Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 6:4

And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Animals;   Horse;   Vision;   War;   Scofield Reference Index - Remnant;   Thompson Chain Reference - War;   War-Peace;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Seals;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Horse, the;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Color, Symbolic Meaning of;   Prophet, Prophetess, Prophecy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Colour;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Colors;   Horse;   Horseman;   Number Systems and Number Symbolism;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beast;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Eschatology;   Horse;   Life and Death;   Power Powers;   Redness of the Sky;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Horse;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Red;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Color;   Horse, Red;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Another horse - red - The emblem of war; perhaps also of severe persecution, and the martyrdom of the saints.

Him that sat thereon - Same say, Christ; others, Vespasian; others, the Roman armies; others, Artabanus, king of the Parthians, etc., etc.

Take peace from the earth - To deprive Judea of all tranquillity.

They should kill one another - This was literally the case with the Jews, while besieged by the Romans.

A great sword - Great influence and success, producing terrible carnage.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And there went out another horse - In this symbol there were, as in the others, several particulars which it is proper to explain in order that we may be able to understand its application. The particular things in the symbol are the following:

(a) The horse. See this explained in the notes on Revelation 6:2.

(b) The color of the horse: another horse that was red. This symbol cannot be mistaken. As the white horse denoted prosperity, triumph, and happiness, so this would denote carnage, discord, bloodshed. This is clear, not only from the nature of the emblem, but from the explanation immediately added: “And power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another.” On the color, compare Bochart, Hieroz. P. 1, lib. 2, c. 7: p. 104. See also Zechariah 1:8. There is no possibility of mistaking this, that a time of slaughter is denoted by this emblem.

(c) The power given to him that sat on the horse: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. This would seem to indicate that the condition immediately preceding this was a condition of tranquility, and that this was now disturbed by some cause producing discord and bloodshed. This idea is confirmed by the original words - τὴν εἰρήνην tēn eirēnēn- “the peace”; that is, the previously existing peace. When peace in general is referred to, the word is used without the article: Matthew 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace - βαλεῖν εἰρήνην balein eirēnēn- upon the earth.” Compare Luke 1:79; Luke 2:14; Luke 19:38; Mark 5:34; John 14:27; John 16:33; Acts 7:26; Acts 9:31, et al. in the Greek. In these cases the word “peace” is without the article. The characteristics of the period referred to by this are:

(a)that peace and tranquility existed before;

(b)that such peace and tranquility were now taken away, and were succeeded by confusion and bloodshed; and,

(c)that the particular form of that confusion was civil discord, producing mutual slaughter: “that they should kill one another.”

(d)The presentation of a sword: and there was given unto him a great sword. As an emblem of what he was to do, or of the period that was referred to by the opening of the seal.

The sword is an emblem of war, of slaughter, of authority Romans 13:4, and is used here as signifying that that period would be characterized by carnage. Compare Isaiah 34:5; Revelation 19:17-18; Leviticus 26:25; Genesis 27:40; Matthew 10:34; Matthew 26:52. It is not said by whom the sword was presented, but the fact is merely referred to, that the rider wets presented with a sword as a symbol of what would occur.

In inquiring now into the period referred to by this symbol, we naturally look to what immediately succeeded the one which was represented by the opening of the first seal; that is, the period which followed the accession of Commodus, 180 a.d. We shall find, in the events which succeeded his accession to the empire, a state of things which remarkably accords with the account given by John in this emblem - so much so, that if it were supposed that the book was written after these events had occurred, and that John had designed to represent them by this symbol, he could not have selected a more appropriate emblem. The only authority which it is necessary to refer to here is Mr. Gibbon; who, as before remarked, seems to have been raised up by a special Providence to make a record of those events which were referred to by some of the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible. As he had the highest qualifications for an historian, his statements may be relied on as accurate; and as he had no belief in the inspiration of the prophetic records, his testimony will riot be charged with partiality in their favor. The following particulars, therefore, will furnish a full illustration of the opining of the second seal:

