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Encyclopedia > Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Albrecht Dürer, The Revelation of St John: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse, 1497-98, Woodcut, 39 x 28 cm, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe
Albrecht Dürer, The Revelation of St John: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse, 1497-98, Woodcut, 39 x 28 cm, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe
Christianity Portal

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are the forces of man's destruction described in the Christian Bible in chapter six of the Book of Revelation. The four horsemen are traditionally named after the powers they represent: War, Conquest, Pestilence and Death; only Death, however, is directly named in the Bible. Four Horsemen may refer to: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, characters in Biblical prophecy Four Horsemen of Apocalyse (comics), a team of various superheroes/supervillians who serve Apocalypse The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921 film), 1921 silent movie Four Horsemen Studios, action figure sculptors for McFarlane Toys Four Horsemen... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Image File history File links Ambox_emblem_question. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 433 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (650 × 900 pixel, file size: 156 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) It has been suggested that this page or section be merged with Image:Duerer-apocalypse. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 433 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (650 × 900 pixel, file size: 156 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) It has been suggested that this page or section be merged with Image:Duerer-apocalypse. ... Albrecht Dürer (pronounced /al. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... Look up conquest in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up pestilence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Grim Reaper redirects here. ...

Contents

Horses and their riders

Name Horse Rider Power Original Greek Description
Pestilence White Carries a bow with arrow, wears a crown Disease and plagues. ίππος λευκός (híppos leukós), [The] White Horse
War Red Carries a sword War, Violence; Mars (Ares) ίππος πυρρός (híppos purrós), [The] Fiery Red Horse
Famine Black Carries scales Famine, Drought, Mass Starvation. ίππος μέλας (híppos mélas), [The] Black Horse
Death "Pale" Death, followed by Hades (Pluto). Death of all kinds and causes ίππος χλωρός, θάνατος (híppos khlōrós, thánatos), [The] Pale Green Horse, [named] Death

The word used to describe the colour of the 'pale' horse is the Greek word chloros or green. It is meant to convey the sickly green tinge of the deathly ill or recently dead. Since the literal translation 'green' does not carry these connotations in English the word is rendered 'pale' in most English translations.


Interpretations

White Horse

The rider of the white horse is very commonly interpreted to be the Antichrist figure, but such an interpretation ignores much of the imagery presented throughout the Revelation and many cross references of whom the Bible names as being given a crown. For instance, every other time the colour white is used in the Revelation, it is always representative of righteousness and holiness, and whenever the author, John, depicts a malevolent force, he consistently shows it as evil (the two beasts of chapter 13, or the scarlet beast and the prostitute of chapter 17). Because of this, there is no reason to interpret the white horse as representing anything other than something/someone that is righteous and holy. Even the terminology “conquering and to conquer” alludes to a righteous person, as the Greek term used here is used throughout the New Testament as a word meaning “to overcome” and “to be victorious.” In the 23 other times it is used in the New Testament (15 times in the Revelation alone), 22 of those instances refer to Christ or to His followers overcoming evil. So, in this 24th instance of the word (one of 15 times in the Revelation), it should be taken to mean the same thing: a righteous or holy force who is able to overcome and gain victory. Also, considering the rider is given a crown (something only seen to be given to Jesus or the 24 elders -- Daniel 7:13, 14, 27; Luke 1:31-33; Revelation 4:4, 10; 14:14), one would come to the conclusion the rider of the white horse is an individual on the side of good. However, it could be the Antichrist in disguise, as it is said that the Antichrist would seem pure, and make himself seem righteous and working for peace while actually deceiving mankind. In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or anti-Christ means a person, office, or group recognized as fulfilling the Biblical prophecies about one who will oppose Christ and substitute himself in Christs place. ... Revelation of the Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, which could not be known apart from the unveiling (Goswiller 1987 p. ... Look up beast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Victory in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov (1887).
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov (1887).

