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Gann's Commentary on the Bible Gann on the Bible
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Revelation 19". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ gbc/ revelation-19.html. 2021.
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Revelation 19". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
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Chapter 19 - Hallelujah Chorus: Judgment Against Two Beasts
- - - - -
Joy Over God’s Judgment Against the Harlot
A Victory Scene 1-17; - And Punishment 17-21
These heavenly songs are modeled after O.T. counterparts.
"Hallelujah" = 2 Heb words = Praise Yahweh.
Revelation 5:2 Psalms 70:4 Psalms 135:1
There is a striking analogy between these scenes of the church emerging in victory from the period of persecution, described by John in this nineteenth chapter, and the deliverance of Israel from Babylonian exile, described by Ezekiel in the closing section of his prophecy from the thirty-sixth to the thirty-ninth chapters.
The nation of Israel was comforted, and their release was described in terms of a figurative resurrection; and the return to their homeland was pictured as a "new heaven and a new earth." (Isaiah 66:22) The closing chapters of Revelation from chapter nineteen to twenty-two follow the course of Ezekiel’s apocalypse of Israel returning from the seventy years of exile, but here the church was seen emerging from the period of persecution. The symbols are similar, and the parallel is evident. - Wallace
After these things . . After the destruction of "Babylon" (the Harlot, Jerusalem).
a great voice . . Read, as it were a great voice. - CBSC
This first song praises God for judging the harlot. After John received the revelation about the destruction of commercial Babylon, he evidently heard another angelic chorus singing loudly in heaven. - Constable
The great castrophe of Revelation, the fall of symbolic Babylon, Jerusalem, also called Sodom and Egypt, bringing an end to Judaism, was envisioned as having occurred. The harps and harpers ceased, giving place to a great voice of much people rejoicing over the vindication of divine justice, in answer to the cry of the souls of the slain under the altar, who as a martyred host responded in the alleluia (hallelujah) of the heavenly chorus. - Wallace
loud voice of a great multitude in heaven . . Probably angels, since the saints join in later (cf. Revelation 4:11; Revelation 19:5 ff.; cf. Revelation 5:11-13; Revelation 7:11-12).
a great multitude in heaven . . This is an allusion to Jeremiah 51:48. Chapters 17–18 draw heavily from Jer. 50–51 (the destruction of Babylon) for their imagery. - Utley
saying, "Alleluia! . . Hallelujah is the transliteration of a Hebrew term that means “Praise the Lord.” - NLTSB
Hallelujah . . This is a Hebrew command meaning “Praise Yah.” “Yah” is a shortened version of Yahweh.
Verses 1–3 are akin to the Hallel psalms (Pss 104–106; 111–118; 120–136; 146–150; from the Hebrew word halel, “to praise”). The Hallel psalms commemorate God’s deliverance via the exodus event, a theme echoed many times in Revelation. - FSB
Hallelujah . . This Hebrew term means “praise YHWH.” This is the only occurrence of this term in the NT. It appears in this context four times: vv. Revelation 19:1, Revelation 19:3, Revelation 19:4 and Revelation 19:6. The OT background to this is found in the praise Psalms used in the liturgy of both the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles (cf. Psalms 104:35; Psalms 105:45; Psalms 106:48; Psalms 111:1; Psalms 112:1; Psalms 113:1; Psalms 116:19; Psalms 117:2; Psalms 125:1, Psalms 146:1, Psalms 146:10; Psalms 147:1; Psalms 148:1, Psalms 148:14; Psalms 149:1, Psalms 149:9; Psalms 150:1, Psalms 150:6). - Utley [translated: "Praise the Lord"]
salvation . . This characterizes God’s desire for all mankind (cf. Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 18:30-32; John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).
Salvation and glory and power . . This grouping of three is meant to contrast with the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet—who are undeserving and powerless before God. - FSB
belong to the Lord our God . . God is worthy of praise because He has all salvation (cf. Revelation 7:10; Revelation 12:10), glory (cf. Revelation 15:8), and power (cf. Revelation 4:11; Revelation 7:12; Revelation 12:10; 1 Chronicles 29:11).
V.2 begins with the words of the Song of Moses - Deuteronomy 32:1 ff. Matthew 24:9-10 Mark 13:9 f Revelation 18:20;
Vs. 2 continues the contents of their song (Revelation 19:1).This group praises God because of His true (fair) and righteous (just) judgments (cf. Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7), especially of the harlot Babylon.
*** NOTE The great enemies are introduced and then judgment on them is rendered in reverse order.
Enemy: Introduced: Judged:
(1) Dragon, ch. 12; ch. 20
(2) Beast ch. 13; ch. 19
(3) False prophet ch. 13; ch. 19
(4) Harlot ch. 14; ch. 17-18
because His judgments are true and righteous . . This may be an allusion to Psalms 19:9; Psalms 119:138 and Psalms 119:138. This would have been very encouraging to a group of Christians undergoing persecution (cf. v. Revelation 19:11; Revelation 15:3-4; Revelation 16:7). - Utley
true and righteous are His judgments . . cf. see note at Revelation 16:7.
(Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7): In his righteous justice, God kept his promise of judging the great prostitute, - NLTSB
judgments . . Saints long for the day of judgment (cf. Revelation 6:10; Revelation 16:7; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 23:5). Godly people love righteousness and hate sin, for righteousness honors God and sin mocks Him. Believers long for a world of justice and it will come (Revelation 19:15; Revelation 2:27; Revelation 12:5). - MSB
For the joy of the Saints in sympathy with God’s judgement, see on Revelation 14:10. There is a passage somewhat like this in Enoch xlvii. 4: “Then were the hearts of the saints full of joy, because the number of righteousness was arrived, the supplication of the saints heard, and the blood of the righteous appreciated by the Lord of Spirits.” - CBSC
because He has judged the great harlot . . The great harlot which goes by several names has fallen: (1) the great city; (2) Babylon; and (3) the prostitute (cf. Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19-21; rev 17:1–18:24).
Verses 1–5 continue the context from chapters 17 and 18.
avenged . . God answers the martyrs’ prayers for vindication (Revelation 6:10). - NIVZSB
He has avenged on her the blood of Her servants shed by her . . This is in fulfillment of Jesus’ own prophecy . Luke 11:47-51 ; Luke 18:7; Luke 21:20-22 ; Matthew 23:34-36 ; Revelation 6:9-10 ; Revelation 16:6
Some of Jerusalem’ persecutions are recorded in Acts 4:1-3; Acts 5:17-18 Acts 5:40 Acts 7:58-59 Acts 8:3 Acts 9:1-2 Acts 12:2-3 Acts 21:30-31 Acts 22:5 Acts 23:12, cf. Hebrews 10:30-34;
Again they say . . The song continues.
Alleluia . . Praise YHWH See note on Revelation 19:1 on Alleluia.
