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Rev 6:8 and the Wild Animals

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2010
    Rev 6:8 (ESV)
    And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

    Studying the book of Revelation in my prophecy study last night and ran into this verse which puzzled me. Who are the wild beasts of the earth mentioned? Lions? Tigers? Elephants? Consulting a commentary it would appear they are rats which will run wild after a world wide war and run wild during times of plague and famine. The commentator mentioned a Bubonic Plague of the past that killed many people and suggests this may happen again.

    So what do you say? NOTE- I am not interested in debates with Amill, PostMill, or Preterists thank you.
  2. Judith

    Judith Member

    May 22, 2012
    It very well could be wild animals, but I would more lean to men who are without conscience or restraint because in Titus 1:12 it reads One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, G2342 slow bellies.
    So the Greek word can be applied to people and I would lean in that direction.
  3. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2007
    The four judgments in verse 8 should seem familiar to those who have read Ezekiel. They are first mentioned there, chapter 14:

    "21 “For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast!

    "22 But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it."

    If you read the whole context, verses 12 - 23, you can see that this judgment is in reference to the land of Israel, not the whole world. Likewise the passage in Revelation 6 refers to the land (ge) of Israel, not the whole world (kosmos).

    Admittedly, there may not always be a cut-and-dried equivalence throughout Scripture: "ge" always being a "land", "kosmos" always meaning "world". But here in Rev. 6 we have the added weight of OT allusion, from a passage that clearly has only Israel in view.

    I believe people would understand Revelation so much better if they would just follow through on reading all those OT cross references, and not just head straight for the commentaries.

    Also, concerning the "famine and perstilence", compare Luke 21 with Rev. 6:

    10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake.

    8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

    These two times sync. Yet clearly Luke's occurs in a time when the faithful are haled before "synagogues" - not something that is happening in our time.

    I realize this does not answer the OP question of what the "animals" are. First we should understand the frame of reference of the passage. That will keep us grounded so we don't just indulge in extra-scriptural speculation.

    But I believe the animals n Revelation are just that - animals. Think of how many references in the OT there are to animals being used by God in judgment: locusts, lions who killed many in Samaria, etc. It fits IMO. It also fits that the application need not be seen as worldwide in application, nor requiring some future fulfilment.
    #3 asterisktom, Mar 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2014
  4. thisnumbersdisconnected

    Apr 11, 2013
    Good point, but also keep in mind the judgment is symbolized by the rise to power of men who will bring condemnation to the unbelieving world. The mark of the beast is "666," the number of man. More likely it is the metaphorical use of the Greek therion, which is that of savage, unprincipled, brutal men.