Trumpet #6: The Ottoman's Great Army Slay Many
Revelation Time Period #6:
1449 AD - 1840 AD
Revelation 9:13-21 "13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.2 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."
River The symbolism of rivers and floods was already discussed during the Third Trumpet. Recall that a river represents an army (an organized flow of people/waters). The Euphrates River is located in western Asia, originating in eastern Turkey and flowing through Syria and Iraq before emptying into the Persian Gulf. A great army would be unleashed from this area during the 6th Trumpet. The Ottomans ruled the area during this time period.
Horsemen The army that issued from the Ottoman empire was unequalled in their time. It was the largest army in Europe. They used standing and calvary forces brilliantly. When gunpowder became available, they integrated it quickly and effectively (fire and smoke issues out of their mouths). When the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453, it "was the first event of cardinal historical importance to be wrought by the primary weapon of modern warfare, gunpowder".1
"During the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, the greatest gunpowder states, whether one is talking about population, area, or sheer military power, were not European states, but Islamic ones: the Ottoman Empire based in Constantinople (Istanbul); the Safavid Empire based in Iran; and the Timurid or Mughal Empire based in India. In fact some historians of Asia and Islam call these 'the gunpowder empires... The third and the most important of the gunpowder empires was the Ottoman empire. Although it originated with a Turkish dynasty of nomadic origin, controlled much of the old Middle Eastern homeland of Islam during its existence, and ruled almost all of the Arabic speaking countries, the Ottoman empire was something new. The power of the Ottomans was not based on the old countries of Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. These countries were much less prosperous than they had been in the past. Their power was based on being on the frontier of Islam at a time when the initiative in the war with Christian Europe passed back to the Muslim side."2The Turks defined the landscape of Europe for centuries, instilling fear throughout Europe. The House of Habsburg "saw themselves as Christian Europe's first line of defense against Islam, a role they were to play for more than three centuries".3
After being "loosed" in 1449, the Ottomans captured the Greek capital of Constantinople in 1453, and continued to extend their land, ever threatening and pushing at the borders of the Roman realm. They took Greece, Bosnia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Albania, and a large part of Hungary. They controlled trade routes and received large payments from European powers to access the routes. "By 1529, they were hammering at the gates of Vienna and the whole of Europe had been made acutely conscious of the Turkish peril".4
Map of Ottoman expansion
An Hour, Day, Month and Year = 391 years and 15 days. When the Ottomans were released from the threat of an east-west alliance and free to take over the Byzantine empire, the time period of the 6th Trumpet began. This occurred 150 years after the Ottomans first invaded Nicomedia (July 27, 1299), when the Byzantine emperor, pope, western Christian princes and church scholars failed in their last major attempt to bring about unity between east and west at the Councils of Florence and Basle (disbanded in 1449). The Ottomans were thus released from the threat of a united Christendom and freed to take the Byzantine capital and continue into Europe with their conquests. Remember in the 5th trumpet that the Ottomans were allowed to torment for 5 months (150 years), but not to kill them (Byzantine Empire). Then, in the 6th Trumpet they are "loosed", or no longer restrained from putting an end to the Byzantine Empire. They were released to slay men and rule for 391 years and 15 days (hour, day, month and year). The time period is calculated, using the year for a day principle, as follows:
|1 Hour||=||15 Days|
|1 Day||=||1 Year|
|1 Month||=||30 Years|
|1 Year||=||360 Years|
|391 Years + 15 Days|
Many died fighting in battles with the Ottomans or those in its territories, on both sides. In addition, millions died fighting against slave raids and hundreds of thousands of European were sold as slaves during this time period.
The majority of Ottoman-European wars occurred between 1449 and 1700 AD. As the Ottoman's internal struggles increased, the overwhelming military strength of the Ottoman Empire began to decline. It eventually deteriorated to the point of being referred to as the "sick man of Europe." The decline came on gradually, and "By the middle of the nineteenth century, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire was imminent, and European powers started positioning themselves to claim the spoils".5
This time period of 391 years and 15 days defines the length of the 6th trumpet, or the time period that the Ottomans would rule, which began on July 27, 1449 and would end on August 11, 1840. As will be discussed in more detail later, this date marked the delivery of the Convention of the Pacification of the Levent into the hands of the Egyptian ruler. When the offer was given to the Egyptian ruler, the Ottoman Empire became dependent upon the powers of Europe for protection. The time frame of the 6th Trumpet had come to a close. Note: Over the next 80 years (since 1840), the Ottoman Empire had increasing struggles, eventually losing its independence and the sultanate was abolished in 1922.
The Ottomans and the Protestant Reformation:The Ottomans played a role in the success of the Protestant Reformation. It was during this 6th period that the protestant reformation occurred, and support for the papacy was greatly diminished as churches sprung up that did not recognize Papal authority. The Ottomans showed support of the Protestants "as a way to counter Habsburg attempts at supremacy in Europe. Various overtures were made by Ottoman rulers to the Protestants, who were also fighting against a common enemy, the Catholic House of Habsburg."6
The German princes used the Ottoman threat to gain political advantages and concessions from the emperors. Charles V (reigned 1519 - 1556) was distracted from dealing with Protestantism in order to focus on the Turks. European rulers were not unified religiously and this resulted in not only a lack of support for the Habsburg efforts in some cases, but, in the case of France, there was actual support of the Ottomans. The success of the Ottoman's expansion into Europe can largely be attributed to the religious disunity of Europe.
Linking the 6th Trumpet and 6th HeadThe same event (the resolution of the Eastern Question in 1840) that signalled the transition of power from the 6th Head (Habsburgs) to the 7th Head, also brought the 6th Trumpet time period (Ottomans being loosed) to a close. Learn more about "Linking the 7 Trumpets to the 7 Heads".
SummaryTrumpet #6 = The Ottoman's army slay many (1449 to 1840). When the Ottomans ("horsemen") were released from fear of a union of Christian powers in 1449, they were no longer restrained ("loose") from annihilating ("killing") the Byzantine empire. Their armies ("river Euphrates") made an enormous fighting force during this period ("two hundred thousand thousand"). They quickly conquered the capital in Constantinople and extended their land into eastern Europe and to the gates of Vienna, terrifying Europeans. They were known as a "gunpowder empire" ("mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone"). Those in the realm who experienced these judgments did not change ("neither repented they") and continued to worship idols and perform treachery ("murders," "sorceries," "fornication," "thefts"). In the late 1830s, Egypt attacked the decaying Ottomans, threatening to dominate the empire. European powers offered to help Turkey and on August 11, 1840, the Turkish Mustesbar for Foreign Affairs arrived in Alexandria and placed his nation's fate in the hands of an alliance of European Christian powers to negotiate with Mehemet Ali, Pacha of Egypt. This occurred exactly 391 years and 15 days ("hour, and a day, and a month, and a year") after the Ottomans were released to operate without the threat of a Christian alliance in 1449.
Continue to: Trumpet #7
- 1. The Byzantine Achievement, Robert Byron, page 307.
- 2. "The Gunpowder Empires", Steven Muhlberger, http://www.nipissingu.ca/department/history/MUHLBERGER/2805/GUNPOW.HTM.
- 3. "Frederick III", Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/217915/Frederick-III.
- 4. A Survey of European Civilization, page 324.
- 5. "The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire", Global Issues, http://www.globalissues.org/article/247/the-rise-and-decline-of-the-ottoman-empire.
- 6. A Survey of European Civilization, page 324.