Summary of passage: Jesus opened the first seal and a white horse with a rider appeared. The rider was given a crown and rode off. The second seal was opened and a red horse appeared. Its rider was given power to take peace from earth and to make men kill each other. He was given a sword. The third seal unleashed a black horse and its rider held a pair of scales, used to measure out food as payment for a day’s wages. The fourth seal released a pale horse whose rider was named Death and Hades. They were given power to kill by sword, famine, plague, and by the wild beasts a fourth of the earth.
6) The rider of the black horse was holding a pair of scales. The voice of the living creatures said, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages and do not damage the oil and the wine.” The scales the Black Rider holds shows the approaching famine and economic downturn. Food will be rationed. The prices mentioned here are astronomical: one day’s wages for the ingredients of bread essentially. Yet, the rich will still have oil and wine.
7) Hades was the Greek god of the underworld (Romans called him Pluto) where souls went when they died. Hades today refers to hell. Here, it represents the grave and he is gathering up his victims of death, famine, and destruction.
8a) Both passages have colored horses. In Revelation, the colors are significant. In Zechariah they’re not. Zechariah calls the horses “the four spirits of heaven” and are sent out into the world with no effect. In Revelation, the release of the horses bring disasters upon the earth. In Zechariah the horses are important as they patrol the earth; in Revelation the riders are more important.
In Matthew 24, Christ warns of the Anti-Christ, which is the white horse rider in Revelation. Jesus says there will be wars, famines, and earthquakes and death (Matthew 24:9). The red, black, and pale riders are war, famine, and death. [Side Note: The rest of Matthew 24 parallels Revelation 6 as well.]
This is important since all passages are a warning to us about what is to come. It shows us how God is Lord of history and how the prophesies here will come true. It increases our faith.
b) Same answer as above: Christ warns of the Antichrist, wars, famines, earthquakes, death, and destruction to mankind.
Conclusions: In reading about Revelation 6, I read all about Matthew 24 and Zechariah 6 and I’m surprised BSF chose to bring both of those in because I wasn’t going to go in depth in my analysis. Good job by simplifying the comparisons and bringing out what’s important here because the interpretations can be heavy. God is amazing in all his connectivity and fluidity. Awesome!
End Notes: See yesterday’s lesson HERE since both days cover the same passage.
Homework Tip: Revelation is becoming harder as more and more symbols and interpretations appear. Spend the time to understand the meanings here. On today’s lesson and yesterday’s I did them together, flipping back and forth as a question was asked and something else was jogged in my mind. I read the passage, answer the questions, read commentary, then go back and re-do my questions. Sometimes I change an answer or add to it. Sometimes I don’t. But whatever the case, I definitely get more out of the questions the second time around.
Set aside the time to do these lessons. God will reward you immensely if you do.