Revelation 6:5-6

5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.
6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

Revelation 6:5 in Other Translations

KJV
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
ESV
5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand.
NLT
5 When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.
MSG
5 When he ripped off the third seal, I heard the third Animal cry, "Come out!" I looked. A black horse this time. Its rider carried a set of scales in his hand.
CSB
5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and there was a black horse. The horseman on it had a balance scale in his hand.

Revelation 6:5-6 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 6:5-6 In-Context

3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”
4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.
6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”
8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. 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.

Cross References 5

  • 1. Revelation 4:7
  • 2. Zechariah 6:2
  • 3. S Revelation 4:6,7
  • 4. Ezekiel 4:16
  • 5. Revelation 7:1,3; Revelation 9:4

Footnotes 4

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