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Revelation 20

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The Thousand Year Reign

20:1 Then 1  I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding 2  in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. 20:2 He 3  seized the dragon – the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan – and tied him up for a thousand years. 20:3 The angel 4  then 5  threw him into the abyss and locked 6  and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)

20:4 Then 7  I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. 8  I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These 9  had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They 10  came to life 11  and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 20:5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) 12  This is the first resurrection. 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who takes part 13  in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, 14  but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Satan’s Final Defeat

20:7 Now 15  when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison 20:8 and will go out to deceive 16  the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, 17  to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. 18  20:9 They 19  went up 20  on the broad plain of the earth 21  and encircled 22  the camp 23  of the saints and the beloved city, but 24  fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. 25  20:10 And the devil who deceived 26  them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, 27  where the beast and the false prophet are 28  too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever.

The Great White Throne

20:11 Then 29  I saw a large 30  white throne and the one who was seated on it; the earth and the heaven 31  fled 32  from his presence, and no place was found for them. 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then 33  books were opened, and another book was opened – the book of life. 34  So 35  the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds. 36  20:13 The 37  sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death 38  and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds. 20:14 Then 39  Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death – the lake of fire. 20:15 If 40  anyone’s name 41  was not found written in the book of life, that person 42  was thrown into the lake of fire.

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1 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

2 tn The word “holding” is implied. The two clauses “having the key of the abyss” and “a huge chain in his hand” can be construed in two ways: (1) both are controlled by the participle ἔχοντα (econta) and both are modified by the phrase “in his hand” – “having in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain.” (2) The participle ἔχοντα refers only to the key, and the phrase “in his hand” refers only to the chain – “having the key of the abyss and holding a huge chain in his hand.” Because of the stylistic tendency in Rev to use the verb ἔχω (ecw) to mean “hold (something)” and the phrase “in his hand” forming a “bracket” along with the verb ἔχω around both the phrases in question, the first option is preferred.

3 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

4 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel introduced in v. 1) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

6 tn Or “and shut.” While the lexical force of the term is closer to “shut,” it is acceptable to render the verb ἔκλεισεν (ekleisen) as “locked” here in view of the mention of the key in the previous verse.

7 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

8 tn Grk “I saw thrones, and those seated on them, and judgment was given to them.” BDAG 567 s.v. κρίμα 3 says, “judging, judgment, the κρίμα ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς authority to judge was given to them Rv 20:4.”

9 tn Grk “God, and who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronoun “these” as subject.

10 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

11 tn On the use of the aorist ἔζησαν (ezhsan) BDAG 425 s.v. ζάω 1.a.β says, “of dead persons who return to life become alive again: of humans in general (3 Km 17:23) Mt 9:18; Ac 9:41; 20:12; Rv 20:4, 5.”

12 sn This statement appears to be a parenthetical comment by the author.

13 tn Grk “who has a share.”

14 tn The shift from the singular pronoun (“the one”) to the plural (“them”) in the passage reflects the Greek text: The singular participle ὁ ἔχων (Jo ecwn) is followed by the plural pronoun τούτων (toutwn). In the interests of English style, this is obscured in most modern translations except the NASB.

15 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

16 tn Or “mislead.”

17 sn The battle with Gog and Magog is described in the OT in Ezek 38:1-39:20.

18 tn Grk “of whom the number of them [is] like the sand of the sea” (an allusion to Isa 10:22).

19 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

20 tn The shift here to past tense reflects the Greek text.

21 tn On the phrase “broad plain of the earth” BDAG 823 s.v. πλάτος states, “τὸ πλάτος τῆς γῆς Rv 20:9 comes fr. the OT (Da 12:2 LXX. Cp. Hab 1:6; Sir 1:3), but the sense is not clear: breadth = the broad plain of the earth is perh. meant to provide room for the countless enemies of God vs. 8, but the ‘going up’ is better suited to Satan (vs. 7) who has recently been freed, and who comes up again fr. the abyss (vs. 3).” The referent here thus appears to be a plain large enough to accommodate the numberless hoards that have drawn up for battle against the Lord Christ and his saints.

22 tn Or “surrounded.”

23 tn On the term παρεμβολή (parembolh) BDAG 775 s.v. states, “Mostly used as a military t.t.…so always in our lit.…1. a (fortified) campἡ παρεμβολὴ τῶν ἁγίων Rv 20:9 is also to be understood fr. the OT use of the word.”

24 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

25 tn See L&N 20.45 for the translation of κατεσθίω (katesqiw) as “to destroy utterly, to consume completely.”

26 tn Or “misled.”

27 tn Traditionally, “brimstone.”

28 tn The verb in this clause is elided. In keeping with the previous past tenses some translations supply a past tense verb here (“were”), but in view of the future tense that follows (“they will be tormented”), a present tense verb was used to provide a transition from the previous past tense to the future tense that follows.

29 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

30 tn Traditionally, “great,” but μέγας (megas) here refers to size rather than importance.

31 tn Or “and the sky.” The same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky,” and context usually determines which is meant. In this apocalyptic scene, however, it is difficult to be sure what referent to assign the term.

32 tn Or “vanished.”

sn The phrase the earth and the heaven fled from his presence can be understood (1) as visual imagery representing the fear of corruptible matter in the presence of God, but (2) it can also be understood more literally as the dissolution of the universe as we know it in preparation for the appearance of the new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1).

33 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

34 tn Grk “another book was opened, which is of life.”

35 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the books being opened.

36 tn Grk “from the things written in the books according to their works.”

37 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

38 sn Here Death is personified (cf. 1 Cor 15:55).

39 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

40 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

41 tn The word “name” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

42 tn Grk “he”; the pronoun has been intensified by translating as “that person.”



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