Revelation 20:2
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
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(2) And he laid hold on the dragon . . .—Or, And he laid hold of the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. The four words are thus used to describe the archenemy; they are the same as those used for the same purpose in Revelation 12:9. Over the world he has exercised in every quarter his power as prince of this world, and he has been found fierce as the dragon, subtle as the serpent, the slanderer of God and His people, and the adversary of all righteousness. He is bound as Christ declared (Matthew 12:29; comp. Colossians 2:15). A thousand years was the length at which Rabbis fixed the duration of Messiah’s kingdom. The period is not to be understood literally (see next verse).

20:1-3 Here is a vision, showing by a figure the restraints laid on Satan himself. Christ, with Almighty power, will keep the devil from deceiving mankind as he has hitherto done. He never wants power and instruments to break the power of Satan. Christ shuts by his power, and seals by his authority. The church shall have a time of peace and prosperity, but all her trials are not yet over.And he laid hold on - Seized him by violence - ἐκράτησεν ekratēsen. The word denotes "the employment of strength" or "force"; and it implies that he had power superior to that of the dragon. Compare Matthew 14:3; Matthew 18:28; Matthew 21:46; Matthew 22:6; Matthew 26:4. We can at once see the propriety of the use of this word in this connection. The great enemy to be bound has himself mighty power, and can be overcome only by a superior. This may teach us that it is only a power from heaven that can destroy the empire of Satan in the world; and perhaps it may teach us that the interposition of angels will be employed in bringing in the glorious state of the millennium. Why should it not be?

The dragon - See the notes on Revelation 12:2. Compare Revelation 12:4, Revelation 12:7, Revelation 12:13, Revelation 12:16-17; Revelation 13:2, Revelation 13:4, Revelation 13:11; Revelation 16:13. There can be no doubt as to the meaning of the word here; for it is expressly said to mean the devil, and Satan. It would seem, however, that it refers to some manifestation of the power of Satan that would exist after the beast and false prophet - that is, the papacy and Mohammedanism - should be destroyed, and probably the main reference is to the still existing power of paganism. Compare the notes on Revelation 16:13-14. It may include, however, all the forms of wickedness which Satan shall have kept upon the earth, and all the modes of evil by which he will endeavor to perpetuate his reign.

That old serpent - This is undoubtedly an allusion to the serpent that deceived our first parents (Genesis 3:1 ff.), and therefore a proof that it was Satan that, under the form of a serpent, deceived them. Compare notes on Revelation 12:3.

Which is the devil - On the meaning of this word, see the notes on Matthew 4:1.

And Satan - On the meaning of this word, see the notes on Job 1:6. In regard to the repetition of the names of that great enemy of God and the church here, Mr. Taylor, in the Fragments to Calmet's Dictionary, No. 152, says that this "almost resembles a modern Old Bailey indictment, in which special care is taken to identify the culprit, by a sufficient number of aliases. An angel from heaven, having the key of the prison of the abyss, and a great chain to secure the prisoner, 'apprehended the dragon, alias the old serpent, alias the devil, alias the Satan, alias the seducer of the world,' who was sentenced to a thousand years' imprisonment." The object here, however, seems to be not so much to identify the culprit by these aliases, as to show that under whatever forms, and by whatever names he had appeared, it was always the same being, and that now the author of the whole evil would be arrested. Thus the one great enemy sometimes has appeared in a form that would be best represented by a fierce and fiery dragon; at another, in a form that would be best represented by a cunning and subtle serpent; now in a form to which the word "devil" ("accuser"), would be most appropriate; and now in a form in which the word "Satan" - an adversary - would be most expressive of what he does. In these various forms, and under these various names, he has ruled the fallen world; and when this one great enemy shall be seized and imprisoned, all these forms of evil will, of course, come to an end.

A thousand years - This is the period usually designated as the millennium - for the word "millennium" means "a thousand years." It is on this passage that the whole doctrine of the millennium as such has been founded. It is true that there are elsewhere in the Scriptures abundant promises that the gospel will ultimately spread over the world; but the notion of a millennium as such is found in this passage alone. It is, however, enough to establish the doctrine, if its meaning be correctly ascertained; for it is a just rule in interpreting the Bible, that the clearly-ascertained sense of a single passage of Scripture is sufficient to establish the truth of a doctrine. The fact, however, that this passage stands alone in this respect, makes it the more important to endeavor accurately to determine its meaning. There are but three ways in which the phrase "a thousand years" can be understood here: either:

(a) literally; or,

(b) in the prophetic use of the term, where a day would stand for a year, thus making a period of three hundred and sixty thousand years; or,

(c) figuratively, supposing that it refers to a long but indefinite period of time.

It may be impossible to determine which of these periods is intended, though the first has been generally supposed to be the true one, and hence the common notion of the millennium. There is nothing, however, in the use of the language here, as there would be nothing contrary to the common use of symbols in this book in regard to time, in the supposition that this was designed to describe the longest period here suggested, or that it is meant that the world shall enjoy a reign of peace and righteousness during the long period of three hundred and sixty thousand years. Indeed, there are somethings in the arrangements of nature which look as if it were contemplated that the earth would continue under a reign of righteousness through a vastly long period in the future.

2. that old—ancient serpent (Re 12:9).

thousand years—As seven mystically implies universality, so a thousand implies perfection, whether in good or evil [Aquinas on ch. 11]. Thousand symbolizes that the world is perfectly leavened and pervaded by the divine; since thousand is ten, the number of the world, raised to the third power, three being the number of God [Auberlen]. It may denote literally also a thousand years.

There can be no question who is meant by the dragon here, and the

old serpent, for the Holy Ghost interpreteth it,

the devil, the enemy of mankind.

And bound him: by binding also is meant the restraint of the devil in the exercise of his natural power, or the power God had before allowed him to exercise for the trial of his saints’ faith and patience. The devil is restrained in the restraint of his instruments. It is expounded, Revelation 20:3, that he should deceive the nations no more.

A thousand years: whether these thousand years signify that certain space of time, or a long time, I cannot say; only it is probable, that if it signifies an uncertain, indefinite time, it is much longer time than any other period of time spoken of, (which have all hitherto been expressed by days, or months, or a lesser number of years), by far. But what the complexion of the world shall be during this long time, or when the epocha or beginning of these thousand years shall be, are both of them very hard questions. It was the opinion of the old Chiliasts or Millenaries, that six thousand years of the world should pass, then antichrist with all wicked men should be destroyed; that in the next thousand years Christ should appear, and be upon the earth, ruling it with his saints; after which there would be another time of sharp persecution, according to what is said, Revelation 20:7, to which Christ should put a period by coming to the last judgment. It is plain that (if most men be not mistaken, that have counted the years from the beginning of the world) these men were mistaken; for more than six thousand years are passed, yet there is no such thing come to pass. Divers very good and learned men (leaving out the age of the world when these thousand years should begin) have judged, that after the great battle in Armageddon, (which, as was said before, shall be after the ruin both of Turk and pope), the church of Christ shall for a thousand years enjoy great quiet under the conduct of Christ, (as some think), who in these thousand years shall personally be upon the earth; or of such a godly magistracy in all places of the church, as shall do and execute what Christ would have done and executed. After which the enemies of the church (mentioned here, Revelation 20:8, under the notions of Gog and Magog) shall rally again, but be destroyed by Christ appearing to the last judgment. This opinion hath had, and hath, many learned and grave patrons. I shall only say this, that I do not understand what these thousand years mean, if they do not denote a serene and calm time for the church of God, of long continuance, before the day of judgment. Whether Christ shall be here personally, or none but saints shall be in places of power, or the power of Christ only shall be seen in so ruling and governing all magistrates, that they shall not, as before, impose superstition and idolatry, and kill or ruin men for not complying with them; but the servants of God, that worship him in spirit and truth, shall under magistrates live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; I cannot determine; but do in my own thoughts most incline to the last, that the thousand years only denote a large space of time, (as yet at a great distance), when the church of God shall freely enjoy their liberty, without such temptations to idolatry, superstition, or other wickedness, as they have yet all along had, either from Jews, pagans, or antichrist’s party. By whom is meant not Paganism, for that was destroyed in the Roman empire under the sixth seal, and was the consequence of the war between Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his; and before this time it will be destroyed in other parts under the sixth and seventh vials, when the kings of the earth, being gathered together at Armageddon, will be slain, and the cities of the nations will fall, not only Papal, but Pagan, and Mahometan; and what will not will be converted, for before this time the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of Christ: but the devil himself is intended, so called, partly because of his great power, authority, and cruelty he has exercised in the world; and because of the venom and poison of idolatry, superstition, false doctrine, and worship, with which he has infected the inhabitants of it.

That old serpent; so called with respect to his cunning and subtlety, as well as his antiquity, being from the beginning of the creation, and having as early beguiled our first parents;

which is the devil and Satan; the accuser of God and men, and the adversary of them both. The Complutensian edition and Syriac version add, "which deceiveth the whole world"; and the Arabic version, "the deceiver of the whole world"; which seems to be taken out of Revelation 12:9, See Gill on Revelation 12:9. Him Christ "laid hold on", and whom he held fast, as the word signifies: Christ will now take him, apprehend him, and detain him, as his prisoner; in the wilderness, Satan only felt the dint of his sword, the written word of God, and was obliged to leave him: but now he will feel the weight of his hand, and the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger; in the agony or conflict with him in the garden, he was conquered by prayer; and on the cross Christ destroyed him through death, but now he will be seized by his power, and crushed under his hand.

And bound him a thousand years, with the great chain he had in his hand: the devil is in chains now, is under the power of divine Providence, and can do nothing without divine permission; but this chain is long, and he appears oftentimes to have great liberty, and ranges about the air and earth, and does much mischief; but now he will be so bound by the power of Christ over him, that he will not be able to stir hand or foot, to disturb the saints, or deceive the nations, whether with false worship, and false doctrine, or by stirring them up to persecute the saints. So of the devil, Asmodaeus, it is said in the Apocrypha,

"And Raphael was sent to heal them both, that is, to scale away the whiteness of Tobit's eyes, and to give Sara the daughter of Raguel for a wife to Tobias the son of Tobit; and to bind Asmodeus the evil spirit; because she belonged to Tobias by right of inheritance. The selfsame time came Tobit home, and entered into his house, and Sara the daughter of Raguel came down from her upper chamber.'' (Tobit 3:17)

that the angel Raphael, "bound him". The space of a thousand years is not a certain number for an uncertain, or a large and indeterminate space of time, as in Psalm 90:4 these years are to be taken, not indefinitely, but definitely, for just this number of years exactly, as appears from their having the article prefixed to them; and are called afterwards, no less than four times, , "the thousand years", or these thousand years, Revelation 20:3 and from the things which are attributed to the beginning and ending of these years, which fix the epoch, and period of them; as the binding of Satan, when they begin, and the loosing of him when they end, as well as the reign of the saints with Christ during the whole time; to which may be added, the resurrection of the saints at the commencement of them, and the resurrection of the wicked at the close: but the great question is, whether they are begun or not? if they are begun, when they began; and if not, when they will. Some think that they began either at the birth of Christ, or at his resurrection, or at the destruction of Jerusalem. I put these together, because they were all in one century, within the compass of seventy years, or thereabout; so that if the thousand years began at either of them, they must end in the same century, in 1100. Now though, upon Christ's coming Satan fell like lightning from heaven, and multitudes of men, possessed with devils, were dispossessed by Christ, and he that had the power of death, the devil, was destroyed by him; and upon the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles in the Gentile world, the prince of the world was cast out, his oracles were struck dumb, multitudes were converted, and churches were set up everywhere, yet still Satan was not bound: he was not bound before the death of Christ; witness the many bodies of men possessed by him; his tempting Christ himself in the wilderness; his attacks upon him in the garden, and on the cross; his putting it into the heart of Judas to betray him; and filling the chief priests and scribes with malice and envy against him, to seek his death, which they brought about: nor was he bound, so as not to deceive the Jews, either before or after the death of Christ, nor is he to this day; they were in Christ's time under the influence of their father the devil, whose lust they would do, and did, in putting Christ to death; and after his death, they were instigated by Satan to persecute his apostles in Judea, and elsewhere; and though after the destruction of Jerusalem they had no more power to act in this way, yet they had no less ill will and malice against the Christians, and are to this day filled with enmity against them, and are led captive by Satan, and given up to believe a lie, that the Messiah is not come, and to reject the true Messiah, and to expect a false one: and as for the Heathen world, notwithstanding the progress of the Gospel in it, yet for the first three hundred years Paganism was the established religion of the Roman empire; and Christianity was everywhere spoken against, despised, and persecuted, and sometimes triumphed over, as if it was extinct; and Satan could never be said to be bound, and in prison himself, when he cast such multitudes into prison, and caused them to have tribulation ten days, Revelation 2:10 in which so many martyrs suffered; nor did Satan appear to be bound, with respect to the church; the mystery of iniquity began to work in the apostle's times, and there were then many antichrists in the world, deceivers, false teachers and heretics; there was a synagogue of Satan, Revelation 2:9 and such a set of vile persons under the name of Christians, as scarce ever was in the world; to which may be added, the great decline of love, and other graces, and of the purity of doctrine and worship in the best churches, and the many contentions among themselves, in which Satan had a great hand, and therefore could not be bound: moreover, some hundreds of years before the thousand years ended, beginning from either of the above dates, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the pope, or western antichrist, was revealed, whose coming is after the working of Satan, 2 Thessalonians 2:9 and therefore surely he could not be bound then; besides, Mahomet, the eastern antichrist, sprung up, who opened the bottomless pit, and let out the smoke of it, by the Alcoran he delivered, and the false worship he set up: nor was there anything in the eleventh century, which answered to the loosing of Satan, to the Gog and Magog army, their war with the saints, and the issue of it; nor were the nations then more deceived than they had been in some centuries past; at least they were deceived in centuries past, both by the pope and Mahomet, which they would not have been, had Satan been bound then: to which may be subjoined, that if Satan was loosed, then he cannot be said to be loosed a little season, as in Revelation 20:3 in comparison of the thousand years, as that must be understood; since it is now between six and seven hundred years since, which is more than half a thousand years. Others begin these years at Constantine's coming to the imperial throne; but though there was at that time a great spread of the Gospel, an enlargement of Christ's kingdom, and a weakening of Satan's, yet Satan was far from being bound; see Revelation 12:7 witness the flood of errors and heresies which he quickly brought in, as the Eutychian and Nestorian heresies, the one confounding the natures, the other dividing the person of Christ; the Pelagian heresy, which obscured the grace of God, and advanced the free will of man; the Macedonian heresy, which denied the divinity of the Spirit: and especially the Arian heresy, which was opposed to the deity of Christ, and which introduced great contentions and confusion the churches, and issued in a violent persecution of them, being embraced by the sons of Constantine: not to take notice of Julian, an Heathen emperor, ascending the throne, who by many devilish arts endeavoured to extirpate Christianity; nor what has been observed before, the rise of both Mahomet in the east, and the Romish antichrist in the west, which were both within this period; in process of time the western empire was overrun by the Goths and Vandals, and the eastern empire by the Saracens and Turks; to which may be added, the violent persecutions of the Waldenses and Albigenses, before the year 1300, about which time the thousand years must cease, according to this computation, for opposing the pope of Rome, and who were slain where Satan had his seat, Revelation 2:13 and therefore not bound; nor was there anything happened in that century which might answer to the loosing of him. Others date these thousand years from the Reformation, and so not much more than two hundred of them are yet passed; but that Satan was not bound then, and is not now, is manifest. All the Popish nations have not been reformed, but still remain under the deception; and some, that have been, have revolted again; and the devil has continued to deceive the nations with that false worship, and to stir them up to persecute the reformed. Witness the burning of them here in Queen Mary's days, the massacres in France and Ireland, the present inquisition in Spain and Portugal, and the persecution of the Hugonots in France, and other Protestants elsewhere: and this is further evident from the decline in the reformed churches, both as to doctrine, discipline, and conversation; from the spread of errors and heresies of all kinds ever since, and especially in our age; and from the general profaneness and infidelity of the times, which, when considered, no man in his senses can ever think that Satan is bound; nor indeed will he be bound, or these thousand years begin, till after the conversion of the Jews, and the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles, and the destruction of all the antichristian powers, Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan, as appears from the order of this vision, and its connection with the preceding chapter.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him {3} a thousand years,

(3) The first of which (continuing this history with the end of the second chapter) in the 36 years from the passion of Christ, when the Church of the Jews being overthrown, Satan attempted to invade the Christian church gathered from the Gentiles, and to destroy part of her seed, Re 12:17. The thousandth year falls precisely on the times of that wicked Hildebrand, who was called Gregory the seventh, a most damnable necromancer and sorcerer, whom Satan used as an instrument when he was loosed out of bonds, from then on to annoy the saints of God with most cruel persecutions, and the whole world with dissentions, and most bloody wars: as Benno the Cardinal reports at large. This is the first victory gained over the dragon in the earth.

2. that old serpent] Revelation 12:9.Revelation 20:2. Τὸν δράκοντα ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος[214]) Apposition between an oblique case and the nominative. See Appar. p. 778 [Ed. II. p. 488, § 5].—χίλια ἔτη, a thousand years) A. 1716, Zeltner published a dissertation on the Chiliasm (he would more properly have said, on the Millennium) now present, in the beginning of which he expresses his surprise, that any one can shrink from the title of Chiliast; because it is plain that he who embraces the Divine authority of the Apocalypse, must also of necessity admit the thousand years in some sense. Very well said. But there are some who, compelled by this Text, acknowledge that there is to be a remarkable and long-continued tranquillity of the Church, and maintain this with impunity. How with impunity? On account of this one thing, that THEY REMOVE FROM THEIR MOUTH THE THOUSAND YEARS WHICH HAVE PROCEEDED FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD. It is of no advantage thus to alarm good men. But these thousand years do not run on even a step simultaneously with the times of the beast, nor do they altogether precede those times, but totally follow them. This is proved by—I. The arrangement of the whole book, representing one continuous and connected series of events. II. The relation of the trumpet of the seventh angel, inasmuch as these [thousand] years also fall under it: ch. Revelation 10:1, note. III. This is particularly proved by the events which precede. The delivery of the woman, before spoken of, was followed by the casting out of the dragon from heaven to the earth; and with this casting out is connected the third woe, in which the dragon, through the instrumentality of the beast and with the aid of the beast (ch. Revelation 16:13), has most unbridled power: at the close of the third woe the beast will make war, and being overcome, will be cast into the lake of fire; and at the same time, namely, after his destruction, the chief enemy who remains will be shut up in the bottomless pit. IV. Before the close of the number of the beast, the times in the Apocalypse are enigmatical; afterwards, they are expressed in their literal signification. They violate this excellent system of prophecy who blend together the times of the beast and the thousand years. V. The millennium itself is distinguished by a new, great, pure, and long-continued exemption from internal and external evils, since the authors of these evils are removed, and by an abundance of varied happiness, such as the Church hitherto has not beheld: Romans 11:12; Romans 11:15; Romans 11:25 : for the nations have never ceased to be deceived, for instance, by Mahometanism. VI. This is proved by the events which follow. Now there follow the last times of the world, and in them the loosing of the devil, who deceives Gog and Magog, and who is doomed to be cast into the lake of fire in addition to the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 20:10). In short, the accusation of Satan in heaven, his rage on earth, through a space shorter than the millennium; his captivity in the bottomless pit, during a thousand years; and after the deceiving of Gog and Magog, his torment in the lake of fire for ever; they succeed one another in such a manner that none of them can be joined with another, the order of none can be transposed. He must deny the perspicuity of Scripture altogether who persists in denying this, and endeavours to refute it. To these arguments there is added, VII. The tenor of the language in Revelation 20:1, which continues the events immediately preceding, and does not return to a thread which has been for a considerable length of time interrupted. VIII. Those events, which are contained in ch. 19, are plainly followed by these which take place from ch. Revelation 20:11 to ch. Revelation 22:5; the millennium comes between, of which neither the beginning nor the end, if it is past, falls in to this place; therefore they cannot transfer it elsewhere, unless their inclination stands in the place of reason. It is evident from this, that the view of the Chiliasts was not correctly derived by Gebhardi from this, that the connection of the prophetical word was neglected by them.—Comm. on Twelve Prophets, p. 655. Lastly, IX. Between the angel of the αἰωνίου, everlasting Gospel, ch. Revelation 14:6, and the end of the world, a certain αἰὼν, age, intervenes; but no one will be able to point it out, if the millennium is taken away. In a short time, they who believe that the millennium is at hand, will be found to have the privilege of the true meaning, rather than those who contend that it is past; nor do they delay the course of the sun, who speak against it. In the meantime, let every one see in what things he himself seeks a happy life. There is no error, much less danger, in maintaining that the thousand years are future, hut rather in interpreting these years, whether future or past, in a carnal sense. The doctrine respecting the Son of God is a mystery, His cross is a mystery, and lastly, His glory also. He himself is a sign, which is spoken against in one point after another. There is abundant ground for believing and confessing Him.

