Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 19:18

so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Horse;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Vision;   War;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Armageddon;   Day (of Christ);   Day (of Jehovah);   The Topic Concordance - War/weapons;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Birds;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - War;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Armageddon;   Dead Sea Scrolls;   Funeral;   Nahum, Theology of;   War, Holy War;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Armageddon;   Fowl;   War;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Armageddon;   Army;   Birds;   Flesh;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Captain;   Chiliarch;   Vesture;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Captain;   Flesh ;   Flesh (2);   Supper ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Army;   Horse;   Prophets, the;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Captain;   Flesh;   Peter, Simon;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That ye may eat the flesh of kings - There shall be a universal destruction; the kings, generals, captains, and all their host, shall be slain.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-19.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

That ye may eat the flesh of kings - Of the kings under the control of the beast and the false prophet, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 17:12-14.

And the flesh of captains - Of those subordinate to kings in command. The Greek word is χιλιάρχων chiliarchōn- “chiliarchs” - denoting captains of a thousand, or, as we should say, commanders of a regiment. The word “colonel” would better convey the idea with us; as he is the commander of a regiment, and a regiment is usually composed of about one thousand people.

And the flesh of mighty men - The word here means “strong,” and the reference is to the robust soldiery - rank and file in the army.

And the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them - Cavalry - for most armies are composed in part of horsemen.

And the flesh of all men, both free and bond - Freemen and slaves. It is not uncommon that freemen and slaves are mingled in the same army. This was the case in the American Revolution, and is common in the East.

Both small and great - Young and old; of small size and of great size; of those of humble, and those of exalted rank. The later armies of Napoleon were composed in great part of conscripts, many of whom were only about eighteen years of age, and to this circumstance many of his later defeats are to be traced. In the army that was raised after the invasion of Russia no less than one hundred and fifty thousand of the conscripts were between eighteen and nineteen years of age (Alison‘s History of Europe, vol. 4, p. 27). Indeed, it is common in most armies that a considerable portion of the enlistments are from those in early life; and besides this, it is usual to employ mere boys on various services about a camp.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-19.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

That ye may eat the flesh of kings,.... Of the earth, and of the whole world, who will fall in the battle at Armageddon; see Revelation 16:14 and design either those antichristian kings and states, which have drunk of the wine of Rome's fornication, and will bewail the downfall of Babylon, Revelation 18:3 or those Pagan kings which will be drawn in by the pope and Turk, to aid and assist in this war, or both, when, upon the defeat of them, the Christian princes will seize upon, possess, and enjoy their kingdoms and dominions, which is meant by eating their flesh; See Gill on Revelation 17:16.

And the flesh of captains; of their generals, and officers under them:

and the flesh of mighty men; the common soldiers, who are so called, Jeremiah 46:5 who will be rifled and plundered:

and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them; whose rich trappings and clothes will be taken away from them:

and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great; that is, the substance of all the inhabitants of the antichristian empire, both eastern and western, of whatsoever rank, state, and condition they be, Revelation 13:16. The metaphors are taken from, and there is a manifest allusion to, Ezekiel 39:17 and the whole denotes the entire slaughter and utter ruin of the whole antichristian army, and the certainty of Christ's victory over it before hand; and also the destruction of all that are the followers of antichrist, throughout his dominions, which will now wholly fall into the hands of the saints, and be enjoyed by them.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-19.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Contrast with this “supper,” Revelation 19:17, Revelation 19:18, the marriage supper of the Lamb, Revelation 19:9.

captainsGreek, “captains of thousands,” that is, chief captains. The “kings” are “the ten” who “give their power unto the beast.”

free and bond — specified in Revelation 13:16, as “receiving the mark of the beast.” The repetition of flesh (in the Greek it is plural: masses of flesh) five times in this verse, marks the gross carnality of the followers of the beast. Again, the giving of their flesh to the fowls to eat, is a righteous retribution for their not suffering the dead bodies of Christ‘s witnesses to be put in graves.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-19.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

