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Revelation; 4 Horsemen-Why?

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posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 07:34 AM
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I want to offer some thoughts on the "4 Horsemen" episode in Revelation ch6.

I won't be trying to identify them. I'm not considering when they might come or might have come.

Instead, I'm posing the question; why would God be sending them? What are they supposed to be for?

The most important clue, I think, lies in those horses. Four of them, different colours. As a group, they've got predecessors, in a couple of chapters of Zechariah. I'm sure the Christians of John's time would have recognised the echoes, and they would have been reading this chapter in the light of what Zechariah said. I'm hoping to do the same thing.

Obviously Zechariah was writing, in the first instance, for the people of his own time, so we have to think about that side of things first. The most important point about the background of Zechariah's book is the problem of "other nations". Judah had been invaded by the Assyrians in the past, they had been conquered by the Babylonians, and now they were living as part of the mighty Persian empire. That's why the dates are in the name of Darius, and not one of their own kings.

A group of horses, different colours. The first group we find is in Zechariah ch1. They've been out patrolling the earth (so somebody tells the prophet), and the report they bring back is that "all the earth remains at rest". This prompts an outburst from the angel of the Lord, complaining about the contrasting state of Judah themselves. They are not "at rest", because they've been feeling the effects of the Lord's anger. The Lord responds with comforting words; he says that he is "jealous" on behalf of Jerusalem, and also "very angry with the nations that are at rest".

A similar group (slightly different colours, and with chariots) goes out on patrol in Zechariah ch6. The most important mission is to "the north country", the direction of all the recent invaders.

There seem to be at least two schools of thought about the translation of Zechariah ch6 v8; as between, say "brought my spirit to rest on the land of the north" (Jerusalem Bible), and "set my spirit at rest in the north country" (RSV). The first suggests that the north is feeling God's anger, the second suggests, perhaps, that God's spirit was previously troubled. Perhaps a Hebrew scholar will be on hand who can adjudicate beween the two.

I must admit that I rather like the sense of the second version, because it implies a neat, logical reversal of the situation in ch1.

The situation of ch1 was;
Earth at rest
God's people not at rest
Therefore God's spirit not at rest

The achievement of ch6 would then be;
Rest of earth overturned
Rest of God's people (implicitly) restored
Therefore rest of God's spirit restored

Anyway, the gist of the message, either way, is that God is expressing his jealousy for his people by expressing his anger against, taking action against, the oppressors of his people.

There was certainly trouble in the Persian empire at this time, because of a succession dispute and various revolts, "but that's not important right now". My concern is to take these insights and try to apply them to the interpretation of Revelation ch6.

The colours of the four horse in Revelation are nearly the same as the colours in Zechariah ch6 (the fourth colour in the RSV is "dappled" in the OT and "pale" in the NT). In my mind, these colours have a clear and unmistakable message for us. The message is "These horses are much the same horses that you saw operating in Zechariah, and you should be expecting them to have a similar function".

If there's going to be any parallel between the setting of Zechariah and the setting of Revelation, then the later setting should be including these features;

The world at large- at least the portion of the world controlling God's people- would be "at rest".
God's people themselves, in contrast, would not be "at rest"- they would be oppressed and in trouble.
God would then, presumably, be "jealous" on behalf of his people, and "very angry with the nations that are at rest".
The 4 Horsemen would then be coming out into the world, like the north-country chariot of Zechariah ch6, as the expression of that anger.

In the first instance, we should be looking for parallels in the time when John was writing. Church tradition mentions great perscutions in the reigns of Nero and Domitian. Between those times, hostile action against the church was not constant, but there was always the pressure of the possibility of hostile action. Meanwhile, the "Roman Peace" of the Empire at large (outside the immediate vicinity of the Imperial palace) has become proverbial. The episode of the 4 Horsemen would then have been read by the church as a promise that God would respond to their troubles, and that he would take action against their oppressors.