And her smoke &c. . .[KJV] Perhaps best taken as a part of the anthem. For the word “rose up” should be “riseth.” [or "rises"] - CBSC & WG
her smoke rises up forever . . The smoke Babylon’s destruction, cf. Revelation 18:9
A perpetual testimony of her destruction and God’s power (compare Revelation 14:11 (Unlike the torture of Revelation 9:5, which lasts five months, this final torture is permanent and will not be relieved) and Isaiah 34:10). - FSB
smoke rises . . This is because of the fire (cf. Revelation 17:16, Revelation 17:18; Revelation 18:8-9, Revelation 18:18; Revelation 14:8-11). - MSB
It will stop rising when the fire dies out, but the destruction that it symbolizes will be permanent. The punishment of God’s enemies will be everlasting (cf. vv. Revelation 19:20-21; Revelation 14:11; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46). - Constable
smoke … goes up forever and ever . . symbolizing irreversible judgment (like the millstone in the sea, Revelation 18:21). - ESVSB
twenty-four elders . . Wore the symbols of priests of God, (OT had 24 courses), in NT represent all Christians.
four beasts . . Four heavenly creatures around God’s throne.
A special order of angelic beings (see note on Revelation 4:6) These compose the same group as in Revelation 7:11 and are associated with worship frequently (Revelation 4:8, Revelation 4:11; Revelation 5:9-12, Revelation 5:14; Revelation 11:16-18). - MSB
fell down . . [They] prostrate themselves before the enthroned God (see rev 4:10; rev 5:8, rev 5.14; rev 7:11). - NLTSB
worshipped God . . In contrast to the earthly inhabitants of Revelation 9:20; Revelation 13:4, Revelation 13:8, Revelation 13:12; Revelation 14:11. - FSB
Now that the worship of Heaven is again visible to the Seer, they are discovered in the act of adoration as before ( Revelation 4:9 ff., Revelation 5:8, Revelation 5:14). - Swete
Amen . . This term is used in Revelation 5:14 and Revelation 7:12. It is a form of the OT Hebrew word for “faith” (emeth, cf. Habakkuk 2:4). Its original etymology was “to be firm” or “to be sure.” It came to be applied in the OT to the trustworthiness of God. However, in the NT, its use is primarily liturgical in the sense of “I agree” or “I affirm.” - Utley
Amen . . (the English transliteration of the Gk. word amēn, which was itself taken from a word with the same sound in Hebrew, ’amen) expresses confident certainty (John 10:7) or strong agreement (1 Corinthians 14:16). - ESVSB
saying, Amen; Alleluia . .“ Amen” voices their approval of the two previous expressions of praise (vv. Revelation 19:1-3), and “Hallelujah” expresses their own praise (cf. Revelation 7:12). - Constable
a voice . . Not the Lord’s, see Revelation 19:10.
Because of the phrase “our God,” this must be an angel, not Deity. - Utley
Some think it may be the voice of one of the four living creatures closer to the throne (Revelation 4:6-8).
A voice from the throne transposes the Hebrew expression “Hallelujah” (see note on vv. 1–2) into the Greek language of John’s hearers, with the command, “Praise our God.” - ESVSB
from . . [Out Of] . . forth from = direction rather than source.
Praise our God . . [the Lord] . . Present, Imperative, all are commanded. This is the Greek way of saying the Hebrew expression "Hallelujah". This reflects Psalms 115:13.
* See Revelation 19:1 note on "Hallelujah".
It is theologically unusual that an angel would use the words, “Our God,” but Revelation 19:10 shows that angels identify themselves not only with the saints in service, but also with the saints in their testimony concerning Jesus. - Utley
His servants . . This is an allusion to Psalms 115:13 (Revelation 11:18).
The reference to "His servants" may have been directed to John and those like him.
and those who fear Him . . Perhaps the distinction here is that "His servants" are evangelists, elders, and those like John, etc. and "those who fear him" are all those who regard Him with reverential awe, respect and obedience.
both small and great . . Psalms 115:13. "both" should perhaps be omitted. - CBSC [cf. Psalms 135:1, Psalms 135:20].
All distinctions and ranks are to be transcended - MSB
All socio-economic distinctions are transcended in the united worship of the church (cf. Revelation 11:18; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:18; Revelation 20:12) - EBCNT
As God’s servants include both small and great, so also, sadly, does the army that follows the beast (Revelation 19:18). - ESVSB
* Note the many allusion from the Hallel section of the Psalms in this part of Revelation.
The Hallel is the name especially applied to Pss 113–118 (also called “The Hallel of Egypt” because of the references in them to the Exodus). They had a special role in the Feast of Passover. Most Jewish sources associate the Hallel with the destruction of the wicked, exactly as this passage in Revelation does.
These psalms were what Jesus and the disciples sang after the Passover-Eucharist celebration, before going out to the Mount of Olives the night before his death (Matthew 26:30). This close connection between the Hallel, Passover Lamb, and the death of Jesus no doubt explains why all the early church liturgies incorporated the Hallel into the Easter and Easter Week liturgies, which celebrate the gospel of redemption from sin, Satan, and death in the victorious triumph of Christ, our Passover.
Two texts in the great Hallel (Psalms 113:1; Psalms 115:13) are unmistakably cited in Revelation 19:5. - EBCNT
The on-going theme of the Hallel is the supreme reign of the Almighty God who subdues all enemies. - WG
This is the response to verse 5. (Revelation 14:2)
In this section: vs. 6-10 we have: 1) God is praised; 2) the bride of the Lamb vs the Harlot who was destroyed; 3) the new Jerusalem vs the fallen Babylon, the Jerusalem that has fallen; 4) the marriage supper of the Lamb
I heard as it were , the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters . . cf. Revelation 1:15; Revelation 14:2 This is similar to Daniel 10:6, where the angelic voice is likened to the sound of a multitude (compare Ezekiel 1:24; Ezekiel 43:2)
These descriptive phrases were used (1) of God in Ezekiel 43:2; (2) of a powerful angel in Daniel 10:6; (3) of Christ in Rev. 1:15; and (4) of the redeemed community in Revelation 14:2. In context this seems to be an angelic choir. - Utley
and the sound of mighty thunderings . . Revelation 6:1, Revelation 14:2
Saying . . [One can hardly read this without hearing Handel’ "Halleluiah Chorus" in our head.] - WG
They utter the final Hallel in words reminiscent of the great kingship psalms (Psalms 93:1; Psalms 97:1; Psalms 99:1). It is also the prelude to Psa 95–99, which are messianic, and has as its theme the eternal sovereignty of God who will conquer all his enemies. - EBCNT
the Lord our God, the Almighty . . This threefold title for God from the OT (YHWH, Elohim, and El Shaddai) appears in various forms in Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:15; and Revelation 21:22.
