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Revelation 6 Commentary

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  • Revelation 6 Commentary

    Some of you know I have been writing a commentary on the book Revelation. I just finished the introduction to Revelation 6, which is a study in the book of Zechariah. Since it was relatively easy to format this one for the board, I went ahead and did, so I could share with y'all. I got my notes done for Revelation 6 and can't wait to dive into the rest of this study!

  • #2
    Introduction to the Horses in Revelation - A Study in Zechariah

    Before we continue our verse-by-verse study in the book of Revelation, it is necessary to take a detour to the book of Zechariah to understand the purpose of the horses in Revelation. The prophet Zechariah was the son of Iddo, who was a priest (Nehemiah 12:12-16). He was a contemporary to the prophet Haggai during the reign of Darius (Zechariah 1:1), after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon. Zechariah was given a series of visions, two of which include different colored horses.

    Zechariah 1:8 - I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white.
    Zechariah sees several horses, divided into three colors. We will come back to the colors later. Sitting on one of the red horses, is a man identified in Zechariah 1:11 as the "Angel of the Lord." Other passages show us that the "Angel of the Lord" was the pre-incarnate Christ:

    Exodus 3:2-6 - And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn." So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground." Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.


    Judges 6:21-23 - Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, "Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face." Then the LORD said to him, "Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die."


    Judges 13:21-22 - When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD. And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!"


    Zechariah 12:8 - In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.


    The following passage describes the pre-incarnate Lord as a man, like Zechariah:

    Joshua 5:13-15 - And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?" So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.


    The man and the horses are "among the myrtle trees in the hollow." A myrtle tree is an evergreen shrub that grows in moist, but not too humid areas near the Mediterranean Sea. That the myrtle trees were growing in a "hollow," or a ravine, is no surprise, as a ravine forms by the flow of water, like a stream. Israel used myrtle branches to make booths during the Feast of Tabernacles, after their return from the exile:

    Nehemiah 8:14-15 - And they found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, "Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written."


    God said Israel was the least of the nations:

    Deuteronomy 7:7 - The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples.


    God made Israel a great nation and kingdom. Disobedience of God's Law resulted in the split of the kingdom, and eventually exile. God brought Israel "low for their iniquity":

    Psalms 79:6-8 - Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. For they have devoured Jacob, And laid waste his dwelling place. Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, For we have been brought very low.


    Psalms 106:40-43 - Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people, So that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles, And those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, And they were brought into subjection under their hand. Many times He delivered them; But they rebelled in their counsel, And were brought low for their iniquity.


    Israel has been at the bottom of the "ravine" since the exile, when the "times of the Gentiles" began, where other nations would have dominion over Jerusalem. The Gentile dominion will end when Jesus returns (Luke 21:24-27). The picture here in Zechariah is the hope of the future restoration of Israel, which will find fulfillment in the Feast of Tabernacles when Jesus returns.

    The myrtle tree is a very fragrant and desirable tree. In the following prophecies about Israel's restoration, the Lord likens their future to the myrtle tree and other desirable trees:

    Isaiah 41:19 - I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, The myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine And the box tree together...


    Isaiah 55:13 - "Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the LORD for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."


    As an interesting side note, Queen Esther's Hebrew name was "Hadassah," which means "myrtle tree." At one of Israel's lowest points in history, Esther gave hope to the Jewish people, by risking her life to save them:

    Esther 4:13-16 - And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"


    Zechariah 1:9 - Then I said, "My lord, what are these?" So the angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what they are." 10 - And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, "These are the ones whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth. 11 - So they answered the Angel of the LORD, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly."
    Zechariah asks the angel about the horses in the ravine among the myrtle trees. The man standing with the horses tells Zechariah God sent the horses to "walk to and fro throughout the earth." We find similar wording in the following passages that describes the "eyes of the Lord":

    2 Chronicles 16:9 - "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars."


    Zechariah 4:10 - "For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth."


    Recall from Revelation 5:6, the Holy Spirit represents the eyes of the Lord "sent out into all the earth." Satan is also seen moving about the earth:

    Job 1:7 - And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."


    Recall from Revelation 4:8, Satan is a cherub, and thus has many "eyes" like other cherubim and seraphim.

    The army of the Lord has creatures that look like horses that "run to and fro":

    Joel 2:4-11 - Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array. Before them the people writhe in pain; All faces are drained of color. They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness. The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?


    What we can gather from the passages above, is that these spirit beings are able to move quickly and survey what is taking place on Earth. Zechariah 6:5 confirms that the horses in Zechariah's visions are spirits. These spirits report to the Lord that "all the earth is resting quietly." As we will see in the next section, the Lord is angry about this.

    It seems rather odd that the Lord would have spirits report to Him what is going on throughout the Earth, when He knows everything. Perhaps it is for the benefit of the spirits. We know that angels have interest in what is going on here on Earth:

    1 Peter 1:12 - To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into.


    When the son of God report what they observed on Earth, Satan also reports to God, but uses his observations to accuse man:

    Job 1:6-11 - Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"


    In short, spirits report to the Lord what they see happening on Earth, and apparently gain some benefit, or learn from what they see. It is interesting to note, angels await judgment (1 Corinthians 6:3). Since angels await judgment, I presume all spirits will likewise be judged, since Satan, who is a cherub, also awaits judgement (Daniel 9:9-11). If so, I wonder if what these spirits did when they "walked to and fro throughout the earth" will determine the outcome of their judgment.

    Zechariah 1:12 - Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?" 13 - And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words. 14 - So the angel who spoke with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I am zealous for Jerusalem And for Zion with great zeal. 15 - I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; For I was a little angry, And they helped - but with evil intent."
    The "earth is resting quietly" (Zechariah 1:11), apparently because the nations are at ease. God is very angry with the nations, because they went beyond what the Lord directed in judging Judah in the 70-year exile; they had "evil intent" in their motives. We learn more about these nations in Zechariah 1:19. Here we see the Angel of the Lord acting as intercessor before God for Israel. This is more evidence that the Angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ, because "He makes intercession for us":

    Romans 8:34 - Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.


    Zechariah 1:16 - "Therefore this is what the Lord says: 'I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,' declares the Lord Almighty. 17 - "Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.'"
    The Lord tells Zechariah that restoration to Jerusalem is coming. Isaiah describes this restoration as a myrtle tree that comes up instead of a brier:

    Isaiah 55:13 - "Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the LORD for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."


    Zechariah 1:18 - Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were four horns. 19 - And I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" So he answered me, "These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." 20 - Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. 21 - And I said, "What are these coming to do?" So he said, "These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."
    The four horns are the nations that scattered Judah. Recall from Revelation 5:6, horns generally represent kings or kingdoms in Scripture. These four horns, which the Lord used to scatter Judah, He calls "beasts" in Daniel and Hosea:

    Daniel 7:17-18 - 'Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.'


    Daniel 7:2-7 - Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it. "And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: 'Arise, devour much flesh!' "After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns."


    Hosea 13:5-9 - I knew you in the wilderness, In the land of great drought. When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me. "So I will be to them like a lion; Like a leopard by the road I will lurk; I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage, And there I will devour them like a lion. The wild beast shall tear them. "O Israel, you are destroyed, But your help is from Me."


    History has shown these four horns, or kingdoms, are: Babylon (lion), Medo-Persian (bear), Greece (leopard), and Rome (wild, terrible beast). While many nations have ruled over Judah, these four are the nations which "scattered" the Jews into exile. Zechariah sees four craftsmen that would cast out the horns of these nations as punishment for their "evil intent" (Zechariah 1:15).

    It is not clear if these craftsmen are earthly or spiritual. If the craftsmen are on earth, then each subsequent horn would become the craftsman that cast out the horn that was in power at the time. In other words, the Medes and Persians were the craftsman that cast out the horn of Babylon, Greece the craftsman that cast out the horn of the Medes and Persians, and Rome the craftsman that cast out the horn of Greece. The Roman Empire has not been cast out yet. It will revive in the last days and be cast out by the Lord and His saints:

    Daniel 7:23-27 - "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 'But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'"


    Zechariah 6:1 - Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze.
    Skipping over to chapter 6, Zechariah has another vision about horses. In this vision he sees four different chariots of horses coming between two mountains. Horses and chariots are vehicles of war:

    Proverbs 21:31 - The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD.


    Job 39:19-25 - "Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder? Can you frighten him like a locust? His majestic snorting strikes terror. He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He gallops into the clash of arms. He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; Nor does he turn back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, The glittering spear and javelin. He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded. At the blast of the trumpet he says, 'Aha!' He smells the battle from afar, The thunder of captains and shouting."


    Jeremiah 46:9-10 - Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! And let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow. For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates.


    Recall from Revelation 1:15, bronze signifies judgment. God used "four horns" to judge Israel, which is reminiscent of the four horns on the altar that was overlaid with bronze and used to make atonement for sin:

    Exodus 27:1-2 - "You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide - the altar shall be square - and its height shall be three cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze."


    Exodus 29:36 - And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it.


    Mountains in Scripture show dominion. The following passages depict mountains as kingdoms:

    Jeremiah 51:24-25 - "And I will repay Babylon And all the inhabitants of Chaldea For all the evil they have done In Zion in your sight," says the LORD. "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth," says the LORD. "And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain."


    Daniel 2:34-35 - You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.


    Daniel 2:44-45 - And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold - the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."


    Both Babylon and the Lord's Kingdom arrive during a time of judgment. God used Babylon to judge Israel and other nations. Babylon was later judged by the Medo-Persian kingdom. When Jesus returns it will be in judgment, when He will destroy all the kingdoms of the world. The passages below also show a relationship between mountains and judgment:

    Psalm 36:6 - Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast.


    Psalm 72:1-4 - A Psalm Of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king's Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor.


    Revelation 16:19-20 - ...And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.


    Clearly, the two bronze mountains Zechariah saw in his vision depict judgment. Zechariah 6:5 shows that these chariots of horses are coming from Heaven. Moses patterned the tabernacle after heavenly things:

    Hebrews 8:4-5 - For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."


    The two bronze pillars in the earthly temple apparently represent the bronze mountains in Heaven:

    1 Kings 7:15, 21 - And he cast two pillars of bronze, each one eighteen cubits high, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of each... Then he set up the pillars by the vestibule of the temple; he set up the pillar on the right and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the left and called its name Boaz.


    Recall from Revelation 3:12, "Jachin" means "he establishes" and "Boaz" means "strength." In light of the following Psalm, the bronze pillars in the earthly temple are appropriately named for the mountains they represent in Heaven:

    Psalm 65:6 - Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power.


    Zechariah 6:2 - With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3 - with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses - strong steeds. 4 - Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5 - And the angel answered and said to me, "These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth.
    Zechariah 1:9-11 hinted that these horses were spirit beings; here we are explicitly told that they are "four spirits of heaven." At face value, it looks like the horses are the spirits, as there was no hint of any rider, except for the pre-incarnate Christ in Zechariah 1:8. However, in this passage the horses pull chariots, which may imply that there are riders. The chariot and horses of fire that took Elijah to Heaven had riders, or horsemen:

    2 Kings 2:11-12 - Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!" So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.


    The Lord's army has both chariots and horses of fire, but no riders mentioned, like in the previous passage:

    2 Kings 6:15-17 - And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.


    The Lord's army in the following passage describes both horses and mighty men, which probably means it includes both horses and horsemen:

    Joel 2:3-5, 7-9, 11 - A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array... They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief... The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?


    When we come across these spirit horses again in Revelation, they have riders who are given authority to administer judgment on the earth. The bronze mountains show us that judgment is here in Zechariah too, but it is unclear whether the horses are given power to mete out judgment, or if we can deduce from Revelation that implied riders have that authority. Regardless, the authority comes from the Lord, who sends these horse-drawn chariots from the bronze mountains of judgment:

    Isaiah 66:15-16 - For behold, the LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many.


    Zechariah sees four different kinds of horses that come from the bronze mountains. There are also four different kinds of horses in Revelation. In Zechariah 1:8, the prophet sees three colors of horses. The table below shows the translated colors or markings of these horses, along with the original Hebrew for the Old Testament, original Greek for the New Testament, and translated Greek from Hebrew in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament:



    The white, red, and black horses match in the Greek. However, the last horse looks different between passages.

    The Hebrew word "saroq" in Zechariah 1:8 is also used in Isaiah 16:8, translated as branches or vines, but literally means "clusters," as in the clustered fruit of the vine. The Septuagint translates "saroq" with two Greek words "psaros," which means speckled, and "poiklilos," which means varicolored, also used to describe Joseph's "coat of many colors" (Genesis 37:3).

    The Hebrew word "barod" in Zechariah 6:6 is also used in Genesis 31:10, which means dappled, mottled, grisled, or gray-spotted. The Septuagint translates "barod" as "poiklilos," which means varicolored, also found in Zechariah 1:8. The translators of the Septuagint believed that this horse was similar, if not the same type of horse described in Zechariah 1:8, based on their use of the Greek word "poiklilos" for both.

    In Revelation, John describes the last horse as "chloros," which means green. The same word is found in Mark 6:39, Revelation 8:7, and Revelation 9:4, to describe the color of grass and plants. At first glance, it looks like this horse is completely different from the horses in Zechariah. However, John seems to focus on the color, while Zechariah seems to focus on the pattern of the horses. Also, the color green has a large spectrum. A horse the color of green grass doesn't seem to fit the context of this horse being connected with death, which is probably why most translators call it a "pale" horse:

    Revelation 6:8 - So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.


    The following excerpt from the article: "Ancient Greek Color Vision" has some interesting insight about the color "chloros":

    As seen through the eyes of the Ancient Greeks, color perception is a very different thing than our own color perception... In his writings Homer surprises us by his use of color. His color descriptive palate was limited to metallic colors, black, white, yellowish green and purplish red, and those colors he often used oddly, leaving us with some questions as to his actual ability to see colors properly... He calls the sky "bronze" and the sea and sheep as the color of wine, he applies the adjective chloros (meaning green with our understanding) to honey, and a nightingale ... [W]e must think about his meaning, did he indeed see honey as green, did he not see the ocean as blue, how does his perception of color reflect on himself, his people, and his world.

    Homer's odd color description usage was a cultural phenomenon and not simply color blindness on his part, Pindar describes the dew as chloros, in Euripides chloros describes blood and tears. Empedocles, one of the earliest Ancient Greek color theorists, described color as falling into four areas, light or white, black or dark, red and yellow; Xenophanes described the rainbow as having three bands of color: purple, green/yellow, and red. These colors are fairly consistent with the four colors used by Homer in his color description, this leads us to the conclusion that all Ancient Greeks saw color only in the premise of Empedocles' colors, in some way they lacked the ability to perceive the whole color spectrum.

    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/61


    Based on this article, a pale green or greenish-yellow color is not out of the question. If Zechariah and John both saw the same type of horses, this might be what they saw:



    This horse is a pale green color, with a variegated pattern that could be described as dappled, mottled, grisled, spotted, speckled, or even clustered like grapes on a vine. As we will see in the next section, the direction the Lord sends these horses out may support that the two prophets saw the same horse in all three visions.

    Zechariah 6:6 - The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country." 7 - Then the strong steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, "Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth." So they walked to and fro throughout the earth.
    As mentioned in the last section, it is unclear if Zechariah and John saw the same type of fourth horse. That being said, note the four ways the pale green horse has authority to kill:

    Revelation 6:8 - So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.


    God warned Israel that if they didn't follow His statutes, they would die from the wild beasts, the sword, pestilence, and famine:

    Leviticus 26:21-26 - Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate. And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.


    These are the same as God's four judgments He poured out on Jerusalem through the Babylonians, though worded a little differently from Revelation:

    Ezekiel 14:21 - For thus says the Lord GOD: "How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem - the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence - to cut off man and beast from it?


    Ezekiel 5:15-17 - "'So it shall be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, and an astonishment to the nations that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken. When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread. So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.' "


    Jeremiah 15:2-3 - And it shall be, if they say to you, 'Where should we go?' then you shall tell them, 'Thus says the LORD: "Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity." ' "And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction," says the LORD: "the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy."




    The "north country" is the area north and east of Israel including Babylon, and Medo-Persia, who conquered Babylon:

    Jeremiah 46:10-13 - For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates. "Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; In vain you will use many medicines; You shall not be cured. The nations have heard of your shame, And your cry has filled the land; For the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; They both have fallen together." The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon would come and strike the land of Egypt.


    Jeremiah 50:8-9 - "Move from the midst of Babylon, Go out of the land of the Chaldeans; And be like the rams before the flocks. For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon An assembly of great nations from the north country, And they shall array themselves against her; From there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; None shall return in vain."


    The "south country" naturally would be Egypt. When God announced through His prophets that Babylon would conquer Jerusalem, He warned the people to go into exile quietly. For those who tried to stay or flee to Egypt, God sent three of the four severe judgments after them:

    Jeremiah 42:13-17 - "But if you say, 'We will not dwell in this land,' disobeying the voice of the LORD your God saying, 'No, but we will go to the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread, and there we will dwell' - Then hear now the word of the LORD, O remnant of Judah! Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'If you wholly set your faces to enter Egypt, and go to dwell there, then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; the famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die. So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to dwell there. They shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. And none of them shall remain or escape from the disaster that I will bring upon them.'"


    Jeremiah 44:13-14 - For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, so that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to dwell there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Judah, to which they desire to return and dwell. For none shall return except those who escape.


    Beasts are not mentioned directly in the passages about Judah fleeing to Egypt. However, the following prophecy about the judgment on Judah, at the hands of Babylon, describes the beasts as cleaning up the dead bodies, but not causing death like the other three judgments:

    Jeremiah 34:17-21 - "Therefore thus says the LORD: 'You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and every one to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim liberty to you,' says the LORD 'to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine! And I will deliver you to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it - the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf - I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies shall be for meat for the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the earth. And I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army which has gone back from you.


    The theme of these four severe judgments is certainly death. God clearly warned that anyone who went to Egypt instead of surrendering to Babylon would die by three of the four severe judgments. Their dead bodies would be meat for the beasts, which is the fourth of the severe judgments. Therefore, the pale green horse in Revelation and the dappled horses in Zechariah both involve the four severe judgments of God. The variegated pattern of this horse may reflect the manifold judgment that comes when the Lord sends this type of horse out.

    God sends out the horses in Zechariah in specific directions. The horse-drawn chariots originate in Heaven, but the point of reference for their movement on the earth is Israel, since this is where Zechariah was given his visions. The white and black horses go north, the dappled horses go south. The red horses are not sent in a specific direction, but go out with the other horses throughout the earth, after the other horses first go in the direction the Lord sends them:



    Notice that the dappled horses go south of Israel, or toward Egypt. As shown earlier in this section, when Judah fled to Egypt instead of surrendering to Babylon, God sent out His judgments of death after them. Note, the pale horse in Revelation 6:8 involved the same judgments God used against Judah in Egypt. This is further evidence that John and Zechariah saw the same kind of horse; John described the color, while Zechariah described the pattern.
    We will go into more detail about what the other colors of the horses represent in the verse-by-verse study of Revelation, but for now, here is a summary, based on the context they are given:



    If the white horse means conquest, and the black horse means famine in Revelation, do they mean the same in Zechariah? Look where these horses go in Zechariah's vision. Babylon conquered the Assyrians, which is north of Israel. The prophet Nahum prophesied desolation of Nineveh, the seat of the Assyrian Empire:

    Nahum 2:8-10 - Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, Now they flee away. "Halt! Halt!" they cry; But no one turns back. Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold! There is no end of treasure, Or wealth of every desirable prize. She is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; Much pain is in every side, And all their faces are drained of color.


    The white horse of conquest and the black horse of desolation coming to Assyria certainly fits the same meaning of the horses in Revelation. As shown to Zechariah, all the horses go throughout the world after the white and black horses go north and the dappled horses go south. The red horse in Revelation means war and bloodshed. After Babylon conquered Assyria, Israel, and Egypt, they continued to expand their empire through war, until the Medes and Persians overpowered them. Therefore, the red horse in Zechariah's vision is also about war like John's vision in Revelation. In the midst of war, Egypt suffered the judgments of death, represented by the dappled horse, as a result of welcoming those fleeing from Judah:

    Jeremiah 44:13-14 - For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, so that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to dwell there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Judah, to which they desire to return and dwell. For none shall return except those who escape.


    All the horses in both Revelation and Zechariah have a global scope, as they "walked to and fro throughout the earth." Zechariah saw the conquest and desolation in the white and black horses, death in the dappled horses, and expanding war in the red horses, just like John in Revelation. But the global conquest never found fruition because another empire came up stronger, restarting the cycle of conquest, desolation, and death through war. In Revelation, there will only be one empire, and the conquest of the antichrist will stretch to the farthest parts of earth:

    Daniel 7:23 - "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces."


    Daniel 11:41 - He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown...


    Going back to the four horns in Zechariah 1:18, if the craftsmen are on earth, then each subsequent horn would be the craftsman that cast out the horn that was in power at the time. The pattern of conquest and desolation, followed by more war, continued through the empires of all the horns. The last empire, or the revived Roman Empire, will come in the wake of war, desolation, death after the spirit of conquest through the antichrist.

    Notice that the empire conquered by each horn is north of Israel. Each subsequent horn took over both Egypt and Israel. The severe judgments of God: the sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts naturally follow war and conquest. The horses' movement in Zechariah's vision fit the conquest of all the empires:



    To reiterate, each horn conquered the seat of the ruling empire. The seat of each empire was north of Israel and their conquest spread south, taking Israel and Egypt. War continued in each empire, expanding their territory until the next horn arose in power. In other words, the white and black horses went north of Israel when a horn conquered the ruling empire, the dappled horses went south when the new ruling empire continued their conquest, taking Israel and Egypt. The red horses and all the horses ride out in war, conquest, desolation and death, as the empire expands. Here are the empires at their furthest extent:



    Zechariah 6:8 - And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, "See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country."
    The horses' mission is to give rest to, or quiet the Spirit of the Lord, or the Holy Spirit. The earth was "resting" in Zechariah 1:11, where we are first introduced to these spiritual horses, after the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon:

    Isaiah 14:3-7 - It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: "How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of the rulers; He who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke, He who ruled the nations in anger, Is persecuted and no one hinders. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; They break forth into singing.


    But God was angry:

    Zechariah 1:15 - I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease; For I was a little angry, And they helped-but with evil intent.


    God used the Persian king to punish Babylon in the "north," bring the exiles back to Israel, and rebuild the temple. It is interesting to note, Zechariah 6:9-14, which comes after this passage, is about the temple. The nations in the "north country" God used for judgment, but they had "evil intent." God later judged these nations for their motives. In the following passage, we see that judgment quieted the Lord's "fury," or anger, toward Jerusalem:

    Ezekiel 16:42-43 - So I will lay to rest My fury toward you, and My jealousy shall depart from you. I will be quiet, and be angry no more. Because you did not remember the days of your youth, but agitated Me with all these things, surely I will also recompense your deeds on your own head," says the Lord GOD. "And you shall not commit lewdness in addition to all your abominations."


    God's "fury" is "wrath":

    Job 20:23 - When he is about to fill his stomach, God will cast on him the fury of His wrath, And will rain it on him while he is eating.

    If the spirit horses' mission is to quiet the Spirit of the Lord, and His fury is judgment unto wrath, it is no surprise that these same type of horses arrive at the beginning of the Tribulation in Revelation. In the Tribulation, the Lord's fury will be against "all nations":

    Isaiah 34:2-4, 8 - For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree... For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.


    The horses in Zechariah quieted the Lord's Spirit after the fall of Babylon. But Babylon will fall twice. Judgment is proclaimed against Babylon after the chariot of horses arrives:

    Isaiah 21:6-9 - For thus has the Lord said to me: "Go, set a watchman, Let him declare what he sees." And he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen, A chariot of donkeys, and a chariot of camels, And he listened earnestly with great care. Then he cried, "A lion, my Lord! I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime; I have sat at my post every night. And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!" Then he answered and said, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground."


    The second time Babylon falls will be right before Jesus returns:

    Revelation 18:2-8, 20 - And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury." And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her... Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"


    After Babylon falls the second time, and the Spirit of the Lord will rest when the Lord returns in judgment:

    Isaiah 59:16-21 & 62:1- He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; The coastlands He will fully repay. So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. "The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says the LORD. "As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore..." For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.


    In this introduction to the four horses in Revelation, we have learned that God sends these spirit beings to the earth in times of judgment against Judah. The last such judgment will begin at the start of Daniel's 70th Week, which is the last seven years of the 490 years determined in Daniel 9:24. When God sends the horses out in judgment in Revelation, it is not only against the Jews, but also against the inhabitants of the world. The horses will ride to quiet the Lord's fury against all nations, as shown in the passages in this section. Now that we understand the purpose of these horses of judgment, we can move on to our verse-by-verse study of Revelation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow! Metronames I will be consuming this as soon as I can... Many thanks to you, and God bless your talent/work!
      The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.... Living for Jesus - Listening for the Trumpet

      :snoopy

      Comment


      • #4
        Metroames,

        Thanks for bringing the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments together. Though it was a long read, it was packed full of good information.
        My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh my goodness! Thank you for this study! I will be reading this in sections, so that I can get the most out of it. Very excited! I love studies like this. Right up my alley. Thank you again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Metroames,
            Thank you for the time and energy you put forth with this study. Blessings!

            Comment


            • #7
              For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18

              Comment


              • #8
                horses in Zechariah

                This has some additional thoughts to make us think...

                Outline of Zechariah
                Introduction: (1:1-6) Zechariah’s ministry coupled with Haggai’s ministry concerning state.
                Division 1: (1:7 - 6:15) -- Gentile and Israelite Evil Judged in View of Messiah’s Earthly Glory and
                Place.
                Subdivision 1: (1:7 - 4:14) -- The Gentiles, Jerusalem, and Messiah’s Glory.
                Section 1: (1:7 - 2:17) -- The Gentiles and Jerusalem.
                The Vision of the Horses (1:7-17) Angel of Jehovah (v. 11) riding (v. 8 -- controlling) on the red horse
                (Persia), with red (Persia), bay (Greece) and white (Roman) horses
                (riderless, as if not under control) behind Him.
                The Vision of the 4 Horns and 4 Craftsmen (1:18-21) The four Gentile powers (see Dan. 2) overcome by the
                four-fold character of Messiah, depicted in the 4 living
                creatures and the 4 gospels.
                The Vision of the Surveyor (2:1-17) The effect of the 4 craftsmen results in Jerusalem being according to
                God’s measure -- in the coming kingdom.
                Section 2: (3:1 - 4:14) -- The Branch, the Great Millennial Light, the means of Israel’s restoration and future glory.
                The Vision of Joshua and the Branch (3:1-10) Past state of Israel seen in Joshua (not the true servant), then
                cleansed and fit, before God’s Servant, THE BRANCH, in view
                of the following two offices carried out by the true Servant.
                The vision of the Candlestick and the Two Olive Trees (4:1-14) The two offices of Priest (Melchizedek) and
                King give character to Christ as the great
                millennial light.
                Subdivision 2: (5:1 - 6:15) -- God’s Judgment of What is Inconsistent with the Character of the Man,
                the Branch.
                Section1: (5:1 - 6:8) -- The Judgment upon the Wicked.
                The Vision of the Flying Role (5:1-4) Moral transgressors of Israel cut off.
                The Vision of the Woman in the Ephah (5:5-11) Idolatry removed from the land of Israel.
                The Vision of the Four Chariots (6:1-8) The Gentiles quieted before Jehovah.
                Section 2: (6:9-15) – Israel Cleansed, and the Gentiles Having Been Quieted, There Follows the Coronation of the
                Melchizedek Priest: the Man (Man in View of this Priesthood) Whose Name Is THE
                BRANCH.


                Read the 4 craftsmen with this thought in mind:

                The Four-fold Presentation
                of Christ in the Gospels
                THE GOSPEL MATT MARK LUKE JOHN
                Christ in this Gospel King Servant Man God


                The four living Lion Ox Man Eagle
                creatures, symbols of
                the judicial power of
                God invested in Christ

                (rapidity)
                characteristic word quotations OT Straightaway Certain I am

                Colors of the robe put Scarlet Purple Gorgeous Purple
                on Him

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm going to print and study this. I love studies like this. Thank you for sharing your work. Maranatha!
                  Ph 3:15 (paraphrased):...And if on some point you and I think differently, that too God will make clear to us. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you Metroames for all you hard work putting this info together.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good study!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Fantastic study..........seems spot on...........wish I could do this............I hated to see it end.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Metro....

                          My study would be a bit shorter. The horses of Zech 6 are correlated to the horses of Rev 6 in this way:

                          The white, red, and black horses of both are the AC's armies, the Muslim armies, and the Russian armies. The order of appearance is different because those armies "judge" Israel ("mountains of brass") in this order — red/KotSouth, black/KotNorth (Joel 2), white/AC (midtrib, Isa 28:18), and then the armies of the nations/mottled.

                          Whereas in Rev 6 — white horse/AC (peace), red/Muslim, black/Russia, and Chlorous/Israel (in covenant with death and hell, Isa 28:15). Then, the power was given to "Death and Hell" to kill 1/4 of mankind .. not the horses.

                          Just a few thoughts, if you will.

                          skypair

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Revelation 6 Commentary

                            I have finished my commentary on Revelation 6. Below is the "meat" of the study. I have left out most of my graphics and the section heavy with tables, or else it would take me a whole night to post it here on the board. If you want to read the whole study in its entirety, complete with graphics, links to sources, and links to my other studies I reference, you can find it on my "homepage" under my profile. The introduction to this study can be found in this thread:

                            http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?1841...97#post2360097

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Introduction to the Seal Judgments

                              In Revelation 5, we saw that the sealed scroll the Lamb takes from the right hand of God is the "purchase deed" to the Earth. Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer, being the only one worthy to open the sealed scroll and reclaim the Earth. Subsequent chapters in Revelation show that the contents within the "purchase deed" are judgments which must come to pass on Earth before the Lord returns. These judgments are to prepare for the Lord's earthly reign in two ways: To evict the rebellious inhabitants from the earth, and turn the Jewish people back to God.

                              God has determined that twenty-one judgments will occur after Jesus takes the sealed scroll. The sealed "purchase deed" to the earth includes all twenty-one judgments, divided into three groups: Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls. The last Seal judgment includes the seven Trumpet judgments. The last Trumpet judgment includes the seven Bowl Judgments.

                              Jesus breaks the Seal judgments at the beginning of the Tribulation, followed by a "half hour of silence" (Revelation 8:1) of the "hour of trial" (Revelation 3:10 ), or no judgments from Heaven for about half the Tribulation period. (Click here for more on the "half hour of silence"). After this "half hour of silence," the rest of the judgments from Heaven occur over the second half of the Tribulation, known as the "Great Tribulation" (Matthew 24:21):



                              ...

                              The Tribulation, or "Daniel's 70th Week," begins when Israel and the antichrist confirm a covenant (Daniel 9:27). God gave Israel 70 "weeks" in which He would punish their transgressing of the Law before the Messiah would come to rule:

                              Daniel 9:24 - "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy."
                              History has shown us that the 70 weeks are 70 "weeks" of years, or 490 years. There were 483 years from the command to Nehemiah to restore and build Jerusalem after Israel's exile until Jesus died, being "cut off" (Daniel 9:26). During those 483 years, God punished Israel under the yoke of Gentile rule. After the cross, God turned away from Israel because they rejected His Son (Romans 11).


                              Seven more years are left of the 70 "weeks" of punishment. Today we live in the gap between the 483 years and the last seven years. During these last seven years, God will turn back to Israel. However, God will punish Israel along with His enemies through the judgments recorded in the "purchase deed" of the earth.

                              ...


                              Four horses ride throughout the earth in the first four Seal judgments. Recall from Zechariah 6:8, the spirit horses' mission is to quiet the fury of the Spirit of the Lord. His "fury" is judgment unto wrath. In the Tribulation, the Lord's fury will be against "all nations":

                              Isaiah 34:2-4, 8 - For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree... For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.


                              Just as these spiritual horses came with God's judgment against the nations during the first 483 years of "Daniel's 70 Weeks," we will see in the next few sections, they will come again with God's judgment against the nations during the final seven years.


                              Revelation 6:1 - "Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals"

                              John witnesses the Lamb breaking the first seal on the scroll, or the "purchase deed" to the earth. Recall from Revelation 5:9, the Lamb is the only one worthy to open the seals on the "purchase deed." The song of redemption sung by the elders and living creatures explains why the Lord is worthy to take the "purchase deed" and break its seals. The Lord's sacrifice paid the price:


                              Romans 3:23-25 - For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood....


                              Hebrews 9:11-12, 15 - But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption... And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.


                              1 Timothy 2:5-6 - For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.


                              It is important to note, the Lamb not only opens the first seal, but He opens ALL the seals. As we will see in Revelation 8, the last Seal includes the last fourteen judgments in Revelation. In other words, it is Christ who administers all twenty-one judgments.

                              Revelation 6:1 - "And I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see.""

                              ...

                              After Jesus opens the first seal, one the four living creatures beckons John to witness what happens on Earth in response to the breaking of the seal; to "come and see" how God is going to deal with man:

                              Psalms 66:5-7 - Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into dry land; They went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him. He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah


                              The first living creature speaks with a thunderous voice. It appears that Ezekiel also heard a thunderous voice from a similar living creature, one of the cherubim (Ezekiel 10):

                              Ezekiel 3:12-13 - Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: "Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!" I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise.


                              The Lord's voice is also like thunder, showing His greatness:

                              1 Samuel 2:10 - The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.


                              Job 37:2-5 - Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, And the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He sends it forth under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth. After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.


                              Psalms 18:7-14 - Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.


                              Psalms 77:16-20 - The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.


