Torture for five months (Rev 9:5)

“They were allowed

To torture them

For five months,

But not to kill them.

Their torture

Was like the torture

Of a scorpion

When it stings

A person.”

καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς ἵνα μὴ ἀποκτείνωσιν αὐτούς, ἀλλ’ ἵνα βασανισθήσονται μῆνας πέντε· καὶ ὁ βασανισμὸς αὐτῶν ὡς βασανισμὸς σκορπίου, ὅταν παίσῃ ἄνθρωπον.

John said, “They were allowed (καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς) to torture them (ἀλλ’ ἵνα βασανισθήσονται) for five months (μῆνας πέντε), but not to kill them (ἵνα μὴ ἀποκτείνωσιν αὐτούς).  Their torture (καὶ ὁ βασανισμὸς αὐτῶν) was like the torture (ὡς βασανισμὸς) of a scorpion (σκορπίου) when it stings a person (ὅταν παίσῃ ἄνθρωπον).”  This is the only use of this Greek word that appears only in Revelation and not in any other canonical biblical NT writing, the word βασανισμὸς, that means torture or torment.  John said that the swarming locusts were allowed to torture people for only five months, the normal life cycle of a locust.  However, they were not allowed to kill anybody.  This was a torture that was merely stinging people, like a scorpion sting.  Would you be bothered by a scorpion sting?

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