Revelation 20:4
New International Version
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

New Living Translation
Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

English Standard Version
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Berean Study Bible
Then I saw the thrones, and those seated on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Berean Literal Bible
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them, and the souls of those having been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not take the mark upon the forehead, and upon their hand. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

New American Standard Bible
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Contemporary English Version
I saw thrones, and sitting on those thrones were the ones who had been given the right to judge. I also saw the souls of the people who had their heads cut off because they had told about Jesus and preached God's message. They were the same ones who had not worshiped the beast or the idol, and they had refused to let its mark be put on their foreheads or hands. They will come to life and rule with Christ for 1,000 years.

Good News Translation
Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given the power to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been executed because they had proclaimed the truth that Jesus revealed and the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image, nor had they received the mark of the beast on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and ruled as kings with Christ for a thousand years.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. I also saw the people who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God's word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for 1,000 years.

International Standard Version
Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came back to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years.

NET Bible
Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

New Heart English Bible
I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as did not worship the beast nor his image, and did not receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I saw seats, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them, and these souls who were cut off for the testimony of Yeshua and for the word of God, and because they did not worship The Beast, neither its Image, nor received a mark between their eyes or on their hands, they lived and reigned with The Messiah for 1000 years;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were allowed to judge. Then I saw the souls of those whose heads had been cut off because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its statue and were not branded on their foreheads or hands. They lived and ruled with Christ for 1,000 years.

New American Standard 1977
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I saw thrones, and those who sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of those that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God and who had not worshipped the beast neither its image neither had received its mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they shall live and reign with Christ the thousand years.

King James 2000 Bible
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 who had not worshiped 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.

American King James Version
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to 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 on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

American Standard Version
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I saw seats; and they sat upon them; and judgment was given unto them; and the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not adored the beast nor his image, nor received his character on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Darby Bible Translation
And I saw thrones; and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and the souls of those beheaded on account of the testimony of Jesus, and on account of the word of God; and those who had not done homage to the beast nor to his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and hand; and they lived and reigned with the Christ a thousand years:

English Revised Version
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped 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.

Weymouth New Testament
And I saw thrones, and some who were seated on them, to whom judgment was entrusted. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded on account of the testimony that they had borne to Jesus and on account of God's Message, and also the souls of those who had not worshipped the Wild Beast or his statue, nor received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands; and they came to Life and were kings with Christ for a thousand years.

World English Bible
I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn't worship the beast nor his image, and didn't receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Young's Literal Translation
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them, and the souls of those who have been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus, and because of the word of God, and who did not bow before the beast, nor his image, and did not receive the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand, and they did live and reign with Christ the thousand years;
Study Bible
Satan Bound
3And he threw him into the Abyss, shut it, and sealed it over him, so that he could not deceive the nations until the thousand years were complete. After that, he must be released for a brief period of time. 4Then I saw the thrones, and those seated on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were complete. This is the first resurrection.…
Cross References
Daniel 7:9
As I continued to watch: Thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.

Daniel 7:18
But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever--yes, forever and ever.'

Daniel 7:22
until the Ancient of Days arrived and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for them to possess the kingdom.

Daniel 7:27
Then the sovereignty, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey Him.'

Matthew 19:28
Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 14:14
and you will be blessed. Since they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

John 14:19
In a little while, the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.

1 Corinthians 6:2
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

Revelation 1:2
who testifies to everything he saw. This is the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:9
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance that are in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and my testimony about Jesus.

Revelation 2:26
And to the one who is victorious and continues in My work until the end, I will give authority over the nations.

Revelation 3:21
To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Revelation 4:4
Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on these thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white, with golden crowns on their heads.

Revelation 7:3
"Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed the foreheads of the servants of our God."

Revelation 13:12
And this beast exercised all the authority of the first beast and caused the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed.

Revelation 13:15
The second beast was permitted to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship it to be killed.

Revelation 13:16
And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,

Revelation 13:17
so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark--the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Revelation 22:5
There will be no more night in the city, and they will have no need for the light of a lamp or of the sun. For the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.

Treasury of Scripture

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to 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 on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

thrones.

Daniel 7:9,18,22,27
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire…

Matthew 19:28
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:30
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

the souls.

Revelation 6:9
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Malachi 4:5
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Matthew 17:10-13
And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? …

beheaded.

Matthew 24:10
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Mark 6:16,27
But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead…

Luke 9:9
And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.

the witness.