Pairing this vision of a rider of a white horse with chapter 19's rider of a white horse (seen to be Jesus), a sensible conclusion would reveal the first of the four horsemen is Jesus Himself; a more complete interpretation of the vision is that this horseman probably represents the Holy Spirit -- Biblically referenced as the third part of the Holy Trinity wherein Jesus is "God the Son" -- whom Jesus promises his disciples will come to aid them after his departure from earth. (Acts 1:4-8) Further support of this belief comes from the book of Joel (in the Biblical Old Testament), wherein chapters 2 and 3 strike incredible parallels to the depictions of the end times in Revelations; in those chapters, the prophet Joel foretells of an "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit among God's people who are left in the earth in these last days, manifested as their empowerment to perform various supernatural acts. Given that according to the Biblical accounts from Acts onward the Holy Spirit (generally regarded as a teacher, counselor, and source of guidance to believers) indeed came after Jesus' departure from earth, since the scene in Revelation 5 likely references' Jesus triumphant return to heaven, it would chronologically and theologically be quite possible that this white horseman in the vision depicts the Holy Spirit. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 419 pixelsFull resolution (2290 × 1200 pixel, file size: 634 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 419 pixelsFull resolution (2290 × 1200 pixel, file size: 634 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. ... Self-portrait 1873 Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov (Виктор Михайлович Васнецов) (May 15 (N.S.), 1848—1926) was a Russian artist who specialized in mythological and historical subjects. ... This article is about the Christian Trinity. ...


Red Horse

The rider of the second horse is generally held to represent War. The red colour of his horse represents blood spilled on the battlefield. He carries a greatsword, which represents battle and fighting. The Red Horse is also said to represent the Planet Mars. The term great sword refers to any of a number of large two-handed swords used in medieval Europe. ... Adjectives: Martian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 0. ...


Black Horse

The third horseman, riding the black horse, is called Famine. The black colour of the third horse could be a symbol of famine. Its rider holds a scale, which could be a representation of the 'scales of pitiless justice' which commonly represent inequality and corruption. Digital kitchen scales. ... This article is about inequalities in mathematics. ...


The "a measure of wheat for a penny" from the King James Version might not sound like a famine to modern ears, but in the Worldwide English Version we read "four cups of wheat for bread will sell for a day's wages". This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ...


Pale Horse

The fourth horseman, his colour is sage (on the pale, or sickly horse, which may be the source of the notion of "pestilence" as a separate horseman) is explicitly named Death. Grim Reaper redirects here. ...


The Greek word interpreted here as "pale" is elsewhere in the New Testament translated as "green." The horse is sometimes translated as "pale," "pale green," or "green." The pale greenish colour of the fourth horse could mean fear, sickness, decay, and death.


Video Game Appearence

The four also make an appearance in Darksiders: Wrath of War


Alternative interpretations

An alternative interpretation holds the first Horseman to represent War or the Antichrist, the second to represent Pestilence (sometimes called Plague), while the third and fourth riders remain Famine and Death, respectively, though this interpretation is often considered flawed[attribution needed]. For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or anti-Christ means a person, office, or group recognized as fulfilling the Biblical prophecies about one who will oppose Christ and substitute himself in Christs place. ... Look up pestilence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The bubonic plague or bubonic fever is the best-known variant of the deadly infectious disease caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis). ... <nowiki>Insert non-formatted text hereBold text</nowiki>A famine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread malnutrition, starvation, epidemic and increased mortality. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation). ...


One interpretation rearranges the order in which the horsemen arrive to end the world, and a slight change to their personas. The first horseman to appear is Pestilence, who rides upon a sickly, decaying horse. Pestilence causes the decay and imminent destruction of the worlds crops and wildlife. In the wake of Pestilence comes Famine, a large and portly rider riding upon a thin and sickly horse, symbolizing gluttony and the lack of food. In the wake of Famine, due to immense fighting over the remaining food supplies, is War. War rides upon a red horse and wields a tremendous sword which he uses to slay the millions in his path. And in the wake of War, comes the black rider, Death. His horse is, as one would guess, jet black. He is followed by hades and carries the remaining souls to their final destinations.


Another challenged[attribution needed] interpretation is that the white horse represents foreign warfare or conquest ("went forth conquering, and to conquer"), the red represents civil war or domestic strife ("that they should kill one another"), the black represents famine ("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 the pale represents pestilence or disease in its various forms (" to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth").


Yet another interpretation is that the Four Horsemen are the Four Beasts mentioned in the visions of The Book of Daniel, representing four kings (or kingdoms), the last of which devours the world. The more conventional integration of this portion of Daniel with Revelation, however, is that the eleventh king (arising in the fourth kingdom) is the Antichrist. For other uses, see Book of Daniel (disambiguation). ...


Some Christian scholars do not interpret Revelation as prophecy of future events so much as a revealing of God's presence in the current events of the first century[citation needed].


