6:8 And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

And I looked, and BEHOLD, an ashen (pale green) horse;

An interesting contrast between healthy green (LIFE) and deathly green.

and he who sat on it had the name DEATH;

The wages in Romans 6:23 are being paid by this horseman.

and HADES was following with him.

It is not clear what HADES is. If DEATH is personified, then HADES is something ... like another horseman, dog etc. What can be said is that to a human, DEATH is a very personal thing. It happens (or will happen if we aren't gathered up, 1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Clearly, however, this is a judgment against unbelievers since HADES is right there to clean up after DEATH. All this is under the control of the One who broke the seal, Revelation 1:18 and Matthew 10:28.

and AUTHORITY was given to them (DEATH and HADES) over a FOURTH of the earth,

This includes everything ... living things, people, plants, animals as well as natural resources, the sea, the atmosphere. This is only one judgment but a quarter of the earth is affected. Those remaining have more to look forward to.

With advancements in astrophysics, it is quite plausible that these could be solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CME), or strong X-Class radiation (solar winds). We will see that there is direct involvement of the sun in the fourth trumpet, Revelation 8:12-13. Note this passage refers to a third of sun, moon, and stars while this verse says the authority is over a fourth of the earth. It isn't clear if this verse is related to the chapter 8 events.


  1. with SWORD and

    See the second horseman, Revelation 6:4. We may call it violent crimes. Recall "PEACE" has been removed by the second horseman, so anything goes.

  2. with famine and

    See the third horseman, Revelation 6:5. All living things suffer and/or die during a famine.

  3. with pestilance and

    In the Greek, the word is "thanatos" which is the same as the riders name; so this is better translated death. With the current world population exceeding 5 billion, over 1 billion people will die from all causes of death.

  4. by the wild beasts of the earth.

    Not clear if real animals will multiply rapidly to cause such death ... the scavengers will be busy! Note: the same Greek term "theerion" is used 38 additional times in the Revelation and often is translated as "an ungodly, powerful evil leader. This may indicate that political or military leaders may kill for food for their troops or leaders. This should be fair warning for us ordinary folk!

When this judgment takes place, not even a few righteous men like Noah, Daniel, and Job can stop it. See Ezekiel 14:12-23, Jeremiah 15:1-9, and Exodus 9:13-15.