Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 20:11

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Colors;   Earth;   Heaven;   Judgment;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Millennium;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Day (of Destruction);   Day (of Judgment);   Day of Destruction;   Day of Judgment;   Death;   Judgment;   Summary;   Thompson Chain Reference - God's;   Government;   Sovereignty of God;   Throne, God's;   White;   The Topic Concordance - Hell;   Judgment;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Second Coming of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Judgment;   Throne;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Condemnation;   Judgment, Day of;   Presence of God;   Providence of God;   Punishment;   Wages;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Croisade, or Crusade;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Amillennialism;   Annihilationism;   Death;   Judgment;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Judgment, the Final;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Eschatology;   Judgment Day;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chiliasm;   Time;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Eschatology;   Fire;   Hades;   Immortality;   Judgment Damnation;   New Jerusalem;   Resurrection;   Throne ;   World;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Fire;   Gog;   Judge;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - White;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Color;   Desire of All Nations;   Judgment, Last;   Parousia;   Print;   Revelation of John:;   Satan;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Revelation (Book of);  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 25;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

A great white throne - Refulgent with glorious majesty.

Him that sat on it - The indescribable Jehovah.

From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away - Even the brightness of his countenance dissolved the universe, and annihilated the laws by which it was governed. This is a very majestic figure, and finely expressed.

There was found no place for them - The glorious majesty of God filling all things, and being all in all.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I saw a great white throne - This verse commences the description of the final judgment, which embraces the remainder of the chapter. The first thing seen in the vision is the burning throne of the Judge. The things that are specified in regard to it are, that it was “great,” and that it was “white.” The former expression means that it was high or elevated. Compare Isaiah 6:1. The latter expression - white - means that it was “splendid or shining.” Compare 1 Kings 10:18-20. The throne here is the same which is referred to in Matthew 25:31, and called there “the throne of his glory.”

And him that sat on it - The reference here undoubtedly is to the Lord Jesus Christ, the final Judge of mankind (compare Matthew 25:31), and the scene described is what will occur at his second advent.

From whose face - Or, from whose presence; though the word may be used here to denote more strictly his face - as illuminated, and shining like the sun. See Revelation 1:16, “And his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”

The earth and the heaven fled away - That is, as the stars, at the rising of the sun, seem to flee to more remote regions, and vanish from human view, so when the Son of God shall descend in his glory to judge the world, the earth and all other worlds shall seem to vanish. Every one must admire the sublimity of this image; no one can contemplate it without being awed by the majesty and glory of the final Judge of mankind. Similar expressions, where the natural creation shrinks back with awe at the presence of God, frequently occur in the Bible. Compare Psalm 18:7-15; Psalm 77:16-19; Psalm 114:3-5; Habakkuk 3:6, Habakkuk 3:10-11.

And there was found no place for them - They seemed to flee “entirely away,” as if there was “no” place where they could find a safe retreat, or which would receive and shelter them in their flight. The image expresses, in the most emphatic manner, the idea that they entirely disappeared, and no language could more sublimely represent the majesty of the Judge.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-20.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I saw a great white throne,.... This vision refers not to the Gospel dispensation, from the exaltation of Christ to his second coming; when he sat down on his throne at the right hand of God, and was declared Lord and Christ; when there was a shaking of the heavens and the earth, a removing of the Mosaic economy, and the ordinances of the ceremonial law in Judea, and of Paganism in the Gentile world; when the Gospel was preached to all nations, and the dead in sins were quickened, and arose and stood before the throne of grace; when the books of the Scriptures were opened and explained, and the book of life was also opened; and by the conversion of some, and not others, it was known who were written in it and who were not, and men were judged to be alive or dead in a spiritual sense, according to the influence the opening of these books had upon them; and the powers of the world, comparable to a sea, and of death and hell, were not able to hold in the dead in sin, when they were called to life, with respect to whom death and hell were destroyed; nor was the Gospel the savour of death to any but to such who were not written in the book of life. This, in other words, is the sum of Cocceius's sense of this vision; but this affair will be over, and all God's elect gathered in by the preaching of the Gospel, before this vision takes place: nor does it respect the restoration of the Jews, who now are as dead, like Ezekiel's dry bones, but will at this time be quickened, and stand upon their feet an exceeding great army, and will be gathered from the several parts where they are as dead; and when it will be known by their conduct and behaviour who are God's elect among them, and who are not; which is Brightman's interpretation of the vision: but this, as we have seen, will come to pass according to the vision in the preceding chapter, before the thousand years begin; whereas this vision will not begin to be accomplished until they are ended: it is best therefore to understand it of the general judgment at the last day, which is the common sense of ancient and modern interpreters; though it seems only to regard the judgment of the wicked, for no other are made mention of in it: the "throne" here seen is a throne of judgment; it is called a "great" one, because a great Person sat upon it, the Word of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, even he who is the great God, and Judge of the whole earth; and because of the great work that will be transacted upon it, the judgment of all the wicked; this will be the greatest assize that ever was held; it is called the judgment of the great day, and the great and dreadful day of the Lord, Judges 1:6, Malachi 4:5 this throne is also said to be a "white" one; just as the same Person is said to sit upon a white cloud, and ride upon a white horse, Revelation 14:14 it may be in allusion either to a white and serene cloud, or to a throne of ivory, such an one as Solomon made, 2 Chronicles 9:17 and this is either expressive of the majesty and splendour of it, it being a throne of glory, or a glorious throne, Matthew 25:31 or else it may denote the purity and justice of him that sits on it, according to which he will proceed in judgment, and finish it; his character is the righteous judge, and the judgment he will execute will be righteous judgment:

and him that sat on it; the throne was not empty, one sat upon it, who is no other than the Son of God; to whom all judgment is committed, and who is ordained to be Judge of quick and dead; and is every way fit for it, being of great knowledge, wisdom, and sagacity, and of great integrity and faithfulness, as man and Mediator, and being, as God, both omniscient and omnipotent, and so capable both of passing a right sentence, and of executing it; to which may be added, his great majesty and glory, necessary to strike an awe, and command an attention to him:

