Revelation chapters 6-7 (The First Six of the Seven Seals)
6:1-2 – The first seal, the white horse
Thunder is the sign of an approaching storm; also symbolizes the demonstration of God’s power poured out in wrath upon His enemies
Horses were noble creatures and warriors
White represents either purity or victory – probably victory here
The bow indicated a long battle
6:3-4 – The second seal, the red horse
Red represents the bloodshed to come against the persecutors of God’s children
6:5-6 – The third seal, the black horse
Black is a symbol of distress; famine was coming
Scales were used to measure food so none was wasted
Oil and wine could be used medicinally
6:7-8 – The fourth seal, the pale horse
Pale represents death by sword (war), hunger (famine), death (pestilence or disease), and wild beasts (devoured)
Not separate events; all pointed to the fall of Jerusalem
6:9-11- The fifth seal reveals the martyrs
6:12-17 – The sixth seal, the fall of Judean power
Earthquakes = unrest between nations
Sun = great political leader
Moon = great religious leader
Stars = lesser officials
Mountains = people who worship God
Islands = pagan Gentile nations
Sky = existing government over all
Similar imagery used by Isaiah (29:6; 13:10) and Jesus (Matthew 24:7,29)
6:16 – similar to language of Hosea 10:8, which Jesus quoted in reference to destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 23:30)
6:17 – alludes to Nahum 1:5-6
7:1-3 – Interlude between 6th and 7th seals
While the children of God would be spared from the judgment upon Jerusalem, this did not prevent tribulation in their lives (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12)
7:4-8 – 144,000
Not intended to be a literal number
The use of 12 and 1000 indicated fullness and completeness
Designated the whole church, spiritual Israel
7:9-17 – Another vision of praise
The white of the robes could refer to the purity or the victory received
1. Who opened each of the first six seals?
2. What did each color of the horsemen represent?
3. When would God execute His judgment against His people’s oppressors?
4. What do the symbols of 6:12-13 represent?
5. How many people in the tribes of Israel are sealed? Is this a literal number?
6. What are the two possible meanings of the white robes at the end of chapter 7?