Q. We have been studying Joel recently and I wonder if you know if there was a fulfillment of the locust invasion in Joel’s time in which natural locusts ate everything, and if the locusts spoken about in 1:18-2:20 are the same ones spoken of in Revelation 9? The reason I ask is because in the beginning of the book of Joel it says that the locusts ate everything, but in Revelation 9 the locusts were told not to touch the grass or trees or any green thing. The locusts in chapter 2 of Joel must be supernatural as it says in 2:8 “when they fall on the sword they are not wounded.”
I have heard that Amos 7:1 is translated in the Septuagint differently than in our modern translations and that it mentions gog being the king of the locusts. The way I have heard it translated is : “And behold a swarm of locusts was coming, and one of the young devastating locusts was gog the king.” This seems to tie in with Revelation 9 where the king of these locusts is Apollyon or Abaddon, another name for Satan. Thank you so much for your willingness to answer our questions. Any thoughts?
A. Although there’s probably no hard data to back them up, most scholars take the view that Joel was comparing an actual plague of locusts to events of the Great Tribulation. The locusts in Revelation 9 were told not to touch the grass or trees or any green thing, but that’s all that locusts eat. This proves they’re not real locusts but some kind of demonic manifestation. Joel hinted of this by ascribing supernatural powers to his locusts.
The Greek translation of Amos 7:1 does mention Gog as a king of the locusts, which is odd because Proverbs 30:27 says that locusts have no king. This is another hint that the end times locusts are supernatural beings.