The Black Horse of Famine

In the last book of the Bible there is described a revelation, from Jesus to the Apostle John, about a great cataclysm coming upon earth. This calamity is a series of earth-wide events, preceding God’s destruction of the evil ruling powers now impacting humanity. After removing this evil, Jesus will usher in a new age where there will be a restoration of all things lost because of that first human sin in the Garden of Eden. This last biblical volume is commonly called the Book of Revelation.

The book is filled with prophecy and symbolic visions, and many Christians do not study it because of its seeming complexity. Although somewhat challenging to read, it is filled with important information describing a time period long predicted, which we are now entering. Although depicting a frightening time, our Lord also promises a renewed earth where God and humankind will live together in peace.

“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3b-4, NRSV).1

One of the more descriptive events in this last book of the New Testament is the riding of horsemen upon four horses of different colors: (1) the white horse of conquest, (2) the red horse of war, (3) the black horse of famine, (4) the pale (yellowish-green) horse of death. There is no guarantee of the duration or time for these happenings and some may even overlap. For an overview of these horses and their riders, see “When the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Ride — Revelation 6″ listed in References & Notes.2

According to scripture, these horsemen ride as the first four seals upon a scroll are opened. For this current article, we will only focus upon the horseman who starts his ride when the third seal is opened — the one riding the black horse popularly understood to represent famine.

When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, “Come!” I looked, and there was a black horse! Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand, and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s pay, and three quarts of barley for a day’s pay, but do not damage the olive oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6:5-6).

This description of the third horse and rider is the only one accompanied by a voice description as John hears about high prices for wheat and barley and the commands that oil and wines are to be left alone. “The judgment of this seal is scarcity, of which the balance is a symbol, representing the time when food is doled out by weight” (see Leviticus 26:26; Ezekiel 4:16).3 Being necessities for life, the grains are weighed out and sold for exorbitant prices, but luxury items are unaffected. This probably points to the role greed plays in intensifying the effects of a famine.4

One author explains this meaning in detail. A day’s pay “refers to a silver coin, the Roman denarius, worth [at that time] about 15 cents [0.15 US Dollar or 0.14 Euros],which was the normal wage for a worker for an entire day. So this passage is saying that in that food shortage an entire day’s work would be required to buy either a quart of wheat or three quarts of barley. If one bought wheat, it would be enough for one good meal; if he bought barley, it would be enough for three good meals but nothing would be left for buying oil or wine.”5

My reason for analyzing this scripture about the third horseman is because he may be the next to ride. If one applies these riders to current day geopolitical activities, the first horseman (on a white horse) has already been active among the political cabals trying to plot a centralized one-world government. The second rider (on a red horse) is now approaching a gallop bringing the countries in the world to several battle confrontations. Now, the third rider (on a black horse) is getting ready to mount for his ride to usher in the famine, which will follow the war and its complicated logistics.

It is all logical. Evil rulers wish to govern by any means necessary, they will bring war to get what they want, and while much money is being spent on the weapons of war, food to feed the population is either of lessor importance, or actually withheld as a weapon to win the war. The aftermath of warfare is famine, along with the resulting outbreaks of disease (weaponized or otherwise). That happens as the last horseman rides the pale horse with its toxic yellowish-green color of suffering and death, representing the demise of most of the world’s population.

Of course this proposed scenario isn’t new, for it is a common outline for many political and social changes throughout world history. But what is predicted in Revelation is that the end of the world as we know it, will be an event growing so large that it affects the whole planet, not just certain geographical areas. And that is exactly what these elite manipulators are trying to do; they don’t want just one portion of the world to rule over, they want it all.

We have had great wars in the past, but as technology increases, so does the power of the weapons used. Our Lord predicted that the madness will stop only when it gets so bad, there may be no chance of survival. In predicting the future, Jesus said, “For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Matthew 24:21-22). The elect, of course, are God’s chosen6 people, who have been selected because of their faith, to help govern the new world under Jesus’ direction.


There are different opinions.

Although many Christian interpreters are expecting an approaching catastrophic day of judgement, others interpret the horses differently, maybe based on ways the colors may be seen, such as White for Catholicism, Red for Communism, Black as a symbol of Capitalism, and Green representing the rise of Islam, or some other such scheme. And still others equate the Four Horsemen with the angels of the four winds (see Daniel 7:2).

Some speculate that the riders and their horses are similar to the events of the Olivet Discourse (see Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21). Since much of what Jesus said had both ‘sooner’ and ‘later’ applications,7 I believe this last thought has much merit.

