Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Death, Famine, War and Conquest, an 1887 painting by Viktor Vasnetsov

After the “Lamb” (Jesus) opened the book bound with seven seals, John, standing among “four animals”, the 24 elders, and thousands of angels, saw the following.

Death on a Pale Horse (1796) by Benjamin WestWhen the first seal was opened, John heard thunder. A lion-like animal shouted, “Come!” John saw a white horse and a rider with a bow appear. The rider was given a crown and he went forth conquering.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, he heard an ox-like animal say, “Come!” John saw another horse that was fiery red. Its rider was given a large sword and was granted the power to take peace from the earth and cause people to kill each other.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, he heard a man-faced animal say, “Come!” John looked and before him was a black horse with a rider carrying a pair of scales. He heard was sounded like a voice among the four animals saying,

“Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages – and don’t damage the oil and wine!”

The Lamb opened the fourth seal and John heard an eagle-like animal say, “Come!” John saw a pale horse. Its rider was named Death and Hades (the realm of the dead) was following close behind. They were given power over a fourth of the world to kill by sword, famine, plague, and wild beasts.

When the fifth seal was opened, John saw under the alter, the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, oh Lord, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Each was given a white robe and told they must wait a little longer – until the full number of their fellow servants had perished just as they had.

The opening of the seven sealsWhen the sixth seal was opened, there was a great earthquake. The sun turned black and the moon turned blood red. The stars fell from the sky like figs shaken from a tree by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place.

The kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks,

“Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne! Hide us from the wrath of the Lamb! The great day of their wrath has come – and who can withstand it?”

What the story means to us today

Interpreting the book of Revelation

It should be noted that no one knows the true interpretation of the events portrayed in Revelation – at least not yet. The events described were not intended to serve as a precise, literal guide for the events to come. Any attempt to interpret the events now and assign theory as fact, can easily lead to misinterpretation. When discussing interpretations of Johns’ visions, each point should be taken as an example only, and not as a concrete interpretation of the vision’s meaning. When the events witnessed by John take place, we will have enough information to fit the “pieces of the puzzle” together and recognize that end-times have begun.

Did the events John described already take place?

Some question whether the events described by John have already taken place. Indeed, the world has seen warfare, famine, and plagues but never has a fourth of the world’s population been devastated as described by John. That the events are still to come is without question.

St. Georg, Gemeinde Böhen, Landkreis Unterallgäu, Bayern; Die Apokalyptischen Reiter (2011)Six of the seven broken seals are revealed

As described within these verses, the acts of the Great Tribulation (as revealed when each seal is removed from the book) will include conquest, warfare, famine, plague, great sadness, and fear. The first four seals release horsemen (white, red, black, and “pale”) who spread calamity upon earth thru conquest, war, economic control, and finally Death himself who ravishes the world using sword, famine, plague, and wild beasts.

The fifth and sixth seals record the reactions of those in heaven and on earth. The fifth seal shows us the state of mind of the martyrs who seek recompense from those who persecuted them on earth. By the time the sixth seal is broken, we see a shaken world realize that the events taking place are divine judgment – and rather than repent, they seek to hide from God’s wrath. But as the last verse proclaims – it is too late.

The vision present by John presents a nice summary of end-time events. Later in Revelation, we will see more wrath – from God, from Satan, and even from the angry nations of earth – as well as more visually descriptive portrayals of the apocalyptic events, all of which will interconnect to form the complete telling of the end-times.

Additional thoughts and considerations

The four animals and their relationship to the six seals

In John’s vision, he notes that each of the four “living creatures” summons a rider (the four horsemen) while each of the first four seals are opened by Jesus. The first four seals represent a time of Great Tribulation during which the world will be thrown into chaos.

As described in earlier verses, the four creatures are “covered with eyes” (all-seeing) and bear wings. Each was “like” an animal on earth – lion, ox, man, and eagle. Each animal announced “Come!” (or “Come and see!) as the seal is broken. It may be informative to note which animal is related to each seal (discussed in more detail below). Some believe the four creatures are symbolic representations of the first four gospels. Others believe each of the four creatures represents a person, country, or organization related to the prophecy that is revealed by their actions.

