Revelation 6:8

A pale horse (ippo clwro). Old adjective. Contracted from cloero (from cloh, tender green grass) used of green grass ( Mark 6:39 ; Revelation 8:7 ; Revelation 9:4 ), here for yellowish, common in both senses in old Greek, though here only in N.T. in this sense, greenish yellow. We speak of a sorrel horse, never of a green horse. Zechariah ( Zechariah 6:3 ) uses poikilo (grizzled or variegated). Homer used clwro of the ashen colour of a face blanched by fear (pallid) and so the pale horse is a symbol of death and of terror. His name was Death (onoma autwi o qanato). Anacoluthon in grammatical structure like that in John 3:1 (cf. Revelation 2:26 ) and common enough. Death is the name of this fourth rider (so personified) and there is with Death "his inseparable comrade, Hades ( Revelation 1:16 ; Revelation 20:13 )" (Swete). Hades (aidh, alpha privative, and idein, to see, the unseen) is the abode of the dead, the keys of which Christ holds ( Revelation 1:18 ). Followed (hkolouqei). Imperfect active of akolouqew, kept step with death, whether on the same horse or on another horse by his side or on foot John does not say. Over the fourth part of the earth (epi to tetarton th gh). Partitive genitive gh after tetarton. Wider authority (exousia) was given to this rider than to the others, though what part of the earth is included in the fourth part is not indicated. To kill (apokteinai). First aorist active infinitive of apokteinw, explanation of the exousia (authority). The four scourges of Ezekiel 14:21 are here reproduced with instrumental en with the inanimate things (rompaiai, limwi qanatwi) and upo for the beasts (qhriwn). Death here (qanatwi) seems to mean pestilence as the Hebrew does (loimo -- cf. limo famine). Cf. the "black death" for a plague.