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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Revelation 20



Other Authors
Verse 1

Of the bottomless pit

See on Revelation 9:1. This is to be distinguished from the lake of fire. Compare Revelation 20:10.

Chain ( ἅλυσιν )

See on Mark 5:4. Only here in John's writings.

In his hand ( ἐπί )

Lit., upon: resting on or hanging upon.

Verse 2

He laid hold ( ἐκράτησεν )

See on Mark 8:3; see on Acts 3:11.

The dragon ( τὸν δράκοντα )

See on Revelation 12:3. The word is commonly derived from ἔδρακον, the second aorist tense of δέρκομαι tosee clearly, in allusion to the sharp sight of the fabled dragon.

Old ( ἀρχαῖον )

See on 1 John 2:7.

The Devil

Note the three epithets: the Old Serpent, the Devil, Satan. See on Matthew 4:1; see on Luke 10:18.

Verse 3


See on John 3:33.

Must ( δεῖ )

According to God's purpose. See on Matthew 16:21; see on Luke 2:49; see on Luke 24:26.

Verse 4


See on Revelation 2:13.

They sat

All the faithful members of Christ's Church. Compare they reigned with Christ.

Beheaded ( πεπελεκισμένων )

From πέλεκυς anax. Only here in the New Testament.

They lived

Equivalent to lived again. Compare Revelation 20:5.

Verse 5

Lived - again ( ἀνέζησαν )

Read ἔζησαν livedas in Revelation 20:4

Verse 6

Hath part ( ἔχων μέρος )

A phrase peculiar to John as referring to a person. Compare John 13:8.

Second death

See on Revelation 2:11.

Verse 8

Gog and Magog

See Genesis href="/desk/?q=ge+10:2&sr=1">Genesis 10:2. where Magog appears as a son of Japhet. Magog is a general name for the northern nations, and, according to Ezekiel, Gog is their prince. Josephus says that the descendants of Magog were the Scythians.

Verse 9

On the breadth ( ἐπὶ τὸ πλάτος )

Lit., over ( ἐπί ). As distinguished from the “four corners” of Revelation 20:8. They overspread the earth.

The camp ( τὴν παρεμβολὴν )

See on castle, Acts 21:34. Encompassing and defending the city. Compare Psalm 78:7.

The beloved city

Compare Psalm 78:68.

From God


Verse 12

Before God

Read θρόνου thronefor Θεοῦ GodSo Rev., before the throne.

The books ( βιβλία )

No article. Read books. Compare Daniel 7:10.

Book of life

See on Revelation 3:5.

Verse 13

The sea

As commonly understood, the sea means the literal sea, and the passage signifies that the dead contained in it shall rise. So Alford. Other interpreters, however, say that it cannot mean the literal sea. Thus Milligan argues that the symbols of the Apocalypse must always be interpreted in the same way. “Symbols,” he says, “are a form of speech, and therefore subject to the rules that regulate the interpretation of all speech … The power of that convention which links a certain sense to a certain sound in ordinary terms, is not less binding in the presence than in the absence of metaphor of any kind whatever. Thus when we read in the Apocalypse of 'the sea' as an emblem of the troubled and sinful nations of the earth, we are bound, unless forbidden by the context, to carry that interpretation through, and to understand the sea of the troubled and sinful world.”

Hell ( ὁ ᾅδης )

Rev., Hades. See on Matthew 16:18.

Verse 14

This is the second death

Add even the lake of fire.

Verse 15

And whosoever ( εἴ τις )

Lit., if any. So Rev.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 20:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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