Revelation 6:12
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,

Berean Study Bible
And when I saw the Lamb open the sixth seal, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red,

Berean Literal Bible
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 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;

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

Contemporary English Version
When I saw the Lamb open the sixth seal, I looked and saw a great earthquake. The sun turned as dark as sackcloth, and the moon became red as blood.

Good News Translation
And I saw the Lamb break open the sixth seal. There was a violent earthquake, and the sun became black like coarse black cloth, and the moon turned completely red like 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;

New Heart 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.

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.

New American Standard 1977
And 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;

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,
Study Bible
The Sixth Seal: Terror
11Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed. 12And when I saw the Lamb open the sixth seal, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, like unripe figs dropping from a tree shaken by a great wind.…
Cross References
Isaiah 13:10
For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light. The sun will be darkened when it rises, and the moon will not give its light.

Isaiah 34:4
All the stars of heaven will be dissolved. The skies will be rolled up like a scroll, and all their stars will fall like withered leaves on the vine, and foliage on the fig tree.

Isaiah 50:3
I clothe the heavens in black and make sackcloth their covering.

Ezekiel 32:7
When I extinguish you, 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 quakes; the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness.

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

Joel 3:15
The sun and moon grow dark, 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 happened 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 tribulation 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 powers of the heavens will be shaken.'

Mark 13:24
However, after the tribulation of those days, '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 to the earth; and there were peals of thunder, and rumblings, and flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8:12
Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun and moon and stars were struck. A third of the stars were darkened, a third of the day was without light, and a third of the night as well.

Revelation 11:13
And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand were killed in the quake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Revelation 16:8
Next, the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given power to scorch the people with fire.

Revelation 16:18
And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake the likes of which had not occurred since men were upon the earth--so mighty was the great 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, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Revelation 11:13
And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Revelation 16:18
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

the sun.

Isaiah 13:9,10
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it…

Isaiah 24:23
Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Isaiah 60:19,20
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory…







Lexicon
And
Καὶ (Kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

when
ὅτε (hote)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3753: When, at which time. From hos and te; at which too, i.e. When.

I saw
εἶδον (eidon)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

[the Lamb] open
ἤνοιξεν (ēnoixen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 455: To open. From ana and oigo; to open up.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

sixth
ἕκτην (hektēn)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1623: Sixth. Ordinal from hex; sixth.

seal,
σφραγῖδα (sphragida)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4973: Probably strengthened from phrasso; a signet; by implication, the stamp impressed, literally or figuratively.

there was
ἐγένετο (egeneto)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

a great
μέγας (megas)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3173: Large, great, in the widest sense.

earthquake,
σεισμὸς (seismos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4578: A shaking (as an earthquake); a storm. From seio; a commotion, i.e. a gale, an earthquake.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

sun
ἥλιος (hēlios)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2246: The sun, sunlight. From hele; the sun; by implication, light.

became
ἐγένετο (egeneto)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

black
μέλας (melas)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3189: Black. Apparently a primary word; black.

like
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

sackcloth
σάκκος (sakkos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4526: Sack-cloth, a sign of mourning. Of Hebrew origin; 'sack'-cloth, i.e. Mohair.

[of goat] hair,
τρίχινος (trichinos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5155: Made of hair. From thrix; hairy, i.e. Made of hair.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
(hē)
Article - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

whole
ὅλη (holē)
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3650: All, the whole, entire, complete. A primary word; 'whole' or 'all', i.e. Complete, especially as noun or adverb.

moon
σελήνη (selēnē)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4582: The moon. From selas; the moon.

