Revelation 19:19
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
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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.And I saw the beast - notes on Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:11. Compare Revelation 17:13.

And the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together - There is allusion here to the same assembling of hostile forces which is described in Revelation 16:13-14, for the great decisive battle that is to determine the destiny of the world - the question whether the Messiah or antichrist shall reign. There can be no doubt that the writer in these passages designed to refer to the same events - the still future scenes that are to occur when the Roman, the pagan, and the Muhammedan powers shall be aroused to make common cause against the true religion, and shall stake all on the issue of the great conflict. See the notes on Revelation 16:13-14.

Against him that sat on the horse - The Messiah - the Son of God. notes on Revelation 19:11.

And against his army - The hosts that are associated with him - his redeemed people. See the notes on Revelation 19:14.

19. gathered together—at Armageddon, under the sixth vial. For "their armies" in B and Andreas, there is found "His armies" in A.

war—so Andreas. But A and B read, "the war," namely, that foretold, Re 16:14; 17:4.

The beast, whether by it be understood the dragon, or the beast with seven heads and ten horns, or the beast with two horns, or all of them, shall before this time be all destroyed, that is, as to their power and dominion; but there will be relics left, both of pagans, and Turks, and papists, of whom it is probable that this is to be understood; viz. that after God, upon the pouring out of the fifth vial, shall have deprived the papacy of their dominion; and by the pouring out of the sixth vial, shall have deprived the Turk of his dominion; that yet such pagans, Turks, and papists, as shall be left, shall be gathered together, and make one or more great armies, with whom the Jews and Gentiles (now united in one church) shall fight under the conduct of Christ, as the Captain general of his church, by whom they shall be overcome; and that this shall be the great battle in Armageddon, mentioned Revelation 16:16. And l saw the beast,.... Not the devil, for after this he is taken and bound for a thousand years, and then loosed, and laid hold on again, and cast into the lake of fire; not but that this war will be by his instigation, and under his influence, Revelation 16:14 not the Roman Pagan empire, which has been destroyed long ago, under the sixth seal, and was the issue of the battle between Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his; but the antichristian civil powers, or antichrist in his civil capacity; and which, though it may chiefly regard the western antichrist, and the remains of the Latin idolatry, yet may take in the eastern antichrist, or the Mahometan powers, which may all join together in this battle; the beast will survive for a while the downfall of his seat, Babylon or Rome.

And the kings of the earth; these, as they stand distinguished from the beast, or the antichristian kings, and civil states, may design as many of the Pagan kings and princes, as the pope and Turk by their emissaries can persuade to assist them in this war; See Gill on Revelation 16:14.

And their armies gathered together; at Armageddon, or in the valley of Jehoshaphat, Revelation 16:16

to make war against him that sat on the horse; the white horse, Revelation 19:11 as the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, which must be downright folly and madness, since he is the Word of God, the great God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords:

and against his army, Revelation 19:14 who, though unarmed, and only clothed in fine linen, have nothing to fear, since Christ, the Captain of their salvation, is at the head of them.

{20} And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

(20) The third part (as was said in) Re 19:11 by the victory obtained by Christ. Two things pertain to this: his fighting with the beast and his forces, in this verse: and the event most magnificent, described after the manner of men, in the verses following. All these things are plain.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 19:19-21. The Lord’s judgment and war are accomplished. This act of judgment John beholds, as it proceeds not only from the καὶ εἰδον (Revelation 19:19), but also from the mode of representation itself (ἐπιάσθη, Revelation 19:20; ἐχορτάσθησαν, Revelation 19:21). Cf., on the other hand, ch. 18

τὸ θηρίον καὶ τούς βασιλεῖς, κ.τ.λ. With the beast, representing the secular power,[4127] his confederates appear, the kings of the earth,[4128] and their armies, consisting of the entire number of the dwellers on earth,[4129] who now carry into effect the conflict proclaimed already in Revelation 16:14;[4130] its result, however, is described in Revelation 19:20 sq., in such a way as to correspond to the significant name of Revelation 16:16. For the conflict which is to be described is not one that is painful, or as to its issue possibly doubtful, but the result of an unconditional victory over enemies, won by the justice and omnipotence of the Lord.

Κ. ΜΕΤᾺ ΤΟῦ ΣΤΡΑΤΕΎΜΑΤΟς ΑὐΤΟῦ. The sing. is chosen here,[4131] in order to mark the holy unity of the entire army of Christ, in contrast with the rent body of his enemies.[4132] ΚΑῚ Ὁ ΜΕΤʼ ΑὐΤΟῦ ΨΕΥΔΟΠΡΟΦΉΤΗς. The position of the false prophet as the auxiliary of the beast is designated in harmony with the description (Revelation 13:11 sqq.). The allusion also to the peculiar function of the false prophet (Ὁ ΠΟΙΉΣΑς, Κ.Τ.Λ.) points back to Revelation 13:13 sqq.

