Revelation 6:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red,

New Living Translation
I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood.

English Standard Version
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,

New American Standard Bible
I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;

King James Bible
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then I saw Him open the sixth seal. A violent earthquake occurred; the sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair; the entire moon became like blood;

International Standard Version
Then I saw the lamb open the sixth seal. There was a powerful earthquake. The sun turned as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon turned as red as blood.

NET Bible
Then I looked when the Lamb opened the sixth seal, and a huge earthquake took place; the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the full moon became blood red;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake, and the Sun was blackened like sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became like blood.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I watched as the lamb opened the sixth seal. A powerful earthquake struck. The sun turned as black as sackcloth made of hair. The full moon turned as red as blood.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I saw when he had opened the sixth seal, and, behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

King James 2000 Bible
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

American King James Version
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

American Standard Version
And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I saw, when he had opened the sixth seal, and behold there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair: and the whole moon became as blood:

Darby Bible Translation
And I saw when it opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as hair sackcloth, and the whole moon became as blood,

English Revised Version
And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood;

Webster's Bible Translation
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood:

Weymouth New Testament
When the Lamb broke the sixth seal I looked, and there was a great earthquake, and the sun became as dark as sackcloth, and the whole disc of the moon became like blood.

World English Bible
I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood.

Young's Literal Translation
And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and lo, a great earthquake came, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