(a) The previous state of peace. This is implied in the expression, “and power was given to him to take peace from the earth.” Of this we have had a full confirmation in the peaceful reign of Hadrian and tim Antenines. See the notes on the exposition of the first seal. Mr. Gibbon, speaking of the accession of Commodus to the imperial throne, says that he “had nothing to wish, and everything to enjoy. The beloved son of Marcus (Commodus) succeeded his father amidst the acclamations of the senate and armies; and when he ascended the throne, the happy youth saw around him neither competitor to remove, nor enemies to punish. In this calm elevated station, it was surely natural that he should prefer the love of mankind to their detestation; the mild glories of his five predecessors to the ignominions fate of Nero and Domitian,” i. 51. So again, on the same page, he says of Commodus, “His graceful person, popular address, and imagined virtues attracted the public favor; the honorable peace which he had recently granted to the barbarians diffused an universal joy.” No one can doubt that the accession of Commodus was preceded by a remarkable prevalence of peace and prosperity.

(b) Civil war and bloodshed: to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. Of the applicability of this to the time supposed to be represented by this seal, we have the fullest confirmation in the series of civil wars commencing with the assassination of the emperor Commodus, 193 a.d., and continued, with scarcely any intervals of intermission, for 80 or 90 years. So Sismondi, on the fall of the Roman empire (i. 36), says, “With Commodus‘ death commenced the third and most calamitous period. It lasted 92 years, from 193 to 284. During that time, 32 emperors, and 27 pretenders to the empire, alternately hurried each other from the throne, by incessant civil warfare. Ninety-two years of almost incessant civil warfare taught the world on what a frail foundation the virtue of the Antonines had reared the felicity of the empire.” The full history of this period may be seen in Gibbon, i. pp. 50-197.

Of course it is impossible in these notes to present anything like a complete account of the characteristics of those times. Yet the briefest summary may well show the general condition of the Roman empire then, and the propriety of representing it by the symbol of a red horse, as a period when peace would be taken from the earth, and when people would kill one another. Commodus himself is represented by Mr. Gibbon in the following words: “Commodus was not, as be has been represented, a tiger, born with an insatiate thirst of human blood, and capable, from his infancy, of the most inhuman actions. Nature had formed him of a weak, rather than a wicked disposition. His simplicity and timidity rendered him the slave of his attendants, who gradually corrupted his mind. His cruelty, which at first obeyed the dictates of others, degenerated into habit, and at length became the ruling passion of his soul,” i. 51.

During the first three years of his reign “his hands were yet unstained with blood” (Ibid.), but he soon degenerated into a most severe and bloody tyrant, and “when Commodus had once tasted human blood, he was incapable of pity or remorse,” i. 52. “The tyrant‘s rage,” says Mr. Gibbon (i. 52), “after having shed the noblest blood of the senate, at length recoiled on the principal instrument of his cruelty. While Commodus was immersed in blood and luxury he devolved the detail of public business on Perennis, a servile and ambitious minister, who had obtained his post by the murder of his predecessor,” etc. “Every sentiment of virtue and humanity was extinct in the mind of Commodus,” i. 55. After detailing the history of his crimes, his follies, and his cruelties, Mr. Gibbon remarks of him: “His cruelty proved at last fatal to himself. He had shed with impunity the best blood of Rome: he perished as soon as he was dreaded by his own domestics. Marcia, his favorite concubine, Eclectus, his chamberlain, and Laetus, his pretorian prefect, alarmed by the fate of their companions and predecessor, resolved to prevent the destruction which every hour hung over their heads, either from the mad caprice of the tyrant, or the sudden indignation of the people. Marcia seized the occasion of presenting a draught of wine to her lover, after he had fatigued himself with hunting some wild beasts. Commodus retired to sleep; but while he was laboring with the effects of poison and drunkenness, a robust youth, by profession a wrestler, entered his chamber, and strangled him without resistance,” i. 57.

