Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 6:4
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AR 305. Verse 4. And there went out another horse that was red, signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed as to good, and thence as to life with these. By "a horse" is signified the understanding of the Word (n. 298); and by "red" (rufus) is signified good destroyed. That the color white is predicated of truths, because it is from the light of the sun of heaven, and the color red (ruber) is predicated of goods because it is from the fire of the sun of heaven may be seen in (n. 167, 231). But the reason why "red" (rufus) is predicated of good destroyed, is, because by red (rufus) an infernal red is meant, which is from infernal fire, which is the love of evil; the red which is an infernal red is hideous and abominable, there being nothing alive therein, but all dead; hence it is, that by "a red horse" is signified the understanding of the Word destroyed as to good. This may also appear from the description of it below; that "it was given him to take peace from the earth, that they should kill one another:" "the second animal" also, which was like a calf, by which is signified the Divine truth of the Word as to affection (n. 242), said, "Come and look," and thus showed that there was no affection of good, and thence no good with them. That red is spoken of love, as well the love of good as of evil, may appear from the following passages:--

Who washed His clothing in wine, His covering in the blood of grapes; His eyes are redder than wine, and His teeth whiter than milk (Gen. 49:11, 12).

This is concerning the Lord:--

Who is this that cometh from Edom, red as to His garment, and His garment as of him that treadeth in the winepress (Isa. 63:1, 2).

This is also concerning the Lord:--

The Nazarites were whiter than snow, brighter than milk; their bones were redder than red-shining gems (Lam. 4:7).

In these passages "red" is predicated of the love of good; in the following, of the love of evil:--

The shield was made red, and the men were empurpled; in the fire of torches were their chariots, their aspect was as of a torch (Nah. 2:3, 4).

If your sins were as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; If they were red as purple, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18).

Neither is anything else signified by the "red dragon" (Apocalypse 12:3); and by the "red horse standing among the myrtle trees" (Zechariah 1:8). Similar things are said of the colors which are derived from red, as of scarlet and purple.

AR 306. And it was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, signifies the taking away of charity, spiritual security, and internal rest. By "peace" are signified all things in their aggregate which are from the Lord, and thence all things of heaven and the church, and the happiness of life in them; these are of peace in the highest or inmost sense. It follows therefore that "peace" is charity, spiritual security, and internal rest; for when man is in the Lord, he is in peace with his neighbor, which is charity; in protection against the hells, which is spiritual security; and when he is in peace with his neighbor, and in protection against the hells, he is in internal rest from evils and falsities. Since therefore all these are from the Lord, it may appear what is signified in general and in particular by "peace" in the following passages:--

For unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called God, Hero, The Father of Eternity, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end (Isa. 9:6, 7).

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you (John 14:27).

Jesus said, These things have I spoken, that in Me ye might have peace (John 16:33).

In His days shall the just flourish, and abundance of peace (Ps. 72:3, 7).

Then I will make a covenant of peace (Ezek. 34:25, 27; 37:25, 26; Mal. 2:4, 5).

How delightful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that maketh to hear peace, that saith unto Zion, Thy King reigneth (Isa. 52:7).

Jehovah bless thee, and lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace (Num. 6:24-26).

Jehovah will bless His people with peace (Ps. 29:11).

Jehovah will redeem my soul in peace (Ps. 55:18).

And the work of justice is peace, and the labor of justice is quietness, and security forever. That they may dwell in a tabernacle of peace and in a tent of security, and in quiet tranquil places (Isa. 32:17, 18).

Jesus said unto the seventy whom He sent out, Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house; and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it (Luke 10:5, 6; Matt. 10:12-14).

The meek shall possess the earth, and shall delight themselves in the multitude of peace: behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace (Ps. 37:11, 37).

Zacharias, prophesying, said, The day-spring from on high hath appeared, to direct our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78, 79).

Depart from evil and do good: seek peace and pursue it (Ps. 34:14).

Much peace have they that love Thy law (Ps. 119:165, 166).

O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river. There is no peace saith Jehovah, to the wicked (Isa. 48:18, 22).

Jehovah will speak peace to His people: justice and peace shall kiss each other (Ps. 85:8, 10).

There is no peace in my bones because of my sin (Ps. 38:3).

He hath filled me with bitterness, my soul is removed from peace; I forgot good (Lam. 3:15, 17).

Besides many other passages; from which it may be seen, that the above-mentioned things are meant by "peace;" keep in mind spiritual peace, and you will clearly perceive that this is the case (Isaiah 26:12; 53:5; 54:10, 13; Jeremiah 33:6, 9; Haggai 2:9; Zechariah 8:16, 19; Psalms 4:6-8; 120:6, 7; 122:6-9; 128:5, 6; 147:14). That peace is what inmostly affects all good with blessedness, may be seen in the work concerning Heaven and Hell, (HH n. 284-290).

AR 307. And that the should kill one another, signifies intestine hatreds, infestations from the hells, and internal restlessness. These things are signified, when by "taking away peace" is signified taking away charity, spiritual security, and internal rest, and when by "the red horse" is signified the understanding of the Word destroyed as to good; for these things exist when there is no longer any good; and there is no longer any good when it is not known what good is. That intestine hatreds exist when there is no charity, likewise infestations by the hells when there is no spiritual security, and internal restlessness when there is no rest from evils and their lusts, is evident; but this is the case after death, if not in the world. That "to kill" has such a signification, is plain from the signification of "a sword," in what follows.

AR 308. And there was given unto him a great sword, signifies the destruction of truth by the falsities of evil. That "a sword" (gladius), "sabre" (machaera), and "long sword" (romphaea), signify truth combating against falsities and destroying them, and in the opposite sense, falsity combating against truths, and destroying them, may be seen in (n. 52); here "a great sword" signifies the falsities of evil destroying the truths of good. They are called falsities of evil, because there are falsities which are not falsities of evil, and the latter do not destroy truths, but the former do. That such is the signification of "a great sword" is evident from its being said that presently "a black horse" was seen, by which is signified the understanding of the Word destroyed as to truth, and truth is destroyed by nothing but evil.

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info