Part II: The Divine Warrior in Revelation 19:11–21
An Overview of Rev. 19:11–21
There are two literary units in Rev. 19:11–21: the first is vv. 11–16 which portrays the eschatological arrival of the Divine Warrior to bring justice and destruction upon the wicked, and the second is vv. 17–21 which depicts the end of the beast, the false prophet, and their army. The former literary unit has parallels not only to many Jewish texts where Yahweh is depicted as a warrior but also Roman triumph imagery, while the latter unit draws upon the convention of Zion as the sacrosanct city that will, ultimately, always be protected by God.
The passage begins with John seeing “heaven opened” (Rev. 19:11), indicating that God is about to work in a decisive manner. A rider on a white horse emerges, the color probably signifying victory as it does elsewhere (Rev. 3:4–5; 7:13–14)…
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