The manner in which the judgment is fulfilled is in conformity with the nature of the enemies:[4133] the beast, together with the false prophet, “was taken, and both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Who does this, is not said; but the act dare not be referred to Christ, for the reason that he does not execute his various acts of judgment by his own hand.[4134] It is evident that the victorious result of the war of judgment[4135] is determined by Christ’s power; but according to the analogy of Revelation 12:7 sqq., we must regard the ΣΤΡΑΤΕΎΜΑΤΑ of the Lord, as the executors of the judgment.[4136]

ΖῶΝΤΕς. For only human enemies could suffer bodily death (Revelation 19:21) before the eternally condemning judgment of the world.[4137]

ΤῊΝ ΛΊΜΝΗΝ, Κ.Τ.Λ. Cf. Revelation 20:10; Revelation 20:14 sq., Revelation 21:8.

ΟἹ ΛΟΙΠΟῚ. See on Revelation 19:17 sq.

ἈΠΕΚΤΆΝΘΗΣΑΝ ἘΝ Τῇ ΡΟΜΦΑΊᾼ, Κ.Τ.Λ. To seize the enemies, and thus to cast them into hell (Revelation 19:20), is not befitting the Lord himself; but it is something else, when the sword which proceeds from his mouth slays the enemies. This gives the idea of the victory entirely without laborious effort, and presupposing no proper conflict of Him who, according to the prediction of the ancient prophets, destroys his enemies with the breath of his lips.[4138]

Κ. ΠΆΝΤΑ ΤᾺ ὌΡΝΕΑ, Κ.Τ.Λ. Cf. Revelation 19:17 sq.

[4127] Revelation 13:1 sqq.

[4128] Revelation 16:12 sqq., Revelation 17:12 sqq.

[4129] Revelation 13:4; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 13:16.

[4130] Notice the art. τὸν πόλεμ.; also the συνηγμένα here repeated.

[4131] Cf., on the other hand, Revelation 19:14.

[4132] Beng., Hengstenb.

[4133] Cf. Beng., De Wette, Hengstenb.

[4134] Cf. Revelation 20:2.

[4135] Cf. Revelation 19:11.

[4136] Cf. Revelation 20:9 sqq., 14 sq.

[4137] Revelation 20:14 sqq.

[4138] Cf. Isaiah 11:4.

The allegorical exposition, when applied with consistency to ch. 19, must be regarded untenable in the degree that it arrays itself against the context. The fowls (Revelation 19:17 sq., 21) are, according to Hammond, the Goths and Vandals, who desolated the Roman Empire; according to Coccejus, the Turks, who, after the capture of Constantinople, afflicted the Catholic West; according to Hengstenb., the Huns, who prepared grievous calamities for the Germanic nations, the destroyers of the Roman Empire. Wetst. found the prophecy fulfilled in the assassination of Domitian, the last of the Flavians,[4139] and in the conquest of his soldiers (Revelation 19:21). Grot. understands by the ΒΑΣΙΛΕῖς (Revelation 19:19), “Julian with his nobles,” and remarks on Revelation 19:20 : “Theodosius the Great abolished the public sacrifices of the heathen,” and on Revelation 19:21 : “By the decree of Christ, who used Justinian for this purpose, to punish idolaters with death.” Others, as C. a Lap., have thought that the fulfiment of the prophecy could be shown by the horrible death and burial of many heretics. So C. a Lap. cites authors who report of Luther that he committed suicide, and that at his burial not only a multitude of ravens, but also the Devil, who had come from Holland, appeared.

Luther, gloss on Revelation 19:11 : “The word of God is opposed to the defenders of the Pope, and none of their defence is of any avail.”

[4139] 19. the beasts and the kings] Their confederacy under his leadership has been already intimated, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 16:16, Revelation 17:12-14. The so-called battle of Armageddon, there foretold, is here described.Verse 19. - And I saw the beast; viz. that described in Revelation 13:1, typical of the hostile world power. And the kings of the earth, and their armies. The kings summoned by the unclean spirits of Revelation 16:13, 14, typical of the forces which the beast employs in his spiritual warfare with God. The armies are the adherents of the beast, described in Revelation 13. - the ungodly, those who follow the world rather than God. Gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. Gathered as described in Revelation 16:14 and ver. 17 of this chapter. Again (as in ver. 7) a double operation. The gathering is voluntary on the part of the wicked (Revelation 16:14), and yet it is overruled by God, and made to serve his ends (Revelation 19:17). Him that sat on the horse; Christ (see ver. 11). "His army" consists of the faithful followers of Christ. They are here pictured as a heavenly army (ver. 14), because the victory which they achieved is the leading feature here depicted, but their warfare took place while they were on earth (cf. Revelation 14:13). The war (with the article); viz. that war which is perpetually waged between the powers of light and darkness, and which will not be terminated until the great judgment.
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