The pronoun “our” is very unusual because it is spoken by an angel. It appears in no other occurrence with this threefold title. However, the textual evidence for its inclusion is strong: “Lord the God of us” - Utley
the Lord God Omnipotent . . Read, the Lord our God: and the last word is that usually rendered “Almighty”—rather a name “the Almighty” than an epithet—see on Revelation 1:8. - CBSC
Omnipotent . . Greek, "the Omnipotent." Almighty, ruler over all.
Or “Almighty.” Used 9 times in Revelation as a title for God (cf. v. Revelation 19:15; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 21:22). The great praise of the multitude sounds like a massive crashing of waves. - MSB
Reigneth . . (ebasileusen). First aorist active
Reigneth . . [reigns ] . . Some Greek texts have the present tense here. - WG
The greatness of the heavenly multitude joined in chorus as one voice, verse six, was not only a scene of awe and veneration, but was impressive of the magnitude of the significance attached to the end of Jerusalem and the Jewish state, and the removal of Judaism as the greatest obstacle to the expansion of Christianity from the path of the church. With the Harlot City, and the system of Judaism which she represented destroyed; there remained only the execution of judgment against political minions who had shared in her spiritual fornication s and abominations. - Wallace
The Bride is the Christ’s church. Matthew 9:15 Mark 2:19 ff; Luke 5:34 ff; John 3:29
Let us be glad and rejoice . . God has condemned Babylon the harlot (v. 2), and now the worshipers rejoice because the multitude introduces “the wedding of the Lamb” and his chaste “bride,” drawing upon Isa 61:10–62:5. - NIVZSB
Heaven’s rejoicing has signaled the defeat of all God’s enemies. - EBCNT
give Him glory . .
for the marriage of the Lamb has come . .The first suggestion of this image in the N. T. is in our Lord’s parables, St Matthew 22:2, Matthew 25:1-10; it is more fully worked out by St Paul, Ephesians 5:22-32. But men’s minds were prepared for it by the language of all the Prophets about the spiritual marriage of the Lord and Israel: still more, perhaps, by that of the 45th Psalm, [Psalms 45:1-17] rising so far above the royal marriage that no doubt furnished its occasion. - CBSC
The concept of a marital relationship between God and His Church is found in the OT in Isaiah 54:4-8; Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 31:32; Ezek. 16; and Hosea 2:14-19. The metaphor is seen in the NT in 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:21-31; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:9; Revelation 22:17. Jesus is depicted as a bridegroom (cf. Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:34-35; John 3:29). Several parables in Matthew continue this theme (cf. Matthew 22:1-14; Matthew 25:1-13). Marriage may be the best human example of biblical covenant. - Utley
The marriage union of Christ and the church is not a single act or thing. Every union of a believer with Christ in baptism is marriage to Christ, and is representative of the whole relation.
This marriage occurs every time one is baptized into Christ, and it is therefore always in process and is continuous. - Wallace
As the marriage itself is continuous, so must be the marriage supper, and it symbolized the continuous fellowship of all who are united to Christ; and it is as continuous as the baptism of believers and of the church itself. This part of the song of victory was based on the renewal of the interrupted fellowship of Christians by the afflictions and the tribulations of persecution. - Wallace
his bride . . Identified as the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:9. Here the bride of Christ is likely to be understood as the Church (see 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-27, Ephesians 5:32; compare Isaiah 54:5-7). - FSB
With the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all temple rituals it becomes evident that God has rejected Israel as His bride and taken the Christ’s church as the New Jerusalem. The fall of Jerusalem and the temple was the sign par-excellence that the Messiah had come, had been rejected by Israel’s religious leaders and had now returned to heaven reigning - see note on Matthew 24:30 for understanding this passage and why has been mis-translated many times. - WG
His wife . . Isaiah 54:6 Hosea 2:16 Ezekiel 16:7
The bride of the Lamb is evidently the church (cf. Revelation 19:9; Revelation 3:20; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:9; Revelation 22:17; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32). Even though the translators usually render the Greek word gyne, translated “bride,” as “wife,” here the context clearly shows that a wedding is in view. - Constable
God referred to Himself as Israel’s husband in the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:6; Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 31:32; Ezekiel 16:7-14; Hosea 2:2, Hosea 2:16, Hosea 2:19). However this figure almost always describes Israel as an unfaithful wife. [Jan Fekkes III, “‘His Bride Has Prepared Herself’: Revelation 19–21 and Isaian Nuptial Imagery,” Journal of Biblical Literature 109:2 (Summer 1990):272-73, argued that only Isaiah used the marriage analogy in a consistently positive way. The prophet did so to show the future relationship between God and the faithful Jewish remnant.] - Constable
the wedding feast of the Lamb . . This event—the wedding of the Messiah with his bride, the church (see Isa 54:5; 61:10; Jer 31:32; Ezek 16:7–14; Hos 2:16–20; Mark 2:19–20; 2 Cor 11:2)—symbolizes complete victory and eternal fellowship. - NLTSB
The question is sometimes asked: If we are espoused to Christ in faith when does the marriage take place?
See F. Lagard Smith, Baptism - The Believer’s Wedding Ceremony, 1993. Baptism shows the wonderful picture of it as seen in the New Testament. Smith shows how baptism is not merely a token ritual done for a past experience but he rightly shows how baptism is the moment of confession in the New Testament (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38, Acts 2:41; Acts 22:16; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Peter 3:21-22). Baptism in water is not powerful without us seeing the grace of God in His Son, Jesus, and then baptism into Christ becomes a life changing experience (Romans 6:1-4).
[See all "Eph 5 The Wedding Ceremony of Baptism" on e-Sword topics by Windell Gann, Sermons_Gann.topx]
and His wife has made herself ready . . Those who have accepted the bridegroom (Christ) and trusted his message by faith and obedience have made themselves ready to reign with him as His bride (His church, the New Jerusalem). - WG
19:8 The clothing of the bride is described and its meaning is also given. See Ephesians 5:26-27.
to her it was granted . . Better, it was given to her—the form is the same as recurs so often throughout the vision, from Revelation 6:2 onwards. This being so, it is not likely that this clause still forms part of the proclamation of the voice: it is the Seer’s description of the “making herself ready” which the voice proclaimed. - CBSC
clean and white . . The epithets should be transposed, and “and” omitted, bright clean fine linen. - CBSC
fine linen, clean and bright . . The church’s garments are white linen—in marked contrast to the purple and scarlet clothing of the great mother of prostitutes ( Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:16).
Linen was an expensive cloth used to make the garments worn by priests and royalty. It has two qualities: brightness and cleanness (cf. Revelation 16:6).
λαμπρός (lampros), is the color of radiant whiteness that depicts glorification (cf. Matthew 13:43).
