Revelation 17:14
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
17:7-14 The beast on which the woman sat was, and is not, and yet is. It was a seat of idolatry and persecution, and is not; not in the ancient form, which was pagan: yet it is; it is truly the seat of idolatry and tyranny, though of another sort and form. It would deceive into stupid and blind submission all the inhabitants of the earth within its influence, except the remnant of the elect. This beast was seven heads, seven mountains, the seven hills on which Rome stands; and seven kings, seven sorts of government. Five were gone by when this prophecy was written; one was then in being; the other was yet to come. This beast, directed by the papacy, makes an eighth governor, and sets up idolatry again. It had ten horns, which are said to be ten kings who had as yet no kingdoms; they should not rise up till the Roman empire was broken; but should for a time be very zealous in her interest. Christ must reign till all enemies be put under his feet. The reason of the victory is, that he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. He has supreme dominion and power over all things; all the powers of earth and hell are subject to his control. His followers are called to this warfare, are fitted for it, and will be faithful in it.These shall make war with the Lamb - The Lamb of God - the Lord Jesus (See the notes at Revelation 5:6); that is, they would combine with the papacy in opposing evangelical religion. It is not meant that they would openly and avowedly proclaim war against the Son of God, but that they would practically do this in sustaining a persecuting power. It is unnecessary to show how true this has been in history; how entirely they sustained the papacy in all its measures of persecution.

And the Lamb shall overcome them - Shall ultimately gain the victory over them. The meaning is, that they would not be able to extinguish the true religion. In spite of all opposition and persecution, that would still live in the world, until it would be said that a complete triumph was gained.

For he is Lord of lords, and King of kings - He has supreme power over all the earth, and all kings and princes are subject to his control. Compare Revelation 19:16.

And they that are with him - The reference is to the persecuted saints who have adhered to him as his faithful followers in all these protracted conflicts.

Are called - That is, called by him to be his followers; as if he had selected them out of the world to maintain his cause. See the notes on Romans 1:7.

And chosen - See the John 15:16 note, and 1 Peter 1:2 note. In their steadfast adherence to the truth, they had shown that they were truly chosen by the Saviour, and could be relied on in the warfare against the powers of evil.

And faithful - They had shown themselves faithful to him in times of persecution, and in the hour of darkness.

14. These shall … war with the Lamb—in league with the beast. This is a summary anticipation of Re 19:19. This shall not be till after they have first executed judgment on the harlot (Re 17:15, 16).

Lord of lords, &c.—anticipating Re 19:16.

are—not in the Greek. Therefore translate, "And they that are with Him, called chosen, and faithful (shall overcome them, namely, the beast and his allied kings)." These have been with Christ in heaven unseen, but now appear with Him.

These shall make war with the Lamb; these ten kings shall a while oppose themselves to the gospel, taking part with antichrist.

And the Lamb shall overcome them; Christ shall overcome them by the power of is gospel, or some of them that way; others, that will not be converted, shall be confounded, some way or other brought to ruin.

For he is Lord of lords and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful; for he hath a power above others, and knows how to fit instruments for his purpose; so as those whom he shall make use of in this work, shall be chosen persons, and faithful in discharge of the trust committed to them. These shall make war with the Lamb,.... The Lord Jesus Christ, so often spoken of in this book under this character, Revelation 5:6. And this war is not to be understood of a war with him personally, or of that last and decisive, battle at Armageddon, in which will be the kings of the earth; but of a war with his members, of their persecuting of the saints, and faithful witnesses of Christ in all ages, within their jurisdictions, being instigated to it by the beast, under whose influence they are:

and the Lamb shall overcome them: partly through the constancy of his people, who will not love their lives to the death, but freely lay them down for him; nor can anything separate them from the love of Christ, or prevail upon them to desert him, his truths and ordinances, cause and interest, but are more than conquerors through him, and so he overcomes in them; and partly through a reformation which he effects, as in some of those kingdoms already, as Sweden, Denmark, England, Scotland, and Ireland, and others, and will do in others hereafter; see Revelation 17:16

for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; he is so by nature, as God and Creator, to whom the kingdom of nature and providence belongs; and by office, as Mediator, being made higher than the kings of the earth; hence he is more than a match for them, they cannot stand before him; this is a reason why he overcomes them, and it cannot be thought it should be otherwise: this Lamb is the lion of the tribe of Judah, and when he rouses himself, and stirs up his wrath, and exerts his power, kings and great men flee from him; see Revelation 6:15. This is a proof of Christ's proper deity, the same titles being given to him, the Word and Son of God, as to God himself, Revelation 19:16.