from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away, and there was found no place for them; which is to be understood not figuratively, as in Revelation 6:14 where in the one place is described the destruction of Paganism, and in the other the destruction of the Papacy, and all antichristian powers; but literally, and not of the present earth and heaven, as they now are, for these will be burnt up with fire at the beginning of the thousand years, but of the new heaven and new earth, at the end of them; and the phrases of fleeing away, and place being found no more for them, show the entire annihilation and utter abolition of them; after this there will be no place in being but the heaven of angels and saints, and the lake of fire, in which are the devils and damned spirits: but though this is mentioned here, it will not be till after the judgment is over; for how otherwise will the dead have a place to stand in before the throne, or hell, that is the grave, and also the sea, give up their dead, Revelation 20:12 but it is observed here, though afterwards done, to set off the majesty of the Judge upon the throne, at whose sight, and by whose power, this will be effected.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-20.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

19 And I saw a great 20 white throne, and him that sat on it, 21 from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

(19) The second part of this chapter, in which the judge is described in this verse, and the last judgment in the verse following.

(20) That is, a tribunal seat most princelike and glorious: for so does the Greek word signify.

(21) That is, Christ, before whom when he comes to judgment, heaven and earth shall perish for the greatness of his majesty; (2 Peter 3:7), (2 Peter 3:10).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-20.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

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).

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-20.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

A great white throne (τρονον μεγαν λευκονthronon megan leukon). Here μεγανmegan (great) is added to the throne pictures in Revelation 4:4; Revelation 20:4. The scene is prepared for the last judgment often mentioned in the N.T. (Matt 25:31-46; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). “The absolute purity of this Supreme Court is symbolized by the colour of the Throne” (Swete) as in Daniel 7:9; Psalm 9:1; Psalm 97:2. The name of God is not mentioned, but the Almighty Father sits upon the throne (Revelation 4:2., Revelation 4:9; Revelation 5:1, Revelation 5:7, Revelation 5:13; Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:10, Revelation 7:15; Revelation 19:4; Revelation 21:5), and the Son sits there with him (Hebrews 1:3) and works with the Father (John 5:19-21; John 10:30; Matthew 25:31.; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1).

From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away (ου απο προσωπου επυγεν η γε και ο ουρανοςhou apo prosōpou ephugen hē ge kai ho ouranos). Second aorist (prophetic) active of πευγωpheugō See Revelation 16:20. The non-eternity of matter is a common teaching in the O.T. (Psalm 97:5; Psalm 102:27; Isaiah 51:6) as in the N.T. (Mark 13:31; 2 Peter 3:10).

Was found (ευρετηheurethē). First aorist passive indicative of ευρισκωheuriskō All is now spiritual. Even scientists today are speaking of the non-eternity of the universe.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw — A representation of that great day of the Lord.

A great white throne — How great, who can say? White with the glory of God, of him that sat upon it,-Jesus Christ. The apostle does not attempt to describe him here; only adds that circumstance, far above all description, From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away - Probably both the aerial and the starry heaven; which "shall pass away with a great noise." And there was found no place for them - But they were wholly dissolved, the very "elements melting with fervent heat." It is not said, they were thrown into great commotions, but they fled entirely away; not, they started from their foundations, but they " fell into dissolution;" not, they removed to a distant place, but there was found no place for them; they ceased to exist; they were no more. And all this, not at the strict command of the Lord Jesus; not at his awful presence, or before his fiery indignation; but at the bare presence of his Majesty, sitting with severe but adorable dignity on his throne.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-20.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; a sublime image of power and majesty.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-20.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

And I saw

great white throne

The expressions, "the judgment," or, "day of judgment," as the passages and their context show, refer to the final judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.

there was found no place for him

The "day of destruction" is that aspect of the day of Jehovah Isaiah 2:12. (See Scofield "Revelation 19:19") (Summary) which visits final and eternal judgment upon the wicked. Three such "days" are included in the "day" of Jehovah, and are described in the references beginning with Isaiah 34:1-9. See Scofield "Matthew 25:32".

And I saw (See Scofield "Revelation 20:12").

Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 20:11". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-20.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Ver. 11. And I saw a great white throne] A lively description of the last judgment, to show that henceforth, since the last great battle, the New Jerusalem should have no disturbance till Christ comes to judgment. His throne is said to be white, for like reason as he is said to sit upon a white cloud and a white horse, Revelation 14:14; Revelation 19:11. He shall give most just and uncorrupt judgment.

From whose face the earth, &c.] To show either his terribleness or their renovation, 2 Peter 3:12; Romans 8:21.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-20.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 20:11

"And the Books were Opened.".

What are the books to be read? We are not told their title, but I think we may make some conjecture.

I. The first book will be the book of the law of God. Just as in our courts of justice the laws of the realm are always near at hand, that in any doubtful case they may be appealed to, so, I think, the first book will be the book of the revealed will of the holy and just God, a record of the laws and measures by which men will be tried.

II. The next book will be the book of the Gospel. Side by side with the volume of the law will stand the volume of God's love contained in the Gospel, the wondrous record of all that is done by God for man.

III. The third book will be the book of the dealings of God's Holy Spirit with the fallen family of man. Some of us may have already lost sight of the striving of the Holy Spirit with us; but God does not forget it: God does not lose sight of it.

IV. The book of God's providence will be opened. In it is kept, without any possibility of mistake, a record of all God's dealings with us externally. God is ever seeking by His providential dealings to bring us to Him.

V. The book of our life will be opened. Every one of us is writing a book; we are every one of us authors, although we may never have written a book, not even a line, in our lives. Though we may never have dreamt of printing a book, yet we are dictating to the recording angel the whole of our life from moment to moment, from hour to hour.

