Revelation 6



                                    The Opening of the Seals


The time of singing has finally ceased, for the hour of judgment has come.

The Lamb, whose right it is, has received the earth’s title deed and now must

begin to take possession of His kingdom.  The scroll whose writing is within had

been rolled and sealed with seven seals.  Before the great claim can be verified

officially, the seals must be broken and the writing openly displayed.  By the same

token, the invaders of earth and their human lackeys must be expelled before the

Lamb’s divine ownership will ever be openly recognized.  Thus, the opening of the

seals coincides with the judgments on the earth.  As each successive seal is broken, the

wrath of God takes successive toll on the earth and its inhabitants.  Thus begins a

seven-year period of the most severe troubles the world will ever know.  This is

“THE DAY OF THE LORD, the time when God breaks His agelong silence and

speaks from heaven in mighty power.  The great judgments of this period are

described in words of fire by the prophets of the Old Testament, especially Isaiah

and Daniel.  It requires the Book of Revelation, however, to provide a basic topical

and chronological framework which enables us to sort them all out and put them in

right perspective.  This seven-year period is clearly the same as Daniel’s “seventieth

week(Daniel 9:24-27).  With respect to the unbelieving nation of Israel, it is to be

the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).  For the unbelieving Gentiles, it is

the time of “the indignation of the Lord upon all nations.”  (Isaiah 34:2) 

The scene described here is from the perspective of heaven, where John is waiting

with the assembled saints.  The events taking place on earth are given in further

detail from earth’s perspective in the parenthetical chapters 7,10,11,13.  In heaven

the symbolism of four great horses and their fearsome riders is employed; on earth,

the terrible judgments which they unleash are very literal and real.

                                                            (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


1 “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were

the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.”

And I saw. A new departure in the series of visions is marked (see on ch. 4:1).

We have here the commencement of the Revelation proper, to which the first five

chapters have formed an introduction. The vision of the seals, which, although

related first, exhibits events concurrent with those symbolized by the

trumpets and vials, is contained chiefly in ch. 6. Chapter 7 is

occupied with an account of an episodal character, similar to that which

occurs in chps.10:1 to 11:14 after the sixth trumpet; and the vision

is completed by the opening of the seventh seal, described in ch.8:1.

The opening of the first seal pictures the triumph of Christ and His

Church, for the comfort and hopeful assurance of those to whom John

was writing, and for the edification of struggling Christians of all time. To

this theme, touched upon here proleptically, the apostle returns at the

conclusion of the trumpets; the first six of which bear a general likeness to

the last six of the seals. When the Lamb opened one of the seals; one of

the seven seals (Revised Version). The insertion of “seven” (ἑπτά - hepta) is

supported by A, B, C, א, and others; Vulgate, De Dieu’s Syriac, Andreas,

Arethas, Primasius, Victorinus, AEthiopic. (On the right of the Lamb to

open the seals, see on ch.5.) And I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one

 of the four beasts; the voice of thunderfour living creatures (Revised Version).

(For the four living beings, see on ch. 4:6.) Here each living being invites attention

to therevelation of the future of that creation of which they are all representative.

The thunder is the usual accompaniment of a special revelation of the

Divine will, and indicative of the majesty of Him whose will is declared (see

ch. 10:3 and 14:2; also Exodus 19:16; Acts 2:2). Nothing in the text warrants us

in particularizing the four living creatures in these four invitations uttered by them,

though many writers have endeavored to do so. Thus, adopting the order in ch.4:7,

they have supposed that the first voice was uttered by the lion, since the

revelation of the first seal is distinguished by the prophecy of victory. The

sacrificial nature of the second living being — the calf — is thought to be

connected with the slaughter predicted under the second seal by the vision

of war and persecution. The man is considered typical of the heresy which

it is believed the third seal predicts, and especially of the false opinions

concerning the Incarnation; while the eagle is regarded as a symbol of

resurrection and the harbinger of the final victory of the just over the death

and Hades of the fourth seal. Saying, Come and see. The Revised Version

omits “and see.” The Textus Receptus, without any apparent authority,

reads Αρχου καὶ βλέπε Archou kai blepe - Come and see. Αρχου, “Come,”

simply, is read in A, C, P, fourteen cursives, several versions, two manuscripts

of Andreas, etc.; while Αρχου καὶ ἴδε Archou kai ide -  Come and behold, is

found in א,, B, thirty-four cursives, various versions (including the Coptic), two

manuscripts of Andreas, etc.; and the Syriac omits Αρχου, “Come.” The

authorities are thus very evenly balanced; but the addition of καὶ ἴδε (and behold),

even if not warranted, seems to indicate that the sentence was generally

considered to be addressed to John; and was intended as an invitation

to him to witness the appearances which accompanied the breaking of the

seals. Alford contends that the cry, “Come,” is addressed, on behalf of

creation, to the Lord Jesus, and is a petition to him to speedily bring these

things to pass, that his own advent may follow. In support of this, Alford

remarks that there is no example of the use by John of Αρχου in the

sense of “Come and see,” “Come hither,” without ῶδε - hode, or some qualifying

particle; but, on the contrary, it is exactly the expression used of our

Lord’s advent in ch. 22:17, 20, “The Spirit and the bride say,

Come,” etc. Though there is much reason in this contention, yet, on the

whole, the weight of evidence, as stated above, makes it probable that the

sentence is addressed to John.



                                                                The Invasion of Israel


On the earth, in the meantime, momentous events have been taking place which, to many

of the men and women still on the earth, will be highly encouraging and optimistic.  After

decades of war and inflation, political tensions of unrelieved complexity, and a whole host

of global ills, almost overnight it seems most of the world’s major problems have been

resolved.  The baleful threat of Russia and her program of global conquest have been

removed by a complex of amazing natural catastrophes which have decimated her military

machine.  The story had been recorded prophetically long ago, in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38:8,16),

at a time when Israel has returned to her own land out of the nations and apparently dwelling

safely there.  The threats from her immediate Arab neighbors had been neutralized in some way

(possibley through nonaggression pacts with Egypt, and other Arab nations, or by the development

of new weapons systems which made invasion by the usual methods impracticable.  The Russian

bear far to the north was still Israel’s implacable enemy, and had been gradually extending its

power through a ring of puppet nations surrounding Israel.  These are enumerated in Ezekiel 38:2-6).

The prophecy is as follows:


                “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of

                Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord

                God:  Behold, I am against thee, O Go, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

                And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee

                forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all

                sorts of Armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them

                handling swords:  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; with shield and

                helmet; Gomer, and all his bands; the h ouse of Togarmah of the north

                quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”  (Ezekiel 38:2-6)


Gog is evidently the name of the commander of these armies, and he hails from the region

originally settled by Japeth’s son, Magog.   (Genesis 10:2)  This name is probably the

equivalent to modern “Georgia” and Gog’s name thus may refer to his homeland.  Stalin,

for example, was from the (once) Soviet republic of Georgia (the prefix “ma” means “land of,”

and Georgia may be read “Gog-ia), and his first successor was named “Georgi” (Malenkov).

In fact, Gog could well be a general title, like Pharaoh, derived from the ancestral home of the

vast northern nations.  Meshech and Tubal were also sons of Japeth, and both ancient and

modern ethnologists h ave recognized their names to have been preserved in the modern names

of Moscow (or Muscovy) and Tobolsk, the chief cities of western and eastern Russia, respectively.

Finally, many scholars have stressed that “chief prince” is actually “prince of Rosh,” and that

Russia actually derives its modern name from this very verse.  Thus, there is little doubt that the

leader of this latterday anti-Israel alliance will be Russia.  (Today, Russia is led by Vladimir Putin

CY – 2015)  The other nations form a clockwise ring around Israel and the entire Middle East.

Persia is, of course, modern Iran (the sponsor of ISIS and much of the terrorism in the world today –

CY – 2015)  Ethiopia includes the modern land known by that name, but may also include a part of

the Arabian peninsula across the Red Sea, where the ancestral Ethiopians first  settled.  Libya still

has its same name today.  Gomer, another son of Japeth, gave his name to the Cimmerians, the

Crimea, and Germani.  Thus, the reference to “Gomer and all his bands” may refer to all the

peoples that settled from the Black Sea to eastern Germany.  Similarly, “Togarmah of the North

quarters and all his bands” probably refers to Armenia and Turkestan in general.  It is significant

that many of these nations today are Moslem nations and all of them are under Russian

domination, even though nominally independent.  All of them are anti-Israel.  The sudden

invasion of Israel will be resisted verbally, though not militarily, by Sheba and Dedan, and the

merchants of Tarshish, and the young lions thereof” (Ezekiel 38:13)  Sheba and Dedan were

in Arabia, and this passage suggests that the wealthy Arab oil states, themselves the objects of

Russian cupidity, may still at that time be outside Russian control.  Tarshish is probably  the
same as Carthage, founded by the Phoenicians.  Tarshish” means “smeltry,” and the ancient

Phoenicians, the first great mariners, founded iron smeltries, mines, and settlements in many

land, including Spain and England, and quite possibly in America.  Thus, “the merchants of

Tarshish and their young lions,” in modern equivalence, most likely are the western nations

in general.  The original Phoenicia is modern Lebanon, and this nation also will probably

aligned with Israel.  The attackers will be “like a cloud to cover the land” (Ibid. v.9) coming

from all direction, possible great waves of paratroopers, as well as cavalry.  Their weapons

will be mostly of wood – probably one of the new forms of very light, but very strong wood

(Ezekiel 39:9), like lignostone.  Perhaps Israel’s advance weapons technology will have

developed laser or microwave beams which render metallic components inoperable.  The

overwhelming numerical strength of the invading hosts, a number sufficient to require seven

months of work by the whole population just to bury them (ibid. vs. 12-13), would seem to be


tremendous complex of earthquakes, hailstorms, volcanic eruptions, and pestilence, supplemented

by fighting among invading armies themselves, will overwhelm the hosts of Gog, destroying

five men out of every six (ibid. ch. 38:19-22; 39:2-4).  Simultaneously, great fires devastate

Russia itself, along with the coastlands of its confederates (ibid v. 6), so that it will be completely

eliminated as a world power as will its various satellite nations.  The “coincidences” will be so

remarkable (even though the catastrophes are all natural phenomena) that ALL THE NATIONS

SHALL KNOW THAT THEY WERE SENT BY GOD.  (ibid. ch. 38:23)  (I recommend a close

study of  Ezekiel – Study of  God’s Use of the Word Know – this website – CY – 2015)

Israel, in particular, will give up the atheism which has dominated the Zionist movement and

the modern Israeli nation in general and will “know that I am the Lord their God from that

day and forward.”  (ibid. ch. 39:22)  (Consider Isaiah 66:8:  “Who hath heard such a thing?

who hath seen such things?  Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?  or

shall a nation be born at once?  for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her

children. – CY – 2015)    It is quite probable that this great event will give Israel

both the desire and opportunity finally to rebuild their ancient temple and reinstitute the

ancient worship.  The Moslem “Dome of the Rock” will be razed and a magnificent temple

constructed (Revelation 11:1-2).  (See Zechariah 14 – CY – 2015)  With all this, however,

the Israeli people will still reject Christ (except for a remnant that will be especially prepared

by God), even though they are seeking to restore the worship of the God of their fathers.

The other nations of the world will also quickly seek to take advantage of the vacuum

left by Russia’s fall.  Quickly forgetting the obvious role of God in the affair, the nations

of the western alliance – possible the NATO nations and/or the nations of the European

Common Market – will forge a vast politico/commercial/religious alliance designed to

dominate world affairs.  Ten of these nations – all with cultural and legal ties to ancient

Rome (Daniel 2:40-43; 7:24; Revelation 17:2) will unite together, first to a loose alliance,

later in a untied empire.  With Russia and the Moslem nations no longer a problem, and the oil

resources of the Middle East under their jurisdiction, these western nations will anticipate

a trememdous era of peace and prosperity.  In one of these nations, a tremendously capable

and charismatic leader will have come into power (Daniel 7:23-35), and he and his nation will

quickly enter into a treaty with Israel, which had so recently been in mortal danger.  The

Scriptures do not indicate the terms of the covenant except that it is for a seven-year period

and possibly guarantees the safe construction of the temple and establishment of its worship.

(Daniel 9:27)  At some point in the sequence of these events, the Lord will descend from heaven

to earth’s atmosphere, and the great resurrection of the Christian dead and rapture of the living

believers will take place.  It is impossible to say with certainty, whether it will take place before or

after the Russian invasion, since the rapture is always imminent.  Since the seven-year period of

the treaty almost certainly corresponds to the seven years covered in Revelation chapters 6-19,

the rapture must take place no later than the date of its activation, but it may occur anytime

before that.  It is possibly also significant that the wooden weapons of Gog’s devastated armies will

serve as fuel for the Israeli people for a period of seven years (Ezekiel 39:9-10).  In any case, when the

rapture does occur, there will undoubtedly be a great flurry of excitement in the world, particularly

in those nations where there are many Christians whose sudden disappearance will be newsworthy.

Probably there will be enough people left with adequate knowledge of biblical eschatology to deduce

what has happened, and many and heated will be the letters to the editor.  Liberal pastors will preach

sermons to their liberal congregations deploring the rapture theory and trying to explain all the

disappearances as some sort of capitalist plot.  Many others will claim that aliens from outer space

have spirited them away n their spaceships.  With all the other excitement in the world, the missing

Christians will soon be forgotten, at least for a time, and the world will get caught up in the euphoria

of anticipated prosperity and peace.  All of this will be the immediate background of the events in

this chapter.  On the earth will be the vivid memory of Russia’s recent destruction.  The focus of

interest will be increasingly on Israel and the Middle East, and the vanished Christians will soon be

forgotten.  The rapture will have had one other major effect on the world.  No longer will there

be any significant voice for morality and righteousness in the world, and the pursuit of pleasures

and vices of every description will be unrestrained (II Thessalonians 2:6-12)  But then the blow

will fall!  “For when they shall say, Peace and saqfety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them,

as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.”  (I Thessalonians 5:3)

                                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


Revelation chapter 6 begins with the seals that represent the beginning of Christ's judgment of

unbelievers on the earth during the Tribulation period.  There is a close similarity between these

judgments and the event predicted by Christ in Matthew 24:4-31. The purpose of the Tribulation

period is to punish unbelievers for their sin and rejection of Christ and to bring the remnant to

faith in Christ.  The Lamb here is Jesus Christ, the only one worthy to open the seals. This noise as

thunder indicates God revealing something to His people. Many times throughout the Bible, God's

voice has been mistaken for thunder. Here one of the four beasts, or four living beings, says

"Come and see". Of course, all of the four gospels say "Come and see". We are invited to look into

the heavenly stage and see things never told upon the earth until now. We will see in the opening of

this first seal, the triumph of Christ and His church.  This part begins what is called "The Four

Horsemen of the Apocalypse". The four horsemen present the picture of man's inhumanity to man.

They seem to be a divine prediction of the affairs of humankind that will cause much human suffering.

This is not new, for those in control of the affairs of this world have a history of causing their fellow

human beings much suffering, with false hopes of peace followed by wars, famines, and death.  

One of the worst horrors of the Tribulation is the many plagues that will strike the world's people,

particularly those who reject the Savior and refuse to have their name written in the Lamb's Book

of Life. The judgments are started with the seven seals. The seals represent the beginning of Christ's

judgment of unbelievers on the earth during the Tribulation period .  (



2 “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and He that sat on him had a

bow; and a crown was given unto Him: and He went forth conquering,

and to conquer.” And I saw. The usual introduction to a new vision, or a special

feature of a vision (see on ch.4:1). And behold a white horse.

The whole vision appears to be founded on that of Zechariah 1:8-12.

White is always typical in the Revelation of heavenly things (compare ch.1:14,

“His hairs were white;” ch. 2:17, “a white stone;” ch. 3:4-5, 18; 4:4;  v.11 here,

and 7:9, 13, “white garments;” ch. 14:14, “white cloud;” ch.19:11, 14, “white

horses;” ch. 20:11, “white throne”), and indeed in the whole of

the New Testament (compare Matthew 17:2; 28:3; John 20:12; Acts 1:10),

the only exceptions being Matthew 5:36 and John 4:35. The horse, throughout the

Old Testament, is emblematic of war. Among the Romans a white horse was the

symbol of victory. And He that sat on him. On a consideration of the whole of the

visions attending the opening of the seals, it seems best to interpret this vision as a

symbolic representation of the abstract idea of the Church as a victorious body. In

a similar way the following appearances are typical of war, famine, and death. Some

interpret the rider to mean Christ Himself a sense not materially different

from that given above, since by the victory of Christ the Church

collectively and Christians individually are enabled to triumph; and in His

body, the Church, Christ triumphs. This appearance is repeated, with

additions, at ch.19:11. The revelation thus begins and closes

with an assurance of victory. God’s end is attained in a mysterious way.

Many trials and afflictions are to trouble the earth, but through all God is

working to bring His Church triumphantly through the struggle. And what

is true of the Church as a whole is true of each individual soul. Those to

whom John wrote could not understand, as many now do not

understand, for what purpose God permitted them to suffer. For such

John’s message is intended to be a support; not, indeed, by removing

present troubles, but by declaring the final victory of those who endure to

the end. Thus, then, as a preparation for the woes to be revealed, and as an

encouragement after disclosing the prospect of prolonged trial, the vision

of the Church triumphant is vouchsafed, both at the beginning and the end

of the Revelation. Bisping and others understand the vision ass

personification of war; Bengel and Reuss consider that it means conquest,

or a particular conqueror (Vespasian and Trajan being denominated), just

as in Jeremiah 21:7 and 32:36 the King of Babylon is connected with

war, famine, and pestilence. Elliott, with others, interpret the rider as

meaning the Roman empire, just as the ram (Daniel 8:3) signified the

Persian, and the goat (ibid. v. 5) the Grecian empires. Todd sees in

this appearance a particular aspect of Christ’s second coming. Victorinus,

following Matthew 24 in his exposition of the seals, sees in the first seal

the Word of the Lord, which is like an arrow (compare Hebrews 4:12).

Andreas sees in the first seal a vision of the Church’s triumph over Satan in

apostolic times; and similarly, in the second, the martyrdom of Christians in

the age immediately following. Bode believes the seals to foreshadow the

future history of the Church. Wordsworth, after St. Augustine, expounds

the first seal as the advent of Christ and the Gospel, and the following ones

as depicting subsequent troubles of the Church, which are specified. Had a

bow. The bow and arrows are used as signs of power by Old Testament

writers. In Zechariah 9:13 we have, “When I have bent Judah for me,

filled the bow with Ephraim;” in Habakkuk 3:8-9, “Thou didst ride upon

thine horses and thy chariots of salvation; thy bow was made quite naked;”

in Psalm 45:5, Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s

enemies.” The general idea of the vision is perhaps taken from

Zechariah 1:7-12 and 6. And a crown was given unto him, In

Zechariah 6:11, quoted above, we have a parallel passage, “Make

crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the

high priest; and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts,

saying, Behold the Man whose name is The Branch.” The crown is

στέφανοςstephanos  as in ch.2:10 — the crown of life, the crown of

victory. And He went forth conquering, and to conquer; came forth

conquering, and that He may conquer. This is the key to the whole vision.

Only of Christ and His kingdom can it be said that it is to conquer. All

earthly empires are more or less temporary in character; only of Christ’s

kingdom shall there be NO END! A strife there must be between the powers

of earth and the powers of heaven; the gospel did not inaugurate a reign of

earthly peace, but the end is not doubtful; Christ and His Church came forth

conquering, and that they may conquer finally, whatever earthly trials may



The First Seal: A White Horse (The first of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse is white).

The rider has a bow but no arrows, indicating that although he is militarily strong, in the

beginning he does his conquering by diplomacy. Since he wears a crown, we know he is

successful in his efforts. And who is the rider on the white horse? There can be no doubt

that it is the Antichrist, who through deceit and clever maneuvering will bring a false peace

to the world. But that peace will not last. (


3 “And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast

say, Come and see.” And when He had opened the second seal; He opened

(Revised Version). The tense is aorist. The circumstances described

accompanied the act of opening, as in the case of the other seals. I heard

the second beast say, Come and see; I heard the second living being say,

Come. (On the four living beings as representing creation, see on 

ch.4:6.) For the omission of “and see,” and the discussion of

the question to whom the words are addressed, see above, on v. 1. As

there stated, some believe the second living being here specified to be the

ox, which, on account of its sacrificial character invites the prophet to

behold the result of the war which is personified by this vision.

Wordsworth, interpreting the living beings to mean the Gospels, here sees

a reference to Luke’s Gospel, which depicts the sufferings of Christ,

and considers that the ox here summons John to witness the

persecution of the martyrs.


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.”

And there went out another horse that was red. There is a

very general agreement that the red horse signifies war — slaughter by the

sword which was given to “him that sat thereon.” Slight variations of the

application occur. Wordsworth, following the more ancient expositors,

thinks that only that aspect of war is intended which consists in the

persecution of the saints; while Alford and others would not restrict the

meaning, but consider that war in general is meant, relying upon the

following words, “that they should kill one another,” and quoting our

Lord’s prophecy, “I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew

10:34). Both views may be correct. Though there had never been

persecution, war would be one of the great afflictions from which

Christians in various ages suffer, and in which they need consolation; but

we may well believe that John, in writing to Christians who were

themselves being grievously persecuted, should refer especially to the

slaughter of the saints, as one of the trials inflicted upon them with God’s

knowledge and permission. The Revelation, intended as a support to those

to whom John wrote, and applying directly and specially to their

situation, has yet a wider application, and foreshadows the fate of each

individual Christian and the Church in general throughout all ages. And

power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth; and

to him that sat upon him it was given him to take peace out of the earth.

The pronoun is redundant; it has no special signification (see ch.2:26; 3:12, 21).

The peace (τὴν εἰρήνην taen eiraenaen); that is, peace in general, not the peace

left by the first appearance. “Power” (compare ch. 4:11; 1:6; 7:12). A few

authorities omit ἐκ - ek -out.” “The earth” has been erroneously restricted to the

Roman empire or to Judaea. The whole world is meant. Here is a repetition of our

Lord’s prophecy, “I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). The

sword directed against the saints of God is, by God’s providence, converted into

an instrument for the refining and conversion of His kingdom. As in the

death of Christ, Satan was foiled with his own weapon, and by death came

life, so what is intended by the enemies of God to be the extermination of

Christianity is the means of increasing and strengthening his Church. And

that they should kill one another; that is, that among the inhabitants of

the earth some should kill others. As explained above, this includes both

the slaughter of the saints and war in general. The verb σφάττωsphatto - to

sacrifice,” is peculiar to John, being found only in the Revelation and in

I John 3:12. The use of this verb seems to imply that the vision more

immediately contemplates the death of the martyrs. And there was given

unto him a great sword. Here, again, μάχαιρα, though used also in a

wider sense, signifies strictly the sacrificial knife, the natural instrument of

the slaughter mentioned. It is the Septuagint word used in Genesis 22:6, 10,

in the account of the sacrifice of Isaac, where it is also closely connected

with σφάττω (to sacrifice), the verb used in this passage.


The Second Seal: John writes of the second horseman, "It was granted to the one who sat on

the red horse to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there

was given to him a great sword."  John is encouraged to "Come and see".  We, too, may get a

glimpse through the eyes and the pen of John. This red horse means war. This war could be two

fold in nature. There is a constant attack of the devil and his demons on Christians, but I believe

this goes much further than this. This red horse (in my opinion) indicates a large war. This red horse

also means the martyrs who died holding up the name of Jesus. Blood ran freely all throughout the

Bible. Believers in some parts of the world are even being made martyrs now. War is on every side.

In Israel and Lebanon these days there are many killed every day. Ireland has what they call a holy

war going on. Even these are not the extent of what I believe this Scripture means. I really believe this

red horse has to do with a global war of great magnitude.  We believe this seal represents a great

conflagration we might call World War III. When Daniel's "three kings" oppose the Antichrist, he will

respond in deadly fashion, swiftly crushing his enemies and bringing death to earth on a massive scale

never before known. Only since the advent of the atomic age has it been possible to bring this kind of

unimaginable, swift destruction to bear on widely scattered portions of the globe.  His purpose is to cause

"mankind to slaughter one another" The Greek word that is used, and also the verb, means "to butcher,

slaughter or massacre someone". This contains a purpose clause which reveals that peace is taken from

the earth for the very purpose that mankind should butcher each other.  And in the remainder of the

Revelation's Seals, Trumpets and Golden Bowl Judgments, mankind does this to himself with ruthless

skill.  We read in Zechariah about these four horses, and we can easily see what it is because the Bible

tells us.   Zechariah 6:1 "And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came

four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass.""Brass"

means judgment. The number "four" means that this is a universal message. Zechariah 6:2: "In the first

 chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;" Zechariah 6:3 "And in the third

chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grizzled and bay horses."  This is a vision of the same

horses that we are reading about in Revelation. To understand the entire message, you need to read

chapter 1 and chapter 6 of Zechariah. Zechariah 6:4 "Then I answered and said unto the angel that

talked with me, What [are] these, my lord?" When Zechariah asked the angel what this meant,

this is the answer he got. Zechariah 6:5 "And the angel answered and said unto me, these [are] the

four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth." We see

again the spirit of war in this red horse.   (



5 “And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say,

Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat

on him had a pair of balances in his hand.”  And when He had opened the

third seal; when He opened, as in the case of the other seals (see on v. 3).

I heard the third beast say; the third living being saying. (On the living beings, see

ch. 4:6.) Wordsworth takes the third living being to be that with the human

face, and considers it to be typical of the whole vision of the third seal, by

symbolizing the source of the next trial of the Church; namely, the rise of

heresy, which he thinks is depicted by this appearance. But probably the

four living beings represent all creation, and thus invite John to witness

the troubles in store for mankind in general. (For a full consideration of this

point, see on ch. 4:6.) Come and see. The majority of authorities omit “and see”

(see the corresponding passage in vs. 1 and 3, where also is discussed the question

as to whom the sentence is addressed). And I beheld, and lo a black horse. The

black is typical of woe and mourning — the result of the scarcity foretold in the

following words. This vision is typical of famine; it is the second of the three trials

foretold — war, famine, death (compare  Ezekiel 14., where the “four sore plagues”

are wild beasts, the sword, famine, and pestilence). John seems to foretell the

recurrence of three of these troubles to try mankind in general, and

Christians in particular. Those who interpret the vision to mean scarcity of

faith, or in other words the prevalence of heresy, do so on the supposition

that the events denoted at the opening of the seals follow each other in

historical order. They therefore assign these events to the period

subsequent to A.D. 300, when persecution had ceased, and the rise of

heresies took place. Others, accepting the historical view, yet consider the

vision to foretell famine; and Grotius and Wetstein point to the famine in

the reign of Claudius as the fulfillment. But it is not probable that the

meaning of the book is so limited in extent; but rather that its prophecies

point to events which have happened, and are recurring, and will continue

to recur until the end of the world. We therefore understand that this vision

denotes famine in the ordinary sense, as one of the trials awaiting the

members of the Church of God at various times during the existence of the

Church on earth. This affliction may happen concurrently with, or

antecedent to, or subsequent to, any of those trials denoted by the other

visions, and even the victorious career of the Church as foretold under the

first seal; for by suffering the Church conquers and is made perfect. And

he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. ΖυγόςZugos

is rightly rendered “a balance,” as in Ezekiel 45:10; not (as it primarily meant) a

“yoke.” The idea intended to be conveyed is that of scarcity so great that

food is weighed carefully as something very rare and precious, though

there is not yet a complete absence of food.


The Third Seal: A Black Horse - Rampant inflation - a common aftermath of war – famine

is suggested by John's words, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a

denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine." Since in biblical days a denarius was a common

wage for a day's work, and a quart of wheat or three quarts of barley are basically subsistence diets,

John is indicating that a man will have to work all day just to get enough food to eat, with nothing

left over for his family or the elderly.  (Quite a shock for our affluent and materialistic society –

CY – 2015)  In the parable of the vineyard, Matthew 20:2, a day's work was a penny. This "penny",

in the verse above, means a full day's pay. I believe this means that a loaf of bread will be so inflated

in price, because of scarcity of food, that it will take a whole day's wages of a man to buy one loaf.



6 “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure

of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and

see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”  And I heard a voice in the midst of

the four beasts say; I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures,

saying (Revised Version). The speaker is not perceived by John; the words

proceed from somewhere near the throne (but the exact situation is left

doubtful), which is surrounded by the four living creatures (see on

ch.4:6 for the consideration both of the position and of the

nature of the four living creatures). Alford points out the appropriateness

of the voice proceeding from the midst of the representatives of creation,

when the intent of the words is to mitigate the woes denounced against

creation. Those who consider the living creatures to be symbolical of the

Gospels, and who interpret this vision as a prophecy of heresy (see on v. 5),

also see an appropriateness in the fact of the voice issuing from amidst

the living creatures, since by the power and influence of the Gospels heresy

is dispelled. Wordsworth recalls the custom of placing the Gospels in the

midst of the Synod in the ancient Councils of the Church. A measure of

wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; a

choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenixes of barley for a

denarius. The choenix appears to have been the food allotted to one man

for a day; while the denarius was the pay of a soldier or of a common

laborer for one day (Matthew 20:2, “He agreed with the laborers for

a penny a day,” and Tacitus, ‘Ann.,’ 1:17, 26, “Ut denarius diurnum

stipendium foret.” Cf. Tobit 5:14, where drachma is equivalent to

denarius). The choenix was the eighth part of the modius, and a denarius

would usually purchase a modius of wheat. The price given, therefore,

denotes great scarcity, though not an entire absence of food, since a man’s

wages would barely suffice to obtain him food. Barley, which was the

coarser food, was obtainable at one third of the price, which would allow a

man to feed a family, though with difficulty. A season of great scarcity is

therefore predicted, though in his wrath God remembers mercy (cf. the

judgments threatened in Leviticus 26:23-26, viz. the sword, pestilence,

and famine; also the expression, “They shall deliver you your bread again

by weight”). And see thou hurt net the oil and the wine. The corollary

to the preceding sentence, with the same signification. It expresses a limit

set to the power of the rider on the black horse. These were typical articles

of food (compare Psalm 104:14-15, “That he may bring forth food out of the

earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face

to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart;” and Joel 1:10,

“The corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.”

Wordsworth interprets, “The prohibition to the rider, ‘Hurt not thou the oil

and the wine,’ is a restraint on the evil design of the rider, who would

injure the spiritual oil and wine, that is, the means of grace, which had been

typified under those symbols in ancient prophecy (Psalm 23:4-5), and

also by the words and acts of Christ, the good Samaritan, pouring in oil

and wine into the wounds of the traveller, representing human nature, lying

in the road.” 'Αδικήσῃς ἀδικεῖν Adikaesaes adikein -  in the Revelation invariably

signifies “to injure,” and, except in one case, takes the direct accusative after it (see

ch.2:11; 7:2-3; 9:4, 10, 19; 11:5). Nevertheless, Heinrich and

Elliott render, “Do not commit injustice in the matter of the oil and wine.”

Rinek renders, “waste not.” The vision is a general prophecy of the future

for all time (see on v. 5); but many writers have striven to identify the

fulfillment of the vision with some one particular famine. Grotius and

Wetstein refer it to the scarcity in the days of Claudius; Renan, to that in

the time of Nero; Bishop Newton, to the end of the second century. Those

who interpret the vision as a forewarning of the spread of heresy, especially

single out that of Arius.


We surely know that it is a "measure", which is a very small amount. Barley seems to be a third

the cost, so perhaps a meager meal of barley for three could cost a whole day's wages.

The famine will be so great, that food will be weighed by the ounce and dispensed carefully.

This famine will probably be as bad as the famine that was in Egypt in Joseph's time. Probably

drought will trigger crop failures in many places. Only the very rich will be able to buy food. 

Personally, I believe, God will instruct Christians, who are totally sold out to Him. They will

know when to plant and exactly what to do, as Joseph was told, of God, what to do.

This is run-away inflation to its worst possible conclusion. In many parts of the world inflation i

s already to that terrible extreme. I just read in some parts of Africa where the inflation rate is over

1200%. When inflation is coupled with famine, we see a situation more horrible than we care to

imagine.  We must stay closely in tune with God. If He tells us to dig a very deep well, we must do

that. If He tells us to plant a garden, we must do that.  It is going to be very important to be able to

take daily instruction from God.  Not to question, just do it.  I believe God is even now setting up

places of refuge for Christians.  On the other hand, the call to not "harm the oil and the wine,"

are symbols of wealth, indicates that the rich will do just fine. Or it could mean something referring

with Spirit-filled Christians.  Oil and wine are symbolic of the Holy Spirit of God. That His Hand

will be on the Tribulation Saints protecting them during the tribulation.  I cannot stress enough,

that this famine may not be just physical but spiritual, as well. During this time, I believe, that

many churches will teach false doctrines. Even now there is a terrible famine of truth in the church.

Never before have so many denied: the virgin birth of Christ, the Red Sea parted, Jonah being

swallowed by the large fish, God as Father. Jesus is God with us, "Emmanuel",

Many churches are ordaining homosexuals to preach. Secular Humanism makes man a god.

How much more famine of the Spirit can we take?  Truly there will be a physical famine, as well. 

Stay tuned to the voice of God.  He will see you through it all.  The third horseman of the Apocalypse,

who rides out early in the Tribulation, will take a heavy toll in deaths and sickness. The black horse

he rides is an obvious symbol of famine and disease, which often follow war.  This could be a

message of hard times for all of mankind. "black" symbolizes:


  • woe
  • mourning
  • terrible times
  • famine, physical or spiritual
  • evil
  • opposite of goodness
  • everything that opposes God


Christian Saints will be saved IN the famine and not FROM the famine. Noah was saved

IN the flood, not FROM the flood.  God can rain manna from heaven if necessary.

I believe God will set up places of refuge where believers can run, so they can have physical

and spiritual food.  God will not forsake the righteous.  (


7 “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the

fourth beast say, Come and see.”  And when he had opened the fourth seal, I

heard the voice of the fourth beast say; when he opened, as in vs. l, 3, and 5. The

events narrated accompany the action of opening the seal. Of the fourth

living being (see on ch.4:6). The individual is not specified

(see on v. 1); but Wordsworth specifies the living being like a flying

eagle, by which he understands the Gospel of John (but see on ch. 4:6).

Saying. Though λέγουσανlegousan -  the feminine accusative,

to agree with φωνήνphonaen - voice, is adopted in the Textus Receptus, and

supported by the sole authority of 1, yet a, A, B, C, P, and others read

λέγοντος legontos -  saying - the masculine genitive, agreeing with ζώουzoou

living being.  Come and see. The Revised Version omits “and see” (see on v. 1).

“Come” is probably addressed to John (see on v. 1).


8 “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him

was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto

them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with

hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

And I looked; I saw. The usual expression drawing attention to

a new sight or fresh phase of the vision (see on ch. 4:1; v. 2 here,

etc.). And behold a pale horse. Pale (χλωρός - - chloros - greenish-white, livid);

the color of one stricken with disease or death, or moved with emotions

of terror. The same word is used of the green grass in ch. 8:7

and in Mark 6:39, and of the vegetation in ch.9:4; but,

applied to man, it is generally connected with terror, disease, or death. The

Greek poets use it as an epithet of fear, and Thucydides thus describes the

color of persons affected by the plague. And his name that sat on him

was Death, and Hell followed with him. The preposition differs from that

used in the preceding verses: it is here ἐπάνωepano - above, not ἐπί - epi - upon.

And he who was sitting above him, his name [was] Death. Here we have it

plainly stated that the vision is a personification of Death — death in

general, death in any and every way, as indicated in the latter part of the

verse. This supports the view taken of the first three visions of the seals

(see on v. 2). Hades follows with Death, not as a separate infliction, but

as the necessary complement of Death in the completion of the vision,

swallowing up and guarding, as it were, those seized by the latter. Death is

personified in a similar way in Psalm 49:14, “Like sheep they are laid in

the grave; death shall feed on them;” and Hades in Isaiah 14:9, “Hell

from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming.” The two are

also conjoined in ch. 1:18, “The keys of hell and of death;” and

in ch.20:13-14, “Death and hell delivered up the dead.” Hades

cannot signify the place of torment, as Hengstenberg thinks, since these

trials are to be inflicted on Christians, not on the wicked merely. Nor is it

consonant with the context to suppose (as Ebrard) that Hades signifies

“the dwellers in Hades.” And power was given unto them. The reading

them” is supported by A, C, [P], א n 17, 49 (1.40 e sil) Andreas; while B

and the Vulgate read αὺτῷ - auto -  him. The context shows that both are

intended. Over the fourth part of the earth. There is a general consensus

of opinion that this expression betokens a part of mankind. Why the fourth

part is selected is difficult to say. Alford suggests that a reference is

intended to the four first seals, each one of which embraces in its action a

portion of mankind. But the first seal can hardly be interpreted in this way.

Probably the intention is to denote that a part of mankind must be afflicted

in this particular way, though no definite proportion is signified. In other

words, the second, third, and fourth seals depict troubles which Christians

and all mankind will have to undergo; some being afflicted more especially

in one way, others in another. The troubles mentioned are not an

exhaustive catalogue, but are typical of all sorrows; the selection being

probably prompted by the Old Testament passages quoted below, viz.

Leviticus 26:23-26; II Samuel 24:13; and Ezekiel 14:21. “The

fourth part” is an expression found only in this passage. Zullig agrees with

Alford in the explanation given above; Hengstenberg, and somewhat

similarly Volkmar, think it denotes the partial character of this judgment.

Elliott, with very little reason, follows the Vulgate reading, “over the four

parts of the earth;” Isaac Williams also thinks the judgment is universal,

since that is the idea that the number four signifies, which, however, is a

different thing from a fourth part. To kill with sword, and with hunger,

and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. The passage is another

example of the influence of the prophecy of Ezekiel upon the composition

of the Apocalypse. In Ezekiel 14:21 the “four sore judgments” are “the

sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence? This

indicates the signification of θανάτῳ - thanatodeath - in this place; viz.

death by pestilence, not, as in the preceding passage, death in any form

(compare Leviticus 26:23-26, where the judgments threatened are the sword,

pestilence, and famine. Compare also the alternative punishments of David

(II Samuel 24:13); also IV Esdras 15:5, “the sword, and hunger, and death,

and destruction”). The wild beasts of the earth (θηρίων thaerion) is very

probably a reference to the death of many Christians in the pagan amphitheatres;

though the meaning is not necessarily restricted to this form of death. Those to

whom the Apocalypse was first addressed would irresistibly be reminded of our

Lord’s words in Matthew 24:7, 13, “Nation shall rise against nation,

and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences,

and earthquakes, in divers places… But he that shall endure unto the end,

the same shall be saved.” It is as though John echoed the words of our

Lord, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with

you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of

Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke

24:44); and would say, “I am commissioned to relate these visions of the

present and future trials of all in the world, which, however, have been

already foretold you by our blessed Lord Himself.” While, therefore, this

passage may be understood literally, since doubtless the Church has

suffered all these afflictions at different times, in different members of her

body, yet we must understand these four typical judgments to be

representative of trouble in all its forms; the fourfold character pointing to

its universal nature (see on ch. 5:9). This has led many writers

to see in these inflictions trials of a spiritual nature — a view which may

well be included in the proper application, but must not be pressed to the

exclusion of any other more literal interpretation. We may thus sum up the

results of our investigation of these eight verses. They relate the

circumstances attending the opening of the first four seals, and doubtless

typify various phases of the trials which are permitted by God to afflict

Christians on earth in common with all mankind. Each of the four visions is

preceded by the invitation of one of the four living beings, which are

representative of creation; and a second feature common to these four

visions is the appearance of a rider as the personification of the idea set forth.


(1) The visions open with a personification of Christianity, and an

assurance of the ultimate victory which it will gain over the powers of the



(2) Then appears a vision of war, as one of the typical troubles of mankind,

which will ultimately be overcome by the triumph of Christianity.


(3) Next follows famine with all its attendant evils, though it is not

permitted to extend to the extremity of the extirpation of mankind.


(4) Fourthly comes DEATH IN EVERY FORM — a trial of which every one

feels the weight at some time. These four do not picture consecutive events;

they may be successive or concurrent; the first is certainly being fulfilled

side by side with the others. We may, therefore, be able to point to a

particular period or event as a fulfillment of any one of these, but we cannot

assign definite times to each as the complete and ultimate fulfillment, since

the trials which are signified must extend to the end of time. And, in

conclusion, while the first application was doubtless intended for the

support of the Christians of John’s age in their temporal difficulties, we

must consider the visions equally intended to console Christians of every

age, and even to portray the spiritual conflict, destitution, and apostasy

which must and will continually arise while the Church remains in part in

the world.


The Fourth Seal: - A Pale Horse - This horse represents death.   John says the rider who sat on

this horse "was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a

fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

One quarter of the earth's population, well over a billion people, will die as a result of WWIII.

I believe that this has to do with wars, such as the one in Israel now, famine and drought worldwide,

and death from hundreds of other things. An example is the plant in Russia, Chernobyl, which

exploded. "Chernobyl" means wormwood. The Bible says a third of water will become

wormwood, Rev.  8:11. I really believe this happens later in the scenario.  That Hades follows

Death shows that those slain are unbelievers, for upon death believers do not go to Hades but

straight to the Savior's side.  This "pale" here, means a sickly color, a sickly green color, as if sick

to the death.  "Death, and Hell" are grouped, meaning a termination of earthly dwelling.  Death

is inevitable for every one of us. Death of the body, that is.  Hell does await some, but heaven

awaits Christians. Hell is sometimes a word used for the grave. In that particular instance,

Hell would follow death, because our bodies lie in the grave until resurrection day. Death and real

hell is reserved for the lost.  I really believe this is a time in the end that is spoken of as a time

when men's hearts will fail them for fear of things that are coming upon the earth, Luke 21:26. 

We have the capability to knock the earth off of its axis with the nuclear bombs. (In the late

1960’s, our pastor, Bro. Marion Duncan, said that “man has bombs that he is afraid to detonate,

lest he ignite the gasses of the universe! – CY – 2015)  Fear is rampant,  not only here in the U.S.,

but around the world. All it would take is for one crazy man to push the wrong button and total

destruction would occur.  (However, God has reserved this prerogative to Himself! – CY – 2015)




9 “And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the

souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the

testimony which they held:” And when He had opened the fifth seal; and when

He opened, as in vs. l, 3, 5, 7, which see. The second group of visions connected

with the opening of the seals now commences. The first group deals with

events more immediately attached to this life. By the visions of the first

four seals John has shown that it is with God’s knowledge and consent

that afflictions and persecutions are allowed to try the faith of his servants

on earth; while yet the ultimate triumph of those who endure is certain. In

the last three appearances he goes a step further — he gives his readers a

glimpse of events more immediately connected with the life in the world to

come. He shows them:


(1) the faithful, resting from their labors, though longing, in sympathy

with those left on earth, for the completion of Christ’s triumph;


(2) the circumstances attendant upon our Lord’s final coming, which he describes

in language which is almost a repetition of Christ’s words on the same subject;


(3) the inexplicable life with God in heaven, which is denoted by the silence

following the opening of the last seal. I saw under the altar. This

representation is doubtless suggested by the arrangements of the temple.

Victims were sacrificed on the brazen altar which stood at the door of the

tabernacle (Exodus 39:39 and 40:29), and the blood was poured out at

the foot of this altar (Leviticus 4:7). The martyrs are therefore regarded

as having offered themselves as sacrifices upon the altar of God by yielding

up their lives for Him. Paul uses a similar figure concerning himself. In

II Timothy 4:6 he says, “For I am now ready to be offered [‘to pour out

as a libation,’ σπένδοµαι spendomai – am being libationed] and the time of my

departure is at hand;” and in Philippians 2:17, “If I be offered upon the sacrifice

and service of your faith.” Bleek and De Wette understand the golden altar of

incense (Exodus 30:1), and consider that the figure is representative of the

hearing of the martyrs’ prayers. Bossuet says the altar is Christ. The souls

of them that wore slain; them that had been slain. An “aesthetical

difficulty” (see on ch. 4:6). How could John see the souls?

Of course, he did not see them with his bodily vision, nor indeed did he

thus see any part of the revelation. He “sees” them while “in the Spirit,”

i.e. he is somehow made conscious of the existence of the souls. Slain;

σφάττω spatto - sacrificed;  the same word used of the Lamb in ch.5:6.

The word is in harmony with the use of the word “altar,” with which it

is naturally connected. It fixes the signification of the altar, which therefore

cannot bear the meaning ascribed by Block and De Wette, as mentioned

above. John sees the souls only of the martyrs, since their bodies will

not be reunited with their souls until the judgment day. Meanwhile, the

souls rest (see v. 11) in peace, yet in expectation of the final

accomplishment of their perfect bliss, which the words used in v. 10

show them to desire. Wordsworth quotes (as illustrating this passage)

Tertullian, “The souls of martyrs repose in peace under the altar, and

cherish a spirit of patience until others are admitted to fill up their

communion of glow;” and Irenaeus, “The souls of the departed go to the

place assigned them by God, and there abide until the resurrection, when

they will be reunited to their bodies; and then the saints, both in soul and

body, will come into the presence of God.” For the Word of God, and

for the testimony which they held. B, Syriac, add, “and of the Lamb.”

On account of the word, etc. Exactly the same expression which John

uses in ch.1:9 in describing the cause of his own exile at Patmos.

The language is peculiarly John’s (compare ch. 1:2, “John: who bare record

of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that

he saw;” also ch.12:17, “The dragon… went to make war with… them which

have the testimony of Jesus Christ;” also ch.19:10, “I am thy fellow servant, and of

thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the

testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”   The “Word of God” is of

course the truth which God has declared, not the Word as in John 1. “The

testimony which they held” may differ slightly in signification in different

places. It may mean


(1) the testimony or truth which Christ has imparted to Christians; or


(2) the active showing forth of the Christian faith by word or deed. The

latter is evidently the meaning here, since for this active manifestation of

Christianity they whose souls John now sees in glory had been slain,

which would not have occurred had they merely received the Word of God

without showing it outwardly (compare ch.1:2).


Something has generated a great revival of belief in the true God and His Christ during this period

in spite of the fact that there were no believers remaining on the earth at its beginning.  For one thing,

God will have sent His “two witnesses” (ch. 11:3) into the worl, prophesying and calling forth

mighty miracles.  Somehow also there will be 144,000 Israelites “sealed” for God’s service during

this period (ch. 7:4).  The result will be a “great multitude” saved.  It is possible that there

will be other silent witnesses (this is the motivation for my working so hard on this website – that it

might be available during this time is my prayer! – CY – 2015)  as well whose testimony will finally

be heeded.  Millions upon millions of copies of the Bible and Bible portions have been published

in all major languages, and distributed throughout the world through the dedicated ministries of the

Gideons, the Wycliffe Bible Translators, and other such Christian organizations.  Removal of

believers from the world at the rapture will not remove the Scriptures, and multitudes will no doubt

be constrained to read the Bible in those days.  Futhermore, there has been in recent years a great

revival of the doctrine of creation, and the long intellectual dominance of evolutionary humanism has

been seriously undermined by the many books, lectures, debates, and other activities of creation

scientists.  With the sudden disappearance of the Christians, followed by the miraculous preaching

of the two witnesses and the great catastrophes coming on the earth, great numbers of people will

acknowledge that there really is A GOD AND CREATOR who has finally come to judge and cleanse

the world He created.  Thus, multitudes will turn to their Creator and Savior in those days, and will be

willing to give their testimony for the Word of God and even to give their lives as they seek to

persuade the world that the calamities it is suffering are judgments from God. 

                                                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


The Fifth Seal:   When the fifth seal is broken, John sees "under the altar the souls of those

who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held."

Shortly after the beginning of the Tribulation there will be a great "soul harvest" in which millions

will come to faith in Christ, Many as a result of the preaching of the 144,000 witnesses described

in ch.7.  Most of these Tribulation saints will be killed by the forces of Antichrist. These martyred

souls will cry out for God to avenge their deaths, but they will be told to "rest a little while longer,"

until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were,

was completed.   Imagine! Despite the desperate evil of the Antichrist, despite the horrors of war and

famine and pestilence and death, God is still so much in control of earthly events that even the number

of believing martyrs has been fixed by divine decree.   God, as the apostle Paul reminds us: "It is a

righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are

troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in

flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the

gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (II Thessalonians 1:6-8)  So many churches have forgotten that

persecution comes to the true believer. Many teach that if you are not living prosperously, both

physically and spiritually, that you are not in right standing. That's certainly just not so, quite the

opposite is true.  We must be crucified with Christ. We must get our flesh under subjection. 

In Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth

in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me,

and gave Himself for me."  The Christian has tribulation which makes him strong. We are no better

than our Master. If He suffered, we will suffer. The difference in our suffering and His, is that our

suffering is generally not unto the death.   (


10 “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy

and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that

dwell on the earth?”  And they cried with a loud voice, saying; i.e. the souls

cried.  Compare Genesis 4:10, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth

unto me from the ground.” How long? (compare Zechariah 1:12-13,

“How long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem? And the Lord

answered with good words and comfortable words”). No doubt the souls

waiting in Paradise are answered by “comfortable words,” yet, not having

lost their interest in earthly struggles, nor their longing for the triumphant

vindication of God’s glory, they cry, “How long?,” not as needing the time

to be shortened for their own sakes, for they rest, though not yet entered

into the fullness of God’s glory. O Lord, holy and true; O Master, the holy

and true (Revised Version). “Master” (δεσπότης - despotaes) is the correlative of 

servant" (δοῦλος - doulos).  This is the only instance of its occurrence in the

Apocalypse. (On “true,” see previous passages.) Dost thou not judge and

avenge our blood. The cry is not a petition for personal revenge, but a

request for the termination of those ills which for a time afflict man, and

the termination of which must, by virtue of God’s eternal justice, be

accompanied by visible retribution on the wicked. Those souls

which offered themselves a living sacrifice to God pray eternally for His

coming to judgment, not from any vindictive feeling against their enemies,

but in a spirit of zeal and love for God’s glory and justice, and for the

coming of that day when sin, which is rebellion against Him, will be

destroyed, and their own bodies will be raised. And so in that prayer

wherein Christ teaches us to forgive our enemies, we are also taught to

say, ‘Thy kingdom come.’”) The passage has given rise to varying

interpretations, which are thought to be more consonant with the spirit of

the gospel. Thus I. Williams would understand the souls to represent only

the Old Testament saints, especially as it is not explicitly said that they died

for the witness of Jesus, as in ch.20:4. On them that dwell on the earth.

That is, on the worldly, those who have taken the side of the world in its

conflict with Christianity.


