And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword. In English, we use the word red. But John uses the Greek word "pyros, which is the colour of fire. A much fiercer word than the normal Greek word for red, Eruthros. The Greek word for the sword is Machaira, which is a large knife for killing and deboning animals or a short sword. How can you have a great short sword?

It does not make sense. The swords used by the Romans were short swords made for close combat in military formations. It was the standard sword the Roman soldier carried. When we read about a great sword, the sword was great, but not necessarily in size. With a bit of design for an effective killing added in. Read a little about what the soldiers went through in the First World War, and you can get to understand the fierceness and brutality that the fiery rider is bringing upon the earth. He has been very active in the past 100 years. We have seen no end to the inventiveness of man in building weapons to slay one another. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars from many far-off places. This statement in Matthew is as much a comment on the news service as it is about wars. It would have been astonishing to Matthew that we could see these wars as they happened flooding into our living rooms in untold megapixels. We have become so accustomed to war and civil wars that it's a shock when you list countries that have some soldiers fighting somewhere. It is much easier to list the non-warring countries. The red rider has a great sword. I assume that if he had an ordinary sword, he would have caused ordinary wars, and if he had a great sword, he would have caused great wars. I would place his appearance before WW1 and WW2. The Red Rider scores an A plus.

Is there a point in time before the World Wars when we can see a sudden change in the number of wars around the world? A quick study reveals this point in the late 1800s. Until 1880, around 20 wars started every decade in the world. In mid-1880, there was a sudden leap to over 50 per decade, and it has increased per decade since then. There was just one little calm from 1953 to 1957, when there seemed to be peace. It did not last. If the white horseman appeared in 1844, the red horseman made his appearance 40 years later, in 1884. The black horseman should make his appearance around 1924. Let's take a look.