καθαρός (katharos,= physically clean)reflects purity, loyalty, and faithfulness, the character of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:18, Revelation 21:21). - EBCNT
arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright . . The dress of the bride of Christ is in sharp contrast to the dress of the harlot. Her gown of righteous deeds is to the glory of her Groom. - WG
finest … linen . . [NLT] Linen, a symbol of purity, was also worn by the priests when performing their duties (see Leviticus 16:4, Leviticus 16:23; Exodus 28:39-43; see also Ezekiel 9:2-3; Daniel 12:6-7). cf. Revelation 15:5-6. - NLTSB
fine linen, bright and clean . . The bride’s radiant garments signify enduring moral purity (cf. Isaiah 61:10; Ephesians 5:27), while the harlot’s purple and scarlet clothes represent her fleeting wealth (cf. Revelation 17:4). - NIVZSB
the righteousness . . Rather, the righteous acts. Every good work done by every single saint goes to make up the perfect glory of the Church as it shall be when at last complete. - CBSC
the good deeds of God’s holy people . . See Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 2:18-22. - NLTSB
the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints . . The angelic chorus continued to describe the preparation of the bride for the wedding feast. God graciously enabled her to clothe herself in fine linen (cf. Revelation 6:4; Revelation 8:3; Revelation 9:5; Revelation 15:6; Revelation 18:12; Revelation 19:14; Genesis 41:42; Daniel 10:5; Daniel 12:6-7).
“Bright” indicates divine glory, and “clean” reflects purity (cf. Revelation 21:18, Revelation 21:21). This is dress appropriate for God’s presence. Fine linen represents righteous deeds, as this verse explains (cf. Revelation 14:13). These are the works of the saints rather than their standing before God. Their good deeds that God’s grace made possible constitute them dressed appropriately for their righteous Lord (cf. Matthew 22:1-14). The bride’s clothing contrasts with the harlot’s gaudy garments (cf. Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:16). - Constable
Not Christ’s imputed righteousness granted to believers at salvation, but the practical results of that righteousness in believers’ lives, i.e., the outward manifestation of inward virtue. - MSB
The goal of right standing is right living, Christlike living (cf. Romans 9:29; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 1:4). Righteous living is evidence of a relationship with God (cf. Revelation 14:13), not the grounds of that relationship (cf. Galatians 3:1-3) - Utley [?? WG]
the righteous deeds of the saints . . May refer to their victory and refusal to compromise their faith (compare chs. 2–3). Throughout Revelation, white clothing represents victory (see Revelation 3:4 and note). - FSB
for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints . . An explanatory interjection, probably added by John, states that “fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.” These “righteous acts” (GK 1468) do not imply any kind of meritorious works that would bring salvation. Rather, there is a delicate balance between grace and obedient response to it. The bride is “given” the garments, but she “has made herself ready” for the wedding by faithfulness and loyalty to Christ (cf. 3:4–5, 18). - EBCNT
That the Lamb’s wife should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white was explained to be the righteousness of the saints, the purity of the New Jerusalem church in contrast with the iniquities of the harlot Jerusalem, which had gone up in the smoke of destruction forever. This attire of clean and white vestures was a beautiful symbol of the character of all who are truly joined in union with Christ. - Wallace
He . . The voice of Revelation 19:5; Revelation 19:10. - WG
And he saith . . Who speaks? Plainly an angel (Revelation 19:10), presumably the angel of Revelation 17:1. - CBSC
The angelic admonition in verse nine for John to write was addressed personally to him, by the voice from the throne, not by an angel, and indicated the distinguished honor of being’ the recipient of the revelation of these things of such tremendous significance. - Wallace
Write . . Three times John is bidden to write.
Blessed . . The fourth beatitude (of seven) in Revelation, (cf. Revelation 1:3; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 16:15; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:14).
who are called . . A
καλέω (kaleō , to summon, call to a task, invite): marriage supper (festival) was intended for those invited (called) but the Lord has called (invited) everyone, Revelation 22:17.
marriage of the Lamb . . This is not a one time event. When men repent and obey they become espoused to the Lord. Ephesians 5:24-27; Romans 7:4 Matthew 22:1-14.
"These are the true saying of God" . . The source of this truth is God himself.
These are the true sayings of God . . More literally, These words are [some add “the”] true (words) of God. - CBSC
These are the true words of God . . This phrase emphasizes the trustworthiness of the angel’s message (cf. Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6). - Utley
The epilogue, these are the true sayings of God, meant that they were not mere words of John in visional narration, or of the angels; but they were the very words of God to the Seer; the directly inspired words of God. - Wallace
John is emotionally overcome by this tremendous revelation!
He falls at the feet of "the voice" Revelation 19:5 . Revelation 22:8-9.
I fell at his feet to worship . . John, who is likely overwhelmed by what he sees and hears, tries to worship the one giving him the message of joy and hope. - FSB
Overwhelmed by the grandeur of the vision, John collapsed in worship before the angel (cf. Revelation 1:17; Revelation 22:8). - MSB
to worship him . . Perhaps understanding from the last words that the speaker was God Himself. In the O. T. God had revealed Himself to men by means of angels, and men had, by falling at the feet of angels, rightly worshipped the God Who was present in them (see esp. Hosea 12:4 compared with Genesis 32:30).
But since a more perfect revelation of God has been given by the Incarnation, no such divine presence in an angel is to be looked for. (So Jer. Taylor, Dissuasive from Popery, Part II. 11. 8:3.)
We have therefore no need to suppose that the holy apostle was in intent guilty of idolatry; he meant the worship for God in the angel, but this being an angel and nothing more, it follows of course that he ought not to be honoured as God. See Revelation 22:8. - CBSC
to worship . . John was awed by this powerful person and may have assumed that he was either a divine personification (cf. Genesis 16:7-13; Genesis 22:11-15; Genesis 31:11, Genesis 31:13; Genesis 48:15-16; Exodus 32:4; Exodus 13:21; Exodus 14:19; Judges 2:1; Judges 6:22-23; Judges 13:3-22; Zechariah 3:1-2), Christ, or a symbol of the Spirit (cf. Revelation 22:8-9). - Utley
But he said to me . .