John did not see these souls with his physical eye, but saw them in the Spirit. These souls

were waiting for the Judge of all the earth to interrupt the evil of the devil and his persecution

of the saints who remained there. Their cry was the same, in a sense, as the Christians who say,

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”  (ch. 22:20)  This is not a reprimand of the Lord, but just a pleading

for it to all be over. These souls are not looking for vengeance, but are just crying out for the Lord to

end all of it and set up His kingdom. Who better can sympathize with our generation of martyrs

than the martyrs of the past? Some of the martyrs of today are not physically killed, but are

persecuted by their peers.  (


11 “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was

said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until

their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as

they were, should be fulfilled.”  And white robes were given unto every one

of them; and there was given to each one a white robe. Στολὴ λευκή  - Stolae

leukae -a white robe, is supported by A, C, [P], N, B, etc. The white robe of

righteousness, the wedding garment of Matthew 22:11-12, is the sign of the

blessedness of the saints. White is the color of heavenly victory in the Apocalypse

(see on v. 2). The vision has recalled the past sufferings of the martyrs and

their present expectation of the final consummation of their hopes, which is

to be not yet. The other side is now to be shown; though they have not yet

reached their final bliss, they have received the white robe, they are free

from possibility of defilement, the victory is won, and they have rest.

Comfort and encouragement are thus afforded to those still struggling in

the world, who have not as yet attained to the white robe of perfect

righteousness. And it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a

little season.  Ch.14. seems to determine the exact signification

ἀναπάυσωνταιanapausontai -  they should be resting - viz. “rest in peace,”

rest from their labors,” rather than specifically “cease from uttering this cry”

(v. 10). For a little time (χρόνος - chronos); that is, till the second coming

of Christ, for the time which is to intervene before that event is frequently

spoken of as a little time (see on ch. 1:1; 20:3; 12:12; compare Haggai 2:6-7,

“Yet once a little time, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, the sea

and the dry land, and all nations, and THE DESIRE of all

nations shall come”). The time of the world is little in comparison with

ETERNITY!  This little time is depicted and set forth under the six seals; it

comes to an end at ch. 7:17, and merges into eternity in ch.8:1. Some expositors

(of the historical school) understand a χρόνος to be a definite, arbitrary number.

Until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they

were, should be fulfilled. R, B, P, read πληρώσωσινplaerososin - shall have fulfilled –

[i.e. their course]; A, C, read πληρωθῶσινplaerothosin - should be completed.

“Their fellow servants also and their brethren” may not denote two separate

bodies, notwithstanding that καί - kai – and -  occurs twice, but it

may point out the same persons viewed in two aspects — first, the

Christians needed to proceed with and finish Christ’s work as His servants;

second, the same ones needed to complete the number of His family. But it

seems more likely that reference is intended to two classes of Christians —

first, their fellow servants, that is, all Christians, who may, however, not

suffer martyrdom; and, second, their brethren, the martyrs, who, like them,

should yet be killed.


These are the ones who were martyred during the tribulation and have washed their robes and

made them white in the blood of the Lamb." White robes are the uniform issued to all believers


HATH CHOSEN,  JESUS WILL APPEAR IN THE CLOUDS  and blow the silver trumpet of

REDEMPTION!   He will gather all believers with Him in heaven. He will not come one hour

early or late. He will be on time.  It will be at the specific time He chose from the foundation

of the earth.   These martyrs are our fellow servants.  They arrived in heaven the same way we

will, through their faith unto the death. The white in these "white robes" shows that these have

been victorious over the problems in this earth.   (


12 “And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was

a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair,

and the moon became as blood;” And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal;

and I saw when He opened. The events described accompany the opening as in the

case of the preceding visions (see on vs. 1, 3, 5, etc.). The sixth seal

describes the end of the world — the transition of the saints from earth to

heaven, with the accompanying circumstances. It is important to remember

that the whole is a vision, and we must therefore guard against expecting a

literal interpretation of the language used. Following the manner of the

prophets, and the description given by our Lord Himself of the judgment

day, John portrays the wonder and awe and consternation which will

then be prevalent under the figure of falling stars. etc. How much, if any,

may, in the destruction of the world, literally come to pass, it is impossible

to say; but we must be content to receive the general impression which is

undoubtedly intended to be conveyed to us, without pressing the individual

particulars too far. The symbolism, as usual, bears evidence of its Old

Testament origin; and the influence of our Lord’s description in Matthew

24. is noticeable. The special revelation of God’s presence or of His

judgments is usually depicted under the figure of terrestrial commotion (see

on v.1; also Isaiah 2:19; 13:13; 34:4: Ezekiel 32:7-8; Hosea 10:8; Joel 2:30;

Haggai 2:6). The last three seals seem connected more especially with life in the

next world. The fifth seal displays to us the souls of the faithful in peace, but

desiring the perfect consummation of their bliss; the sixth announces the

certainty of future judgment, when all will be set right, when the righteous will

be preserved and the wicked justly recompensed; the seventh typifies the

indescribable joy and peace of heaven. It seems reasonable, therefore, to consider

the passage from v.12 to ch.7:17 as all contained under the sixth seal;

since, although set forth at rather greater length than the other seals, it all

follows in natural sequence — the destruction of the earth, the fear of the

wicked, the preservation and joy of the righteous; and then follows heaven,

portrayed under the opening of the seventh seal. Some have tried to

separate Revelation 7. as “an episode,” or rather two episodes,

commencing at, and marked off by, the μετά τοῦτο – meta touto – after these

things of v. 1 and μετὰ ταῦτα meta tauta – after this of v. 9. But this

expression, though undoubtedly marking, the beginning of a fresh phase of the

subject, does not necessarily imply the opening of an entirely new and unconnected

discourse. This view of the sixth seal is in harmony with what appears to be

the general plan of the visions of the seals. It is important to bear in mind,

in our interpretation of the Apocalypse, these two principles — first, the

book was addressed to certain Christians for a definite purpose, and its

object would be set forth so as to be comprehended by them; second, the

truths thus contained must be such as to be applicable to the position of

mankind in general in all ages. We have, therefore, to inquire to whom and

for what purpose the book was primarily written, and then how the lessons

contained can benefit mankind in general. It thus appears that the message

was originally intended as an encouragement and a support to those

Christians who were being persecuted, and were suffering in various ways,

and whose patience might be inadequate to preserve them through trials so

severe or so long. The visions of the seals would speak plainly to such as

these. The first four would tell them that, though they must not doubt of

Christ’s final victory, it is yet with God’s knowledge and permission that

this life is afflicted with troubles of different kinds; it is not because God is

weak, forgetful, or unjust Then, lest any should be tempted to ask, “Is it

worth while? If Christianity involves all this suffering, would it not be

better to be as the world is, and escape?” a picture of the future is given.

The fifth seal shows that, immediately upon the completion of this life, the

souls of the righteous are at peace; and the sixth seal shows that a day of

reckoning will certainly come for the world; while the seventh seal is an

assurance of heaven. It is worth while, therefore, to endure and to

persevere, both on account of God’s reward to the just, and His retribution

upon the unjust. Thus would the signification of the visions be easily

comprehended by those for whom they were originally intended; and the

same lessons are equally valuable for the Church at all time. Grotius

considers that this vision refers to the destruction of Jerusalem; Elliott,

Faber, and Mede refer its accomplishment to the beginning of the fourth

century; Wordsworth sees the “last age” of the Church represented; Stern

thinks it indicates the general state of the Church; Wetstein, the

commotions in Judaea previous to the destruction of Jerusalem; while

Cunninghame and Frere see a reference to the French Revolution of 1789.

But these interpretations do not fulfill the conditions mentioned above,

since the Christians to whom this book is addressed were ignorant of those

events yet in the future. And, lo, there was a great earthquake. Omit

“lo.” The earthquake is the usual manifestation of God’s presence or

special dealing with men (vide supra). This is the answer to the question of

the saints in the fifth seal — the period of probation is finite. And the sun

became black as sackcloth of hair. Thus Isaiah 50:3, “I clothe the

heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering” (compare

Matthew 24:29). And the moon became as blood; the whole moon

(compare Joel 2:31, quoted in Acts 2:20).


The Sixth Seal:  The Great Earthquake - The first four seals described judgments largely inflicted

by man; the sixth seal describes a judgment clearly SUPERNATURAL IN ORIGIN!   John tells

of an earthquake so massive that "every mountain and island was moved out of its place."

Perhaps John is referring to enormous volcanic activity, for he says "the sun became black as

sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood." Particulate matter scattered in the

atmosphere after a volcanic eruption has often turned the sky black and made the moon seem

to turn red.  The sixth seal brings natural disasters of various kinds (Matthew 24:7, 29). The earth

and the heavenly bodies will go into convulsions. Joel 2:30, 31 predicts many of these judgments

in nature AS SIGNS OF THE DAY OF THE LORD!   This terrible earthquake is told about in Isaiah

2:19, "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the

Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, WHEN HE ARISETH TO SHAKE TERRIBLY THE

EARTH!”   In Ezekial 32:7-8, we read about the darkness of the sun, moon, and stars. In Matthew

24:29, we read of this same thing in the heavens.  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days

shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from

 heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:"  (


13 “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth

her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth (compare Matthew 24:29,

“The stars shall fall from heaven”).   Even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs,

when she is shaken of a mighty wind; her unripe figs. Probably the unripe figs of

the spring, many of which would be shaken down by a strong wind, or possibly

the winter figs, which commonly fall off while unripe. The figure is doubtless

suggested by Isaiah 34:4, taken in conjunction with Matthew 24:32.