And they that are with him: his servants and his soldiers, that fight under him, and abide by him,

are called, and chosen, and faithful; they are chosen in Christ from all eternity, to grace here, and glory hereafter, and so stand opposed to the admirers of the beast, whose names are not written in the book of life, Revelation 17:8 for this is to be understood of their eternal election, and not of their separation by the effectual calling in time, for that is expressed by their being "called"; and though their calling is here set before election, as in 2 Peter 1:10 yet it does not precede it; the Arabic version reads, "chosen, called, faithful"; first "chosen" by God the Father, then "called", not with the bare external call by the ministry of the word, for, so, many are called, and not chosen; but by special grace to special benefits, and with an holy and heavenly calling, and which is irresistible, and without repentance; and being called they remain "faithful": the meaning is, either that they have faith, or are believers in Christ; which faith they have bestowed on them in the effectual calling, as a fruit of electing grace; and by this they overcome the world: or else, that they are persons of integrity and uprightness, that are on the side of Christ; they are the faithful in the Lord, and are made so by him; and they are faithful to him, and abide by his Gospel and ordinances, and in his cause and interest, even unto death; and so this character is expressive of the perseverance of those who are chosen and called, even unto the end.

These shall make war with the {30} Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

(30) With Christ and his Church, as the reason following declares, and here are mentioned the facts and events which followed for Christ's sake, and for the grace of God the Father towards those that are elected, called, and are his faithful ones in Christ.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 17:14. An abrupt and proleptic allusion to Revelation 19:11-21; the Christian messiah is the true King of kings (a side reference to the well-known Parthian title). This is the first time that John brings the Lamb on the scene of earthly action. He now appears at the side, or rather at the head, of his followers in the final crisis, not in a struggle preceding the sack of Rome. He and Satan (as represented by the empire) are the real protagonists. Note the share assigned to the faithful in this victory (after Revelation 2:26-27). The war fought on their behalf by the Lamb is their fight also (cf. on Revelation 19:14); its success rests on the divine election and their corresponding loyalty (cf. Revelation 12:11, Revelation 13:8; a Zoroastrian parallel in Yasht xiii. 48; the favourite description of the saints in Enoch as “chosen [and] righteous”; and Passio Perpetuae, xxi., “o fortissimi martyres o uere uocati et electi in gloriam Domini nostri Jesu Christi”). The redeeming power of Christ, together with the adoration which he alone can rightfully claim, make his cause more than equal to the empires of the world (cf. the thought of Isaiah 53:12).14. These shall make war with the Lamb] See the same passages.

Lord of lords, and King of kings] Revelation 19:16; Daniel 2:47.

they that are with him] Revelation 19:14.

called, and chosen, and faithful] All common titles of Christians applied even to the imperfect Churches on earth.Revelation 17:14. Κλητοὶ καὶ ἐκλεκτοὶ καὶ πιστοὶ, called and chosen and faithful) The companions of the Conqueror are described. They are here called κλητοὶ: at ch. Revelation 19:9, κεκλημένοι. Each word is used once only in this book, as also ἐκλεκτοί. Comp. 1 Kings 1:41, καὶ πάντες οἱ κλητοὶ οἱ μετʼ αὐτοῦ.Verse 14. - These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; shall war against. This connects the description with Revelation 16:34 and with Revelation 19:11-21. This war between the Lamb and the powers of evil is that which extends throughout the history of the world (vide infra); it occupies the "one hour" of ver. 12, which is equivalent to the period of the world's existence. But the seer in this verse looks forward also to the termination of the conflict, the result of which, here briefly indicated, is soon to be narrated more fully. For he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. This is the reason given to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 10:17) for obedience to God (cf. also Daniel 2:47; 1 Timothy 6:15; and Revelation 19:16). Though the beast may exercise m this world dominion and power as "prince of this world," yet the Lamb is King still greater, to whom the beast must finally succumb. He is thus King above the kings of Revelation 17:2, 10. And they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. The Revised Version is more correct, And they that are with him, called and chosen and faithful [shall also overcome]. Another evidence of the lifelong nature of this war. Not only Christ wars and overcomes, but those associated with him are permitted to share in the battle and the victory. Christ's saints are called here to battle; in Revelation 19:9 they are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb (cf. also the exhortation to faithfulness in Revelation 2:10). The three epithets describe the progressive life of those who share Christ's victory They are called - as all men are - to serve him; having heard the call, they dedicate their lives to his service, and become his chosen servants; finally, having remained faithful to him, they share in his victory.
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