The Meaning of Revelation 19:18 Explained

Revelation 19:18

KJV: That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

YLT: that ye may eat flesh of kings, and flesh of chiefs of thousands, and flesh of strong men, and flesh of horses, and of those sitting on them, and the flesh of all -- freemen and servants -- both small and great.'

Darby: that ye may eat flesh of kings, and flesh of chiliarchs, and flesh of strong men, and flesh of horses and of those that sit upon them, and flesh of all, both free and bond, and small and great.

ASV: that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great.

What does Revelation 19:18 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The angel"s invitation to the birds indicates how devastating the destruction of Christ"s enemies will be when He returns. Some experts have estimated that perhaps one million birds of prey migrate annually between their nesting places in Africa to the south and Europe and Asia to the north. They cross the only arable land bridge that connects these continents, namely, Palestine.
Jesus Christ will destroy all who resist Him, people from all classes of society and from every status in life (cf. Revelation 6:15; Revelation 13:16). The indignity of having their bodies unburied is a judgment in kind since they did not bury the bodies of the two witnesses ( Revelation 11:9-10; cf. Ezekiel 39:11-15). Their death also recalls the ignominious fate of Jezebel ( 2 Kings 9:30-37).
The only people left alive will be faithful believers who have not died or suffered martyrdom during the Tribulation (cf. Revelation 12:13-17). They will enter the Millennium with mortal bodies and will repopulate the earth (cf. Genesis 9:1).

Context Summary

Revelation 19:11-21 - "king Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords"
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. [source]

Chapter Summary: Revelation 19

1  God is praised in heaven for judging the great harlot, and avenging the blood of his saints
7  The marriage of the Lamb
10  The angel will not be worshipped
17  The birds called to the great slaughter

Greek Commentary for Revelation 19:18

That ye may eat [ινα παγητε]
Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the second aorist active subjunctive of εστιω — esthiō flesh of kings “Pieces of flesh” (plural of σαρχ — sarx flesh) and of all classes and conditions of men who fell in the battle (Revelation 6:8; Revelation 11:13; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5; Revelation 20:12). War is no respecter of persons. [source]
Captains [χιλιάρχων]
See on Mark 6:21; see on Luke 7:2. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 19:18

