Revelation 19:16
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
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(16) And he hath on his vesture . . .—The King rides at the head of His host. On His robe, where it spreads out from the waist, His title is inscribed; it proclaims Him to be the one who is the true supreme King of all. Inscriptions on the outer garments were sometimes used by distinguished personages. The title anticipates the final victory; His power is irresistible, his Kingship is universal.

OVERTHROW OF THE WILD BEAST AND OF THE FALSE PROPHET.—The birds of prey gather beforehand (Revelation 19:17-18). The beast, and the kings of the earth hostile to the King of kings, gather for war (Revelation 19:20). Their defeat and fate (verses 21, 22).

(17, 18) And I saw an angel . . .—Better, And I saw an (literally, one) angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a great voice, Hither be gathered together to the great supper of God, that ye may eat flesh of kings, and flesh of captains of thousands, and flesh of mighty men, and flesh of horses, and of them that are seated on them, and flesh of all, of free and of bond, and of small and of great. The angel stands in the sun—the central spot to summon the birds, and the spot where he stands bathed in the sunlight, the symbol of the divine presence. (Comp. Revelation 1:16; Revelation 10:1; Revelation 12:1.) The birds of prey are assembled beforehand; the adversaries of the righteous King have a name to live, but the eagles and vultures are gathered together as though the carcase had already fallen (Matthew 24:28; comp. Ezekiel 39:17-20). The supper or banquet is the chief meal in the day, the meal to which guests would be invited. The banquet or supper here is in contrast with the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), and with the great supper (Luke 14:16-24) from which the invited guests turned away. All classes—the great and small, the master and slave—are mentioned. Those who follow the world-power, and array themselves in hostility to the true King, belong not to one class, but may be found among all. The war is not between class and class, but between righteousness and unrighteousness, truth and falsehood, Christ and Belial. We must remember that the vision is a great figurative representation of the defeat of the anti-Christian powers and principles in the world; this will save us from misapprehending its purpose, and from a bondaged literalism.

(19) And I saw the beast, and the kings . . .—Rather, I saw the wild beast. The wild beast and the kings are gathered to make or wage not merely “war,” but “the war” (the definite article is used; comp. Revelation 16:14; Revelation 17:14) against the King of kings. It has been noticed that the true King is followed by His army—one army, united by one bond, and under one King. The wild beast is supported by diverse armies, owning allegiance to diverse kings, and united only in hostility to good.

(20) And the beast was taken . . .—Or, And the wild beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs in his presence . . . Again the definite article (“the signs” or “miracles”) recalls to our minds what was before described (Revelation 13:13); the false prophet is the second wild beast of Revelation 13. He succeeded in deceiving those who received the mark. See Notes on Revelation 13, where their work of deception is described; here our thoughts are fixed upon their doom. Alive they were cast, the two, into the lake of the fire which burns with brimstone. The two—the wild beast and the false prophet—who are the anti-Christian leaders are cast into the fiery lake. These leaders are not to be, as we have seen, regarded as particular individuals. It has, indeed, often happened, and will doubtless again happen, that an individual personage places himself at the head of a great anti-Christian movement; yet, in the eye of the seer, such would be but subordinate leaders. The wild beast and the false prophet, directed by the dragon, are the true spiritual chiefs of all such movements. The world-power, whether coarse, ignorant and brutal, or cultured and intellectual, is seized, and consigned to the lake of fire. The imagery here is based upon the Old Testament: the lake, the fire, and the brimstone bring back the geography and the incidents attending the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrha. (Comp. Numbers 16:32-34; Isaiah 5:14.) The lake of fire is mentioned here for the first time; we hear of it more frequently afterwards (Revelation 20:10; Revelation 20:14-15; Revelation 21:8). The flames and brimstone, smoke, and other volcanic forces indicating the existence of subterranean fire, might well lead the ancients to place their Tartarus and Gehenna in the under-world. (See Note in Moses Stuart on Revelation 14:10.) These supplied the imagery which has become crystallised in the language of after-generations.

