This leads to another piece of the end-times puzzle, and one of the reasons I decided to write this book: I believe the identity of Abaddon and Apollyon in Revelation 9:11, the angel of the bottomless pit, is Saturn—the Watcher chief Shemihazah. The opening of the bottomless pit marks his literal return to earth. It should be obvious by now that the return of old Saturn’s reign will not bring the yearned-for Golden Age that’s been dreamed of for more than two thousand years.
Now, there are many, including me (prior to this study), who’ve identified Apollyon as Apollo. The similarity between the names “Apollo” and “Apollyon” is apparent, and respected Bible scholars generally agree that the similarity doesn’t end there. The characteristics of Apollo as a warrior and plague-god, equated with the Semitic and Akkadian gods Resheph and Nergal, both of whom were believed to be gatekeepers to the underworld, are close enough to the meanings of the names “Abaddon” (“Destruction”) and “Apollyon” (“Destroyer”) that a case can be made for equating the two.
However, as we noted in an earlier article, the prophet Habakkuk records that Resheph/Apollo followed behind God as He marched forth from Mount Sinai, meaning that Apollo was not in the abyss at least as late as the time of the Exodus. Clues provided by John in Revelation 6:2 identify Apollo as the first horseman of the Apocalypse, and he’s been riding the earth since Christ arrived on the throne room of God in the first century AD. It’s safe to conclude that Apollo is not Apollyon.
A better fit is the entity who made Mount Hermon his har môʿēd and persuaded Solomon to build a high place in his honor on the Mount of Olives, turning it into the har ha-mašḥîṯ, the Mountain of the Destroyer—namely, Shemihazah, also known to history as Saturn, Kronos, El, Baal Hammon, Dagan, Enlil, Assur, and Kumarbi. Who would be king over the only entities that we know are in the abyss other than the chief of the Watchers confined there after the sin of Genesis 6? The connections between Shemihazah, El (Milcom/Molech), and Mount Hermon, the site of Shemihazah’s rebellion and El’s mount of assembly, point to this entity being the mysterious Abaddon/Apollyon of Revelation 9.
All the identities worn by this rebellious Watcher are connected to the underworld: Kumarbi and the abi, Enlil the netherworld judge, Dagan the “lord of the corpse,” the “two deeps” of El’s abode, and the confinement of Kronos and Saturn in Tartarus. The last character in the Bible we can identify as this rebel from Genesis 6 is Abaddon/Apollyon.
Apollyon is mentioned only in Revelation 9:11. Abaddon is mentioned a few times in the Old Testament, usually in conjunction with Death (māweth, the Hebrew form of Mot, the Canaanite god of death) or Sheol, the Hebrew term for the underworld:
Sheol is naked before God,Job 26:6
and Abaddon has no covering
Abaddon and Death say,Job 28:22
“We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.”
Do you work wonders for the dead?Psalm 88:10–11
Do the departed [rephaim] rise up to praise you? Selah
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;Proverbs 15:11
how much more the hearts of the children of man!
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,Proverbs 27:20
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
The pairing of Abaddon with Sheol, the place of the dead, or Death—capitalized in Job 28 because it’s a personal pronoun in that verse—is significant. In my view, Sheol/Death and Abaddon do not represent the same location or state of existence in the afterlife. I suggest that Sheol and Abaddon are roughly equivalent in Hebrew cosmology to Hades and Tartarus, respectively, in classical Greek religion. This would explain the parallels in Psalm 88:10–11. Verse 10 pairs “the dead” (Hebrew metim), deceased humans, with “the departed,” which in Hebrew is rephaim—the inhuman dead, spirits of the semi-divine Nephilim created by the Watchers. Then verse 11 pairs “the grave,” where human dead are laid to rest, with Abaddon (“Destruction”), where the Watchers are chained in darkness until the Judgment.
