Revelation 20:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

New Living Translation
I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.

English Standard Version
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Berean Study Bible
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.

Berean Literal Bible
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the one of life. And the dead were judged out of the things having been written in the books, according to their deeds.

New American Standard Bible
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

King James Bible
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.

International Standard Version
I saw the dead, both unimportant and important, standing in front of the throne, and books were open. Another book was opened—the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to their actions, as recorded in the books.

NET Bible
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then books were opened, and another book was opened--the book of life. So the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds.

New Heart English Bible
I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I saw the dead, great and small, who stood before the throne, and scrolls were opened, and another scroll was opened, which is of The Judgment, and the dead were judged from those things that were written in the scrolls, according to their works.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I saw the dead, both important and unimportant people, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened, including the Book of Life. The dead were judged on the basis of what they had done, as recorded in the books.

New American Standard 1977
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I saw the dead, great and small, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened; which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

King James 2000 Bible
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

American King James Version
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

American Standard Version
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Darby Bible Translation
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is [that] of life. And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books according to their works.

English Revised Version
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Weymouth New Testament
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing in front of the throne. And books were opened; and so was another book--namely, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged by the things recorded in the books in accordance with what their conduct had been.

World English Bible
I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Young's Literal Translation
and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and scrolls were opened, and another scroll was opened, which is that of the life, and the dead were judged out of the things written in the scrolls -- according to their works;
Study Bible
The Final Judgment
11Then I saw a great white throne and the One who sat on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds.…
Cross References
Daniel 7:10
"A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.

Matthew 11:22
But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man will come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.

Luke 10:20
Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Revelation 2:23
Then I will strike her children dead, and all the churches will know that I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

Revelation 3:5
Like them, the one who is victorious will be clothed in white garments. And I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father and His angels.

Revelation 11:18
The nations were enraged, and Your wrath has come. The time has come to judge the dead, and to reward Your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear Your name, both small and great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

Revelation 20:13
The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds.

Revelation 20:15
And if anyone was found whose name was not written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Treasury of Scripture

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

I saw.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose …

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, …

John 5:28,29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that …

John 11:25,26 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes …

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that …

1 Corinthians 15:21-23 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead…

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord…

small. See on ch.

Revelation 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all you …

stand.

Romans 14:10-12 But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nothing your brother…

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who …

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every …

the books.

Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands …

and another.

Revelation 3:5 He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and …

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him…

Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the …

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, …

Psalm 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written …

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands …

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject …

Philippians 4:3 And I entreat you also, true yoke fellow, help those women which …

according.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell …

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall …

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every …

Psalm 28:4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness …

Psalm 62:12 Also to you, O Lord, belongs mercy: for you render to every man according …

Proverbs 24:12,29 If you say, Behold, we knew it not; does not he that ponders the …

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, …

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every …

Jeremiah 32:19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for your eyes are open on all …

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his …

Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every …

(12, 13) And I saw the dead, small and great . . .--Or rather, And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before (not "God," as in text, but) the throne, and books (or, rolls) were opened; and another book (or, roll) was opened, which is (the book) of life; and the dead were judged out of the things which had been written in the books (or, rolls) according to their works. And the sea gave forth the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave forth the dead who were in them; and they were judged each according to their works. The latter of these verses is added to assure us that the dead, in whatever quarter, must appear before the judgment throne. Death and Hades--"the grave world," and "the great watery grave"--the sea, "the universal hidden region of the dead," give up its prey; for there is One who sits upon the throne who has the keys of death and Hades (Revelation 1:18). It has been said by some that the dead here spoken of as coming forth from the grave are not all the dead, but only "the rest of the dead" mentioned in Revelation 20:5. Those who believe that the first resurrection there mentioned is a literal physical resurrection are compelled to limit the resurrection here to the resurrection only of the remainder of the dead. But the verses before us suggest no limitation, and the language most assuredly tends to the idea that saints and faithful servants of God take part in this later resurrection. If all the saints and righteous men of old are raised prior to the millennium, and take no part in this last judgment scene, then only the faithless and wicked are left to be judged before the great white throne, and as none of these can be found written in the book of life, the bringing forth of that book becomes meaningless. This is one result of vicious literalism of interpretations. The real significance of the scene lies in the vivid picturing of that great and solemn truth that we must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, and that before Him there is nothing hidden which shall not be revealed (Matthew 10:26; comp. 1Corinthians 4:5). Then shall every human life appear in its true light. stripped of all the deceptive adornments which have given a fictitious respectability to ingenious fraud, and a fatal popularity to adroit wickedness and splendid vice. Then shall men be judged, not by rank, or success, or achievement, but according to their works, as it is twice stated here, and according to whether they have any life towards God. The works and the life towards God must be combined. A man may have, from the activities of his Christian works, a name to live, and yet be dead: the life-book and the workbook combine to mark the real servant of Christ. If he labours more abundantly than all, it is Christ who works in him, for his life is a life by the faith of the Son of God. (Comp. Galatians 2:20; 1Corinthians 15:10; James 2:14-26.)

Verse 12. - And I saw (see on ver. 11) the dead, small and great, stand before God; the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. All the dead, good and bad, as in Matthew 25:31-33. This is the general resurrection; what St. John might have called the second resurrection, with regard to the godly, who have once before risen to a life with Christ (see on ver. 5). Now, those who would not voluntarily share in the first resurrection are compelled to share in the second. And the books were opened. Omit the article (cf. the description in Daniel 7:10). And another book was opened, which is the book of life. This book has been frequently referred to (Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8). The idea is not uncommon throughout the Bible (cf. Psalm 69:28; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20). And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Both the godly and the ungodly. "The books" show fully why certain names are selected and inscribed in the "book of life." Here is enforced again the lesson with which the Apocalypse opens in the epistles to the seven Churches, viz. that the reward will follow according to the works (cf. Revelation 2:5; Revelation 3:15, etc.). And I saw the dead,.... An account being given of the Judge, next the persons to be judged are described, and in this clause, by the state and condition in which they had been; for it cannot be thought they were dead when they stood before the throne, but were raised from the dead; for this character is not descriptive of them as dead in trespasses and sins, though they are such as die in their sins, and rise in them, who are meant, but as having been corporeally dead; these are the rest of the dead, the wicked, who lived not again until the thousand years were ended, Revelation 20:5 as for the righteous, they will be judged upon their resurrection from the dead in the beginning of the day of the Lord; and will be declared righteous and blessed, and be called upon and introduced to inherit the kingdom prepared for them, which they shall have possessed a thousand years when these wicked dead will be raised: who are said to be small and great; which may refer either to their age, being children and adult persons; or to their condition, being kings and peasants, high and low, rich and poor; or to their characters, as greater or lesser sinners; and this description respects them as they are in this world, and is designed to show that no consideration whatever, of age, condition, or character, will exempt them from the general judgment. This is a way of speaking used among the Jews (h), who say,

"in the world of souls, , "the great and the small", stand before God.''

The disputations of the schoolmen, about the age and stature in which mankind will rise and be judged, are vain and foolish: these John saw stand before God; that is, Christ, who is God and Judge of all; before his judgment seat and throne, in order to be judged; for they will stand not as ministering to him, nor as having confidence before him; in this sense they shall not stand in the judgment, Psalm 1:5 but as guilty persons, to receive their sentence of condemnation. The Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions read, "before the throne"; the sense is the same; for if they stood before the throne, they must stand before God, that sat upon it: and the books were opened; the book of God's omniscience, which contains all the actions of the wicked, in which all their sins are taken notice of, and will now be brought to light; and the book of his remembrance, in which they are all written as with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond; and the book of the creatures, which they have abused, and which will witness against them; and the book of providence, the riches of whose goodness have been despised by them; and the book of the Scriptures, both of law and Gospel, as well as the book of nature, of the light of nature, see Romans 2:12 to which may be added, the book of conscience; the consciences of men will be awakened, and will accuse them, and bear witness against them, and be as good as a thousand witnesses:

and another book was opened, which is the book of life: the same that is mentioned in Revelation 3:5 the book of eternal election, See Gill on Revelation 3:5, See Gill on Revelation 13:8, See Gill on Revelation 17:8. No other use seems to be made of this book in the judgment of the wicked, than only to observe whose names were not written in it, as appears from Revelation 20:15 reference seems to be had to Daniel 7:10. It is a notion that has obtained among the Jews (i), that

"at the beginning of the year (or every new year's day) , "three books are opened", one of the wicked perfect, another of the righteous perfect, and a third of those between both; the righteous perfect are written and sealed immediately for life; the wicked perfect are written and sealed immediately for death; the middlemost are in suspense, and continue from the beginning of the year to the day of atonement; if they are worthy, they are written for life, if not worthy, they are written for death:''

and in the same treatise (k), they represent God at the same time of the year as a