VI. The book of life. Jesus Christ is the Author of it. From beginning to end it is His. From the first page to the end, it is life all through: life as it first entered the soul; life as it grew and was fed and nourished and sustained, and the glorious results of life, the glorious harvest reaped by the soul; life which triumphs over our dead selves, which brings the dry bones together out of the gloomy sepulchre—the book of life, written by the Lord of life, Jesus Christ Himself.

W. Hay Aitken, Penny Pulpit, New Series, No. 881.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/revelation-20.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 20:11.— The course of these prophesies, after many important visions describing the state of the church and world in this present life, brings us at last to the great and final judgment, when the whole scene and mystery of Providence and Grace shall be finished. Then the great doctrine, which runs through the whole of these prophesies; will be fullyverified, that truth and righteousness shall surely prevail in the end against error and all iniquity; eternal happiness shall be the reward of the faithful, and everlasting destruction the punishment of the wicked.—This is represented as a sixth period of Providence, after which there will be, in the seventh, an everlasting sabbath; a state of eternal rest and happiness for all the righteous, and of the most perfect worship of God in the praises and devotions of the heavenly church.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-20.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here is another vision which St. John saw, namely, a lively representation of the great day of judgment, when all, both good and bad, that ever lived, shall be raised and sentenced according to their works: the state of the wicked is set forth in this chapter, and the happy condition of the righteous in heaven gloriously described in the two next chapters.

Observe here, 1. The judge described as sitting upon a throne, or seat of judgment; a throne, to denote that this judge is a king; and a white throne, to denote the purity and righteousness of this judge; and a great white throne, because erected for a great Judge, and for a great service, namely, the judging of the whole world.

Observe, 2. The dreadful majesty and glorious power of this judge declared, that neither heaven nor earth are able to abide his presence, but are said to flee away, and that there was no place found for them.

Observe, 3. The persons judged are here described, and that,

1. By their condition and qualification, all the dead, both small and great; all that ever lived, and all that shall then be found alive.

2. By their posture, they stand before the judge, whilst he sits to show his authority.

3. By the manner of proceeding, which is represented as being after the form of well-ordered judicatories here on earth; wherein the books are produced, namely, the book of God's omniscience, and the book of conscience, the book of the law, and the book of the gospel. They that had not the written law, shall be judged by the law of nature; they that had the written law are to be judged by that; and they that had the gospel, to be judged by that; and every one according to their works.

Observe, 4. The execution of the sentence of this great judge upon the wicked and impenitent world; they are cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.

From the whole learn, 1. That it is certain that there shall, and necessary that there should, be a day of judgment.

2. That in that day there will be no exemption of any persons from the examination of the judge. I saw all the dead, small and great, stand before God.

3. That Jesus Christ, called here God, (which clearly proves his deity,) shall come in the clouds to judge the world; and will then be found such a judge as the riches of the wealthiest cannot bribe; such a judge as the power of the mightiest cannot daunt; such a judge as the subtilty of the wisest cannot elude; such a judge as there is no appealing from, no repealing of, his sentence.

Learn, 4. That as the same person shall be judged, who formerly lived, so in the same bodies that died, and were either buried in the earth, or consumed in the sea. The sea gave up her dead; by which understand all places, though attended with never so many improbable circumstances of a resurrection, shall yet give up the dead. Death and hell, that is death and the grave, gave up the dead which were in them; that is by the power of God were made to restore them.

Learn, 3. That the sentence denounced will be according to every man's work at the great day; according to the nature and quality of the wicked man's works shall his judgment and punishment be; according to the sincerity, not according to the imperfection, of the righteous man's works, shall his reward be.

God grant that the consideration of this may so far influence us, that no profit may tempt us, no pleasure entice us, no power embolden us, no privacy encourage us, to do that thing, of which we cannot give a good account in the day of judgment.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-20.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 20:11. καὶ, and) Up to this time there has been a description of the events which are to be accomplished between the day of John’s vision and the last day. It is therefore proper to insert here a Synopsis of the times, which are comprised in the prophecy.

A CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE CONTENTS OF THE APOCALYPSE.

3940.

Commencement of

3943.

The first year of the era of Dionysius.

a.d.

30.

Jesus Christ suffers; dies; rises again: affords Apocalyptic strictures, John 21:22-23; Acts 1:7 : and ascends into heaven.

96.

The Apocalypse is given: the coming of the Lord is announced to the seven churches in Asia, and to their angels, Apoc. 1. 2. and 3.

97, 98.

The seven seals are opened, and under the fifth the Chronus [Revelation 6:11, period or season; not as Engl. “little season”] is proclaimed, ch. 4–6. Seven trumpets are given to the seven angels, ch. 7. 8.

Century 2, 3, 4, 5.

The trumpet of 1James, 2 d, 3d, 4th angel - Revelation 8

a. 510–589.

The first woe,

589–634.

The interval after the first woe.

634–840.

The second woe,

800–1836.

The Non-Chronus; many kings,

Revelation 10; Revelation 11

840–947.

The interval after the second woe,

Revelation 11:14.

864–1521.

The 1260 days of the woman, after she had brought forth the man-child,

Revelation 12:6.

947–1836.

The third woe,

Revelation 12:12.

1058–1836.

The time, times, and half a time: and within that period, the beast, and his 42 months, and his number 666,

Revelation 12:14; Revelation 13:5.

1209.

War with the saints, end of the Chronus,

Revelation 13:7.

1614.

The everlasting Gospel [published],

Revelation 14:6.

1810.

End of the 42 months of the beast; upon the completion of which, and the pouring out of the seven vials, he is not, and Babylon sits as a Queen,

Revelation 15. etc.

1832.

The beast out of the bottomless pit,

Revelation 17; Revelation 18

1836.

End of the Non-Chronus, and of the many kings: the fulfilling of the words of God, and of the mystery of God: repentance of those who are left in the great city. End of the short time (“space”), and of the 3½ times. The destruction of the beast, the imprisonment of Satan,

Revelation 19; Revelation 20

Afterwards:

The loosing of Satan for a little Chronus: commencement of the 1000 years’ reign of the saints: end of the little Chronus,

Revelation 20

End of the world: all things new,

Revelation 20-22

I declare throughout, by what condition I wish it to be thought that the years in this table are defined. Therefore I beg, that no one will suppose anything to be advanced by me which is opposed to true sobriety, but that all will favourably receive that which is suitably offered. In the meantime, according to the guidance of the Apocalypse, you may not inappropriately distinguish the centuries from the time of John in Patmos to our own age by the following characteristics:The birth of Jesus Christ.

