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Revelation 20

Revelation 20:1-15 . SATAN BOUND, AND THE FIRST-RISEN SAINTS REIGN WITH CHRIST, A THOUSAND YEARS; SATAN LOOSED, GATHERS THE NATIONS, GOG AND MAGOG, ROUND THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS, AND IS FINALLY CONSIGNED TO THE LAKE OF FIRE; THE GENERAL RESURRECTION AND LAST JUDGMENT.

8. Gog and Magog--(Ezekiel 38:1-39:29'; of Japheth's posterity, whose ideal head is Gog ( Genesis 10:2 ). A has but one Greek article to "Gog and Magog," whereby the two, namely, the prince and the people, are marked as having the closest connection. B reads the second article before Magog wrongly. HILLER [Onomasticon] explains both words as signifying "lofty," "elevated." For "quarters" the Greek is "corners."
to battle--Greek, "to the war," in A and B. But ANDREAS omits "the."

9. on the breadth of the earth--so as completely to overspread it. Perhaps we ought to translate, ". . . of the [holy] land."
the camp of the saints and the beloved city--the camp of the saints encircling the beloved city, Jerusalem (Ecclesiasticus 24:11). Contrast "hateful" in Babylon ( Revelation 18:2 , Deuteronomy 32:15 , Septuagint). Ezekiel's prophecy of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:1-39:29') refers to the attack made by Antichrist on Israel before the millennium: but this attack is made after the millennium, so that "Gog and Magog" are mystical names representing the final adversaries led by Satan in person. Ezekiel's Gog and Magog come from the north, but those here come "from the four corners of the earth." Gog is by some connected with a Hebrew root, "covered."
from God--so B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and ANDREAS. But A omits the words. Even during the millennium there is a separation between heaven and earth, transfigured humanity and humanity in the flesh. Hence it is possible that an apostasy should take place at its close. In the judgment on this apostasy the world of nature is destroyed and renewed, as the world of history was before the millennial kingdom; it is only then that the new heaven and new earth are realized in final perfection. The millennial new heaven and earth are but a foretaste of this everlasting state when the upper and lower congregations shall be no longer separate, though connected as in the millennium, and when new Jerusalem shall descend from God out of heaven. The inherited sinfulness of our nature shall be the only influence during the millennium to prevent the power of the transfigured Church saving all souls. When this time of grace shall end, no other shall succeed. For what can move him in whom the visible glory of the Church, while the influence of evil is restrained, evokes no longing for communion with the Church's King? As the history of the world of nations ended with the manifestation of the Church in visible glory, so that of mankind in general shall end with the great separation of the just from the wicked ( Revelation 20:12 ) [AUBERLEN].

10. that deceived--Greek, "that deceiveth."
lake of fire--his final doom: as "the bottomless pit" ( Revelation 20:1 ) was his temporary prison.
where--so Coptic. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac read, "where also."
the beast and the false prophet are--( Revelation 19:20 ).
day and night--figurative for without intermission ( Revelation 22:5 ), such as now is caused by night interposing between day and day. The same phrase is used of the external state of the blessed ( Revelation 4:8 ). As the bliss of these is eternal, so the woe of Satan and the lost must be. As the beast and the false prophet led the former conspiracy against Christ and His people, so Satan in person heads the last conspiracy. Satan shall not be permitted to enter this Paradise regained, to show the perfect security of believers, unlike the first Adam whom Satan succeeded in robbing of Paradise; and shall, like Pharaoh at the Rod Sea, receive in this last attempt his final doom.
for ever and ever--Greek, "to the ages of the ages."

11. great--in contrast to the "thrones," Revelation 20:4 .
white--the emblem of purity and justice.
him that sat on it--the Father [ALFORD]. Rather, the Son, to whom "the Father hath committed all judgment." God in Christ, that is, the Father represented by the Son, is He before whose judgment-seat we must all stand. The Son's mediatorial reign is with a view to prepare the kingdom for the Father's acceptance. When He has done that, He shall give it up.to the Father, "that God may be all in all," coming into direct communion with His creatures, without intervention of a Mediator, for the first time since the fall. Heretofore Christ's Prophetical mediation had been prominent in His earthly ministry, His Priestly mediation is prominent now in heaven between His first and second advents, and His Kingly shall be so during the millennium and at the general judgment.
earth and heaven fled away--The final conflagration, therefore, precedes the general judgment. This is followed by the new heaven and earth ( Revelation 21:1-27 ).

