Following the destruction of ‘Babylon’, the beast and the kings in alliance with him (cf. 17:12-140), make war against Christ, who comes from heaven in judgment to overthrow them. The end of the present age, prophesied throughout the book, has now come, and we have in today’s portion Christ’s second coming described, in its aspect of judgment upon his enemies, as in 2 Thess. 1:6-10 and Ps. 2:9.
- Verses 11-16. In this symbolic picture of Christ, seek to appreciate the suggestive significance of each descriptive phrase. Contrast some of the phrases of Zech. 9:9, 10. In what ways will Christ’s second coming be different from his first coming? Should this prospect fill us with fear or joy?
- Verses 17-21. This is the battle of Armageddon, spoken of in 16:14-16. Note the contrast between ‘the great supper’ of judgment and ‘the wedding supper of the Lamb’(verse 9). Cf. the contrast in 14:14-20 between the two harvests. See also Matt. 13:30, 40-43. What truths are thus repeatedly emphasized concerning the final settlement and issue of world history?
- Verses 13a, 15b. Cf. Is. 63:2, 3.
- Verse 14. These are armies of angels. Cf. Matt. 16:27; 2 Thess. 1:7-9.
- Verse 20. ‘lake of burning sulphur’, so also in 20:10; 21:8, or ‘lake of fire’ in 20:14; 15:elsewhere called the ‘eternal fire’ (Matt. 18:8; 25:41); also the ‘fiery furnace’ (Matt.13:42, 50). It is the place of final destruction.