The immediate consequence of the assassination of Commodus was the elevation of Pertinax to the throne, and his murder eighty-six days after (Decline and Fall, i. 60). Then followed the public setting-up of the empire to sale by the pretorian guards, and its purchase by a wealthy Roman senator, Didius Julianus, or Julian, who, “on the throne of the world, found himself without a friend and without an adherent,” i. 63. “The streets and public places in Rome resounded with clamors and imprecations.” “The public discontent was soon diffused from the center to the frontiers of the empire,” i. 63. In the midst of this universal indignation Septimius Severus, who then commanded the army in the neighborhood of the Danube, resolved to avenge the death of Pertinax, and to seize upon the imperial crown. He marched to Rome, overcame the feeble Julian, and placed himself on the throne. Julian, after having reigned 66 days, was beheaded in a private apartment of the baths of the palace, i. 67. “In less than four years Severus subdued the riches of the East, and the valor of the West. He vanquished two competitors of reputation and ability, and defeated numerous armies provided with weapons and discipline equal to his own,” i. 68.

Mr. Gibbon then enters into a detail of “the two civil wars against Niger and Albinus” - rival competitors for the empire (i. 68-70), both of whom were vanquished, and both of whom were put to death “in their flight from the field of battle.” Yet he says, “Although the wounds of civil war were apparently healed, its mortal poison still lurked in the vitals of the constitution,” i. 71. After the death of Severus, then follows an account of the contentions between his sons, Geta and Caracalla, and of the death of the former by the instigation of the latter (i. 77); then of the remorse of Caracalla, in which it is said that “his disordered fancy often beheld the angry forms of his father and his brother rising into life to threaten and upbraid him” (i. 77); then of the cruelties which Caracalla inflicted on the friends of Geta, in which “it was computed that, under the vague appellation of the friends of Geta, above twenty thousand persons of both sexes suffered death” (i. 78); then of the departure of Caracalla from the capital, and his cruelties in other parts of the empire, concerning which Mr. Gibbon remarks (i. 78,79), that “Caracalla was the common enemy of mankind. Every province was by turns the scene of his rapine and cruelty. In the midst of peace and repose, upon the slightest provocation, he issued his commands at Alexandria in Egypt for a general massacre. From a secure post in the temple of Serapis he viewed and directed the slaughter of many thousand citizens, as well as strangers, without distinguishing either the number or the crime of the sufferers,” etc.

Then follows the account of the assassination of Caracalla (i. 80); then, and in consequence of that, of the civil war which crushed Macrinus, and raised Elagabalus to the throne (i. 83); then of the life and follies of that wretched voluptuary, and of his massacre by the pretorian guards (i. 86); then, after an interval of thirteen years, of the murder of his successor, the second Severus, on the Rhine; then of the civil wars excited against his murderer and successor, Maximin, in which the two emperors of a day - the Gordians, father and son - perished in Africa, and Maximin himself, and his son, in the siege of Aquileia; then of the murder at Rome of the two joint emperors, Maximus and Balbinus; and quickly after that an account of the murder of their successor in the empire, the third and youngest Gordian, on the banks of the river Aboras; then of the slaughter of the next emperor Philip, together with his son and associate in the empire, in the battle near Verona: and this state of things may be said to have continued until the accession of Diocletian to the empire, 284 a.d. See Decline and Fall, i. 110-197. Does any portion of the history of the world present a similar period of connected history that would be so striking a fulfillment of the symbols used here of “peace being taken from the earth,” and “men killing one another?” In regard to this whole period it is sufficient, after reading Mr. Gibbon‘s account, to ask two questions:

(1) If it were supposed that John lived after this period, and designed to represent this by an expressive symbol, could he have found one that would have characterized it better than this does?

(2) and if it should be supposed that Mr. Gibbon designed to write a commentary on this “seal,” and to show the exact fulfillment of the symbol, could he have selected a better portion of history to do it, or could he have better described facts that would be a complete fulfillment? It is only necessary to observe further:

(c) that this is a marked and definite period. It has such a beginning, and such a continuance and ending, as to show that tiffs symbol was applicable to this as a period of the world. For it was not only preceded by a state of peace, as is supposed in the symbol, but no one can deny that the condition of things in the empire, from Commodus onward through many years, was such as to be appropriately designated by the symbol used here.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-6.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And there went out another horse, that was red,.... Which may be an emblem either of the suffering state of the church, being answerable to the Smyrnaean one, as the purity and power of the Gospel, represented in the former seal, may answer to the Ephesine church; or else of those contentions and divisions occasioned among men through the Gospel, which, though of a peaceable nature, yet, through the corruption and depravity of men, brings not peace, but a sword; or rather of those bloody wars within the period of time signified by this seal, which came as punishments on the enemies of the Gospel:

and power was given to him that sat thereon; not the Lord Jesus Christ, who is said to ride on a red horse, Zechariah 1:8; though indeed he presides over his church and people, and takes the care of them when the most desolating judgments are in the earth, and causes all things to work together for good; nor Satan, the red dragon, who was a murderer from the beginning, and delights in effusion of blood, and in stirring up of men to destroy one another, whenever he is permitted; but Trajan the Roman emperor, in whose reign John died; and who came from the west, and was a Spaniard, as was Hadrian his successor, who may be joined with him; which was the side, or quarter, on which the living creature was that spoke to John; and in the times of these emperors were very bloody and civil wars: wherefore power is said to be given him,

to take peace from the earth; that is, from the Roman empire, which is sometimes called the whole world; and which could not have been done, if power had not been given from him who makes peace, and creates evil:

and that they should kill one another: which refers not to the havoc and slaughter which the Jews made one of another at the destruction of Jerusalem, but to the Jews murdering of the Greeks and Romans, and the Romans the Jews, in the times of the above emperors. In Trajan's time, the Jews who dwelt about Cyrene, under the conduct of one Andrew, fell upon the Romans and Greeks, and killed many, fed on their flesh, ate their bowels, besmeared themselves with their blood, and covered themselves with their skins; many of them they sawed asunder, from the crown of the head down to the middle; many of them they threw to the wild beasts, and many of them they forced to fight among themselves, till they had destroyed above two hundred and twenty thousand men; in Egypt and Cyprus they committed the same kind of outrages, their leader being one Artemion, where two hundred and forty thousand men perishedF18Dion Cassius in Vita Trajani. ; Lybia was almost emptied of men by them; so that Hadrian, the successor of Trajan, was obliged to send colonies to repeople the places they had made desolate. But at length they were overcome by Lupus, governor of Egypt, and by Marcius Turbo, and by Lucius, whom Trajan sent against themF19Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 2. , and destroyed great numbers of them; and for the space of about fourteen years they were quiet; but in Hadrian's time they rose again, and set one Bar Cochab, a false Messiah, at the head of them, whom they proclaimed king: when Hadrian sent forces against them, and with great difficulty subdued them, took the city Bither, where they were, and destroyed at times five hundred and eighty thousand of themF20Dion Cassius in Vita Hadrian. ; the Jews say, that he put men, women, and children to death in such numbers, that their blood ran down into the main sea, yea, that a horse might go up to his nose in bloodF21T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 57. 1. & Hieros. Taanith, fol. 69. 1. Echa Rabbati, fol. 52. 3. ; they say that he destroyed in Bither double the number of those that came out of Egypt, even twelve hundred thousand menF23Jucaasin, fol. 142. 2. & 143. 1. ; some of their accounts are very extravagant, and exceed all boundsF24T. Hieros Taanith, fol. 68. 4. & T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 157. 2. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 13. 1. ; however, the slaughter was very great, that it may well be said,

and there was given unto him a great sword; to slay men with; though Hadrian on his death bed, amidst his pains, would fain have had a sword given to him to have dispatched his own life, and could not obtain oneF25Spartianus in Vita Hadriani, & Aurel. Victor. Epitome. ; the Jews say he destroyed all the land of JudeaF26T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 20. 1. .

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-6.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

red — the color of blood. The color of the horse in each case answers to the mission of the rider. Compare Matthew 10:24-36, “Think not I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.” The white horse of Christ‘s bloodless victories is soon followed, through man‘s perversion of the Gospel, by the red horse of bloodshed; but this is overruled to the clearing away of the obstacles to Christ‘s coming kingdom. The patient ox is the emblem of the second living creature who, at the opening of this seal, saith, “Come.” The saints amidst judgments on the earth in patience “endure to the end.”

that they should kill — The Greek is indicative future, “that they may, as they also shall, kill one another.”

