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What Do the Seven Seals in Revelation Mean? Here’s What the Bible Says

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The seven seals are part of the series of catastrophic events that will happen during the end times. These seals are on a prophetic scroll opening before Christ’s second coming, as written by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation.

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This article will tell you all about the seven seals: what they are, how the bible describes each event that will unfold, and what they could possibly mean for humanity.

But one may think: why is it always the number 7? Is there something special about that number?

For better context, let’s take a look at why many concepts in the bible come in septets.

Biblical Significance of the Number 7

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There are a lot of figures of speech used in the bible. If you’ve encountered some symbolisms there, you will observe a recurring pattern of using the number seven in many of them.

In the scriptures, the number seven represents completeness. It is also interpreted as “perfection.” In fact, much of its meaning comes from its very first book, Genesis, in the story of creation when God completed everything in a span of six days and rested on the seventh day.

The number seven is used 735 times in the bible; 54 times in Revelation alone. And three of those are used in the three series of end-times judgments from God: the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls.

The Seven Seals in Revelation, Explained

If you want to know more about the seven seals in Revelation, you can find the exact scriptures in Revelation chapters 5:4-5, 6:1-17, and Revelation 8:1-5.

The end-time prophecies about the seven seals represent cataclysmic events, starting off with the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. These four horsemen are interpreted symbolically as messengers riding different-colored horses.

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The First Seal: White Horse 

2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. (Revelation 6:2)

The first seal is the white horse which introduces the Antichrist. It represents religious deception being that the messenger appears on a “white horse” symbolizing godliness and purity. Many will falsely assume that this is Jesus Christ himself bringing about promises of peace, therefore deceiving the people.

The Second Seal: Red Horse

4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword. (Revelation 6:4)

The second seal who is the second horseman on his red horse represents great warfare. The red horse signifies bloodshed.

The Third Seal: Black Horse

5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. (Revelation 6:5)

The breaking of the third seal shows the black horse which brings about famine throughout the world. Post-war, the people will work hard for food and do their best to survive in food scarcity.

The Fourth Seal: The Pale Horse

7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 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. (Revelation 6:7-8)

As the fourth seal is opened, the pale horse appears. The horseman’s name was Death; aptly named as the rider of the “pale horse” which can indeed be interpreted as death. The breaking of the fourth seal signals the killing of one-fourth of the population of the earth by the previous seals: war, famine, then plague, and the beasts of the earth.

The Fifth Seal: Souls of Martyrs

9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers[a] should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (Revelation 6:9-11)

The fifth seal reveals the souls of the martyrs—believers of Christ—killed. They are under the altar in heaven asking God for how long before justice is served. They were given a white robe and told to wait a little longer.

The Sixth Seal: Earthquake, Sun & Moon, Stars Falling

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12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. (Revelation 6:12-14)

As the sixth seal breaks, a strong earthquake will take place, the sun will turn black, the moon will turn blood-red and the stars in the sky will fall. A catastrophic astronomical disruption will happen as the mountains and islands disappear.

The Seventh Seal: Silence in Heaven

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8 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8:1)

After all the bloodshed, famine, plague, and sky upheaval, heaven becomes silent upon the opening of the seventh seal. Similar to the Sabbath day being for rest, there is a brief pause — explicitly mentioned in the bible for about half an hour before the next series of judgments.

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Pexels



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