“And the fifth Angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit” Revelation 9:1
This star is actually an Angel who came down from Heaven at great speed. There are a variety of phrases used to describe Angels in scripture, most that are used are metaphors or symbolic to describe their dramatic interactions, like a star falling from Heaven.
“I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven” Luke 10:18
Angels are no more stars than they are lightning, but the language is designed to be descriptive of the Angels interactions. This is unlike statements made by Job in (Job 1:21) about the Lord giving and taking away. Where Jesus in Luke and John’s statements in Revelation are metaphors, Job was making a statement of what he “believed” was happening to him, he was not speaking figuratively.
“and to Him was given the key to the bottomless pit”
Him, is the Angel.
“And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit” Revelation 9:2
The bottomless pit is an actual “physical” place located on earth. It is a holding place for fallen Angels and plagues of the Lord. It is one of the secret things of God, just as the Garden of Eden is an actual physical place located on the Earth, that only God knows and the Angels He has revealed it to. The smoke that comes from the pit is substantial enough to blot out the sun, like a volcanic ash plume (Revelation 11:7, 17:8, 20:1-3).
“Bottomless pit” is one word in the Greek of the New Testament and is literally the “abyss,” which means “bottomless, unbounded, the pit, or the immeasurable depth.” Roman mythology featured a similar place called Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and, especially, as the abode of demons.
The bottomless pit of Revelation 9:1-12 holds a unique type of demon. It is also the home of the beast who makes war against the two witnesses (Revelation 11:7-8). At the beginning of the millennial kingdom, the bottomless pit is the place where Satan is bound (Revelation 20:1-3). At the end of the thousand years, Satan is released and promptly leads an unsuccessful revolt against Jesus and God (Revelation 20:7-10).
The bottomless pit may be associated with a place called Tartarus. This Greek word is translated as “hell” and is used only once in Scripture.
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” 2 Peter 2:4
It refers to the place where “angels who sinned” are reserved in chains of darkness for judgment. The NIV says these angels in Tartarus are held in “gloomy dungeons.” These same angels are also mentioned in Jude 6 as the angels who abandoned their own home.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day”. They are also mentioned in Genesis 6:2.
If Tartarus is the same as the Abyss, then the inhabitants of the bottomless pit are the same angels who sinned and left their first habitation. God uses the bottomless pit as a holding place for the most evil of angels, including Satan himself and those who tried and failed before the Flood to thwart God’s plan to bring the Seed of the woman into the world (Genesis 3:15).
The inhabitants of the Abyss are released for a very short time during the last three and a half years of the tribulation to fulfill God’s purpose, namely, to torment the wicked (Revelation 9:5). These prisoners of the bottomless pit hate humanity and seek to destroy them, but God controls their terror and limits their power.