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-6.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

A red horse (ιππος πυρροςhippos purros). Old adjective from πυρpur (fire), flame-coloured, blood-red (2 Kings 3:22), in N.T. only here and Revelation 12:3, like Zechariah 1:8; Zechariah 6:2 (roan horse).

To take peace from the earth (λαβειν την ειρηνην εκ της γηςlabein tēn eirēnēn ek tēs gēs). Second aorist active infinitive of λαμβανωlambanō and here the nominative case, the subject of εδοτηedothē (see Revelation 6:2), “to take peace out of the earth.” Alas, how many red horses have been ridden through the ages.

And that they should slay one another (και ινα αλληλους σπαχουσινkai hina allēlous sphaxousin). Epexegetical explanatory purpose clause with ιναhina and the future active of σπαζωsphazō (Revelation 5:6) instead of the more usual subjunctive (Revelation 6:2). Cf. Robertson, Grammar, p. 998f. This is what war does to perfection, makes cannon fodder (cf. John 14:27) of men.

A great sword (μαχαιρα μεγαληmachaira megalē). ΜαχαιραMachaira may be a knife carried in a sheath at the girdle (John 18:10) or a long sword in battle as here. ομπαιαRomphaia also a large sword, is the only other word for sword in the N.T. (Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:16; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 19:15, Revelation 19:21).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-6.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Red ( πυῤῥός )

From πῦρ fireFlame-colored. Compare 2 Kings 3:22; Zechariah 1:8. Only here and Revelation 12:3.

To take peace from the earth

Compare Matthew 10:34; Matthew 24:7.

Kill ( σφάξωσιν )

See on Revelation 5:6.

Sword ( μάχαιρα )

Compare Matthew 10:34. In Homer, a large knife or dirk, worn next the sword-sheath, and used to slaughter animals for sacrifice. Thus, “The son of Atreus, having drawn with his hands the knife ( μάχαιραν ) which hung ever by the great sheath of his sword, cut the hair from the heads of the lambs … . He spake, and cut the lambs' throats with the pitiless brass” (“Iliad,” iii., 271-292). It is used by the surgeon Machaon to cut out an arrow (“Iliad,” xi., 844). Herodotus, Aristophanes, and Euripides use the word in the sense of a knife for cutting up meat. Plato, of a knife for pruning trees. As a weapon it appears first in Herodotus: “Here they (the Greeks) defended themselves to the last, such as still had swords, using them (vii., 225) Later of the sabre or bent sword, contrasted with the ξίφος or straight sword. Aristophanes uses it with the adjective μιᾷ singlefor a razor, contrasted with μάχαιρα διπλῆ , the double knife or scissors. This and ῥομφαία (see on Luke 2:35) are the only words used in the New Testament for sword. Θίφος (see above) does not occur. In Septuagint μάχαιρα of the knife of sacrifice used by Abraham (Genesis 22:6, Genesis 22:10).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-6.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

There went forth another horse that was red — A colour suitable to bloodshed.

And to him that sat thereon it was given to take peace from the earth — Vespasian, in the year75, had dedicated a temple to Peace; but after a time we hear little more of peace. All is full of war and bloodshed, chiefly in the western world, where the main business of men seemed to be, to kill one another. To this horseman there was given a great sword; and he had much to do with it; for as soon as Trajan ascended the throne, peace was taken from the earth. Decebalus, king of Dacia, which lies westward from Patmos, put the Romans to no small trouble. The war lasted five years, and consumed abundance of men on both sides; yet was only a prelude to much other bloodshed, which followed for a long season. All this was signified by the great sword, which strikes those who are near, as the bow does those who are at a distance.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-6.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

A symbol of war and slaughter.

