“And when hee had opened the third seale, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and loe, a blacke horse: and hee that sate on him had a paire of balances in his hand.”
1611 King James Version (KJV)
6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature - Toward the south. Saying, Come. And behold a black horse - A fit emblem of mourning and distress; particularly of black famine, as the ancient poets term it. And he that sat on him had a pair of scales in his hand - When there is great plenty, men scarce think it worth their while to weigh and measure everything, #Gen 41:49|. But when there is scarcity, they are obliged to deliver them out by measure and weight, #Eze 4:16|. Accordingly, these scales signify scarcity. They serve also for a token, that all the fruits of the earth, and consequently the whole heavens, with their courses and influences; that all the seasons of the year, with whatsoever they produce, in nature or states, are subject to Christ. Accordingly his hand is wonderful, not only in wars and victories, but likewise in the whole course of nature.
Re 6:5 THE THIRD SEAL. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him. Again there appear a horse and a rider. Again the color of the horse is changed, as well as the instrument held in the hand of the horseman. If the white and red colors, the bow and the great sword, had a significance, this must be true also of the black color and the balances. It has been found that the horse, whatever his color, is the symbol of war. The black horse makes it plain that the land is torn by calamitous war, and is filled with sorrow, mourning and despair. Black is the color of mourning. The prophet (Jer 14:2) says: "Because of the drought Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are in deep mourning ('lit. black') for the land". Had a pair of balances. The balances used for weighing food are a symbol of scarcity and famine.