|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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?
Verse 14. - And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire; death and Hades (see on ver. 13). Lake of fire (see on ver. 10). This is described in accordance with St. Paul's teaching. "The last enemy that shall be abolished is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26, Revised Version). Death and Hades, though in reality abstractions, are here personified. This is the second death. Add [even] the lake of fire. St. John has not used the phrase, "the first death," but he has alluded to the fact. The first death is the actual death of the body, and which is the natural result of that spiritually dead state into which, since the Fall, man is horn, and which is therefore, as it were, his normal state. In a similar manner, the first resurrection is the risen spiritual life of conversion; while the second resurrection is the resurrection of all men, and the bestowal of eternal life upon the just.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire,.... Death cannot be taken properly, nor hell be the place of torment, for devils and damned spirits; since that is that lake of fire, for then the sense would be, hell is cast into hell; but either by these the devil is meant, who has the power of death, and is the prince of hell, were it not that the casting of him into this lake is mentioned before in Revelation 20:10 or it denotes the destruction and abolition of death and the grave, that from henceforth they should no more have power over men, nor have any under their dominion, and in their hands; and so what has been promised will now be fully performed, Hosea 13:14 see Revelation 21:4 or rather the wicked dead, which they shall have delivered up, and will be judged and sentenced to eternal death, Revelation 20:13
this is the second death; or the destruction of the soul and body in hell, which will consist in an eternal separation of both from God, and in a continual sense of his wrath and displeasure. The Alexandrian copy and the Complutensian edition read, "this second death is the lake of fire"; and so the Arabic version, "and this is the second death, even the lake of fire"; and not much different is the Ethiopic version, "the second death, which is the fire of hell".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Death and Hades, as personified representatives of the enemies of Christ' and His Church, are said to be cast into the lake of fire to express the truth that Christ and His people shall never more die, or be in the state of disembodied spirits.
This is the second death—"the lake of fire" is added in A, B, and Andreas. English Version, which omits the clause, rests on inferior manuscripts. In hell the ancient form of death, which was one of the enemies destroyed by Christ, shall not continue, but a death of a far different kind reigns there, "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord": an abiding testimony of the victory of Christ.
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