Third Seal
(Third Horseman - Black - Famine, Hunger, Population explosion)


6:5-6
NOTES:
v1: The "creature" with the head of a man shows John the results of the breaking of the third seal. Now the third horse, a black horse, of the apocalypse comes forth. In the Bible, the color black indicates distress, calamity, fear, and famine. This rider holdd a balance scale. Bread or wheat by weight indicates scarcity (Lev. 26:26). Famine after warfare comes as shown by the balance. God said to Ezekiel if the people are disobedient, they will again have to measure the grain on a scale. Measuring on the scale in the OT was indicative of scarcity. The ancient way of buying food was using this kind of a balance. This scale is indicative of the careful measuring of food which will now occur. Economic injustice will occur. Greed, and lack of pity or compassion will be abound.

©Salem Kirban, Inc.

v2: A voice from the creatures describes the conditions of famine. Some believe this is the all-knowing voice of God. The "measure of wheat" is approximately equal to one "choinix" -> 2 pints of wheat -> also approximately what a person needs per day. Therefore, this foretells people will be paying their day's pay for a day's worth of food (i.e. nothing is left over). Wheat (contrasted with chaff or tares) was a symbol of God's elect (Matt. 3:12; Matt. 13:30) and of their food (Psa. 81:13, 16; 147:11, 14).

A denarious (written in some translations) is equal to a day's pay for a soldier. This is said to be approximately equal a penny, four pence.

The "three measures" seems to signify there are errors instead of truths similar to the woman Jezebel used (Matt. 13:33). Barley was a common food for the animals; but, it was normally associated with an adulteress (Hos. 3:1-2) or liked to jealousy offering of a wife under suspicion of infidelity (Num. 5:15). The scenario for this barley seems to show that food (wheat) will be so scarce that the people will have to buy barley to feed the family. Because of greed, there will be phony measurements and excessive costs of food.

Why save the oil and wine? Another indication of luxury and need. The wheat, barley, are necessary to sustain life The oil and wine are generally considered the luxury items. However, during and after wartime, the vines and olive trees would not be producing as much. THerefore, some consideration of the use of these items was required. This would seem to indicate there will be those who will have and those who will have not. Guess who the Have's are? Some scholars think the olive oil could in today's terms be fuel and oil. The wine could reverence all intoxicating beverages. Therefore, the preservation of the petroleum and drink could be an indication of the people who "have" being greedy for whatever there is.

A similar condition of greed, scarcity, and cheating is in Zecharia (Zech. 5:5-11).

REFERENCES:
Zech 6-2,6; 11 King 7:1,16,18; Prov 16:11; 11:1; Matt. 13:33; 20:1-16; Luke 21-.28

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