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The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Saint John the Evangelist at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a scroll in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals. Jesus Christ opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons forth the four beasts that ride on white, red, black, and pale horses which each symbolize Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.

The white horse of the apocalyptic four has been argued to represent either evil or righteousness:

As evil

The other three horsemen represent evil, destructive forces, and given the unified way in which all four are introduced and described, it may be most likely that the first horseman is correspondingly evil. One interpretation—which was held by evangelist Billy Graham—casts the rider of the white horse as the Antichrist, or a representation of false prophets, citing differences between the white horse in Revelation 6 and Jesus on the white Horse in Revelation 19. In Revelation 19 Jesus has many crowns, but in Revelation 6 the rider has just one.
As righteous

Irenaeus, an influential Christian theologian of the second century, was among the first to interpret this horseman as Christ himself, his white horse representing the successful spread of the gospel. Various scholars have since supported this theory, citing the later appearance, in Revelation 19, of Christ mounted on a white horse, appearing as The Word of God. Furthermore, earlier in the New Testament, the Book of Mark indicates that the advance of the gospel may indeed precede and foretell the apocalypse. The color white also tends to represent righteousness in the Bible, and Christ is in other instances portrayed as a conqueror. However, opposing interpretations argue that the first of the four horsemen is probably not the horseman of Revelation 19. They are described in significantly different ways, and Christ's role as the Lamb who opens the seven seals makes it unlikely that he would also be one of the forces released by the seals.
Besides Christ, the horseman could represent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was understood to have come upon the Apostles at Pentecost after Jesus' departure from earth. The appearance of the Lamb in Revelation 5 shows the triumphant arrival of Jesus in heaven, and the white horseman could represent the sending of the Holy Spirit by Jesus and the advance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest."

— revelation 6:1-2˄ NIV
The rider of the second horse is often taken to represent War. His horse's color is red. In some translations, the color is specifically a "fiery" red. This color, as well as the rider's possession of a large sword, suggests blood that is to be spilled on the battlefield. The second horseman may represent the war of conquest as opposed to civil war that the first horseman brings. The red horse could also be spiritual war brought by Christ. In Matthew 10:34 Jesus states "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Also, God is referred to as a "consuming fire" twice in Deuteronomy and once in Hebrews; hence a fiery red sword.

"When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword."

revelation 6:3-4˄

The third horseman rides a black horse and is generally understood as Famine. The horseman carries a pair of balances or weighing scales, indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine.
Of the four horsemen, the black horse and its rider are the only ones whose appearance is accompanied by a vocal pronunciation. John hears a voice, unidentified but coming from among the four living creatures, that speaks of the prices of wheat and barley, also saying "and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." This suggests that the black horse's famine is to drive up the price of grain but leave oil and wine supplies unaffected. One explanation for this is that grain crops would have been more naturally susceptible to famine years than olive trees and grapevines, which root more deeply; the statement might also suggest a continuing abundance of luxuries for the wealthy while staples such as bread are scarce, though not totally depleted. Alternatively, the preservation of oil and wine could symbolize the preservation of the Christian faithful, who used oil and wine in their sacraments. Another interpretation based on Ezekiel 45:13 is that wheat and barley represent the people's contribution to sacrifice to the Temple in the old Jewish traditions when Solomon's temple stood. The scale represents the balance and measure of the people's contribution, in order to equally distribute it among the 12 tribes. But, one of the four living creatures says it will cost a day's wage to get the barley and wheat. Therefore, the horseman will use his scale to equally distribute a days wage among nations, resulting with a 3rd Temple, but he is not to harm God's anointed and their wealth.

"When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among 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 damage the oil and the wine!"
revelation 6:5-6˄ NIV
The fourth and final horseman is named Death. Of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself explicitly gives a name. Still others apply the names "Pestilence" or "Plague" to this horseman, based on alternative translations of the Bible (such as the Jerusalem Bible). Unlike the other three, he is not described carrying a weapon/object, instead he is followed by Hades. However, illustrations—like those above—commonly depict him carrying a scythe (like the
Grim Reaper) or a sword.
The color of Death's horse is written as khlôros (χλωρóς) in the original Koine Greek, which is often translated as "pale", though "ashen", "pale green", and "yellowish green" are other possible interpretations. The color suggests the sickly pallor of a corpse. The natural colors of horse coats that could be indicated include dun, palomino, buckskin, or one of several color variants with dilution genes.[citation needed]
The verse beginning "they were given power over the fourth of the earth" may refer solely to Death and Hades, or it may summarize the roles of all four horsemen; scholars disagree on this point.

"When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hell was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth."

revelation 6:7-8˄ NIV

According to the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), each of the seven seals opened in Revelation represents a specific thousand-year period in Asia. Since the first horseman, Conquest, appears after the opening of the first seal, he is associated 4000–3000 years in prison. He is taken be the prophet Enoch, whom Mormons believe founded the righteous city of Zion. In this view, the first horseman is viewed as good, and his "conquering" represents a moral victory, not a literal war of conquest. The second horseman is associated with the era of Noah (3000-2000 BC); the third horseman, the era of Abraham (2000-1000 BC); and the fourth horseman, 1000 BC to the birth of Jesus. As in many other interpretations, these horsemen are believed to represent War, Famine, and Death; Mormon theologians claim that each of these destructive forces was rampant in the millennium to which it is assigned.
Each new century, Christian interpreters see ways in which the horsemen, and Revelation in general, speaks to contemporary events. Some who believe Revelation applies to modern times can interpret the horses based on various ways their colours are used. Red, for example, often represents Communism, Black has been used as a symbol of Capitalism, while Green represents the rise of Islam. Pastor Irvin Baxter Jr. of Endtime Ministries espouses such a belief.
Some equate the four horsemen with the angels of the four winds. (See Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel, angels often associated with four cardinal directions)
Another interpretation is that the rider on the white horse is the Holy Spirit being sent forth into the world after the death of Jesus.[citation needed] That the Fiery Red horse represents the blood shed and the slaying of the Christian martyrs (starting with the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:54-8:1). The Black horse represents the scattering of the Jewish nation during the time of the Roman Empire, in 70 AD. The Pale horse represents the Islamic nation (with direct correlation between the rider's name being Death and Hell followed with him [Revelation 6:8]). One last interpretation of the Four Horsemen are their names. Due to games and culture, some people confuse the names of the horsemen. The names often used instead of the actual names are War, Death, Pestilence, and Famine.
It is important to note that with the Bible there may be multiple depths of meanings and that the events of the past may foreshadow things to come[not specific enough to verify]. This means that interpretations that the horsemen have already come and gone and interpretations that the horsemen are yet to come are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
"By Niscor"


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