Do not do that . . The angel rebukes John’s attempt to worship him. Revelation consistently affirms that God alone is worthy of worship (Revelation 11:16; Revelation 14:7; compare Revelation 13:4-8). - FSB
do not do that . . Cf. Revelation 22:8-9. The Bible forbids the worship of angels (Colossians 2:18-19). - MSB
I am your fellow servant . . In a sense, the angels are even servants to the elect on earth, Hebrews 1:14. - CBSC
and of your brethren . . In the parallel passage, Revelation 22:9, we have “thy brethren the prophets,” and the sense seems to be the same here, from the last words of the verse. - CBSC
who hold the testimony of Jesus . . The angel identifies himself not only as a servant of God (cf. Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalms 103:21; Daniel 7:10) and redeemed mankind (cf. Hebrews 1:14), but also with the testimony of Jesus, which is normally said of saints rather than angels (cf. Revelation 12:17). - Utley
the testimony of Jesus May refer to the testimony about or concerning Jesus or the testimony that Jesus Himself gave—the gospel (see Revelation 1:2; Revelation 12:17). Though both are true, the gospel that Jesus gave is likely in view here. - FSB
The Testimony of Jesus -- No way of knowing if this is an objective or subjective genitive. Revelation 12:17
1) This witness was given by Jesus Himself
2) The witness (testimony) is about Christ - 1 Peter 1:11
( In Revelation 22:9, he adds, "of thy brethren, the prophets." Here the explanation is added that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. In testifing of Jesus the angel became one of the prophets.)
the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy . . The central theme of both OT prophecy and NT preaching is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. - MSB
This phrase has been interpreted as saying: 1) Jesus is the focus of prophecy; or 2) all that to which Jesus bore testimony is the essence of what all the prophets proclaimed; or 3) all those bearing truth to Jesus are being true to inspired Truth given by prophets. - WG
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy . . The word spirit here does not signify the Holy Spirit, but rather the inner spirit, the vital element, the life and soul-the essence of the apocalypse was the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ to his servant John by his servants, the angels. - Wallace
the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy . . The “testimony of Jesus” is Jesus’ own testimony that he bore in his life and teaching and especially in his death. - EBCNT
New Paragraph: The judgment upon the harlot has been given; now the attention turns the judgment upon the other enemies.
[If we were dividing the text into chapters and verses today I think the arrangement would be quite different. Revelation 19:11 would certainly be the beginning of a new chapter.]
Now I saw heaven opened . . Ezekiel 1:1; St Matthew 3:16, and parallels, St John 1:51; Acts 7:56, Acts 10:11. Something more seems to be implied than in Revelation 4:1; the “door” through which the seer was called up is not sufficient to let out this mounted army, or “the chariot of paternal Deity” which appeared to Ezekiel. - CBSC
And I saw heaven opened” This is a PERFECT PASSIVE VERBAL form and may relate to Ezekiel 1:1. Several times in Revelation heaven has been opened to reveal truth to John in progressive stages (cf. Revelation 4:1; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 15:5). - Utley
Now I saw heaven opened . . John saw another scene in heaven (Gr. kai eidon, “And I saw”). He now saw heaven standing open (cf. Ezekiel 1:1), not just a door open (Revelation 4:1) or the heavenly temple open (Revelation 11:19). - Constable
behold, a white horse . . Although there is a white horse in Revelation 6:2, this is obviously different. - Utley
a white horse . . In victory parades the conquorers rode white horses.
In the Roman triumphal processions, the victorious general rode his white war horse up the Via Sacra to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. Jesus’ first coming was in humiliation on a colt (Zechariah 9:9). John’s vision portrays Him as the conqueror on His war horse, - MSB
He who sat one him . . The bridegroom in the previous paragraph is revealed further as an all-conquering warrior. [and royalty, cf Revelation 19:12] - Utley
The rider is both a judge and a righteous warrior (see Isaiah 11:1-5). He is named Faithful and True: He embodies God’s authenticity and reliability (see Revelation 19:2; Revelation 21:5-6). - NLTSB
Rider of a White Horse - Like the first seal - Revelation 6:2 Indicates victory! The character of the rider is signified. We have passed through the valley of darkness and now New Victory!
Faithful and True . .The titles idenify the rider as Jesus. cf. Revelation 3:14. cf Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:7.
and in righeousness He judges and makes war . . cf. Isaiah 11:3-5. (cf. Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 32:1),
Who judges in righteousness? cf. Acts 17:30-31; Isaiah 63:1-3; Psalms 2:1 ff
Though John uses OT language descriptive of a warrior-Messiah, he does not depict Christ as a great military warrior battling against earth’s sovereigns. The close proximity in v.11 of “justice” and “war” shows us that the kind of warfare Christ engages in is more the execution of “justice” (lit., “righteousness”; G1343) than a military conflict. He who is the faithful and true witness will judge the rebellious nations. - EBCNT
makes war . . This startling statement, appearing only here and Revelation 2:16, vividly portrays the holy wrath of God against sinners (cf. Psalms 7:11). - MSB [ cf. Psalms 45:3-5; Ephesians 6:11-17; ]
His eyes . . (Revelation 1:14; Revelation 2:18 matches an earlier description of Christ.)
Nothing escapes His penetrating vision, so His judgments are always just and accurate (see notes on 1:14; 2:18) - MSB
many crowns . . Indicates a vast rule, diadems, crowns of royalty.
many crowns . . These are distinctively kingly crowns, see on Revelation 4:4, Revelation 6:2. Their number marks Him as King of kings, Revelation 19:16; perhaps also as both King and Priest, as in Zechariah 6:11. - CBSC
many royal headbands . . Jesus’ royal authority dwarfs that of the dragon and the beast (see Revelation 12:3; Revelation 13:1). - FSB
His name . . A "name" stood for the person himself. Probably the idea here is that no one comprehends "The Word of God" knowing His essence, power, majesty, glory, but only GOD. (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 1:4-5; Ephesians 3:18-20) cf. - WG
“Throughout the ancient world a name revealed the nature of an individual, who he is and what he is. The unknown name of the Christ comports with the fact that his nature, his relationships to the Father, and even his relationship to humanity, transcend all human understanding.” - Beasley-Murray, pp. 279–80.
His name . . cf. Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12;
1) Name - known only by himself - Revelation 3:12
2) Next vs. "The Word of God"
no man knew, but he himself . . cf. Matthew 11:27.
that no one knew . . John could see the name, but was unable to comprehend it (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:4). There are unfathomable mysteries in the Godhead that even glorified saints will be unable to grasp. - MSB
clothed with a robe . . vesture.. Or, cloak: it is the outer garment that is so described. - CBSC
robe dipped in blood . . This may refer to Christ’s own atoning blood Revelation 1:5; or the blood of His enemies (compare Isaiah 63:1-6). - FSB
Christ’s blood-spattered garments symbolize the great battles He has already fought against sin, Satan, and death and been stained with the blood of His enemies. - MSB
But is Christ’s blood-dipped robe red from his enemies’ blood or from his own blood? There are good reasons for accepting the latter. If the blood is his enemies’, how is it that Christ comes from heaven with his robe already dipped in blood before any battle is mentioned? Moreover, the blood mentioned in connection with Christ in the Apocalypse is always his own life-blood (Revelation 1:5; Revelation 5:6, Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11). - EBCNT
The blood on His robe is probably the blood of his enemies in view of the context (cf. Isaiah 63:2-3). - Constable
This description may refer to (1) the blood of Christ’s enemies, signifying his total victory (Isaiah 63:2-4); or (2) Christ’s sacrificial death for humanity (Revelation 1:5). - NLTSB
His name is called "The Word of God" . . This is not the name that no one else knows (in Revelation 19:12). Rather, it is a name that emphasizes His status as the ultimate revelation of God’s character (compare John 1:1-5). - FSB
Only John uses this title for the Lord. As the Word of God, Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15); the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3); and the final, full revelation from God (Hebrews 1:1-2). - MSB
Name - Word of God - John 1:1-3; John 1:14.