Revelation 6:5,6. Famine. The carrying of a pair of balances denotes the exactness of measurement attendant on scarcity. A measure of wheat was a very small quantity, and the penny was of much greater value than the English word indicates, (see Matthew 20:2; Luke 10:35;) so that these are famine prices for the necessaries of life; while the luxuries are represented as protected from injury.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-6.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 4. That was red] Portending troubles and tragedies, bloody wars and terrible persecutions. Those ten first were so cruel, that St Jerome writes in one of his epistles that for every day in the year were murdered 5000, except the first day of January.

To him that sat thereon] Christ, Matthew 10:34; Zechariah 1:8. He stands over his Church as the Agonothetes. {a} So he did at St Stephen’s martyrdom, Acts 7:55. He moderates and overrules the enemy’s cruelty.

And that they should kill one another] viz. The persecutors should rise up and destroy one another, as the Romans did the Jews, and the Jews the Romans in various provinces. And as the emperors, who got nothing (most of them) by their adoption or designation to the empire, nisi ut citius interficerentur, but to be cut off the sooner. (Tacit.) All or most of the persecuting Caesars died unnatural deaths.

A great sword] That of the gospel, Ephesians 6:17, which takes away peace, by accident, Matthew 24:6. Christ threateneth the contempt of the gospel with wars and rumours of wars. Our late Edgehill battle was fought in the vale of Red Horse; as if God had meant to say, "I have now sent you the red horse, to avenge the quarrel of the white."

{a} A superintendent or director of the great public games of Greece. ŒD

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-6.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 6:4. τὴν εἰρήνην τῆς γῆς) See App. The shorter reading is generally the genuine one.— ἵνα) See App. [Most dreadful wars are signified.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-6.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And there went out another horse that was red; signifying blood and slaughter.

And power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth; either to Christ, (as some say), or to those that ruled the affairs of the Roman empire at that time, to disturb the peace of the church.

And that they should kill one another: this was a time of much blood.

And there was given unto him a great sword; and therefore a sword is given to him that rode upon the this horse. Some think that this period began with Nero, thirty-four years before the other ended (according to what was said before); others make it to begin with Trajan, and to comprehend eighty years, until the time of Commodus; in which time Trajan, and Hadrian, and the three Antoninuses successively ruled the Roman empire: the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian took up near half the time, in which time this prophecy was most eminently fulfilled; for in Trajan’s time the Jews rebelling, and killing many subjects of the Roman empire, to the number of twenty-two thousand in one place, and two hundred and forty thousand in another place, themselves were as miserably handled by the Roman forces sent by Trajan and Hadrian, who slew of them (as histories tell us) five hundred and fourscore thousand: nay, the Jews themselves say, they lost double the number of those who came out of Egypt, and more than they lost by Nebuchadnezzar, or by Titus when their city was taken: on the other side the Romans lost very many. Many Christians also were put to death during this period, during which was the third and fourth persecution.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-6.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

другой коньрыжий Окрас коня (в других переводах он – огненно-красный) говорит о разрушительной войне (ср. Мф. 24:7). Бог даст этому коню и его всаднику силу для разжигания мировой войны. Но как бы ни был суров этот приговор, он станет только началом мук, первыми страданиями от Божьего гнева (Мф. 24:8; Мк. 13:7, 8; Лк. 21:9).

чтобы убивали друг друга Ожесточенное кровопролитие, резня станут обычным делом.

меч Это не длинный широкий меч, а короткий, с ним легче справляться, его часто используют убийцы, и солдаты берут его с собой в бой. Меч символизирует убийства, бунты, погромы и массовое кровопролитие (ср. Дан. 8:24).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-6.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Red; an emblem of war and bloodshed. Men left without restraint to the indulgence of their lusts and passions, become the tormentors and destroyers of one another.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-6.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The red horse probably symbolizes bloodshed and war. The rider of this horse removes peace from the earth and begins war. There do not seem to me to be sufficient similarities between this red horse rider and the one in Zechariah 1:8 to identify them as the same individual. The one in Zechariah is probably the Angel of the Lord. [Note: See Merrill F. Unger, Zechariah, p27.]