James 5:3 Flesh [τὰς σάρκας]
The noun is plural: thefleshy parts of the body. So Sept. (Revelation href="/desk/?q=re+19:18&sr=1">Revelation 19:18. [source]
James 5:3 Rust [ιος]
Poison in James 3:8; Romans 3:13 (only N.T. examples of old word). Silver does corrode and gold will tarnish. Dioscorides (V.91) tells about gold being rusted by chemicals. Modern chemists can even transmute metals as the alchemists claimed.For a testimony (εις μαρτυριον — eis marturion). Common idiom as in Matthew 8:4 (use of εις — eis with accusative in predicate).Against you Dative of disadvantage as in Mark 6:11 Future middle (late form from επαγον — ephagon) of defective verb εστιω — esthiō to eat.Your flesh The plural is used for the fleshy parts of the body like pieces of flesh (Revelation 17:16; Revelation 19:18, Revelation 19:21). Rust eats like a canker, like cancer in the body.As fire (ως πυρ — hōs pur). Editors differ here whether to connect this phrase with παγεται — phagetai just before (as Mayor), for fire eats up more rapidly than rust, or with the following, as Westcott and Hort and Ropes, that is the eternal fire of Gehenna which awaits them (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:44). This interpretation makes a more vivid picture for ετησαυρισατε — ethēsaurisate (ye have laid up, first aorist active indicative of τησαυριζω — thēsaurizō Matthew 6:19 and see Proverbs 16:27), but it is more natural to take it with παγεται — phagetai f0). [source]
James 5:3 Against you [υμιν]
Dative of disadvantage as in Mark 6:11 Future middle (late form from επαγον — ephagon) of defective verb εστιω — esthiō to eat.Your flesh The plural is used for the fleshy parts of the body like pieces of flesh (Revelation 17:16; Revelation 19:18, Revelation 19:21). Rust eats like a canker, like cancer in the body.As fire (ως πυρ — hōs pur). Editors differ here whether to connect this phrase with παγεται — phagetai just before (as Mayor), for fire eats up more rapidly than rust, or with the following, as Westcott and Hort and Ropes, that is the eternal fire of Gehenna which awaits them (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:44). This interpretation makes a more vivid picture for ετησαυρισατε — ethēsaurisate (ye have laid up, first aorist active indicative of τησαυριζω — thēsaurizō Matthew 6:19 and see Proverbs 16:27), but it is more natural to take it with παγεται — phagetai f0). [source]
James 5:3 Your flesh [τας σαρκας]
The plural is used for the fleshy parts of the body like pieces of flesh (Revelation 17:16; Revelation 19:18, Revelation 19:21). Rust eats like a canker, like cancer in the body.As fire (ως πυρ — hōs pur). Editors differ here whether to connect this phrase with παγεται — phagetai just before (as Mayor), for fire eats up more rapidly than rust, or with the following, as Westcott and Hort and Ropes, that is the eternal fire of Gehenna which awaits them (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:44). This interpretation makes a more vivid picture for ετησαυρισατε — ethēsaurisate (ye have laid up, first aorist active indicative of τησαυριζω — thēsaurizō Matthew 6:19 and see Proverbs 16:27), but it is more natural to take it with παγεται — phagetai f0). [source]
Revelation 11:18 Thy wrath came [ηλτεν η οργη σου]
Second aorist active indicative of ερχομαι — erchomai the prophetic aorist again. The Dies Irae is conceived as already come.The time of the dead to be judged (ο καιρος των νεκρων κριτηναι — ho kairos tōn nekrōn krithēnai). For this use of καιρος — kairos see Mark 11:13; Luke 21:24. By “the dead” John apparently means both good and bad (John 5:25; Acts 24:21), coincident with the resurrection and judgment (Mark 4:29; Revelation 14:15.; Revelation 20:1-15). The infinitive κριτηναι — krithēnai is the first aorist passive of κρινω — krinō epexegetic use with the preceding clause, as is true also of δουναι — dounai (second aorist active infinitive of διδωμι — didōmi), to give.Their reward This will come in the end of the day (Matthew 20:8), from God (Matthew 6:1), at the Lord‘s return (Revelation 22:12), according to each one‘s work (1 Corinthians 3:8).The small and the great (τους μικρους και τους μεγαλους — tous mikrous kai tous megalous). The accusative here is an anacoluthon and fails to agree in case with the preceding datives after δουναι τον μιστον — dounai ton misthon though some MSS. have the dative τοις μικροις — tois mikrois etc. John is fond of this phrase “the small and the great” (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:18; Revelation 20:12).To destroy First aorist active infinitive of διαπτειρω — diaphtheirō carrying on the construction with καιρος — kairos Note τους διαπτειροντας — tous diaphtheirontas “those destroying” the earth (corrupting the earth). There is a double sense in διαπτειρω — diaphtheirō that justifies this play on the word. See Revelation 19:2. In 1 Timothy 6:5 we have those “corrupted in mind” God will destroy the destroyers (1 Corinthians 3:16.). [source]
Revelation 11:18 The small and the great [τους μικρους και τους μεγαλους]
The accusative here is an anacoluthon and fails to agree in case with the preceding datives after δουναι τον μιστον — dounai ton misthon though some MSS. have the dative τοις μικροις — tois mikrois etc. John is fond of this phrase “the small and the great” (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:18; Revelation 20:12). [source]
Revelation 20:12 The dead, the great and the small [τους νεκρους τους μεγαλους και τους μικρους]
The general resurrection of Revelation 20:13 is pictured by anticipation as already over. No living are mentioned after the battle of Revelation 20:7-10, though some will be living when Jesus comes to judge the quick and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13.). All classes and conditions (Revelation 11:18; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:18) John saw “standing before the throne” (εστωτας ενωπιον του τρονου — hestōtas enōpion tou thronou). [source]
Revelation 6:15 The strong [οι ισχυροι]
Who usually scoff at fear. See the list in Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:18. Cf. Luke 21:26.Every bondman (πας δουλος — pās doulos) and freeman (και ελευτερος — kai eleutheros). The two extremes of society.Hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains Based on Isaiah 2:10, Isaiah 2:18. First aorist active indicative of κρυπτω — kruptō with the reflexive pronoun. For the old word σπηλαιον — spēlaion see Matthew 21:13; Hebrews 11:38. Ορεων — Oreōn is the uncontracted Ionic form (for ορων — orōn) of the genitive plural of ορος — oros (mountain). [source]
Revelation 11:18 Their reward [τον μιστον]
This will come in the end of the day (Matthew 20:8), from God (Matthew 6:1), at the Lord‘s return (Revelation 22:12), according to each one‘s work (1 Corinthians 3:8).The small and the great (τους μικρους και τους μεγαλους — tous mikrous kai tous megalous). The accusative here is an anacoluthon and fails to agree in case with the preceding datives after δουναι τον μιστον — dounai ton misthon though some MSS. have the dative τοις μικροις — tois mikrois etc. John is fond of this phrase “the small and the great” (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:18; Revelation 20:12).To destroy First aorist active infinitive of διαπτειρω — diaphtheirō carrying on the construction with καιρος — kairos Note τους διαπτειροντας — tous diaphtheirontas “those destroying” the earth (corrupting the earth). There is a double sense in διαπτειρω — diaphtheirō that justifies this play on the word. See Revelation 19:2. In 1 Timothy 6:5 we have those “corrupted in mind” God will destroy the destroyers (1 Corinthians 3:16.). [source]
Revelation 6:15 The chief captains [οι χιλιαρχοι]
The commanders of thousands, the military tribunes (Mark 6:21; Revelation 19:18).The rich (οι πλουσιοι — hoi plousioi). Not merely those in civil and military authority will be terror-stricken, but the self-satisfied and complacent rich (James 5:4.).The strong Who usually scoff at fear. See the list in Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:18. Cf. Luke 21:26.Every bondman (πας δουλος — pās doulos) and freeman (και ελευτερος — kai eleutheros). The two extremes of society.Hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains Based on Isaiah 2:10, Isaiah 2:18. First aorist active indicative of κρυπτω — kruptō with the reflexive pronoun. For the old word σπηλαιον — spēlaion see Matthew 21:13; Hebrews 11:38. Ορεων — Oreōn is the uncontracted Ionic form (for ορων — orōn) of the genitive plural of ορος — oros (mountain). [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 19:18 mean?

