7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month Shebat, in Darius’ second year, the Lord’s message came to the prophet Zechariah, son of Berechiah son of Iddo: 8 I was attentive that night and saw a man seated on a red horse that stood among some myrtle trees in the ravine. Behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. 9 Then I asked one nearby, “What are these, sir?” The angelic messenger who replied to me said, “I will show you what these are.” 10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees spoke up and said, “These are the ones whom the Lord has sent to walk about on the earth.” 11 The riders then agreed with the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have been walking about on the earth, and now everything is at rest and quiet.” 12 The angel of the Lord then asked, “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, how long before you have compassion on Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah that you have been so angry with for these 70 years?”
11 Then I saw heaven opened and here came a white horse! The one riding it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and goes to war. 12 His eyes are like a fiery flame and there are many diadem crowns on his head. He has a name written that no one knows except himself. 13 He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God. 14 The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth extends a sharp sword so that with it he can strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful. 16 He has a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Notes and References
"... Many do not think this horseman symbolizes suffering but rather Christ himself leading his spiritual forces to victory throughout history. The following reasons may be given: First, verse 2 may be an allusion to Psalm 45:3-5, which pictures a good Israelite king defeating enemies with arrows and “riding on victoriously.” Second, in Revelation 19:11-16, Christ, with diadems on his head, rides on a white horse and defeats his enemies. Third, white always in Revelation (fourteen times) refers to the holiness of God, Christ, or the saints. Finally, there is no explicit woe attached to the first horseman, as there is with the remaining three. On the other hand, while the above arguments have weight, it is more likely that the rider on the white horse represents Satan or his servants who are oppressing people. The picture of the four horsemen comes from Zechariah 1:8-15 and 6:1-8, where they all bring suffering on people. The point is that they are all the same-they are not different. Likewise here, the first horseman must bring woe as do all the others. As we have already seen, Ezekiel 14 speaks of four severe forms of suffering coming on people rather than one good blessing and three woes. Indeed, whenever there are groups of four in Revelation (first four trumpets, first four bowls), they are always forms of suffering or woe ..."
Beale, Gregory K. The Unseen Sources of Suffering: From the Biblical Text to a Sermon Manuscript on Revelation 6:1-8 (pp. 115-126) Calvin Theological Journal, Vol. 41, 2006