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Revelation 6 (Questions concerning the first six seals) July 5, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Antichrist, Day of the Lord, Eschatology, Famine, Hades, Hell, Judgment, Persecution, Repentance, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Spiritual Warfare, Suffering, War, Zechariah.

Update:  answers are in italics 

Revelation 6 (compare the four horsemen with Zechariah 6:1-6)

The four horsemen are an allusion to Zechariah 6:1-6 and 1:7-17. What is the main purpose of using the symbol of four horses of varying colors?  It seems to correspond with the emphasis of Zechariah 6 that is also made in other ways in Revelation 6. This emphasis is that the things that coming by way of these horsemen will affect the whole world and not just certain regions.

There are generally two popular interpretations of the first rider on the white horse:  that it is the antichrist and that it is Jesus Christ. What are the arguments for one or the other interpretation? Which of these interpretations is easiest to support from the book of Revelation itself? Depending on your interpretation of the first rider, what purpose does this horse serve internationally?  There are a lot of different arguments put forth but I will mention the two that seem to me to carry the most weight because they arise more from the text and are less determined by the system of interpretation one may already have. 1) The white horse rider being Christ is best supported by the fact that Jesus is pictured in Revelation 19 as coming in victory on a white horse. If this horse is Christ, then it is consistent with the theme presented often in the Revelation, i.e., that Jesus will overcome the forces of Satan. In fact, the sixth seal seems to tell about that event. 2) The white horse rider being anti-Christ is best supported by the fact that the other three horses have a negative impact on the world. If this rider is the anti-Christ it gives credence to a one world government or the domination of the world by the beast. 

If the red horse is war, where will this war take place?  No place on the earth will be untouched.

What conditions in the world are described by the third horse and the voice from the midst of the four living creatures?  Inflation and famine for the poor but the rich may not be affected.

We are told directly who the fourth rider is. What will happen during the time of his working on the earth? Has there ever been a time when one fourth of the people on the earth were destroyed?  The day of the Lord, which seems to be what this chapter is beginning to describe will be a time of much death by all sorts of means.

What prophetic events are the fifth seal looking forward to (7:9-14; 13:14; 14:13; and 17:6 with contexts)?  Revenge on the persecutors of God’s people including but not limited to “the beast” and “Mystery Babylon”.

What prophetic events are the sixth seal looking forward to (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 2; Matthew 24:7; Hosea 10:8; Luke 23:30 with contexts)?  The day of the LORD.



1. Let your mouse do the walking! « Eternally Significant - July 11, 2007
2. The Prodigal Son - December 23, 2007

The rider on the white horse is Jesus Christ. He is followed closely by Satan on the red horse who also uses the word of God (albeit falsely) as represented by the sword. The four horsemen represent the entire New Testament Church. This is emphasized by judgment begins with the house of God.

3. roberttalley - December 24, 2007

Thank you “Prodigal Son” for your comment. Although everyone agrees that there are symbols throughout the book of Revelation and that the four horsemen are also symbolic, the symbols in the book of Revelation must have a basis. It is hard to discern on what basis some of your interpretations of the symbols are built upon.

The rider on the white horse is not universally agreed to but there is contextual reason later on in the book of Revelation indicating that the rider is Jesus Christ. On the other hand, what basis in the context is there to interpret the red horse as Satan? If the sword was the Word of God, how do you know it is being used falsely? The normal reading is international warfare. Is Satan involved? Yes, but men are sinful enough without Satan’s help to carry a fair amount of warfare.

You’re interpretation is inconsistent. How can the four horsemen represent the entire New Testament Church when you have Satan on the red horse? As Jesus Himself stated, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This interpretation just does not make any sense.

Finally, the book itself directly states that the fourth horseman is “Death”. The interpretation you present seems to be an extreme allegorical interpretation that is not based on the text of the book of Revelation. Either the text is right that the fourth horseman is death or you are right that the fourth horseman is the New Testament Church. I believe the text of Scripture itself. I think that is wiser.

4. Rainee - April 24, 2008

Thank you! I am studying Zechariah at the moment, so I appreciate that you mentioned the two primary interpretations regarding the rider of the white horse in Revelation.

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