Cent. 2.

The Destruction of Judaism,

3.

The Inroad of the Barbarians,

Revelation 8.

4.

The Arian age: the Arian bitterness,

Revelation 10.

5.

Overthrow of the Empire of Rome,

Revelation 12.

6.

The Jewish Synagogue tormented,

Revelation 9:1.

7.

The Saracen cavalry,

Revelation 13.

8.

The Iconoclastic age: many Kings,

Revelation 10:11.

9.

The age of Photius: the Ruler of the nations also born,

Revelation 12:5.

10.

The Disastrous age: the third woe,

Revelation 12.

11.

The age of Hildebrand: the rising of the beast out of the sea,

Revelation 13:1.

12.

The Waldensian age: Power given to the beast,

Revelation 5.

13.

The Scholastic age: War with the saints,

Revelation 7.

14.

The age of Wicliff: the middle of the third woe.

15.

The age of Synods: the beast in the midst of his strength.

16.

The age of the Reformation: the woman in the wilderness better fed.

17.

The everlasting Gospel [published],

18.

The Worship of the beast, and his image,

Revelation 9.

ἔφυγεν, fled) This is the day, that day, the great day, Hebrews 10:25, in which the earth and heaven flee away; and moreover the last day, the day of the resurrection and the judgment, Revelation 20:12, etc.; John 6:39; John 12:48. All judgment is given to the Son: John 5:27.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-20.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

God now giveth his prophet a vision of the last day, the day of judgment. He seeth

a throne, a place of judicature; said to be great, to denote its gloriousness;

white, to signify Christ’s purity and holiness in his judging the world. And he saw Christ sitting upon it, and all old things passing away. Peter thus describes this flying away of the earth and heavens; The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up, 2 Peter 3:10. All these things shall be dissolved, 2 Peter 3:11.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-20.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

великий белый престол Откровение упоминает престол около 50 раз. Это превознесенный престол суда. Чистый и святой Бог в Лице Господа Иисуса Христа сидит на нем как судья (ср. 4:2, 3, 9; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 7:10, 15). См. 21:5, 6; Ин. 5:22-29; Деян. 17:31.

бежало небо и земля Иоанн видел, как зараженная грехом вселенная перестала существовать. Петр описал этот момент в 2Пет. 3:10-13 (см. пояснение к этому месту). Вселенная не пересоздается – она уходит в небытие (ср. Мф. 24:35).

(20:11-15) В этих стихах описываются последние суды над всеми грешниками всех возрастов (Мф. 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; Лк. 10:14; Ин. 12:48; Деян. 17:31; 24:25; Рим. 2:5, 16; Евр. 9:27; 2Пет. 2:9; 3:7; Иуд. 6). Наш Господь назвал это событие «воскресением осуждения» (Ин. 5:29). Этот суд происходит в неописуемом безвременье между концом настоящей вселенной (ст. 11) и созданием нового неба и новой земли (21:1).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-20.html.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw a great white throne ... Is this God, or Christ? We should probably read it as Christ, to correspond with Matthew 25:31-46, and also with the truth that God has committed judgment unto the Son of man (John 5:22).

From whose face the earth and the heaven fled away ... Note that very similar things were written in Revelation 6:14; 16:20; 18:21; 19:20, making it emphatic that this is the same occasion as the one in view in those passages also.

It is merely an idle quibble to dispute whether God, or Christ, is on the throne. Paul said, "God will judge" (Acts 17:31), and also that, "Christ will judge" (2 Timothy 4:1). "The unity of the Father and the Son is such that there is no difficulty in ascribing the action of one to the other."[51]

The removal of earth and heaven at the final judgment are indicated here, and this harmonizes with the New Testament throughout. See 2 Peter 3:6-13; Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 12:27, etc. The destruction of the earth is an event scheduled for the occasion of the Second Advent of Christ.

ENDNOTE:

[51] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 195.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Vision 9 The Great White Throne and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 20:11 to Revelation 21:8).

The Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15).

‘And I saw a great white throne, and he who sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them.’

Once again a vision brings us to the judgment day, but now it is prior to a description of everlasting blessing for the people of God. Previously events have led up to the judgment day, depicted in a number of ways. Now a vision commences with the judgment day and leads up to what lies beyond. This time, rather than being described in terms of earthquakes and great hail, it is described more in terminology similar to Matthew 25:31-46 and Daniel 7:26. The throne is great (it is the only throne described as great) because of Him Who sits on it, Whom we must see as Christ Himself, for God has committed all judgment to His Son (John 5:22; Acts 17:31). The throne is white because of the purity and righteousness of the Judge. There are no thunders and lightnings and voices as previously, only a solemn silence before the great Judge. Yet we must recognise that all are but pictures. In the heavenly world there are no physical thrones and neither the Father nor the Son need to sit on one in order to judge. This grand and solemn scene is human to the core. But what it actually reveals is fully true, and far more solemn than the picture. It indicates that God will call all men into solemn judgment. Every man will have to give account of himself to God.

The same truth is pictured elsewhere by means of reapers, earthquakes, great hail and fear before the coming One. But all are saying the same thing. Man is called to account in one way or another and then suffers punishment from the wrath of God against sin.

‘There was found no place for them.’ Earth and heaven flee from His majesty (compare Mark 13:31; 2 Peter 3:10). But this in itself should warn us that we must be careful about taking things too literally. Now there is no creation in which a throne can be set. Heaven and earth have fled at the presence of God. The point of course is that they not only flee in awe before Him but that they have completed the purpose for which they were created and are no longer required. This is apocalyptic language similar to Revelation 6:13-14.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-20.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This "And I saw" introduces something else John saw in this vision (cf. Revelation 19:11; Revelation 19:17; Revelation 19:19; Revelation 20:1; Revelation 20:4; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 21:1-2). The continuation of chronological progression seems clear from the continued use of "And" to introduce new information. Almost every verse in this chapter begins with "And."

