Revelation 6:12-17

The Sixth Seal--Terror

12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great 1earthquake; and the 2sun became black as 3sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
13 and 4the stars of the sky fell to the earth, 5as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
14 6The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and 7every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 Then 8the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
16 and they 9said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him 10who sits on the throne, and from the 11wrath of the Lamb;
17 for 12the great day of their wrath has come, and 13who is able to stand?"

Revelation 6:12-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 6

This chapter contains the vision of the opening six of the seals of the sealed book, by the Lamb, and of the events following thereupon. The preparation to the vision of the first seal is in Re 6:1; the Lamb opens it, John hears a noise like thunder, and one of the living creatures bids him come and see; upon which he saw a horse, of a white colour, and a rider on it, who is described by a bow and crown given him, and by the victory he obtained, Re 6:2; at the opening of the second seal, the second living creature invites him as before; and he sees a horse, of a red colour, with a rider on it, described by his power, to take peace from the earth, and suffer men to kill one another, and by a great sword given him, Re 6:3,4; at the opening of the third seal, the third living creature addresses him in like manner as the other; and he sees a horse, of a black colour, and a rider on it, with a pair of balances in his hands; and hears a voice from among the four living creatures, expressing dearness of provisions, and a charge not to hurt the oil and wine, Re 6:5,6; at the opening of the fourth seal, the fourth living creature speaks to John, as the rest; and he sees a horse, of a pale colour, and a rider on it, described by his name, Death, by his follower, hell, or the grave, and by his power to destroy a fourth part of the earth with the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts, Re 6:7,8; at the opening of the fifth seal, John saw the souls of the martyrs, under the altar; hears their cry for vengeance; observes that white robes were given them, and that they were bid to be quiet until the slaying and suffering time of their brethren was over, Re 6:9-11; at the opening of the sixth seal follow an earthquake, strange changes in the heavens, the sun becomes black as sackcloth, the moon becomes as blood, the stars fall, and the heaven itself departs, and every island and mountain are moved out of their places, Re 6:12-14, the kings and great men of the earth, and even all sorts, of men, upon this, fly to the rocks and mountains to hide them from the face of God the Father, that sits upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, the opener of the sealed book; giving this as a reason for it, that the time of his great wrath was come, and none could stand before him, Re 6:15-17.

Revelation 6:12-17 In-Context

10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long , O Lord , holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

Cross References 13

  • 1. Matthew 24:7; Revelation 8:5; Revelation 11:13; Revelation 16:18
  • 2. Isaiah 13:10; Joel 2:10, 31; Joel 3:15; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24
  • 3. Isaiah 50:3; Matthew 11:21
  • 4. Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:25; Revelation 8:10; Revelation 9:1
  • 5. Isaiah 34:4
  • 6. Isaiah 34:4; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:11; Revelation 21:1
  • 7. Isaiah 54:10; Jeremiah 4:24; Ezekiel 38:20; Nahum 1:5; Revelation 16:20
  • 8. Is 2:10f, 19, 21; Isaiah 24:21; Revelation 19:18
  • 9. Hosea 10:8; Luke 23:30; Revelation 9:6
  • 10. Revelation 4:9; Revelation 5:1
  • 11. Mark 3:5
  • 12. Isaiah 63:4; Jeremiah 30:7; Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1f, 11, 31; Zephaniah 1:14; Revelation 16:14
  • 13. Psalms 76:7; Nahum 1:6; Malachi 3:2; Luke 21:36

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. I.e. chiliarchs, in command of one thousand troops
  • [b]. Lit "face"
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