The Word of God . . The only place in Scripture (unless Hebrews 4:12 be so interpreted, which is not probable) where this exact phrase is used of the personal Word, the Son of God. But of course the use of “the Word” in St John 1:1 is the same in principle and meaning. - CBSC
This is the term logos, which links the book of the Revelation with the Apostle John, for he is the only biblical author who uses this as a title of Jesus (cf. John 1:1, John 1:14; 1 John 1:1). - Utley
As a title in Revelation “Word of God” emphasizes the authoritative declaration that results in the destruction of God’s enemies rather than the self-revelation of God. - Mounce, p. 345. (Constable)
Jesus, “the Word,” is God’s ultimate self-disclosure in John 1:1; here Christ embodies God’s authoritative Word by proclaiming and executing judgment on the nations (Revelation 19:15). - NIVZSB
Armies in heaven . . Revelation 17:14 Revelation 6:10-11; God’s people.
Probably the church (Revelation 7:13), all OT saints (Judges 1:14; Daniel 12:1-2;) and even angels (Matthew 25:31). They return not to help Jesus in the battle (they are unarmed), but to reign with Him after He defeats His enemies (Revelation 20:4; 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:12). Cf. Psalms 149:5-9. - MSB
the armies which were in heaven . . According to ordinary O. T. usage (e.g. 1 Kings 22:19) this would mean the holy Angels exclusively, or at least primarily. But some think that the glorified Saints are at least included: it seems in harmony with the ideas of this Book to represent them, not indeed as executing Christ’s vengeance (which the angels do, rev 14:19; St Matthew 13:39-42), but as spectators of His triumph, which is all that these armies seem to be. - CBSC
With Christ come armies mounted on horses.
“As the Lamb, Christ is followed by the saints (17:14); as the heavenly Warrior, he is followed by the angels.” Ladd, p. 255. (Constable)
... both OT and NT speak of the armies of heaven as angels (Psalms 103:21; Psalms 148:2; Luke 2:13; Acts 7:42). Furthermore, the NT also associates the coming of Christ with angels (e.g., Matthew 13:41; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:30-31). - EBCNT
the armies which are in heaven . . This has been interpreted in two ways: (1) because of Revelation 17:14 and the description of the saints in Revelation 19:8 in this immediate context, many have assumed that this refers to the saints; or (2) because of the OT background of Zechariah 14:5 and the NT passages of Matthew 13:41; Matthew 16:27; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, many believe that it must refer to the angels. This same ambiguity is present in many passages. - Utley
The existence of a celestial ‘army’ is implied in Revelation 12:7 In the O. T. is a constant phrase for (1) the ordered ranks of the heavenly bodies (cf. e.g. 2 Esdr. 9:6 ), and (2) the angelic bodyguard of the Throne of God; see Driver, art. Host of Heaven, in Hastings, D.B. 2. p. 429 ff. Here the latter are clearly meant. The angelic hosts were at the service of the Incarnate Son even in the days of His Flesh (cf. Matthew 26:53 Hebrews 1:6 ff., cf. Matthew 13:41, Matthew 16:27, Matthew 24:31, Matthew 25:31, Apoc. 5:11 f.). - Swete
clothed in fine linen, white and clean . . [This] identifies the armies of heaven as the bride of the Lamb (Revelation 19:8; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 7:14). They ride white horses, sharing his victory (see note on Revelation 2:17; also Revelation 12:11; Revelation 15:2). - ESVSB
fine linen, white and clean . . The dress of Angels in St Matthew 28:3 and parallels, Acts 1:10; but of Saints in this Book, Revelation 3:4, Revelation 7:9, and probably Revelation 4:4: compare the almost exactly similar words of Revelation 19:8. Here this costume contrasts with the blood-dyed one of their Leader. - CBSC
followed Him on white horses . . Riding white horses signifies they also are conquerors!
“This heavenly army, unlike their leader, has no swords or spears. They take no part in the action. They wear no armor because, being immortal, they are immune to injury. They are noncombatant supporters of the Messiah as He wages the war single-handedly...” Thomas, Revelation 8–22, p. 387.
From his mouth . . Matches the description of Christ in Revelation 1:16 . See note at Revelation 1:16 and note; Revelation 2:12, Revelation 2:16.
goes . . [issues, proceedeth, comes, came, goeth, comes out, ] . . Present tense. In that it "continues" to come forth, indicates this is not literal, but symbolic. - Hebrews 4:12;
a sharp sword . . The word of God, Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17 Indicates the power of God’s words, cf. John 1:1-5; Revelation 2:16; Revelation 19:15, Revelation 19:21. cf. Isa_1.20; Isaiah 49:2; Isaiah 66:16; This is the weapon God uses to conquor the nations! The "word" that comes from God’s mouth is to be used to conquor! (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16;
sharp . . Some ancient authorities insert “two-edged,” from the parallel passage in Revelation 1:16. - CBSC
a sharp sword . . This is a metaphor of the power of the gospel or of God’s spoken word (cf. Gen. 1; Isaiah 55:11; John 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:8) not a literal description. - Utley
smite the nations . . It is the "Word of God" that will conquor nations, not physical armies using force. Ephesians 6:17;
smite the nations . . God is said to smite men with plagues, e.g. Zechariah 14:18, but nowhere else with a sword. Are we to infer from 1 Chronicles 21:12 what this sword will be? Certainly the ascription to the Lord of the fierce struggles of a human warrior is markedly avoided. - CBSC
rule . . [shepherd] . . An allusion to Psalms 2:9 ;
shall rule them . . Lit. shall be their shepherd, as in Revelation 2:27, Revelation 12:5 Of course in all three places the reference is to Psalms 2:9. - CBSC
The psalm prophecy is quoted by the apostle Peter in Acts 4:25-26 with this application of the effect of preaching Christ to the heathen world. - Wallace
he will rule them with a rod of iron . . As when they are the enemies of the Lord’s flock, for his "club" that He uses to protect them is a "rod of iron", one that will not break, and will devestate the enemy attacking His flock.
At first reading, to some this sounds harsh, but it is referring to His ability to proect his sheep. The word "rule" is "to shepherd" them, and the rod of iron is the club the shepherd used to fend off the wolves, bears, lions, etc.
The picture is not of an "iron rod" he uses to "club" or beat his sheep! He uses a "staff" to gently nudge or guide his sheep. The iron rod is showing his ability to protect them.
them . . "the nations" Revelation 19:15.