How can Abaddon be the name of both an entity and a place? Ask Hades. Or maybe it’s similar to noble titles in the UK, where “Norfolk” can refer to a county in East Anglia or the Duke of Norfolk, depending on context.
The locust-like Titans/Watchers who emerge from the abyss in Revelation 9 are similar to the supernatural army in Joel chapter 2. For some reason, a small group of Christians today aspires to join Joel’s Army, mistakenly believing that they’d be serving as warriors for God. They’re mistaken. Joel’s Army isn’t human, and it fights for the wrong team.
What Joel saw was the army of Gog marching to Armageddon. Bad things happen to Joel’s Army. Read all the way down to verse 20:
I will remove the northerner far from you,Joel 2:20
and drive him into a parched and desolate land,
his vanguard into the eastern sea,
and his rear guard into the western sea;
the stench and foul smell of him will rise,
for he has done great things.
God destroys Joel’s Army. This verse is Yahweh’s prophecy of what happens on the Day of the Lord, the day when God judges the unbelieving nations of the world.
The timeline of these events is not entirely clear. The horde of Watchers swarms from the abyss when the fifth trumpet is sounded in heaven. This follows the unimaginable destruction caused by events of the first four trumpets described in Revelation 8:7–12.
The trumpet judgments begin shortly after the beginning of the seven-year period called the Great Tribulation, which is initiated by the opening of the sixth seal. While it looks as though the earth is hit by a series of natural catastrophes, I suggest that all seven of the trumpet judgments refer to supernatural entities. We’ll summarize them briefly:
The first trumpet (Revelation 8:7). Hail and fire follow the sounding of the first trumpet, echoing the plague against Egypt described in Exodus 9:22–25. “Hail” and “Fire” were known deities in the ancient world that are specifically described as angelic beings by the psalmist Asaph:
He gave over their cattle to the hailPsalm 78:48-49, emphasis added
and their flocks to thunderbolts.
He let loose on them his burning anger,
wrath, indignation, and distress,
a company of destroying angels.
“Hail” was Barad, a god known from the northern Syrian city of Ebla as much as a thousand years before the Exodus whose names roughly translates as “(big) Chill.” The Hebrew word translated as “thunderbolts” is even more interesting: reshephim is derived from Resheph (Apollo), which suggests that reshephim was a class of supernatural being. This concept was known to the pagan neighbors of ancient Israel; in Sidon, a city on the Phoenician coast, an inscription from the fifth century BC mentions that an entire quarter of the town was named “land of the Reshephs.” So, it appears that the reshephim were sent out with Barad as a “company of destroying angels,” wielding lightning and hail to execute God’s judgment on Egypt. And it will happen again on a global scale when the first trumpet sounds.
The second trumpet (Revelation 8:8–9). A “great mountain, burning with fire,” is thrown into the sea, destroying a third of the ships and a third of the life in the sea. Of course, you remember that “Great Mountain” was the main epithet of Enlil, one of the identities of Saturn/Shemihazah. The burning mountain of the second trumpet judgment is not this entity because he’s chained up in the abyss. But John would have been familiar with 1 Enoch, which described angels as “burning mountains” in the netherworld, and to Ezekiel’s references to the “stones of fire” in Eden.
Whoever it is, the burning mountain of Revelation 8:8–9 is a destroying angel of great power, and he’ll bring unprecedented destruction to those on the sea and in it.
The third trumpet (Revelation 8:10–11). As Tom Horn has written in The Wormwood Prophecy and its follow-up, The Messenger, the “great star” named Wormwood may be a physical object from space. However, it’s just as likely that this is another supernatural entity tasked with carrying out God’s judgment—perhaps by manipulating asteroid Apophis, which intersects earth’s orbit on April 13, 2029.
