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"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, ‘Come and see.’ And I beheld, and to a black horse......
This black horse’s rider with the pair of balances in his hand symbolizes the rich capitalists who have a major impact on world conditions through their manipulation of national economies. Only one other verse in the Bible pictures a man with balances or scales: “The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud” (Hosea 12:7).
Another prophet, Amos, also said the merchants — the wealthy capitalists of his day who were robbing the poor instead of helping them — “set forth wheat, making the ephah [unit of measure] small, and the shekel [price] great and falsifying the balances by deceit ... that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail” (Amos 8:4-6)
The black horse, then, represents famine and poverty perpetrated by the rich who refuse to share with those in need. Oil and wine, throughout the Scriptures, symbolize abundance or luxury.
Ted Rudow III, MA