The "great white throne" John saw seems to be different from the thrones he referred to earlier in this chapter ( Revelation 20:4). It is evidently God"s throne in heaven (cf. Revelation 4:2; Revelation 5:7; Daniel 7:9; Ezekiel 1:26-28). It is great because it is God"s throne and because it is the seat of this last judgment. Its whiteness suggests that the verdicts that proceed from it are pure, holy, and righteous (cf. Psalm 97:2; Daniel 7:9). The judgment described here is the last in a number of future judgments (cf. Revelation 20:4-5; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The one sitting on this throne is God. This is probably a general reference to the Father and Jesus Christ since both will judge finally (cf. Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4:2-3; Revelation 4:9; Revelation 5:1; Revelation 5:7; Revelation 5:13; Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:10; Revelation 7:15; Revelation 19:4; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:1; Revelation 22:3; Revelation 22:12; Daniel 7:9-10; John 5:22-23; John 5:26-27; John 8:16; John 10:30; Hebrews 1:3).

John saw earth and heaven flee from God"s presence (cf. Psalm 114:3; Psalm 114:7). This seems to indicate that we have come to the end of His dealings with this earth as we know it (cf. 2 Peter 3:7; 2 Peter 3:10-12). The flight of the present earth and heaven from God"s presence strengthens the description of Him as the ultimate Judge.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-20.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 20:11. And I saw a great white throne and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. The throne that is seen is ‘great,’ not so much in contrast with the thrones of Revelation 20:4, as in correspondence with the Great Being who sits upon it. It is also ‘white,’ emblematic of His perfect purity and righteousness. He that sits upon it is Christ, not God, although we may remember that Christ is the revelation of God, and the Doer of the Father’s will. From before His face the earth and the heavens flee away, 1e, they are completely removed, time aid earth and all that belongs to them coming to an end. Similar descriptions, although not so complete, have already met us at chaps. Revelation 6:14 and Revelation 16:20.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-20.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 20:11. The course of these prophecies, after many important visions describing the state of the church and world in this present life, brings us at last to the great and final judgment, when the whole scene and mystery of Providence shall be finished. Then the great doctrine which runs through the whole of these prophecies will be fully verified, namely, that truth and righteousness shall surely prevail in the end, against error and all iniquity; eternal happiness shall be the reward of the faithful, and everlasting destruction the punishment of the wicked. This is represented as a sixth period of Providence, after which there will be in the seventh period an everlasting sabbath; a state of eternal rest and happiness for all the righteous, and of the most perfect worship of God, in the praises and devotions of the heavenly church. — Lowman. And I saw — A representation of the great day of the Lord; a great white throne — How great who can say? White — With the glory of God, and to show the holiness, justice, and equity of him that sits on it, the Lord Jesus. The apostle does not attempt to describe him here; he only adds that circumstance, far above all description; from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away — At least the aerial, if not also the starry heaven; and there was found no place for them — But they were wholly dissolved; the very elements melting with fervent heat. It is not said they were thrown into great commotions, but they fell into dissolution; not they removed to a distant place, but there was found no place for them: at least as to their present state; they ceased to exist, they were no more. See on 2 Peter 3:7-13. And all this, not at the strict command of the Lord Jesus, not at his awful presence, or before his fiery indignation, but at the bare presence of his Majesty, sitting with severe, but adorable dignity, on his throne.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-20.html. 1857.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Jesus came forth to judge and make war (Revelation 19:11), so we assume he is the one of the throne. (Matthew 25:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1) Heaven and earth will disappear when Christ comes in judgment. (Hebrews 1:10-12; 2 Peter 3:10)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-20.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

great. That in Revelation 4:2-6 was seen by John in heaven; this on earth.

white. Indicating holiness and righteousness. No adjuncts mentioned. Only one throne and one Judge.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Great - in contrast to the "thrones" (Revelation 20:4).

White - emblem of purity and justice.

Him that sat on it - the Son, to whom 'the Father hath committed all judgment.' God in Christ, i:e., the Father represented by the Son, before whose judgment-seat we must all stand. The Son's mediatorial reign is to prepare the kingdom for the Father's acceptance, which having done, He shall give it up to the Father, 'that God real be all in all,' coming into direct communion with His creatures, without a Mediator's intervention, for the first time since the fall. Christ's Prophetical mediation was prominent in His earthly ministry; His Priestly is prominent now in heaven between His first and second advents; His Kingly shall be so during the millennium and at the general judgment.

Earth and ... heaven fled away. The final conflagration precedes the general judgment, followed by the new heaven and earth, (Revelation 21:1-27.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) And I saw a great white throne . . .—Or, And I saw a great white throne, and Him that was seated thereon, from whose face fled the earth and the heaven, and place was not found for them. The throne is described as great and white, to set it in strong contrast to other thrones mentioned in the book, e.g., Revelation 4:4; Revelation 20:4. It is a white throne, in token of the purity of the judgment which follows. He who sits upon it is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. It is asked, Who is He that is seated here? Throughout the book God is called “Him that sitteth upon the throne” (Revelation 4:3; Revelation 5:1); but we must not understand this as excluding the Son of God, who sits with His Father on His throne (Revelation 3:21), and who, as Son of Man, declared that He would sit upon the throne of His glory and divide “all the nations” as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-32; comp. also Revelation 6:16; Revelation 11:15-18). At the face of Him who sits upon the throne the heaven and earth flee. Hengstenberg interprets this of the putting out of the way “all of the irrational creation which had been pressed into the service of sin.” Gebhardt interprets it of “the destruction of the whole present visible world.” A comparison, however, of the imagery employed in Revelation 6:12-14; Revelation 16:19-20, should make us cautious of asserting that any great physical catastrophe is described here. Doubtless revolution must precede renewal (Revelation 21:1); but it is never safe to ground our expectations of the nature of such changes upon language which is confessedly poetical in form. Some physical revolutions do in all probability await our earth, but the eye of the prophet looks more to the moral and spiritual regeneration of the world—more to the spiritual well-being of mankind, than to any physical changes which may synchronise with the culmination of the world’s moral history.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-20.html. 1905.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

(5) The tribunal of the great white throne.

