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Revelation 6 : The Lamb opens the locks

v1 Then I watched while the *Lamb opened one of the 7 *locks. And I heard one of the 4 *beings say: ‘Come!’ It spoke very loudly. The noise was like a storm. v2 I looked, and there was a white horse. The person who was sitting on the horse was holding a bow. Someone gave him a *crown. He had won many wars. Now he rode out to win many more wars.

v3 Then the *Lamb opened the second *lock. And I heard another of the *beings say: ‘Come!’ v4 Then another horse came out. This horse was bright red, like fire. The person who was sitting on the horse had authority. He could bring war on the earth, so that people killed each other. Someone gave him a large *sword.

v5 Then the *Lamb opened the third *lock. And I heard the next *being say: ‘Come!’ I looked, and there was a black horse. The person who was sitting on the horse was holding something in his hand. He used it to weigh things. v6 Then I heard a sound like somebody speaking among the 4 *beings. ‘A litre of wheat is worth one day’s work’, it said. ‘And 3 litres of barley is also worth one day’s work. But do not hurt the *olive oil and the *wine.’

Verses 5-6 Wheat and barley are plants that farmers grow. People use wheat and barley seeds to make flour for bread. The person on the black horse weighs the wheat and barley seeds. They are very expensive. So the black horse is telling us about a time of trouble when people will not have enough food. There may not be enough water to grow wheat or barley. But the black horse must not destroy the fruits (olives and grapes). Olives make oil to cook with. Grapes make *wine to drink. These plants grow deeper in the ground. They do not die so quickly if there is not enough water. So, this time of trouble will not destroy everything that people need.

v7 Then the *Lamb opened the next (fourth) *lock. And I heard the last *being say: ‘Come!’ v8 I looked, and there was a grey horse. The name of the person who was sitting on the horse was Death. And Hades, the name of the place for dead people, was following, near to him. They had authority to kill people in a quarter of the earth. They could kill people in wars, or they could cause people to have no food. They could cause people to be very ill so that they died. They could also cause the wild animals on the earth to kill people.

Verse 8 The ‘grey’ horse is the same colour as a dead person.

v9 Then the *Lamb opened the next (fifth) *lock. And I saw a special table where people offered gifts to God. I saw the *spirits of some dead people under the table. These people had died because they had spoken about Jesus Christ. They had said that God’s words are true. Other people had killed them because they had gone on speaking about Jesus. v10 These dead servants of Christ shouted loudly. ‘*Lord, you have all authority’, they shouted. ‘You are completely good. You always do what is right. When will you decide to do what is fair to people? You must decide about all the people who live on the earth. How much more time must pass before you decide? When will you *punish the people who killed us?’

v11 Then each dead servant of Christ received white clothes. And God told them to wait for a short time. They must wait until other servants of Christ have died too. God will still let the people on the earth kill a certain number of his servants.

v12 I watched when the *Lamb opened the next (sixth) *lock. Then the ground moved and everything on the earth moved very much. The sun became black like thick black cloth. The whole moon became red like blood. v13 The stars in the sky fell to the earth. They fell like fruits fall from a tree when a strong wind blows. v14 The sky rolled up and went away. Every mountain and every island moved from its place. v15 Then everyone on the earth hid themselves. They hid in holes in the rocks. They hid among the rocks in the mountains. Even the rulers and the powerful people hid. Even the army rulers, the rich people and other people with authority, they all hid. Also all the other people hid, whether they were slaves or free people.

v16 They shouted to the mountains and to the rocks: ‘Fall on us. Hide us from God, who sits on the *throne. Do not let him see us. Hide us, because the *Lamb is very angry with us. v17 The great day has come. And God will show that he is angry. Nobody can do anything to stop him.’

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