Bible Question:

Was the key in Revelation 9:1-2 not given to Satan? I have been looking in your Revelation study. Should you not have a connection between Revelation 9:1 and Revelation 20:1-3? Maybe the key to the pit was not given to Satan?

Bible Answer:

When the fifth trumpet sounded in heaven we are told that a star, which had fallen, was given a key to the bottomless pit.

Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Revelation 9:1-2 (NASB)

In this passage we are told that the a star a) falls from heaven and b) the key to the bottomless pit or abyss was given to “him.” Notice that the star is an intelligent being since the star is called “him” and is able to open the bottomless pit. It is not unusual for a star to symbolize an angel in the scriptures. Job 38:7 uses the term “star” or “stars” to refer to an angel or angels. Also note that the star did not have the key originally. He did not own the key. It was given to him for the purpose of allowing him to open the abyss.

In Revelation 20:1-3, it is clear that the key to the abyss is held by a holy angel and not by Satan, since the angel grabs Satan and throws him into the abyss. No servant of Satan, that is, no demon or evil angel would throw his leader – Satan – into the abyss. Here is Revelation 20:1-3,

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. Revelation 20:1-3 (NASB)

Now we ask, “Is the star in Revelation 9:1-2 Satan?” The answer is suggested by the fact that Revelation 9:1 says that the star “had fallen” from heaven. The phrase “had fallen” is the English translation of the perfect participle form of the Greek verb pipto. Pipto means “to fall” and since the word is a perfect participle, we should understand that the star “had already fallen and remained fallen.” That is, the star fell and remained fallen. This strongly indicates that this is a reference to Satan, who had already fallen according to Ezekiel 28:12-16 and Luke 10:18. In Luke 10:18 Jesus said that He had seen Satan fall from heaven. He was thrown out of heaven and was no longer allowed to remain in heaven. Therefore, the star in Revelation 9:1-2 refers to Satan and the angel in Revelation 20:1-3 is a holy angel.

Some believe that the star is not Satan but another fallen angel or demon. If so, why would the key be given to one of Satan’s followers? While it appears in Revelation 9:11 that the angel of the abyss, a fallen angel, who is called Abaddon or Apollyn is the leader of the evil angels or demons imprisoned in the abyss, it is a big jump to conclude that the star is also another lead fallen angel.


Therefore, we conclude that the star in Revelation 9:1-2 is Satan. He is allowed to open the abyss and the holy angel in Revelation 20:1-3 throws Satan into the abyss.

Suggested Links:

Angels - Good & Evil
Seeking A Broken Heart
Trumpet 5 – Demons Released
Book of Revelation
What will happen in heaven during the tribulation period?