"King, sitting on a throne of judgment, and the books of the living, and the books of the dead, "open", before him:''

this with them was a prelude and a figure of the future judgment:

and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; that is, they were sentenced to everlasting condemnation and death, according to the just demerit of their wicked works; for no other are done by wicked men, nor can any other be in the books, since they are without God and Christ, and destitute of the Spirit, have no principle of grace to act from, nor any good end in view in any action of theirs. So the Jews say (l),

"all the works which a man does in this world are "written in a book", and they come into thought before the holy King, and they are manifest before him.''

(h) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 154. 2.((i) T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 16. 21. (k) T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 32. 2. & Erachin, fol. 10. 2.((l) Zohar in Gen. fol. 118. 3.12. the dead—"the rest of the dead" who did not share the first resurrection, and those who died during the millennium.

small and great—B has "the small and the great." A, Vulgate, Syriac, and Andreas have "the great and the small." The wicked who had died from the time of Adam to Christ's second advent, and all the righteous and wicked who had died during and after the millennium, shall then have their eternal portion assigned to them. The godly who were transfigured and reigned with Christ during it, shall also be present, not indeed to have their portion assigned as if for the first time (for that shall have been fixed long before, Joh 5:24), but to have it confirmed for ever, and that God's righteousness may be vindicated in the case of both the saved and the lost, in the presence of an assembled universe. Compare "We must ALL appear," etc. Ro 14:10; 2Co 5:10. The saints having been first pronounced just themselves by Christ out of "the book of life," shall sit as assessors of the Judge. Compare Mt 25:31, 32, 40, "these My brethren." God's omniscience will not allow the most insignificant to escape unobserved, and His omnipotence will cause the mightiest to obey the summons. The living are not specially mentioned: as these all shall probably first (before the destruction of the ungodly, Re 20:9) be transfigured, and caught up with the saints long previously transfigured; and though present for the confirmation of their justification by the Judge, shall not then first have their eternal state assigned to them, but shall sit as assessors with the Judge.

the books … opened—(Da 7:10). The books of God's remembrance, alike of the evil and the good (Ps 56:8; 139:4; Mal 3:16): conscience (Ro 2:15, 16), the word of Christ (Joh 12:48), the law (Ga 3:10), God's eternal counsel (Ps 139:16).

book of life—(Re 3:5; 13:8; 21:27; Ex 32:32, 33; Ps 69:28; Da 12:1; Php 4:3). Besides the general book recording the works of all, there is a special book for believers in which their names are written, not for their works, but for the work of Christ for, and in, them. Therefore it is called, "the Lamb's book of life." Electing grace has singled them out from the general mass.

according to their works—We are justified by faith, but judged according to (not by) our works. For the general judgment is primarily designed for the final vindication of God's righteousness before the whole world, which in this checkered dispensation of good and evil, though really ruling the world, has been for the time less manifest. Faith is appreciable by God and the believer alone (Re 2:17). But works are appreciable by all. These, then, are made the evidential test to decide men's eternal state, thus showing that God's administration of judgment is altogether righteous.20:11-15 After the events just foretold, the end will speedily come; and there is no mention of any thing else, before the appearing of Christ to judge the world. This will be the great day: the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, will then put on majesty and terror. The persons to be judged are the dead, small and great; young and old, low and high, poor and rich. None are so mean, but they have some talents to account for; and none so great, as to avoid having to account for them. Not only those alive at the coming of Christ, but all the dead. There is a book of remembrance both for good and bad: and the book of the sinner's conscience, though formerly secret, will then be opened. Every man will recollect all his past actions, though he had long forgotten many of them. Another book shall be opened, the book of the Scriptures, the rule of life; it represents the Lord's knowledge of his people, and his declaring their repentance, faith, and good works; showing the blessings of the new covenant. By their works men shall be justified or condemned; he will try their principles by their practices. Those justified and acquitted by the gospel, shall be justified and acquitted by the Judge, and shall enter into eternal life, having nothing more to fear from death, or hell, or wicked men; for these are all destroyed together. This is the second death; it is the final separation of sinners from God. Let it be our great concern to see whether our Bibles justify or condemn us now; for Christ will judge the secrets of all men according to the gospel. Who shall dwell with devouring flames?
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