Revelation 1:9
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 11:3,7
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth…

Revelation 12:11
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

and which.

Revelation 13:12-17
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed…

Revelation 14:11
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Revelation 15:2
And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.







Lexicon
Then
Καὶ (Kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

I saw
εἶδον (eidon)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

[the] thrones,
θρόνους (thronous)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 2362: From thrao; a stately seat; by implication, power or a potentate.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

those seated
ἐκάθισαν (ekathisan)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2523: Another form for kathezomai; to seat down, i.e. Set; intransitively, to sit; figuratively, to settle.

on
ἐπ’ (ep’)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

them
αὐτούς (autous)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

had been given
ἐδόθη (edothē)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1325: To offer, give; I put, place. A prolonged form of a primary verb; to give.

authority to judge.
κρίμα (krima)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2917: From krino; a decision ('crime').

And [I saw]
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
τὰς (tas)
Article - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

souls
ψυχὰς (psychas)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5590: From psucho; breath, i.e. spirit, abstractly or concretely.

of those who
τῶν (tōn)
Article - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

had been beheaded
πεπελεκισμένων (pepelekismenōn)
Verb - Perfect Participle Middle or Passive - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3990: To behead (with an axe). From a derivative of plesso; to chop off, i.e. Truncate.

for
διὰ (dia)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1223: A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through.

[their]
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

testimony
μαρτυρίαν (martyrian)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3141: Witness, evidence, testimony, reputation. From martus; evidence given.

of Jesus
Ἰησοῦ (Iēsou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

for
διὰ (dia)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1223: A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through.

the
τὸν (ton)
Article - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

word
λόγον (logon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3056: From lego; something said; by implication, a topic, also reasoning or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, the Divine Expression.

of God,
θεοῦ (theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

those who
οἵτινες (hoitines)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3748: Whosoever, whichsoever, whatsoever.

had not worshiped
προσεκύνησαν (prosekynēsan)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4352: From pros and a probable derivative of kuon; to fawn or crouch to, i.e. prostrate oneself in homage.

the
τὸ (to)
Article - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

beast
θηρίον (thērion)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2342: Properly: a wild beast, hence: any animal; met: a brute. Diminutive from the same as thera; a dangerous animal.

[or]
οὐδὲ (oude)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3761: Neither, nor, not even, and not. From ou and de; not however, i.e. Neither, nor, not even.

its
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Neuter 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

image,
εἰκόνα (eikona)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1504: An image, likeness, bust. From eiko; a likeness, i.e. statue, profile, or representation, resemblance.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

had not received
ἔλαβον (elabon)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2983: (a) I receive, get, (b) I take, lay hold of.

[its]
τὸ (to)
Article - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

mark
χάραγμα (charagma)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 5480: Sculpture; engraving, a stamp, sign. From the same as charax; a scratch or etching, i.e. Stamp, or scupltured figure.

on
ἐπὶ (epi)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

[their]
τὸ (to)
Article - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

foreheads
μέτωπον (metōpon)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3359: The forehead, front. From meta and ops; the forehead.

[or]
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

hands.
χεῖρα (cheira)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5495: A hand.

And
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

they came to life
ἔζησαν (ezēsan)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2198: To live, be alive. A primary verb; to live.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

reigned
ἐβασίλευσαν (ebasileusan)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 936: (a) I rule, reign, (b) I reign over. From basileus; to rule.

with
μετὰ (meta)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 3326: (a) gen: with, in company with, (b) acc: (1) behind, beyond, after, of place, (2) after, of time, with nouns, neut. of adjectives.

Christ
χριστοῦ (christou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.

for a thousand
χίλια (chilia)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 5507: A thousand. Plural of uncertain affinity; a thousand.

years.
ἔτη (etē)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 2094: A year. Apparently a primary word; a year.
THE MILLENNIAL REIGN.