[214] So A. But h Vulg. and Rec. Text have τὸν ὄφιν τὸν ἀρχαῖον.—E.Verses 2, 3. - And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan. These titles are an exact repetition of Revelation 12:9 (which see). And bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit. The abyss, as we have seen (on ver. 1), is the present abode of Satan; the act of binding, therefore, is now over. This fact opposes the interpretation which makes "the thousand years" yet in the future. When, then, did this binding take place? Only one answer can be given. It was when Christ bruised the serpent's head by his act of redemption. Thus, "Christ was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8); "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out." (John 12:31); "The prince of this world hath been judged" (John 16:11). Satan is the strong man bound (Matthew 12:26, 29). Next, what is meant by "for a thousand years"? The best interpretation seems to be that this phrase expresses a quality, and does not express a period of time. That such a method of employing numbers is usual in the Apocalypse we have frequently seen (see on Revelation 1:4, "seven;" Revelation 13:1, "ten," etc.). Here, therefore, as in Revelation 7:4, "one thousand" signifies "completeness." Satan is bound "for a thousand years;" that is, Satan is completely bound. In Ezekiel (from which the following part of the vision is certainly derived) a similar use is made of the terms "seven years" (Ezekiel 39:9) and "seven months" (Ezekiel 39:12). But, again, in what sense can Satan be said to have been "completely" bound by our Lord's work of redemption? The answer is - In relation to the godly. The purpose of this sentence is that which is one great purpose of the whole book, viz. to encourage the struggling Christian. Thus this sentence assures Christians that, for them, Satan has been completely bound, and they need not despair nor fear his might (cf. "loosed," infra). The chapter thus describes, not a millennium of the saints, but the overthrow of Satan. Before the picture of the war and the overthrow, the saints are invited to behold the complete security of those who have not worshipped the beast nor his image; just as the vision of Christ victorious introduced the seal visions. And shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, etc. It is possible that there is here a reference to the death and burial of Christ (Matthew 27:66). Satan "met in reality that fate which he was able, in a shadowy and temporary form, to inflict on Jesus - he was bound and shut up in the abyss, and the abyss was sealed over him" (Milligan. Cf. also the word "abyss," supra). Satan was thus bound "that he might deceive the nations no more," etc.; that is, Satan, in his character of the deceiver (cf. Revelation 12:9) of the world, is thus limited in his power by the binding which has been described. The nations; in the sense of the world, not the ungodly world. And after that he must be loosed a little season. Omit "and." "A little time" (μικρὸν χροόνον) is the exact phrase used in Revelation 6:11, where it certainly means the period of this world's existence. Such also is its meaning here. "He must be loosed" signifies that Satan is, in regard to the ungodly, allowed to work his will during this period. The thousand years' binding, and the loosing for a little time, describe two events which occur contemporaneously. While the godly need have no fear, because even in this world Satan's power as regards them is completely limited by Christ's act of redemption, yet in another sense, as regards the ungodly, Satan is loosed and obtains power over them. The chief difficulty in this interpretation lies in the words, "after this." But it must be remembered that the "thousand years" do not express a period of time, but the quality of completeness. Therefore the loosing of Satan must not be supposed to take place in a period subsequent to the period of the binding. The seer wishes to describe the devil in a twofold character, subordinating the second to the first. He thus says, "By Christ's redeeming work Satan is bound and fettered in regard to you faithful Christians; but there is also a second subordinate fact to remember, that at the same time he is powerful in his natural sphere, among his own adherents." The binding of Satan in one direction being immediately followed by a display of power in another, and the former fact being expressed by the chronological symbolism of being bound for a thousand years, it is part of this chronological symbolism to express the second fact as taking place after the first, though a subordination of the secondary to the primary effect is really what is intended to be conveyed (see Milligan, quoted above). He laid hold (ἐκράτησεν)

See on Mark 8:3; see on Acts 3:11.

The dragon (τὸν δράκοντα)

See on Revelation 12:3. The word is commonly derived from ἔδρακον, the second aorist tense of δέρκομαι to see clearly, in allusion to the sharp sight of the fabled dragon.

Old (ἀρχαῖον)

See on 1 John 2:7.

The Devil

Note the three epithets: the Old Serpent, the Devil, Satan. See on Matthew 4:1; see on Luke 10:18.

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