The Book of Apocalypse is one of the most famous books of the Bible. Although many people do not know, this is the last book of the New Testament, which refers to the Seven Seals and the Prophecies of the Lord. Not only that, but in the first four Seals it shows the four famous Horsemen of Apocalypse. Each one rides a horse of a different colour, symbolizing four different prophecies. Thus, the First Horseman rides a white horse that will bring false Christs and false prophets; the Second Horseman rides a red horse that will bring wars; the Third Horseman rides a black horse that will bring famine and the Fourth one, with a yellow horse, will bring death.
The Fourth Seal of the Book of Apocalypse opens the text with the emergence of the fourth and final Horseman, riding a pale yellow horse, whose carrier is named Death. The yellow colour is associated with diseases - including cancer, hepatitis, severe malnutrition, or leprosy, with weakness, with plagues and with the death itself. The victims of the Fourth Rider have a violent and premature death and are carried into Tartarus by Hades, which always rides together with the “Death” Horseman. However, the good Christians die in peace and go to Paradise.
The Fourth Prophecy threatens that 25% of the planet will fall under the yoke of death. And indeed, many evidences have shown throughout the history that a quarter of the population dies due to causes mentioned in the Fourth Seal: hunger, mortality, plagues and diseases.
There have been many plagues and diseases that have ravaged the planet over the centuries, causing the death of millions people. Even today, despite the significant scientific advances, new and old viruses take the lives of many people. For example, in the sixth century, the bubonic plague caused a hundred million dead across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. At that time the Earth population did not reach the billion… Then, in the fourteenth century, the same plague killed about 65 million people in the old continent. Even today it has not been completely eliminated, and in Africa, Asia, South America and Australia there are about 100 or 200 deaths annually due to the bubonic plague. Another terrible plague was smallpox, which until the advent of the vaccine killed one in four sick persons and contagious 60% of the world population.
Since the sixteenth century they have appeared more than 30 worldwide pandemics: the most recently is swine flu. But nowadays, infectious disease that takes more lives is AIDS, which skews million lives annually. According to the WHO, in the late 2001, about 40 million people were infected worldwide with HIV, and half died from the disease since its emergence in 1981. Today, AIDS is the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa.
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