Am I correctly interpreting the following, that Christ Himself is depicted as furiously stomping the wicked underfoot until entirely bloodstained? Or is this scene somehow in reference to His substitutionary atonement for the wicked?

Revelation 19:11-15 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 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. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God..And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and HE TREADETH THE WINEPRESS OF THE FIERCENESS AND WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD."

Isaiah 63:3-4,6 "I HAVE TRODDEN THE WINEPRESS ALONE, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

2 Answers 2


Christ in Isaiah 63 & Revelation 19 trampling the wicked in a bloody rampage?

MacLaren who lived nearly two centuries ago thought so:

Clearly the imagery of the context describes a tremendous act of judgment. And as clearly the Apocalyptic Seer understood this prophecy as not only pointing to Christ, but as to be fulfilled in the final act of judgment. He quotes its words when he paints his magnificent vision of the Conqueror riding forth on his white horse, with garments sprinkled with blood and treading the ‘winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.’ And the vision is interpreted unmistakably when we read that, though this Conqueror had a name unknown to any but Himself, ‘His name is called the Word of God.’ So the unity of person in the Word made flesh who dwelt among us, full of grace and of this Mighty One girt for battle, is taught.

MacLaren agreed on linking these two passages to Jesus.

Keeping fast hold of this clue, the contrast between the characteristics of the historical Jesus and of the rider on the white horse becomes solemn and full of warning. And the contrast between the errand of the historical Jesus and that of the Conqueror bids us ponder on the possibilities that may sleep in perfect love. We have to widen our conceptions, if we have thought of our Jesus only as love, and have thought of love as shallow, as most men do. We are sometimes told that these two pictures, that of the Christ of the Gospels and that of the Christ of the Apocalypse, are incapable of being fused together in one original. But they can be stereoscoped, if we may say so. And they must be, if we are ever to understand the greatness of His love or the terribleness of His judgments. ‘The wrath of the Lamb’ sounds an impossibility, but if we ponder it, we shall find depths of graciousness as well as of awe in it.

The term "the wrath of the Lamb" captures the seemingly opposite qualities: forgiving grace and terrible judgments.

Let us learn that the righteous Judge is logically and chronologically the completion of the picture of the merciful Saviour. In this age there is a tendency to treat sin with too much pity and too little condemnation. And there is not a sufficiently firm grasp of the truth that divine love must be in irreconcilable antagonism with human sin, and can do nothing but chastise and smite it.

This tendency persists even today.


There are two separate matters here in Rev 19:11-15.


Blood is always a symbol of death and sacrifice in the Bible. In V13, Jesus wears the "robe dipped in blood" - this is a reference to His own blood of sacrifice, Heb 9:22, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, Matt 26:28, Rom 3:25, Eph 1:7, Heb 9:12, 11:28, 12:24, see also Matt 23:35, Acts 22:20, etc.

Wrath and the Winepress of God

The symbolism of Revelation is all taken from the OT and Rev 19:11-15 is no exception as the OP has correctly observed. The death of the righteous is depicted in a number of scenes in Revelation. Here is a brief selection:

  • Rev 6:15-17 - the wicked asked to be destroyed at the sight of the Lamb on the throne
  • Rev 8 & 9 depict various calamities/plagues that do not describe the final destruction of the wicked but allude to consequences of their actions and much death
  • Rev 11:18 - final destruction of the wicked, "to destroy those who destroy the earth."
  • Rev 14:17-20 - final destruction of the wicked liken to the great winepress of God's wrath
  • Rev 16:17-20 - wicked destroyed by great hailstones
  • Rev 18 describes the doom of Babylon and several scenes that involve the kings of the earth helping to destroy the great prostitute
  • Rev 20:9-10 describes the destruction of the wicked with fire from heaven (see also V14)

That is, the symbolism is used in Revelation is often used to describe the same or similar events using different metaphors. This is consistent with other Bible prophecies about the final judgement of God that destroyes the wicked and vindicates the saints:

  • The important phrase, “Day of the Lord” (Acts 2:20, 1 Cor 3:13, 5:5, 2 Cor 1:14, 1 Thess 5:2, 4, 2 Thess 2:2, Heb 10:25, 2 Peter 3:10, 12) all remind us that final judgement and the Lord’s return will occur on the “Day of the Lord”. The wicked greatly fear the time of Jesus return: 1 Cor 3:13, 2 Thess 2:8, Rev 6:15-17, 11:18, see 1 Cor 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10, Acts 17:31, John 12:48, Ps 68:2. By contrast the righteous are elated: Isa 25:9. See also Isa 13:6, Jer 46:10, Eze 7:19, 30:3, Joel 1:15, 2:1, 11, 31, 3:14, Amos 5:20, Obad 1:15, Zech 1:7, 8, 14, 2:2, Zeph 1:18, 2:3, 14:1, Mal 4:5.

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