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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Albrecht Dürer, 1471 - 1528



Where Science Meets Religion by Trent Dee Stephens, PhD, for the Come Follow Me lesson December 11-17: Revelation 6-14

We read in Revelation 6:5-6 “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”

What the King James Version of the Bible calls a “measure” in this verse apparently is a choenix in the original Greek — equal to about one quart, or the basic, minimal sustenance for one person for one day. What the King James Version called a “penny” is a denarius, a small Roman silver coin, and the word is of Latin origin. A denarius was a soldier or of a common laborer’s pay for one day.1 So this verse is saying that in the time predicted in Revelation a person would have to labor all day for just enough grain (σίτου: sitou) to feed himself at a bare minimum — let alone anyone else in his family. A quart of grain contains only about 360 calories,2 which is way below the starvation level of around 1200 - 1800 calories.3 Therefore, this verse predicts that a person will work all day for food and still be well below the starvation level.

In 2021, it is was estimated that at least 828 million of the 8 billion people on earth (over 10%) were suffering starvation.4 The numbers are far worse in some parts of the world. According to the UN, the drought-caused famine for the past four years in Somalia has taken 400,000 Samali lives. And the rain that came on November 7th of this year didn’t help — it came too much too quickly and the hard, parched ground couldn’t absorb it, resulting in heavy flooding in the region, with at least 40 people losing their lives.5


As of Saturday, 2 December 2023, the population of Somalia was 18,377,539. According to the latest UN analysis, between April and June 2023, approximately 6.6 million people in Somalia experienced high levels of acute food insecurity — that’s 36% of the population. The Ukraine war has made the crisis in Somalia much worse. Over 90 of Somalia’s grain supplies came from the Ukraine and Russia, so once the war started, Somalia suffered from a huge food shortage.6


And it’s getting worse there. According to current population-growth projections, Somalia’s population growth will continue to increase for the rest of this century, ending with some 75 million people there in 2099. With the current population of around 18 million, these projections mean that the population will be nearly five times higher in 80 years than it is today.7

Furthermore, the situation world-wide is predicted to get worse. At the COP28, the 28th United Nations Climate Change conference, in Dubai, on Friday, 1 December 2023, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “The growing population means that global demand for food is likely to increase by an estimated 50% by the year 2050. An escalating climate crisis means that crop yields could drop by as much as 30% over that same period.”8 It’s not difficult to do the math and see what those two numbers mean for the future.

Then we read in Revelation 6:8, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

Will we, by 2050, see war and famine on the earth increase from 10% to 25%? In places like Somalia, Ukraine, and Gaza the level of war and famine are already way above 25%. When will all this death and destruction end?

According to Revelation 14:1-3, these woes will not end until the second coming of Christ, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” 



Trent Dee Stephens, PhD



1.; retrieved 3 December 2023

2.,3296402; retrieved 3 December 2023

7.; retrieved 3 December 2023

8.     PBS News, Friday, December 1; retrieved 3 December 2023

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1 Comment

Curt Anderson
Curt Anderson
Dec 09, 2023

Malthus just texted me: ‘nobody believed me!’

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