While I look at the modern political scene as fitting the biblical scenario very well, many might say I am misreading the evidence. If so then I, and those others that think we are well into the Revelation narrative, will just have to wait a bit longer. We believe if these horsemen are not riding or getting ready to ride, then the world’s current situation is but a prelude to a much larger event which is soon to arrive.

If you are confused and unsure of what to believe, ask God for help in recognizing truth and he will provide it. “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22). There is an article published on this site that discusses receiving messages from God to help in identifying correct decisions. It is titled “Is that Gut Feeling a Message from God?” and is listed in References & Notes.8


Past and Present Alerts

In the Old Testament, as recorded in the Book of Haggai, is the story of God’s command to rebuild his Temple. The people had returned to Jerusalem after years of exile in Babylon, and although they had restored their own homes, God’s temple was still in ruins. The prophet Haggai confronts them about their failure to put God first and explains that their continued famine and poverty were a result of their inaction. (Read the story in Haggai, chapter 1, verses 1-15.)

It is not that God actually caused their famine and poverty, but that he withdrew his protection to show what happens when God’s people do not obey him and try to get along without his loving direction. Likewise in our current time, our present troubles began with, and increased in proportion to, the population turning their backs upon our God and his commandments. The more we did so, the worse it has become. As one Bible commentary stated, instead of cheating God, we are only cheating ourselves.9

In the New Testament, Jesus clarified this idea, when he said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Many in this modern world are surrendering their Christian moral nature to the nonsense progressive matters of ‘inclusiveness’ that indicates our world has entered a time of which the Apostle Paul spoke. “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth . . . ” (2 Timothy 4:3-4a).10

These progressive people sell their point-of-view to us by using words such as ‘equality’ and ‘justice’, hence they relate the phrase ‘social justice’ to being biblically correct, but it is not. Social justice is doing what is right only in some people’s eyes, whereas divine justice is doing what is right in the eyes of God.11 Examples abound highlighting humankind’s acceptance of many things in defiance of God’s commands.

Look around in today’s world and you will see acceptance of abortions, where people will angrily yell about the atrocities of mass shootings or war, while at the same time they eagerly support killing unborn children by the millions. They call God a liar by saying there are more than just the two non-interchangeable genders that our Lord created. They say it is okay to have sexual relations with someone other than our spouse or, even worse, it is okay to have homosexual relations. They even send their small children to schools that indoctrinate them to accept ungodly facts and to practice ungodly acts.

Some people cheat and steal and cause harm to law-abiding citizens and the police are instructed to let them do it; the courts support the law breakers who hate our God and our country. Public servants not only lie to us, but they help and protect only themselves, rather than the people who elect them to office.

And you know, as well as I, all this is just a sampling of a much wider agenda of evil that we are experiencing right this very moment. Evil is increasing worldwide and we should know very well who is responsible. It is not God, but Satan, who is responsible for this agenda and those who follow him are helping him push it to the forefront of our society.


Okay — What about this famine?

Most people don’t see a famine coming, but it is well on the way right now. It is not only a spiritual famine of failing to recognize God’s sovereignty, but a physical famine as well. It is part of a perfect storm of events that will affect everyone, in one way or another.

Do you remember Joseph of the Old Testament, that guy with the multicolored coat?12 Well, God told him that a severe food shortage was coming to Egypt and that he must store-up food for several years of famine. The whole story about Joseph is covered in Genesis, chapters 37–50; it is an interesting, as well as educational, read.13 But, the point is that when something bad is going to happen, it is necessary to prepare for it.

Careful study of the Bible indicates that God’s chosen people have a preview of end time circumstances, and famine is just one of these coming events. Here in the United States, those people believing the truth of the Bible have been preparing for years by storing up for just such a difficult time, but nonbelievers and governments have been ridiculing such practices as foolish. I believe we are about to see who has been most prudent.

A worldwide famine will affect everyone, not just the growers of food, but all consumers. Today, it takes more than seed and labor to produce crops for the world’s population. It takes natural gas for the production of artificial fertilizer,14 fuels to run the farm equipment, diesel to deliver the product to market, and much more. Price increases and delivery problems will cause many business to shut down, make seed too costly to purchase, and fuel too expensive to obtain or transport. Lack of electricity to run the factory machines will limit production and employment.

Any new lockdowns, or a large war, will only put more pressure on supply chains and therefore increase the economic problems for all nations. In this highly technological world, famines can be produced by human-made reasons, instead of just weather conditions. And to be honest, even weather conditions can now be controlled by large governments.15

Do you see where this is going? It is not just one row of dominoes that will begin to fall, but a number of rows will go down all at the same time. It has already started and you have seen some of the early signs, such as many empty sections on the supermarket shelves. Remember the virus lockdowns? It will be much more than just a toilet paper shortage the next time.