so that you may eat [the] flesh of kings and of commanders of mighty [men] of horses of those sitting on them of all free both slaves small great
ἵνα φάγητε σάρκας βασιλέων καὶ χιλιάρχων ἰσχυρῶν ἵππων τῶν καθημένων ἐπ’ αὐτῶν πάντων ἐλευθέρων τε δούλων μικρῶν μεγάλων

ἵνα  so  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
φάγητε  you  may  eat 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: ἐσθίω  
Sense: to eat.
σάρκας  [the]  flesh 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: σάρξ  
Sense: flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts.
βασιλέων  of  kings 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: βασιλεύς  
Sense: leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.
χιλιάρχων  of  commanders 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: χιλίαρχος  
Sense: a chiliarch, the commander of a thousand soldiers.
ἰσχυρῶν  of  mighty  [men] 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: ἰσχυρός  
Sense: strong, mighty.
ἵππων  of  horses 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: ἵππος  
Sense: a horse.
τῶν  of  those 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
καθημένων  sitting 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Middle or Passive, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: κάθημαι  
Sense: to sit down, seat one’s self.
πάντων  of  all 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.
ἐλευθέρων  free 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: ἐλεύθερος  
Sense: freeborn.
τε  both 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: τέ  
Sense: not only … but also.
δούλων  slaves 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: δοῦλοσ1 
Sense: a slave, bondman, man of servile condition.
μικρῶν  small 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: μικρός  
Sense: small, little.
μεγάλων  great 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: μέγας  
Sense: great.