The Thousand Year Reign
1 Then#tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding#tn The word “holding” is implied. The two clauses “having the key of the abyss” and “a huge chain in his hand” can be construed in two ways: (1) both are controlled by the participle ἔχοντα (econta) and both are modified by the phrase “in his hand” – “having in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain.” (2) The participle ἔχοντα refers only to the key, and the phrase “in his hand” refers only to the chain – “having the key of the abyss and holding a huge chain in his hand.” Because of the stylistic tendency in Rev to use the verb ἔχω (ecw) to mean “hold (something)” and the phrase “in his hand” forming a “bracket” along with the verb ἔχω around both the phrases in question, the first option is preferred. in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. 2 He#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. seized the dragon – the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan – and tied him up for a thousand years. 3 The angel#tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel introduced in v. 1) has been specified in the translation for clarity. then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. threw him into the abyss and locked#tn Or “and shut.” While the lexical force of the term is closer to “shut,” it is acceptable to render the verb ἔκλεισεν (ekleisen) as “locked” here in view of the mention of the key in the previous verse. and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)
4 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge.#tn Grk “I saw thrones, and those seated on them, and judgment was given to them.” BDAG 567 s.v. κρίμα 3 says, “judging, judgment, the κρίμα ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς authority to judge was given to them Rv 20:4.” 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#tn Grk “God, and who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronoun “these” as subject. had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. came to life#tn On the use of the aorist ἔζησαν (ezhsan) BDAG 425 s.v. ζάω 1.a.β says, “of dead persons who return to life become alive again: of humans in general (3 Km 17:23) Mt 9:18; Ac 9:41; 20:12; Rv 20:4, 5.” and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.)#sn This statement appears to be a parenthetical comment by the author. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who takes part#tn Grk “who has a share.” in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them,#tn The shift from the singular pronoun (“the one”) to the plural (“them”) in the passage reflects the Greek text: The singular participle ὁ ἔχων (Jo ecwn) is followed by the plural pronoun τούτων (toutwn). In the interests of English style, this is obscured in most modern translations except the NASB. but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Satan’s Final Defeat
7 Now#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive#tn Or “mislead.” the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog,#sn The battle with Gog and Magog is described in the OT in Ezek 38:1-39:20. to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea.#tn Grk “of whom the number of them [is] like the sand of the sea” (an allusion to Isa 10:22). 9 They#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. went up#tn The shift here to past tense reflects the Greek text. on the broad plain of the earth#tn On the phrase “broad plain of the earth” BDAG 823 s.v. πλάτος states, “τὸ πλάτος τῆς γῆς Rv 20:9 comes fr. the OT (Da 12:2 LXX. Cp. Hab 1:6; Sir 1:3), but the sense is not clear: breadth = the broad plain of the earth is perh. meant to provide room for the countless enemies of God vs. 8, but the ‘going up’ is better suited to Satan (vs. 7) who has recently been freed, and who comes up again fr. the abyss (vs. 3).” The referent here thus appears to be a plain large enough to accommodate the numberless hoards that have drawn up for battle against the Lord Christ and his saints. and encircled#tn Or “surrounded.” the camp#tn On the term παρεμβολή (parembolh) BDAG 775 s.v. states, “Mostly used as a military t.t.…so always in our lit.…1. a (fortified) camp…ἡ παρεμβολὴ τῶν ἁγίων Rv 20:9 is also to be understood fr. the OT use of the word.” of the saints and the beloved city, but#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context. fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely.#tn See L&N 20.45 for the translation of κατεσθίω (katesqiw) as “to destroy utterly, to consume completely.” 10 And the devil who deceived#tn Or “misled.” them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur,#tn Traditionally, “brimstone.” where the beast and the false prophet are#tn The verb in this clause is elided. In keeping with the previous past tenses some translations supply a past tense verb here (“were”), but in view of the future tense that follows (“they will be tormented”), a present tense verb was used to provide a transition from the previous past tense to the future tense that follows. too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever.
The Great White Throne
11 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. I saw a large#tn Traditionally, “great,” but μέγας (megas) here refers to size rather than importance. white throne and the one who was seated on it; the earth and the heaven#tn Or “and the sky.” The same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky,” and context usually determines which is meant. In this apocalyptic scene, however, it is difficult to be sure what referent to assign the term. fled#tn Or “vanished.”sn The phrase the earth and the heaven fled from his presence can be understood (1) as visual imagery representing the fear of corruptible matter in the presence of God, but (2) it can also be understood more literally as the dissolution of the universe as we know it in preparation for the appearance of the new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1). from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision. books were opened, and another book was opened – the book of life.#tn Grk “another book was opened, which is of life.” So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the books being opened. the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds.#tn Grk “from the things written in the books according to their works.” 13 The#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death#sn Here Death is personified (cf. 1 Cor 15:55). and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each one was judged according to his deeds. 14 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death – the lake of fire. 15 If#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. anyone’s name#tn The word “name” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. was not found written in the book of life, that person#tn Grk “he”; the pronoun has been intensified by translating as “that person.” was thrown into the lake of fire.