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

Revelation 6:6, NIV: "Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, 'Two pounds of wheat for a day's wages, and six pounds of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!'"

Revelation 6:6, ESV: "And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”"

Revelation 6:6, KJV: "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 6:6, NASB: "And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.'"

Revelation 6:6, NLT: "And 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. And don't waste the olive oil and wine.'"

Revelation 6:6, CSB: "Then I heard something like a voice among the four living creatures say, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, but do not harm the oil and the wine.""

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

In this verse John writes that he heard what seemed to be a voice coming from the midst of the four living creatures (Revelation 4:6–8). The voice announced that a quart of wheat was selling for a denarius and three quarts of barley cost a denarius. Symbolically, this passage seems to indicate a common experience in real-world crises: war and famine give way to inflation due to supply and demand.

A denarius in the first century was usually equal to a day's wages, and the amount of grain given here is just enough to keep a person alive. These are also the commodities of the common person: basic staples for living. The implication seems to be that most people in this part of the tribulation are struggling just to meet their basic survival needs. This is the kind of poverty which threatens a person's life, not merely their lifestyle.

However, the voice from the midst of the four living creatures also commanded, "Do not harm the oil and wine!" Oil and wine, in this context, are less crucial supplies, making them a form of minor luxury. The implication that these are not harmed might suggest that wealthy people would not be hurt by the economic or inflationary catastrophe. According to Revelation 13:16–17, the false prophet in Jerusalem will control commerce during the tribulation, making it extremely difficult for tribulation believers to purchase even basic commodities.