That ye may eat (ινα παγητεhina phagēte). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the second aorist active subjunctive of εστιωesthiō flesh of kings (σαρκας βασιλεωνsarkas basileōn). “Pieces of flesh” (plural of σαρχsarx flesh) and of all classes and conditions of men who fell in the battle (Revelation 6:8; Revelation 11:13; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5; Revelation 20:12). War is no respecter of persons.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-19.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Captains ( χιλιάρχων )

See on Mark 6:21; see on Luke 7:2.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-19.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

Ver. 18. That ye may eat] He alludes to Ezekiel 39:4; Ezekiel 39:17. Gog and Magog were a type of Antichrist: "Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, saith the Lord," Ezekiel 38:3; where, if Gog is the Great Turk, and Meshech Cappadocia, where he first settled himself, why should he be called "prince of Tubal," also, that is, of Spain, France, and Italy, as Jerome and Josephus interpret it (neither do Bellarmine and Gretser dissent)? Is it not to show that, after the fall of Babylon, the Antichristians shall call in the Turk and other pagan princes to invade and distress the Church, that they may all perish together, and feed the fowls with their dead carcases?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-19.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In the former verse God invited all the ravenous fowls to a supper, he here showeth their cheer. The meaning is no more than this, that in the great battle of Armageddon, which was for the destruction of all the remainder of the enemies of the church, whether papists, or atheists, or Turks; men of all sorts and orders should be slain, and their dead bodies made meat for the fowls of heaven, that feed on dead flesh.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-19.html. 1685.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great.

Inherent in this is the fact that if people choose to live like animals, denying any image of God in themselves, or even that God exists, the final result will bring them to exactly the same end as that of a dead horse. It is the injection of that phrase "and the flesh of horses" which strongly emphasizes this point here. If man was born of evolution, being only material, then he has no more cosmic value than a worm or a dog.

We shall not dwell on the revulsion that such an awful scene as this brings to mind. The utter horror of such a holocaust staggers the imagination. One thing should be pointed out: this is exactly the same scene, from a different viewpoint, that was described in Revelation 6:16,17; the same characters are here: kings, captains, mighty men, the bond and the free, the great and the small. It is another presentation (in vision) of the final judgment, described by the apostle John over and over, each picture closing a different prophecy, and each vision covering the same ground between the two Advents. "History attains its end in a complete division of the human race into two groups.."[54] These are the Church which is loyal to her true head, and the world which casts its lot in with evil. "Here we are dealing with the last judgment, nothing else."[55]

[54] G. R. Beasley-Murray, op. cit., p. 282.

[55] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 557.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-19.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The angel"s invitation to the birds indicates how devastating the destruction of Christ"s enemies will be when He returns. Some experts have estimated that perhaps one million birds of prey migrate annually between their nesting places in Africa to the south and Europe and Asia to the north. They cross the only arable land bridge that connects these continents, namely, Palestine.

Jesus Christ will destroy all who resist Him, people from all classes of society and from every status in life (cf. Revelation 6:15; Revelation 13:16). The indignity of having their bodies unburied is a judgment in kind since they did not bury the bodies of the two witnesses ( Revelation 11:9-10; cf. Ezekiel 39:11-15). Their death also recalls the ignominious fate of Jezebel ( 2 Kings 9:30-37).

The only people left alive will be faithful believers who have not died or suffered martyrdom during the Tribulation (cf. Revelation 12:13-17). They will enter the Millennium with mortal bodies and will repopulate the earth (cf. Genesis 9:1).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-19.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 19:18. The idea of Revelation 19:17 is expanded in this verse, the enemies of Christ being grouped under the various classes mentioned in it.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-19.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the. Omit.

mighty. Compare App-172.

men, men. Omit.

free. See Revelation 6:15.

bond. App-190. See verses: Revelation 19:2, Revelation 19:5. Compare Ezekiel 39:17-22 concerning this, or a subsequent, period. The invitation of "beasts" to the feast in Ezekiel not mentioned here.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-19.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

Contrast Revelation 19:17-18, with the marriage-supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

Captains - `captains of thousands.' The "kings" are "the ten" who "give their power unto the beast."

