AMP - 6 And I heard what seemed to be a voice from the midst of the four living creatures, saying, A quart of wheat for a denarius [a whole day's wages], and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm the oil and the wine! [II Kings 6:25.]
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In my opinion, the prohibition cited in the question was saying that the activity of the rider on the black horse in John's vision (who symbolized famine) was not to be directed against non-essential items such as wine and olive oil, but was instead to affect basic essential food items such as grains (barley and wheat) that were used to make bread, so that it would inflict maximum hardship.
Revelation 6 begins with the vision of The 4 Horsemen of The Apocalypse. These symbols represent forms of spiritual warfare which the Christian Church is facing. The horsemen depict the first four of the seven seals. They show the Church apostasy in the Middle Ages. In Revelation 6:5-6 we find the 3rd Seal: A Black Horse which describes the Corrupt Church. Black is the color of darkness and error. The “balances” used for measuring “wheat” and “barley” are a symbol of the buying and selling - salvation and forgiveness was available for a price. The “wheat” and “barley” was 8 to 16 times more expensive than normal indicating scarcity and famine. The Church, during this time, entered a period of moral and doctrinal error, substituting pagan beliefs and practices for the Bible truth, and the commercialization of the Gospel. Thus, they caused a scarcity of the bread of life. God said, “Hurt not the oil and the wine,” which symbolize the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:3, 6) and the blood of Jesus (Matt 26:26-29). Even though the Church was in darkness, God preserved His true Gospel of salvation.
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