6:12-17 When the sixth seal was opened, there was a great earthquake. The foundations of churches and states would be terribly shaken. Such bold figurative descriptions of great changes abound in the prophecies of Scripture; for these events are emblems, and declare the end of the world and the day of judgment. Dread and terror would seize on all sorts of men. Neither grandeur, riches, valour, nor strength, can support men at that time. They would be glad to be no more seen; yea, to have no longer any being. Though Christ be a Lamb, he can be angry, and the wrath of the Lamb is exceedingly dreadful; for if the Redeemer himself, who appeases the wrath of God, be our enemy, where shall we find a friend to plead for us? As men have their day of opportunity, and their seasons of grace, so God has his day of righteous wrath. It seems that the overthrow of the paganism of the Roman empire is here meant. The idolaters are described as hiding themselves in their dens and secret caves, and vainly seeking to escape ruin. In such a day, when the signs of the times show those who believe in God's word, that the King of kings is approaching, Christians are called to a decided course, and to a bold confession of Christ and his truth before their fellowmen. Whatever they may have to endure, the short contempt of man is to be borne, rather than that shame which is everlasting.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal; and I saw when he opened. The events described accompany the opening as in the case of the preceding visions (see on vers. 1, 3, 5, etc.). The sixth seal describes the end of the world - the transition of the saints from earth to heaven, with the accompanying circumstances. It is important to remember that the whole is a vision, and we must therefore guard against expecting a literal interpretation of the language used. Following the manner of the prophets, and the description given by our Lord himself of the judgment day, St. John portrays the wonder and awe and consternation which will then be prevalent under the figure of falling stars. etc. How much, if any, may, in the destruction of the world, literally come to pass, it is impossible to say; but we must be content to receive the general impression which is undoubtedly intended to be conveyed to us, without pressing the individual particulars too far. The symbolism, as usual, bears evidence of its Old Testament origin; and the influence of our Lord's description in Matthew 24. is noticeable. The special revelation of God's presence or of his judgments is usually depicted under the figure of terrestrial commotion (see on Revelation 6:1; also Isaiah 2:19; Isaiah 13:12; Isaiah 34:4: Ezekiel 32:7, 8; Hosea 10:8; Joel 2:30; Haggai 2:6). The last three seals seem connected more especially with life in the next world. The fifth seal displays to us the souls of the faithful in peace, but desiring the perfect consummation of their bliss; the sixth announces the certainty of future judgment, when all will be set right, when the righteous will be preserved and the wicked justly recompensed; the seventh typifies the indescribable joy and peace of heaven. It seems reasonable, therefore, to consider the passage Revelation 6:12-7:17 as all contained under the sixth seal; since, although set forth at rather greater length than the other seals, it all follows in natural sequence - the destruction of the earth, the fear of the wicked, the preservation and joy of the righteous; and then follows heaven, portrayed under the opening of the seventh seal. Some have tried to separate Revelation 7. as "an episode," or rather two episodes, commencing at, and marked off by, the μετά τοῦτο of ver. 1 and μετὰ ταῦτα of ver. 9, "after these things." But this expression, though undoubtedly marking, the beginning of a fresh phase of the subject, does not necessarily imply the opening of an entirely new and unconnected discourse. This view of the sixth seal is in harmony with what appears to be the general plan of the visions of the seals. It is important to bear in mind, in our interpretation of the Apocalypse, these two principles - first, the book was addressed to certain Christians for a definite purpose, and its object would be set forth so as to be comprehended by them; second, the truths thus contained must be such as to be applicable to the position of mankind in general in all ages. We have, therefore, to inquire to whom and for what purpose the book was primarily written, and then how the lessons contained can benefit mankind in general. It thus appears that the message was originally intended as an encouragement and a support to those Christians who were being persecuted, and were suffering in various ways, and whose patience might be inadequate to preserve them through trials so severe or so long. The visions of the seals would speak plainly to such as these. The first four would tell them that, though they must not doubt of Christ's final victory, it is yet with God's knowledge and permission that this life is afflicted with troubles of different kinds; it is not because God is weak, forgetful, or unjust Then, lest any should be tempted to ask, "Is it worth while? If Christianity involves all this suffering, would it not be better to be as the world is, and escape?" a picture of the future is given. The fifth seal shows that, immediately upon the completion of this life, the souls of the righteous are at peace; and the sixth seal shows that a day of reckoning will certainly come for the world; while the seventh seal is an assurance of heaven. It is worth while, therefore, to endure and to persevere, both on account of God's reward to the just, and his retribution upon the unjust. Thus would the signification of the visions be easily comprehended by those for whom they were originally intended; and the same lessons are equally valuable for the Church at all time. Grotius considers that this vision refers to the destruction of Jerusalem; Elliott, Faber, and Mede refer its accomplishment to the beginning of the fourth century; Wordsworth sees the "last age" of the Church represented; Stern thinks it indicates the general state of the Church; Wetstein, the commotions in Judaea previous to the destruction of Jerusalem; while Cunninghame and Frere see a reference to the French Revolution of 1789. But these interpretations do not fulfil the conditions mentioned above, since the Christians to whom this book is addressed were ignorant of those events yet in the future. And, lo, there was a great earthquake. Omit "lo." The earthquake is the usual manifestation of God's presence or special dealing with men (vide supra). This is the answer to the question of the saints in the fifth seal - the period of probation is finite. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair. Thus Isaiah 50:3, "I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering" (cf. Matthew 24:29). And the moon became as blood; the whole moon (cf. Joel 2:31, quoted in Acts 2:20).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal,.... Of the sealed book which the Lamb took out of the hand of him that sat upon the throne, in order to open it, and unloose its seals. About this seal interpreters much differ; some refer this to the destruction of Jerusalem, because of the likeness of expressions here used, and in Matthew 24:7; but this was past many years before this seal was opened; and besides, though that time was a day of wrath to the uttermost upon the Jewish people, and it was the Lamb's day of wrath, taking vengeance on them for their unbelief and rejection of him as the Messiah; yet they had no sense of the Lamb, nor any apprehension of his wrath at that time, nor have they now, but imputed their calamity to their divisions and quarrels among themselves. Others think this seal belongs to the destruction of the Roman empire by the Goths, Huns, Vandals, &c. but it should be observed, that the empire stood some hundreds of years after the end of the fifth seal and the opening of this; and it was after the seventh seal, and at the sounding of the trumpets, that that destruction came on; moreover, that calamity was by the savageness of some barbarous nations which overrun the empire, but this here spoken of comes from the wrath of the Lamb; add to which, that that calamity distressed the Christians in the empire, and them chiefly, whereas this falls only upon the enemies of the Lamb, and the persecutors of his people. Others are of opinion that this has respect to the strange change of affairs in the church of Christ, through the rise, power, and tyranny of antichrist; by "the earthquake" they suppose is meant the shaking of both church and state by the man of sin; who shook the doctrines, ordinances, and discipline of the church, and threw all into confusion, and introduced a new face of things; and also shook the kingdoms of the earth, and the thrones and crowns of princes: by the "sun" becoming "black", they think is meant the sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ, who was obscured in the doctrines concerning him, as the one and only Mediator, and justification by his righteousness, and pardon through his blood, by introducing the mediation of angels and saints, the doctrine of justification by works, and the doctrine of merit, works of supererogation, indulgences, pardons, penance, and purgatory: by the "moon" they understand the church, which receives all its light, grace, righteousness, and holiness, from Christ, and which, like the moon, is changeable as to its outward form and circumstances; and this became "as blood", through the persecutions, massacres, and cruelties of the Romish antichrist, who has been made drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus: the "stars" they take to be the ministers of the word; either hypocritical ones, who were like unripe figs, destitute of true grace, and so were easily shaken with the wind of Papal power, and fell into the earth, and apostatized from the faith, and conformed to the corruptions of antichrist; or the true ministers of the Gospel, who were put to death, and that to an untimely and violent one, signified by the shaking of untimely figs by a mighty wind: by the "heaven" departing as a scroll rolled up, they suppose is designed either the church, which fled into the wilderness, and remained invisible during the Papal power and cruelty; or else the Scriptures, which the pope made himself sole judge and interpreter of and shut up from the common people in an unknown language, and forbid the laity the reading of them: by "mountains" they think are intended the kings and princes of the earth, who were obliged to submit to the Romish antichrist, and give their kingdoms to him, and receive their crowns and kingdoms from him, and be his vassals: and by "the islands", the people their subjects, who were forced to acknowledge him as the supreme head, and receive his mark in their right hand or forehead, or they could not buy and sell: and by all ranks and degrees of men, as "kings", &c. hiding themselves in rocks and mountains, and calling upon them to fall on them and cover them, they apply either to their invoking the virgin Mary, and other saints, to intercede for them, and screen them from the wrath of God and Christ, on account of their sins; or else to the persecutors of the saints, of every rank and in every age, and to the punishments that shall fall upon them. But however feasible this interpretation may seem to be, it is certain that this was not the face of things at the close of the fifth seal, or the Dioclesian persecution, and at the opening of the sixth, when Constantine came to the imperial throne, for then the church appeared as she is described in Revelation 12:1; which is just the reverse of this. There are others, who because of the very awful things here spoken of, and the very awful language in which they are expressed, conclude that this seal respects the day of judgment; not considering that the fifth seal ends about the year 313, at the close of the last of the ten persecutions, and that the sixth seal begins where that ends; and though above 1750 years have elapsed since that time, yet the day of judgment is not come, and we know not when it will; besides, here is another seal, a seventh seal, which follows, and introduces punishments on the Roman empire, and seven vials follow, which pour out plagues upon antichrist, all which can never be thought to be after the day of judgment; moreover, the account of the day of judgment stands in its proper place in Revelation 20:12; after the destruction of Babylon, the first resurrection, and the saints' thousand years' reign with Christ. But to proceed; the business which is the subject of this seal is the removing of Paganism, and Pagan governors out of the Roman empire; this was the thing the rider upon the white horse, under the first seal, set out upon to effect, and never ceased until he had accomplished it; and this is what ensued upon the close of the fifth seal, when Pagan persecution ceased, on Constantine, a Christian emperor, having the reins of power in his hands; and it cannot be thought, that so wonderful a change of things as this should be omitted in this prophetic history; and it is easy to observe that changes in kingdoms and governments, both as to the polity and religion of them, are sometimes expressed in such like figurative terms as here; see Isaiah 13:9; and which may be accommodated to this event as follows:

and, lo, there was a great earthquake; or "shaking", both of the heavens and earth, and which, as it denotes in Haggai 2:6; compared with Hebrews 12:26; the removing of Jewish worship and ordinances, in order to make way for the Christian ordinances and institutions, which were to remain; so here it intends the removing of Pagan worship and idolatry, and of Pagan magistrates, that the Christian religion and Christian magistrates might take place. This, with what follows, concerning the darkness of the sun and moon, might be literally true; and it seems by historians, that there were such phenomena about those times; for it is asserted (h), that a very great earthquake in Syria followed the Dioclesian persecution, which shook and caused to fall the tops of houses at Tyre and Sidon, and killed many thousands; and some such like happened at Rome, and at Spoletum, where above three hundred and fifty Pagans perished, as they were serving their idols. It is also observed (i), that the moon was turned into blood in the times of Galerius, who succeeded. Dioclesian; and that the sun failed, and the stars shined for four hours, when Licinius was conquered by Constantine; but then these may be considered as symbols of the change in the empire.

And the sun came black as sackcloth of hair; which is made of black hairs; see Isaiah 50:3; as when eclipsed. The sun was the chief deity worshipped by the Heathens, under various names, and this becoming black, may design the removing of their principal gods from their honour and glory, or the downfall of idolatry, which the Jews (k) call , "the sun of idolatry", which they suppose is meant in Sol 1:6. And Satan, the god of this world, who was worshipped in different forms, now fell, as Lucifer, the son of the morning, and as lightning from heaven, and was cast down from all his dignity, influence, and power, to the earth; for the casting out of the red dragon, the old serpent, and Satan, after his combat with Michael and his angels, in Revelation 12:3, refers to this very time; likewise the chief magistrate, the Heathen Roman emperor, may be included; and it is remarkable, that Dioclesian the emperor, who had now retired from the imperial government, and was under a cloud, under disgrace, and in distress, had, in the zenith of his glory, caused himself to be worshipped as a god, and as the brother of the sun and moon.

