Zechariah 1:8

Hebrew Bible

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?”

Revelation 6:2

New Testament

1 I looked on when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a thunderous voice, “Come!” 2 So I looked, and here came a white horse! The one who rode it had a bow, and he was given a crown, and as a conqueror he rode out to conquer. 3 Then when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come!” 4 And another horse, fiery red, came out, and the one who rode it was granted permission to take peace from the earth so that people would butcher one another, and he was given a huge sword. 5 Then when the Lamb opened the third seal I heard the third living creature saying, “Come!” So I looked, and here came a black horse! The one who rode it had a balance scale in his hand. 6 Then I heard something like a voice from among the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat will cost a day’s pay, and three quarts of barley will cost a day’s pay. But do not damage the olive oil and the wine!” 7 Then when the Lamb opened the fourth seal I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come!” 8 So I looked and here came a pale green horse! The name of the one who rode it was Death, and Hades followed right behind. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill its population with the sword, famine, and disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.

 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

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