Revelation 6:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "Two pounds of wheat for a day's wages, and six pounds of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

New Living Translation
And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, "A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day's pay. And don't waste the olive oil and wine."

English Standard Version
And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”

New American Standard Bible
And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then I heard something like a voice among the four living creatures say, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius--but do not harm the olive oil and the wine."

International Standard Version
I heard what sounded like a voice from among the four living creatures, saying, "One day's ration of wheat for a day's wage, or three day's ration of barley for a day's wage! But don't damage the olive oil or the wine!"

NET Bible
Then I heard something like a voice from among the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat will cost a day's pay and three quarts of barley will cost a day's pay. But do not damage the olive oil and the wine!"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I heard a voice from among The Beasts, which said, “A two-quart measure of wheat for a denarius and three two-quart measures of barley for a denarius, and you shall not harm the wine and the oil.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I heard what sounded like a voice from among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's pay or three quarts of barley for a day's pay. But do not damage the olive oil and the wine."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four animals, which said, A choenix of wheat for a denarius and three choenix of barley for a denarius; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

King James 2000 Bible
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see you hurt not the oil and the wine.

American King James Version
And I heard a voice in the middle of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see you hurt not the oil and the wine.

American Standard Version
And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A measure of wheat for a shilling, and three measures of barley for a shilling; and the oil and the wine hurt thou not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying: Two pounds of wheat for a penny, and thrice two pounds of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the wine and the oil.

Darby Bible Translation
And I heard as a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenixes of barley for a denarius: and do not injure the oil and the wine.

English Revised Version
And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A measure of wheat for a penny and three measures of barley for a penny; and the oil and the wine hurt thou not.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living beings 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.

Weymouth New Testament
And I heard what seemed to be a voice speaking in the midst of the four living creatures, and saying, "A quart of wheat for a shilling, and three quarts of barley for a shilling; but do not injure either the oil or the wine."

World English Bible
I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don't damage the oil and the wine!"

Young's Literal Translation
and I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, 'A measure of wheat for a denary, and three measures of barley for a denary,' and 'The oil and the wine thou mayest not injure.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

