Exegetical look into Revelation 19:11-16

27 10 2010

 

  • ·         Heaven standing open/opened…world can see means standing open; here, this vision is not limited to John, but the whole world can see it. God’s tangible presence is known (Rev. 4:1).
  • ·         White horse means “the king returns;” it refers to royalty and power. Most conservative theologians see this as the quintessential Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Roman princes rode white horses in pretentious ceremonies showing their self-perceived power and prestige as did the Parthian kings. Here, Christ is shown as the Real King—no pretentiousness. The reality is that He is The Sovereign Lord. Whether it was Jesus Himself on the horse or a representative of Him does not matter; this is about His Title that points to His Supremacy. The image is Christ’s second coming as THE KING returns. Whether it is actual or metaphorical, the real point is are we prepared in our faith and practice (Psalm 149:6-9; Zech. 9:9-10; 10:3; Col. 3:17; Rev. 6:2)?
  • ·         Rider is called Faithful and True means the ultimate and absolute Truth and/or Christ crucified as a sin offering to be our Deliverer. This is in contrast to Christ as a Lamb; he is now a Warrior.
  • ·         Makes war. Holy War! Here, Jesus is in all of His Majesty and Glory and He wages war on evil and those who oppresses His faithful. God is a God of truth and justice; His enemies will be judged fairly, sentenced to fit their crime, and destroyed too. God is our defender; He wages war on behalf of His people. He is our Warrior who defends our faithfulness and honor. This is what the first century Jews expected the Messiah to do for them in the present, not later as Christ said in Matthew 24 (Ex. 15:2-3; Deut. 20; Psalm 18:8; 46:3; Is. 13:13; 24:18-20; 59:16-18; Jer. 4:23-26; Joel 2:10, 30-31; Hag. 2:6-7, 21; 3:16; Ezek. 32:6-8; 38:18-23, 39; Hab. 3:8-15; Zech. 12:1-9; 14:3-5; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev.13:4; 20:15)!
  • ·         Eyes are like blazing fire means God’s penetrating insight and strength. This is also about Christ as the persecutor of sin, His Sovereignty as Warrior, and His role as victor in the final battle to come. It also refers to the great victories in battles in the Old Testament, and points to the Transfiguration (Ex. 15:3; Duet. 32: 41-42; Judges 5:31; Is. 59:17-18; Zech. 14:3; Dan. 10:6; Matt. 13:43; 17:2; Rev. 1:14; 4:6; 19:11-21).  
  •         Many crowns normally means a great victory and a victor’s reward; here, it is a different word from most other passages (Rev. 2:10; 3:11; 4:4; 12:3; 14:14) in that it refers to “diadems,” Christ’s royal crowns one of the victor and one of royalty. Thus, Christ is the ultimate, Royal Victor in contrast to Satan’s pretentiousness (Rev. 12:3; 13:1).  
  • ·         He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. The true name of God is veiled from us, perhaps not so much as a secret but as His name is unknowable and not understandable to humanity. No one has authority of power over Him. Knowing a name of a god refers to ownership and control that no one has over our One True God. Just as knowing a person’s name means we have knowledge of and influence on them. In ancient cultures, it also meant gaining power over a person. It also refers to His protection over us (Mark 5:9; Rev. 2:17).

 ·         Robe dipped in blood/blood-stained. This is an image of a winepress that refers to God’s judgment and revenge of His faithful. Also, Jewish tradition from the “Talmud” and “Wisdom of Solomon 18,” states a warrior messiah will be stained with blood. It is also an image of the blood of Christ that was shed to atone for our sin, and/or an enemy’s blood spilled in war. The word for dipped in is the Greek “bapto” as in “baptized” (Gen. 49:10-11; Is. 63:1-3; Rev. 14:14-20).

  • ·         His name is the Word of God refers to His power, Lordship, and as Judge,  thus spiritual warfare is in view here using Spirit, Word, Truth, and prayer instead of conventional weapons (Is. 11:4; John 1:1; 12:48; Heb. 4:12-13).
  • ·         Armies of heaven/his armies may refer to Angelic beings and/or Believers fighting on God’s behalf in contrast to the imitation locust army in Rev. 9. The imagery here is those of the Parthian raiders, the most horrific image for this time. Although not necessarily a literal war plan of God, His plan will be disastrous to the unlawful, unfaithful, and those who are evil (This is where J.R. Tolkien got his ideas for the “Lord of the Rings” books and well as C.S. Lewis’ works of fiction.) (Deut 33:2; 2 Kings 2:11; 6:17; Psalm 68:17; Is. 11:4; 66:15; Jer. 4:13; Hab. 3:8; Rev. 17:14).
  • ·         Sharp sword…iron scepter .meant the long Roman sword or spear that was used to create fear and to conquer. The scepter was also a symbol of authority with power over life and death. Here, it is in conjunction with the Word of God as sharp, powerful, and penetrating, thus is referred to figuratively as a sword. It is also a symbol of judgment (Psalm 2:9; 57:4; Is. 34:5; 49:2; 66:15-16; Jer. 12:12; 47:6; Hos. 6:5; John 1:1; 1 John 1:1; Rev 1:16; 2:27 also: 4 Ezra 13).
  • ·         On his thigh referred to the horse’s thigh where the name of the warrior and/or kingdom was written or was branded similar to modern military designations (Ex. 28:36-38; Rev. 7:3; 13:16).

 

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