The progress of the apocalypse from the opening vision of chapter four surrounded Christ, the Rider and Conqueror; and the church, his Bride; in conflict with multiple opposing powers. But in the scene of verses eleven to fifteen the visions turned to the judgment throne of God, as "the dead both small and great stand before God,"

The picture in these verses was but the continuation of the contrast between the causes of righteousness and wickedness, truth and error, Christianity and heathenism; and their standing respectively before the great throne of divine judgment. The issues had been joined in the fierce conflict between the church on one hand, and all the forces of Judaism, Romanism and paganism on the other. Now the participants stood before the bar of divine decision, where the issues were settled. The cause of righteousness was acquitted, and the cause of wickedness was convicted, and forever condemned.

A continuation of the textual analysis will add "precept upon precept" that the apocalypse was limited to the period of the struggle and triumph of the church with opposing powers in the first century of its existence.

1. The great white throne. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them"--20:11.

This visional tribunal was the bar of divine justice to be meted to the criminals of war against Christ and the church.

The description of the great white throne adds awe to the vision, as it also symbolized the character of pure and unmingled justice from the magnificent seat of judgment dispensed by the righteous Judge of the small and great. The Psalmist put it to verse in Psalms 84:14 : "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face." From before the face of God the earth and the heaven fled away: and there w a s found no place for them. This was not flight from one locality to another--the phrase fled away indicated complete disappearance.

The earth, as in other visions, referred to the inhabitants of the land of Palestine; and the heaven signified the authorities and governments.

After complete defeat there was no place for their activities of persecution and opposition, and they disappeared from their visional positions before the face of the great God of judgment.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-20.html. 1966.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
I saw
2; 19:11; Genesis 18:25; Psalms 9:7,8; 14:6,7; 47:8; 89:14; 97:2; Matthew 25:31; Acts 17:30,31; Romans 2:5
from
6:14; 16:20; 21:1; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Daniel 2:35; Matthew 24:35; 2 Peter 3:7,10-12
and there
12:8; Job 9:6
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 2:10 - judge;  1 Kings 10:18 - a great throne;  1 Kings 19:11 - and a great;  2 Chronicles 9:17 - GeneralJob 14:12 - till the heavens;  Job 14:18 - the mountain;  Job 26:11 - pillars;  Psalm 9:3 - they shall;  Psalm 18:9 - He bowed;  Psalm 29:6 - Lebanon;  Psalm 46:6 - earth;  Psalm 50:6 - God;  Psalm 77:18 - earth;  Psalm 78:69 - earth;  Psalm 99:1 - earth;  Psalm 102:26 - They shall;  Psalm 104:5 - that it;  Psalm 104:32 - looketh;  Psalm 114:4 - GeneralEcclesiastes 3:17 - God;  Ecclesiastes 12:14 - GeneralIsaiah 2:19 - when he;  Isaiah 5:25 - the hills;  Isaiah 13:13 - the earth;  Isaiah 24:19 - GeneralIsaiah 34:4 - all the;  Isaiah 40:10 - his arm;  Isaiah 40:12 - measured;  Isaiah 42:15 - GeneralIsaiah 51:6 - the heavens;  Isaiah 64:1 - that the;  Jeremiah 10:10 - at;  Ezekiel 1:26 - the likeness of a;  Daniel 7:10 - the judgment;  Daniel 7:26 - GeneralJoel 2:10 - earth;  Amos 9:5 - toucheth;  Micah 1:4 - the mountains;  Nahum 1:5 - mountains;  Habakkuk 3:10 - mountains;  Zechariah 6:3 - white;  Zechariah 14:5 - the Lord;  Matthew 5:18 - Till;  Matthew 17:2 - his face;  Matthew 19:28 - when;  Matthew 20:8 - when;  Matthew 22:44 - till;  Matthew 26:64 - Hereafter;  Mark 9:2 - transfigured;  Mark 13:24 - GeneralMark 13:31 - Heaven;  Mark 14:62 - the Son;  Luke 2:9 - and they;  Luke 6:48 - the flood;  Luke 9:26 - when;  Luke 9:29 - GeneralLuke 12:2 - GeneralLuke 16:17 - it;  Luke 21:25 - signs;  Luke 21:33 - GeneralJohn 5:22 - GeneralJohn 16:11 - judgment;  Acts 10:42 - that it;  Acts 17:24 - seeing;  Acts 24:25 - judgment;  Romans 2:16 - God;  Romans 8:11 - he that raised;  Romans 14:10 - for;  1 Corinthians 11:26 - till;  2 Corinthians 5:10 - we;  Philippians 3:21 - the working;  2 Thessalonians 1:7 - when;  2 Thessalonians 1:9 - the glory;  2 Timothy 4:1 - who;  Hebrews 1:11 - shall perish;  Hebrews 4:13 - with;  Hebrews 9:27 - but;  1 Peter 5:4 - appear;  Revelation 4:2 - a throne;  Revelation 6:16 - the face;  Revelation 14:14 - behold;  Revelation 18:21 - and shall;  Revelation 20:12 - I saw;  Revelation 21:5 - that sat

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-20.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD

(Verses 11-15)

THE THRONE AND THE JUDGE.