The remaining two seals (of the first six that were opened) show us the conditions applicable to believers and non-believers and set the stage for the opening of the seventh and final seal.

The first seal – conquest

The first horseman, Conquest on the White Horse as depicted in the Bamberg Apocalypse (1000-1020)The lion

The opening of the first seal is announced by a lion-like creature. Whether the animal announcing the opening of the seal is relevant to the prophecy is uncertain. Given the detailed descriptions and unusual appearances of the creatures, many believe that it is not only relevant, but critical to the interpretation of the prophecy.

Lions are often associated with grandness and power. In this case, the events brought by the white horse rider are indeed grand, lending credence to the belief that the animal associated with each seal contributes to our understanding of the prophetic theme.

The lion could be related to a strong person, country, powerful organization, or some other entity. Countries associated with lions include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Armenia
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burma
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Congo
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Kenya
  • Luxembourg
  • Malawi
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Paraguay
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Togo
  • United Kingdom (Britain specifically)

Note: Some believe China is also represented by a lion since its national animal is a non-existent creature (a dragon).

Does the white horse represent Jesus?

Various interpretations have attempted to discern who the “white horse rider” was. Some believe, since Jesus is often portrayed as riding a white horse, that the rider is Christ himself. This suggests a vision of Jesus exploding from heaven, riding atop a white horse, ready to begin the conquest over evil on earth. With this interpretation, the rider symbolizes judgment and the remaining seals represent further judgments from God. An alternative view sees the white horse rider as Jesus with no relationship to the other, subsequent riders. In this view, the conquests of the white horse rider represent the spread of Christianity throughout the world while the remaining riders have nothing to do with Christ.

I am more inclined to believe the white horse rider represents the antichrist, someone offering false hope or savior for earth, or someone similar to Christ but in disguise. The reason? The only thing in common with other metaphorical descriptions of Jesus is the white horse. In addition, the word “crown” used in these verses is different from other descriptions of Jesus’ crown. Also, the fact that the rider is carrying a bow should dissuade us from assuming the white horse rider is Jesus, who is typically portrayed carrying a sword.  Finally, we know from previous chapters that Jesus speaks of those who come forward falsely in his name. Also, Daniel mentions the Antichrist as the “abomination that causes desolation”. Given these extraneous clues, the white horse rider is almost certainly “evil” in a pale imitation of Christ.

The white horse rider

The crown given to the white horse rider implies that the entity described will be a leader. The bow carried in his hands likely represents some sort of warfare. Some theorize that because arrows are not specifically mentioned, this means the conquest will be conducted via peaceful means. I believe a more likely interpretation is simply that the conquests are conducted using more sophisticated weaponry, possibly precise instruments such as modern-day firearms.

he second horseman, War on the Red Horse as depicted in a thirteenth-century Apocalypse manuscriptThe second seal – warfare

The ox

The second seal is announced by an ox-like creature. In Daniel, he presents the second animal as a bear, similar to an ox in both structure, appearance, and demeanor. Countries represented by an ox or bear include:

  • Cambodia
  • Greenland
  • Russia

The red horse rider

The red horse rider was given power to take peace from the earth – to cause violence, mayhem, and war. John describes the rider carrying a sword in his hand. This likely indicates the red horse rider’s actions will involve military conquest (although it may only imply great power).

The third seal – economic calamity and control

The creature with a man-like face

The third seal is announced by a man-like creature (winged, covered with eyes, with the face of a man). This animal is unique from the others. Rather than the appearance of a wild beast, it appears to be partly – a man. One theory is that this symbolizes some sort of hybrid organization, such as the United Nations or NATO. Alternatively, the man-like animal could suggest he is intelligent, possibly manipulating economic conditions using cunning and guile.

The black horse rider

he third horseman, Famine on the Black Horse as depicted in the Angers Apocalypse Tapestry (1372-82)The black horse rider carries scales, a measuring device for goods. This likely represents some sort of economic control over necessities. The prices quoted for wheat (two pounds, enough for one meal) and barely (not as highly sought after but enough for three meals) are indeed exorbitant (as much as a 1,200 percent overcharge) while the non-necessities, oil and wine, are unaffected. This may be interpreted to mean the conquered poor will be left to starve while the rich conquerors will continue to live in luxury, enjoying oil and fine wines.