The fig tree (physical Israel) rejected Jesus and His Holy Spirit. In Acts chapter 2, we read of the

sound as of the rushing mighty wind that came and filled them with the Holy Ghost.  This mighty

wind is of God. Many times when we read of the mighty wind it is a sign of the Holy Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit can be beautiful, as we read in Acts 2, or frightening to those who do not believe.

The Old Testament and the New Testament agree that there will be a time when the heavens will be

shaken. Isaiah chapters 7, 13, 17, Matthew 24 and at least a dozen more chapters in the Old and

New Testaments agree that there will be a day, just as this one spoken of that John saw, when the

heavens will be shaken. We read, also, of the spiritual shaking that will take place.  We read that

there shall be a great falling away in the church right before this occurs. II Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no

man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first,

and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"  As you can see, believers will be tried and many

will fall away. In Luke chapter 21, we read how many will be betrayed by those of their own household.

Luke 21:25-26, we read again of the commotion in heaven.  "And there shall be signs in the sun, and

in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the

waves roaring;" Luke 21:26 "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things

which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." You can easily see that

this is prophesied, not just of John, but by dozens of men throughout the Bible.  (


14 “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and

every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled

together; and the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up.

The scroll — the parchment book or roll, which is spread out to read, and,

when read, roiled up and put away. The passage is apparently founded

upon Isaiah 34:4. “The host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the

heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll,” etc. And every mountain

and island were moved out of their places (compare Isaiah 40:4, “Every

mountain and hill shall be made low;” also Jeremiah 3:23, “Truly in

vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of

mountains). The enumeration of seven objects in vs. 12-14 seems to

denote the all extending nature of God’s judgment.


This earthquake will be so strong that mountains will flatten out and islands will disappear.

An earthquake of this magnitude would immediately put up a screen of smoke that nothing in the

heavens would be visible. We read in Isaiah 34:4, a similar Scripture as above.

"And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll:

and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine and as a falling [fig] from the

 fig tree." Whatever this is, it is of great magnitude. I remind you again, that Revelation is not written

in chronological order. The happenings in the verses above are long after the believers are in heaven.

We, Christians, should not fear things we see happening that is in fulfillment of these passages.

We should look up and rejoice at the beginning of any of these things, because our redemption

draweth nigh, Luke 21:28.  (


15 “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men,

and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman,

and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of

the mountains;” And the kings of the earth. The first of the seven classes

mentioned. The enumeration is again all extensive, embracing all classes,

and men of every degree of social distinction. And the great men;

princes (Revised Version). Μεγιστᾶνες  - Megistanes – magnates - are the grandees,

the courtiers, as distinguished from those who are governors and hold military

command, and who are subsequently mentioned as the “chief captains.’’ And the rich

men, and the chief captains. The Revised Version reverses the order, and

places “chief captains” first. The chief captains (χιλίαρχοι - - chiliarchoi) are those

holding military rank (compare Mark 6:21, “Herod made a supper to his

lords, high captains,” etc.; John 18:12, “The captain and officers took Jesus;”

Acts 21:31, et seq., “The chief captain of the band “). And the mighty

men. Probably those possessing great bodily strength. And every

bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the

rocks of the mountains. “Every” is omitted before “free man” by A, B, C,

Vulgate, Syriac, Andreas, and Arethas. The dens; in Revised Version caves

(compare Isaiah 2:19, “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into

the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty,

when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth”). Again, as in vs. 12-14, the

enumeration is sevenfold; thus denoting the universality and completeness

of the extent of the judgment.


This really is the time when even silver and gold will not be able to save people from the

Wrath of God. Hiding in "dens and in the rocks" will be of no use because these openings

will close up from the earthquake.  Men will seek death, but death will not come, Rev. 9:6.



Such a mighty display of cosmic power will finally gain the attention of the ungodly world,

including all its political, industrial, intellectual, and military leaders – the very ones who had

ignored the warnings of the previous judgments and were persecuting and slaying those who

were trying to bear witness to the world that the judgments were due to the wrath of the Lamb.

And if the leaders were awed and frightened by the terrifying convulsions, even more so were

ordinary people – both those who still enjoyed a measure of freedom and those who were in

bondage (the word doulos could apply both to slaves and to those who, as subjugated

peoples, were forced to work in occupations not of their own choosing, such as in Red China

and other slave nations).  Wherever possible, people, particularly the leaders, will flee to the

great underground civil defense shelters that had been originally designed as protection against

nuclear attack or to the great natural caverns such as Mammoth Cave, hoping to escape

the falling stars and other devastations on the surface.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)


16 “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from

the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the

Lamb:  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide

us from the face (compare Hosea 10:8, “They shall say to the mountains,

Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us;” also Luke 23:30, “Then shall

they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us “)

of Him that sitteth on the throne. The Triune God (see on ch.4:2).

And from the wrath of the Lamb. The result of the wrath of the

Lamb is depicted in ch.21:8. God’s wrath with the wicked is

the assurance of His mercy and love for the righteous. Thus in

ch.11:18, we have, “The nations were angry, and thy wrath is

come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou

shouldest give reward unto thy servants,” etc. Similarly, in ch. 14:10-13,

the wrath of God upon the wicked is associated with the peace of the faithful.


The people of earth will clearly recognize these phenomena AS COMING FROM THE HAND

OF GOD,  for they are said to cry out to the mountains where they take cover, "Fall on us and

hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

Suddenly they realize who Jesus is, BUT IT IS TOO LATE!  They have rejected Him

Now that it is too late, they realize their terrible mistake of rejecting Jesus as their perfect

Lamb sacrifice. They would rather die right now, than face Him and be told of their eternity

in hell that awaits them. They now even realize that Jesus sits on the throne. WHAT A

TERRIBLE AWAKENING!  This that John sees is very much like a dream, in that the

things he sees are not particularly in consecutive order.  (


17 “For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to

stand?”  For the great day of His wrath is come. Of their wrath,

which is read in the Revised Version, is found in a, C, 38, Vulgate, Syriae;

but αὐτοῦ - autou - His,  is supported by A, B, F, Coptic, Andreas, Arethas,

Primasius. The article is repeated, making the term almost a proper name

— the day, the great [day]. Alford remarks that this of itself should be

sufficient to keep commentators right in confining their interpretation of

this seal to the last judgment (compare Joel 1:15; 2:1-2; Acts 2:20; Jude 1:6).

And who shall be able to stand? Who is able (Revised Version). Thus

Malachi 3:2, “Who shall stand when He appeareth?And Nahum 1:6.

Thus, then, the question in v. 10, “How long?” is answered; not by

limiting the length of time, but by a renewed assurance of an awful

termination of the course of the world, at the appearance of the Judge.

The dread attending that end is vividly portrayed, and the fear of the wicked,

with their conscience-stricken inquiry, “Who is able to stand?” an answer

to which is required for the edification of the faithful. And, therefore, the

seer immediately describes the preservation of the righteous from amidst

the destruction of the wicked, and their raptured praises, a joyous contrast

with the despairing fate of those whose doom has just been narrated.


The answer to that is “NO ONE!”  The thing we must do is make sure that we are not left here to

face all of these horrors. The way to assure that is by selling out to Jesus NOW.   (Today is

the day of Salvation  - Hebrews 4:7 – CY – 2015)  Make Him Lord of your life NOW before it is

too late.  As a result of these first six seal judgments, many unbelievers will want to die and to

hide from God, but will be unable to. The great day of His wrath is the day of the Lord, the

predicted time of God's judgment of the earth and its inhabitants ( Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31).

The day of wrath is contrasted to the present “DAY OF GRACE.”  IS COME means God's day

of judgment “IS HERE” -  it has finally arrived, having begun with the first six seals.

The "great day" spoken of here, begins three and a half years of THE WORST THINGS

THAT YOU COULD EVER I MAGINE!  The last day has to be the last judgment. DOOM

 for the unbelievers.  Remember, Revelation is written to the church, the Christians. It encourages

us to look forward to heaven.  It, also, tells us the terrible things we will be saved from when the

Wrath descends on this earth.  And it leads true Christians to witness to their friends and family

while there is still time. Knowing what is coming, we certainly don't want to leave anyone behind.

(As Paul said, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men!”  - II Corinthians

5:11 – CY – 2015)


For an interesting, but to me, far-fetched  commentary on chapter 6

I recommend ( and type in with the address

Revelation 6 – CY – 2015)




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