King of Kings – Word Nerd Wednesday

What does it mean to you that we call Jesus the King of Kings? After her two previous posts on Son of God and Son of Man, Melissa finishes up this month’s Word Nerd Wednesday exploring this reality.

King of Kings

Strongs 935 Greek :Balieus Basileon

Sovereign, Victorious Messiah, Supreme Ruler of All, King over the Kingdom of heaven.

The root of the Greek word “Basileus” is from “Basis” meaning foot or foundation of power. We know Jesus as the prophesied cornerstone of this foundation from Isaiah 28:16: 

“therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation.”

And again in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11:

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. “

King of kings of kings

In Judaism, a name for God is the phrase is Melech Malchei HaMelachim meaning literally, King of kings of kings. The double superlative puts the title a step above the common title King of kings that was used to describe Babylonian and Persian Kings. We see the phrase used this way in Ezra 7:12 describing Artaxerxes, in Ezekiel 26:7 describing Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel himself addresses Nebuchadnezzar this way when interpreting his dream in Daniel 2:37.

But the most known and common use of this phrase is referring to Jesus Christ. 

We read in 1Timothy 6:15-16;

“which he will display at the proper time – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in inapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

This doxology, which mirrors the one in 1 Timothy 1:17, uses terms not frequently used in the New Testament, but were used to describe God, showing Christ’s equality with God the Father, specifically, “blessed and only Sovereign.”  He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He created the earth and all that is in it, including man, which he himself became, humbling himself in the form of man to die on the cross and to rise in glory, so that those who believe may have eternal life with him. He was mocked as the King of the Jews but is truly the King of kings and Lord of lords. He has supreme authority in heaven and on earth.  

The King of kings is Coming

Two other verses refer to Christ as the King of kings. The first, Revelation 17:4 gives the title to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, in the Apostle John’s vision of his second coming.

“They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

The King of kings conquers all in the end. He has, by his wondrous work on the cross, conquered sin and death. In chapter 17 of Revelation, we read of John’s vision of the woman, “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and earth’s abominations” and the beast she rides on with seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads and the ten horns representing kings not yet to come that will receive authority together with the Beast for one hour.  It is no surprise to us that Jesus will conquer these kings. For he is the King of all kings.  Their authority lasts only an hour and only granted to them Christ himself. 

The King of Kings Comes to Conquer

In Revelation 19:16, John’s vision of the Rider on the White Horse gives us a vivid description of Christ at his second coming with his armies of heaven following him. He comes to strike down the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. 

“On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”

As Christ comes to conquer his enemies, he is clothed in righteousness with a name written that no one knows but himself, and on his robe written King of kings and Lord of Lords. Some scholars, who believe that John wrote his Revelation in Hebrew, propose that there was just a misinterpreted word. The Hebrew word for “thigh” is ragel which begins with resh “r”. Some say John could have written the word “banner,” which is Dagel in Hebrew, beginning with dalet “d”, which looks very similar to resh “r.”  Regardless of the translation, the picture is clear. In his second coming, when he is conquering, all will see and know that he is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Whether it is written on his thigh or on a banner, the symbolic message will be known. 

So how can knowing Christ as the King of kings apply to our lives now? We have the hope of his second coming, knowing we will be with him, his “called and chosen and faithful.” (Rev 17:14) But in our day to day, the King of kings is our Shepherd as well. He leads us and guards us. There are many in this world that will persecute us for his name’s sake. We are often at the mercy of worldly authorities that can oppress us, afflict us, and show no mercy. But we must remember that Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, is the ultimate authority. Those people only are in positions of power because he ordained it to be. Proverbs 21: 1 says: 

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;

 he turns it wherever he will.

Cry out to the King of kings, who is the Blessed and only Sovereign, for he can move their hearts like water in his hands.  Praise the Lord!

Meet Melissa

Melissa King Word Nerd Wednesday Intercessor
Melissa King
Word Nerd Wednesday

Melissa King is a homeschooling mother of five and Army wife of 15 years. She is now settled permanently with her family in Louisville, Kentucky since her husband went from Active Duty to the Reserves. Their Homeis their greatest ministry through foster care. Though she has a degree in Art Education and is the Director of her local Classical Conversations campus, her most rewarding job is that of wife and mother. In those rare moments when she is not teaching, cleaning, or cooking she enjoys painting, reading, and knitting. She enjoys various mediums of arts and crafts and the occasional inspired post on her blog, Abiding Hearts at Home. She has an immense passion for Bible Study, especially women’s ministries such as Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) and Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), both of which have given her the opportunity to serve as a leader and facilitator. She has written an inductive Bible Study on Psalm 119 that she hopes to publish someday.

King of Kings Word Nerd Wednesday by Melissa King

3 thoughts on “King of Kings – Word Nerd Wednesday

  1. Thank you, Melissa, for this in-depth study on the title “King of Kings!” I learned some things I didn’t know. (And hello, Liz! Blessings on your ministry, friend. I love seeing you on Facebook!

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