                              The thunderous voice of the first living creature, likewise, shows the immense and formidable nature of what is about to happen on Earth. "Daniel's 70th Week," or the "time of Jacob's trouble," will be an unprecedented time in the history of man:

                              Jeremiah 30:7 - Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble....



                              Revelation 6:2 - "And I looked, and behold, a white horse."

                              The four living creatures announce the arrival of four horses in the first four seals. Each horse has a rider, but the attention is initially drawn to the horse. The horses' prominence over the horsemen should draw us to seek meaning in other Scripture to their significance. As shown in the introduction, these horses are found in the book of Zechariah and tied to God's judgment.

                              Recall from Revelation 1:14, the color white usually represents purity and cleansing from sin (Isaiah 1:18, Psalms 51:5-7). However, in the context of this passage in Revelation, white symbolizes conquest. Incidentally, great military leaders like Alexander the Great, Napoleon and others are often found riding white horses in portraits.

                              The Tribulation begins with the arrival of a white horse with a conquering rider, and ends with the arrival of a white horse with a conquering rider:

                              Revelation 19:11-15 - Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.


                              These two white horses, however, are not the same. As discussed in the introduction, the first white horse on conquest has connections to the other three horses that follow. The white horse that comes at the end of the Tribulation also has a rider coming in conquest, but this horse is not connected to the other horses of war, desolation, and death, and its rider comes to put an end to the judgments. In other words, while both white horses come in conquest, the first wreaks havoc in destruction and the last comes to bring peace to the world. The rider of the last white horse is clearly the Lord Jesus Christ, the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). The rider of the first white horse is different, as noted below:




                              Revelation 6:2 - "He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer."

                              The rider of the first white horse carries a bow. A bow is a weapon of war:

                              1 Chronicles 5:18 - The sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh had forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty valiant men, men able to bear shield and sword, to shoot with the bow, and skillful in war, who went to war.


                              Isaiah 21:15 - For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, From the bent bow, and from the distress of war.


                              Jeremiah 6:23 - They will lay hold on bow and spear; They are cruel and have no mercy; Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.


                              2 Samuel 22:35 - He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.


                              God uses the bow in judgment:

                              Psalms 7:11-12 - God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready.


                              Jeremiah 46:9-10 - Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! And let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow. For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates.


                              Jeremiah 50:14-15 - "Put yourselves in array against Babylon all around, All you who bend the bow; Shoot at her, spare no arrows, For she has sinned against the LORD. Shout against her all around; She has given her hand, Her foundations have fallen, Her walls are thrown down; For it is the vengeance of the LORD. Take vengeance on her. As she has done, so do to her."


                              Lamentations 2:4 - Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow; With His right hand, like an adversary, He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye; On the tent of the daughter of Zion, He has poured out His fury like fire.


                              Zechariah 9:13 - For I have bent Judah, My bow, Fitted the bow with Ephraim, And raised up your sons, O Zion, Against your sons, O Greece, And made you like the sword of a mighty man.


                              The first white horse comes in conquest. Many believe that the rider of this white horse is the antichrist, as he will set out to conquer the nations:

                              Daniel 11:39-44 - Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.


                              Daniel 8:24 - His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.


                              Conquest doesn't necessarily come with war. Some believe that because arrows are not mentioned with the bow, the rider of the first white horse comes to conquer in diplomacy. However, there are other passages where arrows are not mentioned, but implied:

                              2 Samuel 1:22 - From the blood of the slain, From the fat of the mighty, The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, And the sword of Saul did not return empty.


                              1 Kings 22:34 - Now a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded."


                              2 Chronicles 17:17 - Of Benjamin: Eliada a mighty man of valor, and with him two hundred thousand men armed with bow and shield.


                              That being said, the antichrist does begin his conquest in diplomacy, before using military means to expand his power. (Note: The following prophecy in Daniel 11 was partly fulfilled in history by Antiochus Epiphanes, but complete fulfillment is yet future in the antichrist):

                              Daniel 11:21-24 - And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.


                              Daniel 9:26-27 - ...And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary... he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week....


                              This covenant of peace is a false peace and a "covenant with death" (Isaiah 28:15-22), in contrast to the true covenant of peace, which the Lord will make with Israel when He returns:

                              Ezekiel 34:25, 27-28 - I will make a covenant of peace with them... They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid.


                              Recall from Zechariah 6:5, the four horses the Lord sends out in judgment, including the white horse, are spirit beings. The passages below describe similar spirit horses with riders that are spirit beings as well:

                              2 Kings 2:11-12 - Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!" So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.


                              Joel 2:3-5, 7-9, 11 - A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots Over mountaintops they leap, Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, Like a strong people set in battle array... They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like men of war; Every one marches in formation, And they do not break ranks. They do not push one another; Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, They are not cut down. They run to and fro in the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter at the windows like a thief... The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?


                              The rider of the white horse is not the antichrist himself, as he is a man (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Rather, the evidence suggests that the rider is the spirit of lawlessness. There are at least two archers in Scripture who were antichrist types, which support this notion. The first archer in the Bible was Ishmael (Genesis 21:21). Another famous archer was Esau (Genesis 27:1-4). As shown in the study: "Nationality of the Antichrist," the spirit of lawlessness has manifest in the offspring of Ishmael and Esau. The antichrist may even be offspring from this same cursed line. Whether or not this is the case, the antichrist will certainly be operating in the spirit of lawlessness.

                              Note the white horse or its rider cannot be the spirit of antichrist. The spirit of antichrist works to deny Christ:

                              1 John 4:2-3 - By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.


                              The man who will be the antichrist will work in both the spirit of antichrist, denying Christ, and the spirit of lawlessness, set out to conquer by any means.

                              The rider on the first white horse wears a crown. The crown of the first rider is a "stephanos." As discussed in the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" study, the "stephanos" is the victor's crown. In the ancient Olympics, judges awarded ivy crowns or wreaths, called "stephanos," to the winners of the various events at the "Bema." They still do this at the Olympics and other athletic events today, using medals instead of crowns. This crown is different from the crowns the Lord Jesus Christ wears when He returns on the last white horse in Revelation.

                              The Lord has "diadems," or crowns of royalty on His head when He returns to Earth (Revelation 19:12). That being said, the Lord does wear the "stephanos" in Revelation 14:14, when He harvests the last of the souls of the Tribulation Saints to Heaven, before He returns. Wearing the "stephanos" in this instance shows the Lord's victory in winning souls, in the midst of the trials of the Tribulation.

                              The crown of thorns put on the Lord's head at His crucifixion is also called a "stephanos" (Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17, John 19:2, 5). The thorns represent His rejection (Hebrews 6:8). But this rejection led to victory over sin and death because of the cross (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). In contrast, when the Lord returns wearing "diadems," it symbolizes His royalty as "King of kings":

                              Revelation 19:12, 16 - ...on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself... And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.


                              Since the "stephanos" is a crown of victory, the rider of the first white horse wearing this type of crown signifies victory in his conquest:

                              Revelation 13:4-7 - So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.


