Four Riders of the Apocalypse (Bible)
It is thus not easy to determine the significance symbolic system of the riders; interpretations often reflect contemporary fears.
Riders and their mountingThe riders and their horses such as they are described in the Bible:
NB: Even if the white rider is often interpreted as being the Antéchrist, the book of the Apocalypse does not name it as tel.
The word used to describe the Pale Rider is the Greek word chloros , or Vert. That evokes the color of a corpse died recently. Since the “green” word is not associated with the same French things, the word used is “pale” in the majority of the French translations.
Original textversion of the King Jacques of the Bible, Apocalypse chapter 6, towards 1 to 8 (emphase added):
- And I saw when the Lamb opened one off the seals, and I heard, ace it were the noise off thunder, one off the furnace beasts saying, Like and see.
- And I saw, and behold has white horse : and He that sat one him had has bow; and has crown was given unto him: and He went forth conquering, and to conquer.
- And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Like and see.
- And there went out another horse that was red : and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him has great sword.
- And when He had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Like and see. And I beheld, and lo has black horse ; and He that sat one him had has off even balances in his hand.
- And I heard has voice in the midst off the furnace beasts say, has measure off wheat for has penny, and three measures off barley for has penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
- And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice off the fourth beast say, Like and see.
- And I looked, and behold has blade horse : and his name that sat one him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth share off the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts off the earth.
And I saw that one of the riders had opened a seal, and I heard, as if I heard the sound of the thunder, one of the four animals which said to me: “come and looks at”
- And I saw on a white horse a rider which held an arc. A crown came from him to be granted and it left to conquer
- And when it opened the second seal, I intended the second animal to say: “Come and looks at”
- And another appeared on a red horse: it accepted the capacity to remove the peace of the ground so that the human beings tear between them. And it accepted a sword.
- And when it opened the third seal, I intended the animal to say: “come and looks at”. And I saw a rider on a black horse; And it held between its hands a pair of balances.
- And I heard a voice, which came creature to say it: a measurement of corn for a penny, and three measurement of barley for a penny; And oils and the wine will not be touched
- And when it opened the fourth seal, I intended the voice of the fourth creature to say: “come and looks at”
- And I looked at, and on a pale horse drew up death and the hell followed it. Capacity to kill with the sword and by the famine all creatures of the ground.
White horseThe opinions on the first rider, overlapping the white horse, are numerous: for some it represents the Christ, for others the Antéchrist or the false prophet, but the general consensus of the Théologie NS conservatives studying the Bible is that it represents the Antichrist. An argument used to show that this rider does not represent Christ is that each rider is released at the time of the opening of a seal, the seals representing of the plagues that God would send on the world, and it is not very probable that God would consider the return of Christ as a plague (although it can be regarded as such by those which are opposed to this last). Moreover, to interpret it as a return of Jesus-Christ is in contradiction with the nonambiguous description which is made of its return in Apocalypse 19:11 - 16.
The more liberal theologists interpret this character neither like Christ, nor like the Antichrist. The comment of Mr. Eugene Boring in connection with the Apocalypse suggests that this image would be drawn from events dating that the Christian of the Roman Empire would have known and described. In 62, the Parthes had beaten a Roman army in the valley of the Tigre and the inhabitant of the empire then saw them with same unrealistic terror that the modern Westerners had Yellow peril. Parthes were the only archers with horse of the first century and the white horses were their preferred mountings.
Also, the Peste can be described like “conqueror” the body, and more particularly the viral diseases.
Red horseThe second rider represents the war, and the color of its mounting the blood poured on the battle field. It carries a sword which represents the confrontation and the combat.
Black horseThe third rider, on a black horse, is called Famine. The black color of its horse would represent death and the famine. The rider carries a balances, which wants to say the scarcity of food, the high prices, and the famine, surely due to the wars come by the fault from the riding second. Food will be rare, but more luxurious things as oil and the wine will be always available.
The sentence “ has measure off wheat for has penny ” (a measurement of corn for a penny/centime) of KJV can not seem a famine in modern eyes, but in NIV he is written “a quarter of corn for the one day wages”, which is more explicit.
Pale horseThe fourth rider (on the pale horse, which could be the cause of the concept of “stench” as a another rider) is named Mort. The pale and greenish color of this last symbolizes the fear, the disease, the decomposition, and death. The image of the horses and their knights is similar to a passage in the delivers Zacharie.
Four riders of the Apocalypse in the culture
- the 4 Riders are represented on several occasions on the tapestries of the Apocalypse exposed to the Château of Angers (49).
- the 4 Riders were used in the Televised series Charmed .
- One of the Riders was evoked by Mylène Farmer in her Clip video Provided that it is soft , at the end of the engagements between the French Army and the British army, the young English soldier reconsiders with the one paragraphs on the 4 riders of the Apocalypse, when libertine tightens the hand to him overlapping a white destrier.
- One will note also their presence in the televised series Highlander, in the shape of 4 amoraux warriors sowing the torments of which they bear the name. One of the characters of the series, Methos, known to be oldest immortal, was not other than the “Dead” rider before it repents…
- the 4 Riders are also mentioned in World off Warcraft. It is a high level meeting, requiring 40 players, in the Naxxramas Keep.
- the 4 Riders are evoked in the song The Four Horsemen of Metallica.
- the 4 Riders are rather accurately represented in the video game Hexen II. They are the 4 boss whom one faces at the end of each world that one visits (the Pharaonic Egypt, the Mésopotamie, the ancient Greece and the European Moyen-âge).
Traditional representationsOne of the most known representations of the four riders is that Dürer, engraving on wood reproduced in this article.
In the popular cultureThe Four are also important characters of Of Goods Predict , of Pratchett and Gaiman.
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