Inscribed on the Vesture and Thigh, Rev. 19:16

[podcast src=”” height=”90″ width=”450″]Hard Verses Episode 7: Inscription on the vesture and thigh (Rev. 19:16).



Wanted to clarify from last week the 1 Peter 3:18-19 (He spoke to the spirits that were in prison was from Don Gary, not Jordan Gray.

The Problem.

Rev 19:16 “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Much of Revelation has difficulty in nailing down concrete situations and details because of the symbolic language used.

This verse is no different.

The book is coded up because otherwise it would not get delivered or cause problems for the messengers.

The Solution.

Rev 19:16 “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

The main problem we are having is a lack of historical knowledge on this custom.

For time sack, I will not get into the previous and post verses but will focus strictly on this.

What is a vesture? What is up with the thigh?

“Two images likewise of this man are seen in Ionia, on the way that leads from Ephesus to Phocaea, and from Sardis to Smyrna. The figure is five palms in height; in his right hand he holds a dart, in his left a bow, armed after the manner of the Egyptians and Ethiopians. On a line drawn across the breast, from one shoulder to the other, are these words, written in Egyptian hieroglyphics: Εγω τηνδε την χωρην ωμοισι τοισι εμοισι εκτησαμην· ‘I obtained this country by these my shoulders;’“ i.e., by my own power.

Heroditus, Euterpe speaking of the actions of Sesostris.

In the Etruria Regalis of Dempster, in the appendix at the end of vol. ii., there is a beautiful female figure of brass, about twelve inches high, the hair gracefully plaited, and the head adorned with a diadem. She has a tunic without sleeves, and over that a sort of pallium. On the outside of the right thigh, close to the tunic, and probably on it, in the original, is an inscription in Etruscan characters.

As these kinds of inscriptions on the thigh, the garments, and different parts of the body, were in use among different nations, to express character, conduct, qualities, and conquests, we may rest assured that to them St. John alludes when he represents our sovereign Lord with an inscription upon his vesture and upon his thigh; and had we not found it a custom among other nations, we should have been at a loss to account for its introduction and meaning here.

Adam Clark

Some suggestions from Pulpit Commentary below.

(1) The name, written at length, is written partly upon the vesture and partly upon the thigh itself, where the garment would (in an equestrian figure) fall away from the thigh (Alford).

(2) The name is written on the vesture, even (kai) on that part of it which covers the thigh (De Wette, Dusterdieck, Hengstenberg).

(3) On the thigh, as the place where the sword usually hangs.

(4) A reference to the custom of engraving the name of the artist upon the thigh of a statue (Cic., “Verr.,” 4:43; see Wetstein). KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. As in Rev_17:14 (but inverted), where, as here, it portrays the victorious career of Christ over the “kings of the earth.”

– end of Pulpit Commentary.

Studies in the Book of Revelation by Robert R. Taylor, Jr.

An excerpt about Rev. 19:16.

“Verse 16- On the garment and thigh of the Warrior King was an inscribed name- KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. In the Gospel Advocate Adult Quarterly for the Winter of 1978 we have this fine summary of Revelation 19:16:

His Lordship and sovereignty are emphasized here. All are subjects to his power. Kings of the earth, however powerful, are beneath him; lords, however, great, must ultimately answer to him. It is said that in ancient times and in Oriental lands it was not uncommon for men of great power and prominence to have their names inscribed on their garments so that they might be quickly recognized. We must not assume that such was literally necessary for the Lord to do in order that he might properly be recognized; the statement is a figurative one and the reference symbolic; it simply suggests the supreme power and unquestioned sovereignty of the Lord when he triumphs over his enemies (p. 54).


What about this name? continued.

the number seven finds a place in the scheme of the Apocalypse so often that the following fact is well worth noting: leaving out the “and,” by which St. John tells us to add the two titles into one name, the combination “King of Kings, Lord of Lords,” in Aramaic [font unavailable to render] adds up to 777.[1]


The lesson for us today.

  • Do we recognize Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings?
  • Do we recognize His commandments as law or are they just suggestions?
  • Love your enemy, Seek ye first, etc. just suggestions or commandments?


Call to action.


Through e-sword (free for download, free to use) I used the following modules:

Adam Clarke

Burton Coffman

Pulpit Commentary


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[1] KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS (APOC. 19:16) Patrick W. Skehan.

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