The fourth trumpet (Revelation 8:12). A third of the sun, moon, and stars is “struck,” or “smitten,” so that “a third of their light might be darkened.” Of all the seven trumpet judgments, this one is least obviously connected to the angelic realm. Still, there is scriptural evidence to support the idea. Early in Israel’s history, God gave Moses this warning:
Beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day.Deuteronomy 4:19-20, emphasis added
With our modern bias, we tend to assume that God warned Moses to avoid the gods of the nations because they were imaginary deities. When you read the entire Bible, this passage gains context, and it becomes clear that He warned Moses to avoid the entities worshiped as the sun, moon, stars, and heavenly host, because God allotted them to the nations as their gods.
We dealt with the fifth trumpet, the opening of the abyss, in our previous article, so we’ll skip it and go to the sixth:
The sixth trumpet (Revelation 9:13–21). After blowing his trumpet, the sixth angel is commanded to release the four angels bound in the Euphrates, who in turn lead an army of two hundred million that kills a third of humanity. A deep study of this section is beyond the scope of this book, but we can say with confidence that the army of two hundred million is not Chinese. Yes, China has a population of 1.7 billion, but it fields an army of under 2.2 million. This trumpet, like the previous five, summons supernatural agents to carry out God’s will. The description of this army is reminiscent of the descriptions of the Watchers released from the abyss and the supernatural army of Joel 2. In short, the sixth trumpet appears to summon the forces of the Antichrist to do battle at Jerusalem.
The seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15). This triggers a series of events that culminates in the arrival of Antichrist, the Beast who emerges from the sea in Revelation 13:1. While Christian theologians have speculated on the identity of this character for nearly two thousand years, we’re still searching for a consensus candidate. Many in the first-century church believed he was Nero, not just because he’d been an evil ruler who had persecuted the church, but because of a popular rumor that the emperor had not actually died in AD 68. The Nero Redivivus legend held that the disgraced ruler had staged his death and fled east to Rome’s enemy, Parthia, from which he would lead a mighty army to reclaim his throne. As strange as it sounds today, this belief persisted into the fifth century!
Entire books have been written on this character, and we’ll deal with him in a future book. Suffice it to say that the Antichrist, although he emerges from the abyss like the Watchers, is not Shemihazah/Saturn or one of the rebels from Mount Hermon.
The Watchers are given five months to vent their rage on humanity, probably toward the end of the seven-year Great Tribulation. It appears that the five-month reign of terror led by Abaddon/Apollyon, the Watcher chief Shemihazah, directly precedes the release of the four angels bound in the Euphrates and the demonic army of two hundred million that comes against Israel, slaughtering a third of humanity on the way.
Since there is no mention in Revelation of what happens at the end of the five months, we can assume that Abaddon/Apollyon (Saturn/Shemihazah) and his colleagues are part of the massive army arrayed against Israel that’s destroyed at Armageddon.
Saturn’s Golden Age may be little more than five months—the time he and his colleagues are allowed to torment humanity followed by the time it takes the army of two hundred million to move into position. It’s possible Saturn/Shemihazah knows this and doesn’t care. Just as Adolf Hitler increased his efforts to exterminate the Jews within his reach in the closing days of World War II, even as his military commanders begged for resources to hold back the advancing Allied armies, the Titans/Watchers, facing their own imminent destruction, will be driven by an unimaginably intense hatred to kill as many humans as possible before the end.
Next: The Ultimate zombie apocalypse
 Habakkuk 3:3–5.
 Compare Revelation 9:7–9 and Joel 2:4–5.
 Revelation 6:12–17.
 Paolo Xella, “Barad.” In K. van der Toorn, B. Becking, & P. W. van der Horst (Eds.), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible 2nd extensively rev. ed. (Leiden; Boston; Köln; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 160.
 1 Enoch 21:1–10.
 Ezekiel 28:14–16.
 S. Szmigiera, “The Biggest Armies in the World Ranked by Active Military Personnel in 2021.” Statista, Mar. 30, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264443/the-worlds-largest-armies-based-on-active-force-level/, retrieved 5/25/21.
 Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX.19.3. https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf102.iv.XX.19.html#iv.XX.19-p6, retrieved 5/25/21.