The Seven Seals (First Four Seals) Rev. 6:1-8

The Seven Seals (First Four Seals) Revelation 6:1-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

Chapter 6 describes the opening of the first six seals.  The seventh seal is not opened until Revelation 8:1.  The scenes described with the opening of each seal are summaries of what happens during various periods of the tribulation.  The first seal contains events that are very early in the tribulation and the opening of the sixth seal reveals events very near the end of the tribulation.

Therefore, when the trumpets are sounded beginning in Rev 8 and when the vials are poured out beginning in Revelation 16, they are not in consecutive order.  In other words, the trumpets don’t follow the seals and the vials don’t follow the trumpets.  Rather, there is some overlap.  We’ll see this more when we study the trumpets and the vials.

v.1 The Lamb [Jesus, Revelation 5:6, John 1:29] opens the first seal – John hears thunder – the first beast says, “Come and see” [which is what each of the four beasts does with the opening of each of the first four seals (v.3, v.5, v.7)]

v.2 John sees a white horse {stands for peace} [counterfeit of Jesus’ horse in Revelation 19:11] – it’s ridden by a man [a world ruler or a religious leader recognized world-wide] – he will be presumed to be a Messiah, a man who can bring world peace [Daniel 11:21, 24] – he’ll have a bow [so he’s armed] – he’ll have a crown [counterfeit of Revelation 19:12 and Revelation 19:16, so he’ll be a king Daniel 8:23] – he’ll conquer the world with peace [Daniel 8:24-25, Psalms 55:21]

v.3 The Lamb opens the second seal – the second beast says, “Come and see”

v.4 John sees a red horse {stands for blood shed}– his rider is a man that takes the peace from the earth that the first rider brings – the armies break peace treaties and kill each other [see 1 Kings 15:16-20 with 1 Kings 22:44 and 2 Kings 15:27, 37, as examples] – thus this rider carries a sword

v.5 The Lamb opens the third seal – the third beast says, “Come and see” – John sees a black horse {stands for famine} – his rider is a man holding a pair of balances [scales for measuring commodities]

v.6 a voice proclaims “a measure of wheat for a penny and three measures of barley for a penny” – in the Bible, a penny is a day’s wage [Matthew 20:2] – a measure varies in quantity depending on the measure used – Bullinger says that this measure is the daily allowance of corn for a slave, about 1 quart – what is indicated is that essential food is being rationed after the wars in v.4 [Ezekiel 4:16-17] and it is very expensive – contrast 2 Kings 7:1, 16 – hurt not [Revelation 7:2-3, 9:4] the oil and wine indicates that the famine is affecting the wheat and barley harvests but not the olive and grape harvests – the rich get richer while the poor and needy starve

v.7 The lamb opens the fourth seal – the fourth beast says, “Come and see”

v.8 John sees a pale horse {stands for death} – the man that rides this horse is called Death [death personified, Jeremiah 9:21] – and Hell follows him [you’ve heard the expression “All hell broke loose,” well this is it] – they [Death and Hell, Revelation 20:14] are given power over one fourth of the earth – they will kill with:

·    Sword – war and murder [Revelation 9:21]

·    Hunger – starvation Revelation 7:16

·    Death – any kind of plague or supernatural occurrence as in Hebrews 2:14

·    Beasts – here the beasts lose their God-given fear of men [Genesis 1:28] and attack and kill [as in 2 Kings 2:23-24]

By the time you get to the fourth seal more than one quarter of the world’s population is dead.  The current population is over 6 billion.  So, ¼ of that is a minimum of 1.5 billion people – you can’t even fathom that much death world-wide.