Revelation 6:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 6:8, NIV: "I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth."

Revelation 6:8, ESV: "And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth."

Revelation 6:8, KJV: "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

Revelation 6:8, NASB: "I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and the one who sat on it had the name Death, and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, and famine, and plague, and by the wild animals of the earth."

Revelation 6:8, NLT: "I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals."

Revelation 6:8, CSB: "And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following after him. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth."

What does Revelation 6:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The fourth rider John saw was named Death. The horse on which he rode is given an eerie description by John. While many English translations use terms such as "pale" or "ashen," the original language describes this horse's color as chlōros. This is a yellow-tinged green, the same word to describe the color of the grass on which the 5,000 sat to be fed by Jesus (Mark 6:39). The same color word also appears in Revelation 8:7 and 9:4. Applied to something like a horse, this color suggests decaying flesh.

Death and Hades, the unseen world, follow this fourth rider, claiming its victims. The damage this rider causes is staggering. One fourth of the world's population die in this judgment. They fall victim to the sword, likely in civil war and infighting, starvation, pestilence, and savage animals. Based on current world populations, this death toll would be nearly two billion. Obviously, the tribulation is a dreadful time of judgment on the wicked. We believers ought to be thankful that God has delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).