Jesus Christ holds a book that is sealed shut in seven different ways. As he opens each seal, colossal worldwide events take place.
VERSE 1. I saw that the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as with a voice of thunder, “Come and see!”
open one of the seven seals. The Lamb opens the first of the seven seals.
VERSE 2. And behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow. A crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
behold, a white horse. Many people identify this white horse as Jesus Christ. In Revelation 19:11, he rides a white horse.
In cowboy movies, the Good Guys ride a white horse. This verse might be why.
There was a famous ultra-distance runner who gave himself the Spanish-language nickname of Caballo Blanco. That means “White Horse.” Perhaps he saw himself as a courier for Jesus Christ.
However, this white horse can also be interpreted as a future world ruler, sometimes referred to as the Antichrist though the Book of Revelation does not use this term.
He is probably the same person as the ruler of the people mentioned in the prophet Daniel:
Daniel 9:26. After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off, and will have nothing. The people of the prince who come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end will be with a flood, and war will be even to the end. Desolations are determined.
a crown was given to him. Jesus Christ is crowned with many crowns.
he opened the second seal. The Lamb opens the second of the seven seals.
VERSE 4. Another came out: a red horse. To him who sat on it was given power to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. There was given to him a great sword.
a red horse:
Zechariah 1:8. I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him. (NASB translation)
take peace from the earth. This second creature unleashes a vast war across the whole world. The carnage is unimaginable.
VERSE 5. When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come and see!” And behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a balance in his hand.
he opened the third seal. The Lamb opens the third of the seven seals.
VERSE 6. I heard a voice in the middle of the four living creatures saying, “A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don’t damage the oil and the wine!”
After the great war all across the world, there is a great famine. Famine is the expected result of war. Food is impossibly expensive. Countless people will die of starvation.
A choenix of wheat. That was about a quart.
for a denarius. This was an average worker’s wage for a whole day of work. It takes a whole day’s earnings just to buy a quart of wheat.
three choenix of barley. It takes a full day’s earnings to buy three quarts of barley.
he opened the fourth seal. The Lamb opens the fourth of the seven seals.
VERSE 8. And behold, a pale horse, and the name of he who sat on it was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him.
his name was Death. Death itself is roaming the earth.
Hades followed with him. That is, the grave. Countless bodies will go into the grave.
Authority over one fourth of the earth. One out of four people on earth will die.
As of this writing, there are almost seven billion people alive. If these events were to transpire right now, nearly two billion people would die.
Can you imagine two billion individual deaths? Can you imagine the amount of grief worldwide?
VERSE 9. When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had.
he opened the fifth seal. The Lamb opens the fifth of the seven seals.
underneath the altar. Here are two Bible verses about this:
Exodus 29:12. You shall take of the blood of the bull, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; and you shall pour out all the blood at the base of the altar.
Leviticus 4:7. The priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the Tent of Meeting; and he shall pour out the rest of the blood of the bull at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
the souls of those who had been killed. It might be temping to think that these people had been killed for any reason at all.
for the Word of God. One reason they were slaughtered is because of their fidelity to the Bible.
and for the testimony of the Lamb. The other reason they were slaughtered is because they testified about Jesus Christ.
VERSE 10. They cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
VERSE 11. A long white robe was given to each of them. They were told that they should rest yet for a while, until their fellow servants and their brothers, who would also be killed even as they were, should complete their course.
A long white robe was given to each of them. Artists portray martyrs as wearing white robes. This verse is probably why.
also be killed … should complete their course. Apparently there are not yet enough martyrs. Heaven waits until the quota is met.
VERSE 12. I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood.
there was a great earthquake. This is a truly great earthquake. It is much greater than any other earthquake.
VERSE 13. The stars of the sky fell to the earth, like a fig tree dropping its unripe figs when it is shaken by a great wind.
VERSE 14. The sky was removed like a scroll when it is rolled up. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
The sky was removed like a scroll. This has never been seen before.
Every mountain and island were moved. This suggests a massive earthquake that destroys most of the earth. Mountains and islands are blasted into smithereens.
VERSE 15. The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains.
hid themselves. Everybody is frightened. Everybody hides.
VERSE 16. They told 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,
hide us from … the wrath of the Lamb. People would rather be killed by a calamity than face God Almighty. This is how frightened they are.
great day of His wrath has come. This is the greatest distress in the history of the world.
Many people insist God is all about love, and that he will not do anything that will cause distress for people. However, this chapter says otherwise.
who is able to stand? Who can stand? Only those who are covered by the blood of the Lamb.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.