Under normal circumstances I would not be writing about the Bible. However, due to a project given to my son by his Bible study instructor this past Sunday, I found myself helping my son with some research. So, because I found the information very questionable and interesting at the same time I decided to make a post so I might discuss why the all loving Christian God would make such an apocalyptic decision. Perhaps this will lead me to write another one on the Seven Seals as well before long. As a refresher, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse describes the four horsemen who, according to the New Testament in the Christian Bible, represent Conquest, War, Famine and Death. They are summoned and empowered by God as part of the opening of the Seven Seals. There are four separate horsemen, each representing something different. Each rides a different color horse, wields a different weapon and has a different power.
THE WHITE HORSE: The white horse is the first of the four horsemen to arrive. He represents Conquest and his power is “to go forth in conquest; to kill with the beasts of the Earth.” He Yields a Crown and a Bow. From the Bible, Revelation 6:1-2: “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.”
THE RED HORSE: The rider of the second horse is often taken to represent War. His horse’s color is red, or, in some translations, specifically a “fiery” red. This color, as well as the rider’s possession of a large sword, suggests blood to be spilled on the battlefield. The second horseman may represent civil war as opposed to the war of conquest that the first horseman brings. From the Bible: Revelation 6:3-4: “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 huge sword.”
THE BLACK HORSE: The third horseman rides a black horse and is generally understood as Famine. The black color of the horse could be a symbol of the dead. 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. From the Bible: Revelation 6:5-6: “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!”
THE PALE HORSE: The fourth and final horseman is named Death. Of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself gives a name. Unlike the other three, he carries no weapon or other object (but some versions say that Death carries the scythe, symbolizing that he is the Grim Reaper); instead he is followed by Hades. The color of Death’s horse is written as khlômos (χλωμóς) 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. 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. From the Bible, Revelation 6:7-8: “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 Hades 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.”
Since the prophecy of The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse is written in the Bible and taught by Christians, how does this all apply to the rest of us? As a person who was raised as a Catholic and later found the strength to pull away from the collective sheeple thinking it is things like The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse which make me wonder if we are ALL still waiting to die a fiery death. When I consider my remaining days on planet dirt (Earth) I look forward to each day I wake up taking my first breath. I don’t want to worry about when, if, or how, in the terms of Christian belief taught in the bible. I consider my son innocent, a sponge for knowledge, and I find he is conflicted in his beliefs in both God and science. He is very scientifically minded, meaning he does not ever accept that there isn’t a definitive answer. We have talked about both the Bible and science, he finds as he gets older, gets more experience in life, that he has began to question many of the lessons in the bible because they are open-ended questions that no attempt has been made to answer.
Now, don’t even get me started with evolution, a subject that is forbidden to be spoke out loud in our house. The rule was established many years ago, before my son was even born, that evolution is a theory produced by “people” who do not have God in their lives. I learned this the hard way many moons ago. But, since it is never spoke about in my house, my son has never had the opportunity to have the discussion with my wife. I won’t say she scolded my son for asking questions, but she re-directed him to the teachings in the Bible to point him to the answers he is seeking. Hating to see him struggle, hating to see his young mind shut down to other possibilities, I ended that conversation with a big fat “anything is possible if we believe in it being possible”. I got a dirty look from my wife which translated into me not supporting her, which is bullshit in itself.
It is opportunities like these that I hate being the one who disagrees with Christianity and the Bible because I must hold in my own opinions to appease others so my opinion does not influence choices my children may later make. I agree, every person needs to find their own path in life, no matter what it may be, no matter what the beliefs are, as long as they follow this path because that is what they want to do on their own. Eventhough I think the followers of Christianity are being misled and have been misled throughout history, I find myself intrigued by some of the stories written in the bible, like The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, because it seems to always be some form of wrath if Christians get off the path or get out of line. I wonder, occasionally, what the end of times will look like through my eyes because I don’t have a giant fear of fire and brimstone as my end.
Y’all are probably looking for some credits here, the artwork was found doing a Google image search using the term “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse”, and the text was taken from what my son had printed, written, and from his notes, the origins are unknown to me. Anyway, in the end, this entire post was written as food for thought in a world where individual thought is often frowned upon, so I had to write it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.