1Then I watched while the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. I heard one of the four living things speak with a voice like thunder. It said, “Come!” 2I looked and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse held a bow, and he was given a crown. And he rode out, defeating the enemy. He rode out to win the victory.
3The Lamb opened the second seal. Then I heard the second living thing say, “Come!” 4Then another horse came out. This was a red horse. Its rider was given power to take away peace from the earth. He was given power to make people kill each other. And he was given a big sword.
5The Lamb opened the third seal. Then I heard the third living thing say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse. Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand. 6Then I heard something that sounded like a voice. It came from where the four living things were. The voice said, “A quart of wheat for a day’s pay. And three quarts of barley for a day’s pay. And do not damage the olive oil and wine!”
7The Lamb opened the fourth seal. Then I heard the voice of the fourth living thing say, “Come!” 8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named death. Hades# The unseen world where the dead are. was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth. They were given power to kill people by war, by starving them, by disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.
9The Lamb opened the fifth seal. Then I saw some souls under the altar. They were the souls of those who had been killed because they were faithful to God’s message and to the truth they had received. 10These souls shouted in a loud voice, “Holy and true Lord, how long until you judge the people of the earth and punish them for killing us?” 11Then each one of these souls was given a white robe. They were told to wait a short time longer. There were still some of their brothers in the service of Christ who must be killed as they were. They were told to wait until all of this killing was finished.
12Then I watched while the Lamb opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun became black like rough black cloth. The full moon became red like blood. 13The stars in the sky fell to the earth like figs falling from a fig tree when the wind blows. 14The sky disappeared. It was rolled up like a scroll. And every mountain and island was moved from its place.
15Then all people hid in caves and behind the rocks on the mountains. There were the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the rich people and the powerful people. Everyone, slave and free, hid himself. 16They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us. Hide us from the face of the One who sits on the throne. Hide us from the anger of the Lamb! 17The great day for their anger has come. Who can stand against it?”