Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 20:8

and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gog;   Magog;   Millennium;   Satan;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Death;   Thompson Chain Reference - Sand;   Satanic;   Wiles, Satanic;   The Topic Concordance - Deception;   Devil/devils;   Hell;   Israel/jews;   War/weapons;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Devil, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Millennium;   Satan;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Condemnation;   Heaven, Heavens, Heavenlies;   Satan;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Angel;   Conflagration;   Croisade, or Crusade;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Amillennialism;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Gog;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Canticles;   ;   Devil;   Gog;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Dragon;   Ezekiel;   Gog and Magog;   Jerusalem;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chiliasm;   Gog;   Magog;   Time;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Ascension of Isaiah;   Devil ;   Divination;   Fire;   God and Magog;   Har-Magedon;   Judgment Damnation;   Numbers;   Resurrection;   Sea ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Gog and Magog;   Millennium;   Numbers as Symbols;   Prophets, the;   Satan ;   39 War Fighting;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Fire;   Gog;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Sand;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Gog and Magog;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Corner;   Four;   Magog;   Print;   Quarter;   Revelation of John:;   Sand;   Satan;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Apocalypse;   Eschatology;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Gog and Magog - This seems to be almost literally taken from the Jerusalem Targum, and that of Jonathan ben Uzziel, on Numbers 11:26. I shall give the words at length: "And there were two men left in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, the name of the other was Medad, and on them the spirit of prophecy rested. Eldad prophesied and said, 'Behold, Moses the prophet, the scribe of Israel, shall be taken from this world; and Joshua the son of Nun, captain of the host, shall succeed him.' Medad prophesied and said, 'Behold quails shall arise out of the sea, and be a stumbling block to Israel.' Then they both prophesied together, and said, 'In the very end of time Gog and Magog and their army shall come up against Jerusalem, and they shall fall by the hand of the King Messiah; and for seven whole years shall the children of Israel light their fires with the wood of their warlike engines, and they shall not go to the wood nor cut down any tree.'" In the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, on the same place, the same account is given; only the latter part, that is, the conjoint prophecy of Eldad and Medad, is given more circumstantially, thus: "And they both prophesied together, and said, 'Behold, a king shall come up from the land of Magog in the last days, and shall gather the kings together, and leaders clothed with armor, and all people shall obey them; and they shall wage war in the land of Israel against the children of the captivity, but the hour of lamentation has been long prepared for them, for they shall be slain by the flame of fire which shall proceed from under the throne of glory, and their dead carcasses shall fall on the mountains of the land of Israel; and all the wild beasts of the field, and the wild fowl of heaven, shall come and devour their carcasses; and afterwards all the dead of Israel shall rise again to life, and shall enjoy the delights prepared for them from the beginning, and shall receive the reward of their worlds.'"

This account seems most evidently to have been copied by St. John, but how he intended it to be applied is a question too difficult to be solved by the skill of man; yet both the account in the rabbins and in St. John is founded on Ezekiel, Ezekiel 38:1-39:29. The rabbinical writings are full of accounts concerning Gog and Magog, of which Wetstein has made a pretty large collection in his notes on this place. Under these names the enemies of God's truth are generally intended.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And shall go out to deceive the nations - See the notes on Revelation 12:9. The meaning here is, that he would again, for a time, act in his true character, and in some way delude the nations once more. In what way this would be done is not stated. It would be, however, clearly an appeal to the wicked passions of mankind, exciting a hope that they might yet overthrow the kingdom of God on the earth.

Which are in the four quarters of the earth - Literally, corners of the earth, as if the earth were one extended square plain. The earth is usually spoken of as divided into four parts or quarters - the eastern, the western, the northern, and the southern. It is implied here that the deception or apostasy referred to would not be confined to one spot or portion of the world, but would extend afar. The idea seems to be, that during that period, though there would be a “general” prevalence of the gospel, and a “general” diffusion of its blessings, yet that the earth would not be entirely under its influence, and especially that the native character of the human heart would not be changed. Man, under powerful temptations, would be liable to be deluded by the great master spirit that has so often corrupted the race. Once more he would be permitted to make the trial, and then his power would forever come to an end.

Gog and Magog - The name “Gog” occurs as the name of a prince in Ezekiel 38:2-3, Ezekiel 38:16, Ezekiel 38:18; Ezekiel 39:1, Ezekiel 39:11. “He is an invader of the land of Israel, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal,” Ezekiel 38:2. “Magog” is also mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2, “the land of Magog”; and in Ezekiel 39:6, “I will send a fire on Magog.” As the terms are used in the Old Testament, the representation would seem to be that “Gog” was the king of a people called “Magog.” The signification of the names is unknown, and consequently nothing can be determined about the meaning of this passage from that source. Nor is there much known about the “people” who are referred to by Ezekiel. His representation would seem to be, that a great and powerful people, dwelling in the extreme recesses of the north Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2, would invade the Holy Land after the return from the exile, Ezekiel 38:8-12. It is commonly supposed that they were Scythians, residing between the Caspian and Euxine Seas, or in the region of Mount Caucasus. Thus Josephus (Ant Ezekiel 1:6, Ezekiel 1:3) has dropped the Hebrew word Magog, and rendered it by Σκύθαι Skuthai- “Scythians”; and so does Jerome. Suidas renders it Persai- Persians; but this does not materially vary the view, since the word “Scythians,” among the ancient writers, is a collective word, to denote all the northeastern, unknown, barbarous tribes.

Among the Hebrews, the name “Magog” also would seem to denote all the unknown barbarous tribes about the Caucasian mountains. The fact that the names Gog and Magog are, in Ezekiel, associated with Meshech and Tubal, seems to determine the locality of these people, for those two countries lie between the Euxine and Caspian Seas, or at the southeast extremity of the Euxine Sea (Rosenmuller, Bib. Geog. vol. 1, p. 240). The people of that region were, it seems, a terror to Middle Asia, in the same manner as the Scythians were to the Greeks and Romans. Intercourse with such distant and savage nations was scarcely possible in ancient times; and hence, from their numbers and strength, they were regarded with great terror, just as the Scythians were regarded by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and as the Tartars were in the middle ages. In this manner they became an appropriate symbol of rude and savage people; of enemies fierce and warlike; of foes to be dreaded; and as such they were referred to by both Ezekiel and John. It has been made a question whether Ezekiel and John do not refer to the same period, but it is not necessary to consider that question here.

