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Revelation 19:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That ye may eat the flesh of kings - There shall be a universal destruction; the kings, generals, captains, and all their host, shall be slain.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

That ye may eat the flesh of kings - Of the kings under the control of the beast and the false prophet, Revelation 16:14; Revelation 17:12-14.

And the flesh of captains - Of those subordinate to kings in command. The Greek word is χιλιάρχων chiliarchōn- “chiliarchs” - denoting captains of a thousand, or, as we should say, commanders of a regiment. The word “colonel” would better convey the idea with us; as he is the commander of a regiment, and a regiment is usually composed of about one thousand people.

And the flesh of mighty men - The word here means “strong,” and the reference is to the robust soldiery - rank and file in the army.

And the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them - Cavalry - for most armies are composed in part of horsemen.

And the flesh of all men, both free and bond - Freemen and slaves. It is not uncommon that freemen and slaves are mingled in the same army. This was the case in the American Revolution, and is common in the East.

Both small and great - Young and old; of small size and of great size; of those of humble, and those of exalted rank. The later armies of Napoleon were composed in great part of conscripts, many of whom were only about eighteen years of age, and to this circumstance many of his later defeats are to be traced. In the army that was raised after the invasion of Russia no less than one hundred and fifty thousand of the conscripts were between eighteen and nineteen years of age (Alison‘s History of Europe, vol. 4, p. 27). Indeed, it is common in most armies that a considerable portion of the enlistments are from those in early life; and besides this, it is usual to employ mere boys on various services about a camp.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ, the glorious Head of the church, is described as on a white horse, the emblem of justice and holiness. He has many crowns, for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is arrayed in a vesture dipped in his own blood, by which he purchased his power as Mediator; and in the blood of his enemies, over whom he always prevails. His name is "The Word of God;" a name none fully knows but himself; only this we know, that this Word was God manifest in the flesh; but his perfections cannot be fully understood by any creature. Angels and saints follow, and are like Christ in their armour of purity and righteousness. The threatenings of the written word he is going to execute on his enemies. The ensigns of his authority are his name; asserting his authority and power, warning the most powerful princes to submit, or they must fall before him. The powers of earth and hell make their utmost effort. These verses declare important events, foretold by the prophets. These persons were not excused because they did what their leaders bade them. How vain will be the plea of many sinners at the great day! We followed our guides; we did as we saw others do! God has given a rule to walk by, in his word; neither the example of the most, nor of the chief, must influence us contrary thereto: if we do as the most do, we must go where the most go, even into the burning lake.
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