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Seal 2. The red horse – war

Revelation 6:3-4 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

Often the red horse is associated with countries having red flags like China, Turkey and Russia. Considering the complex situation in the Middle East no country can be really excluded from potentially being part of some (large scale) war; but considering a large part of the Bible is about Jews interacting with their neighbors it’s likely to assume the red horse is a (former) neighbor too.

If we remove the vowel point from the Hebrew word for Edom we get a Hebrew word meaning red. Anthologists confirm that Arabs are the descendants of Esau; the Edomites.  Arabs is derived from ‘Arabah Valley’ in which Esau lived.  

Gen 25:29-30 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray you, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

Genesis 5:25 Then the first came out red all over like an official garment of hair; so they called his name Esau.

The above verses in a very direct way show another connection between Esau, red and Edom. The borders of Edom changed quite a bit during history. The land was situated in present day northwest Saudi Arabia, southeast Israel, and southwest Jordan. The land itself was desolated and repopulated several times during history.  Esau’s decedents also included the Amalekites and today’s Palestinians are also called “the tents of Edom”. More in appendix.

To him was given a large sword.

A sword is tool of war. Close combat. A symbol of Islam.

Isaiah 34:5 My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; see, it descends in judgment on Edom, the people I have totally destroyed.

Ps 137:7-8 Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewards you as you have served us.

Obad 1:8-10 Shall I not in that day, said the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? And your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. For your violence against your brother Jacob shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever.

Edom, the daughter of Babylon, will be permanently and totally destroyed in a bloody war. The final war in a very long history of war, betrayal and enmity.

- Esau trying to kill Jacob

- In 600BC 20,000 Edomites came into Jerusalem to defend it against a Babylonian invasion. But shortly thereafter they switched sides and started slaughtering Jews inside the city walls. (Many Arabs currently in today Jerusalem)

- Haman trying to kill the Jews in Persia.

- Herod ruling Israel with an iron fist and trying to kill Jesus.

-  Edom turning against Israel during the Roman invasion of 70 A.D. – the year the Temple was destroyed.

- Recently: 15 May 1948 – 10 March 1949, Jun 5-10 1967 the six day war, October 6-25 1973 the Yom Kippur war.

- And since then a never ending string of tension and incidents.