The Four Horsemen of the apocalypse – Revelation 6-8 (NTiR)

Bible and magnifying glassThere are a few theories tossed about regarding why, exactly Revelation is so bizarre. Some of my favorite theories are:

  • John was stoned out of his mind
  • John was extremely drunk, or had sobered up and was having the DTs
  • John was starving/dehydrated during his imprisonment and banishment, and his fevered brain pulled up a number of hallucinations.

Whatever the true source, Revelation is one hell of a trip.

Chapter 6

The seven seals are opened in a faster manner than I remembered. The first four seals are, of course, the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The rider of the white horse is given a bow and sent out to conquer. The rider of the red horse is given a sword and sent to take peace from the world. The rider of the black horse was given a scale, and sent out to go grocery shopping. Or something like that. He is instructed to take a quart of wheat for a denarius or three quarts of barley. But he was not supposed to damage olive oil nor wine. I guess this actually means he is to bring famine to the world. What an odd way to say that, though. The rider of the pale horse was Death, and Hades followed. They were given control over a quarter of the earth, to destroy with war, famine, and plagues.

Thr first horseman
Thr first horseman
Image via Wikipedia

There are more seals, though! When the fifth is open, the souls of everyone martyred in the lords name cry out for vengance. The martyrs were given robes and told to be patient for just a while longer, until the last martyr is killed and joins them. When the sixth seal is opened, destruction came. There was a terrible earthquake, the sun turned black, the moon turned red as blood. The stars fell out of the sky, and the sky itself vanished. People on the earth fled to caves and the mountains, hoping to escape the wrath of god.

Chapter 7

Finally, an angel declares that the four horsemen stop what they are doing. The servants of God – both Jew and Gentile – needed to be marked with a seal on their foreheads.

The Revelation of St John: 4. The Four Riders ...
The Four Riders …
Image via Wikipedia

Chapter 8

The seventh seal is opened. There is silence in heaven for a half hour, then seven angels step forward, each holding a trumpet. The angels take turns sounding their horns. The first angel blows his trumpet, and a mixture of hail, fire and blood were thrown on the earth. A third of the earth, trees and grass were burnt. The second angel blows his trumpet, and a volcano opens in the sea. A third of the sea is turned to blood, and one-third of all sea life is killed. The third angel blows his trumpet, and the star Wormood falls from heaven onto the earth, destroying a third of the rivers and springs. One-third of all water is turned into wormwood, sickening and killing those who drink from it.

One more angel for this chapter: the fourth angel blows his trumpet and a third of the sun, moon and stars were turned dark. (So ignore that bit up above where the sun turned black, the moon turned red and the stars fell out of the sky. Apparently, that didn’t really happen when the sixth seal was opened. Or it did, but John was so stoned that he forgot that detail.)

An eagle flies overhead, warning that things are going to be even more terrible for people of the earth when the other three angels blow their trumpets.

Up next: Angels can be bad-asses!

New installments of The New Testament In Review will be posted each Tuesday and Thursday. The new posts will always be on my blog, http://biffster.org. The entire series is accessible via http://biffster.org/ntir. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can get an advance preview on my Facebook page. You can also follow me (@biffster) on Twitter to be alerted to new posts.

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