Revelation 6:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 6:5, NIV: "When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come!' I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand."

Revelation 6:5, ESV: "When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand."

Revelation 6:5, KJV: "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand."

Revelation 6:5, NASB: "When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, 'Come!' I looked, and behold, a black horse, and the one who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand."

Revelation 6:5, NLT: "When 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."

Revelation 6:5, CSB: "When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and there was a black horse. Its rider held a set of scales in his hand."

What does Revelation 6:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In response to the third living creature's command to come, a rider on a black horse emerged. He carried a pair of scales. The color black suggests starvation and death, and the scales suggest something was going to be weighed, judged, or measured. Scales have long been used as a symbol for judgment. The previous verse explains that people on earth engage in killing one another when the second seal is opened, so it is not surprising that widespread famine would follow this horrific event.

Death is an enemy that affects all mankind (Hebrews 9:27), but by His sacrificial death on the cross Jesus vanquished death and made it possible for those who believe in Him to have everlasting life (Romans 6:23). First John 5:11–12 makes it clear that eternal life is God's gift and indicates that "whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." Physical death is inescapable except for believers who are alive at the time of the rapture, but by His death Jesus removed the sting of death (1 Corinthians 15:54–57).