And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat on the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Were slain with the sword - Cut down with the sword; not rescued for protracted torment. A proper distinction is thus made between the deceived multitudes and the leaders who had deceived them.
Of him that sat upon the horse - The Messiah, Revelation 19:11.
Which sword proceeded out of his mouth - notes on Revelation 19:15. That is, they were cut down by a word. They fell before him as he spake, as if they were slain by the sword. Perhaps this indicates that the effect that is to be produced when these great powers shall be destroyed is a moral effect; that is, that they will be subdued by the word of the Son of God.
And all the fowls were filled with their flesh - notes on Revelation 19:17. An effect was produced as if the fowls of heaven should feed upon the carcasses of the slain.
The general idea here is, that these great anti-Christian powers which had so long resisted the gospel, and prevented its being spread over the earth; which had shed so much blood in persecution, and had so long corrupted and deceived mankind, would be subdued. The true religion would be as triumphant as if the Son of God should go forth as a warrior in his own might, and secure their leaders for punishment, and give up their hosts to the birds of prey. This destruction of these great enemies - which the whole course of the interpretation leads us to suppose is still future - prepares the way for the millennial reign of the Son of God - as stated in the following chapter. The "beast" and the "false prophet" are disposed of, and there remains only the subjugation of the great dragon - the source of all this evil - to prepare the way for the long-anticipated triumph of the gospel. The subjugation of the great original source of all those evil influences is stated in Revelation 20:1-3; and then follows the account of the thousand years' rest of the saints, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment.
And all the fowls were filled with their flesh; and this bloody day (whenever it comes) will be a day of great slaughter, for the dead bodies will be enough to sup and fill all the fowls of heaven.
with the sword of him that sat upon the horse; upon the white horse, as the Ethiopic version reads; the Arabic version reads, that sat upon the throne,
which sword proceedeth out of his mouth, Revelation 19:15 and is the word of God, or the judiciary sentence of Christ according to it; and the meaning is, either that these shall be subdued, conquered, and converted by the word; and so are fitly called a "remnant", a remnant according to the election of grace among the antichristian party; and which sense agrees with Revelation 11:13 or else that they will be convicted and confounded, and not be able to stand against the light and evidence of the word of God, and will be sentenced by Christ to everlasting punishment; and it may be partly one, and partly the other.
And all the fowls were filled with their flesh; all the Christian princes and people will be satisfied with their kingdoms, riches, and wealth, and will rejoice at their destruction, and in the righteousness of God, which will be displayed in it; and now the world being clear of all Christ's enemies, Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan, the way will be prepared for Christ's open and glorious kingdom in it.And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. And the remnant were slain] They are not, at least at once, consigned to the same eternal torment as their leaders: but see Revelation 14:10, Revelation 20:15.
with the sword of him &c.] None of His followers have need to bear part in the battle: indeed they seem to bear no arms, Revelation 19:14. Compare the grand passage of St Chrysostom, in his 24th Homily on the Epistle to the Romans—(on xiii. 12), already partly quoted on Revelation 19:11. “What then, is there no necessity for thee to fight? Yea, needful is it to fight, yet not to be distressed and toil. For it is not in fact war, but a solemn dance and feast-day, such is the nature of the arms, such the power of the Commander.” The victory is so plainly designated as one to be gained by purely spiritual means, that it is by no means certain that the armies to be overthrown are to be understood of an actual military confederacy. More probably, the confederacy of the powers of the world, under the leadership of Antichrist, will be primarily intellectual and spiritual.Revelation 19:21. Οἱ λοιποὶ, the remnant) even the kings, Revelation 19:18-19. They are mingled with the crowd, as Pharaoh, Zaerach, Gog. See Ord. Temp. pp. 161, 162, 182, 183 [Ed. II. pp. 142, 143, 160].Verse 21. - And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. The remnant; that is, the adherents of the beast, the "armies" of ver. 19. (For this description of Christ, see vers. 11, 15.) Spiritual death is inflicted upon those who have proved themselves hostile to God. The last sentence emphasizes the nature of the punishment by the reference to the indignity offered to their bodies after death.
See on Matthew 5:6.
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