Thanks so much for the comments. Lord bless you!

      I do agree with you about Exodus 12…. very good point, I missed that example. Perhaps that is where this symbolism comes from!

  2. Red Bible says:

    Thank you, this is a very reassuring post during these turbulent times.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      How very true. It is wonderful to know that our Lord is in control of all the events around us now, and in the future. He will get the fianl victory over the powers of this world. Lord bless!

  3. Rob, please look at the verse again:

    Rev 9:11 KJV
    And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

    The king of those terrible creatures who plague the unbelieving, Apollyon in Greek and Abaddon in Hebrew, is the name of “the angel of the bottomless pit.” You cannot mean that the angel of the bottomless pit is the Lord God Almighty.


    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Maria,

      I know it is a different way to look at things. I certainly wouldn’t make an issue of it, I can easily see why many see this to be Satan. However, if we take 9:1,2,11 in context of the rest of the Bible, I believe these verses can be much more easily applied to Jesus than to Satan

      If you take a look at my indepth study of these verses found here:
      under the section EXPOSITION… you will see I talk about each of these verses in detail.

      But let me give you a very short, condensed version, for you to read here…
      1) And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: 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….
      11) And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.
      (Revelation 9:1-2, 11)

      in verse one:
      Christ’s first coming to earth being shown as the star descending to the earth. (Christ described as the Bright and Morning Star)

      Following His keeping His Father’s will perfectly, He was exalted to the right hand of God and given authority over all things (including the bottomless pit). This is the “key” to the pit He is given. Also please remember, Christ is clearly seen to hold the authority over the bottomless pit, not Satan in 2 Ptr 2:4, Kude 1:6, Rev 20:1

      IN verse two:
      We see possessing the key to the bottomless pit involves the ability to release beings from the pit. Personally, I believe that Christ is the ONLY One that ever has, or will possess that authority. He is the One that casts into the Lake of Fire and ONLY He is able to release those that are in the pit. I am very thankful Satan cannot release anyone from the pit, including the demons abiding there!

      In verse eleven:
      This same star that came to earth is now described as King over the bottomless pit. When exalted to the Father’s right hand, Jesus was made the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, (this included being made King over the bottomless pit.)

      He is given the titles “Abaddon” and “Apollyon”. Please note that NEVER in the Bible does either word used to describe Satan. To me, this is a very important point. Satan is NEVER described by either term. However, these terms are used to describe Christ in several passages of the Bible. In everyone of these passages Christ said to act as a destroyer as He sends His wrath. (For a list of these verses, in their context, please see my detailed study using the link above.)
      In my way of thinking, if we say this “angel” is Satan, then we are attributing to Satan titles that are reserved for Christ alone in the Scriptures.

      I know it is easy to apply this teaching to Satan because it is speaking about the “angel” of the bottomless pit. However, keep in mind, the Lord is given the title of “Angel” or “Messenger” also… (Malachi 3:1 is the Hebrew word translated “angel” throughout the OT. Also Christ is “the Angel of Jehovah” spoken of many times in the OT). Christ and being “the Messenger of the Father” and “the Angel of the Lord” is a very Scriptural teaching.

      Also. please keep in mind, Christ is the One sending His wrath upon sinful man during His second coming… Satan is not the sender but the recipient of His wrath. This is another reason why I see Christ being the One releasing this demonic hoard upon men and not Satan. If Satan was releasing this hoard upon his own followers, he would be working to dsestroy his own kingdom (Matt 12:22-29).

      I hope this helps explain my position on these Scriptures more clearly. Lord bless you my friend. Thanks for the great comment/question.

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Interesting interpretation.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Yeh I know it is different from most, but I believe when kept in the context, can very easily refer to Christ and is not limited to Satan only. When I was told, by a friend that he has read an old commmentary (Gill also mentioned those who believe it) that this was symbolic of Christ I thought he was a nut. But after studying things out for myself, I can see much more clearly why a perosn would think this was so. I truly believe the description better fits Christ than Satan when we look at it in the context of the rest of Word and His second coming in wrath is in view.

      Lord bless! Thanks for the comments!

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