In the Old Covenant narrative of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, Yahweh tells Moses to instruct each Hebrew to paint the blood of the passover lamb on the doorposts so that the destroying angel will pass over the home.

Exodus 12:23 (KJV) For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

Much later, when David took an illegal census of Israel and Judah, Yahweh as a punishment sent the destroying angel:

2 Samuel 24:16-17 (KJV) And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite. And David spake unto the Lord when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house.

Finally, we read in Revelation 9 of a great suffering caused to those who do not have the seal of God upon their heads by creatures that emerge from the described as locusts.

Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon [which means, The Destroying One].

I'm curious if Apollyon of Revelation can be read as the same person as the destroyer of the Exodus passage. What is the hermeneutical evidence that this is a singular character?

Related question: In Wisdom of Solomon 18:14-16 who is the “almighty word (logos)”?


Exodus 12:23 uses the term ham-mas-hit to name "the destroyer." An interesting verse rarely used here and almost never translated is Isaiah 54:16 which states that YHWH (the Lord) created the Destroyer (Mas-hit) Himself for a specific purpose. The identity of the Destroyer with Apollyon has some merit as, like in Exodus, it can only hurt those not sealed with the blood of the Lamb (Exodus) and the blood of the Lamb of God (Revelation). There is a striking similarity in all of Revelation to the Exodus story. I believe it unlocks much of Revelation.


The LXX Greek translation of Hebrew transliteration for destroyer in Exodus 12:23 (hammashit) is olethreyonta, a different word from appollyon. Hebrew abbaddon is not used in Exodus 12:23. Isaiah 37:36 may provide additional context.


The background to Revelation 9:11 appears to be Job 26:6 in the LXX:

Job 26:6 Hell [ᾅδης] is naked before him [Yehovah], and destruction [ἀπώλεια] has no covering.

Brenton, L. C. L. (1870). The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation (Job 26:5–6). London: Samuel Bagster and Sons.

The idea of Hades/Destruction having a cover is also implicit here:

Proverbs 15:11 Hell [ᾅδης] and destruction [ἀπώλεια] are manifest to the Lord; how shall not also be the hearts of men?

Brenton, L. C. L. (1870). The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation (Pr 15:11). London: Samuel Bagster and Sons.

This imagery and linguistic linkage indicates that the angel-king that rules over the locusts is Hades, the god of the underworld. He is generally accompanied by an angel named Death who may be the angel you are looking for! They are also alluded to elsewhere:

NET Bible Revelation 1:18 and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive--forever and ever--and I hold the keys of death and of Hades!

NET Bible Revelation 6:8 So I looked and here came a pale green horse! The name of the one who rode it was Death, and Hades followed right behind. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill its population with the sword, famine, and disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.

NIV Revelation 20 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.


I was apparently confused. In rereading this, it is "Death" that is the angel-king over the locusts. Hades, the god of the underworld and he ride together. So the answer to your question should be that YES, they are the same angel!


Actually, I'm not sure because "Death" <> "ἀπώλεια". The link is tenuous.


He is one and the same. He bears the ineffable name of Jehovah. He is Jahoel (Iaoel , Yahoel, Yehoel) in The Apocalypse of Abraham and 3 Enoch and the Nag Hammadi - all apocryphon of various origins.

The clear proof of Abaddon being an angel is the Lord's employ is Revelation 20. The angel who imprisons the devil has the key of death and hell:

Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

The angel of the bottomless has the key of the bottomless pit. God's enforcer imprisons the devil before the period of peace.

Consider Revelation 9's "locusts" have a king over them and the locusts are told to spare those who have the seal of God in their foreheads. This is an overt clue that this is a plague FROM GOD to the forces of evil in the end times ...just .... like. ..the Exodus from Egypt. Weren't there locusts too there? Wasn't there a destroying angel? ;)

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