Loosening of the Fourth Seal

Showing the Plagues Which Befall the Impious

Rev. 6:7 And when he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth animal saying, "Come!"

The fourth animal, that is, the eagle, its high flight and keen eyesight coming down upon its prey from above, can signify the wounds from the divinely led wrath of God for the revenge of the pious and the punishment of the impious, unless being improved by these (wounds) they return.

Rev. 6:8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and the name of the one sitting upon (it) was Death. And Hades follows him; And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword and by famine and by death and by wild beasts of the earth.

The series (of events) drawn out previously are connected to the present events. For as Eusebius says in the eighth chapter of the ninth book of his Ecclesiastical History in the zenith of the persecutions, during the reign of Maximin the Roman Emperor, innumerable crowds were killed by the coming of famine and plague among them, along with other calamities; and such that (the living) were not able to bury them, and yet, the Christians then generously busied themselves with the burial (of the dead) and many of those who had been deceived, were led to the knowledge of the truth by the philanthropy of the Christians. The Armenians revolted against the Romans, not a few taking up the sword, and the bodies of the dead were eaten by the dogs. Then those remaining who had survived, turned to killing the dogs, fearing lest they too (upon) dying would occupy those living tombs. It is not unlikely that the wild beasts participated in this banquet with the dogs due to the abundance of food. In our own generation we have known each of these happenings.

Translation of the Apocalypse Commentary of Andrew of Caesarea


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