Peeling the Onion: Revelation 19:10-21

Move from anticipation,

And civil war against the city,

To the wider war

John wants to worship the angel

But the angel refuses,

And invites John as comrade

to worship one greater

As a white horse is released,

To lead armies against the imperial tyranny,

Retributive justice is realized

Do you recognize this

from the first of seven seals broken,

The white horse, conquering?

Can you recognize the symmetry from c5?

The imagery repeats the early vision:

Robes washed in blood to become white

Wading through the grapes of wrath

Carrion eaters scavenge the dead bodies

Who gets thrown into the lake of sulphur fire?

Not individuals, for petty rule-breaking acts –

1. The beast itself,

A transpersonal entity,

Imperial tyranny

With the heads and horns

The parody of divinity

2. the angel

Another transpersonal entity,

Which had announced the empire –

The propagandist of evil,

The ‘media’, agent and messenger

Which marked so many

With the ‘mark of the beast’

NJB White Horse Victory, Beast Chained

10 Then I knelt at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, 'Never do that: I am your fellow-servant and the fellow-servant of all your brothers who have in themselves the witness of Jesus. God alone you must worship.' The witness of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

11 And now I saw heaven open, and a white horse appear; its rider was called Trustworthy and True; in uprightness he judges and makes war.

12 His eyes were flames of fire, and he was crowned with many coronets; the name written on him was known only to himself,

13 his cloak was soaked in blood. He is known by the name, The Word of God.

14 Behind him, dressed in linen of dazzling white, rode the armies of heaven on white horses.

15 From his mouth came a sharp sword with which to strike the unbelievers; he is the one who will rule them with an iron sceptre, and tread out the wine of Almighty God's fierce retribution.

16 On his cloak and on his thigh a name was written: King of kings and Lord of lords.

17 I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he shouted aloud to all the birds that were flying high overhead in the sky, 'Come here. Gather together at God's great feast.

18 You will eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of great generals and heroes, the flesh of horses and their riders and of all kinds of people, citizens and slaves, small and great alike.'

19 Then I saw the beast, with all the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to fight the Rider and his army.

20 But the beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had worked miracles on the beast's behalf and by them had deceived those who had accepted branding with the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped his statue. These two were hurled alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur.

21 All the rest were killed by the sword of the Rider, which came out of his mouth, and all the birds glutted themselves with their flesh.

NSRV Big Battle

10Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

12His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself.

13He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God.

14And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.

15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in mid-heaven, ‘Come, gather for the great supper of God,

18to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and their riders— flesh of all, both free and slave, both small and great.’

19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against the rider on the horse and against his army.

20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur.

21And the rest were killed by the sword of the rider on the horse, the sword that came from his mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.