And the moon became as blood; as when obscured; the Alexandrian copy and some others, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, "the whole moon"; this may design the next Heathen deity, or class of deities, for the moon was also worshipped by the Heathens under different names; and may likewise include the Pagan priesthood, which was next, and was annexed to the imperial dignity; and which was disused by, Constantine and his successors; and even the very title, and the robe which was a symbol of it, were laid aside as unworthy of Christian princes; see Mede upon the place.

(h) Magdeburg. Centuriator. cent. 4. c. 3. p. 86. & c. 13. p. 837. (i) Alsted. Chronolog. Thesaur. p. 59. (k) Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 6. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. As Re 6:4, 6-8, the sword, famine, and pestilence, answer to Mt 24:6, 7; Re 6:9, 10, as to martyrdoms, answer to Mt 24:9, 10; so this passage, Re 6:12, 17, answers to Mt 24:29, 30, "the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven; … then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming"; imagery describing the portents of the immediate coming of the day of the Lord; but not the coming itself until the elect are sealed, and the judgments invoked by the martyrs descend on the earth, the sea, and the trees (Re 7:1-3).

and, lo—So A reads. But B and C omit "lo."

earthquake—Greek, "shaking" of the heavens, the sea, and the dry land; the shaking of these mutable things being the necessary preliminary to the setting up of those things which cannot be shaken. This is one of the catchwords [Wordsworth] connecting the sixth seal with the sixth trumpet (Re 11:13) and the seventh vial (Re 16:17-21); also the seventh seal (Re 8:5).

sackcloth—One kind, made of the "hair" of Cilician goats, was called "cilicium," or Cilician cloth, and was used for tents, &c. Paul, a Cilician, made such tents (Ac 18:3).

moon—A, B, C, and oldest versions read, "the whole moon"; the full moon; not merely the crescent moon.

as blood—(Joe 2:31).

Revelation 6:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Sixth Seal: Terror
12I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.…
Cross References
Isaiah 13:10
The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.

Isaiah 34:4
All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.

Isaiah 50:3
I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering."

Ezekiel 32:7
When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light.

Joel 2:10
Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

Joel 2:31
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Joel 3:15
The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

Matthew 11:21
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Matthew 24:7
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Matthew 24:29
"Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'

Mark 13:24
"But in those days, following that distress, "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;

Revelation 8:5
Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:12
The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

Revelation 11:13
At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Revelation 16:8
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.

Revelation 16:18
Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.
Treasury of Scripture

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

there.

Revelation 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, …

Revelation 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part …

Revelation 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning; and there was …

1 Kings 19:11-13 And he said, Go forth, and stand on the mount before the LORD. And, …

Isaiah 29:6 You shall be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with …

Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he …

Zechariah 14:5 And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley …

Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: …

Matthew 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, …

Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord …

the sun.

Isaiah 13:9,10 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce …

Isaiah 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the …

Isaiah 60:19,20 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness …

Ezekiel 32:7,8 And when I shall put you out, I will cover the heaven, and make the …

Joel 2:10,30,31 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the …

Joel 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw …

Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, said the Lord GOD, that I …

Haggai 2:6,7,21,22 For thus said the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, …

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be …

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land to the ninth hour.

Mark 13:24,25 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, …

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole …

Luke 23:44,45 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all …

Acts 2:19,20 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; …

Jump to Previous
Beheld Black Blood Broke Dark Earthquake Earth-Shock Full Goat Great Hair Haircloth Lamb Moon Opened Sackcloth Seal Sixth Stamp Sun Turned Undone Watched Whole
Jump to Next
Beheld Black Blood Broke Dark Earthquake Earth-Shock Full Goat Great Hair Haircloth Lamb Moon Opened Sackcloth Seal Sixth Stamp Sun Turned Undone Watched Whole
Links
Revelation 6:12 NIV
Revelation 6:12 NLT
Revelation 6:12 ESV
Revelation 6:12 NASB
Revelation 6:12 KJV

Revelation 6:12 Bible Apps
Revelation 6:12 Bible Suite
Revelation 6:12 Biblia Paralela
Revelation 6:12 Chinese Bible
Revelation 6:12 French Bible
Revelation 6:12 German Bible

Alphabetical: a and as became black blood broke earthquake goat great hair he I like looked made moon of opened red sackcloth seal sixth sun the There turned was watched when whole

NT Prophecy: Revelation 6:12 I saw when he opened the sixth (Rev. Re Apocalypse) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Revelation 6:11
Top of Page
Top of Page