Revelation 20

Satan Bound

1 Then I saw 1an angel coming down from heaven, holding the 2key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold of the 3dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and 4bound him for a thousand years;
3 and he threw him into the 5abyss, and shut it and 6sealed it over him, so that he would 7not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
4 Then I saw 8thrones, and 9they sat on them, and 10judgment was given to them. And I saw 11the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their 12testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not 13worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the 14mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they 15came to life and 16reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. 17This is the first resurrection.
6 18Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the 19second death has no power, but they will be 20priests of God and of Christ and will 21reign with Him for a thousand years.

Satan Freed, Doomed

7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be 22released from his prison,
8 and will come out to 23deceive the nations which are in the 24four corners of the earth, 25Gog and Magog, to 26gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the 27sand of the seashore.
9 And they 28came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the 29camp of the saints and the 30beloved city, and 31fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
10 And 32the devil who 33deceived them was thrown into the 34lake of fire and brimstone, where the 35beast and the 36false prophet are also; and they will be 37tormented day and night forever and ever.

Judgment at the Throne of God

11 Then I saw a great white 38throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence 39earth and heaven fled away, and 40no place was found for them.
12 And I saw the dead, the 41great and the small, standing before the throne, and 42books were opened; and another book was opened, which is 43the book of life; and the dead 44were judged from the things which were written in the books, 45according to their deeds.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and 46death and Hades 47gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them 48according to their deeds.
14 Then 49death and Hades were thrown into 50the lake of fire. This is the 51second death, the lake of fire.
15 And if anyone's name was not found written in 52the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

Satan is bound for a thousand years. (1-3) The first resurrection; those are blessed that have part therein. (4-6) Satan loosed, Gog and Magog. (7-10) The last and general resurrection. (11-15)

Verses 1-3 Here is a vision, showing by a figure the restraints laid on Satan himself. Christ, with Almighty power, will keep the devil from deceiving mankind as he has hitherto done. He never wants power and instruments to break the power of Satan. Christ shuts by his power, and seals by his authority. The church shall have a time of peace and prosperity, but all her trials are not yet over.

Verses 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.

Verses 7-10 While this world lasts, Satan's power in it will not be wholly destroyed, though it may be limited and lessened. No sooner is Satan let loose, than he again begins deceiving the nations, and stirring them up to make war with the saints and servants of God. It would be well if the servants and ministers of Christ were as active and persevering in doing good, as his enemies in doing mischief. God will fight this last and decisive battle for his people, that the victory may be complete, and the glory be to himself.

Verses 11-15 After the events just foretold, the end will speedily come; and there is no mention of any thing else, before the appearing of Christ to judge the world. This will be the great day: the Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, will then put on majesty and terror. The persons to be judged are the dead, small and great; young and old, low and high, poor and rich. None are so mean, but they have some talents to account for; and none so great, as to avoid having to account for them. Not only those alive at the coming of Christ, but all the dead. There is a book of remembrance both for good and bad: and the book of the sinner's conscience, though formerly secret, will then be opened. Every man will recollect all his past actions, though he had long forgotten many of them. Another book shall be opened, the book of the Scriptures, the rule of life; it represents the Lord's knowledge of his people, and his declaring their repentance, faith, and good works; showing the blessings of the new covenant. By their works men shall be justified or condemned; he will try their principles by their practices. Those justified and acquitted by the gospel, shall be justified and acquitted by the Judge, and shall enter into eternal life, having nothing more to fear from death, or hell, or wicked men; for these are all destroyed together. This is the second death; it is the final separation of sinners from God. Let it be our great concern to see whether our Bibles justify or condemn us now; for Christ will judge the secrets of all men according to the gospel. Who shall dwell with devouring flames?

Cross References 52

  • 1. Revelation 10:1
  • 2. Revelation 1:18; Revelation 9:1
  • 3. Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9
  • 4. Isaiah 24:22; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6
  • 5. Revelation 20:1
  • 6. Daniel 6:17; Matthew 27:66
  • 7. Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:8, 10
  • 8. Daniel 7:9
  • 9. Matthew 19:28; Revelation 3:21
  • 10. Daniel 7:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2
  • 11. Revelation 6:9
  • 12. Revelation 1:9
  • 13. Revelation 13:12, 15
  • 14. Revelation 13:16
  • 15. John 14:19
  • 16. Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:5
  • 17. Luke 14:14; Philippians 3:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  • 18. Revelation 14:13
  • 19. Revelation 2:11; Revelation 20:14
  • 20. Revelation 1:6
  • 21. Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 20:4; Revelation 22:5
  • 22. Revelation 20:2
  • 23. Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:3, 10
  • 24. Ezekiel 7:2; Revelation 7:1
  • 25. Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 39:1, 6
  • 26. Revelation 16:14
  • 27. Hebrews 11:12
  • 28. Ezekiel 38:9, 16
  • 29. Deuteronomy 23:14
  • 30. Psalms 87:2
  • 31. Ezekiel 38:22; Ezekiel 39:6; Revelation 13:13
  • 32. Revelation 20:2
  • 33. Revelation 20:2
  • 34. Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:14, 15
  • 35. Revelation 16:13
  • 36. Revelation 16:13
  • 37. Revelation 14:10
  • 38. Revelation 4:2
  • 39. Revelation 6:14; Revelation 21:1
  • 40. Daniel 2:35; Revelation 12:8
  • 41. Revelation 11:18
  • 42. Daniel 7:10
  • 43. Revelation 3:5; Revelation 20:15
  • 44. Revelation 11:18
  • 45. Matthew 16:27; Revelation 2:23; Revelation 20:13
  • 46. 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 21:4
  • 47. Isaiah 26:19
  • 48. Matthew 16:27; Revelation 2:23; Revelation 20:12
  • 49. 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 1:18; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 21:4
  • 50. Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10, 15
  • 51. Revelation 20:6
  • 52. Revelation 3:5; Revelation 20:12

Footnotes 11

Chapter Summary

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 Commentaries