Revelation 19:17-21

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to 1all the birds which fly in 2midheaven, "3Come, assemble for the great supper of God,
18 so that you may 4eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, 5both free men and slaves, and 6small and great."
19 And I saw 7the beast and 8the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who 9sat on the horse and against His army.

Doom of the Beast and False Prophet

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the 10false prophet who 11performed the signs 12in his presence, by which he 13deceived those who had received the 14mark of the beast and those who 15worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the 16lake of 17fire which burns with brimstone.
21 And the rest were killed with the sword which 18came from the mouth of Him who 19sat on the horse, and 20all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Revelation 19:17-21 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 19

This chapter contains the triumph of the saints over Babylon, and their thanksgiving to God because of his judgments on her; the marriage of Christ and his church, and a battle between him and his and her enemies, with the success of it. The congratulations are first of a promiscuous multitude in the church, ascribing salvation, praise, honour, glory, and power to God, because of the righteousness of his judgments, and because of the perpetuity of them, Re 19:1-3 and then of the four and twenty elders and four living creatures, who worship God, assent to what had been before said, and join in praising the Lord, Re 19:4 and then another voice out of the throne is heard, calling upon all the servants of the Lord, and those that fear him, whether small or great, to praise our God, Re 19:5 after which is heard the voice of a great multitude, stirring up one another to praise, because of the reign of the Lord God Almighty, and to rejoice and be glad because the time of the Lamb's marriage with his bride was come; who is described by her dress, the righteousness of the saints, comparable to fine linen, clean and white, Re 19:6-8 upon which an angel bids John write those persons happy who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and affirms these to be the true sayings of God; wherefore John, in a transport of joy, was just going to worship the angel, had he not been forbidden by him; from which he dissuades him, by observing that he was his fellow servant, that God only is the object of worship, and that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Re 19:9,10 next follows a vision of a battle between Christ and his enemies; and first he the General is described, by the horse he sat upon, a white one; by the characters he bears, faithful and true; by what he did, judging and making war in righteousness; by his eyes, which were as a flame of fire; by his having many crowns on his head; by having a name, or names unknown, and particularly one, which is the Word of God; by his habit, a vesture dipped in blood; by the armies he was at the head of, riding on white horses, and clothed in fine linen; by a sharp sword coming out of his mouth, with which he should utterly destroy the nations; and by having a name on his vesture and thigh, King of kings, and Lord of lords, Re 19:11-16 upon which an angel is seen standing in the sun, and calling to all the fowls of the heaven to come to the supper of the great God, and to eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and horsemen, of all ranks, and degrees, Re 19:17,18 and next an account is given of the armies of the beast, and of the kings of the earth, that came to make war with the above warrior, Re 19:19 the issue and success of which follow; the beast and false prophet are taken, and cast alive into a lake of fire and brimstone; and the rest are killed by the sword of the above General, and the fowls have a feast of their flesh, Re 19:20,21.

Revelation 19:17-21 In-Context

15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God,
18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great."
19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Cross References 20

  • 1. Revelation 19:21
  • 2. Revelation 8:13
  • 3. 1 Samuel 17:44; Jeremiah 12:9; Ezekiel 39:17
  • 4. Ezekiel 39:18-20
  • 5. Revelation 6:15
  • 6. Revelation 11:18; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5
  • 7. Revelation 11:7; Revelation 13:1
  • 8. Revelation 16:14, 16
  • 9. Revelation 19:11, 21
  • 10. Revelation 16:13
  • 11. Revelation 13:13
  • 12. Revelation 13:12
  • 13. Revelation 13:14
  • 14. Revelation 13:16
  • 15. Revelation 13:12, 15
  • 16. Revelation 20:10, 14; Revelation 21:8
  • 17. Isaiah 30:33; Daniel 7:11; Revelation 14:10
  • 18. Revelation 19:15
  • 19. Revelation 19:11, 19
  • 20. Revelation 19:17

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Lit "one"
  • [b]. I.e. chiliarchs, in command of one thousand troops
  • [c]. Or "by his authority"
  • [d]. I.e. burning sulphur
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