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4 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course Lesson 39

despair” (Destiny Publishers, 1985, p. 41).
Moving now to a publication put out by
the Jehovah’s Witnesses, we find the following
to be the same miscon- ception followed by the
Worldwide Church of God --
“The horseman that John now saw was
on a black horse. He followed the second
horseman to whom it was granted to take away
peace from the earth by the ‘great sword’ of
world war.
“Famine is a common aftermath of war.
Repeatedly God’s prophetic Word combines
famine and war with its sieges of cities, its
destruction of growing crops, its converting of
implements of peaceful agriculture into
unproductive weapons of war, its greedy The Jehovah.s Witnesses and others believe
appropriation of abandoned crops by invading that the Black Horse represents modern-day
armies. famine. Pictured is famine in Africa.
“....Yet, how do we know that the third
horseman, the one on the black horse, represents the famine or food shortage, but also the well-
famine, food shortage? Well, look at what he has to-do people. This was suggested by the com-
in his hand, a pair of scales! And listen to the mand coming from amidst the four living crea-
comment made on this that seemed to come forth tures: ‘And do not harm the olive oil and the
from all four living creatures and that showed wine.’ This might sound like a command to
agreement among them, namely, ‘a quart of protect the luxuries of the rich people and
wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley discriminate in favor of them because they had
for a denarius’! Those were really famine prices, the money with which to buy, even at high
for in the apostle John’s day a Roman denarius prices. But the command from the living crea-
was the day’s wage for a worker who toiled for tures appears to be a control proclamation. It
twelve hours. (Matthew 20:1-12) So the famine meant that the famine victims should not draw
price meant a whole day’s wage for enough too heavily at a time on the available olive oil
wheat to sustain just one man a day, with no and wine, because the supplies of these also
more for any dependents of his. Barley, a less would be limited.
substantial food of the poor people, sold cheaper, “By drawing too heavily upon them at
but still at a price that compared with that of the the start of the famine, the quantity of olive oil
wheat. -- 2 Kings 7:16, 17. and wine would be ‘harmed,’ not leaving enough
“Not only were measures of staple for future needs before the famine was over. The
foodstuffs to be high, but, because of the food effect was that even the people with the money
shortage, the foodstuffs were to be weighed out, would be limited as to the amount of olive oil
rationed, to allow for equal distribution and to and wine they could enjoy at a time. So the
prevent over consumption of available food famine would affect all people without regard
supplies. for class distinction, social standing or financial
“Necessarily the ‘pair of scales’ of the means” (Then Is Finished the Mystery of God.
third horseman on the black horse had to be used Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New
to control the consumption of food stocks, if any. York, Inc. 1969, pp. 52-54).
“Not only were the poor to be affected by This publication then goes on to place

The Black Horse of Revelation 6
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