The Bible

 

Revelation 6 : The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

        

Study the Inner Meaning

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 9481

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 295, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 32


Other references to this story:

Arcana Coelestia 1071, 2495, 2686, 3300, 3355, 3941, 3994, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 51, 52, 53, 166, 236, 296, 297, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 76, 78

Divine Providence 134

The Lord 52

Sacred Scripture 12

Heaven and Hell 119

The Last Judgment 2, 61

True Christian Religion 119, 124, 179, 620, 639, 641, 691


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 30, 72, 73, 131, 186, 195, 196, ...

Canons of the New Church 27

De Verbo (The Word) 5, 15

An Invitation to the New Church 12, 35

Justification 0

The White Horse - Appendix 1

Marriage 119, 124

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 9, 11, 72

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Deuteronomy 32:43

1 Samuel 6:20

Psalms 2:12, 6:4, 76:8, 110:5

Isaiah 2:10, 19, 21, 13:10, 34:4, 50:3

Jeremiah 4:23, 29, 14:12, 15:3, 30:7

Lamentations 2:1

Ezekiel 5:12, 13, 17, 13:13, 14:21, 21:14, 16, 25:14, 32:7, 8

Hosea 10:8

Joel 2:11

Nahum 1:6

Zephaniah 14

Zechariah 8, 6:2, 3

Malachi 3:2

Word/Phrase Explanations

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

opened
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

thunder
When the Lord speaks through the heaven, it descends into the lower spheres and is heard as thunder. As He speaks through the whole of...

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

white
'White' relates to truths, because it originates in the light of the sun.

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

crown
The crown of glory in the hand of Jeho­vah (Isa 62:3) signifies wisdom which is of good, and a royal diadem in the hand of...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

third
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

balances
The balances mentioned in Revelation 6:5 signify the estimation of goodness and truth.

Measure
'To measure' signifies knowing and exploring the quality of something.

wheat
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

penny
A penny,' as in Revelation 6, signifies something so small that it is barely anything.

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

measures
The Bible uses a somewhat dizzying array of unfamiliar measurement, leaving translators a choice between being accurate and confusing or inaccurate and clear. Since they...

hurt
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

oil
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

wine
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

Power
Power,' as in Revelation 4, signifies salvation, because all divine power regards this as its final purpose. A person is reformed by divine power, and...

over
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

kill
The Lord is love itself, and that love is the ultimate source of all energy and thus of all life. It follows, then, that the...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

the Word of God
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

Word of God
'The Word of God,' as in Revelation 17:17, signifies the things foretold in the Word.

Loud
In Revelation 5:2, 'a loud' or 'great voice' signifies divine truth from the Lord, in its power or virtue.

Long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

robes
'Robes,' as in Revelation 7, signify truths of defense. Before they were washed they signified falsities. People in falsities from ignorance in the spiritual world,...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

killed
The Lord is love itself, and that love is the ultimate source of all energy and thus of all life. It follows, then, that the...

fulfilled
When the Lord said that all things which were written concerning him were fulfilled, he meant that all things were fulfilled in their inmost sense.

sixth
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

sackcloth
'Being clothed in sackcloth' signifies lamentation because of the devastation of truth in the church. 'Sackcloth,' as in Revelation 6:12, relates to destroyed good.

stars
The star which went before them [the wise men] meant knowledge coming from heaven, since stars in the Word mean pieces of knowledge. –De Verbo...

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

Great men
Great men, as in Revelation 6:15, signify those who are in good, and, in an opposite sense, those who are in evil. Great men, as...

chief
'Officer' denotes doctrines or principles of interpretation.

hid
'To hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:15, signifies being in evils and in falsities...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

sitteth
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

great day of His wrath
'The great day of His wrath,' as in Revelation 6:17, signifies the day of the last judgment.

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here: swedenborg.com.


The White and Red Horsemen in the Book of Revelation - S&L Short Clips

n the Last Judgment that Swedenborg witnessed in the spiritual world, people were sorted according to state of mind. Learn two states of mind represented by the white and red horsemen in Revelation 6.

The White and Red Horsemen in the Book of Revelation - S&L Short Clips

n the Last Judgment that Swedenborg witnessed in the spiritual world, people were sorted according to state of mind. Learn two states of mind represented by the white and red horsemen in Revelation 6.

Who Are the Souls Under the Altar? - S&L Short Clips

Swedenborg witnessed the Last Judgment in the spiritual world, and says this process also happens in our minds. Learn the meaning of the symbolic imagery in Revelation 6:9.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 A Great Earthquake
Color picture of the great earthquake from Revelation 6.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 Horses
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 John's Vision of the Horses
Some of the horses in this story are scary but they teach us important things.
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 The Black Horse
Color picture of the rider on the black horse holding a pair of scales. He was seen when the third seal was opened.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Fifth Seal: Martyrs Given White Robes
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Fifth Seal: The Souls Under the Altar
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The First Seal: First Horsemen
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The First Seal: The White Horse
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Four Horsemen
Dramatic color painting of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Picture | All Ages

 The Four Horsemen
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Four Horsemen (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Four Horsemen (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Four Horsemen (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Fourth Seal: A Pale Horse
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Opening of the Seven Seals
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Pale Horse
Color picture of the rider on the pale horse whose name is death. He was seen when the fourth seal was opened.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Red Horse
Color picture of the rider on the fiery red horse who was given a great sword to take peace from the earth. He was seen when the second seal was opened.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Second Seal: A Red Horse
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Sixth Seal: A Great Earthquake
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Sixth Seal: The Great Earthquake
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Souls Under the Altar
Color picture of the souls under the altar seen when the fifth seal was opened.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Third Seal: A Black Horse
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The White Horse
Color picture of the rider on the white horse who was given a bow and a crown and who went out to conquer. He was seen when the first seal was opened.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 White Horse and Rider with Crown
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

Commentary

 

The Meaning of the Book of Revelation: the Four Horsemen      

By Curtis Childs and Rev. Jonathan Rose

Transparency is needed to sort things out. Before big change happens, God first reveals what’s really going on.

In the Book of Revelation - the last book of the Word - the apostle John describes a series of apocalyptic visions that he experienced during his exile on the Isle of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea.

In one of these visions, he saw four horsemen, the first riding a white horse, the second a red horse, the third a black, and the fourth - named Death - riding a pale horse. These "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" - oft-pictured - are described in Revelation 6:1-8.

What do these horses, and their riders, represent? What do they have to do with us, today? Watch as Curtis Childs and Jonathan Rose explore the hidden Bible meaning of the Four Horsemen in the Book of Revelation, in this video from the Swedenborg and Life Series, from the Swedenborg Foundation.

Plus, to go straight to the source, follow the links below to the places in "Apocalypse Revealed" where Swedenborg explained the inner meaning of this famous Bible story. A good place to start would be Apocalypse Revealed 298.

(References: Apocalypse Revealed 262-263, 301, 306, 314, 316, 320, 322-323; The Apocalypse Explained 315)

To continue browsing while you watch, play the video in a new window.

This video is a part of the "Swedenborg and Life" web series produced by the Swedenborg Foundation (www.Swedenborg.com)


Translate: