|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 15. - And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was east into the lake of fire; and if any was not, etc. This is practically a reiteration of what has been twice before solemnly asserted (see vers. 12, 13).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life,.... Upon the opening of it, Revelation 20:12 as all that worship the beast, and wonder after him, Revelation 13:8 and all wicked men, everyone of them:
was cast into the lake of fire; where are the devil, beast, and false prophet, Revelation 19:20. It is a saying of R. Isaac (m),
"woe to the wicked, who are not written "in the book", for they shall perish in hell for ever and ever:''
and in the Targum on Ezekiel 13:9 it is said of the false prophets,
"that , "in the writing of eternal life" (or in the book of eternal life), which is written for the righteous of the house of Israel, they shall not be written.''
There seems to be some allusion in the phrase used here, and in the preceding verse, and elsewhere in this book, to the lake Asphaltites, a sulphurous lake, where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, which the Jews call the salt sea, or the bituminous lake; and whatsoever was useless, or rejected, or abominable, or accursed, they used to say, to show their rejection and detestation of it, let it be cast into the sea of salt, or the bituminous lake; thus, for instance,
"any vessels that had on them the image of the sun, or of the moon, or of a dragon, , "let them cast them into the salt sea", or bituminous lake (n).''
(m) Tosaphta in Zohar in Gen. fol. 78. 2.((n) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 42. 2. Vid. ib. fol. 49. 1. &. 53. 1. & 71. 2. & Nazir, fol. 24. 2. & 26. 1, 2. Bava Metzia, fol. 52. 2. Temura, fol. 22. 2. & Meila, fol. 9. 2. & 10. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. The blissful lot of the righteous is not here specially mentioned as their bliss had commenced before the final judgment. Compare, however, Mt 25:34, 41, 46.
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