Revelation 6:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 6:2, NIV: "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 6:2, ESV: "And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer."

Revelation 6:2, 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."

Revelation 6:2, NASB: "I looked, and behold, a white horse, and the one who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer."

Revelation 6:2, NLT: "I 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."

Revelation 6:2, CSB: "I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a conqueror in order to conquer."

What does Revelation 6:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This is the result of Jesus opening the first of seven seals, securing a scroll containing God's judgment on sin (Revelation 5:1–7). John describes the first horseman as riding a white horse and carrying a bow. He received a crown, and he conquered. Interpreters vary on the identity of this rider.

Some believe this rider is Christ, because he rides a white horse and wears a crown. However, the surrounding context eliminates this possibility. When Christ returns to earth, He does so at the end of the tribulation, not at the beginning, and He introduces a thousand years of peace and security (Revelation 19:11–13; 20:4). Conditions that follow the rider on this white horse are chaotic, not calm.

Some believe the rider is the world leader identified in Revelation 13:1–10, who receives worldwide homage and worship. Others believe he is the king of the North referred to in Daniel 8:23–25, because barbarians to the north of Palestine were feared for their skillful use of the bow. The Daniel reference to "the king of the north (Daniel 11)" is usually interpreted as pointing to the Russian invader (Ezekiel 38:1–9).

The heavy symbolism and poetry of Revelation should inspire caution. Readers should not be dogmatic about the first horseman's identity, because the Bible does not identify him by name.