Revelation 20:11-15

The Great White Throne Judgment

11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them.[a]
12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.[b] Another book was opened, which is the book of life,[c] and the dead were judged according to their works[d] by what was written in the books.
13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades[e] gave up their dead; all[f] were judged according to their works.
14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.[g] This is the second death, the lake of fire.[h]
15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 20

This chapter contains the binding of Satan, the saints' thousand years' reign with Christ, the loosing of Satan again, the destruction of him, and the Gog and Magog army, and the last judgment: the angel that is to bind Satan is described by his descent from heaven; by his having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand; and by the use he made of them, laying hold on Satan, binding him, casting him into the bottomless pit, and then shutting it up, and setting a seal on him; by all which he will be prevented from deceiving the nations for the space of a thousand years, Re 20:1-3. After this thrones are seen, with persons on them, to whom judgment is given; who are said to be such as had been martyrs for Jesus, and had not worshipped the beast, or professed his religion; whose happiness is represented by living and reigning with Christ a thousand years, when others will not; the second death will have no power on them; they will be the priests of God, and Christ, and reign with him during the said term, having a part in the first resurrection, Re 20:4-6. At the expiration of which term Satan will be loosed, and go out of prison, deceive the nations, and gather Gog and Magog to battle; who, being exceeding numerous, will cover the breadth of the earth, encompass the camp and city of the saints, when fire will come down from heaven and destroy them, and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet are, and be tormented for ever and ever, Re 20:7-10. And next an account is given of the general Judgment; and the judge is described by the throne he sat on, a white cloud, and by his majesty, which is such, that the heavens and the earth flee from before him, Re 20:11. And next the persons judged are described by their common state, the dead; by their age or condition, great and small, and by their position, standing before God; and then an account of the procedure, or rule of judgment; the books are opened, and the execution of judgment according to what is found in the books, Re 20:12 in order to which the sea, death, and the grave, give up the dead in them, and the two last are cast into the lake, and with them those who are not in the book of life, Re 20:13,14.

Revelation 20:11-15 In-Context

9 They came up over the surface of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed them.
10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them.
12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.
13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works.
14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Rv 18:21; Isaiah 51:6; Mt 24:35; 2 Pt 3:10
  • [b]. Dn 7:10
  • [c]. Isaiah 4:3; Dn 12:1; Rv 3:5; 17:8; 21:27
  • [d]. Ps 62:12; Jr 17:10; Rm 2:6; 1 Pt 1:17
  • [e]. Rv 1:18; 6:8
  • [f]. Lit each
  • [g]. Isaiah 25:7-8; 1 Co 15:26
  • [h]. Other mss omit the lake of fire