Jesus appears with fiery eyes, more specifically with eyes that are “flame(s) of fire” (Gr. hos phlox/phloga puros, 1:15; 2:18).
The phrase has Old Testament roots. Moses sees the angel of the Lord en phlogi puros on Sinai (Exodus 3:2; LXX), and in the plague of hail fire is seen flashing (phlogizon) within the hail (Exodus 9:24). Yahweh’s voice splits fire into flame, phloga puros (Psalm 28:7 [29:7]), and Love flashes with puros phloges (Song of Songs 8:6).When Yahweh shows up in His chariots, His rebuke is like flashes of fire (en phlogi puros, Isaiah 66:15).
A number of these translate the Hebrew lebanah ‘esh (Exodus 2:3; Psalm 29:7; the two words are linked without being part of a phrase in Psalm 105:32; 106:18; Isaiah 10:17), where lebanah highlights both the shape and the glitter of a flame, which is like the sparkle and shape of a sword point (cf. lebanah in 1 Samuel 17:7, referring to the head of Goliath’s spear).
And now Jesus shows up with eyes that are flames, two spear-points of fire that peer into the kidneys and hearts of His people. With His fiery eyes, Jesus sees and judges, sees and acts, all at a stroke, for His gaze strikes home like a spear point. With His eyes of flame, Jesus is the just king, who “disperses all evil with his eyes” (Proverbs 20:8).