6:1-8 Christ, the Lamb, opens the first seal: observe what appeared. A rider on a white horse. By the going forth of this white horse, a time of peace, or the early progress of the Christian religion, seems to be intended; its going forth in purity, at the time when its heavenly Founder sent his apostles to teach all nations, adding, Lo! I am with you alway, even to the end of the world. The Divine religion goes out crowned, having the Divine favour resting upon it, armed spiritually against its foes, and destined to be victorious in the end. On opening the second seal, a red horse appeared; this signifies desolating judgments. The sword of war and persecution is a dreadful judgment; it takes away peace from the earth, one of the greatest blessings; and men who should love one another, and help one another, are set upon killing one another. Such scenes also followed the pure age of early Christianity, when, neglectful of charity and the bond of peace, the Christian leaders, divided among themselves, appealed to the sword, and entangled themselves in guilt. On opening the third seal, a black horse appeared; a colour denoting mourning and woe, darkness and ignorance. He that sat on it had a yoke in his hand. Attempts were made to put a yoke of superstitious observances on the disciples. As the stream of Christianity flowed further from its pure fountain, it became more and more corrupt. During the progress of this black horse, the necessaries of life should be at excessive prices, and the more costly things should not be hurt. According to prophetic language, these articles signified that food of religious knowledge, by which the souls of men are sustained unto everlasting life; such we are invited to buy, Isa 55:1. But when the dark clouds of ignorance and superstition, denoted by the black horse, spread over the Christian world, the knowledge and practice of true religion became scarce. When a people loathe their spiritual food, God may justly deprive them of their daily bread. The famine of bread is a terrible judgment; but the famine of the word is more so. Upon opening the fourth seal, another horse appeared, of a pale colour. The rider was Death, the king of terrors. The attendants, or followers of this king of terrors, hell, a state of eternal misery to all who die in their sins; and in times of general destruction, multitudes go down unprepared into the pit. The period of the fourth seal is one of great slaughter and devastation, destroying whatever may tend to make life happy, making ravages on the spiritual lives of men. Thus the mystery of iniquity was completed, and its power extended both over the lives and consciences of men. The exact times of these four seals cannot be ascertained, for the changes were gradual. God gave them power, that is, those instruments of his anger, or those judgments: all public calamities are at his command; they only go forth when God sends them, and no further than he permits.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say; I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying (Revised Version). The speaker is not perceived by St. John; the words proceed from somewhere near the throne (but the exact situation is left doubtful), which is surrounded by the four living creatures (see on Revelation 4:6 for the consideration both of the position and of the nature of the four living creatures). Alford points out the appropriateness of the voice proceeding from the midst of the representatives of creation, when the intent of the words is to mitigate the woes denounced against creation. Those who consider the living creatures to be symbolical of the Gospels, and who interpret this vision as a prophecy of heresy (see on ver. 5), also see an appropriateness in the fact of the voice issuing from amidst the living creatures, since by the power and influence of the Gospels heresy is dispelled. Wordsworth recalls the custom of placing the Gospels in the midst of the Synod in the ancient Councils of the Church. A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; a choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenixes of barley for a denarius. The choenix appears to have been the food allotted to one man for a day; while the denarius was the pay of a soldier or of a common labourer for one day (Matthew 20:2, "He agreed with the labourers for a penny a day," and Tacitus, 'Ann.,' 1:17, 26, "Ut denarius diurnum stipendium foret." Cf. Tobit 5:14, where drachma is equivalent to denarius). The choenix was the eighth part of the modius, and a denarius would usually purchase a modius of wheat. The price given, therefore, denotes great scarcity, though not an entire absence of food, since a man's wages would barely suffice to obtain him food. Barley, which was the coarser food, was obtainable at one third of the price, which would allow a man to feed a family, though with difficulty. A season of great scarcity is therefore predicted, though in his wrath God remembers mercy (cf. the judgments threatened in Leviticus 26:23-26, viz. the sword, pestilence, and famine; also the expression, "They shall deliver you your bread again by weight"). And see thou hurt net the oil and the wine. The corollary to the preceding sentence, with the same signification. It expresses a limit set to the power of the rider on the black horse. These were typical articles of food (cf. Psalm 104:14, 15, "That he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart;" and Joel 1:10, "The corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth"). Wordsworth interprets, "The prohibition to the rider, 'Hurt not thou the oil and the wine,' is a restraint on the evil design of the rider, who would injure the spiritual oil and wine, that is, the means of grace, which had been typified under those symbols in ancient prophecy (Psalm 23:4, 5), and also by the words and acts of Christ, the good Samaritan, pouring in oil and wine into the wounds of the traveller, representing human nature, lying in the road." 'Αδικήσῃς ἀδικεῖν in the Revelation invariably signifies "to injure," and, except in one case, takes the direct accusative after it (see Revelation 2:11; Revelation 7:2, 3; Revelation 9:4, 10, 19; Revelation 11:5). Nevertheless, Heinrich and Elliott render, "Do not commit injustice in the matter of the oil and wine." Rinek renders, "waste not." The vision is a general prophecy of the future for all time (see on ver. 5); but many writers have striven to identify the fulfilment of the vision with some one particular famine. Grotius and Wetstein refer it to the scarcity in the days of Claudius; Renan, to that in the time of Nero; Bishop Newton, to the end of the second century. Those who interpret the vision as a forewarning of the spread of heresy, especially single out that of Arius.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say,.... Not the voice of Agabus to the Apostle Paul, Acts 11:28; but rather of Christ, who was in the midst of them, Revelation 5:6; the Ethiopic version adds, "as the voice of an eagle":

