17 And [kai] thus [houto] I saw [eido] the horses [hippos] in [en] the vision, [horasis] and [kai] them that sat [kathemai] on [epi] them, [autos] having [echo] breastplates [thorax] of
fire, [purinos] and [kai] of jacinth, [huakinthinos] and [kai] brimstone: [theiodes] and [kai] the heads [kephale] of the horses [hippos] were
as [hos] the heads [kephale] of lions; [leon] and [kai] out of [ek] their [autos] mouths [stoma] issued [ekporeuomai] fire [pur] and [kai] smoke [kapnos] and [kai] brimstone. [theion]KJV-Interlinear
this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the
riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and
the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths
proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. NASB
John is using descriptive
terminology.He uses the word ‘like’ or ‘were
as’ to indicate that this is not an exact description, but descriptive
terminology to make it very clear that these demons were beyond terrible in
their appearance, in their attitude, and in their actions against humanity.
Further the terminology is
that used against the wicked – fire, smoke, brimstone, Rev. 14:10; 19:20;
20:10; 21:8, Gen 19:24; Job 18:15; Ps 11:6; Ezek 38:23; Isa 30:33; Luke 17:29.
Horses have been used in
warfare and symbolically represent warfare, or a charging force, Ex 14:9, Deut
11:4; 20:1; Josh 11:4; 1 Sam 13:5; 2 Sam 1:6; 8:4; Ps 33:17; Prov 21:31; Isa 5:28; Jer 6:23;
Ezek 23:23-24; 38:4,15; Dan 11:40; Hos 1:7; Joel 2:4;
The breastplates we
studied earlier in the locust vision, represents the unconquerable attitude of
impunity and arrogance of an undefeatable force.
The total picture represents
the action of God bringing almost literally a hell on earth, which would certainly
seem to some to represent a prelude to the actual hell that is to come.The actual is of course far, far worse.
This picture simply
states that the world is going to be in a very bad way, and note something that
should be obvious, since so many people are going to die, that means that even
the great militaries and the great technology that is certain to be around in
the future, will be totally impotent against this demon attack.Certainly civilians have no chance
The heads of lions,
whereas earlier the symbolism was of lions teeth, but now it is the head of the
lion which is being used symbolically, and that simply means the hunting,
stalking and killing nature of the lion.A hungry lion does not stop until he gets his prey.Any prey that comes into the lion’s sight, has lost the fight before the chase has even
begun.And when the lion catches her
prey, then the violence of the kill is gruesome and worse.
And again, there are no
innocents.All are evil and wicked
people.Whether they participated in
gruesome acts themselves of were simply indifferent toward truth, makes no
All rejection of truth, all
disregard for authority, all disregard for honesty,
all disregard for that which is right, no matter how minor, always leads to
greater evil eventually.