I am hearing some debate among biblical researchers that argue if famine causes the war or if the war causes the famine. While they are busy fighting about their pet theories and who is right and who is wrong, both calamities are on the way without stopping. Whether this famine will arrive very soon, or in a little while, it is surely to be during this present generation.

This is how one organization, which educates the general public about world trends, sees the next food crisis. This was predicted back in 2020: “We see that food prices should rise between 2022 into 2024 more aggressively. . . from shortages.” Their database for predictions extends back to 2200BC.16

Even members of the United States Congress are using increasing rhetoric about world famine,17 so the idea is not just some concoction of Bible-thumpers.18 It is coming, folks — get ready! Increasing evil has descended upon our world in these last days and the time is near for separating the good from the bad — the sheep from the goats.

“All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left” (Matthew 25:32-33). Read the ‘Judgment of the Nations’ in its entirety at Matthew 25:31-46.

What is planned for God’s people after this time of separation is better than we deserve, but it will come true. The Book of Revelation promises a new world for all faithful followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The song selected for this article is one that reflects this thought. It is the “Hallelujah Chorus” from George Frederick Handel’s Messiah, composed in 1741.

Think back before this world started to fall apart at a faster rate — before the recent worldwide vaccination fiasco — when things at least appeared to be ‘normal’. This presentation was recorded pre-pandemic in a crowded shopping mall full of peaceful, happy Christmas shoppers eating and relaxing in the food court, when a ‘flash mob’ begins to sing of Christ reigning in a renewed kingdom upon his return.

They sing “Praise Jehovah” for that is what “Hallelujah” means.19 No matter what evil comes our way soon, remember God will turn things around; we just have to get through the storm before the calm. Selected lyrics are below and the music video is listed in References & Notes.20

Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world is become
The kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ,
He shall reign for ever and ever.
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
He shall reign for ever and ever.

Copyright © 2022, Dr. Ray Hermann

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References & Notes

  1. All scripture quoted is from The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989). Used with permission.
  2. Hermann, Ray, “When the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Ride — Revelation 6″, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 29 February 2020),
  3. Vincent, Marvin Richardson, Word Studies in the New Testament, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), vol. 2, p. 496.
  4. Barry, John D., et al., Faithlife Study Bible, (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Revelation 6:6.
  5. Walvoord John F. and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), vol. 2, p. 948.
  6. chosen’ meaning ‘elect’ or ‘favorite’ or ‘select’. Strong’s Greek #1588; ĕklĕktŏs.
    Strong, James, The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996).
  7. Fomenko, Anatoly T., Nosovskiy, Gleb V., “The new dating of the astronomical horoscope as described in the Apocalypse,” chapter 3, p. 135-166, (Researches on the New Chronology,, retrieved 18 February 2020),
  8. Hermann, Ray, “Is that Gut Feeling a Message from God?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 21 October 2018),
  9. Jamieson, Robert, et al., Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, vol. 1, p. 712.
  10. “Making the Narrow Door Wider?: Progressive Christianity Surrenders To The Moral Revolution”, (Harbingers Daily, 23 May 2022), from Decision Magazine,
  11. Ibid.
  12. Hermann, Ray, “Genesis 37:3 — A Few Notes About Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 16 February 2021),
  13. Hermann, Ray, “Why Did God’s Chosen People Stay in Egypt After the Famine?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 27 May 2021),
  14. Quader, Abdul, “Natural gas and the fertilizer industry”, Energy for Sustainable Development [journal], vol. 7, no. 2, June 2003, pp. 40-48. Also available online through Science Direct,
  15. Greere, Medica, “Playing God: HAARP Weather Control – A Terrifying Look at The Control of Weather Warfare”, (American Media Group, 7 March 2022),
  16. Armstrong, Martin, “Coming Famine?” (Armstrong Economics, 20 October 2020),
  17. Snyder, Michael, “Members Of Congress Are Now Using Words Like ‘Famine’ And ‘Starvation’ To Describe What Is Coming”, (Out of Mind, 9 April 2022),
  18. Bible-thumper: an aggressively zealous advocate of Christian fundamentalism; informally used in the United States; first known use circa 1923.
    Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).
  19. “Hallelujah”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 April 2022),
  20. “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, sung by a ‘Flash Mob’ in a shopping center food court; organized and photographed by Alphabet Photography in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada (, November 2010; available iTunes: The Christmas Food Court Flash Mob. Used under ‘fair use copyright’ for teaching under Section 107 of United States Copyright Act of 1976 – MUSIC VIDEO:
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