The Lamb Breaks the First Six Seals
1As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll.*6:1 Or book. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.
3When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” 4Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere.
5When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay.*6:6a Greek A choinix [1 quart or 1 liter] of wheat for a denarius, and 3 choinix of barley for a denarius. A denarius was equivalent to a laborer’s full day’s wage. And don’t waste*6:6b Or harm. the olive oil and wine.”
7When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” 8I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave.*6:8a Greek was Hades. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease*6:8b Greek death. and wild animals.
9When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. 10They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters*6:11 Greek their brothers. —their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them.
12I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.
15Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”