“And 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.” “And there went out another horse that was red.” If the white horse represents the first period, then the red horse must stand for the one that followed. “Red” is the same as scarlet, which is a symbol of sin and condemnation.
After Adam sinned, the earth was cursed, and its perfect beauty marred. Thus the white horse passed away, and a red one took its place. Said God, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” But this symbol applies more directly after the flood, for the entire surface of the earth was changed by the deluge. “A third dreadful curse rested upon it in consequence of sin. As the water began to subside, the hills and mountains were surrounded by a vast, turbid sea…. The earth presented an appearance of confusion and desolation impossible to describe. The mountains, once so beautiful in their perfect symmetry, had become broken and irregular. Stone, ledges, and ragged rocks were now scattered upon the surface of the earth. In many places, hills and mountains had disappeared, leaving no trace where they once stood; and plains had given place to mountain ranges. These changes were more marked in some places than in others. Where once had been earth’s richest treasures of gold, silver, and precious stones, were seen the heaviest marks of the curse. And upon the countries that were not inhabited, and those where there had been the least crime, the curse rested more lightly.” — “Patriarchs and Prophets,” page 108. Thus the red horse represents the period after the flood.
The Rider On The Red Horse
“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.” As soon as sin entered the human family, it multiplied fast, like a fruitful tree. What a vast difference between the first rider and the second. No longer has he a crown on his head, but instead, a great sword in his hand. Righteous Abel was the first to fall under its edge. But as the symbol has a direct application after the flood, it finds its perfect fulfillment in the tower of Babel.
As the earth’s inhabitants began to multiply after the deluge, sin did likewise, and though they had to believe Noah’s prediction of the flood, they mistrusted his predictions after the flood. “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is a token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations; I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” (Gen. 9:1, 11, 13.)
Their disbelief in the word of God spoken by Noah, impelled them, in defiance of God, to engage in building the tower of Babel as a defense against a second flood. (See Gen. 11:3, 4.) God’s displeasure over their ignorance of His power, and disbelief in His word, caused Him to destroy the tower and confound their language. “So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth…. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (Gen. 11:8, 9.) The confusion at the tower of Babel gave birth to the races and languages. As they parted in separated tribes, the neighboring ones began to quarrel one with another. As they grew to nations, their quarrels turned into wars.
Thus the period under the “red horse” gave birth to the existing unrest among the nations. Therefore, power was given him “to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” Thus the evidence proves that the red horse represents the period after the flood; and the rider, its inhabitants, corresponding with the “lion” (Babylon), and later with the “bear” (Medo-Persia). At the commencement of the Persian government, the previous quarrels broke out in bloody wars, thus the words by the ribs in the mouth of the bear, “Arise, devour much flesh” (Dan. 7:5) met a perfect fulfillment. Therefore, peace was taken from the earth by the great sword in the hand of the rider on the red horse.