In this sense the white horseman is a symbol for a conquering force from without. This is symbolized using the image of the feared Parthian mounted archer on his white horse and given the crown of a conqueror. The red rider who takes peace from the earth is the civil strife that ended the pax romana. The black rider is the famine that follows anytime there is foreign invasion or civil war. The final rider is the death that accompanies conflict and famine and the pestilence that springs up in the aftermath of these other tragedies. Parthia at its greatest extent under Mithridates II (123–88 BC) Capital Ctesiphon, Ecbatana Government Monarchy [[Category:Former monarchies}}|Parthia, 247 BC]] History  - Established 247 BC  - Disestablished 220 AD Parthian votive relief. ... Roman Empire at its greatest extent with the conquests of Trajan Pax Romana, Latin for the Roman peace (sometimes Pax Augusta), was the long period of relative peace and minimal expansion by military force experienced by the Roman Empire between 27 BC and 180 AD. Augustus Caesar led Rome into...


While these images, and especially the Parthians, are specific to the Roman Empire of the early Christian era, there is a universality about them. Each new century, Christian interpreters see ways in which the horsemen, and Revelation in general, speaks to contemporary events. Some who believe Revelation applies to modern times can interpret the horses based on various ways their colours are used. Red, for example, often represents Communism, while Black has been used as a symbol of Capitalism. Pastor Irvin Baxter Jr. of Endtime Ministries espouses such a belief.[1] This article is about the form of society and political movement. ... For other uses, see Capitalism (disambiguation). ... Irvin Baxter Jr. ... Endtime Ministries is an American evangelical ministry founded and headed by Irvin Baxter Jr. ...


Not all interpretations agree that the horsemen are associated with contemporary events; one interpretation suggests that the horseman are each associated with one of the first, four opened seals. [2] The white horse represents the first seal in which the city of Enoch[3] is established in righteous conquest. The red horse represents the second seal in which bloodshed and wickedness reigns. The black horse represents the third seal in which famine, plague, and pestilence take hold of the world. The pale horse represents a time of escalated death and destruction. Further interpretation by scholars suggests that each horse represents a given time: the time of Enoch, the time of Noah, the time of Abraham, and the time of Christ. Seven Seals is the newest album by the german Powermetal-Band Primal Fear, released in November 2005. ... The original plat of the City of Zion (Independence, Missouri). ...


See also

In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or anti-Christ means a person, office, or group recognized as fulfilling the Biblical prophecies about one who will oppose Christ and substitute himself in Christs place. ... Look up Apocalypse in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Armageddon (disambiguation). ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation). ... Grim Reaper redirects here. ... For the eschatological beliefs of various religions, see End Times. ... <nowiki>Insert non-formatted text hereBold text</nowiki>A famine is a social and economic crisis that is commonly accompanied by widespread malnutrition, starvation, epidemic and increased mortality. ... The Horsemen of Apocalypse are a team of fictional supervillains in the Marvel Universe that serve the ancient mutant Apocalypse as his personal strikeforce. ... Look up pestilence in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The bubonic plague or bubonic fever is the best-known variant of the deadly infectious disease caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... The Four Horsemen is the second track on Metallicas 1983 album Kill Em All. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Baxter, Irvin. Arafat and Jerusalem: The Palestinian Perspective. Endtime Ministries. Retrieved on 2006-12-05.
  2. ^ Draper, Richard D. (1991). Opening the Seven Seals: The Visions of John the Revelator. Deseret Book, 62-68. ISBN 0-87579-547-1. 
  3. ^ Moses 7:19
Irvin Baxter Jr. ... Endtime Ministries is an American evangelical ministry founded and headed by Irvin Baxter Jr. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Deseret Book is the largest Latter-day Saint book publisher and also owns a chain of LDS bookstores in the western United States. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (4802 words)
The four horsemen appear when the Lamb (Jesus) opens the first four seals of a scroll with seven seals (which is described in Revelation chapter 6).
Each one of the four living creatures reveals a horseman, the first three horsemen are summed up by the fourth horsemen, 'They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth'.
There is no easy interpretation of the four horses of the apocalypse, however (according to Billy Graham) they have a striking relationship to Mat 24, especially when compared with the opening of the fifth seal which speaks of the persecution of the saints and the sixth seal which parallels Mat 24:29.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6689 words)
Illuminated parchment, 1047 A.D., The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse
The Four Horsemen of World of WarCraft are presumed to be based on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse considering each is colored correctly: White, red, fl and pale green.
Four Horsemen Studios is a group of four action figure sculptors who formerly worked for McFarlane Toys, and whose work has included the new 2002 line of He-Man toys.
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