The Four Horsemen
During our annual Good Friday get-together, I overheard several discussions among family members of how the cost of everything is skyrocketing. Three couples from one family unit are building homes in the French River area, south of Sudbury. The cost of building material is almost double what it was two years ago. Food prices are steadily climbing, due to disrupted delivery systems. And everyone’s affected by soaring gas prices (‘ we blame it on the Russians’). In other words, we are beginning to see the arrival of another one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: the rider of the Black Horse; the one with the scales.
Did you know that this verse in the Bible is an echo of one from the Old Testament?
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.2 Kings 7:1 KJV
Hmm. Remember what I said about time being cyclical? This seems to be another example of that.
Another translation of the Revelation 6:6 verse says ‘for a day’s wages’ instead of a penny (which would have been the equivalent in King James I’s time). A denarius is also the currency quoted in yet another translation.
The puzzlement of this quote is the statement about the oil and wine.
ESV Comment – Do not harm the oil and wine: Local crops such as oil and wine are unaffected, showing that the scarcity is limited, not comprehensive. Some think the command not to harm the oil and wine may have a social significance, since the rich were the primary consumers of oil and wine. It could also be a prediction of events like that of A.D. 92, when the emperor Domitian during a grain shortage ordered the vineyards cut down to make room for more wheat fields. This caused such a backlash that he rescinded the order. In other words, extreme measures would have to be taken due to the progressive pouring out of judgment.Hermeneutics.stackexchange.com
Maybe the mystic in me sees something more sacred in the admonition about the oil and wine: the Roman Church’s sacraments of anointing (oil) and communion (wine). But whatever this warning is about, it is only with hindsight that we can see better.
The next Horseman is the Pale Rider, Death.