1 The Lamb openeth the first seal of the book. 3 The second, 5 the third, 7 the fourth, 9 the fifth, 12 and the sixth, and then arise murders, famine, pestilence, outcries of Saints, earthquakes, and divers strange sights in heaven.

[a]After I beheld when the Lamb had opened one of the seals, and I heard one of the four beasts say, as it were the noise of thunder, Come and see.

Therefore [b]I beheld, and lo, there was a white horse, and he that sat on him, had a bow, and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering that he might overcome.

And [c]when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

And there went out another horse, that was red, and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another, and there was given unto him a great sword.

[d]And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. Then I beheld, and lo, a black horse, and he that sat on him, had balances in his hand.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A [e]measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, [f]and oil, and wine hurt thou not.

[g]And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

And I looked, and behold, a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed after 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 beasts of the earth.

[h]And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were killed for the word of God, and for the testimony which they maintained.

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, Lord, which art holy and true! dost not thou judge and avenge our blood on them, that dwell on the earth?

11 And long [i]white robes were given unto every one, and it was said unto them, that they should rest for a little season until their fellow servants, and their brethren that should be killed even as they were, were [j]fulfilled.

12 [k]And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the Sun was as black as [l]sackcloth of hair, and the Moon was like blood.

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig-tree casteth her green figs, when it is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And heaven departed away, as a scroll, when it is rolled, and every mountain and isle were moved out of their places.

15 [m]And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in dens, and among the rocks of the mountains,

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, [n](A)Fall on us, and hide us from the presence of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

17 For the great day of his wrath is come, and who can stand?


  1. Revelation 6:1 This is the second part of this first history (which I said was common and of the whole world) of the works of God in the government of all things. Of this part there are generally 3 members, the foresignifying, the caution, and the execution of all the evils which God poureth out upon this world, which hath most hardly deserved of him. The foresignifying is set down in this chapter, the caution for preserving the Church, is in the next chapter, and the execution is described, Rev. 8:9. In every part of the foresignifying, there are three branches: the several and express calling of S. John, to prepare himself to take knowledge of the things that were to be showed unto him in the opening of the seals: the sign and the word expounding the sign: And albeit the express calling of S. John, be used only in four of the signs, yet the same is also to be understood in the rest that follow. The author of the foresignifying is the Lamb, as that word of the Father made the Mediator, opening the seals of the book. The instruments are the Angels in most of the visions, who expound the sign and words thereof. Now this first verse containeth an express calling of S. John to mark the opinion of the first seal.
  2. Revelation 6:2 The first sign joined with declaration, is that God for the sins, and horrible rebellion of the world, will invade the same: and first of all as afar off, with his darts of pestilence most suddenly, mightily, and gloriously, bear down the same as judge, and triumph over it as conqueror.
  3. Revelation 6:3 The second sign joined with words of declaration (after the express calling of S. John as before) is that God being provoked unto wrath by the obstinacy and hardheartedness of the world not repenting for the former plague, as setting upon the same hand, will kindle the fire of debate amongst men, and will destroy the inhabitants of this world, one by the sword of another.
  4. Revelation 6:5 The third sign with declaration, is that God will destroy the world with famine, withdrawing all provision: which is by the figure Synecdoche comprehended in wheat, barley, wine and oil.
  5. Revelation 6:6 Hereby is signified what great scarcity of corn there was, for the word here used is a kind of measure of dry things, which is in quantity but the eighth part of a bushel, which was an ordinary portion to be given servants for their stint of meat for one day.
  6. Revelation 6:6 I had rather distinguish and read the words thus, and the wine and the oil thou shalt not deal unjustly. In this sense likewise the wine and the oil shall be sold a very little for a penny. Thou shalt not deal unjustly, namely, when thou shalt measure out a very little for a great price: so is the place evident: otherwise that is most true, which the wise man saith, that whoso withholdeth the corn shall be cursed of the people, Prov. 11:26.
  7. Revelation 6:7 The fourth sign joined with words of declaration, is, that God will addict the fourth part of the world indifferently, unto death and hell, or the grave by all those means at once, by which before severally and in order he had recalled their minds unto amendment. Unto these are also added the wild and cruel beasts of the earth, out of Lev. 26:22. Thus doth God according to his wisdom dispense the treasures of his power, justly towards all, mercifully towards the good, and with patience or longsufferance towards his enemies.
  8. Revelation 6:9 The fifth sign is that the holy martyrs which are under the altar, whereby they are sanctified, that is, received into the trust and tuition of Christ (into whose hands they are committed) shall cry out for the justice of God, in an holy zeal to advance his kingdom and not of any private perturbation of the mind, in this and the next verse, and that God will, in deed, sign and word comfort them, verse 11.
  9. Revelation 6:11 As before 3:4.
  10. Revelation 6:11 Until their number be fulfilled.
  11. Revelation 6:12 The sixth sign, the narration whereof hath two parts, the sign, and the event. The sign is, that the earth, heaven, and the things that are in them for the horror of the sins of the world upon those most heavy foretellings of God, and complaints of the Saints shall be shaken most vehemently, trembling in horrible manner, and losing their light in this verse: falling from on high, verse 13, withdrawing themselves and flying away for the greatness of the trouble, verse 14. So boldly do all creatures depend upon the will of God, and content themselves in his glory.
  12. Revelation 6:12 So they called in old time those woven works that were of hair.
  13. Revelation 6:15 The event of the sign aforegoing: that there is no man that shall not be astonished at that general commotion, fly away for fear and hide himself in this verse, and wish unto himself most bitter death for exceeding horror of the wrath of God, and of the Lamb, at which before he was astonished. Now this perplexity is not of the godly, but of the wicked, whose portion is in this life, as the Psalmist speaketh, Ps. 17:14. Not that sorrow which is according unto God, which worketh repentance unto salvation, whereof a man shall never repent him, but that worldly sorrow that bringeth death, 2 Cor. 7:9, as their wishings do declare: for this history is of the whole world, severed from the history of the Church, as I have showed before, Rev. 4:1.
  14. Revelation 6:16 These are words of such as despair of their escape: of which despair there are two arguments, the presence of God and the Lamb provoked to wrath against the world in this verse, and the conscience of their own weakness, whereby men feel that they are no way able to stand in the day of the wrath of God, verse 17, as it is said, Isa. 14:27.