The End Times
In my last post, we began to explore Revelation 9:7-12 dealing with the Description of the Locusts. In this post, we will continue exploring Revelation 9:13-15 and the blowing of the Sixth Shofar.
The Sixth Shofar ~ The Second Woe
“The sixth angel sounded his shofar, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar before God, saying to the sixth angel, the one with the shofar, “Release the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates!” And they were released. These four angels had been kept ready for this moment, for this day and month and year, to kill a third of mankind.” ~ Revelation 9:13-15 (CJB)
The second woe will bring more than just torment ~ it will kill one-third of humanity. Instead of demon locusts, four fallen angels are unleashed from the ties that bind them at the Euphrates River. They were loosed for this day, month, and year, which appears to mean the exact appointed time. Under the fourth seal, one-fourth of all people died (Revelation 6:4); now one-third of those left are killed, leaving approximately only half of the world’s population.
Half of the world’s population is eliminated, and it is only half way through the tribulation! With each passing day, the words of the prophet Isaiah and others are coming together like the pieces of a great puzzle! “Look! Adonai is stripping and destroying the land, turning it upside down and scattering its inhabitants …The land will be completely stripped, completely plundered, for Adonai has spoken this word…The land lies defiled under its inhabitants; because they have transgressed the teachings, changed the law and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse is devouring the land, and its inhabitants are punished for their guilt. It is why those living there waste away, and the people left are few.” ~ Isaiah 24:1,3,5-6 (CJB).
The sixth angel sounded his shofar, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar before God. Finis Dake writes about this: 
The voice here may be the voice of an angel of heaven to whom it is given to cry this command to the sixth trumpet angel … Such unidentified voices are common to this book, 5:2; 7:2; 8:13; 14:7, 8, 9, 15; 18:2, 17. Besides these which are voices of angels, there are many others spoken of in the book without reference to the nature of the one who speaks, Rev. 6:6; 10:4, 8; 11:2; 12:10; 14:13; 16:1, 17; 18:4; 19:5; 21:3. Still other voices are those of Christ, etc., as is clear in the passages themselves, Rev. 1:10-15; 3:20; 4:1; 5:11, 12; 6:7, 10; 7:10; 10:3 with 11:3; 14:2-5; 19:1-6. Blood upon the horns of the altar in the earthly tabernacle spoke of mercy to those who had sinned in ignorance (Lev. 4), but here mercy has been changed to judgment because of willful ignorance and rejection of Christ and the truth.
Saying to the sixth angel, the one with the shofar, “Release the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates!” And they were released. These four angels had been kept ready for this moment, for this day and month and year, to kill a third of mankind. The expression this day and month and year does not denote some duration of time, but rather an exact time that God has appointed for this event to happen.
The great river Euphrates is some 1,780 miles long. The Nile River and the Euphrates form the boundaries of the land promised to Abraham, which God gave to him for an everlasting possession (Genesis 15:18). It is in this area that we find the dawn of civilization. It is here we find the location of the Garden of Eden; it is in this vicinity that Adam and Eve and the first family lived. It is here the first murder was committed; the first lie told, and the first death ended an earthly life. It is in this place that sin entered God’s perfect creation.
Historically, the Euphrates protected Israel and the Middle-Eastern nations from the empires further to the east, and very particularly from mighty Assyria. This river marked the eastern border of the Roman Empire. Many of the great cities of ancient times, including Sippar and Babylon, lay on the river. Since the days of those great civilizations, the course of the river has shifted so that now it runs some four miles to the west of the ruins of these cities. It was from across the Euphrates that many of the ancient enemies of Israel invaded the land (Jeremiah 2:18; 13:4-5; 51:63).
Special Comparative Note on Chapter 9:13-15 
Most Historicists view a third of mankind to reside in the eastern portion of Roman Empire, which later becomes the Byzantine Empire with its capital in Constantinople. Shortly before 1000 CE, the Tartars moved from the area of the Caspian Sea to new settlements on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River. In 1055, the Turks, as they came to be called, conquered Baghdad. The Turks expanded west of the Euphrates and assaulted the Byzantine Empire. In 1453 CE, the Turks ~ by this time known as the Ottoman Empire ~ conquered Constantinople, bringing to an end the last vestige of the Roman Empire in the east.
As to the day, month and year, they believe that they need to be calculated together based upon assigned values for each. There is a divided consensus on the values and the formulas based upon which calendar is used (Jewish or Roman) to justify their position that these events have already occurred.
Preterists view the destruction of a third of mankind and the timing coincide with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE by the hordes of Roman soldiers. They seem to rely heavily on Yeshua’s prediction as recorded in Luke 21.
Futurists believe the invasion coming from the east will be from the Orient. As we will learn in my next post, China is more than capable of fielding a 200,000,000-invasion force. The day, month and year do not refer to the duration of their carnage but to the fact that this judgment comes exactly at the time ordained by the Father.
According to some Idealists, the sixth shofar and the sixth bowl judgments (Revelation 16:12) refer to “the same event from different points of view.” The timing is prescribed by God.
In my next post, we will continue to unpack Revelation 9. We will then return to Revelation 9:16-19 on the Description of the Avenging Army.
 A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.
 Material in this section is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg