Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Tribulation, End-Times

The Four Horsemen—When Jesus opens the first four seals, they’re introduced by riders sitting on various colored horses (Revelation 6:1-8). Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse/Tribulation?

God the Father has committed all Judgment to Jesus, His Son (John 5:22). Jesus alone, out of all sentient life on heaven and earth, is worthy to open the seals of judgment:
“Behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals” (Revelation 5:5).

The First Judgements

So, Jesus opens the seals on the first judgments, which pour out God’s wrath against earth dwellers during the seven-year tribulation. The seal judgments occur in the first half of the tribulation, and the four horsemen are the first four of seven seals. The vision introduces the remaining plagues in other ways.

As Jesus opens each seal, a ‘living creature” with a voice like thunder spotlights each rider.Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

The First Horse of the Apocalypse

1. The first horse is white, symbolizing the world leader conquering nations through peaceful alliances.
“A white horse. He who sat on it had a bow. And a crown was given to him, and he went forth conquering that he might overcome” (Revelation 6:1-2)

This aligns with what the prophet Daniel saw in his vision of five successive world empires:
“The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay” (Daniel 2:32-33).

Daniel’s vision lists the empires in the order they appeared:
1. Gold=Babylon, represented by a lion in Daniel 7:4.
2. Silver=Medo-Persia, represented by a bear in Daniel 7:5.
3. Bronze=Greece, represented by a leopard in Daniel 7:6.
4. Iron=Rome, represented by a beast with large iron teeth in Daniel 7:7.
• Iron and Clay=the future revived Roman Empire of the tribulation time (Daniel 7:8).

This horseman brings his federation together through peaceful means. The ‘world leader’ is the head of this ten-nation federation. He ‘conquers’ other nations peacefully at first.

Note: The ‘world leader” of the tribulation time is a.k.a. ‘the Beast’ and the ‘Antichrist.

The Second Horse of the Apocalypse

2. The second horse is red, and peace is removed from the earth.
“Another horse that was red went forth. Power was given to him who sat on it to take peace from the earth, causing people to kill one another. Then a great sword was given to him” (Revelation 6:3-4).

This also aligns with Daniel’s vision. To consolidate his empire, the world leader used military might to bring the last three nations under his control:

“The ten horns are ten kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another king, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings” (Daniel 7:24).

Besides the hostilities the world leader uses to secure his empire, the rest of the world will also lose its peace. But the Bible directs its attention on what directly affects the story of the Kingdom of God. So, Revelation focuses on Israel, the Middle East nations, and those bordering the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

The Third Horse of the Apocalypse

3. The third horse is black, representing famine and the hardships caused by war.
“A black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not harm the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:5-6).

Merchants used ‘balance scales’ to measure the amount of grain they sold. A quart of grain was enough to feed one person for a day. So, people will work all day to make enough money to feed themselves for that day. There won’t be enough to provide for anyone in the family or pay other expenses. Many will starve.

People judged barley a lesser grain and even considered animal feed in Bible times. But starving people are less discriminating in what they eat.

These grains are shorter-term food sources that farmers must plant and harvest yearly. So, when the environmental challenges of this time decimate the crops, it’s noticed quicker with grain.

However, wealthy people with access to oil and wine (luxuries) won’t yet suffer from this famine. The trees and vines that produce these food sources last for years, so they might endure the harsher conditions—temporarily.

The Fourth Horse of the Apocalypse

4. The fourth horse is a putrid green (pale), symbolizing pestilence and death to as much as one-fourth of the earth’s population).
“A pale (green, CSB) horse, and the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed him. Power over a fourth of the earth was given to them, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:7-8).

Is this a sickly green horse evoking nausea and poison gas? Even now, before the tribulation, national leaders propose using the horrors of chemicals in wartime settings. We also know–by experience–that viral agents can be introduced into society. Whatever means are used, and the list in this passage is “representative, we’re told that after Jesus opens this fourth seal, one-fourth of the world’s population has already died.

The world’s population recently reached eight billion. If the earth’s population at the beginning of the tribulation is similar, two billion people will die just from the plagues in the first four seals. That total dwarfs that of any catastrophe or even the total of all disasters–ever!

And yet this is early in this seven-year time of unprecedented trouble:
“How awful that day will be! There will be no other like it!” (Jeremiah 30:7).

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