Revelation 20:11. — "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the Heaven fled, and place was not found for them." This verse constitutes a distinct vision of itself. The words "I saw" occur again in verse 12. There are two separate visions: first, the throne and the Judge; second, the dead and their judgment. The millennium opens and closes each with an act of sessional judgment, and in both the Lord in Person is the Judge. The living are the subjects in the former case; the dead are on their trial in the latter. The throne of glory set up in Matthew 25:31 is totally distinct from the great white throne of our chapter. The times of the respective judgments: the one before, and the other after the millennial reign; the parties judged, the living in the one case, the dead in the other; nations, too, in the former; individuals in the latter; these and other essential differences between the two thrones mark them off as fundamentally distinct. It is impossible to regard them as one and the same.

There are three great thrones: (1) in Heaven (Revelation 4:2),from whence the universe is governed; (2) on earth (Matthew 25:31), for the judgment of the nations in respect to theirtreatment of the preachers of the Gospel of the kingdom (vv. 40-45); (3) the great white throne, for the judgment of the dead (Revelation 20:11).

11. — "A great white throne."{*Not the throne of the Sovereign, but that of the Judge, not regal but judicial. Neither is it permanently set up, but temporally, and for a special purpose.} There is but one such.We are about to view the greatest assize ever held. The august dignity of the Judge, the greatness of the occasion, the vastness of the scene, and the eternal consequences involved fitly demand the epithet great. The judgment is not governmental, but is one according to the nature of God Himself, Who is light, and that gives its own true and proper character to the throne. Greatness and puritycharacterise it.

11. — "Him that sat on it." Here the pronoun alone is used; the name of the Judge is withheld. But we learn from the Lord Himself who it is that judges. "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22); and, further, that the Son executes His own judgment (v. 27). It is the Lord Jesus Christ, the despised Nazarene and crucified Lord, "who shall judge the quick and the dead" (2 Timothy 4:1). The quick, or living, Hehas already judged (Matthew 25:31). Now He is about to judge the dead. The Son of Man it is Who sits on the throne.We gather that the name is withheld because the judgment and attendant circumstances are in moral keeping with the divine nature, not so prominently with His manhood as the title Son of Man would suggest.

11. — "From whose face the earth and the Heaven fled." One could readily imagine that the present scene,so marred and wrecked, would at once disappear before the glory and majesty of such a One, but that is not what is seen here. It is the earth and the Heaven constituted by the Lord Himself as spheres to display His glory and righteousness that cannot abide the glory of His face. The millennial scene, both in its higher and lower departments, is at the best an imperfect condition. "The earth and Heaven fled" — not passed out of existence, not annihilated. The next clause carefully guards against any such unscriptural deduction — "place was not found for them." It does not intimate the complete disappearance of the millennial earth and Heaven. Consequent upon the removal of these, new heavens and a new earth fitted, furnished, and constituted for eternity take their place — are made, not created{*Making supposes pre-existing material. Matter has been created once. Creation is the production of material, or matter, which never before existed. Isaiah 65:17-18 is millennial, and intimates a complete moral change.} (Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13). Between the passing away of the millennial scene and the introduction of the eternal worlds, material in both cases, the great white throne is set up.{*The removal of the present material heavens and earth, as beheld by the Seer and foretold by Peter (2 Peter 3:10), is in order that the "new Heaven and new earth" may take their place (Revelation 21:1). But the question has been raised: What about the millennial saints on earth? How will they be preserved during the burning and dissolving of which Peter speaks? On this Scripture is silent. Without doubt God will care for and preserve His own during the great change. The bodies of the saints on earth will be constituted for the new conditions of life, for an earth destined never to pass away. Yet the everlasting distinction will be observed between the heavenly and earthly peoples, however close the connection may be.} This consideration imparts profound solemnity to the scene before us. For the throne is not set on the earth, nor in relation to its dispensations and times. It is a scene outside human history entirely. We have passed out of time into eternity. The judgment therefore of the throne is final, and in its very nature eternal.We are in God's eternity. There can be no measures of time nor limitations bounded by the globe, for that by which all is measured and limited has passed away. The judgment is of persons in their individual relation to God, and is consequently final and eternal.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-20.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Great white throne signifies purity and justice. From whose face . . . fled away . . . no place for them. This agrees with the next chapter that will tell us of the new heaven and earth.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-20.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 20:11

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Here John had a vision and Revelation, of the Day of Judgement, { Jude 1:5-6; Hebrews 6:2}

I saw a great white throne;

which signifies the glory and majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ at his second coming, { Hebrews 9:28} which will be with power and great glory, { Matthew 24:30} then we shall all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ, { Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10} whom John saw sit upon the white Throne;

From whose face the earth and the heavens fled away.

That Isaiah, they were dissolved, { 2 Peter 3:4-13}

And there was found no place for them:

for they must give place unto the new heaven, and the new earth. { Revelation 21:1}

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-20.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 20:11. And I saw a white great throne, and him who sat thereon, before whose presence the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. The white throne here corresponds to the white cloud in ch. Revelation 14:14. The white is here also the symbolical image of glory. In ch. Revelation 4:3, the crystal clear jasper corresponds. A great throne, in contrast to the thrones in Revelation 20:4, on account of the greatness and glory of him who sits on it. Short and good, Bengel: "The throne is white as an emblem of the glory of the judge, and great as befits his great and infinite majesty."

He who sits on the throne is God in the undivided unity of his being, without respect to the diversity of persons (see at ch. Revelation 1:8); not the Father in fellowship with Christ, according to ch. Revelation 3:21, where Christ sits with the Father on his throne, Revelation 7:17, where the Lamb is spoken of as being in the midst of the throne, Revelation 22:1, where, again, we read of the throne of God and the Lamb. For, here only one is represented as sitting. Nor are we to regard this one as the Father in contradistinction to Christ. It is against this view, that especial mention is not made here of Christ, as at ch. 4 (comp. Revelation 4:2); but Christ, to whom all judgment has been committed by the Father, (John 5:22; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 14:14; Revelation 19:11) cannot, according to the fundamental passages, (especially Matthew 19:28, Matthew 25:31, comp. Acts 17:31; Romans 14:10), fail to be present particularly at the last judgment. Nor yet can it be Christ in contradistinction to the Father. For, there is nothing that specially pointed to him; ch. Revelation 21:6 is against the supposition; and in the first work, that proceeds from him who sits upon the throne, the removal of the traces of sin out of creation, a reference could not fail to the Almighty Creator, who appears here restoring his original work.

