Seal 1: Military Conquest (vv.
Bow = warrior
Crown = King/Ruler
Most likely the Anti-Christ, though some have interpreted this as Christ.
The second explaination is not the likely choice.
Also may have had an immediate context reference to the Parthians that were a real threat to the Roman empire.
They also road on horses are were excellent archers.
White was the sacred color of the Parthians.
Probably the most likely interpretation is a now/not yet fulfilment that referenced both the Parthians in the immediate context, but also primarily the future anti-Christ
The point is that Rome would fall
Seal 2: Peace is Removed (vv.
Each seal builds upon the other.
Not only is war given in the first seal, but it also continues into the second seal
In the second seal, peace is removed resulting in peoplel turning on one another.
Murders are a regular occurence as trust is deminished
Seal 3: Famine (vv.
The result of the wars are that famine ensues
Farmers are likely killed in the wars or drafted into the armies to fight.
Fields are burned and destroyed
A quart of barley was just enough for one person to eat in a day.
One day’s labor would only feed one person
Wine and Oil were not essentials and this speaks to the fact that the wealthy may not be affected as much by the famine or that the luxuries they enjoyed would still be there while famine is rampant on the earth
Seal 4: Plague, Disease, Animal Predation (vv.
The result of famine is always depleted health and sickness begins to result in plagues and diseases
The carnage and lack of food also lead animals to turn from scavenging the dead carcasses that are too many to be burried to turning on people who are alive
Death is the place of the dead and hades is the underworld
This figure is a sort of grim reaper type of figure.
Does not mean that 1/4 of the world is killed, only that they had authority to kill
Seal 5: Slain Martyrs for Christ (vv.9-11)
Big question is are these tribulation saints or saints from all the ages who have been martyred
Shift in plea from God to forgive to call for justice from God - seems to indicated tribulation saints
Answer will lie in your view of tribulation and rapture of the church
Set number means that God is still in control of who He allows to be martyred.
It is a mystery as to who and why God allows this, but it is not a mystery that God will give them justice
These are specifically slain for the testimony of Christ
Seal 6: Cosmic Disturbances (vv.12-17)
Possible reference to Mount Vesuvius Erruption
Ash and rockes would have looked like stars falling from the sky
Sky would be blackened by ash clouds
Rocks would fall on the people and landscape would shift
Seems to reference
1. Judgment is Coming on the Earth
2. Christ is in Control of the Final Events
3. No One Will Be Hidden From God’s Judgment
Many Will Die for Their Faith
5. Signs of Judgment Have Already Begun
6. Christ Will Preserve His Own People