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Revelation 20:1-6

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.)

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.

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.



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