Revelation 19:18
That you 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.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.

18. Contrast with this "supper," Re 19:17, 18, the marriage supper of the Lamb, Re 19:9.

captains—Greek, "captains of thousands," that is, chief captains. The "kings" are "the ten" who "give their power unto the beast."

free and bond—specified in Re 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.

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. 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.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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.18. captains] Lit. captains of a thousand; see on Revelation 6:15.Verse 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 (cf. the description in Ezekiel 39:17). All men; that is, all the ungodly. Cf. the description of the same event at the conclusion of the seal judgments (Revelation 6:15). The whole account indicates the widespread and complete nature of God's judgments, which none shall be able to escape. Captains (χιλιάρχων)

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

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