Free and bond - Revelation 6:15; Revelation 13:16, 'receiving the mark of the beast.' The repetition of flesh (plural, masses of flesh) five times, marks the gross carnality of the beast's followers. Again, the giving of their flesh to the fowls to eat, is a righteous retribution for their not suffering the dead bodies of Christ's witnesses to be put in graves (Revelation 11:9).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-19.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
ye
Deuteronomy 28:26; 1 Samuel 17:44,46; Psalms 110:5,6; Jeremiah 7:33; 16:4; 19:7; 34:20; Ezekiel 29:5; 39:18-20; Matthew 24:28; Luke 17:37
of all
6:15; 13:16
Reciprocal: Genesis 49:11 - he washed;  Deuteronomy 20:17 - thou shalt;  Joshua 8:29 - the king;  1 Kings 14:11 - that dieth;  1 Kings 21:24 - that dieth;  2 Chronicles 32:21 - the leaders;  Psalm 63:10 - a portion;  Psalm 107:40 - contempt;  Isaiah 18:6 - GeneralIsaiah 24:21 - the Lord;  Isaiah 25:11 - he shall bring;  Isaiah 29:2 - and it shall;  Isaiah 30:33 - for the king;  Isaiah 34:6 - the Lord hath;  Isaiah 40:23 - GeneralIsaiah 56:9 - GeneralJeremiah 12:9 - come ye;  Jeremiah 15:3 - I will;  Jeremiah 50:30 - all her;  Jeremiah 51:21 - GeneralEzekiel 30:11 - and fill;  Ezekiel 31:13 - GeneralEzekiel 32:4 - GeneralEzekiel 39:17 - Speak;  Ezekiel 39:20 - GeneralDaniel 7:9 - till;  Zephaniah 1:7 - for the Lord;  Mark 9:3 - exceeding;  James 5:5 - as in;  Revelation 2:22 - and them;  Revelation 11:9 - and shall not;  Revelation 19:21 - and all

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-19.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Of course this is symbolical of the defeat and destruction that is about to be imposed upon Babylon (church and state). Yet it is appropriate to use the symbols n.amed because the conflict is actually to be with kings and their captains and mighty men, and these made use of horses in their warfare.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-19.html. 1952.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.Eat the flesh—The enumeration takes in the army ranks, kings, captains, that is, chiliarchs or commanders of a thousand, our colonels: mighty men, powerful fighters, and the entire cavalry, that is, doubtless, the whole army. To these are added all men; the men in italics is not in the Greek. It means all adherents to the side of old darkness.

It is to be noted, very specially, that the living nations are not cut off by this massacre. In Revelation 19:15 it is said that he will smite, but not destroy, the nations; in Revelation 20:3 it is said Satan is shut down that he should not deceive the nations; and in Revelation 20:8, at close of the millennium, Satan does go forth to deceive the nations. It is demonstration then, that through this battle, and through the millennium, and until the great white throne of Revelation 20:11, there is an uninterrupted roll of the successive generations of the nations.

Flesh of kings—To show the rich variety of the supper, flesh is repeated at each enumerated rank; and the word flesh is, in fact, in the Greek, plural; thus taking in the individuals of every rank.

Horses, and of them that sit on them—The cavalry, probably including the whole army, as both armies seem to be on horseback.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-19.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 19:18. In the ancient world, this was the worst misfortune possible for the dead—to lie unburied, a prey to wild birds. On the famous “stele of the vultures” (bef. 3000 B.C.) the enemy are represented lying bare and being devoured by vultures, while the corpses of the royal troops are carefully buried.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 19:18". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-19.html. 1897-1910.