Chapter 6: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

 

6.1Then I watched as the Ram opened the first of the seven seals.
Then I listen to the Bab interpreting my Revelation for the first Sabaean Faith of the seven Faiths.
At this, I heard a certain of the four Living-Beings calling as a voice of thunder:
At this, I hear the first Primary-Figure Baha’u’llah thunder:
Come out!
You have been exposed!
2So I looked, and here was a white horse with the rider on it holding a bow. A crown was given to him, and he rode out in order to conquer, and to conquer.
So I watch, and here runs the ignoble force of Power Politics with the False Faith driving it delivering shallow justice. Leadership was assigned to it, and it has set out conquering, and it has conquered.
3Then, as he opened the second seal, I heard the second Living-Being calling:
Then, as the Bab interprets my Revelation for the second Faith of my Judaism, I hear him as the second Primary-Figure shouting:
Come out!
You have been exposed!
4At this, out came another horse, a fire-red one. The rider on it was permitted to take peace from the planet, so that people might slay each other. Moreover, a huge sword was given to him.
At this, out blazes another dark force, bloody Widespread Warfare. The National Greed driving it has taken peace from the planet, so that people have been slaughtering each other. Moreover, the atomic bomb has been assigned to it.
5Then, as he opened the third seal, I heard the third Living-Being calling:
Then, as the Bab interprets my Revelation for the third Faith of Zoroastrianism, I hear the third Primary-Figure ‘Abdu’l-Bahá shout:
Come out!
You have been exposed!
So I looked, and here was a black horse with the rider on it holding a yoke in his hand. 6I heard a sound of a voice amid the four Living-Beings calling out:
So I watch, and here races the black-hearted force of Economic Injustice with the Corporate Greed driving it yoking folk in its power. I hear the joint input of the four Primary-Figures denouncing:
A quart of wheat for a day’s pay! Three quarts of barley for a day’s wages! Even: ‘Don’t spoil the olive oil or the wine’!
A day’s pay scarcely buys bread! A month’s wages barely pays for the train! Folk even get told: ‘Don’t waste money on clothes or shoes’!
7Then, as he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth Living-Being calling:
Then, as he interprets my Revelation for the fourth Faith of Hinduism, I hear the input of the fourth Primary-Figure Shoghi Effendi shouting:
Come out!
You have been exposed!
8So I looked, and here was a pale-green horse with the rider astride it whose name was Death, and the unseen was following it. They were given power over one quarter of the earth, to kill with war, famine, and deadly disease, and by the world’s wild animals.
So I watch, and here saunters the sickly force of Callous Selfishness with the Lazy Neglect driving it sanctioning death, and ignorance is party to it. They hold power over the Poor South, to permit death from war, starvation, and fatal epidemics, and by human bestiality.
9Then, as he opened the fifth seal, I saw beneath the Sacrificial-Altar the souls of those slain for this Word of God and for this testimony that they were bearing 10they also cried out in a loud voice demanding:
Then, as the Bab interprets my Revelation for the fifth Faith of Buddhism, I see sustaining his sacrifice the souls of the first Persians martyred for this Speaker for God, and for this testimony that they bear they are also crying out as proclaimers demanding:
Master, holy and true, until when do You not judge and avenge our blood shed by those living on this earth?
Master, unique and genuine, until when do You not judge and avenge our deaths caused by persons dwelling in this Middle East?
11At this, each of them was given a white robe. But they were told to rest a little longer until their fellow-servants and their brothers and sisters would be completely counted (those due to be killed as they were).