                              Daniel 8:23-25 - "And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. "Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.""


                              The reason the antichrist will be successful in conquest through the Tribulation period, is because of the unrestrained spirit of lawlessness working through him until the Lord returns:

                              2 Thessalonians 2:7-9 - For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.


                              In short, the white horse rides out in judgment when the Lamb of God breaks the first seal on the "purchase deed" to the earth. The rider on the white horse has characteristics of the antichrist, but other scriptures show that the horses and their riders sent out by God are spirit beings. Therefore, the first white horse and his rider represent the spirit of lawlessness, who operates through the antichrist in victorious conquest, first by diplomacy, and later by military force.

                              Revelation 6:3 - "When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see.""

                              ...

                              When the Lamb of God opens the second seal, the second living creature calls John to see what happens on Earth in response, just as the first living creature did after the Lord broke the first seal. The voice of the second living creature is not described as thunderous (Revelation 6:1). This may suggest that the first horse and its rider are more significant because a thundering voice is like the Almighty's voice:

                              Job 37:2-5 - Hear attentively the thunder of His voice, And the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He sends it forth under the whole heaven, His lightning to the ends of the earth. After it a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard. God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.



                              Revelation 6:4 - "Another horse, fiery red, went out."

                              The second horse that rides out, after the Lamb of God breaks the second seal, is a "fiery red" color. This is the same color as the dragon described in Revelation 12:3. The color red in Scripture signifies sin and bloodshed:

                              Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.


                              Isaiah 63:2-3 - Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.


                              2 Kings 3:22-24 - Then they rose up early in the morning, and the sun was shining on the water; and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood. And they said, "This is blood; the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!" So when they came to the camp of Israel, Israel rose up and attacked the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they entered their land, killing the Moabites.


                              Revelation 6:4- "And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword."

                              The red horse comes to take peace from the earth, thus, red signifies bloodshed in this context. The rider of the first horse brings a false peace, which later ends in conquest. Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:15-22 show this false peace, or "covenant with death," will last through the first half of "Daniel's 70th Week." Therefore, the peace covenant confirmed between Israel and the antichrist is different from the peace that the rider of the red horse takes from the earth, as Jesus breaks this seal near the beginning of "Daniel's 70th Week," but the "covenant with death" continues to the middle of the Tribulation.

                              Peace being taken from the earth shows the global nature of this judgment. Some believe many of the Seal judgments have already been broken, being the birth pangs described in Matthew 24, which lead up to the Tribulation period. The fact that the world hasn't dissolved into anarchy, as described here in Revelation, is evidence that the second seal has not been broken yet.

                              When the rider on the red horse takes peace from the earth, people kill each other. The Greek word translated as "kill," means to slay, slaughter, or butcher. This is not the first time in Scripture God turns people on each other in judgment:

                              2 Chronicles 20:14-15, 22-24 - Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's...'" Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.


                              1 Samuel 14:12, 20, 23 - Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, "Come up to us, and we will show you something." Jonathan said to his armorbearer, "Come up after me, for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel." ...Then Saul and all the people who were with him assembled, and they went to the battle; and indeed every man's sword was against his neighbor, and there was very great confusion... So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.


                              Judges 7:20-22 - Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers - they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing - and they cried, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!" And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man's sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.


                              Like in the story of Gideon, the rider of the red horse is given the "sword of the Lord." I believe the sword that causes people to kill each other, is the same sword from the Lord in the following passage, about the "Gog and Magog War":

                              Ezekiel 38:21 - "I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother."


                              Later, we will see that more parallels to the "Gog and Magog War" are found in other Seal judgments, which suggest this war is part of the opening act of the Tribulation period, or "Daniel's 70th Week."

                              While the following verse is in the context of discipleship and the ramifications of following Christ, it is interesting that Christ says that He did not come the first time to bring peace, but a sword:

                              Matthew 10:34 - "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword."


                              Absolute peace on Earth has been elusive. Until Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation, true peace will not come. However, the significance in Christ breaking the second seal, is that any semblance of peace that was on the earth will end, resulting in anarchy and unrestrained violence.

                              Revelation 6:5 - "When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand."

                              ...

                              A third living creature announces the third seal. John sees a black horse with a rider holding a pair of scales. Black is biblically associated with desolation and famine:

                              Jeremiah 4:27-28 - For thus says the LORD: "The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it."


                              Lamentations 4:8 - Now their appearance is blacker than soot; They go unrecognized in the streets; Their skin clings to their bones, It has become as dry as wood. Those slain by the sword are better off Than those who die of hunger; For these pine away, Stricken for lack of the fruits of the field.


                              A "pair of scales" is a device with two scales hung and balanced on a center beam. Pre-measured stones act as counter weights to measure items such as food or currency. The next verse shows the context of the black horse is indeed desolation and famine.

                              Revelation 6:6 - "And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius.""

                              The voice John heard is presumably that of the Lord, as He is the one in the midst of the four living creatures in Heaven:

                              Revelation 5:6 - And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.


                              It appears that a denarius was a fair day's wages in the first century:

                              Matthew 20:2 - Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.


                              A quart of wheat or barley is enough to feed one person for a day. After Jesus breaks the third seal, a person working might make enough wages to eat, but not enough to cover any other necessities of life, let alone feed more than a few family members, that is if they buy barley instead of wheat. Therefore, the picture painted here is of famine, which causes rampant inflation. Incidentally, inflation and famine usually follow war. Therefore, it is no surprise that after peace is taken from the earth (Revelation 6:4) both famine and inflation become a global issue.

                              As noted in the last section, the color black denotes desolation and famine. Wheat and barley are staple grains used to make bread. The following passages confirm that eating "bread by weight" signifies famine:

                              Ezekiel 4:16-17 - Moreover He said to me, "Son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink water by measure and with dread, that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because of their iniquity."


                              Leviticus 26:26 - When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.


                              Revelation 6:6 - "And do not harm the oil and the wine."

                              The voice from the midst of the four living creatures orders the third horse not to harm the oil and wine in this judgment. The popular belief is that not harming the oil and wine indicates the rich and elite are not affected by this judgment, because oil and wine are not necessities for life, and therefore considered luxury items. However, oil and wine were not considered luxury items in ancient times, but common staples, as well as wheat and barley:

                              Deuteronomy 7:13 - And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.


                              2 Chronicles 2:15 - Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants.


                              2 Chronicles 31:5 - As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.


                              Nehemiah 5:11 - Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them.


                              Historically, it is true that the rich generally benefit from inflation. The drought in the Middle East at the time of Joseph demonstrates this:

                              Genesis 47:13-17 - Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. So when the money failed in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed." Then Joseph said, "Give your livestock, and I will give you bread for your livestock, if the money is gone." So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the cattle of the herds, and for the donkeys. Thus he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock that year.


