“And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
King James Version (KJV)
9:3 And out of the smoke - Not out of the bottomless pit, but from the smoke which issued thence. There went forth locusts - A known emblem of a numerous, hostile, hurtful people. Such were the Persians, from whom the Jews, in the sixth century, suffered beyond expression. In the year 540 their academies were stopped, nor were they permitted to have a president for near fifty years. In 589 this affliction ended; but it began long before 540. The prelude of it was about the year 455 and 474: the main storm came on in the reign of Cabades, and lasted from 483 to 532. Toward the beginning of the sixth century, Mar Rab Isaac, president of the academy, was put to death. Hereon followed an insurrection of the Jews, which lasted seven years before they were conquered by the Persians. Some of them were then put to death, but not many; the rest were closely imprisoned. And from this time the nation of the Jews were hated and persecuted by the Persians, till they had well nigh rooted them out. The scorpions of the earth - The most hurtful kind. The scorpions of the air have wings.
Re 9:3 There came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth. The destroying locusts symbolize destroying armies. See Na 3:15 Ex 10:12. Observe that they come out of the smoke. To the smoke their origin is due. Unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. Power to hurt is implied, since they are compared to scorpions.