And He Himself treads . . Isaiah 63:3. The pronoun “he” is emphatic—He Himself, by Himself, as is there expressed. - CBSC
the winepress . . So we are obliged to translate the single word, e.g. at Revelation 14:19; while here we have the fuller phrase, “the winepress of the wine of” - CBSC
he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty . . The wrath of God is fierce! Literally "fierceness of the wrath". - WG
and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty . . This third description of judgment is an allusion to Isaiah 63:2-3; Jeremiah 51:33; Lamentations 1:15; Joel 3:13 (cf. Revelation 14:19-20). The color of crushed grapes reminded the ancients of blood, death, and battle! - Utley
Isaiah 63:1-3; (Source of imagery for the Battle Hymn of the Republic.)
vesture . . That is, this name was conspicuously written on his garment - probably his military robe.
on His robe and on His thigh . . i.e, probably, beginning on the lower part of the cloak, and continued where the thigh projected from it as He rode—whether this continuation was on the bare flesh, or (as seems likelier) on the skirt of the tunic. - CBSC
Question: Was his name written in two places? (with one name written on the robe (possibly on a banner?), and the second on the thigh). Or is this just describing one place, the part of the robe that hung down and covered the thigh? The latter thought is preferred. It probably was just a short warrior’s robe that hung down to the thigh, and around the bottom of the robe was the name "King of kings, and Lord of lords". - WG
on His thigh a name written . . There has been much discussion about the term “His thigh”: (1) this was the place that a sword normally hung; (2) this was the place that His garment was most clearly seen on horseback; or (3) it was the strongest muscle of his body and was symbolic of His might. - Utley
vesture and thigh . . Like the banners that adorned statues of old, and sometimes printed, stamped, or carved on the thigh, the name and character of this person, "god", etc.
on His thigh. Jesus will wear a banner across His robe and down His thigh with a title emblazoned on it that emphasizes His absolute sovereignty over all human rulers (Revelation 17:14). - MSB
a name written . . A fourth name in addition to Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11), the unknown name (Revelation 19:12), and the Word of God (Revelation 19:13). - FSB
King of Kings and Lord of Lords . . Acts 10:36; Descriptive of His universal authority and control. Is this one name, or two? Was one name on his robe (vesture) and the other on his thigh (sword sheath?). - WG
King of kings and Lord of Lords . . A title for God (Revelation 17:14; 1 Timothy 6:15; cf. Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalms 136:3) that emphasizes His sovereignty over all other rulers to whom He has delegated authority. - MSB
King of Kings and Lord of Lords . . cf. Revelation 17:14. Cf. Daniel 2:47, Daniel 7:14; also 1 Timothy 6:15, where a title substantially (not verbally) the same as this is given to God the Father. - CBSC
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS . . Does this refer to one name or two? Revelation 17:14 shows that it refers to one name (cf. 1 Timothy 6:15). It has two possible OT backgrounds: (1) a description of YHWH (cf. Deuteronomy 10:17 and Enoch 9:4) or (2) a Persian title of deity transferred to YHWH (cf. Daniel 2:37). It is interesting to note that this phrase in Aramaic adds up to 777, in contradistinction to the number of the beast, which is 666.Ultimate perfection versus ultimate imperfection. - Utley
In verse sixteen a fourth name was inscribed on the Rider--King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This was the highest title to be conferred. It symbolized the position and power over all kings and rulers of all rank in the heathen world, all of whom must yield to the invincible Word of God. This stage of the vision was in repetition of Revelation 11:15 : The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.
It was the sublime apocalypse of the conquering Lord, and his victorious church. The conquest of "the kingdoms of this world" was spiritual, not literal; and it was to be accomplished by the spread of the gospel and expansion of Christianity over the heathen world, as stated in Matthew 24:31 and as prophesied in the second Psalm. - Wallace
Judgment Of The Beasts
Vs 17-21 We see Christianity conquering the Beasts (Rome and poly-theism)
an angel standing in the sun . . Apparently with the sun at his back.
in the sun . . The Greek preposition en (meaning “in, with, by, to, on”) is best rendered “on.” The angel was probably standing on the sun, not in it. Perhaps John saw him above the sun. - FSB
Probably he is stationed there only as a position commanding the “mid-heaven” [on this word "mid-heaven" see note on Revelation 8:13]. - CBSC
John saw next an angel standing in the sun, a conspicuous position in which all the birds could see him. He cried loudly for all the birds flying in midheaven to assemble (cf. Ezekiel 39:4, Ezekiel 39:17). - Constable
cried with a loud voice . .
all the birds that fly . . An allusion to Ezekiel 39:17;
fowls . . = scavengers looking for food.
to all the birds . . This gruesome paragraph is an allusion to two OT passages which deal with battle scenes. This context is the same battle discussed in Revelation 16:12-16, called Armageddon. The predatory birds are described as drawn to battlefields as in 1 Samuel 17:46 (cf. Matthew 24:28; Luke 17:37) and Ezekiel 39:17-20. - Utley
in the midst of heaven . .[directly overhead] . . See note at Revelation 8:13; Revelation 14:6.
Come and gather together . . The angel invites the birds of prey to come feast on the dead bodies of the enemies. cf. Jeremiah 12:9; Ezekiel 39:17. This is another symbol of God’s wrath on these enemies, and His victory over them. cf. Revelation 19:21
The angel’s invitation for birds to pick corpses clean at the great supper of God reflects an OT covenant curse (Deuteronomy 28:26) - ESVSB
the supper of the great God . . In contrasts with the marriage supper of the Lamb of Revelation 19:9. White the victors celebrate a marriage feast, the enemies themselves are the feast of the vultures!
This "feast of the vultures" is "the great supper of God". The feast of the winners is "the marriage supper of the Lamb" Revelation 19:9.
the supper of the great God . . Read, the great supper of God. In Ezek. l.c. [Ezekiel 39:17; Ezekiel 39:19; Ezekiel 40:42; Ezekiel 44:11; Ezekiel 46:24;] it is called a sacrifice, sacrifices being the only ordinary occasion for a feast of flesh: cf. Isaiah 34:6, which was probably in Ezekiel’s mind. - CBSC
great banquet of God . . In contrast to the marriage supper of the Lamb (see Revelation 19:7-9). Here, the carrion fowl feast upon the flesh of God’s enemies (compare Ezekiel 39:17-20). - FSB
The OT frequently pictures the indignity of carrion birds feasting on human dead (Deuteronomy 28:26; Psalms 79:2; Isaiah 18:6; Jeremiah 7:33; Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 19:7; Jeremiah 34:20; Ezekiel 29:5). - MSB
Two feasts—the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-8) and the “great supper” of God’s judgment (Revelation 19:17-18, Revelation 19:21)—provide two perspectives on the end of time. They illustrate the two sides of the Good News: grace and judgment, reward and punishment (cp. John 3:16–18). - NLTSB
In Matthew 24:28, Jesus said: "For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together." This forecast was the Lord’s illustration of the siege of Jerusalem, which was the carcass; and the Romans were the eagles, whose armies swooped on Jerusalem to destroy and devour it. But in this vision the metaphor was reversed. The rulers of the persecuting powers, with all the forces opposing Christ and his church, were the victims of this supper of the Great God.- Wallace
Is this literal? No! Hyperbole. It is a statement that God will win.
