FIRST SEAL (WHITE HORSE) – I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. (Revelation 6:1-2)
Riding A White Horse – Because Christ in His second coming is pictured (Revelation 19:11) as riding on a white horse (a symbol of victory), some have taken it that the rider in this first seal must also refer to Christ. Symbolically this might make sense as after a victory in battle Roman generals would return triumphantly riding a white horse with their captives following behind them. Chronologically, however, it is all wrong. Christ does not return to the earth as a conqueror at the beginning of the Tribulation, but at the end of the Tribulation. Also, the riders on the other horses obviously relate to destruction and judgment which precede the second coming of Christ by some period of time. A more widely accepted interpretation, and likely the correct one, is that the conqueror mentioned here is the future world ruler, sometimes referred to as anti-Christ (though Revelation uses the term beast or beast of the sea). He is probably the same person as the ruler of the people mentioned in Daniel 9:26.
Holding A Bow – This ruler has a bow without an arrow, which some take to indicate that his world government will be established without warfare. The future world government begins with a time of “peace and safety” but “destruction will come on them suddenly.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)(1)
Wearing A Crown –The word for crown in Revelation 6:2 is stephanos – the victor’s crown. The crown that Jesus Christ wears is diadema – the kingly crown (Revelation 19:12). Though he may covet it, the anti-Christ will never wear the diadem, because it belongs only to the King of kings.
Up Next – The second seal, the rider on a red horse.(2)
- Walvoord, J. F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 947). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 587). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.