All that is needful to be understood is, that John means to say that at the time referred to there would be formidable enemies of the church who might be compared with the dreaded dwellers in the land of Magog; or, that after this long period of millennial tranquility and peace, there would be a state of things which might be properly compared with the invasion of the Holy Land by the dreaded barbarians of Magog or Scythia. It is not necessary to suppose that any particular “country” is referred to, or that there would be any one portion of the earth which the gospel would not reach, and which would be still barbarous, pagan, and savage; all that is necessary to be supposed is, that though religion would generally prevail, human nature would remain essentially corrupt and unchanged; and that, therefore, from causes which are not stated, there might yet be a fearful apostasy, and a somewhat general prevalence of iniquity. This would be nothing more than has occurred after the most favored times in the church, and nothing more than human nature would exhibit at any time, if all restraints were withdrawn, and people were suffered to act out their native feelings. “Why” this will be permitted; what causes will bring it about; what subordinate agencies will be employed, is not said, and conjecture would be vain. The reader who wishes more information in regard to Gog and Magog may consult Prof. Stuart on this book, vol. 2, pp. 364-368, and the authorities there referred to. Compare especially Rosenmuller on Ezekiel 38:2. See also Sale‘s “Koran,” Pre. Dis. section 4, and the “Koran” itself, Sura 18:94 and 21:95.

To gather them together to battle - As if to assemble them for war; that is, a state of things would exist in regard to the kingdom of God and the prevalence of the true religion as if distant and barbarous nations should be aroused to make war on the church of God. The meaning is, that there would be an awakened hostility against the kingdom of Christ in the earth. See the notes on Revelation 16:14.

The number of whom is as the sand of the sea - A common comparison in the Scriptures to denote a great multitude, Genesis 22:17; Genesis 32:12; Genesis 41:49; 1 Samuel 13:5; 1 Kings 4:20, et al.

Section c. - Condition of things in the period referred to in Revelation 20:7-8;

(1) This will occur “at the close” of the millennial period - the period of the thousand years. It is not said, indeed, that it would be “immediately” after that; but the statement is explicit that it will be “after” that, or “when the thousand years are expired.” There may be an interval before it shall be accomplished of an indefinite time; the alienation and corruption may be gradual; a considerable period may elapse before the apostasy shall assume an organized form, or, in the language of John, before the hosts shall “be gathered to battle,” but it is to be the “next” marked and prominent event in the history of the world, and is to precede the final consummation of all things.

(2) this will be a “brief period.” Compared with the long period of prosperity that preceded it, and “perhaps” compared with the long period that shall follow it before the final judgment, it will be short. Thus, in Revelation 20:3, it is said that Satan “must be loosed a little season.” See the notes on that verse. There is no way of determining the time with exactness; but we are assured that it will not be long.

(3) what will be the exact state of things then can be only a matter of conjecture. We may say, however, that it will not be:

(a)necessarily “war.” The language is figurative and symbolical, and it is not necessary to suppose that an actual and bloody warfare will be literally waged against the church. Nor,

(b)will there be a literal invasion of the land of Palestine as the residence of the saints and the capital of the Redeemer‘s visible empire, for there is not a hint of this - not a word to justify such an interpretation. Nor,

(c)is it necessary to suppose that there will be literally such nations as will be then called “Gog and Magog,” for this language is figurative, and designed to characterize the foes of the church - as being in some respects formidable and terrible as were those ancient nations.

We may thus suppose that at that time, from causes which are unexplained, there will be:

(a)arevived opposition to the truths of religion;

(b)the prevalence, to a greater or less extent, of infidelity;

(c)agreat spiritual declension;

(d)acombination of interests opposed to the gospel;

(e)possibly some new form of error and delusion that shall extensively prevail.

Satan may set up some new form of religion, or he may breathe into those that may already exist: a spirit of worldliness and vanity - some new manifestation of the religion of forms - that shall for a limited period produce a general decline and apostasy. As there is, however, no distinct specification of what will characterize the world at that time it is impossible to determine what is referred to anymore than in this general manner.

(4) A few remarks may, however, be made on the “probability” of what is here affirmed, for it seems contrary to what we should suppose would be the characteristics of the closing period of the world. The following remarks, then, may show that this anticipated state of things is not improbable:

(a) We are to remember that human nature will then be essentially the same as now. There is no intimation that man, as born into the world, will be then different from what he is now, or that any of the natural corrupt tendencies of the human heart will be changed. People will be “liable” to the same outbreaks of passion, to be influenced by the same forms of temptation, to fall into the same degeneracy and corruption, to feel the same unhappy influences of success and prosperity as now, for all this pertains to a fallen “nature,” except as it is checked and controlled by grace. We often mistake much in regard to the millennial state by supposing that all the evils of the apostasy will be arrested and that the nature of man will be as wholly changed as it will be in the heavenly world.

(b) The whole history of the church has shown that there is a liability to “declension” even in the best state and in the condition of the highest spiritual prosperity. To see this we have only to remember the example of the Hebrews, and how readily they apostatized after the most striking manifestation of the divine mercies; the early Christian church, and how soon it declined; the seven churches of Asia Minor, and how soon their spirituality departed; the various revivals of religion that have occurred from time to time, and how soon they have been succeeded by coldness, worldliness, and error; the fact that great religious denominations, which have begun their career with zeal and love, have so soon degenerated in spirit, and fallen into the same formality and worldliness which they have evinced who have gone before them; and the case of the individual Christian, who from the most exalted state of love and joy so soon often declines into a state of conformity to the world.

These are sad views of human nature, even under the influence of true religion; but the past history of man has given but too much occasion for such reflections, and too much reason to apprehend that the same things may occur, for a time, even under the best forms in which religion may manifest itself in a fallen world. Man‘s nature will be better in heaven, and religion there, in its purest and best form, will be permanent; here we are not to be surprised at any outbreak of sin or any form of declension in religion. What has often occurred in the world on a small scale we may suppose may then occur on a larger scale. “Just as on a small scale, in some little community like that of Northampton, as described by President Edwards, after the remarkable sense of God‘s presence over the whole town had begun to wax feeble, the still unconverted persons of it, though subdued and seemingly won over to Christ, would by little and little recover themselves, and at length venture forth in their true character; so it will be, in all probability, on a vast scale, at the close of the latter day. The unconverted portion of the world - long constrained by the religious influences everywhere surrounding them to fall in with the spirit of the day, catching apparently its holy impulses, but never coming savingly under its power - this portion of mankind, which we have reason to fear will not be small, will now be freed from these irksome restraints, no longer obliged to breathe an atmosphere uncongenial to their nature” (Brown on the Seceded Coming of Christ, p. 442). “No oppression is so grievous to an unsanctified heart as that which arises from the purity of Christianity. A desire to shake off this yoke is the true cause of the opposition which Christianity has met with in the world in every period, and will, it is most likely, be the chief motive to influence the followers of Gog in his time” (Frazer‘s Key, p. 455).

