In the first chariot [were] red horses
If these are to be understood of the apostles of Christ, and ministers of the Gospel, they may be compared to "horses", for bearing the name of Christ, and drawing the chariot of the Gospel; for their strength to labour in the word and doctrine; for their courage in the cause of Christ; and for their swiftness in doing his work; and to "red" ones, for their flaming zeal for the honour of the Redeemer, and their bloody sufferings for his sake: and if of angels, they may be compared to "horses", because strong and swift to do the will of God; and to "red" ones, because they are the executioners of his wrath and vengeance on wicked men: but if by "the chariots" are meant the monarchies, then by these "red horses" must be designed the Babylonians and Chaldeans, so called because their soldiers were clothed in red, and their chariots were like flaming torches; and they were sanguinary, cruel, and bloody in their tempers, and in their actions to the Jews; and were signified by Nebuchadnezzar's head of gold in his image; see ( Nahum 2:3 Nahum 2:4 ) ( Habakkuk 1:6-8 ) : and in the second chariot black horses;
which, applied to the apostles and ministers of the Gospel, may denote their mean and abject appearance outwardly, and their knowledge in the mysteries of grace, which are dark and obscure to others; and, if understood of angels, is applicable to them, when messengers of ill tidings, or executioners of judgment: but if the monarchies are meant, which seems best, the Medes and Persians are intended; and their "black" colour is expressive of the sorrowful estate of the Jews under them, especially in the time of Haman, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe: black horses were reckoned strong, well made, and fit for labour; and the Ethiopians and Moors chose to have their horses they used in war all of this colour, to strike the greater horror and terror into their enemies; and to see black horses in a dream was accounted a bad omen F19. The Medes and Persians were a strong and warlike people, and were very terrible to their enemies, under Cyrus; and very troublesome and distressing to the Jews, under Cambyses and Ahasuerus.
F19 Vid. Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 7. col. 106, 107.