- As the book of future events is opened seal by seal, what points of correspondence do you find with Matt. 24:4-14? Cf., e.g, verses 4, 6 and 9 with Matt. 24:6, 7 and 9. (For the meaning of the white horse, see Note 1 below.) What does this teach about the present course of world history?
- To what climax of judgment do all these things move towards? See verses 12-17 and Note 3 below. Cf. Matt. 24:29, 30. What is to be dreaded more than death? Cf. Is. 2:19-21.
- For what were the martyrs willing to lay down their lives? Are those right who think that God takes no action either for their reward or their vindication? May similar sacrifice still be called for?
- Verse 2. Two principal interpretations have been given of the white horse and his rider. Many take it to be a picture of Christ going forth in the conquests of the conquests of the gospel. Cf. Matt. 24:14; Ps. 45:3-5. Others regard it as a picture of invasion and lust of conquest, leading to the miseries of war, famine, pestilence and death. The latter seems more likely. The four horses, as in Zech. 6, form a series whose mission is to execute judgment.
- Verse 6. Such was the scarcity that a day’s wage (Matt. 20:2) would only be enough to buy only a small measure of wheat.
- Verses 12-14. The imagery of these verses is like that frequently used in the Old Testament to symbolize great upheavals among the nations. See, e.g., Is. 13:9-11, 13; Ezek. 32; 7-9; Nah.1:5.