12. the dead--"the rest of the dead" who did not share the first resurrection, and those who died during the millennium.
small and great--B has "the small and the great." A, Vulgate, Syriac, and ANDREAS have "the great and the small." The wicked who had died from the time of Adam to Christ's second advent, and all the righteous and wicked who had died during and after the millennium, shall then have their eternal portion assigned to them. The godly who were transfigured and reigned with Christ during it, shall also be present, not indeed to have their portion assigned as if for the first time (for that shall have been fixed long before, John 5:24 ), but to have it confirmed for ever, and that God's righteousness may be vindicated in the case of both the saved and the lost, in the presence of an assembled universe. Compare "We must ALL appear," &c. Romans 14:10 , 2 Corinthians 5:10 . The saints having been first pronounced just themselves by Christ out of "the book of life," shall sit as assessors of the Judge. Compare Matthew 25:31 Matthew 25:32 Matthew 25:40 , "these My brethren." God's omniscience will not allow the most insignificant to escape unobserved, and His omnipotence will cause the mightiest to obey the summons. The living are not specially mentioned: as these all shall probably first (before the destruction of the ungodly, Revelation 20:9 ) be transfigured, and caught up with the saints long previously transfigured; and though present for the confirmation of their justification by the Judge, shall not then first have their eternal state assigned to them, but shall sit as assessors with the Judge.
the books . . . opened--( Daniel 7:10 ). The books of God's remembrance, alike of the evil and the good ( Psalms 56:8 , 139:4 , Malachi 3:16 ): conscience ( Romans 2:15 Romans 2:16 ), the word of Christ ( John 12:48 ), the law ( Galatians 3:10 ), God's eternal counsel ( Psalms 139:16 ).
book of life--( Revelation 3:5 , 13:8 , 21:27 , Exodus 32:32 Exodus 32:33 , Psalms 69:28 , Daniel 12:1 , Philippians 4:3 ). Besides the general book recording the works of all, there is a special book for believers in which their names are written, not for their works, but for the work of Christ for, and in, them. Therefore it is called, "the Lamb's book of life." Electing grace has singled them out from the general mass.
according to their works--We are justified by faith, but judged according to (not by) our works. For the general judgment is primarily designed for the final vindication of God's righteousness before the whole world, which in this checkered dispensation of good and evil, though really ruling the world, has been for the time less manifest. Faith is appreciable by God and the believer alone ( Revelation 2:17 ). But works are appreciable by all. These, then, are made the evidential test to decide men's eternal state, thus showing that God's administration of judgment is altogether righteous.

13. death and hell--Greek, "Hades." The essential identity of the dying and risen body is hereby shown; for the sea and grave give up their dead. The body that sinned or served God shall, in righteous retribution, be the body also that shall suffer or be rewarded. The "sea" may have a symbolical [CLUVER from AUGUSTINE], besides the literal meaning, as, in Revelation 8:8 , 12:12 , 13:1 , Revelation 18:17 Revelation 18:19 ; so "death" and "hell" are personifications (compare Revelation 21:1 ). But the literal sense need hardly be departed from: all the different regions wherein the bodies and souls of men had been, gave them up.

14. Death and Hades, as personified representatives of the enemies of Christ' and His Church, are said to be cast into the lake of fire to express the truth that Christ and His people shall never more die, or be in the state of disembodied spirits.
This is the second death--"the lake of fire" is added in A, B, and ANDREAS. English Version, which omits the clause, rests on inferior manuscripts. In hell the ancient form of death, which was one of the enemies destroyed by Christ, shall not continue, but a death of a far different kind reigns there, "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord": an abiding testimony of the victory of Christ.

15. The blissful lot of the righteous is not here specially mentioned as their bliss had commenced before the final judgment. Compare, however, Matthew 25:34 Matthew 25:41 Matthew 25:46 .

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