17 “And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” ~ Revelation 19: 17-21
Here is the main idea of the passage: “The great armies of the earth, led by the Beast and the kings of the earth, assemble to make war against the Lamb. But they end up being killed by the sword that comes out of the mouth of the rider on the white horse (Christ), and fed to the birds at the Great Supper of God.” (HCHB Study Bible Commentary)
17- “Armageddon (the ancient hill and valley of Megiddo, west of Jordan in the plain of Jezreel) is the appointed place for the beginning of the great battle in which the Lord, at His coming in glory, will deliver the Jewish remnant besieged by the Gentile world- powers under the Beast and False Prophet Revelation 16:13-16; Zechariah 12:1-9. Apparently the besieging hosts, whose approach to Jerusalem is described in Isaiah 10:28-32 alarmed by the signs which precede the Lord’s coming Matthew 24:29; Matthew 24:30 have fallen back to Megiddo, after the events of Zechariah 14:2 where their destruction begins; a destruction consummated in Moab and the plains of Idumea Isaiah 63:1-6. This battle is the first event in “the day of Jehovah” Isaiah 2:12 and is the fulfilment of the smiting-stone prophecy of Daniel 2:35.” (C.I. Scofield Commentary)
“Gather yourselves together to the great supper of God — As to a great feast, which the vengeance of God will soon provide; a strongly figurative expression, (taken from Ezekiel 39:17,) denoting the vastness of the ensuing slaughter.” (John Wesley’s Commentary)
17-18- “The angel’s imitation for birds to pick corpses clean at the great supporter of God reflects an Old Testament covenant curse and echoes God’s prophetic word against God and Magog, who oppressed His people. The Beast’s army, to be consumed as carrion, includes not only kings and warriors, but also all who serve the Beast, both free and slave, both small and great.” (ESV Study Bible Commentary)
19- “This Beast is the same one that had risen out of the sea (Revelation 13). The king of the earth refer to the ‘ten horns’ that John had seen on the beast (Revelation 13:1), and, most likely, their number symbolizes all the kings of the earth who pledge allegiance to the Antichrist. At the pouring out of the sixth bowl of God’s wrath, ‘miracle-working demons caused all the rulers of the world to gather for battle against the Lord…to a place called Armageddon’ (Revelation 16:14-16). Chapter 16 gave a preview of what was to come and how; Chapter 19 describes the event itself. Here, verse 19 tells of the assembly for the Battle of Armageddon.” (Life Application New Testament Commentary)
20-21- Each of the armies faced one another. Nevertheless, there was actually no fight. Everything ended in a second’s notice. The victory had already been won at Calvary, by Jesus Christ. Satan is stripped of all of his power. The Beast, a.k.a. the Antichrist, and his sidekick the False Prophet, are thrown into the Lake of Fire (not to be confused with the Bottomless Pit mentioned in Revelation 9:1). In Chapter 20 Satan is also thrown into this lake. Vs. 21- The earthly kings are destroyed by the sword that comes from Jesus’ mouth.
21- “So all the forces hostile to God assemble themselves; but the warrior Christ is to conquer. Antichrist and his henchmen are cast into the lake of fire; and all their supporters are slain, to await in Sheol the final judgment. The cosmic drama is drawing to a close. Nothing has yet been said of the fate of Satan, but now we go on to see that fate.” (William Barclay’s Commentary on Revelation)
How is this text applicable in the 21st Century?
“A sublime vision of Christ, as He comes to judge the beast, that is, the world-power, which has ever been in antagonism to the principles of His Kingdom. We must distinguish between it and the final judgment. This precedes, that follows, the millennial reign. Compare Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:29; Matthew 24:37; Matthew 24:39. The blood in which His vesture is dipped is not His own, but that of His foes. See Isaiah 63:2. Here at last is fulfilled Psalms 2:9.
Notice the attributes of Christ: He is Faithful, because He will stand by us to the end. He is True, never doing less but always more than He has promised. Pure as flame. He is also in many realms; and the Word of God, that is, the final utterance and complete revelation of the Most High. Let us follow Him! But if we do, we must resemble Him. His robes are naturally white, but we must wash ours, that we may have the right to the tree of life and to enter the city of God. Compare Psalms 110:1-7. This will be the time, also, to which our Lord referred in Matthew 13:41. God’s whirlwind will scatter the chaff.” F.B. Meyer’s Through the Bible Commentary
“When Christ arrives, two groups will be spared: the 144,000 sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel; and the remnant of Gentile believers, who will put their faith in Christ during the Tribulation and who will survive the persecution of the Antichrist. However, everybody else will be killed- that is, all those who will choose to remain Christ’s enemies and receive the Mark of the Beast. Jesus Himself will be the standard by which an individual stands or falls on that day. The same is true today. Hebrews 9:27-28 says, ‘And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.’ Our response today should be one of faith. If you have not enlisted in Christ’s army by trusting in Him alone for salvation, what are you waiting for?” ~ Charles Swindoll
Additional Readings: Revelation 20
Prayer: Father God, I pray that You consume my life today. Shine through me in every capacity of my life. May You be glorified in all that I do. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.