Revelation 6:5-6 The LAMB Breaks the Third Seal

Revelation 6-5-6

I know I am not saying too much about each of these judgments and that is for two reasons. First, there is not really a great deal of information given in chapter 6 regarding any of these judgments. We could do more word studies and cross-references, but remember that we are trying to stay at the top of the mountain—we are just doing an observational overview. That is what I want you to walk away with after reading this series. I want you to have an overview of the book of Revelation (with a few choice nuggets thrown in for good measure, of course!) If I told you everything I have learned about the book of Revelation from studying the Bible myself, you might not study it for yourself—which is definitely not my purpose!

Let’s continue with the next seal… the third one…

When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” Revelation 6:5

Who broke the third seal? The Lamb—the Lamb slain for our sins. Don’t picture Him as weak—this Lamb is standing, having been resurrected from the dead. This Lamb has seven horns and seven eyes; He has all power and knowledge! This Lamb is the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah; He is the Root of David; and He has overcome and He will open the book and its seven seals.

The seal that He breaks is on a book, or scroll, that was in the right hand (hand of power) of God, the Father, as He sat on His throne. The book is written on the inside and on the back, and is sealed up with seven seals. No one will be found worthy to open this book or break its seals.

The apostle John is informed that no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth will be able to open the book or even to look into it and begins to weep greatly. Why? Because he wants his God to judge; he wants justice. Remember, John is captive on the island of Patmos, a penal colony. He is being persecuted for being obedient to God, the Father, and following Jesus Christ as his Lord. All Christians are being persecuted for their belief in the Son of God—Jesus… Justice is needed… justice is called for… justice is just…

This is not a situation that was singular to the time of John. Today, Christians everywhere long for their Savior to return for them. They want to be with Him and they also long for justice. They long for their Savior to deliver the Jews from the world; they long Him to take up His throne and righteously rule with His rod of iron over the entire earth! Christians will be caught up together in the clouds to the Lord at some time in the not too distant future. He will come to the earth at a later date and take up His throne. As Christians, we long for those times to come, and we long for our Dread Champion to righteously administer justice to all. We wait for His appearing…

This Lamb is worthy to take the book of judgments from God in order to break its seals. Why? Because He was slain, and purchased (for God) men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation with His blood! This Lamb has made those people to be a kingdom; He has made them to be priests to His God; He has guaranteed they will reign upon the earth!

This Lamb is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! This Lamb is worthy to be worshiped forever and ever… and He will be! (Revelation 5)

The third living creature is the one that had a face like that of a man. It said, “Come” when the Lamb broke the third seal. Notice that the other creatures are said to be like either a lion, a calf, or a flying eagle. This third living creature, however, is only said to have the face like that of a man.

I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. Revelation 6:5

When the third living creature said, “Come” a black horse was beheld by John. The first horse was white and the second one, red. The Greek word used for “white” is leukos and means light, bright, or white. It comes from a word that means bright or radiant. The Greek word for “red” is purrhos and means fire-like or flame-colored. It comes from a word that means fire. The Greek word for “black” is melas and means… well… it seems to be a primary word that simply means black.

The rider of the black horse had a pair of scales in his hand. The Greek word for “pair of scales” is zugos and comes from the root of zeugnumi. It means to join, especially by a yoke or a coupling. It can have the figurative idea of servitude, as in a law or obligation. It can also refer literally to the beam of a balance, as in the connection of a pair of scales.

And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:6

Does John hear a voice? Or something like a voice? Where does the sound come from? It comes from the center of the four living creatures so it doesn’t appear that it was coming from any of the four living creatures, does it? Where were the four living creatures? They were around the throne. Who then, might be speaking?

John hears a message which consists of three parts: “a quart of wheat for a denarius”, “three quarts of barley for a denarius”, “and do not damage the oil and the wine”. A denarius was equivalents to a day’s wage. It sounds like things were very expensive—it will take an entire day to earn enough to buy a quart of wheat, which won’t feed you for long. You can buy three quarts of barley (a less nutritious grain) for a day’s wage, which would give you enough to feed some of your dependents.

What does this sound like to you? The food is scarce, but it is still available. Great numbers of people are not necessarily starving from lack of food, but suffering because of the difficulty to obtain it. This may not be a full-fledged famine, but, at the very least, the food is being rationed and is very, very costly. Why would the food situation be what it is? Well, one possibility is that famine is one of the consequences of war (the second seal judgment). How? What happens during war? Fields and plants are damaged, and factories are damaged. There could definitely be a reduction in food for the world after the second seal.

The rider is ordered to withhold from damaging the oil and the wine. This is interesting—the dietary necessities will be scarce, but that which is nonessential seems to be plentifully available at God’s command.

So far, the seal judgments seem like things that could be seen and identified in parts of our present-day world. However, these judgments take place after the messages to the churches—which causes us to think they will not happen until after the church is taken out of this world (i.e. the Rapture). Additionally, these judgments will most likely be world-wide, which will make them of a greater intensity than anything anyone has ever seen or experienced on this earth before…

© Sharon Jensen 1999-2017