The seeking of death is a sign of anti-godliness (9:6). It is perhaps the ultimate offense against the Creator, but very stupid as He does have the final say in all things. The two names Hebrew Abaddon and Greek Apollyon at 9:11 mean destruction and destroyer respectively.
At times our translations try to “clean things up” and end up changing the biblical imagery. At 9:16 we are told that there were two hundred million troops. The king James renders this as two hundred thousand thousand. This is the same number, but is still not how the Greek words it. “And the number . . . was twenty thousand myriads” (a myriad is 10,000). John says, “I heard the number of them” (9:16b).
The “strong” angel at 10:1 swore by “Him who lives forever and created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there shall be delay no longer” (10:1-6; part of this latter verse is a quotation from Exodus 20:11).
Do the words of 10:8-11 remind you of any other passages that we have read? (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 2:8-3:7).
The forty-two months of 11:2 equals three and a half years. This is half of seven. Seven is a prominent number full of meaning in Scripture. Three and a half though we have not encountered as often. It is a number signifying a short, but nonspecific period of time. Twelve hundred and sixty days is the same amount of time (11:3). Verse six makes the two witnesses sound quite a bit like Elijah. At verse nine we encounter the three and a half figure again, this time it is days. “Those who dwell on the earth” are obviously not “all” but are those who oppose God (11:10). The seven thousand who were killed in the city (10:13) reminds me of the seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal, also spoken to Elijah (1 Kings 19:18; Romans 11:4). Can anyone doubt that the “quickly” of 11:14 means “soon”? The word is tachus (Strongs #5036) meaning “quickly, without delay, soon, soon afterward.” The meaning is not “fast when it happens,” but “it happens soon.”
The child in chapter twelve is Christ, so the woman represents the church. The wilderness should remind of God’s care of His people there when He rescued them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
Proverbs: God has created many wondrous things. But in order to learn from His creation you must apply yourself, you must be observant and contemplate carefully that which you observe. Confront evil as it faces you, but do not stir up strife!