(c) The representations of the New Testament elsewhere confirm this view in regard to the latter state of the world - the state when the Lord Jesus shall come to judgment. “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?” 2 Peter 3:3-4. “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape,” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3. See especially Luke 17:26-30; “As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day wheat the Son of man is revealed.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "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 shall go out,.... Of his prison, the bottomless pit, and shall walk to and fro in the earth, and go about like a deceitful serpent, and roaring lion, as before:

to deceive the nations: as he had done before the thousand years began, and from which he was restrained during that time; he had before deceived the Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan nations, and now he will go forth to deceive those at this time

which are in the four quarters of the earth; all the world over: the names of which nations are,

Gog and Magog: not the same which are mentioned in Ezekiel 38:1 though there is an allusion to them, and from thence the names are taken, and some of the figures borrowed, and design the enemies of God's people, who will be in the world at this time; so the JewsF2Targum in Cant. viii. 4. & Targum Hieros. in Numb. xi. 26. speak of a Gog and Magog, that will come up against Jerusalem in the days of the Messiah, whom they still expect, by whom they shall be destroyed:

to gather them together to battle; not one against another, as some think, as the pope against the Turk, and the Turk against the pope, nor are they designed at all; nor "to kill them", as the Ethiopic version renders it; but against the saints and people of God, in the beloved city and camp; herein will lie his deception of them:

the number of whom is as the sand of the sea; that is, innumerable, in allusion to Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38:9 but the great question is, who are meant by these?--Not the Papists, the nations made drunk with the wine of Rome's fornication, the Gentiles, by whom the holy city is trodden under foot, and who will be angry when the time of avenging the saints is come, Revelation 11:2 for these will be all destroyed, even all the remains of them, at the battle of Armageddon; nor is antichrist himself intended, who will be destroyed in the spiritual reign of Christ, with the breath of his mouth; and at the above decisive battle the beast and the false prophet will be taken alive, and cast into the lake of fire: nor are the Turks designed, the people of Magog being Scythians originally, as Josephus saysF3Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1. , from whence the Turks sprung; or Tartarinns, for Paulus VenetusF4In Schindler. Lex. Pentaglott. col. 288. says the countries of Gog and Magog are in Tartary, called Jug and Munjug; hence some think these are the same with the four angels bound at the river Euphrates, and loosed, whose armies are represented as exceeding numerous, Revelation 9:14 but though the Turkish dominions are very large, yet they do not extend to the four quarters of the world; and when the Turks were let loose, and came even into Europe, it was not against the true Christians, the camp of the saints, the beloved city, as here, but against the antichristian party; the Papists have suffered most by the incursions of the Turks, though it has not brought them to repentance; besides, the loosing of the four angels, or the Turkish nations, and their chiefs, is long before these thousand years begin; that is past already, under the sixth trumpet, whereas the seventh trumpet will be blown, and all the seven vials poured out, and the world cleared of all Christ's enemies, and after that a thousand years must run out, before this Gog and Magog army will appear: nor are the Americans the nations, here spoken of; for they are but in one quarter of the world; nor is there any reason to believe there will be there more enemies of Christ's people than in any other part, since in the spiritual reign of Christ the earth shall be full of his knowledge, and his spiritual kingdom will be to the ends of the earth: and as for that notion that those inhabiting the other hemisphere will be saved from the general conflagration, there is no reason to believe it, since the earth, and whatsoever is therein, shall be burnt up, 2 Peter 3:10. Some think that the wicked living in the distant parts of the world, in the corners of the earth, are meant, who, upon Christ's coming, will flee thither, and remain in continual dread and terror to the end of the thousand years, when Satan will gather them together, and spirit them up against the saints; but this cannot be, because they will all be destroyed at the universal conflagration of the world; nor will there be any in the new earth but righteous persons: but these will be all the wicked dead, the rest of the dead, who lived not again until the thousand years are ended, when will be the second resurrection, the resurrection of all the wicked that have been from the beginning of the world; and these, with the posse of devils under Satan, will make up the Gog and Magog army: all the characters agree with them; these may be called nations, or Gentiles, being aliens from the true Israel of God, the dogs that will be without the holy city; these may be said to be in "the four quarters" of the world, since where they die and are buried, there they will rise and stand upon their feet, an exceeding great army; and as they will die enemies to Christ and his people, they will rise such; as they will go down to hell with their "weapons of war", as is said of Meshech and Tubal, the people of Gog, Ezekiel 32:27 they will rise with the same; the grave, the dust of the earth, will make no change in their vile bodies, nor the flames of hell any alteration in the disposition of their minds; yea, as is said in the above place, they will "lay their swords under their heads", and so be in a readiness, when they rise, to make use of them against the saints, and to avenge themselves; for their envy, malice, and revenge, will be heightened and increased by their confinement and punishment in hell: nor need this be wondered at, since the devils, notwithstanding they have been so long expelled the realms of light, and have been in chains of darkness, and in expectation of everlasting torment, retain the same enmity as ever; and though the deception will be very great, to attack saints in an immortal state, who are like the angels that die not, nor will these die any more, and especially since Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who rules the nations with a rod of iron, will be at the head of them; yet it need not seem strange, when they will rise as weak and feeble, and as little able to resist temptation, and as much exposed to seduction, as they were before; Satan will have as much power over them as ever; and what with their own numbers, and the posse of devils at the head of them, and especially considering the desperateness of their state, and that this is their last struggle and effort for liberty, they will animate themselves and one another to this strange undertaking. These now may be called Gog and Magog, as the one signifies "covered", the other open, or "uncovered": these being all the enemies of Christ and his people, both secret and open: and this sense well accounts for their number, being as the sand of the sea; and which the Arabic version seems to confirm, "and Jagog and Magog shall rise with him". The Jews have a notion that this deception of Satan will be at the day of judgment, which agrees with this account; for immediately upon this will follow the judgment of the wicked: they sayF5Zohar. in Gen. fol. 73. 1. ,

"in the day that judgment shall be found in the world, and the holy blessed God shall sit upon the throne of Judgment, Satan אסטי לעילא ותתא, "shall deceive above and below" (angels and men), and he shall be found to destroy the world, and to take away souls.'

