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Behold the black horse
“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, ‘Come and see.’ And I beheld, and to a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, ‘A measure of wheat for a penny; and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine’” (Revelation 6:5-6 KJV.).
This black horse’s rider with the pair of balances in his hand symbolizes the rich capitalists who have a major impact on world conditions through their manipulation of national economies. Only one other verse in the Bible pictures a man with balances or scales: “The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud” (Hosea 12:7 NIV).
Another prophet, Amos, also said the merchants — the wealthy capitalists of his day who were robbing the poor instead of helping them — “set forth wheat, making the ephah [unit of measure] small, and the shekel [price] great and falsifying the balances by deceit ... that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail” (Amos 8:4-6 KJV).
The black horse, then, represents famine and poverty perpetrated by the rich who refuse to share with those in need. Oil and wine, throughout the Scriptures, symbolize abundance or luxury.
The fact that the oil and wine were “hurt not” indicates a situation where wealth and luxury exist alongside famine and poverty — and the gulf between rich and poor is only growing.
Ted Rudow III,MA