Category Archives: Revelation


PMW 2020-005 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my final installment on the issue of “the kings of the earth” in Revelation. Hopefully, this rather thorough study has been helpful.

In the NT we discover the apostolic church engaging in the pesher method of interpretation of OT passages. So not only does the contemporary Qumran community engage in such, but also the apostolic community of Christianity. I will focus on one particularly important OT passage whose contemporizing interpretation will be relevant to our current study. Continue reading


PMW 2020-004 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

We have been through eight installments of a study on “the kings of the earth” as found in Revelation, particularly in Rev. 17:18, which is a stumbling block for some who are considering preterism. We are now ready to consider:

Not surprisingly, basileus is a common word in the NT occurring 115 times (thirty-eight of these apply to Christ). We discover eighteen of those appearances in Rev (1:5; 6:15; 9:11; 10:11; 15:3; 16:12, 14; 17:2, 9, 12, 14, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:16, 18, 19; 21:24). Within Rev it appears in the phrase “kings of the earth” ten times. In the NT our full phrase occurs only two times outside of Rev: Mt 17:25 and Ac 4:26. The word basileuō (“to reign”) occurs twenty-one times, with six of those in Rev (5:10; 11:15, 17; 19:6; 20:4, 6; 22:5). Continue reading


PMW 2020-003 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am continuing a brief study-within-a-study. I am focusing on the little word with a big mean: the word “land” or in Greek.

The use of in the NT
In a number of places in the NT this word speaks either of the Promised Land as a whole, or some portion of it. We may find some of the more obvious uses in such phrases as “the land of Judah” (Mt 2:6), “the land of Judea” (Jn 3:22), “the land of Israel” (Mt 2:20, 21), “the land of Zebulun” (Mt 4:15), “the land of Naphtali” (Mt 4:15), and “the land of the Jews” (Ac 10:39). Thus, upon purely lexical considerations, the term can be understood as designating the Promised Land so that tēs gēs becomes “a Semitism translating hā’ āre (= Palestine)” (Van De Water 255). Continue reading


PMW 2020-002 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As I open this phase of my study of Revelation’s “kings of the earth,” I will give note that to this point I have not proven that Rev in fact employs “kings of the earth” to refer to the religious leaders of Israel. Yet I have paved the road that travels in that direction. Of course, the true test of this thesis will come only through a careful consideration of Rev’s argumentative flow and contextual exegesis. But this is not the entire argument; let us move a little further in our consideration.

Let us now consider a key term: the Greek word .

To understand the identity of these “kings” we need to reflect on the two key components in their designation: they are “kings” who operate over “the earth.” In the first place I will note that John presents them: as kings of the earth. Then I will focus on their title as “kings.” The phrase “the ruler of the kings of the earth” is: ho archōn tōn basileōn tēs gēs. The two words meriting our attention are: basileōn (“kings”) and gēs (“earth”). Continue reading


PMW 2020-001 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is my sixth installment of a study on the phrase “the kings of the earth’ in Revelation. This important designation needs to be understood properly in order to grasp the meaning of Revelation’s judgments. In this study I will consider John’sInterpretive Method.

I have already pointed out the broad scholarly consensus that John draws very largely from the OT as his primary source. Now I would like to briefly focus on how he employs his OT sources. This will be abundantly illustrated in the commentary, but here I will summarize two particular literary methods he uses. These are important for identifying the “kings of the earth.” The two methods upon which I will focus are: scriptural re-application and rhetorical irony. Continue reading


PMW 2019-104 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

After a brief Christmas break, I will now return to my study on “the kings of the earth” in Revelation. At this point I will open with:

Their Specific Revelation Setting

As noted in my commentary’s Introduction, and as I have argued elsewhere on 1:7, Rev is focusing on Israel’s judgment for rejecting Christ and persecuting his followers. Because of this Israel-judgment theme, Rev’s own setting opens the possibility that these “kings of the earth” picture the Jewish religious aristocracy. I will briefly rehearse some of Rev’s Judaic tendencies focusing on three angles. Continue reading


PMW 2019-102 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As I continue explaining who I believe the “kings of the earth” in Revelation are, I will now focus on some general background information. I will begin with the general NT atmosphere.

I will gradually build the case for identifying the “kings of the earth” with Israel’s religious authorities. The earlier components of the argument will not be conclusive, but they lay the groundwork for the conclusion. Only after we get these general observations in place may we develop more compelling insights.

As I will point out in my Revelation commentary’s Introduction, the Jewish temple’s destruction in AD 70 is a redemptive-historical event of enormous and lasting consequences. With the collapse of the temple comes the cessation of the sacrificial system, the closing of the old covenant order, and the securing of the new covenant. Such an event must naturally cast its shadow over all of the NT. And it does. Though I cannot develop it extensively ifn this Exc I can briefly highlight its impact on the NT record. I will illustrate this by focusing on the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. This material will help us see the function of the kings of the earth in the redemptive-historical upheaval dramatically symbolized in Rev. Continue reading