Revelation 19:14
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
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(14) And the armies . . .—The words “which were” should be omitted. The armies in heaven followed Him. Some would limit these to angels. The apparel which they wear—the fine linen (byssus) “which is the righteousness of saints” (see Revelation 19:8)—is conclusive against this limited view. The saints who have fought the good fight here, and who loved not their lives unto the death, will share the triumph of their king. (Comp. also Revelation 17:14.) The horses upon which they are seated are white. The raiment they wear is white, pure. (Comp. Revelation 19:8, and Revelation 3:4; Revelation 7:14.) The hue of triumph is here, but it is the triumph of righteousness. (Comp. also Ezekiel 38:4.)

19:11-21 Christ, the glorious Head of the church, is described as on a white horse, the emblem of justice and holiness. He has many crowns, for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is arrayed in a vesture dipped in his own blood, by which he purchased his power as Mediator; and in the blood of his enemies, over whom he always prevails. His name is The Word of God; a name none fully knows but himself; only this we know, that this Word was God manifest in the flesh; but his perfections cannot be fully understood by any creature. Angels and saints follow, and are like Christ in their armour of purity and righteousness. The threatenings of the written word he is going to execute on his enemies. The ensigns of his authority are his name; asserting his authority and power, warning the most powerful princes to submit, or they must fall before him. The powers of earth and hell make their utmost effort. These verses declare important events, foretold by the prophets. These persons were not excused because they did what their leaders bade them. How vain will be the plea of many sinners at the great day! We followed our guides; we did as we saw others do! God has given a rule to walk by, in his word; neither the example of the most, nor of the chief, must influence us contrary thereto: if we do as the most do, we must go where the most go, even into the burning lake.And the armies which were in heaven followed him - The heavenly hosts; particularly, it would seem, the redeemed, as there would be some incongruity in representing the angels as riding in this manner. Doubtless the original of this picture is Isaiah 63:3; "I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with me." These hosts of the redeemed on white horses accompany him to be witnesses of his victory, and to participate in the joy of the triumph, not to engage in the work of blood.

Upon white horses - Emblems of triumph or victory. See the notes on Revelation 6:2.

Clothed in fine linen, white and clean - The usual raiment of those who are in heaven, as everywhere represented in this book. See Revelation 3:4-5; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 7:9, Revelation 7:13; Revelation 15:6.

14. the armies … in heaven—Compare "the horse bridles," Re 14:20. The glorified saints whom God "will bring with" Christ at His advent; compare Re 17:14, "they that are with Him, called, chosen, faithful"; as also "His mighty angels."

white and clean—Greek, "pure." A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Cyprian omit "and," which Origen and Andreas retain, as English Version.

And the armies which were in heaven followed him; the glorious angels, 2 Thessalonians 1:7, and ten thousands of his saints, Judges 1:14, who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

Upon white horses; to prophesy success and victory.

Clothed in fine linen, white and clean; to denote their glory, purity, and holiness.

And the armies which were in heaven,.... Not the angels, though they are God's host, and are the armies of the heavens; they are in heaven, and dwell there, and follow Christ, attend upon him, and minister to him, and have been sometimes represented by horses and horsemen, 2 Kings 2:11 and they are pure and holy creatures, and will come with Christ to judgment: but this vision refers not to the day of judgment; and besides, the saints are meant, as appears by their habit, for the fine linen, white and clean, is the righteousness of the saints, Revelation 19:8 and the righteousness of angels and saints is not the same. Moreover, these are the same company described in Revelation 17:14. The saints are in a state of warfare, have many enemies to fight with, sin, Satan, and the world; they are enlisted as volunteers under Christ, the Captain of salvation; they are provided with the whole armour of God, and are very numerous, and always more than conquerors through Christ: these are described by the place where they were, "in heaven"; not being glorified saints in heaven; with these indeed Christ will come to judgment, even with all his saints with him; but members of the church militant, said to be in heaven, because that is often called the kingdom of heaven; and because their names are written in heaven, and they are of heavenly extract; they are born from above, and are partakers of the heavenly calling; they belong to heaven, they are citizens of it, and are pressing on to it. And these

followed him; Christ, their Leader and Commander in the exercise of grace, and in the discharge of duty; having gone on in his ways through a train of sufferings, and cleaved unto him, and now attend him; not to assist in fighting, but to add to the glorious and triumphant appearance of their General; and therefore are said to be

upon white horses; they had served Christ in his Gospel, which some of them had preached, and all professed, and had maintained the purity of it in doctrine and practice, and now triumphed in Christ, and along with him, riding upon horses of the same colour with his, as being his princes and nobles, and whom he had made kings as well as priests; the former may be signified by their horses; see Judges 5:10 and the latter by their following habit,

clothed in fine linen, white and clean; not the horses, but the armies on them; which designs not their inward purity, which was very glorious; nor their outward conversation garments, washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb; but the robe of Christ's righteousness, which is pure and spotless: these have no armour on, for they are not to strike a blow, only their General, who has the bloody garment on, is to tread the winepress, and destroy antichrist with the breath of his mouth, or with his sword proceeding out of it, as follows.

{14} And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

(14) The company or retinue of Christ, holy, innumerable, heavenly, judicial, royal and pure.

14. 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, Revelation 14:19; St Matthew 13:39-42), but as spectators of His triumph, which is all that these armies seem to be.

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. The probable meaning is, that they have no need to take part in the work of slaughter, see Revelation 19:21. We cannot argue that Martyrs who shed their own blood for their Lord are not included, nor yet that these are not of those for whom His Blood was shed; for Revelation 7:14 shews that that Blood does not leave a stain.

Revelation 19:14. Τὰ στρατεύματα, the armies) called and chosen, and faithful, ch. Revelation 17:14.—βύσσινον λευκὸν) Λευκὸν is not a superfluous epithet,[212] for there is some linen which is even yellow.

[212] Hence its omission, though plainly approved of in Ed. Maj., is by the margin of Ed. II. banished to the less supported readings; the Vers. Germ. following this, which has mit reiner weisser Seiden.—E. B.

A Orig. 4.58e Iren. Cypr. h Vulg. support λευκόν. The only good authority for the omission is Orig. 4,55b, which is contradicted by 4,58e.—E.

Verse 14. - And the amiss which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean; which are... white, pure. These armies are not merely the angels, but the "called, chosen, and faithful" of Revelation 17:14, "the bride" of ver. 8, who are described as being arrayed in white in Revelation 6:11, and ver. 8 of this chapter. Those commentators who consider that the angels only are intended, and not the saints, forget the double nature of the vision; it is not only a description of Judgment meted out, but also of a war waged. (On "white" and "fine linen," see previous chapters.) Revelation 19:14Followed (ἠκολούθει)

Note the imperfect tense denoting progression, and thus describing the advancing movement of the host.

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