Revelation 19:11
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.
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(11) And I saw heaven opened . . .—Better, And I saw the heaven opened (not “opening,” but set open, already opened, as in Revelation 4:1), and behold a white horse, and (behold) one that sitteth upon him called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judgeth and warreth. The description reminds us of the opening of the first seal. Again we have the white horse, and the rider. That early vision of a conquering Christ had been first a hope and then a despair, as age after age interposed its obstacles to the manifestation of the sons of God; but now, with added splendour, the vision is renewed: the hopes of the waiting shall not perish for ever. Once more the victorious rider appears, and His name dispels all fear, though the vision has been long in tarrying. At the end it speaks and does not tarry (Habakkuk 2:1-4), for He who rides upon the heavens, as it were upon a horse, has His name Faithful and True (Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 10:36-38). This name combines two characteristics: fidelity to promises, trustworthiness; and the power to satisfy every legitimate desire which has been awakened in the hearts of His people; for in Him all hopes find repose, and every ideal is realised. He is further pictured as a warrior. This warrior bridegroom carries us back to Psalms 45, where a similar combination of marriage joy and martial triumph is found. Righteousness marks His progress in war, as faithfulness is manifested towards those who trust Him (Isaiah 11:4-5). Here is comfort on the threshold of a vision of deliverance. The book has shown us war, conflict, confusion: the passions of men surging against one another, and dashing like vain waves against God’s immutable laws; the world history is written in blood. We blame men for these cruel and desolating wars; but another question rises imperiously, Why does an all-good ruler allow these heart-breaking scenes? If earth’s groans pain and trouble us, do they not grieve Him? Where is He that He permits all this? The answer is, “In righteousness He judges and makes war.” The worked-out history of the world will make this plain. The righteousness of God is being revealed: all will see it one day; but now the just must live by faith in Him who is faithful and true, and who preserves the germ of all divine life in the history of the world.

Revelation 19:11-16. And I saw heaven opened — This is a new and peculiar opening of it, in order to show the magnificent expedition of Christ and his attendants against his great adversary; and behold a white horse — Many paid little regard to Christ when he came meek and lowly, riding upon an ass: but what will they say or think, when he comes forth upon his white horse, with the sharp sword of his mouth? The white horse, on which Christ is represented as riding, was intended to denote his justice and holiness, and also that victory and triumph should mark his progress. And he that sat on him was called Faithful — In performing all his promises; and True — In executing all his threatenings; and in righteousness — With the utmost justice and equity; he doth judge and make war — Often the sentence and execution go together. His eyes were as a flame of fire — Gloriously bright and piercing. He is described in such characters as are appropriated to him in this book, and in the ancient prophets; and on his head were many crowns — In token of his numerous conquests, and the many countries now become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ. And he had a name written upon them that no man knew but himself

The praise of his mediatorial undertaking being ineffable and incomprehensible, and his person mysterious and wonderful, Jdg 13:18; Isaiah 9:6. Hence we read, Matthew 11:27, No man knoweth the Son but the Father. And he was clothed with a vesture of pure white, emblematical of his holiness; and dipped in blood — In token of his sufferings; or rather, as some think, of the blood of the enemies already conquered. See Isaiah 63:1, &c. And his name is called, The Word of God — Because he spoke every thing into being, and revealeth his Father and his Father’s will to mankind. In other words, he has this name because he is that glorious and Divine Person, said, John 1:1-2, to have been in the beginning with God, and to be himself God; and who was the great medium of divine revelation in all ages. And the armies which were in heaven — The heavenly hosts; followed him — As being most willingly and entirely under his command; upon white horses — All the inhabitants of heaven being pure and holy. and all in a state of joy and triumph. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword — Signifying that his word is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword; that with it he should smite the nations — That he was now about to use it in a strict execution of justice on his enemies; and he shall rule them — Who are not slain by his sword; with a rod of iron — That is, if they will not submit to his golden sceptre; see on Psalm 2:9; and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness Του θυμου, of the indignation; and wrath of Almighty God — Signified, probably, by the blood which stained his garments. The metaphor signifies that he shall subdue the proudest of his enemies with as much ease as men crush grapes by treading them under their feet. And — To the everlasting confusion of his enemies, and the perpetual joy of his friends and followers; he hath on his vesture and on his thigh — Or on the part of the vesture which was upon his thigh; a name written — Different from that mentioned above; KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS — To show that he was really possessed of a just dominion over all the princes and kingdoms of the earth; a dominion which the eastern monarchs, and after them the Roman emperors, unjustly attempted to acquire and establish, and a title which, with great vanity, they assumed to themselves. It was usual of old, for great personages in the eastern countries to have magnificent titles inscribed on, or affixed to, their garments.

19:11-21 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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