At this, each of them is honored for his or her noble virtue. But they have been told to wait a while until their fellows in other Faiths and their fellow Baha’is reach a final tally (souls due to be martyred as they have been).
12Then I watched as he opened the sixth seal. A violent earthquake erupted. The sun turned as black as mourning-haircloth.The whole full-moon turned as red as blood. 13The stars of the sky fell to earth as a fig tree shaken by a gale sheds its sterile-figs.
Then I observe the Bab interpreting my Revelation for the sixth Faith of my Christianity. Severe turmoil shakes the Islam of the 1800s. The Shi’i Islam of Qajar Persia is eclipsed by ignorance. The Sunni Islam of the whole Ottoman Empire runs red with blood. Imams and Cadis are deposed as the Muslim system shaken by stormy change sheds its impotent leaders.
14The sky snapped aside like a scroll rolling up.
The true Muslim Revelation recedes like a Quran closing up.
Every mountain and island were shaken from their places.
Small countries are annihilated and influential leaders vanish.
15The earth’s rulers, the top people—the military leaders, the wealthy, and the mighty, and every slave and free person, have been hiding themselves in the caves and in the crags of the mountains. 16They are urging the crags and the mountains:
The Middle East’s Caliphs, Sultans, and Shahs, its top people—the military, the rich, and the powerful, and every worker and owner, are seeking safety in their homes and from the governments of their countries. They are begging their governments and their countries:
Fall over us! Hide us from the presence of the Enthroned-One, and from the anger of the Ram—17for the great Day of his anger has come. Who can stand firm 7.1after this vision?
Protect us! Save us from the advent of the Revelation Founder, and from punishment by the Bab—for the Era of his punishment has begun. Who can loyally champion Islam after this message?
Comments:
6.2–8, also vv. 14.20, 19.11, 14, 18, 19 & 21: The Four Horses of the Apocalypse represent the dark forces of Power Politics, Widespread Warfare, Economic Injustice, and Callous Selfishness. They are corrupt systems whose
breeding-ground…is prejudice: prejudice of race and nation, of religion, of political opinion; and the root cause of prejudice is blind imitation of the past—imitation in religion, in racial attitudes, in national bias, in politics. Additionally, if carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation,not least the civilization of the West that hath agitated and alarmed the peoples of the world.[1]
Curiously, the Book of Zechariah exact same verse numbers 6.2–8 describe black and white horses galloping to the North, gray-green horses to the South, and red horses across the whole earth.
6.2–8: In addition, the horses depict the AD 96 planetary conjunction of the white horse of Venus in the bow of Sagittarius, the red horse of Mars in the sword of Orion, the black horse of Saturn in the scales of Libra, and the green horse of Jupiter in the Hades of Scorpio.[2]
6.2: Not gold, this crown depicts sovereignty without divine direction. Lacking arrows, this bow depicts empty words that fail to reach hearts.
6.4: In 1860, Baha’u’llah warned: Split the atom’s heart, and lo! Within it thou wilt find a sun. Then in 1912 ‘Abdu’l-Baha warned Japan’s (of all countries!) Ambassador to Spain about a stupendous force, as yet, happily undiscovered by man.…Supplicate God…that this force be not discovered by science until spiritual civilization shall dominate the human mind. In the hands of men of lower nature, this power would be able to destroy the whole earth.[3]
6.5–6: Hanging down, zugos means yoke and hanging up it means scales (Hebrew’s sister-word zug means pair or couple). Up or down, zugos depicts economic injustice, whether as a yoke oppressing workers or as scales falsely claiming to weigh volume (quarts).
Zugon as yoke or scales
6.5–6: Wheat for bread flour costs more than barley for animal fodder.
 