(4) And I saw thrones, and they sat . . . There is a prominence given to the thrones, because the thought of the reign of the saints is uppermost in the mind of the seer. The thrones are seen, and those who sat on them. It has been asked, "By whom are the thrones occupied?" The answer is supplied in the latter part of the verse. Those who are in the latter part said to reign with Christ are clearly those who sit upon the thrones which first caught the prophet's eye; these are all the real servants of God. They appear before the seer in two great classes:--First, the martyrs who have been faithful unto death; for he speaks first of seeing the souls of those who have been beheaded (strictly, "slain with the axe," but clearly the special class of beheaded martyrs is to be taken as representing all), because of the testimony of Jesus, and because of the word of God. The number of the martyrs is now complete (comp. Revelation 6:11); these form the first class mentioned. Secondly, those who have been faithful in life occupy these thrones. The prophet sees these, even whosoever did not worship (during life) the wild beast, nor yet his image, and did not receive the mark (comp. Revelation 13:10) on their forehead and upon their hand. The triumph and sovereignty, whatever they be, are shared by all the faithful. These things are stated as constituting their privileges. They lived, whereas the rest of the dead lived not; they reigned, and judgment was given them. This last has been felt to be a difficulty. What sort of judgment is intended? The passage in Daniel (Daniel 7:22) is clearly suggestive of the present one. The phrase (judgment was given) is not there to be understood as meaning that right was done them (see Note in Speaker's Commentary on Daniel), neither must it be so understood here. Judicial powers are given to the saints as to those who occupy thrones; "the chief power in governing" (Gebhardt) is given them (comp. Matthew 19:28, and 1Corinthians 6:2-3); they reign, they judge, they live; the true and full powers of life are seen to be theirs. And is not this the case always? Who, next to Him who knows the secrets of our hearts, exercises judicial powers over men? Do not those whose lives, as we read them, rebuke our own? Truly, those who lived for God, and refused the mark of earthliness, reign and judge us in our worldliness and weakness. This is their sovereign honour here, besides the glad reign in the unseen world.

Verse 4. - And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. This describes the position of Christians in this life. They sit upon thrones; that is, they reign with Christ. Judgment is given unto them; that is, by their conduct in the world the world is judged and condemned. St. John continually thus describes the Christian's position; and such a picture is specially applicable for his purpose here, which is to portray the glory of the Christian calling, and the certainty of the Christian's hope. The redeemed have been made kings, and reign (Revelation 5:10). So also St. Paul says we are "blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:2). 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. This is a special reference to the martyrs made with the object mentioned above, viz. that of encouraging Christians in their warfare. The class here described forms part of the whole body of Christians alluded to in the first part of the verse (cf. Revelation 6:10; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 12:17; Revelation 19:10; also Revelation 13; Revelation 15:2). In the same way the souls referred to in Revelation 6:9 are those existing during the period of this world, which we have here understood to be denoted indirectly by the "thousand years." And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. "The thousand years" adopted in the Textus Receptus, is found in B and others, but omitted in א, A, and others. "They lived and reigned with Christ" in complete and perfect assurance, as in ver. 2, and for the reason given in ver. 2, viz. that, Satan was bound completely. This living and reigning must not be limited to the period after the death of the martyrs (though it is doubtless true in this sense also), notwithstanding the fact that St. John sees them here after their death. It is as though he would say, "You Christians sit upon thrones and reign with Christ; yea, even those who suffered shameful deaths shared this perfect safety and exaltation, though to the eyes of the world they were so afflicted and degraded." They lived is described in ver. 5 as the "first resurrection." This can only be referred to that first awakening from sin to the glorious life of the gospel, which St. John elsewhere describes in a similar manner. "He that heareth my Word... hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24); "We have passed from death unto life" (1 John 3:14). 20:4-6 Here is an account of the reign of the saints, for the same space of time as Satan is bound. Those who suffer with Christ, shall reign with him in his spiritual and heavenly kingdom, in conformity to him in his wisdom, righteousness, and holiness: this is called the first resurrection, with which none but those who serve Christ, and suffer for him, shall be favoured. The happiness of these servants of God is declared. None can be blessed but those that are holy; and all that are holy shall be blessed. We know something thing of what the first death is, and it is very awful; but we know not what this second death is. It must be much more dreadful; it is the death of the soul, eternal separation from God. May we never know what it is: those who have been made partakers of a spiritual resurrection, are saved from the power of the second death. We may expect that a thousand years will follow the destruction of the antichristian, idolatrous, persecuting powers, during which pure Christianity, in doctrine, worship, and holiness, will be made known over all the earth. By the all-powerful working of the Holy Spirit, fallen man will be new-created; and faith and holiness will as certainly prevail, as unbelief and unholiness now do. We may easily perceive what a variety of dreadful pains, diseases, and other calamities would cease, if all men were true and consistent Christians. All the evils of public and private contests would be ended, and happiness of every kind largely increased. Every man would try to lighten suffering, instead of adding to the sorrows around him. It is our duty to pray for the promised glorious days, and to do every thing in our public and private stations which can prepare for them.
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