(21) And the remnant were slain . . .—Better, And the rest were slain with (literally, in) the sword of Him who is seated on the horse, which (sword) proceeded out of His mouth; and all the birds were filled with their flesh. The rest (i.e., the human beings, the kings and the great and small, who have been led away by the world-powers) were slain with the sword of the King. No human being is described here as being cast into the lake of fire—only the two great leaders, the ideal representatives of evil principles, receive that punishment. The sword which goes out of the King’s mouth (comp. Revelation 19:15 and Revelation 1:16) slays the human allies of evil. That word which is quick and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), that word which Christ spoke in the days of His humiliation, that word which is mighty and life-giving (James 1:18) as well as death-giving, wins at the last. The birds devour the flesh. The pride and beauty of men, their apparent strength, the confederations and systems which they have made so strong for themselves, when their heart was fat as brawn, are proved to be worthless and strengthless; all the men whose hands were mighty find nothing (Psalm 76:5-6). Thus, while all flesh is seen to be but grass, and all the goodliness and pride of it but as the flower thereof, the righteous word of the Lord stands for ever, and at the last rises up as a sword to smite down and to slay its enemies. “They were killed,” says Bengel. “with the destroying sword of Christ, which is not of steel or iron, but goes out of His mouth, and so is a spiritual weapon of resistless might.”

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 he hath on his vesture - That is, this name was conspicuously written on his garment - probably his military robe.

And on his thigh - The robe or military cloak may be conceived of as open and flowing, so as to expose the limbs of the rider; and the idea is, that the name was conspicuously written not only on the flowing robe, but on the other parts of his dress, so that it must be conspicuous whether his military cloak were wrapped closely around him, or whether it was open to the breeze. Grotius supposes that this name was on the edge or hilt of the sword which depended from his thigh.

A name written - Or a title descriptive of his character.

King of kings, and Lord of lords - As in Revelation 17:5, so here, there is nothing in the original to denote that this should be distinguished, as it is, by capital letters. As a conspicuous title, however, it is not improper. It means that he is, in fact, the sovereign over the kings of the earth, and that all nobles and princes are under his control - a rank that properly belongs to the Son of God. Compare the notes on Ephesians 1:20-22. See also Revelation 19:12 of this chapter. The custom here alluded to of inscribing the name or rank of distinguished individuals on their garments, so that they might be readily recognized, was not uncommon in ancient times. For full proof of this, see Rosenmuller, Morgenland, vol. iii. pp. 232-236. The authorities quoted there are, Thevenot's Travels, vol. i. p. 149; Gruter, p. 989; Dempster's Etruria Regalis, t. ii. tab. 93; Montfaucon, Antiq. Expliq. t. iii. tab. 39. Thus Herodotus (vol. ii. p. 196), speaking of the figures of Sesostris in Ionia, says that, "Across his breast, from shoulder to shoulder, there is this inscription in the sacred characters of Egypt, 'I conquered this country by the force of my arms.'" Compare Cic. Verr. iv. 23; LeMoyne a.d. Jeremiah 23:6; Munter, Diss. a.d. Revelation 17:5, as referred to by Prof. Stuart, in loco.

16. "His name written on His vesture and on His thigh," was written partly on the vesture, partly on the thigh itself, at the part where in an equestrian figure the robe drops from the thigh. The thigh symbolizes Christ's humanity as having come, after the flesh, from the loins of David, and now appearing as the glorified "Son of man." On the other hand, His incommunicable divine name, "which no man knew," is on His head (Re 19:12), [Menochius].

KING OF KINGS—Compare Re 17:14, in contrast with Re 19:17, the beast being in attempted usurpation a king of kings, the ten kings delivering their kingdom to him.

