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Revelation 20:1-3

Context
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.)

Revelation 20:7-9

Context
Satan’s Final Defeat

20:7 Now 7  when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison 20:8 and will go out to deceive 8  the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, 9  to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. 10  20:9 They 11  went up 12  on the broad plain of the earth 13  and encircled 14  the camp 15  of the saints and the beloved city, but 16  fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. 17 

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 “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

8 tn Or “mislead.”

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

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

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

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

13 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.

14 tn Or “surrounded.”

15 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.”

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

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



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