Revelation 20
Vincent's Word Studies
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Of the bottomless pit

See on Revelation 9:1. This is to be distinguished from the lake of fire. Compare Revelation 20:10.

Chain (ἅλυσιν)

See on Mark 5:4. Only here in John's writings.

In his hand (ἐπί)

Lit., upon: resting on or hanging upon.

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

And cast him into the bottomless pit, 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 after that he must be loosed a little season.

See on John 3:33.

Must (δεῖ)

According to God's purpose. See on Matthew 16:21; see on Luke 2:49; see on Luke 24:26.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

See on Revelation 2:13.

They sat

All the faithful members of Christ's Church. Compare they reigned with Christ.

Beheaded (πεπελεκισμένων)

From πέλεκυς an ax. Only here in the New Testament.

They lived

Equivalent to lived again. Compare Revelation 20:5.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Lived - again (ἀνέζησαν)

Read ἔζησαν lived, as in Revelation 20:4

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Hath part (ἔχων μέρος)

A phrase peculiar to John as referring to a person. Compare John 13:8.

Second death

See on Revelation 2:11.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Gog and Magog

See Ezekiel 38, 39. Compare Genesis 10:2. where Magog appears as a son of Japhet. Magog is a general name for the northern nations, and, according to Ezekiel, Gog is their prince. Josephus says that the descendants of Magog were the Scythians.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
On the breadth (ἐπὶ τὸ πλάτος)

Lit., over (ἐπί). As distinguished from the "four corners" of Revelation 20:8. They overspread the earth.

The camp (τὴν παρεμβολὴν)

See on castle, Acts 21:34. Encompassing and defending the city. Compare Psalm 78:7.

The beloved city

Compare Psalm 78:68.

From God


And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
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.
Before God

Read θρόνου throne for Θεοῦ God. So Rev., before the throne.

The books (βιβλία)

No article. Read books. Compare Daniel 7:10.

Book of life

See on Revelation 3:5.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
The sea

As commonly understood, the sea means the literal sea, and the passage signifies that the dead contained in it shall rise. So Alford. Other interpreters, however, say that it cannot mean the literal sea. Thus Milligan argues that the symbols of the Apocalypse must always be interpreted in the same way. "Symbols," he says, "are a form of speech, and therefore subject to the rules that regulate the interpretation of all speech... The power of that convention which links a certain sense to a certain sound in ordinary terms, is not less binding in the presence than in the absence of metaphor of any kind whatever. Thus when we read in the Apocalypse of 'the sea' as an emblem of the troubled and sinful nations of the earth, we are bound, unless forbidden by the context, to carry that interpretation through, and to understand the sea of the troubled and sinful world."

Hell (ὁ ᾅδης)

Rev., Hades. See on Matthew 16:18.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
This is the second death

Add even the lake of fire.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
And whosoever (εἴ τις)

Lit., if any. So Rev.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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