Revelation 6:15

kings of the earth
These are the kings which fail to “kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little” (Ps. Ps. 2:12). They are the “kings of earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously” with Babylon, who were ruled by her, but will mourn her fall (Rev. Rev. 17:2+, Rev. 17:18+; Rev. 18:3+, Rev. 18:9+). They are the kings who “gather . . . to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Rev. Rev. 16:14+; Rev. 19:19+). Here, they are “gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison” (Isa. Isa. 24:20).

the great men . . . the mighty men
μεγιστανες [megistanes] , the great ones and ἰσχυροὶ [ischyroi] , strong ones. These are men who do not occupy official positions of rulership or military command, but who nevertheless influence and control the affairs of men from behind the scenes: from board rooms, golf courses, and luxury yachts. They are the “captains of industry.” As the globalization of our world continues, power will reside more and more in the hands of these leaders of multinational corporations.

χιλίαρχοι [chiliarchoi] from χιλιάς [chilias] one thousand. The leaders over a thousand troops. Roughly equivalent to a major or colonel.1

every slave and every free man
Several verses indicate that even at the supposed “height” of humanism’s achievements at the time of the end, slavery will not yet have been abolished worldwide (Rev. Rev. 13:16+; Rev. 19:18+). The emphasis is upon the comprehensive nature of the judgments. The magnitude of the disturbances coming upon the earth is such that every man is affected.

hide themselves in caves
Here is the classic record of man’s response to his own sin—a vain attempt to hide from the omnipresent, omniscient, almighty God (Gen. Gen. 3:8; Rev. Rev. 6:16+). In the irony of God, those who persecuted God’s servants, who were “destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy,” who “wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb. Heb. 11:38) now experience firsthand a similar affliction from the very hand of God.


1 Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 881.