Remember, Revelation is given in "signs", symbolic language, and we make a mistake to takes the visions literally instead of figuratively.
flesh of kings . . etc. Ezekiel 39:17-20
captains . . Lit. captains of a thousand; - CBSC
both free and bond, small and great . . All classes of men had fallen. (Birds knew of no distinction.)
The horror of being unburied was especially shocking to the people of the ancient Near East. - Utley
The beast’s army, to be consumed as carrion, includes not only kings (Revelation 16:14) and warriors, but also all who serve the beast, both free and slave, both small and great (Revelation 13:16). - ESVSB
First, there is the summons to the vultures to come to God’s great supper and gorge themselves on the slain corpses of the battlefield—a horrible picture of human carnage. The language is borrowed from Ezekiel 39:17 ff., which describes the eschatological overthrow of Gog. It may be unnecessary to press the literalness of the description. This battlefield language is designed to indicate that a great victory is about to occur. - EBCNT
the beast . . The first beast, sea beast. - Revelation 13:1-8.
The fact that these visions anticipated events before, during and after the destruction of Jerusalem, should be observed and retained in the mind, as the considerations advance from one stage and scene to another.
The scene of verses nineteen to twenty-one reverted to the spiritual battle between the heavenly armies of the Rider, and the armies of the Roman beast--the heathen persecutor. It was after the destruction of Jerusalem; and after the evil forces of heathenism were diverted from the scene of Jerusalem and Judaism to converge on the church. - Wallace
the beasts and the kings . . Their confederacy under his leadership has been already intimated, Revelation 16:14, Revelation 16:16, Revelation 17:12-14. The so-called battle of Armageddon, there foretold, is here described. - CBSC
kings of the earth . . cf. Revelation 17:12-17. Psa 2.2;
their armies . . cf. Revelation 16:13-14
to make war . . Literally, to make “the battle” (Gk. ton polemon) - ESVSB
make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army . . This is an allusion to Psalms 2:1 ff (see esp. Psalms 2:1-4).
This beast was the original first sea-beast of chapter 13--personified in the emperor, the source of authority for all the persecutions. The false prophet was identical with the second land-beast, of Judea and Palestine, described in chapter 13, as the subordinate of the imperia1 beast who seduced the inhabitants of Judea to worship the emperor. As previously postulated, the mark of the beast was submission to the decree for emperor worship and acceptance of the image of the emperor as deity and the worship of the Roman image in acts of idolatry for the emperor. - Wallace
the beast was taken . . "was seized" or "overpowered." He is overcome, captured! This is the first beast (sea-beast, Revelation 13:1-10).
false prophet . . The false beast (2nd beast, the earth-beast) parallel in description - Revelation 13:11-14; Revelation 16:13;
miracles . . Should be "signs" those described in Revelation 13:13 sqq. - CBSC
These two . .
cast down alive into the lake of fire . . God’s enemies receive their just recompense of Reward -- Romans 12:19 Daniel 7:11;
Here, the beast and false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, while their followers are killed with the sword from Christ’s mouth. See Revelation 14:10 and note; Revelation 20:14-15; Revelation 21:8. - FSB
lake of fire . . The final hell, the place of eternal punishment for all unrepentant rebels, angelic or human (cf. Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:15). The NT says much of eternal punishment (cf. Revelation 14:10-11; Matthew 13:40-42; Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 3:17; Luke 12:47-48). - MSB
lake of fire burning with brimstone . .
Brimstone is a yellowish, sulfuric rock that often attends fire and smoke in Revelation (rev 14:10; rev 19:20; rev 20:10). Common in the Dead Sea region, when ignited such deposits melt and produce burning streams and suffocating gas. ...These two are frequently associated with divine judgment ( Revelation 14:10; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 21:8; Genesis 19:24; Psalms 11:6; Isaiah 30:33; Ezekiel 38:22; Luke 17:29). - MSB
The fiery lake of burning sulfur provides a picture of eternal punishment (see Revelation 20:10, Revelation 14:1-15; Revelation 21:8; see also Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 13:41, Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:43, Mark 9:48). - NLTSB
a lake of fire . . God’s enemies are thrown into the fiery lake. The two beasts (Rome, and pagan Rome) in Revelation 19:20, will be later followed by the dragon (Satan himself) at the final judgment Revelation 20:10, and death Revelation 20:14, and all whose names are not in the book of life Revelation 20:15.
The beast symbolized the persecuting power of the Roman emperor; and casting him into a lake of fire signified the complete defeat of the heathen powers he represented in the war against the church; and it was accomplished by the sword that proceeded out of the mouth of Jesus Christ, the Rider of the white horse. The sword was not a literal steel blade; it was the Word of God, the weapon by which the church won the victories over heathenism and idolatry; and which is even yet the only righteous weapon in the warfare of the truth against error. - Wallace
Christianity Conquers the Beast (Rome)
the remnant . . The rest, followers of the Beast and False Prophet.
Both the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 13:1 ff.) are seized and thrown into the lake of fire. Their followers fall before the sword (i.e., the word) of Christ. - EBCNT
This remnant symbolized the enemies of Christ other than the persecuting beasts. It represented all forms of error and evil and doctrines of antichrist that stood in the way of the church. They were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse; and the text identified the sword by the modifying phrase: which sword proceeded out of his mouth --the Word of God. - Wallace
the sword . . - a spiritual weapon - 2 Corinthians 10:4
sword which proceeded out of his mouth . . The victory is so plainly designated as one to be gained by purely spiritual means, that it is by no means certain that the armies to be overthrown are to be understood of an actual military confederacy. - CBSC
1) Destroyed according to prophecy, OR
2) Converted - (the false prophet and his worshipers) the Caesars after 325 were Christians (in name). Christianity captured the Roman government.
and the fowls were filled with their flesh . . (birds gorged themselves) . .
Both the beast and the false prophet ( Revelation 13:1 ff.) are seized and thrown into the lake of fire. Their followers fall before the sword (i.e., the word) of Christ. No battle is fought; only the arrangement of the foes and the defeat of the beast is described. John may be indicating that the battle has already been fought and won. In ch. 5 the Lamb had won the victory by his death (Revelation 5:5, Revelation 5:9). Further, in the battle in heaven, Satan was cast out and defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the word of his followers’ testimony (Revelation 12:7-9, Revelation 12:11).
There thus seems to be only one actual battle described in Revelation (ch. 12), and these further scenes may be understood as more judicial in character than as literal battles. Because of John’s christological reinterpretation, no great final military battle will actually be fought, for the decisive battle has already been won at the Cross. These armies and the beast, who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18) are the satanic principalities of the world and have been positionally defeated at the Cross (John 12:31; John 16:11; Colossians 2:15). - EBCNT