If we observe the Olivet Discourse parallelism, the time when peace ends is probably before the middle of the Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24:6-7 a; Mark 13:7-8 a; Luke 21:9-10). This Isaiah, therefore, not a reference to the termination of peace with Israel that Antichrist will effect, which will signal the middle of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Great Tribulation (cf. Matthew 24:15).

The large sword (Gr. machaira megale) represents authority to slay people. War on the earth will follow the manifestation of Antichrist. The warfare in view here seems to be part of what Ezekiel described in Ezekiel 38, 39 as the battle of Gog and Magog. [Note: See Pentecost, Things to . . ., p352; and John F. Walvoord, The Nations in Prophecy, p103.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-6.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

went out. Greek."came forth".

another. App-124.

power. Read "it".

thereon = on him, as Revelation 6:2.

peace = the peace.

earth. App-129.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Red - the colour of blood. The colour of each horse answers to the mission of the rider. Compare Matthew 10:34-36. The white horse of the Conqueror is soon followed, through man's perversion of the Gospel, by the red horse of bloodshed: this is overruled to the clearing away of the obstacles to Christ's coming kingdom. The patient ox is the emblem of the second living creature, who, at the opening of this seal, saith, "Come." The saints, amidst judgments on the earth, in patience 'endure to the end.'

That they should kill, [ sfaxoosin (Greek #4969), 'Aleph (') B but A C, sfaxousin (Greek #4969), indicative future] - 'that they may, as they shall, kill one another.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-6.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
horse
12:3; 17:3,6; Zechariah 1:8; 6:2
power
13:10; Exodus 9:16,17; Isaiah 37:26,27; Ezekiel 29:18-20; Daniel 2:37,38; 5:19; John 19:11
and there
Psalms 17:13; Isaiah 10:5,6; Ezekiel 30:24,25
Reciprocal: Jeremiah 12:12 - no;  Jeremiah 16:5 - I have;  Jeremiah 38:2 - He;  Ezekiel 14:21 - my four;  Nahum 2:3 - made;  Zechariah 14:3 - GeneralMark 13:8 - nation shall

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-6.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The next horse was red which denotes bloodshed. Accordingly the rider was given power to take peace from the earth. This was fulfilled by the persecutions the Roman Empire began to wage against the Christians when their teaching began to show up with greater success.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-6.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 6:4

Revelation 6:4 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.

red

By this red horse we may understand the bloody sufferings of the churches, ministers, and members of Christ, by the persecutions of the Roman pagan emperors, who were called the ‘red dragon' { Revelation 12:3} who killed many of the saints and servants of God; but yet they overcame and conquered at last, by the blood of the blessed Jesus, and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives unto death. { Revelation 12:7; Revelation 12:11}

And power was given to him that sat thereon, to take peace from the earth.

This power was two-fold, first, that dominion, rule, and authority, which the fourth beast in Daniel's vision had given unto him of God; that Isaiah, the Roman pagan monarchy (compare Daniel 2:40 with Daniel 7:23), in all political, civil, and lawful administrations. Secondly, that tyranny and cruelty, which the Roman pagan emperors exercised over the Christians by their soldiers and magistrates, by God's permission in matters ecclesiastical, or idol-worship (as in Hebrews 11:35-37, &c.), mystically signified by ten days. { Revelation 2:10} By the earth we may understand the churches of God on earth, and literally the inhabitants of the earth: the Roman pagan emperors took peace from the churches of God on earth, by their bloody persecutions of the primitive Christians: And they took peace from the inhabitants of the earth, by their wars in several countries, cities, and towns.

And there was given unto him a great sword.

The sword is an instrument of war and persecution. { Matthew 10:34-36} Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Where the earth is put for the disciples of Christ, his churches and ministers that were on earth; and by the sword, Christ meant the persecutions and tribulations that should be in this world. { John 16:33}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-6.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Second seal—of CARNAGE, attendant upon conquest, Revelation 6:3-4.

4.Red—Etymologically, the word signifies fire-red, but by use it often signifies blood-red.

Take peace from the earth—Not that the entire earth should be at war at once, but through the centuries, and through the earth, the blood-demon should roam, destroying the peace of the world.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 6:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-6.html. 1874-1909.