The fourth seal – death

The eagle

The fourth seal is announced by an eagle-like creature. Eagles are often associated with intelligence, soaring high above the earth, but lethal. It is possible that this creature alludes to a country. Countries represented by the eagle include:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Egypt
  • Germany
  • Chana
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • Nigeria
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • South Sudan
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • United States

Other potential relationships to an eagle-like metaphor could include entities high in the sky such as satellites, or a personal quality such as intelligence or the ability to prey on others.

Gustave Doré -The fourth horseman, Death on the Pale Horse (1865)Death’s pale horse

The description of Death’s horse as “pale” is meant to imply a sickly, “pale green” as we would think of a nauseas person today (see translation notes below). This could symbolize pestilence and mortality.

Hades following close behind Death

That Hades follows Death should be expected. Death takes the body while Hades claims the soul. Johns visualization creates the image of Death reaping human body’s while Hades follows behind scooping up the souls.

Power to kill one quarter of the earth

The prophecy of the fourth seal says Death is given the power to kill one-fourth of the earth by sword, famine, plague, and wild beasts. This is an extremely important clue. One quarter of the world’s population, billions of people, would be a catastrophe unlike any seen on earth and would easily be the most recognizable clue that the end of times prophecy was running its course.

The power wielded by Death

Be forewarned, Death’s power may not be “magical” as portrayed in movies and books. The power may be political, societal, economic, and/or military. Quite possibly the pale horse rider bears the same sort of power wielded by the second rider (military) and third rider (economic). For instance, political power could be wielded to attack other nations and economic power used to choke off their food supply. Military actions would be capable of spreading plague while the introduction of societal changes (think gladiators) could be used to execute citizens via wild beasts.

Alternatively, the events described could be natural consequences of a prior event. For example, war would cause famine. Famine would result in weakness and spreading of diseases (plague or pestilence). People weakened by famine and disease would become easy prey for wild beasts (who themselves may be suffering from starvation).

The fifth seal – the martyrs

The martyrs cry out

John saw the martyrs before us, those that have sacrificed their lives in service of God. Each was given a white robe. The robe likely represents salvation, purity, a reward for a job well done – and acceptance of Jesus as their savior.

After asking when their deaths would be avenged, the martyrs are told they must wait. God’s wrath is not quite ready and the martyrs must linger a while longer before God strikes back. Later we will see that ultimately, the final event takes place in the days before the seventh angel sounds his trumpet.

A sad vision of godly people suffering

At first sight, the vision of Christians suffering through the tribulation seems horribly unjust. It may be that the martyrs described here are the souls that were saved *during* the Great Tribulation, not saved souls from the beginning of time. This provides hope that despite the spread of evil throughout the planet, some will still be saved, each richly rewarded.

Others however, believe the Christian martyrs are not in any harm (they are described as being located “under the alter”) but rather, are simply anxious for retribution and asking when it will take place. That they are told to wait hints that the Great Tribulation may last for quite some time.

The sixth seal – destruction and fear

The events described after the breaking of the sixth seal are also described in Joel as occurrences preceding the return of God to earth – a great earthquake, black sun, red moon, stars falling from the sky, and the heavens receding.

Some note that the verses seem to describe the aftermath of atomic warfare – the sun and moon darkened, land masses moved about, and people hiding underground in an attempt to escape atomic radiation.

The description could also apply to catastrophic results from global warming. A sun and moon darkened by pollution, the movement of the earth as ice caps thaw, forever changing the geography of the planet, and the dissolution of the ozone layer described as a receding sky.

A great earthquake

Whether the earthquake described is literal or not is unknown but given the description of the remaining events, this is generally believed to be some sort of physical phenomena accompanying a black sun, red moon, and “stars falling from the sky”.

The black sun

The black sun could represent an astronomical eclipse. If this is the case, it provides valuable timing information since most eclipses can be predicted. Alternatively, the black sun could portray a natural darkening of the sky such as produced by clouds, smoke, or swarms of insects.

The blood red moon

Older interpretations gave the impression that the moon turns to blood. This is not the case. The narrative indicates that the moon turns a “blood red color”, not into blood itself. This could happen due to some sort of atmospheric phenomena or simply as a matter of normal astronomical movements, in which case, the timing of the event could be deemed important.