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-20.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

16 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.

(16) The work or act of Satan (which is the first part, as I distinguished in the verse before) to deceive the whole world, even to the uttermost nations of it: to arm them against the people of God, in this verse and to besiege and oppress the Church, with his whole strength, in the verse following.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-20.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Gog and Magog — (Ezekiel 38:1-39:29; see on Ezekiel 38:2). Magog is a general name for northern nations 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 battleGreek, “to the war,” in A and B. But Andreas omits “the.”

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "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

To deceive the nations (πλανησαι τα ετνηplanēsai ta ethnē). First aorist active infinitive of purpose of πλαναωplanaō Satan‘s chief task (chapter 12 to chapter 18, in particular Revelation 12:9; Revelation 13:14; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:3, Revelation 20:10).

Which are in the four corners of the earth (τα εν ταις τεσσαρσι γωνιαις της γηςta en tais tessarsi gōniais tēs gēs). Clearly the reign with Christ, if on earth, was not shared in by all on earth, for Satan finds a large and ready following on his release. See Revelation 7:1 (Isaiah 11:12) for “the four corners of the earth.”

Gog and Magog (τον Γωγ και Μαγωγton Gōg kai Magōg). Accusative in explanatory apposition with τα ετνηta ethnē (the nations). Magog is first mentioned in Genesis 10:2. The reference here seems to be Ezekiel 38:2, where both are mentioned. Josephus (Ant. I. 6. 1) identifies Magog with the Scythians, with Gog as their prince. In the rabbinical writings Gog and Magog appear as the enemies of the Messiah. Some early Christian writers thought of the Goths and Huns, but Augustine refuses to narrow the imagery and sees only the final protest of the world against Christianity.

To gather them together to the war (συναγαγειν αυτους εις τον πολεμονsunagagein autous eis ton polemon). Second aorist active infinitive of purpose of συναγωsunagō a congenial task for Satan after his confinement. See Revelation 16:14 for this very phrase and also Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:19.

Of whom (ωναυτωνhōn- ως η αμμος της ταλασσηςautōn). Pleonasm or redundant pronoun as in Revelation 3:8 and often (of whom - of them).

As the sand of the sea (hōs hē ammos tēs thalassēs). Already in Revelation 13:1. Clearly then the millennium, whatever it is, does not mean a period when Satan has no following on earth, for this vast host rallies at once to his standard.

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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 20:8". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

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.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-20.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

And shall go forth to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth — (That is, in all the earth)-the more diligently, as he hath been so long restrained, and knoweth he hath but a small time.

Gog and Magog — Magog, the second son of Japhet, is the father of the innumerable northern nations toward the east. The prince of these nations, of which the bulk of that army will consist, is termed Gog by Ezekiel also, Ezekiel 38:2. Both Gog and Magog signify high or lifted up; a name well suiting both the prince and people. When that fierce leader of many nations shall appear, then will his own name be known.

To gather them — Both Gog and his armies. Of Gog, little more is said, as being soon mingled with the rest in the common slaughter. The Revelation speaks of this the more briefly, because it had been so particularly described by Ezekiel.

Whose number is as the sand of the sea — Immensely numerous: a proverbial expression.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-20.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Gog and Magog; words taken from the prophecies of the Old Testament, (Ezekiel 38:1-39:29:) where they are used to denote heathen and idolatrous enemies The words seem to be here employed figuratively to express ferocious hostility to the cause of God.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-20.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Gog

(See Scofield "Ezekiel 38:2").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 20:8". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-20.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Ver. 8. Gog and Magog] That is, pope and Turk, saith Aretius; the pope a covert enemy to Christ; the Turk an overt or open enemy; as Gog and Magog signify, Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29. These are set forth by Ezekiel as the last enemies of God’s people before Shiloh come; and presently after their utter overthrow, the state of the city and temple is notably described. So, after the pope and Turk in that last great battle at Armageddon routed and foiled, the New Jerusalem is in the following chapters excellently portrayed and depainted; that being a special type of this.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-20.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 20:8. τὸν γὼγ καὶ ΄αγὼγ) Magog, the son of Japhet, was the father of the northern nations towards the east. The prince of those nations is called Gog in Ezekiel ch. Ezekiel 38:2, and in this passage. A prince and a people most hostile, perhaps less good than others, though themselves less wicked then than after the new πλάνη. The article τὸν(220) of itself shows the intimate connection between the prince and the people, as does the Paronomasia, Gog and Magog. Both words signify Lofty, Elevated, as Hiller teaches in his Onomasticon. Therefore Magog is used as a proper name: but Gog, the chief syllable, being left to it by Aphæresis, seems by Antonomasia to hold the place of a proper name, until that fierce leader of so many nations under Satan appears at length in his own name. Jerome on Ezekiel 38 would not have refused to take Ros as a proper name, if the name of such a nation (the Russians) had been known to him. Comp. Hist. Univ. vol. i. p. 257.— συναγαγεῖν, to gather together) It is not said to deceive and gather together, but, to deceive for the purpose of gathering together. The gathering together is the end of the deceiving.— αὐτοὺς, them) In other places the Apocalypse regards the leader in preference to the forces, ch. Revelation 12:7; but respecting the Gog prince it recounts nothing apart from Magog, which constitutes his forces, partly because enough had been said respecting him by Ezekiel, and partly because Gog makes an unsuccessful attempt, and in his overthrow is mingled with the crowd itself, as the kings are, ch. Revelation 19:21, note

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". 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

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth; that is, the devil, being got from under the restraint of Divine Providence, shall fall upon his old work, going about to deceive men over all the world, either tempting them to idolatry, or heresy, or lewdness of life, or (which seemeth most probable) stirring them up to one attempt more to ruin the church. These people are called

