The Fourth Seal (Rev. 6:7–8)

 

The Fourth Seal (Rev. 6:7–8)

6:7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”

The fourth seal follows the pattern of the first three. The Lamb broke the seal, and the fourth living creature heralded the fourth horse and its rider.

6:8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

The Description of the Horse

A Pale Horse

John describes the final horse as ashen (pale). Chlōros (ashen, pale), from which the English words chlorophyll” and “chlorine” derive, refers to a sickly, pale, yellow-green color. More specifically, it describes green vegetation (Rev. 8:7, 9:4; Mark 6:39).

The horse’s color vividly portrays the pale-green pallor of the decomposition of a corpse. Fittingly, the rider who sat on the pale horse had the ominous name, “Death.”

The Description of the Rider

The Name Death and Hades

In this terrifying scene, John saw Hades following Death, as they come in pairs, before the redemption in Christ
(Rev. 1:18; 20:13,14).

Death came to all men through Adam when he disobeyed the command of God. The Lord God said to them, “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17, NIV). Because of Adam’s sin, death and hades entered the world and ruled over everybody before Christ, “because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12, NIV).

A Fourth of the Earth

The “fourth of the earth” refers to those on the fourth watch. The fourth watch represented a difficult time for those working in the sea, and death threatened them. In the fourth watch, the Lord Jesus Christ saved His disciples from drowning in the sea (Matt. 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:15-21).

The Good News of the Fourth Seal

Again, how can such a dreadful image that portrays death fit with the good news of God’s Revelation through Jesus Christ and His redemption plan? It seems this is another paradox.

Opening the fourth seal, which has the pale horse and rider, presents a significant element of God’s redemption. The Lord Jesus Christ “became obedient to death, even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:8, NIV). “He suffered death so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9, NIV).

God decreed that as people suffered death and hades because of Adam, many receive the grace of eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:15, NIV). Through baptism, The Spirit of God buries us with Christ into death and raises us to live a new life as new creations (Rom. 6:4, NIV).

Excerpt from: Revealing the Father through the Book of Revelation, by Hegumen Abraam Sleman, With God's grace, the book is available on Amazon. I would be blessed if you could get a copy of the book and review it. For more information about the book, please visit frsleman.net. I am looking forward to hearing your feedback. Pray for me!

Blessings to you,

Fr. Abraam Sleman
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