Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 19

The terrible great meal upon the earth

Revelation 19:17-18

Through the Book of Revelation, John frequently contrasts events in heaven with events on earth. Here, he does that for the last time. In chapter 20, Christ will rule both heaven and earth; and then there will be nothing to contrast.

In Revelation 19:7-9, we read about the great meal in heaven for the marriage of the Lamb (Christ). That will be the happiest and most wonderful occasion.

As it happens, however, a great meal of a very different kind is happening on earth. This event upon the earth is truly awful. The antichrist (Christís great enemy) has gathered the worldís rulers with their armies to fight against Christ (16:13-16). The defeat of antichristís forces is a complete defeat, and very terrible.

After battles in the ancient world, there were often too many dead bodies for people to bury. Wild and unclean birds would descend and, with the wild dogs, they would tear apart the dead bodies for meat. That is the great meal upon the earth, and only the most awful birds and animals will benefit from it. It must happen after antichristís last battle, because his forces will suffer total defeat. Very many people will die in that battle, and the birds will deal alike with all their dead bodies. The birds will not care whether those people were great or unimportant. For the birds, it will seem like a great party (19:21).

Since Revelation 8:13, we have been aware that birds were watching closely the events on earth. Those are probably the birds called vultures; that is perhaps also true in Job 39:27-30, although the English translations usually call them eagles.

Next part: The battle at Armageddon begins (Revelation 19:19)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.