New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The King of Kings. 11 [a]Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was [called] “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness.(A) 12 His eyes were [like] a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name[b] inscribed that no one knows except himself.(B) 13 He wore a cloak that had been dipped in[c] blood, and his name was called the Word of God.(C) 14 The armies of heaven followed him, mounted on white horses and wearing clean white linen.(D) 15 Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press[d] the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty.(E) 16 He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”(F)
17 [e]Then I saw an angel standing on the sun. He cried out [in] a loud voice to all the birds flying high overhead, “Come here. Gather for God’s great feast, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of military officers, and the flesh of warriors, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of all, free and slave, small and great.”(G) 19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to fight against the one riding the horse and against his army. 20 The beast was caught and with it the false prophet[f] who had performed in its sight the signs by which he led astray those who had accepted the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. The two were thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur.(H) 21 The rest were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.Read full chapter
- 19:11–16 Symbolic description of the exalted Christ (cf. Rev 1:13–16) who together with the armies of heaven overcomes the beast and its followers; cf. Rev 17:14.
- 19:12 A name: in Semitic thought, the name conveyed the reality of the person; cf. Mt 11:27; Lk 10:22.
- 19:13 Had been dipped in: other Greek manuscripts and versions read “had been sprinkled with”; cf. Rev 19:15. The Word of God: Christ is the revelation of the Father; cf. Jn 1:1, 14; 1 Jn 2:14.
- 19:15 The treading of the wine press is a prophetic symbol used to describe the destruction of God’s enemies; cf. Is 63:1–6; Jl 4:13.
- 19:17–21 The certainty of Christ’s victory is proclaimed by an angel, followed by a reference to the mustering of enemy forces and a fearsome description of their annihilation. The gruesome imagery is borrowed from Ez 39:4, 17–20.
- 19:20 Beast…false prophet: see notes on Rev 13. The fiery pool…sulfur: symbol of God’s punishment (Rev 14:10; 20:10, 14–15), different from the abyss; see note on Rev 9:1.