The same name as in Revelation 17:14 1 Timothy 6:15; See Poole on "Revelation 17:14", See Poole on "1 Timothy 6:15"; denoting the sovereign power and authority which he had. This he always had, but he now comes forth openly to manifest it; therefore this name is said to be

written on his vesture and on his thigh, that all might take notice of it.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,.... This name, afterwards expressed, is said to be written on his vesture, in allusion to the custom of persons of note and eminence having their names interwoven in their garments, and which was sometimes done in letters of gold, as Zeuxis had (t); and it is expressive of the conspicuousness of Christ's kingdom, which now will come with observation; his judgments, the administrations of his kingly office, will be manifest, and he will reign before his ancients gloriously: and its being said to be written on his thigh may mean either that it was upon that part of his garment which covered his thigh; or else that it was also on his sword, which he sometimes girt upon his thigh. Mr. Daubuz has given an instance out of Victor Vitensis, of Clementianus, a monk, who had written on his thigh,

""a manichee" disciple of Jesus Christ.''

And this being done in Africa, he supposes it to be a Phoenician custom continued. It may here denote the perpetuity of Christ's name, power, and dominion, which will continue to the latest posterity, Psalm 72:17 which spring from the thigh; and it may denote the subjection of his people to him, signified by the putting the hand under the thigh, Genesis 24:2. And this name is

King of kings and Lord of lords; which will well suit him now when he shall be openly King over all the earth; See Gill on Revelation 17:14.

(t) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 35. c. 9.

{16} And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

(16) The name agreeing to Christ according to the former qualities, expressed after the manner of the Hebrews.

Revelation 19:16. “And on his garment and (i.e., even) upon his thigh”; on that part of the robe covering his thigh, he has a title of honour written. Some Greek statues appear to have had a name written thus upon the thigh (Cicero mentions one of Apollo marked in small silver letters, Verr. iv. 43). Messiah, like many of the Assyrian monarchs, bears a double name. King of kings, a Persian (Æsch. Persæ, 24; Ezra 7:12) and Parthian title of royalty, which is the Apocalypse is the prerogative of messiah as the true Emperor was applied to Marduk as the conqueror of chaos and the arbiter of all earthly monarchs (cf. Zimmern in Schrader, 373 f.).

16. on his vesture 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.

King of Kings and Lord of Lords] 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.

Verse 16. - And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written. What this means is doubtful. The following suggestions have been made:

(1) The name, written at length, is written partly upon the vesture and partly upon the thigh itself, where the garment would (in an equestrian figure) fall away from the thigh (Alford).

(2) The name is written on the vesture, even (καί) on that part of it which covers the thigh (De Wette, Dusterdieck, Hengstenberg).

(3) On the thigh, as the place where the sword usually hangs.

(4) A reference to the custom of engraving the name of the artist upon the thigh of a statue (Cic., 'Verr.,' 4:43; see Wetstein). KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. As in Revelation 17:14 (but inverted), where, as here, it portrays the victorious career of Christ over the "kings of the earth." Revelation 19:16On His thigh

Some explain, on the garment where it covers the thigh to which the sword is bound. Compare Psalm 45:3. Others, partly on the vesture, partly on the thigh itself, where, in an equestrian figure, the robe drops from the thigh. According to the former explanation καὶ and is to be taken as explanatory or definitive of the words on His vesture. Others again suppose a sword on the hilt of which the name is inscribed. Expositors refer to the custom of engraving the artist's name on the thigh of a statue. Thus Cicero says: "A most beautiful statue of Apollo, on the thigh of which the name of Myron had been graven in tiny letters of silver" ("Against Verres," iv., 43). Herodotus describes a figure of Sesostris, bearing across the breast from shoulder to shoulder the inscription written in the sacred character of Egypt: "With my own shoulders I conquered this land" (ii., 106). Rawlinson says that Assyrian figures are found with arrow-headed inscriptions engraved across them, and over the drapery as well as the body.

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