Silver Domitian denarius
 
6.5–6: A denarius renders idiomatically as a day’s pay. A denarius—some $50 in today’s minimum-wage terms—was the daily wage of an AD 95 laborer.[4]
Salvador Dali’s Cosmic Athletes as ’Lazy Neglect’ and ‘Callous Selfishness’6.5–6: Don’t spoil the olive oil or wine sarcastically slates Roman Emperor Domitian’s hated economic AD 91–92 edict to destroy vines.
6.9, 8.3a, 8.5, 11.1, 14.18, & 16.7; &; 8.3b, 9.13 & 11.1: TheTemple Altars: The Sacrificial-Altar signifies the sacrifice of Jesus and the Bab. The Gold Incense-Altar signifies the superb love of Baha’u’llah.
6.10–11, also 10.7 & 19.5–6: Until when will be answered with vv. 19.5–6 ending the solving of the riddle of God and beginning its fulfillment.
6.8: The verbal uncertainty of Death riding astride its horse instead of on it, of the unseen following on either the same or a different horse, and of it meaning either the horse or death, all echo the uncertainty surrounding death.
6.12–14, also 12.1: The sunand the moonarethe Persian and Ottoman kingdoms; for the emblem of Persia is the sun, and that of the Ottoman Empire is the crescent moon. In regard to them, the collapse and fall of the Muslim Caliphate and the virtual collapse of the Shi’ih [sic] hierarchy in Persia, were the visible and immediate consequences of the treatment meted out to the Cause of God by the clergy of the two largest communions of the Muslim world. At a deeper spiritual level the sun of the heavenly teachings hath been eclipsed, the stars of the divinely-established laws have fallen, and the moon of true knowledge—the educator of mankind—hath been obscured.…The standards of guidance and felicity have been reversed, and the morn of truth and righteousness hath sunk in night.[5]
6.13: Olunthoi renders specifically as sterile-figs. Fig trees bear not only normal tasty figs but also small hard unripe sterile-figs, called sukona and olunthoi in Greek, te’enim and pagim (meaning also premature babies) in Hebrew, and t’in and faj in Arabic. Sterile-figs that stay on the tree into winter have interpretive import.
6.14: The heaven of divine Revelationis elevated with every Manifestation, and rent asunder with every subsequent one. By ‘cloven asunder’ is meant that the former Dispensation is superceded and annulled. My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft Olunthoi sterile figsasunder and the skytorn apart. We will have rolled up the world and spread out a new order in its stead, and will roll up the skies as a writer rolls up scrolls,folded together.[6]
6.14 & 16.20: Islands and the mountains…mean people of influence, and also small kingdoms, which will be destroyed and annihilated at that time and vanish like a mirage,scattered in dust, passed away.[7]
6.17: The Day is God’s.[8]
6.17: Who can stand firm? interprets for Muslim Baha’is withstanding the decline of Islam.
6.17/7.1 (also 8.13/9.1, 10.11/11.1, 11.19/12.1 & 12.17/13.1): After this vision repeats ahead of itself to close Chapter 6 in addition to opening Chapter 7.


[1] Breeding ground, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 202.247, also Letter to Root; If carried to excess, Baha’u’llah, BWF 138, GWB 164.343 & Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice 31; the civilization of the West, Tablets of Baha’u’llah 6.69
[2] Bilderback 33–34
[3] Split the atom’s, Baha’u’llah, Seven Valleys 12; stupendous force, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to Viscount Arakawa, Japan Will Turn Ablaze 1.9.51, Bahá’í Publishing Trust of Japan, 1992
[4] Casey, Roman Coinage 7
[5] The sunand, Baha’u’llah, KI 221; the collapse and fall, Shoghi Effendi, PDC 238.95 & 226.90; the sun of the, Baha’u’llah, KI 61 also Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 1.145
[6] The heaven of, Baha’u’llah, KI44; My decree be, Baha’u’llah,PB121, GWB 18.45 & 155.333; also GWB 17.42; the skytorn,Quran 78.19 & 21.104; We will have rolled, Baha’u’llah GWB 143.313, also 4.6, PB 121; roll up the skies,Quran 82.1; folded together, Baha’u’llah, PB 98–99 & GWB 18.45
[7] Islands and, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá per Brittingham 3; vanish like, Quran78.19–20; Baha’u’llah, ESW 132; PB 98–99 & GWB 18.45
[8] Tablets of Baha’u’llah 8.117; ESW 118