Revelation of John 6* The opening of the seals, The first, second, third, andfourth. (1-8) The fifth. (9-11) The sixth. (12-17)1-8 Christ, the Lamb, opens the first seal: observe whatappeared. A rider on a white horse. By the going forth of thiswhite horse, a time of peace, or the early progress of theChristian religion, seems to be intended; its going forth inpurity, at the time when its heavenly Founder sent his apostlesto teach all nations, adding, Lo! I am with you alway, even tothe end of the world. The Divine religion goes out crowned,having the Divine favour resting upon it, armed spirituallyagainst its foes, and destined to be victorious in the end. Onopening the second seal, a red horse appeared; this signifiesdesolating judgments. The sword of war and persecution is adreadful judgment; it takes away peace from the earth, one ofthe greatest blessings; and men who should love one another, andhelp one another, are set upon killing one another. Such scenesalso followed the pure age of early Christianity, when,neglectful of charity and the bond of peace, the Christianleaders, divided among themselves, appealed to the sword, andentangled themselves in guilt. On opening the third seal, ablack horse appeared; a colour denoting mourning and woe,darkness and ignorance. He that sat on it had a yoke in hishand. Attempts were made to put a yoke of superstitiousobservances on the disciples. As the stream of Christianityflowed further from its pure fountain, it became more and morecorrupt. During the progress of this black horse, thenecessaries of life should be at excessive prices, and the morecostly things should not be hurt. According to propheticlanguage, these articles signified that food of religiousknowledge, by which the souls of men are sustained untoeverlasting life; such we are invited to buy, #Isa 55:1|. Butwhen the dark clouds of ignorance and superstition, denoted bythe black horse, spread over the Christian world, the knowledgeand practice of true religion became scarce. When a peopleloathe their spiritual food, God may justly deprive them oftheir daily bread. The famine of bread is a terrible judgment;but the famine of the word is more so. Upon opening the fourthseal, another horse appeared, of a pale colour. The rider wasDeath, the king of terrors. The attendants, or followers of thisking of terrors, hell, a state of eternal misery to all who diein their sins; and in times of general destruction, multitudesgo down unprepared into the pit. The period of the fourth sealis one of great slaughter and devastation, destroying whatevermay tend to make life happy, making ravages on the spirituallives of men. Thus the mystery of iniquity was completed, andits power extended both over the lives and consciences of men.The exact times of these four seals cannot be ascertained, forthe changes were gradual. God gave them power, that is, thoseinstruments of his anger, or those judgments: all publiccalamities are at his command; they only go forth when God sendsthem, and no further than he permits. 9-11 The sight the apostle beheld at the opening the fifth sealwas very affecting. He saw the souls of the martyrs under thealtar; at the foot of the altar in heaven, at the feet ofChrist. Persecutors can only kill the body; after that there isno more they can do; the soul lives. God has provided a goodplace in the better world, for those who are faithful untodeath. It is not their own death, but the sacrifice of Christ,that gives them entrance into heaven. The cause in which theysuffered, was for the word of God; the best any man can lay downhis life for; faith in God's word, and the unshaken confessionof that faith. They commit their cause to Him to whom vengeancebelongs. The Lord is the comforter of his afflicted servants,and precious is their blood in his sight. As the measure of thesin of persecutors is filling up, so is the number of thepersecuted, martyred servants of Christ. When this is fulfilled,God will send tribulation to those who trouble them, andunbroken happiness and rest to those that are troubled. 12-17 When the sixth seal was opened, there was a greatearthquake. The foundations of churches and states would beterribly shaken. Such bold figurative descriptions of greatchanges abound in the prophecies of Scripture; for these eventsare emblems, and declare the end of the world and the day ofjudgment. Dread and terror would seize on all sorts of men.Neither grandeur, riches, valour, nor strength, can support menat that time. They would be glad to be no more seen; yea, tohave no longer any being. Though Christ be a Lamb, he can beangry, and the wrath of the Lamb is exceedingly dreadful; for ifthe Redeemer himself, who appeases the wrath of God, be ourenemy, where shall we find a friend to plead for us? As men havetheir day of opportunity, and their seasons of grace, so God hashis day of righteous wrath. It seems that the overthrow of thepaganism of the Roman empire is here meant. The idolaters aredescribed as hiding themselves in their dens and secret caves,and vainly seeking to escape ruin. In such a day, when the signsof the times show those who believe in God's word, that the Kingof kings is approaching, Christians are called to a decidedcourse, and to a bold confession of Christ and his truth beforetheir fellowmen. Whatever they may have to endure, the shortcontempt of man is to be borne, rather than that shame which iseverlasting.
Copyright information for MHCC
Welcome to STEP Bible
From Tyndale House, Cambridge UK
Use the search box to find Bibles, commentaries, passages, search terms, etc. Here are some examples:
This shows how to quickly lookup a passage.
Looking up a passage in three different translations is also easy.
This asks STEP to search for the Greek word for 'brother' and show the results in the ESV.
This example runs both a 'Hebrew word search' and a 'Text' search and shows the results in both the NIV and ESV.
You can mix most searches. This finds any word translated as 'throne' in the Prophets and the New Testament, but only in verses concerning the topic 'David'. This excludes verses which refer to a 'throne' in other contexts.
Interlinear Hebrew & Greek is available for some translations with grammar (and more soon). To reverse the interlinear order, click on a version abbreviation under the verse number.
© Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK - 2018