|It gets easier. Once again, the horse is the military
symbol. It has changed color, however,
and that implies a change of circumstance.
The rider is not crowned with victory.
|The phrase “take
peace from the earth” must be interpreted (as always) from the church’s point
of view. If in the historicist, it
means the Roman Empire. Today, it
would be western civilization.
|The phrase “make men
slay each other” implies a civil war, or a class war. The word “slay” could also be translated
|The large sword is
clearly a Roman weapon; it is the
symbol of the Roman army.
|Red has a number of
possible meanings. One certainly is
bloodshed. Another (for the futurist)
is communist. This would be an
example of a symbol incomprehensible to John, but clear to those in whose
time it would be fulfilled. Thus, it
would be a local symbol.
|Hal Lindsay (and
others) describe this as the start of The Great Tribulation, the second half
of Daniel’s 70th week. The argument is
that the first half has apparent peace.
Thus, all the rest of the historical portion of Revelation must take
three and a half years, by that theory.
|Lindsay puts all
this together and concludes that the rider of the red horse is none other
than Russia, invading Israel. This
ties in nicely with the Gog and Magog sections -- but the identification has
been weakened somewhat by the fall of communism in Russia. His identification of this rider predates
|The Historicist view
fits very nicely here. After Marcus
Aurelius came his son, Commodus. He
ruled for three years in wisdom -- then someone tried to assassinate him. He turned into a despot. When he was killed ten years later (AD 192)
his death touched off a period of intense civil war. There were 34 emperors in this period; two died natural deaths. There were also 19 pretenders to the
throne, all dying violently.
|What cause all
this? Emperors were elected,
assassinated, deposed and manipulated by the Army, most often by the
Praetorian Guard in Rome itself. The
army might be symbolized by a sword, the Roman weapon. The phrase “large sword” is interesting,
however. The main Roman weapon was the
short sword. One man, however,
received a large sword as the symbol of his office when he took the oath of
office. That man was the head of the