6:8 pale horse. The “pale” horse is actually “green” (Greek chloros), the same word used for “green grass” in Revelation 8:7. This also may be divine irony; green is normally associated with life, but the green horse is now overridden by Death.
6:8 Hell. The Lord Jesus Christ now has the keys to Death and Hell (or hades), according to His assertion in Revelation 1:18, so it is clear that this fourth horseman, like the others, is unleashed by Him to judge the earth. Those who yield to the killing sword of the second horseman and the starvation brought by the third will be overtaken by Death, and Hades will swallow up their souls. There will be also many other causes of “death” (e.g., pestilence, suicide), so that a quarter of the world’s population will die in the first year or two of the seven-year period of tribulation. This will amount to at least a billion people!
6:8 beasts. The word for “beasts” here is theerion, meaning “wild beasts.” It is quite different from zoon, the word translated beasts in Revelation 4. It could suggest a proliferation of venomous snakes during this period. However, it is the same word used for “beast” in describing the coming Antichrist and his false prophet (Revelation 13:2,11), so could well refer to the fierce persecutions that will be carried out during this time by various regional dictators, all of whom will eventually yield their power to the Satan-possessed Beast, the most wicked and ruthless of all (Revelation 13:7; 17:13). See also Ezekiel 14:21; Revelation 20:13.