turned
ἐγένετο (egeneto)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

blood red,
αἷμα (haima)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 129: Blood, literally, figuratively or specially; by implication, bloodshed, also kindred.
(12-17) The sixth seal.--The seals follow the lines laid down by our Lord in Matthew 24. There He tells His disciples that wars (Revelation 6:6), famines and pestilences (Revelation 6:7), and persecutions (Revelation 6:9) are to be expected; these are necessary features in the history of the world. But these features are described by our Master as preliminary to His Coming and the end of the world (Matthew 24:3), and that when these had wrought their work then the Coming of the Son of Man would take place (Matthew 24:29-31). With this guide, it is impossible for us to deny that the opening of this sixth seal has reference to the Coming of the Son of Man, and finds its final and ultimate fulfilment in the day when He will come to gather His elect from the four winds. But it is not to be forgotten that our Lord wished us to regard certain great culminating epochs as in a secondary sense His advents. The eagles which swept down upon the carcase of any corrupt nationality were proofs of His reign and true shadows of His coming. The features indicated in the seals have a sequence which has been reproduced in the history of nations and churches. The promise of good; the breaking forth of the spirit of violence; the time of social misery, want, disease; the oppression of the good; revolution-- these have repeated themselves in Jewish, Roman, French, and other histories; and the prophecy is not exhausted yet.

(12-14) And I beheld . . .--Better, And I saw when He opened the sixth seal, and (omit "lo!") a great shaking took place, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon all became as blood, and the stars of the heaven fell to the earth, as a fig-tree casts its winter figs when shaken by a great wind, and the heaven departed like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. It is well to keep in mind the parallel imagery of the Old Testament. The shaking ("earthquake" is hardly an adequate rendering, as the shaking extends to heaven as well as earth) was spoken of by Haggai: "Yet once for all" (not "once more," as in the English version) "shake I not the earth only, but also the heavens. And this word 'Once for all' signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken" (Haggai 2:6, and Hebrews 12:26-27). Sun black as sackcloth: Joel has a similar thought --"the sun shall be turned into darkness" (Joel 2:30-31); and Isaiah,'' I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering" (Isaiah 1:3). The moon as blood is repeated from Joel 2:30-31. The falling of the stars of heaven has its parallel in Isaiah 34:3-4, "All the host of heaven shall be dissolved." As a fig-tree is an echo of Isaiah 34:4. It will be seen by these passages how closely the writer of the Apocalypse has kept to Old Testament imagery; and that events, such as great calamities, changes, and revolutions in the world's history, are described by emblems similar to those used here. St. Peter, for example, illustrates the great spiritual revolution of the Day of Pentecost by the passage from Joel, "The sun turned into darkness and the moon into blood." Hence it seems right to regard the language here as figurative, and to bear in mind that, though its fullest application belongs to the final advent, there may be many anticipatory advents. The judgment is often rehearsed before the day of judgment; the ages of oppression end in a day of catastrophe and confusion in which the righteous laws of a righteous King avenge themselves on the law breakers; the old lights and landmarks are for a time obliterated, and feeble, but pretentious, religionists are swept off as autumn figs from the fig-tree, and the proud and mighty are dismayed; things come to a crisis, and men "are proven by the hour" of that judgment; the unripe or untimely fruit drops off, as those who have no root in themselves fall away, and as the feebly- founded house fell in the tempest (Matthew 7:26-27). If this be so in the minor and preliminary crisis of the world, how much more so in the final crisis, which will try all? "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." The untimely figs, or unripe figs, are the grosses, or winter figs, which grow under the leaves, and do not ripen at the proper season, but hang upon the trees till the winter. They are a fit emblem of those who have not used the opportunity and season to ripen for God. Like the unwise virgins, they have not replenished their lamps with oil; or, to use the unique expression of St. Luke, they bring no fruit to perfection (Luke 8:14). The crisis thus puts the feeble, timid, and negligent to the test, and also proves the vanity of those who make any world-power their confidence. As the day of the Lord of which Isaiah spoke was upon every one that was proud and lifted up, upon the cedars and oaks, upon the towers and fenced walls, upon the loftiness and haughtiness of men, so does the Apocalyptic seer behold the dismay which falls upon every form of vain gloriousness, pretence, and pride.

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). 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.
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