Gog and Magog, about the meaning of which there are various opinions. We read of Magog, Genesis 10:2; he was one of the sons of Japheth; see also 1 Chronicles 1:5; he inhabited that country called Syria, and from thence, his posterity being multiplied, (as some think), transplanted some colonies into America. We read of Gog no where in Scripture but in Ezekiel, Ezekiel 38:1-39:29, where both Gog and Magog are mentioned as the great enemies of God’s ancient Israel. Gog there, Ezekiel 38:2, is named as the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. There are disputes who are meant by Gog and Magog in those two chapters. The Jewish rabbies apply the terms to some nations whom the Messiah (expected by them) shall encounter and overcome; but if we consider that prophecy as made in Babylon, and to comfort the people in that captivity, we can hardly think the enemies there intended were to appear at such a distance of time as more than two thousand years, for so many, and more, are elapsed already since Ezekiel’s prophecy. The best interpreters therefore rather think, that Antiochus, and the race of Seleucus, (a king of Syria, who in those quarters of the world succeeded Alexander, of whom we read in the book of Maccabees), is there intended, whose ruin is there foretold, as being a great enemy to the Jews after their return from Babylon; yet some think, that in both these chapters Ezekiel prophesied of the same Gog and Magog here intended, which should be the last enemies of the church. The papists, who (according to their interest) contend for antichrist as yet to come, make Gog and Magog here to signify some king or kings that shall join with antichrist when he appeareth. Others think that Gog and Magog, in this place, signifies more generally, a colluvies, or mixed company of all wicked men, a very great multitude, who shall come from all parts, only typified by the Gog and Magog in Ezekiel, as being like them,

1. For number;

2. In their design to ruin the church, upon its restoration to a more quiet, peaceable state;

3. And who shall be ruined like them, by the more than ordinary providence of God; for the Gog and Magog mentioned in Ezekiel, are described in three texts of that prophecy as coming from the north, but these are described as coming from the four quarters of the world: this seemeth a much more probable opinion than theirs, who will have them some particular nations, whether Americans, Turks, or Indians.

The number of whom is as the sand of the sea: these enemies shall make a vast number, therefore compared to the sand of the sea; and in this they hold a proportion also with the Gog and Magog mentioned in Ezekiel, who were a great company, Ezekiel 38:4, many people, Ezekiel 38:6, covering the land, Ezekiel 38:9.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". 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

город возлюбленный Это Иерусалим (ср. Пс. 77:68; 86:2), столица во время Тысячелетнего Царства Христа (Иер. 3:17). Святые будут жить вокруг города, в котором правит Христос (ср. Ис. 24:23; Иер. 3:17; Зах. 14:9-11).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-20.html.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

And shall come forth to deceive the nations ... At the time indicated here, Satan will do exactly what he did in the pre-Christian world, that is, organize all mankind into one vast, sprawling, interlocking network of evil. This shows that Satan's power to deceive was not altered by his imprisonment and limitation. Wherever and whenever people are willing to work the works of wickedness, Satan will promote and organize their activities. It was the word of God which broke his powerful stranglehold upon the ancient world; and when people turn away from the word of God, their old nemesis will again seize the whole world. Something resembling that terrible eventuality seems to be indicated here.

Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war ... These names and symbols of all the enemies of God's people, as their usage in Ezekiel surely indicates, do not represent any particular earthly states, but all the forces of wickedness. See Ezekiel 35-40. "Gog and Magog, in Jewish thought, carne to stand for everything that is against God."[44]

Together to the war ... This final "war" against God is exactly the parallel of the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), another example of the parallelism in this prophecy, both being descriptions of the end, rather, times immediately prior to the final judgment. Earle pointed out that certain millennialists distinguish between these accounts, apply one before, the other after, the millennium; but they are parallel accounts of but one event. As Wilcock noted, "The invitation to the birds (Revelation 19:17) is also thought to be before the millennium; but in Ezekiel 39:17ff, from whence the imagery is taken, their invitation was to "pick the bones' of Gog."[45] Again, this indicates parallelism in these recapitulations.

Satan will remain "completely bound," as far as the righteous are concerned, even to the very end;' but, with the near disappearance of righteousness from the earth as the end approaches, there will nevertheless be, as far as the whole world is concerned, an effective "loosing of Satan." This is indicated in the next verse.

The number of whom is as the sand of the sea ... At the time here indicated, the righteous of earth are an insignificant number; but the hosts of evil will be innumerable. But when Satan is loosed, the same thing will happen that always happens when Satan has a free hand. When the demons were permitted to enter the swine, remember what happened? A similar thing shall happen with humanity when Satan has a free hand. "Then shall come the end" (Matthew 24:14).

After the gospel work among the nations has been done, after the last soul that it can save has been saved, then the final moment has arrived for the settlement with all the monstrous anti-Christian opposition to God.[46]

[44] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 194.

[45] Michael Wilcock, op. cit., p. 191.

[46] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 592.

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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The devil will then resume his former work of deceiving the nations ( Revelation 20:3) into thinking they will be better off submitting to his authority than to Jesus Christ"s (cf. Genesis 3; Matthew 4). He will eventually gather innumerable soldiers from all parts of the world to fight against Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 7:1; Isaiah 11:2; Ezekiel 38:3-6; Ezekiel 39:1-2).

"At the close of the Millennium, Satan will be released from the pit and permitted to lead one last revolt against the Lord. Why? As final proof that the heart of man is desperately wicked and can be changed only by God"s grace [cf. Jeremiah 17:9]. Imagine the tragedy of this revolt: people who have been living in a perfect environment, under the perfect government of God"s Song of Solomon, will finally admit the truth [that they hate Him] and rebel against the King! ...

"In one sense, the millennial kingdom will "sum up" all that God has said about the heart of man during the various periods of history [dispensations]. It will be a reign of law, and yet law will not change man"s sinful heart. Man will still revolt against God [cf. Genesis 2:16-17]. The Millennium will be a period of peace and perfect environment, a time when disobedience will be judged swiftly and with justice; and yet in the end the subjects of the King will follow Satan and rebel against the Lord. A perfect environment cannot produce a perfect heart." [Note: Wiersbe, 2:620.]

The people who follow Satan in this rebellion will evidently be those who have not trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior during the Millennium. Even though everyone will know who Jesus Christ is during the Millennium ( Jeremiah 31:33-34), not everyone will trust in Him as Savior. Only believers will enter the Millennium, but everyone born during that time will need to trust Christ to experience eternal salvation.