Stars fall from the sky

El Greco, The Vision of Saint John (1608-1614)The narrative describes stars falling from the sky like figs falling from a tree when the wind shakes them loose. A fig in this case, would fall un-ripened or in other words, incomplete. It may be that the “falling stars” are related to something that was not completed and/or fell to earth prematurely.

At the time Revelation was written, the memory of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 AD) was likely still fresh on everyone’s minds. It’s important to recognize that prophecy in Revelation does not have to be taken literally. Stars falling from heaven may not refer to astronomical stars, meteors, or comets but could represent molten rock thrown from an erupting volcano, military missiles, or some other bright object falling to earth from the air.

The receding heavens (or sky)

The revelation of the skies receding “like a scroll being rolled back” could allude to a phenomena similar to what we are seeing in present-day – the disintegration of the ozone layer. The translation more accurately indicates that the sky “disappears” (see translation notes below).

Alternatively, the receding of the heavens could be a visualization of the sky being hidden behind a mask of smoke, fire, ash, or light.

Humans on earth attempt to hide from God’s wrath

It is worthy to note that not only will the poor and the weak be afraid, but the most powerful men on earth will seek to hide from God’s wrath. Believers (the martyrs) were witnessed “under the alter” by John when the previous seal was broken. Since the fearful group of people were referred to as “everyone else”, we can assume the vision portrays legions of non-believers seeking shelter from God’s judgment.

Will the events portrayed by the opening of the seals occur in chronological order?

Many wonder if the events in Revelation will occur in the order John indicated. Given that the seals are presented explicitly as being opened one by one, it is probable that the events will indeed occur in the order that the seals were opened.

Were all four horse riders the Antichrist?

It is possible that all four riders – white, red, black, and pale – represent the Antichrist. Each colored horse may represent a different aspect of the Antichrist’s plan or a different stage in his assault on Earth.

For instance, the white horse could signify an initial assault that is peaceful (carrying a bow with no arrows) but soon becomes violent (red horse rider carrying a sword) before introducing stifling economic controls (black horse rider holding a set of scale) and widespread destruction (pale horse ridden by Death).

Parallels between Revelation and Old Testament prophecy

The vision described by John is dramatically similar to other visions presented by the Old Testament prophets (as well as Jesus himself). References to similarly-described events appear in Matthew, Mark, Luke, Isaiah, Joel, Daniel, and Ezekiel. As an example, the following verses in Matthew, which were spoken by Jesus, directly parallel the Revelation of the six scrolls presented by John.

Matthew 24:4-5 (false Christs) Revelation 6:1-2 (White horse rider)

Matthew 24:6 (Wars) Revelation 6:3-4 (Red horse – war)

Matthew 24:7 (Famines) Revelation 6:5-6 (Black horse – famine)

Matthew 24:7-8 (Death) Revelation 6:7-8 (Pale horse – death)

Matthew 24:9 (Martyrs) Revelation 6:9-11 (Martyrs)

Matthew 24:10-13 (Worldwide chaos) Revelation 6:12-17 (worldwide chaos)

The science and history behind the story

The balancing scale carried by the third horseman

The balancing scale mentioned is easy to visualize given the many historical references to ancient measuring devices. It would be a set of pans attached to a rod and held by a rope in the middle. Both ends, the pans, would be used to place objects for measurement.

Notes on Biblical translation

“A quart of wheat for a denarius”

Book with the seven seals (1778)Most modern translations phrase this as “two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages” but some translate the phrase more accurately as “a quart of wheat for a denarius”. A denarius was an ancient silver coin, worth about 15 cents, and at the time, equal to about one days’ pay for an average worker.

“The heavens receded like a scroll rolled up”

The more accurate translation for this phrase would be “the sky disappeared like a rolled-up scroll”. Since a rolled-up scroll does not really disappear entirely, this is often translated as “receded like a rolled-up scroll” instead.

The “pale” horse

The word translated to “pale” is more accurately “pale green”. The same word is used in other places in the New Testament to describe fresh, new vegetation.

“Come!”

