Keys to Revelation – Chapter 6
Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New
York International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible
BIBLE TEXT COMMENTARY
REV 6:1 I watched as the Lamb [Lamb] – Lamb of God is Jesus Christ.
opened the first of the seven
seals. Then I heard one of the four NOTE: With the opening of the first
living creatures say in a voice seal, the beginning of the seven-year
like thunder, “Come!” tribulation period is described,
which is the time of judgment for
Israel and for the whole world.
[Come!] – This call is for the first
of the four horses.
REV 6:2 I looked, and there before [white horse] – It was customary in
me was a white horse! Its rider biblical times for a conqueror to
held a bow, and he was given a ride in triumph on a white horse.
crown, and he rode out as a
conqueror bent on conquest. [bow] – Typical weapon for a king to
carry into battle in that part of the
[crown] – Greek word is “stephanos”
which is a crown of victory and not
a crown of a sovereign.
[conqueror] – This is the AntiChrist,
the “man of sin” who comes and tries
to conquer the world. See DAN 9:26-
REV 6:3 When the Lamb opened the
second seal, I heard the second
living creature say, “Come!”
REV 6:4 Then another horse came [fiery red] – A color representing
out, a fiery red one. Its rider was bloodshed and sin.
given power to take peace from the
earth and to make men slay each [rider..given..power] – A reminder
other. To him was given a large that in all events it is God who
sword. allows and empowers mankind to carry
out His will.
[take peace..make slay] – This rider
follows the Antichrist who tries to
take over the world and the result is
war and bloodshed.
[large sword] – A long sword often
carried into battle that symbolizes
violent death and war.
REV 6:5 When the Lamb opened the [black] – The color of mourning,
third seal, I heard the third affliction, and famine.
living creature say, “Come!” I
looked, and there before me was a [scales] – A yoke or beam with a
black horse! Its rider was holding weight on one side and the substance
a pair of scales in his hand. to be measured on the other.
REV 6:6 Then I heard what sounded [quart of wheat] – Dry measure of
like a voice among the four living about a quart (1.92 pints). This was
creatures, saying, “A quart of daily ration of food for one man. And
wheat for a day’s wages, and three he got it for his [day’s wages]. This
quarts of barley for a day’s wages, would indicate that the famine and
and do not damage the oil and the inflation levels after the first
wine!” series of wars was so severe, that a
man worked all day for just enough
food for himself, leaving his family
and those unable to work without
[three quarts of barley] – Poor man’s
diet and cheaper than wheat. The
worker could chose it instead of the
[oil..wine] – Staples of the society
and God in His judgment continues to
show mercy by not making the famine
as severe as He could.
REV 6:7 When the Lamb opened the
fourth seal, I heard the voice of
the fourth living creature say,
REV 6:8 I looked, and there before [pale horse] – The word means a
me was a pale horse! Its rider was yellowish green, but refers here to
named Death, and Hades was the color of a corpse or the look
following close behind him. They of a person struck with terror.
were given power over a fourth of
the earth to kill by sword, famine [Death] – This is the death horse and
and plague, and by the wild beasts right behind him is a fifth horse
of the earth. named Hades, which is another name
for Hell, the place of torment until
the Final Judgment.
[fourth of earth] – Today it would be
approximately 1.5 Billion people
[sword] – The wars and bloodshed
[famine] – Starvation of the masses
[plague] – Diseases from the war, if
they used “germ warfare” and/or the
simple judgment of God in the form of
a Divine ordered disease.
[wild beasts] – A revolt of the
Animal Kingdom, possibly caused by
the displacement of war and the
scarcity of an adequate food supply.
REV 6:9 When he opened the fifth
seal, I saw under the altar the [under the altar] – In the Levitical
souls of those who had been slain rite the blood was poured out at the
because of the word of God and the foot of the altar. John sees an
testimony they had maintained. altar in heaven with souls (people)
[slain] – They were Christians that
had been killed for their faith in
Christ. It is likely that these
Christians were killed during the
REV 6:10 They called out in a loud [avenge] – They cry out like David
voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, for God to judge wickedness because
holy and true, until you judge the God is Holy and all sin is an affront
inhabitants of the earth and avenge to His Sovereignty.
REV 6:11 Then each of them was [white robes] – See REV 19:8 and
given a white robe, and they were 19:14
told to wait a little longer, until
the number of their fellow servants [wait] – God has a timetable for this
and brothers who were to be killed world and is very patient with the
as they had been was completed. wickedness of man, but the day is
coming when the evilness of man will
be completed and then Jesus will
judge the world.
REV 6:12 I watched as he opened [sixth seal] – The first five seals
the sixth seal. There was a great were the direct result of man’s
earthquake. The sun turned black actions. A man tried to conquer the
like sackcloth made of goat hair, world (Antichrist-Seal 1). Men from
the whole moon turned blood red, this attempted takeover fought with
each other (War-Seal 2). The result
of this major war was a worldwide
food shortage (Famine-Seal 3).
Because of the war, famines, and the
problems that ensued many on earth
died (Death-Seal 4). The mass killing
of Christians by unsaved man.
But the sixth seal is the direct
action of God, where He pours out His
judgments against man and his earth.
[great earthquake] – God often has
used earthquakes to introduce His
judgments. This was not a local
quake but rather one that likely
shook the entire world.
[sun..black] – A black sun is in fact
no sun! There would be total dark-
ness except for the red moon.
[red..moon] – The whole world sees a
blood red moon which causes fear and
panic in the hearts of sinful man.
Since the moon gets its light from
the sun, God somehow caused the moon
to emit it’s own light of judgment.
REV 6:13 and the stars in the sky [stars..fell] – Literally, shooting
fell to earth, as late figs drop stars were observed to be “falling”
from a fig tree when shaken by a to the earth.
REV 6:14 The sky receded like a [sky receded] – Violent sights in the
scroll, rolling up, and every heavens that made the sky appear to
mountain and island was removed roll up like a scroll.
from its place.
[mountain..island..removed] – They
did not necessarily disappear, but
may have literally moved to new
locations by the violence of Nuclear
War or simply by the finger of God.
REV 6:15 Then the kings of the [man hid] – The events on the earth
earth, the princes, the generals, and in the heavens were terrifying to
the rich, the mighty, and every every man and woman on earth.
slave and every free man hid in
caves and among the rocks of the
REV 6:16 They called to the [hide us] – God’s judgments were to
mountains and the rocks, “Fall on not only judge sin, but also to cause
us and hide us from the face of him sinful man to repent and cry out to
who sits on the throne and from the God for mercy. However, they would
wrath of the Lamb! not acknowledge their sin but only to
hide from the wrath of God, wishing
that the rocks would crush and kill
them, rather than agree with God
about their sins and submit to Him.
REV 6:17 For the great day of [who can stand] – No one can ever
their wrath has come, and who can stand smug in their sins before God
stand?” when He comes to judge the earth.
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