The phrase "Gog and Magog" ( Revelation 20:8) evidently refers to the world"s rulers and nations in rebellion against God. Gog, the ruler, and Magog, his land, probably have symbolic significance as well as literal meaning, much as Babylon does, and they signify Messiah"s enemies. People will come from all over the world to rebel against Christ ( Ezekiel 38:3-6). It seems quite clear that the total invasion by Gog described in Ezekiel 38, 39 is not in view here, though part of it is. One phase of the invasion will evidently occur at the end of the Tribulation (cf. Revelation 19:17-21). Similarly chapters17,18 that record the destruction of Babylon allude to Isaiah 21and Jeremiah 51, which record both future and eschatological destructions of Babylon. In view of its description in Ezekiel, Gog"s invasion of the Promised Land finds fulfillment in two events. In Revelation 20, we see a worldwide rebellion at the end of the Millennium. The battle of Armageddon (cf. Revelation 16:14) will be a similar earlier and limited fulfillment.

"That rebellion of the godless forces from the north will have made such an impression on mankind that after one thousand years, that last rebellion of man bears the same label-Gog and Magog.

"We have passed through a similar situation in this century. World War I was so devastating that when war broke out in Europe, involving many of the same nations and even more, it was also labeled a World War, but it was differentiated by the number two." [Note: McGee, 5:1058.]

Amillennialist Meredith Klein argued that Har Magedon is Mount Zion, the battle in Revelation 20:7-10 is the one described in Ezekiel 38-39, and it is the same as Armageddon in Revelation 16:12-16. [Note: Meredith G. Kline, "Har Magedon: The End of the Millennium," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society39:2 (June1996):207-22. Cf. C. C. Torry, "Armageddon," Harvard Theological Review31 (1938):237-48.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "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 20:8. And shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war. ‘Gog and Magog’ are in apposition with ‘the nations,’ so that the two names represent the same thing. There is thus a slight difference between the use of these terms here and in Ezekiel (chaps. 38-39), where Gog is the prince of Magog, and Magog is the nation ruled by him. In the prophecy of Ezekiel the names are applied to a prince and a people coming from a distance,—apparently the North (chap. Ezekiel 39:2),—fierce, rapacious, and cruel. It is not necessary to inquire what particular people this may be, although they are generally regarded as the nations north of the Caucasus. Enough that, wherever they dwell, they are the enemies of God, that they march against Israel after the latter has been established in its own land, and that they are overthrown with a swift and terrible and final destruction. They thus afford a suitable type for the last enemies of the Church, who have come up against her, and are destroyed.—These enemies are described as being ‘in the four corners of the earth.’ The expression meets us in chap. Revelation 7:1, where the four angels, who hold back the winds until the servants of God are sealed, stand upon the four corners of the earth: and, as this is the only other passage where the word occurs in the Apocalypse, we must take it along with us in our effort to ascertain the meaning. Two things may be noticed in connection with it: (1) That the corners of the earth presuppose a centre from which they are distinct; (2) That, though thus distinct from the centre, the powers emanating from them influence the whole earth, and are not confined to the corners, for it is said in chap. Revelation 7:1 that the angels held back not the winds of the corners but the winds ‘of the earth, that no wind should blow on the earth nor on the sea nor on any tree.’ In precise accordance with this, it is stated here that when the nations came up from these four corners they ‘went up over the breadth of the earth;’ they covered it all. It is thus impossible to think of mere remote, barbarous, and unknown tribes in contrast with the civilised nations of the world. Nothing less can be in the writer’s view than all the heathen, including nations the most cultured and the most civilised. Such too is the meaning of the words ‘the nations’ not only in the New Testament generally, but in this particular book. In short, we have before us a fresh illustration of the idea which seems to underlie the whole Apocalypse, that the history of Christ is repeated in the history of the Church. After the pause in John 13-17 there is a fresh and final outbreak of opposition to Jesus, in which the Roman power is peculiarly active. Now, after the pause of the thousand years, there is a fresh outbreak of opposition against the saints, in which the heathen play the prominent part.—These ‘nations’ assemble under the leadership of Satan, of whom it is said that he comes forth out of his prison ‘to deceive the nations, to gather them together to the war.’ The deception is not the general deception practised by Satan over the hearts of men, and continued during the whole period of human history. It is one act of deception committed at the last, and consisting of the particular influence referred to.

The number of whom is as the sand of the sea. The common biblical expression for innumerable hosts.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-20.html. 1879-90.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Gog was the ruler of the people who opposed God"s faithful in Ezekiel"s vision and Magog the land over which he ruled. Satan"s forces come from all over the earth to do battle (Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29).

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-20.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

quarters. As Revelation 7:1 (corners).

earth. App-129.4.

Gog and Magog. Here, apparently an inclusive term for all the Gentile nations; East (Gog) and West (Magog). The destruction of Gog and Magog, Eze 39, is pre-millennial. See Revelation 39:25.

battle = the war. The texts add the article. Reference to the war predicted and determined.

number. Greek. arithmos. One of the ten (App-10and App-197.) occurances in Rev.

as the sand, &c. Greek. Paroemia. App-6. Compare Hebrews 11:12.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "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 shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Quarters - `corners.'

Gog and Magog - (notes, Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29.) Magog represents northern nations of Japheth's posterity, whose ideal head is Gog (Genesis 10:2). A has but one article to "Gog and Magog," whereby the prince and the people are closely connected; B reads the second article before Magog. Hiller ('Onomasticon') explains both as lofty, elevated.

To battle - `to the war,' in 'Aleph (') A B but Andreas omits 'the.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "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

(8) And shall go out to deceive the nations.—Perhaps better, shall come out, as the earth is the view-point. The nations deceived and led astray are designated as Gog and Magog. The names are derived from Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38, 39). In rabbinical books the names were used to describe the nations who would rise against the reign of the Messiah. The names are to be understood figuratively. No particular nation could be well spoken of as “the nations in the four corners of the earth.” The origin of the figure is not difficult. In Ezekiel, Gog is called the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; or, adopting another rendering, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Magog is mentioned in Genesis 10:2 as one of the sons of Japheth. The name is there associated with Gomer, Madai, and Meshech. Gomer is thought to correspond with the Cimmerians, Madai with the Medes, and Meshech with the Muscovites. Mr. Smith, in his history of Assurbanipal from cuneiform inscriptions, thinks that a certain chief of the Saka (Scythians), named Gaagi, is the same as Gog. The sons of this Gaagi are mentioned in connection with Birighudri, a chief of Madai (Medes). Josephus also identifies Magog with the Scythians. The remembrance of the Scythian invasion lingered long in the minds of Asiatic nations; and the names of those northern nations were adopted as representative of the great and undefined enemies who would in after ages assail the Messiah’s kingdom, or wage unprovoked war against the true Israel of God. Ezekiel’s language in Ezekiel 38:17 seems to imply as much. The Evangelist here accepts the names employed by the earlier prophet. Gog and Magog stand for the great hosts of the nations, and their leaders, who would break forth into uncalled-for hostility against the people of the Lord. It must be remembered that the imagery is derived from the history of Israel. Jerusalem, the beloved city of the true Israel of God, looks out upon her foes. They are Babylon, Egypt, or they may come from the far northern regions, the abode of Gog and Magog, whence the wild and relentless invaders had poured upon the land. Gog and Magog are thus used as typical names. Under the auspices of such, the great gathering of turbulent and reckless enemies of the faith would take place. The hosts of the foes of Jerusalem are described as innumerable as the sand of the sea. This great concourse of countless hosts is moved by hostility to the faith of Christ. The nations, thus multitudinous, have been restrained during the millennial reign. Evil and unbelief have been held in check, but they have not been extinguished. The millennial reign is clearly, therefore, not a period in which the rule of Christ is universally and sincerely accepted. There are powers at work which compete for human affections and interests; but the general acceptance of Christian principles keeps the evil forces in abeyance, and the gracious strength of God limits the power of the archenemy. But when the restraints are removed, the long-suppressed evil breaks forth, and the reluctantly submissive nations are gathered together to the war—not to battle, as in our version, but to the war—i.e., to the war which has been before spoken of in Revelation 16, 19. All the restraints which Christ and Christian teaching had supplied to the world are gradually removed. The Euphrates is dried, the Devil is loosed, the unclean spirits have gone forth, the last phase of the long war between good and evil, between Christ and Belial, has been entered.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
to deceive
3,10
Gog
Ezekiel 38:1-39
to gather
16:14
the number
Judges 7:12; 1 Samuel 13:5; 1 Kings 4:20; Isaiah 10:22; Jeremiah 33:22; Hebrews 11:12
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:15 - thou;  Genesis 10:2 - GeneralJoshua 9:2 - gathered;  Joshua 10:4 - and help;  1 Chronicles 5:4 - General2 Chronicles 18:21 - GeneralJob 1:7 - From going;  Job 38:11 - but;  Psalm 48:4 - GeneralPsalm 110:5 - strike;  Psalm 118:10 - All nations;  Isaiah 8:9 - Associate;  Isaiah 25:5 - shalt bring;  Isaiah 29:7 - the multitude;  Isaiah 43:17 - they shall;  Isaiah 54:15 - they shall;  Ezekiel 13:5 - to stand;  Ezekiel 38:2 - Gog;  Ezekiel 38:15 - and many;  Joel 3:2 - also;  Joel 3:11 - Assemble;  Micah 4:3 - and rebuke;  Micah 5:9 - hand;  Zechariah 12:3 - though;  Mark 13:5 - Take;  John 14:30 - the;  Acts 2:35 - thy foes;  Ephesians 6:11 - the wiles;  Colossians 2:4 - lest;  1 Timothy 4:1 - seducing;  1 John 5:19 - in wickedness;  Revelation 12:9 - deceiveth;  Revelation 12:17 - to make;  Revelation 20:5 - the rest

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-20.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 20:8. — On the completion of the thousand years' imprisonment Satan, not now spoken of as the dragon, "is loosed from his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which (are) on the four corners of the earth,Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war, whose number is as the sand of the sea." During the reign all Israel is saved (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 11:26), andtheir seed and seed's seed for ever (Isaiah 59:20-21). But not so the Gentiles. The populations of the earth will be greatly thinned by judgments, large numbers be saved, but many will only render feigned obedience to the authority of the reigning Monarch of the earth. Not the obedience of faith, but a compelled submission under the iron rod (Psalms 2:9), an obedience extorted by fear (see Psalms 18:44;Psalms 66:3; Psalms 81:15; in the margin of each of those texts we reach feigned obedience). Another consideration, which in itself fully accounts for the countless multitudes gathered by Satan from all parts of the earth, is that death even amongst the unsaved will not be the rule, rather the exception (for the principle see Isaiah 65:20); besides, the peoplingof the earth shall go on as ever, but Scripture does not, so far as we know, intimate that those born during the thousand years are converted, except those amongst Israel (Isaiah 59:21). The restraint upon Satan being removed,the nations, not merely individuals, but communities and peoples who had basked under the light and blessing of Messiah's personal reign, yield themselves up to Satan. Alas! what is man? He has been tried and tested under every possible condition, in every possible way, under goodness, government, law, grace, and now under glory. The former gathering of the powers was under human leaders (Revelation 19:19). This one is on a vaster scale, and under the direct control and guidance of Satan himself.Both end in utter rout and ruin.

THE LAST HUMAN CONFEDERACY.

. — The gathering of the nations is universal in character from the four corners of the globe, and so numerous are they that the only comparison is to the sand of the seashore. This vast assemblage is metaphorically spoken of as Gog and Magog.{* Gog, or Russia (Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29). Who is Gog? The reference is to the vast and growing power of Russia, the outcome of the warlike Sclavonic tribes of ancient origin, descended from Japheth, eldest son of Noah (Genesis 10:2). The capital cities of European and Asiatic Russia are named in the first verses of the two chapters. "Meshech" (Moscow), formerly the seat of government of European-Russia, now second city of the empire, and "Tubal" (Tobolsk) chief city of Siberia, are not only thus early designated, but Russia itself is distinctly named, and that, too, fourteen and a half centuries before she was known in history as Russia. The words in the beginning of our chapters, "The chief prince of Meshech and Tubal," should read, "Prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal" (R. V.). Thus Russia — and were it still doubted, the naming of her chief cities surely establishes the fact — is clearly pointed out in the Scriptures of truth, a certain proof of the futurity of this remarkable prophecy. Russia was only known by name in history in the ninth christian century. It is derived from Ruric, a Norman pirate who really founded the empire. Her geographical position is also indicated in the prophecy: "And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts." Gog is a symbolic term for the head of all the Russias. Magog, also symbolic, is his land. The Prophet of visions tells us of Persia, Ethiopia, and many other nations coming down under the leadership of Gog "like a cloud to cover the land." The apparently defenceless state of Judea, its numerous and thriving villages, having neither walls, bars, nor gates, seem to offer an easy prey to the nations, while the world's wealth, centralised in the Jew, will awaken the cupidity of the powers (Ezekiel 38:10-13). To plunder and destroy are the objects of this mighty confederation (see Isaiah 33:1-24, which also refers to Gog's attack). Alas! little do they dream that Jehovah hath girded Zion with strength, and that the Keeper of Israel neither slumbers not sleeps. The Lord Jesus Christ is there, Israel's glory and defence, and His and their enemies only reach the Judean mountains to find a grave, and their wealth to swell the treasures already gathered in Immanuel's land (Ezekiel 39:1-29). The chosen leader of this expedition against restored Israel is Gog, the last Czar of Russia, whose name is withheld.} These terms really refer to the last Czar of Russia and his land (Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29). Now the last attack upon Judea is after the destruction of the western powers (Revelation 19:1-21) and the eastern enemies of Israel (Zechariah 14:1-21; Psalms 83:1-18). Gog (Russia) comes down upon the land toplunder and destroy, not knowing that the Lord has come and made salvation the sure bulwarks of His ancient earthly people (Isaiah 26:1-2). Hence the last attempt todestroy Israel at the commencement of the millennium is repeated on even a more gigantic scale at the close. The object is the same in both attacks, only the former comes from the north, the geographical location of Gog; whereas the latter is from all parts of the earth. One can thus readily understand why the terms Gog and Magog are used,so as to connect the two attempts to overthrow and destroy Israel, the one pre-millennial the other post-millennial. It will be observed that no kings or great men are named, as in the gathering under the Beast (Revelation 19:1-21), but nations simply as such.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "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

