King Kings
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King Kings
(Revelation 19.14-16)
Page 278

"The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. 'He will rule them with an iron scepter.' He treads the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written, 'KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.'" (Revelation 19.14-16)


Heavenly AngelThe first king known to use the title "king of kings" was Tukulti-Ninurta I (BC c1243-c1207) of Assyria in the 13th century BC. The title used to be intended quite literally, as the title of a king of a city-state, and with the formation of an empire in the Late Bronze Age, the Assyrian rulers installed themselves as rulers over the existing structure of rulers (kings) of city-states. The title was adopted in Biblical Hebrew by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar (BC 643-562) in Ezekiel 26.7, "For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army." The same usage appeared in Aramaic portions of Daniel 2:37, where Nebuchadnezzar is addressed as "Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory." In Judaism, the King of Kings of Kings" came to be used as a name of God, using the double superlative to put the title one step above the royal title of the Babylonian and Persian kings referred to in the Bible. In ancient days, being a king was not an honorary title but required brutality to put down one's enemies. Kings kept their position and power by subduing all their opponents. In Revelation, the words, "He will rule them with an iron scepter" may be translated as "He will rule them with a rod of iron" which reflected the harshness of the title. Although Jesus was called the "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS," this verse implied that no name could do him justice. Jesus was greater than any King the human mind could devise. His titles indicated his absolute sovereignty. In the Heavenly vision, most of the world was worshipping the beast and the Antichrist, whom they believed had all power and authority, then suddenly out of Heaven rode an army of angels with Jesus at their head and with his name written on his robes and on his thigh, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords." The entrance of the King of Kings signalled the end of false powers. Jesus was described not just as the "King of Kings" but as the "Lord of Lords." When a king conquered another kingdom, the defeated king bowed to the stronger and cast his crown symbolically before him. This we will eagerly do when we meet Jesus in Heaven!

"King Kings"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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