Revelation 6

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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?


Exploring the Meaning of Revelation 6      

By Rev. N. Bruce Rogers

THE SPIRITUAL MEANING of Revelation 6

(This text is excerpted from "Apocalypse Revealed", by Emanuel Swedenborg, as translated by N.B. Rogers.)

The Contents of the Whole Chapter

This describes the examination of those people on whom the Last Judgment would fall, and they were examined to see what understanding of the Word they had among them, and so what their state of life was. Some were found to possess truths springing from goodness (verses 1, 2); some to be without any goodness (verses 3, 4); some to have a contempt for the truth (verses 5, 6); and some to be utterly devastated and purged as regards both goodness and truth (verses 7, 8).

Described, too, is the state of people who, because of the evil, were protected by the Lord in a lower earth, who would be set free at the time of the Last Judgment (verses 9-11).

Also the state of people who were caught up in evils and so in falsities - what it would be like on the day of the Last Judgment (verses 12-17).

The Contents of the Individual Verses:

Verse ContentsSpiritual Meaning
1. Now I saw when the Lamb opened the first of the seals;An examination by the Lord of all those people on whom the Last Judgment would fall, as to their understanding of the Word and thus their states of life,
and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as though with a voice of thunder,in accordance with the Divine truth in the Word.
"Come and see."A manifestation regarding the people first in order.
2. And I looked, and behold, a white horse.An understanding of truth and goodness from the Word among them.
And he who sat on it had a bow;Their having a doctrine of truth and goodness from the Word, from which they fought against falsities and evils emanating from hell.
and a crown was given to him,A token of their combat.
and he went out conquering and to conquer.Their victory over evils and falsities to eternity.
3. When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see."The same here as before [verse 1].
4. And another horse, fiery red, went out.An understanding of the Word among them extinguished as to goodness and thus extinguished as regards their life.
And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth,The abolition of charity, of spiritual security, and of inner rest.
so that people might kill one another;Intestine hatreds, infestations by the hells, and inner anxieties.
and there was given to him a great sword.The destruction of truth by the falsities accompanying evil.
5. When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see."The same here as before [verse 1].
So I looked, and behold, a black horse,An understanding of the Word among them extinguished as to truth, thus extinguished as regards their doctrine.
and he who sat on it had a scale in his hand.Their valuation of goodness and truth, what it was like among them.
6. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying,The Divine protection of the Word by the Lord,
"A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius;because the value they placed on goodness and truth was so little as to be scarcely anything.
and do not harm the oil and the wine."The Lord's provision that they not violate and profane the goods and truths concealed inwardly in the Word.
7. When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see."The same here as before [verse 1].
8. So I looked, and behold, a pale horse.An understanding of the Word extinguished as to both goodness and truth.
And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hell followed with him.The extinction of spiritual life and thus damnation.
And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to killThe destruction of all good in the church
with sword, with famine, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.by doctrinal falsities, by evil practices, by self-love, and by lusts.
9. When He opened the fifth seal,An examination by the Lord of the states of life of people who would be saved on the day of the Last Judgment, and who in the meantime were sequestered.
I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.People who, having been expelled by the evil because of their life in accordance with the Word's truths and their acknowledgment of the Lord's Divine humanity, were protected by the Lord to keep them from being led astray.
10. And they cried with a loud voice,Pain of heart
saying, "How long, O Lord, who are holy and true, will You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"over the fact that the Last Judgment was so long delayed, and that those who did violence to the Word and to the Lord's Divinity were not being removed.
11. Then white robes were given to each of them;A communication and conjunction of them with angels possessing Divine truths,
and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until the number of both their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was complete.that the Last Judgment would be delayed a little while longer, until those people should be gathered together who likewise were expelled by the evil.
12. Then I looked when He opened the sixth seal,An examination by the Lord of the states of life of people who were inwardly evil, on whom the Last Judgment would fall.
and behold, there was a great earthquake;The state of the church among them completely changed, and their terror.
and the sun became as black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.All goodness of love was adulterated in them, and every truth of faith falsified.
13. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth,All concepts of goodness and truth were dispelled
as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.by reasonings of the natural self divorced from the spiritual self.
14. Then the sky departed like a book rolled up,The people's separation from heaven and conjunction with hell.
and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.All goodness of love and truth of faith vanished.
15. And the kings of the earth and the great men, the rich men and the commanders, and the powerful, and every slave and every freeman,Those who before the separation had possessed an understanding of truth and good, a knowledge of their concepts, and learning, acquired from others or on their own, and yet who lacked a life in accordance with them,
hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,were now caught up in evils and in the falsities accompanying evil.
16. and they said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!Affirmations of evil by falsities springing from evil, until they did not acknowledge anything of the Lord's Divinity.
17. For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"They became of such a character of themselves as a result of their separation from good and faithful people, because of the Last Judgment, which they could not otherwise endure.

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