Horsemen of the Apocalypse


May 23, 2022

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are the four horsemen that are described in the first part of the sixth chapter of the Apocalypse.[1] The chapter speaks of a parchment in the right hand of God that is sealed with seven seals, in that scenario Jesus opens the first four seals of the seven, releasing these horsemen who ride on four horses white, red, black and yellow. According to exegesis they represent and are allegories of conquest or Glory, war, famine and death, respectively, although only the latter is designated by this name.[2] Although the horsemen appear briefly in the book, their importance lies in the number of artistic representations and generally in the influence they had on Western culture.

White horse

Ridden by the rider of conquest. Saint Irenaeus and Saint John Chrysostom maintain that the archer mounted on the white horse is the triumphant propagation of the Gospel; an expansion that succeeds thanks to political support. Father Castellani makes it clear when interpreting that in the Christian Monarchy, the Christianitas, is the Roman order converted to Christian orthodoxy. Some authors, such as William Hendriksen, claim that the rider on the white horse is Jesus of Nazareth.[4] Carrying a bow, a weapon to reach great distances, is a representation of what the Christian kingdoms did, supporting and carrying evangelization to distant peoples. As an example of what was predicted, the baptism of the Germanic and Slavic peoples or the evangelization of America happened. He went out "to win", those victories are the victories of Constantine, of Theodosius, of Carlos Martel. Those who strengthened and built on the old Roman order, the Romanitas, the Christian order that lasted from Constantine to Emperor Charles V.[5] The millennium that is later narrated in the final part of the Apocalypse.[6] The details mentioned about the color of the horse and the type of weapon that the rider carries, reveal the testimony of the Church in the first period of Christianity (from the year 31 - 100 AD specifically) which was characterized by its purity of doctrine and the offensive power of the gospel.

Red horse

The red[1] or chestnut steed is ridden by the horseman of war. Father Castellani states that dispossessed the Christian monarchy of its existence[7] will come "war or rumors of war"[8] as Jesus Christ says. And he adds more saying that this "is the beginning of sorrows"[9] but "it is not yet the end".[8] Benedict XV in 1917 declared: "Until now, war had never been seen in the world as permanent institution of all mankind. And Castellani already warns that seeing two world wars it seems as if the world is preparing for a third.

Black horse

Ridden by the horseman of hunger. The third horseman rides a black horse and is generally understood as famine. The rider carries a pair of scales or weighing scales, indicating the way bread is weighed during a famine. Of the four men on horseback, the black horse and its rider are the only ones whose appearance is accompanied by a vocal utterance. Juan hears a voice, unidentified, but coming from the four living creatures, who speaks of the prices of wheat and barley, also saying "but do not harm the oil or the wine." This suggests that the black horse's hunger is to increase the price of grain, but without affecting supplies of oil and wine. One explanation for this is that cereal crops would have been more susceptible in famine years than olive and vineyard crops; the statement could also suggest a continued abundance of luxuries for the wealthy, while staples like bread are scarce, though not totally depleted. On the other hand, the preservation of oil and wine could symbolize