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Revelation 6:2

    Revelation 6:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given to him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown: and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And I saw a white horse, and he who was seated on it had a bow; and there was given to him a crown: and he went out with power to overcome.

    Webster's Revision

    And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown: and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.

    World English Bible

    And behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow. A crown was given to him, and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown: and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 6:2

    A white horse - Supposed to represent the Gospel system, and pointing out its excellence, swiftness, and purity.

    He that sat on him - Supposed to represent Jesus Christ.

    A bow - The preaching of the Gospel, darting conviction into the hearts of sinners.

    A crown - The emblem of the kingdom which Christ is to establish on earth.

    Conquering, and to conquer - Overcoming and confounding the Jews first, and then the Gentiles; spreading more and more the doctrine and influence of the cross over the face of the earth.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 6:2

    And I saw, and behold - A question has arisen as to the mode of representation here: whether what John saw in these visions was a series of pictures, drawn on successive portions of the volume as one seal was broken after another; or whether the description of the horses and of the events was written on the volume, so that John read it himself, or heard it read by another; or whether the opening of the seal was merely the occasion of a scenic representation, in which a succession of horses was introduced, with a written statement of the events which are referred to. Nothing is indeed said by which this can be determined with certainty; but the most probable supposition would seem to be that there was some pictorial representation in form and appearance, such as he describes in the opening of the six seals. In favor of this it may be observed:

    (1) that, according to the interpretation of Revelation 6:1, it was something in or on the volume - since he was invited to draw nearer, in order that he might contemplate it.

    (2) each one of the things under the first five seals, where John uses the word "saw," is capable of being represented by a picture or painting.

    (3) the language used is not such as would have been employed if he had merely read the description, or had heard it read.

    (4) the supposition that the pictorial representation was not in the volume, but that the opening of the seal was the occasion merely of causing a scenic representation to pass before his mind, is unnatural and forced.

    What would be the use of a sealed volume in that case? What the use of the writing within and without? On this supposition the representation would be that, as the successive seals were broken, nothing was disclosed in the volume but a succession of blank portions, and that the mystery or the difficulty was not in anything in the volume, but in the want of ability to summon forth these successive scenic representations. The most obvious interpretation is, undoubtedly, that what John proceeds to describe was in some way represented in the volume; and the idea of a succession of pictures or drawings better accords with the whole representation, than the idea that it was a mere written description. In fact, these successive scenes could be well represented now in a pictorial form on a scroll.

    And behold a white horse - In order to any definite understanding of what was denoted by these symbols, it is proper to form in our minds, in the first place, a clear conception of what the symbol properly represents, or an idea of what it would naturally convey. It may be assumed that the symbol was significant, and that there was some reason why that was used rather than another; why, for instance, a horse was employed rather than an eagle or a lion; why a white horse was employed in one case, and a red one, a black one, a pale one in the others; why in this case a bow was in the hand of the rider, and a crown was placed on his head. Each one of these particulars enters into the constitution of the symbol; and we must find something in the event which fairly corresponds with each - for the symbol is made up of all these things grouped together. It may be further observed, that where the general symbol is the same - as in the opening of the first four seals - it may be assumed that the same object or class of objects is referred to; and the particular things denoted, or the diversity in the general application, is to be found in the variety in the representation - the color, etc., of the horse, and the arms, apparel, etc., of the rider. The specifications under the first seal are four:

    (1) the general symbol of the horse - common to the first four seals;

    (2) the color of the horse;

    (3) the fact that he that sat on him had a bow; and,

    (4) that a crown was given him by someone, as indicative of victory.

    The question now is, what these symbols would naturally denote:

    (1) The horse. The meaning of this symbol must be drawn from the natural use to which the symbol is applied, or the characteristics which it is known to have; and it may be added, that there might have been something for which that was best known in the time of the writer who uses it, which would not be so prominent at another period of the world, or in another country, and that it is necessary to have that before the mind in order to obtain a correct understanding of the symbol. The use of the horse, for instance, may have varied at different times to some degree; at one time the prevailing use of the horse may have been for battle; at another for rapid marches - as of cavalry; at another for draught; at another for races; at another for conveying messages by the establishment of posts or the appointment of couriers. To an ancient Roman the horse might suggest prominently one idea; to a modern Arab another; to a teamster in Holland another. The things which would be most naturally suggested by the horse as a symbol, as distinguished, for instance, from an eagle, a lion, a serpent, etc., would be the following:

    (a) War, as this was probably one of the first uses to which the horse was applied. So, in the magnificent description of the horse in Job 39:19-25, no notice is taken of any of his qualities but those which pertain to war. See, for a full illustration of this passage, and of the frequent reference in the classic writers to the horse as connected with war, Bochart, Hieroz. lib. ii, c. viii., particularly p. 149. Compare Virgil, Geor. 3:83, 84:

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