a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; "Choenix", the measure here used, signifies as much as was sufficient for a man for one day, as a penny was the usual hire of a labourer for a day, Matthew 20:2; so a choenix of corn was allowed to each man in Xerxes's army for a day, according to Herodotus (d); the same quantity for a day was given by the Romans to their shepherds and servants, and is generally said to be about two pounds; according to Agricola it was two pounds and a quarter (e). This measure was very different; the Attic choenix was a measure that held three pounds, the Italic choenix four pounds, and the military choenix five pounds, and answers to the Hebrew Kab (f); and in the Septuagint version of Ezekiel 45:10; it answers to the Bath; and some make it to be the fourth part of a bushel, and others half a bushel (g); the first account of its being about two pounds, and the allowance of a man for a day, seems best to agree with this place: so that this phrase expresses such a scarcity, as that a man's daily wages would be but just enough to buy himself bread, without any thing to eat with it; and when he would have nothing left for clothes, and other things, nor anything for his wife and children:

and see that thou hurt not the oil and wine; signifying that this scarcity should fall not upon the superfluities, such as oil and wine, which may be spared, and men can live without; but upon the necessities of life, particularly bread: some render the words, "and be not unjust in the oil and wine"; and so think they refer to the laws of the Roman emperors, in relation to wine and oil, and to the just execution of them, that there might be plenty of them; and others understand them in an allegorical sense, of the principal doctrines of the Gospel, comparable to oil and wine, and which Christ takes care of, that they shall not be hurt and destroyed by heretics and false teachers, even when they prevail the most, and bring on a famine of the word, and when the church is blackened and darkened with them; and indeed these may much better be applied to the Gospel, than, as they are by the Jews, to the law; who frequently say (h) that the law is called "oil", and speak of , "the wine of the law" (i):

(d) Polymnia, c. 187. (e) De Mensuris Graecis, p. 120. (f) Waserus de Mensuris, l. 2. c. 2. sect. 5, 6. & c. 3. sect. 6. & c. 7. sect. 6. (g) Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 20. (h) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 85. 3. & 96. 1. & 97. 4. & 104. 1. & 105. 2. & 137. 2, 3.((i) Zohar in Exod. fol. 51. 3. & in Deut. fol. 115. 3. Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Numb. fol. 94. 3. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 5. 3. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 64. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. a voice—Two oldest manuscripts, A, C, read, "as it were a voice." B reads as English Version. The voice is heard "in the midst of the four living creatures" (as Jehovah in the Shekinah-cloud manifested His presence between the cherubim); because it is only for the sake of, and in connection with, His redeemed, that God mitigates His judgments on the earth.

A measure—"A choenix." While making food scarce, do not make it so much so that a choenix (about a day's provision of wheat, variously estimated at two or three pints) shall not be obtainable "for a penny" (denarius, eight and a half pence of our money, probably the day's wages of a laborer). Famine generally follows the sword. Ordinarily, from sixteen to twenty measures were given for a denarius. The sword, famine, noisome beasts, and the pestilence, are God's four judgments on the earth. A spiritual famine, too, may be included in the judgment. The "Come," in the case of this third seal, is said by the third of the four living creatures, whose likeness is a man indicative of sympathy and human compassion for the sufferers. God in it tempers judgment with mercy. Compare Mt 24:7, which indicates the very calamities foretold in these seals, nation rising against nation (the sword), famines, pestilences (Re 6:8), and earthquakes (Re 6:12).

three measures of barley for a penny—the cheaper and less nutritious grain, bought by the laborer who could not buy enough wheat for his family with his day's wages, a denarius, and, therefore, buys barley.

see thou hurt not the oil, and the wine—the luxuries of life, rather than necessaries; the oil and wine were to be spared for the refreshment of the sufferers.

Revelation 6:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Third Seal: Famine
5When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."
Cross References
Matthew 24:7
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Revelation 4:6
Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.

Revelation 4:8
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,' who was, and is, and is to come."

Revelation 7:3
"Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."

Revelation 9:4
They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
Treasury of Scripture

And I heard a voice in the middle of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see you hurt not the oil and the wine.

A measure. 'The word choenix signifieth a measure containing one wine-quart and the twelfth part of a quart.'

and see.

Revelation 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of …

Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise you: the remainder of wrath …

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