                              Genesis 47:18-22 - When that year had ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, "We will not hide from my lord that our money is gone; my lord also has our herds of livestock. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants of Pharaoh; give us seed, that we may live and not die, that the land may not be desolate." Then Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for every man of the Egyptians sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. So the land became Pharaoh's. And as for the people, he moved them into the cities, from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other end. Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had rations allotted to them by Pharaoh, and they ate their rations which Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their lands.


                              Genesis 47:23-25 - Then Joseph said to the people, "Indeed I have bought you and your land this day for Pharaoh. Look, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh. Four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and for your food, for those of your households and as food for your little ones." So they said, "You have saved our lives; let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants."


                              Pharaoh became exceedingly wealthy as a result of the drought, simply because of the nature of supply and demand. As the supply of grain went down, the price went up, until the people sold themselves into slavery. Generally, the wealthy are able to buy up whatever is of value during hard times and make a profit in the long run, whether it is in food or other commodities. It is interesting to note that by the end of the Tribulation, Babylon will be a rich city marked by an ample supply of all sorts of merchandise and food, including oil and wine. The world's wealth will be poured into this great city, while most are starving in the world:

                              Revelation 18:10-13 - '...Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men."


                              Another possible interpretation of not harming the oil and wine is that olive trees and grape vines have deep roots, which make them more drought resistant than other plants. In other words, the famine brought by the black horse will not become severe enough to harm the olive trees and grape vines. The prophet Haggai spoke of a drought that was severe enough to harm even the wine and oil:

                              Haggai 1:10-11 - Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.


                              I favor a literal interpretation foremost, so I believe the famine will not become severe enough to harm olive trees and grape vines, unlike the famine in Haggai's day. That being said, history has proven over and over that the rich prosper in difficult times. The city Babylon, being full of luxury in the midst of a world in devastation, supports the figurative view that the rich will coast through unaffected by the inflation brought on by the famine that ensues, when the black horse rides out. In other words, this prophecy may have both literal and symbolic fulfillment.

                              Revelation 6:7 - "When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see.""

                              ...

                              The fourth living creature beckons John come and see what judgment the Lord is sending on the earth with the breaking of the fourth seal.


                              Revelation 6:8 - "So I looked, and behold, a pale horse."

                              John describes the last horse as "chloros," which is the Greek word for green. The same word is found in Mark 6:39, Revelation 8:7, and Revelation 9:4, to describe the color of grass and plants. The color green has a large spectrum. A horse the color of green grass doesn't seem to fit the context of this horse being connected with death, as shown in the next section, which is probably why most translators call it a "pale" horse, being a greenish-yellow color.

                              Recall from Zechariah 6:3, it is probable the pale horse is the same kind as those described by Zechariah as sorrel, spotted, speckled, dappled, mottled, or grisled. John's focus is on the color of the horse, while Zechariah's focus is on the pattern of the horses. The horse to the right fits the descriptions given by both John and Zechariah:



                              Revelation 6:8 - "And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him."

                              The rider on the pale horse is given the name "Death." This rider is often pictured as the "Grim Reaper," a skeleton figure cloaked in black, carrying a large sickle. The "Grim Reaper" is prevalent in pop culture, having origins in mythology and paganism. Even so, "Death" appears as a real entity, as John describes him as the rider on the pale horse (Zechariah 6:5).

                              Death and the grave are found together in Scripture when referring to the physical death of the body:

                              Psalms 49:14 - Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling.


                              Hades is the place for the souls in the heart of the earth:

                              Matthew 12:40 - For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.


                              Acts 2:31 - ...concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.


                              "Sheol" is Hebrew for "Hades" in the Greek. Isaiah personifies Shoel, or Hades:

                              Isaiah 38:18 - For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth.


                              These spiritual entities, together, show that judgment in the form of death is coming to the earth. During the Tribulation, those who are believers do not go to Hades, but to Heaven (Revelation 6:9-11, Revelation 7:9-15). We see that this judgment of death is on unbelievers because Hades is following Death, which is where lost souls go to await final judgment, before the second death in the lake of fire:

                              Revelation 20:13-14 - The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.


                              Recall from Revelation 1:18, Jesus has the keys of Death and Hades, which represents His power to release believers from their bondage because He paid the penalty for our death:

                              1 Corinthians 15:54-57 - So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


                              Revelation 6:8 - "And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

                              The scope of the white, red, and black horse is global. The pale horse is only given power to judge a fourth of the earth with the four severe judgments of God. These four judgments are found elsewhere in Scripture as follows:





                              ...

                              Notice that the rider on the pale horse is given the same power as the riders on the red and black horses; the power to kill people by sword and famine. The variegated color of this horse may visibly show this manifold judgment of God, which includes some of the judgments of the solid colored horses. In other words, the solid colored horses only bear one type of judgment, but the variegated colored horse delivers multiples types of judgment. These judgments will exacerbate those same judgments brought by the previous horses to a fourth of the earth.

                              Some believe this passage indicates that a fourth of the world's population will die at the hands of the fourth rider. However, the Greek word for "earth" is "gé," which refers to soil or land, in contrast to "anthrópos" for "men" (Revelation 9:15). Correlations to the "Gog and Magog War" also support that a fourth of the world's geography is in view, rather than the population. The fact that the inhabitants of Israel burn weapons for seven years, suggests this war will occur at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation (Ezekiel 39:9). Consider the following parallels between the Seal judgments and the "Gog and Magog War":




                              As discussed in the "Gog and Magog War," God will not only send destruction on Gog's armies, but the damage will extend back to the attackers' countries, particularly the coastlands (Ezekiel 39:6). In other words, it is not just the armies that will see destruction on the mountains of Israel, but also the land they come from. Indeed, the geography of the countries involved in the "Gog and Magog War" is roughly a quarter of the world's landmass:



                              While the destruction on Gog's army is first by fire, the fourth horse will ride out bringing more destruction by sword, hunger, pestilence, and beasts. As shown in Zechariah 6:6-7, these four severe judgments of God naturally follow war. War causes scarcity of resources and breeds pestilence. When natural resources dwindle, wild beasts begin to attack humans for food. The "Gog and Magog War" will be no different, but on a larger scale than ever before seen on Earth.

                              ...

                              As an aside, there is another place in Scripture where we find the four severe judgments of God mentioned together. Interestingly, Eliphaz, one of Job's not so understanding friends, mentions these judgments as a form of chastisement:

                              Job 5:17-22 - "Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. In famine He shall redeem you from death, And in war from the power of the sword. You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. You shall laugh at destruction and famine, And you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth."


                              Job's friends were wrong about a lot of things. Here Eliphaz confused chastisement with God's judgment and wrath. However, a believer in the Tribulation period could find comfort in this passage. I find the mention of seven "troubles" interesting, in light of the seven years of Tribulation, in addition to the four severe judgments listed here that occur at the breaking of the fourth of seven seals. No matter what physically happens to the Tribulation Saints, God will restore them (Revelation 7:13-17, Revelation 20:4).

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