I've always been curious to know if there was a relation between the rider on the white horse whose name was known to no one but himself, and the other places in scripture where names have been veiled. These occurred when the angel of the Lord wrestled with Jacob, as well as his visitation of Samson's parents.

Revelation 19:12 (KJV)
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Genesis 32:29 (KJV)
And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

Judges 13:17-18 17 (KJV)
17And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor? 18And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

  • It's interesting that the next verse (v. 13) would necessitate that He is the Word of God, i.e. Jesus. If so, then if we are to find a parallel (which I personally do not) between Him, and these other instances, then it would imply that perhaps the Angel [of the] LORDִ is the Word. That would be, according to the NT. – Sola Gratia Nov 2 '17 at 17:31
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are hints in the book of Revelation itself that seem to explain the significance of Christ's unknown name.

In the promises to the seven churches we find mention of secret names. To "him that overcometh" (KJV) or "the one who conquerors" (ESV) the promises are made. To the church in Pergamum the promise is made:

To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Rev. 2:17, ESV, emphasis added)

When speaking to the Laodiceans, the Christ of Revelation includes himself with the conquerors:

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Rev. 3:21, ESV, emphasis added)

The church of Philadelphia is told that Jesus himself has a new name:

The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. (Rev. 3:12, ESV, emphasis added)

The line of reasoning is: conquerors (overcomers) receive a new name, Jesus is a conqueror, therefore Jesus receives a new name. The Christian conquerors were told that 'no one knows the name except the one who receives it,' however, the one who gives them the name (Jesus) must be excepted. He knows the name, as well as the one who receives it. In the case of Jesus himself, the Father knows the new name which Jesus has received from him.

The giving of a new name is elsewhere recorded in the Bible to signify a change in one's life. Thus, Abram's name was changed to Abraham (Gen. 16:5), Jacob's name was changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28), and Simon's name was changed to Peter (Matt. 16:17-18). A new name relates to the character of the person receiving it. In the case of Jesus, his new name was bestowed post-resurrection, and the individual Christian is given a new name post-mortem. The names which Jesus and his followers receive, however, are like names known only within the family. They are never given out publicly.

Thus, the victorious rider of Revelation 19:12 (ESV) "has a name written that no one knows but himself."

  • I see. Since names marked significant events in ones life, I'd imagine that the new name given to believers which no one else would understand would be related to the purposes for which the Lord had used them during their life on Earth? White stones during that age were often given as a sign of formal invitation to an event, and the basis of a believers invitation to the new Jerusalem would be the new identity created through the work of Christ that each believer conforms to during their lifetime. – Aaron Poet Nov 3 '17 at 16:57
  • Yes, I think the new name is related to one's faithfulness during their lifetime on earth. As for the stone, I'm not sure - have been thinking of making that a question sometime. Your thought on it is well-taken, and I shall think further on that. – Pilgrim Nov 3 '17 at 20:09

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