4 horsemen of the Apocalypse


Are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse the same as the four angels? A relative says that the rider of the pale horse is the Antichrist.


The four horsemen are from the Old Testament.

***I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. Then I said, What are these, my lord?' The angel who talked with me said to me,I will show you what they are.’ **(Zechariah 1:8)

The first chariot had red horses, the second black horses, the third white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled gray horses. Then I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” (Zechariah 6:2-4)*

When you understand the prophetic literature of the Old Testament - who the prophets were, who their audience is and what their message was - then you will understand Revelation.

Get into a good Bible study like The Bible Timeline by Great Adventure/Jeff Cavins. You can’t interpret the Book of Revelation by asking questions on the internet.



LOL…i seriously thought you meant Dawkins, Dennet, Harris, and Hitchens!!!

(I believe they were given the nickname “The Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse” at one time…)



The interpretations vary. I’ll give a few old ones:

Autpertus Ambrosius had the following interpretations:

White Horseman: The Chosen Elect of Christ
Red Horseman: The Devil who spiritually corrupts humanity
Black Horseman: The cessation of the preaching of God’s word
Pale Horseman: Heretics, Jews (antisemitism was more widespread back then), unfaithful believers, and pagans

Bede has a slightly different understanding:

White Horse: The Church
Red Horseman: The Devil
Black Horseman: Unfaithful believers
Pale Horseman: Either heretics or those who are spiritually dead


The literal reading posits the four horsemen as war (white), bloodlust (red), famine (black), and starvation, disease, and death (pale green). War, of course, is often accompanied by bloodlust, famine, and disease. But there are many deeper interpretations,


There is no agreement on the meaning, but here’s one I like.

White Horse: Religion. Who wears the “white”? Answer: His Holyness, the pope. What color is his flag? It is mainly white.

Black Horse: Capitalism. In commerce, when you have a positive balance, it is said to be in the black. What powers it is oil or “black gold”, before that it was coal.

Red Horse: Communism. It’s flags are red and they are called the “reds”.

Pale Horse: A mistranslation. The Greek is Chloros which simply means green. From it comes the English word “chlorophyll”. The translators had never seen a green horse so they wrote “pale”.

Green Horse: Islam. The flags of most Islamic nations are green or contain green. The bandanas worn by Islamic and Palastinian activists are green. Put “Green Horse” in the You Tube search box and see what comes up.


Clint Eastwood


Here are the directly pertinent verses:

REVELATION 6:1-11 1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say, as with a voice of thunder, “Come!” 2 And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. 3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another; and he was given a great sword. 5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand; 6 and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!” 7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. 9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; 10 they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.


If these had to do with the Old testament and have nothing to do with our modern world, its HIGHLY strange how close things were in the world compared to today, of course, I dont believe in coincidences.


My speculative interpretation –
first horseman: World War 3
second: severe civil unrest
third: widespread famine
fourth: death from a variety of causes and the fear of death

The riders and horses are figurative. No personage is a rider. The riders are not angels or devils or evil human persons.

A common theological opinion is that the tribulation is divided into two parts: the lesser tribulation occurs first, and later (perhaps much later) the greater tribulation. The four horsemen, in this view, would be part of the earlier tribulation, and the Antichrist would not arrive until many years later, for the greater tribulation.


This is not good interpretation of scripture.

Some may like this interpretation or think it is correct but it is not sound exegesis based on scholarship.

This is nothing more than application of colors to to particular groups. It could just as well mean gangs or football teams.

Youtube??? :rolleyes: Please let’s stick with sound sources.



Again, this is not sound Catholic interpretation. Please lets stop speculation. Speculation is disrespectful to God who gave us his written word and the Church which is the authentic interpreter.



I never said that it has nothing to do with our modern world. Those are your words, not mine.

I said that it is from the Old Testament. Those were my words.

Revelation is full of imagery borrows from the writings of the Prophets, especially Jerimiah, Zecharia and Daniel. To correctly understand Revelation one has to first understand the history of Israel and then understand the Prophets - who they were, who the audience of each was and what their individual messages were. Only when you understand the Prophets can you correctly understand Revelation. Everything else is guessing or just making things up.

There is a lot of guessing, speculation and making things up in this thread. It is very disrespectful to God who gave us his written word and to the Church which is the legitimate interpreter of that word.

Scott Hahn has written a wonderful book on Revelation. Jeff Cavins/Great Adventur puts out several great studies which talk about Revelation in the context of the rest of the Bible. These take time and effort. You get out what you put in.



I know, I hope I did come off as trying to imply you said that… I was really referring to many people,when the topic of revelations/ end times comes up, they claim most of the OT verses actually have to do with things that have already happened in ancient times. I know some of them did, but its highly strange how closely events back then mirror modern times imo


Those horsemen are events that will happen before the coming of Christ. they will make what we are going through now look like a walk in the park on a God given peaceful day or however you want to decribe it but it will be extreamly lopsided.


Here is the thing…

The four horsemen/chariots from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah represent both things that have already taken place and things that are yet to take place. Both.


Here is commentary from the newly published translation of the Glossa Ordinaria on Revelation, the standard commentary of the Middle Ages.

By the first seal opened out of which came the white horse is symbolized the whitening of the Church through baptism; by the second horse, the red one, is symbolized the open persecution of those who shed blood, whence tribulations arise for the baptized; by the third, the black one, the secret persecution of the heretics; and by the fourth, the pale one, the persecution of false brothers, both open and secret.

**6:2 ** white horse
He that sat upon him had a bow. Christ has a bow, i.e. the Scripture with which he illuminates his people and kills his enemies.

A bow. The bow without the string is the Old Testament, which was, as it were, useless; but once the string, i.e. the New Testament, is put on it, it is useful for shooting arrows that transfix the hearts of the listeners.

There was a crown given him. Or God is crowned in his people, because God is glorious in the saints. Or according to his humanity.

6:4 red horse
The Devil, seeing that the Church is being set up to fill the place he fell from, first tries openly to destroy it.

kill one another. Sc. with a material sword or with that of persuasion.

a great sword. I.e. a great power to kill, because it is not only over lesser people, but also over greater ones like Peter.

6:5 black horse
Seeing that he has not succeeded through open persecutors, the Devil sends the heretics to contend with false speeches so that they may deceive more easily; which we symbolize by the black horse because they obscure the Scriptures with perverse ideas so as to corrupt and lead astray simple people.

6:8 pale horse
Seeing that he was able to succeed neither through open tribulations nor through open heresies, the Devil sends false brethren who, under the appearance of religion, possess the nature of both the red and the black horse in that they corrupt faith.

Death. Because it is through him that death came, or literally because he kills some in the flesh and some in the soul.

he that sat upon him. I.e. the Devil.

hell followed him. I.e. the insatiable who imitate him with earthly things, or those who are to be put in hell.

over the four parts. I.e. over all the wicked living everywhere, or over the Jews and the Gentiles, and the heretics and the false Christians.

sword. A material one or that of persuasion.

famine. Of the divine word.

death. Poisonous words.

beasts of the earth. Beast-like ministers or literally.


IMHO, the four horsemen were released after Adam’s sin, as a direct consequence of man’s separation from God.

War, starvation, disease, and finally death have been and will continue to be a part of our world until the end. I don’t know if I believe in a 7-year Tribulation period in which the judgement of God will be reigned down upon mankind, but I do believe that, since sin entered the world, God tries to use these things to bring mankind to repentance.


I like this a lot.

could it be war famine disease death are the other way around ending in the white horse of victory.


No because the white horse is the AC.

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