If we want to apply this passage as prophecy, then we should surely, once again, be looking out for similar parallels.
That is to say, the church, God's people, would be oppressed and troubled, while those who held power over them would be comparatively "at rest".
God would then be "jealous" for his people, and angry at their oppressors.

The 4 Horsemen would then be sent as God's response to the needs of his oppressed people, which is the answer to my original question.


I have one more suggestion to make to anyone who believes that the 4 Horsemen have already been seen in the world. Please look at the events you've got in mind- whatever they are- and ask yourself this question; In what way can they be seen as God's response to the oppression of his people?




posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 08:00 AM
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oh man, good work. plowing deep and you bring up the word...that's what we want...especially how the old covenant scripture relates...especially zachariah...i remember that movie from 1970...i always thought it was important to modern times in prophecy somehow. it was a mystery to me for ever



posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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The 4 Horsemen-Why?


Because they didn't have cars in those days.




posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
Obviously Zechariah was writing, in the first instance, for the people of his own time, so we have to think about that side of things first.


From premise to conclusion,
I find no flaw with this.
Well done.


David Grouchy



posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by davidgrouchy
 


You're very kind, sir.
Thank you for that comment. I think the basic premise that you highlighted is a very important principle in all this.



posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


the four winds are the four horsemen according to revelation



posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by reject
reply to post by DISRAELI
 


the four winds are the four horsemen according to revelation


That is a very important point, sir. I agree with you, absolutely.

You'll appreciate that my OP was quite big enough already, and there was no point in burdening it with additional material that wasn't part of the question I was setting myself. But if someone like yourself comes in and brings up another angle, that is all very good and helpful.

You don't actually quote the biblical references for your comment, so I'll throw them in now for the benefit of anyone who's getting confused.

1) Zechariah ch6 v5 says about the four chariots mentioned there "these are going forth to the four winds of heaven".

2) Each of the 4 Horsemen has been summoned by one of the "four beasts around the throne". It has often been suggested that these four beasts, both in Ezekiel and here in Revelation, represent the four winds.

3) In Revelation ch7 v1, angels are told to hold back the four winds. As I understand it, this is the same thing as stopping the running of the 4 Horsemen. Either way, the point is that the destructive period is being brought to an end.

So the destructive episode of Ch6 is being described in two metaphorical ways. There is the metaphor of the 4 Horsemen, and there is also the metaphor of the four destructive winds of heaven

Have I missed anything out?



posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 11:38 AM
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4 horsemen:

1. Earth
2. Wind
3. Fire
4. Water

Only my opinion and understanding of the Bible...



posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by ney2x
4 horsemen:

1. Earth
2. Wind
3. Fire
4. Water

Only my opinion and understanding of the Bible...


That's another viewpoint. I need to have a look at their nature and identity, but I was really postponing that for another time.

How would these fit in with my theory about their purpose? Have you thought about how this might work? Are you agreeing with me, or disagreeing with me on that point?

[edit on 17-4-2010 by DISRAELI]



posted on Apr, 17 2010 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by acrux

The 4 Horsemen-Why?


Because they didn't have cars in those days.



So, in other words, you're suggesting that instead of being
White, Black, Red, and Pale...
They were really "green"?

Good thought- I'll take it to the committee and see what they think.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 07:15 AM
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Originally posted by GBP/JPY
that's what we want...especially how the old covenant scripture relates...especially zachariah...i remember that movie from 1970...i always thought it was important to modern times in prophecy somehow. it was a mystery to me for ever


Yes, Revelation is crammed with allusions to the OT. I'm convinced that the people of John's time would have understood the book much better than we're tending to do, simply by recognising the allusions and taking notice of them.
Movie on Zechariah? Never knew about that. Must have missed it.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 07:43 AM
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Very informative...thanks for the info and ties. I love deep study of the Bible, never considered this one.