That we have not in the words, "before whose presence the earth and the heaven fled away," a merely poetical description of the frightfulness of the Judge, at whose presence all creation trembles, is plain from the appended clause, "and no place was found for them," which was also employed to denote a disappearing, a complete removal at ch. Revelation 12:8. Accordingly, it is justly remarked on the fleeing away by Bengel, "not from one place to another, but so that no place whatever should be found;" comp. the fleeing in the sense of vanishing away in ch. Revelation 16:20. The same thing may also be inferred from Psalms 114:3-4, "The sea saw and fled, Jordan and turned back. The mountains skipt like rams, the hills like lambs." There, too, it is a real flight, an actual concussion that is spoken of (see my Comm.). What was done there on the small scale, is done here on the great one. Finally, all doubt is excluded by ch. Revelation 21:1, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away." Hence, the representation here can only be, how the first heaven and the first earth vanished away, in order that the new creation might take their place.

It is taught even in the Old Testament, that the present earth and heavens shall pass away (see my Comm. on Psalms 102:26-27). In the New Testament this doctrine is indicated in Matthew 24:35; it is implied in what the Saviour says of the regeneration in Matthew 19:28; but the properly classical passage is 2 Peter 3:7; 2 Peter 3:10-12, where, as here, the destruction of the present heavens and the present earth is put in connection with the day of judgment and the destruction of ungodly men. St John gives expression to this truth in 1 John 2:17, "The world passeth away with the lust thereof, but he who doeth the will of God, abideth for ever." It lies also at the bottom of what he says in his Gospel respecting the last day, John 6:39; John 12:48. For, the last day can only be the day for the ceasing of the whole existing order of things.

The earth and the heaven could not be brought into consideration here according as they proceeded from the creative hand of God, but only as they have become altered by the fall—partly as the dwelling-place of human and satanic wickedness (Genesis 6), partly as changed by the avenging hand of God (Genesis 3:17-19, Genesis 5:29), so that the word, "behold it was all very good," could no longer be taken absolutely, but must be understood as applying to the creation only when this is viewed in connection with the fall. Because sin has manifested itself especially on the earth, this is here placed foremost. The common and natural order is never inverted but for some special reason (comp. Zechariah 5:9; Genesis 2:4). But the heavens, too, have not been free from the operation of sin. They are indeed often red and troubled (Matthew 16:3); they are often clothed in darkness and veiled in sackcloth of hair (Isaiah 50:3); to break the pride and stubbornness of men the heavens are often made as iron, and the earth as brass, so that the land does not yield its increase, and all labour and work is lost, (Leviticus 26:19-20, comp. Deuteronomy 11:17, Deuteronomy 28:23). But there are not wanting indications of Scripture, that even the high regions of heaven have been invaded and defiled by sin, through the angels, who did not keep their first estate, but forfeited their proper dwelling (Jude Jude 1:6); that disturbances are to be found even there, remaining as memorials of the fall of the angels, till they shall be purged away by the final judgment, which is also to be exercised upon the angels and Satan (2 Peter 2:4). Indications of these things occur in Job 15:15, "Behold he does not trust in his saints, and the heavens are not clean in his sight;" Job 25:5, "Behold, even in the moon he dwells not, and the stars are not pure in his eyes."

In this section the order follows not the time, but the circumstances; first heaven and earth, then the wicked. How the destruction of the present heavens and earth stands related in point of time to the judgment of the wicked, nothing is here said.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-20.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.I saw—From what standpoint did the seer behold the throne? See note Revelation 21:5.

Great white throne”Great,” says Bishop Newton, “to show the largeness and extent, and white to show the justice and equity, of the judgment.”

Him that sat on it—”None other,” says Newton, “than the Son of God, for (John 5:22) the Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” And this entire passage is to be identified with Matthew 25:31-46. The great white throne here, is the throne of his glory there. And each entire passage supplements the other. This excludes the great pre-millennial error of imagining Revelation 19:11-21, to be the judgment-advent.

From whose face—Homer’s image of Jupiter sitting upon his throne, nodding with his ambrosial curls, and shaking all Olympus with his nod, has been admired for its sublimity. But how small its imagery compared with this enthroned One, from before whose face creation flees!

Earth’ fled—Hence, a new heaven and a new earth appears at Revelation 21:1.

No place for them—The apparent meaning is, not that the face of the earth is changed and renewed; but that the very solid globe itself vacates its place and disappears. This implies not annihilation, but removal and departure of the old, and substitution of the new. And this seems to coincide with 2 Peter 3:10, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise.” See note there.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-20.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John hints where Isaiah is explicit (Revelation 6:1). Nothing is said about the uselessness of intercession; cf. 4 Ezra 7:[102–115] 33: “and the Most High shall be revealed upon the judgment-seat, and compassion shall pass away, long-suffering shall be withdrawn”. Enoch xc. 20 sets up the throne near Jerusalem, and most apocalypses are spoiled by similarly puerile details. Compare with 11 b the tradition in Asc. Isa. iv. 18 where the voice of the Beloved (i.e., messiah) at the close of the millennium rebukes in wrath heaven and earth, the hills and cities, the angels of the sun and moon, “and all things wherein Beliar manifested himself and acted openly in this world”. John’s Apocalypse, however, follows (yet cf.Revelation 22:12) that tradition of Judaism which reserved the judgment for God and not for the messiah (2 Esdras 4:1-10; 2 Esdras 7:33 f. anti-Christian polemic?) although another conception (En. xlv. 3, lix. 27 etc.; Ap. Bar. 72:2–6) assigning it to the messiah had naturally found greater favour in certain Christian circles.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-20.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

11. Then I saw a large white throne. This is the Second Coming of Christ! We shall all stand before Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Acts 17:31; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 14:14).

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 20:11". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-20.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.