Breaking Open the Sealed Scroll
1Then I watched as the Lamb broke open the first of the seven seals. Immediately I heard one of the four living creatures call out with a powerful voice of revelation sounding like thunder, saying, “Come forth!” 2So I looked, and behold, there was a bright white horse. Its rider had a bow and was given a crown of victory. He rode out as a conqueror ready to conquer.
3When he broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature call out: “Come forth!” 4And there appeared another horse, red like fiery flames, and its rider was given a great sword and the power to take peace from the earth, causing one to put to death another.
5Then he broke open the third seal, and I heard the third living creature call out, “Come forth!” And behold, I saw a black horse right in front of me, and its rider was holding measuring scales. 6And I heard what seemed to be a voice from among the living creatures saying, “A small measure of wheat for a day’s pay, and three measures of barley for a day’s pay, but don’t harm the olive trees producing oil and the vines producing wine.”
7When he broke open the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature call out, “Come forth!” 8And behold, I saw a green horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Death’s Domain followed him. They were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, death, and by the wild beasts.
9When the Lamb broke open the fifth seal, I saw gathered under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God and because they had the testimony of the Lamb. 10They cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Sovereign Lord, holy and dependable, how long before you judge those who live on the earth and vindicate our blood on them?”
11Each one was given a glistening white robe. And they were told to rest a little longer, until the full number was fulfilled of both their fellow servants and brothers and sisters who were going to be killed just as they had been.
12And behold! I saw the Lamb break open the sixth seal, which released a powerful earthquake. I saw the sun become pitch black and the full moon become bloodred. 13The stars fell from heaven to the earth, as a fig tree shaken by a stormy wind sheds its unripe figs. 14The sky receded with a snap—as a scroll rolls itself up. And every mountain and island was moved from its place. 15Then the kings of the earth and its great princes and generals, the rich and powerful, and everyone, whether they were slave or free, ran for cover and hid in the caves and among the mountain boulders. 16They called out to the mountains and the boulders, saying, “Fall on us at once! Hide us quickly from the glorious face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”