As each seal is broken, an animal-like creature announces loudly, “Come!” as the vision is called forth to reveal itself. The is sometimes translated as “Come and see!” implying a call to John to approach and witness the vision. One of the oldest known manuscripts does include “and see” following the command to approach. It is likely however, that “Come” is the correct translation possibly followed by the command “see” as in “Come! See!” – a dual command for the prophecy to reveal itself for all to see.

Bible Text

NIV

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, n and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse, depicted in a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer (ca. 1497–98)The Message

I watched while the Lamb ripped off the first of the seven seals. I heard one of the Animals roar, “Come out!” I looked—I saw a white horse. Its rider carried a bow and was given a victory garland. He rode off victorious, conquering right and left.

3–4 When the Lamb ripped off the second seal, I heard the second Animal cry, “Come out!” Another horse appeared, this one red. Its rider was off to take peace from the earth, setting people at each other’s throats, killing one another. He was given a huge sword.

5–6 When he ripped off the third seal, I heard the third Animal cry, “Come out!” I looked. A black horse this time. Its rider carried a set of scales in his hand. I heard a message (it seemed to issue from the Four Animals): “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, or three quarts of barley, but all the oil and wine you want.”

7–8 When he ripped off the fourth seal, I heard the fourth Animal cry, “Come out!” I looked. A colorless horse, sickly pale. Its rider was Death, and Hell was close on its heels. They were given power to destroy a fourth of the earth by war, famine, disease, and wild beasts.

9–11 When he ripped off the fifth seal, I saw the souls of those killed because they had held firm in their witness to the Word of God. They were gathered under the Altar, and cried out in loud prayers, “How long, Strong God, Holy and True? How long before you step in and avenge our murders?” Then each martyr was given a white robe and told to sit back and wait until the full number of martyrs was filled from among their servant companions and friends in the faith.

12–17 I watched while he ripped off the sixth seal: a bone-jarring earthquake, sun turned black as ink, moon all bloody, stars falling out of the sky like figs shaken from a tree in a high wind, sky snapped shut like a book, islands and mountains sliding this way and that. And then pandemonium, everyone and his dog running for cover—kings, princes, generals, rich and strong, along with every commoner, slave or free. They hid in mountain caves and rocky dens, calling out to mountains and rocks, “Refuge! Hide us from the One Seated on the Throne and the wrath of the Lamb! The great Day of their wrath has come—who can stand it?”

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

The NET Bible

6:1 I looked on when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a thunderous voice, “Come!” 6:2 So I looked, and here came a white horse! The one who rode it had a bow, and he was given a crown, and as a conqueror he rode out to conquer.

6:3 Then when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 6:4 And another horse, fiery red, came out, and the one who rode it was granted permission to take peace from the earth, so that people would butcher one another, and he was given a huge sword.

6:5 Then when the Lamb opened the third seal I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” So I looked, and here came a black horse! The one who rode it had a balance scale in his hand. 6:6 Then I heard something like a voice from among the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat will cost a day’s pay and three quarts of barley will cost a day’s pay. But do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”

6:7 Then when the Lamb opened the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 6:8 So I looked and here came a pale green horse! The name of the one who rode it was Death, and Hades followed right behind. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill its population with the sword, famine, and disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.

6:9 Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. 6:10 They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” 6:11 Each of them was given a long white robe and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been.

6:12 Then I looked when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and a huge earthquake took place; the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon became blood red; 6:13 and the stars in the sky fell to the earth like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when shaken by a fierce wind. 6:14 The sky was split apart like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place. 6:15 Then the kings of the earth, the very important people, the generals, the rich, the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 6:16 They said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 6:17 because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?”

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2006. Print.

King James Version

And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold da white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, nA measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill swith sword, and rwith hunger, and swith death, and twith the beasts of the earth.

9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar xthe souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and lthe moon became as blood; 13 And mthe stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every rmountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and tthe great men, and the rich men, and the uchief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

Sources: NIV, The Message, The NET Bible, King James Version, NET Bible Notes, Faithlife Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, The Bible Reader’s Companion, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Holman Concise Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, The Teacher’s Commentary, The Bible Guide, Word Studies in the New Testament, Holman Bible Handbook, Calvin Commentaries, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines, The New Manner and Customs of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, The Archaeological Encyclopedia, Biblical Archeology Review, The New Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Analytical Lexicon, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database