As I was reading through Revelation, I read the passage referring to the Four Horsemen who are sent to Earth to bring destruction before the end of time.
“Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 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. When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had 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 denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!” When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.”(Revelation 6:1-8 ESV)
As I began researching this topic of allusions in Revelation, various links began popping up of the Four Horsemen. Modern literature, music, movies, and television shows incorporate the story of the Four Horsemen. I stumbled across a older cartoon Digimon. I was so excited because I had not watched this show since I was about 8 years old. I love nostalgic moments like this.
A Brief Synopsis
Digimon Adventure was a television show that originally aired in Japan, and it was only supposed to air 13 episodes. However, the hype over the show snowballed from the first episodes airing in Japan. Clearly, it was translated and aired elsewhere because I’m referencing it now. The story follows 7 and ultimately 8 children who were chosen to enter the DigiWorld and save it from impending destruction. Each chosen or “Digidestined” child was given a specific digimon. These balls of data (digimon) would evolve or (digivolve) at the change in their child’s energy and emotion levels. The children were met in the digital world with many prophesies of the “digidestined” defeating the evil digimon. (http://www.jesuotaku.com/retrospective/digimon-adventure-the-story/)
How on earth does this relate to Revelation? Well first, another name for the last book of the Bible canon that we possess is “The Apocalypse of John.” The word apocalypse means so many things in different contexts. When I hear the word, I begin to think of “fire and brimstone” because of my Bible-Belt upbringing. However, the general term these days may be centered around Zombies or the undead. The Greek meaning for the word was simply “to reveal” or “to disclose.” Makes sense that the book would be called Revelation. As I began to research the show more carefully for a specific allusion and not just parallelism, I discovered that a digimon “Apocalymon is an Unidentified Digimon whose name is derived from the Apocalypse.” Apparently, “He can be DNA digivolved from either Piedmon and Machindramon, or Puppetmon and MetalSeadramon.” (http://digimon.wikia.com/wiki/Apocalymon). So, the digimon orchestrating the destruction of the DigiWorld (Apocalymon)sent these four Dark Masters to start the destruction and chaos. This story line sounds very similar to Revelation.
In episodes 40-54 of the first season, the digidestined are faced with the four Dark Masters: Piedmon, Machinedramon, Puppetmon, and Metalseadramon. Beginning in episode 40 (Enter the Dark Masters), the children see each Dark Digimon Master and are forced to battle them. In the following episodes, each Dark Master comes to fight individually just as the Horsemen in Revelation are introduced together as the four living creatures but come to Earth to fight separately.
The White Horseman was given authority (crown) and a bow (to conquer). Some people speculate that this particular Horseman could be the Anti-Christ or a person who deceives mass amounts of people. The deception comes from a false promise of hope or peace. MetalSeadramon came and conquered the sea of the DigiWorld, and he ruled the sea. (Episode 41-42). Likewise, Piedmon was a phantom digimon who can change shape and persuade your mind to see things that are not really there. He deceived many digimon by his elaborate illusions of reality. (http://beginningandend.com/who-are-the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse/)
The Red Horseman as given the authority to take peace from the Earth. In taking this peace, people would begin to turn and slay one another. “Thus the Second Horseman is a spirit of warfare that plagues the Earth with bloodshed right up until the end times.” (http://beginningandend.com/who-are-the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse/) This same instance occurs with Machindramon who comes to the digiworld and builds an army of Machine digimon. He creates chaos, and innocent digimon are forced to fight against each other in order to survive (Episode 48-49).
The Black Horseman was given power and control of people’s food. He was given scales, and he made a proclamation about the amounts people would get. Puppetmon mirrors this control in the way he physically can control digimon’s actions. He proclaims the actions he wants, and the digimon are forced to fulfill the action (Episode 43-47). This proclamation is similar to that of the Horseman proclaiming the amount of food that each person would receive.
The Pale Horseman is the final horseman to come. He is the horseman of Death. All of these Dark Master embody this sense of death. Their main goal is to kill the “digidestined.” However, the last Dark Master the “digidestined” have to battle is Piedmon. He is the strongest of the four master because he carries with him the most destruction (Episode 50-52).
However, the allusion stops here with the Four Horsemen and the Apocalyse. In the Bible, the Horsemen were left to roam the Earth before he coming ultimate destruction, but in Digimon, the four Dark Masters are defeated by the “digidestined.” The children find Apocalymon who tried to destroy them and their digimon; however, in the end the children’s goodness causes them to become stronger than Apocalymon and then to defeat him (Episode 53-54).
When I first began looking for allusions to Revelation or the Apocalyse, I would never have guessed Digimon. After watching episodes 40-54, I really wish to start from the beginning again. Here’s the link to a website that has every Digimon episode ready to watch. (http://www.watchdigimonepisodes.com/digimon-adventure-episode-54/). It is under Digimon:Adventure.