Further, consider the 4 horsemen correspond directly to the first 4 signs Jesus gives of His imminent return in Matthew 24, and Mark 13... a false conquerer riding a white horse like Jesus rides upon his return..but he carries a bow as Jesus carries a sword....then war=red horse...then starvation and pestilence=black horse...and then plague and death=pale/green horse.

Ironically, this is the sequence played out in any major conflict. Keep up the good work.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I agree with the Earth, Air, water and Earth. I would also mention the four archangels and the four quarters (north, South, East, West).

In any case tetragramaton, the unutterable name of God consists of four letters YHVH (yod Heh Vau Heh)

Any remedial action on the material plane would need to be administered in a four-fold manner.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by acrux

The 4 Horsemen-Why?


Because they didn't have cars in those days.




I kinda translate it to 4 terrorists who get control of fighter planes carrying nukes.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by AlreadyGone

Further, consider the 4 horsemen correspond directly to the first 4 signs Jesus gives of His imminent return in Matthew 24, and Mark 13... a false conquerer riding a white horse like Jesus rides upon his return..but he carries a bow as Jesus carries a sword....then war=red horse...then starvation and pestilence=black horse...and then plague and death=pale/green horse.



Thank you for your helpful contribution.

I've just been looking over the correspondances you point out- wanting to scrutinise them carefully, because my favourite interpretation of the first horse goes off in a different direction. At the moment, I don't think the text necessarily clashes with my preferred option.

We'll have to come back to this, because I'm hoping to do another thread on the horses themselves.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by crowdedskies
reply to post by DISRAELI
 

I agree with the Earth, Air, water and Earth. I would also mention the four archangels and the four quarters (north, South, East, West).

In any case tetragramaton, the unutterable name of God consists of four letters YHVH (yod Heh Vau Heh)

Any remedial action on the material plane would need to be administered in a four-fold manner.



Thank you for that helpful contribution. These are all very important points.

From the human viewpoint, the "four directions" angle seems the most obvious. I wonder if that was the starting point of the others.

I suppose the alternative theory would be that the starting point must be in God, and therefore in the tetragrammaton of his name.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 01:07 PM
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A simple theory here. If the Dark Star called Nibiru, Blue Star, Wormwood, Destructor, and many other names comes, and I think it will, it will be dragging along some Moons, or at least Moonlets. These could pass really close or even impact the Earth as the Dark Star passes by Earth in it's passing through this system. Say for a minute there are Four Moons
(Horsemen) that will give much trouble to Earth. This could be what the ancient man was attempting to say when he wrote the original words down on parchment. Makes sense, doesn't it?



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by autowrench
A simple theory here. If the Dark Star called Nibiru, Blue Star, Wormwood, Destructor, and many other names comes, and I think it will, it will be dragging along some Moons, or at least Moonlets. These could pass really close or even impact the Earth as the Dark Star passes by Earth in it's passing through this system. Say for a minute there are Four Moons
(Horsemen) that will give much trouble to Earth. This could be what the ancient man was attempting to say when he wrote the original words down on parchment. Makes sense, doesn't it?


I don't want to get into any debates about the existence of Nibiru (trying to understand Revelation is hazardous enough), but I can see a possible flaw in that line of thought.

The Four Horsemen of Revelation ch6 are all described as doing very different things. These four potential moonlets would all be much the same, I suppose, and they would all be having much the same effect. That would make it more difficult for them to match the description.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by wisdomnotemotion

Originally posted by acrux

The 4 Horsemen-Why?


Because they didn't have cars in those days.



I kinda translate it to 4 terrorists who get control of fighter planes carrying nukes.


OK, but that would be only one kind of disaster, even if there were four of them
As I pointed out to the poster who suggested that they might be moonlets of Nibiru, the description in the chapter seems to suggest very clearly that there would be different kinds of disaster.
In other words, nuclear terrorists if you must, but we need to combine them with other things.



posted on Apr, 18 2010 @ 11:42 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 





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