The nations here are the same as in verse3as to the meaning of the word. But the identical groups of men who had been deceived by Satan before the Reformation would not be available to him in the same manner, for they still have the Bible in their own languages, and will always know better than to surrender their rights as nations with their kings again. But having found by experience the great advantage of working through the various headquarters, so as to effect a broad-scale opposition to the truth, he determined to direct his efforts along that line. Of course his objective is the destruction of the Bible or the faith of the people in it. That is why this great and long conflict is called Armageddon in Revelation 16:16, for one of the terms in Thayer's definition of the word is "destruction." Satan's strategy in this war was to use any means he could command that would destory men's faith in the Book. Gog and Magog were ancient peoples and countries that were numerous, savage and at enmity with civilization. The words are used symbolically here to indicate the kind of forces and means that Satan would use in his war against the Bible. In the note referred to at the beginning of this chapter, it is shown that a phase of Satan's public attacks upon the Bible is in the form of evolution, seeing that it is taught in the public schools, also be chartered and endorsed by states and educational headquarters. The same objective is now being attempted in the form of communism. In proportion as a man believes in this doctrine he will not believe in the Bible and Satan knows it. That is why he is pressing its tenets upon the people through every channel possible. It accounts for the number of communists among the school teachers of our free school system. Also for the presence of communists and their sympathizers in the three branches of our government; the legislative, executive and judicial. Iam sometimes asked if I believe the present conflict with Russia and her satellites was predicted. My answer is yes as the whole picture is considered. Communism is just the present objective in the war, the conflict being either for or against it. In that sense it was predicted for it is a continuation of the battle (war) of Armageddon, which was begun after Satan was loosed and is destined to continue until Christ comes. As in most other wars, there are spies and sympathizers who pretend to be on the right side, but whose heart is in favor of the enemy. Such traitors either deny being communists or even refuse to say whether they are or not. We know that when a man refuses to answer questions on this subject when propounded by a proper person, that person is a communist at heart and should be regarded as one of Satan's soldiers in the war of Armageddon.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-20.html. 1952.

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

Revelation 20:8. And he will go forth to deceive the heathen in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war,[Note: If we read εἰ ς τὸ ν πό λεμον, the article must be taken generically, and in substance the other reading, without it, conveys the same meaning. The war stands opposed to other possible objects of the gathering together.] the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. In what manner Satan goes forth, and accomplishes the deception, we learn from ch. Revelation 16:13. He does it by means of the unclean spirit that goes out of him.

According to the current view we are to understand by the heathen in the four corners of the earth the nations, that occupy the most distant regions of the earth.[Note: So already Vitringa: Designatur gentes, quae non habiarent in media et praestantissima terrarium orbis parte, quipped quae occupata esset ab ecclesia, sed in extremis terrae.] But this interpretation is against the biblical usage. In Judges 20:2, the expression, "the corners of the whole people," is used for, the whole people from the beginning to the end, "all the tribes of Israel," as is immediately added by way of explanation; or "from Dan to Beersheba" as it is in Revelation 20:1. The explanation: the foremost of the whole people, is there against the connection. In 1 Samuel 14:38, Saul says, "Draw ye near hither all corners of the people." That the whole body of the people is meant, is clear from 1 Samuel 14:40, In Isaiah 19:13 it is said, "They have deceived Egypt, the corners of his tribes,"for, his tribes even to their furthest corners. (In Genesis 19:4, כל העם מקצה corresponds). In these passages the corners possessed whatever lay within them, and was bounded by them: all the corners of the people, is as much as, all the peopleeven to its furthest corners; as in this book also at ch. Revelation 7:1, the corners are brought into consideration as the points, which rule the whole earth. So is it also in respect to the four borders of the earth in Isaiah 11:12; q.d., of the whole earth, as far as it stretches. Comp. Ezekiel 7:2, "The end comes on the four borders of the earth," Job 37:3. Accordingly, here also the four corners of the earth are not the points, where the people to be deceived alone or even chiefly dwell, but the corners are regarded as commanding the whole region that lies within them; so that the four corners of the earth, is all one with, on the whole earth even to its four corners. The deceptive influence exercised by Satan is represented as one, that is not to be confined to some one particular land or people, but one that was to possess an entirely oecumenical character; precisely as we see at present to be the case. To the four corners of the earth correspond the breadth of the earth in Revelation 20:9. The territory on which the cause operates here, is the same as that on which the operation appears there. This view is confirmed by the fundamental prophecy in Ezekiel. There along with Gog, who comes from the north, other nations also are mentioned as taking part in the expedition, who dwell in the middle regions.

Gog and Magog form the epexegesis to the nations in the four corners of the earth. Ezekiel represents Gog as the centre of the whole movement (Ezekiel 38:5-6). But here the ground of Genesis 10:2, is entirely abandoned, and Gog and Magog are simply identified with all heathen. Gog, Magog, and Demagog, were first put together by Brentano. It is such a conjunction as that of Napoleon and Apollyon.

In the war, Bengel, "Then all evil will raise itself up against all good, and hazard the last blow, but shall be worsted by the better part."

As the sand of the sea, as were also the host of the Canaanites, Joshua 11:4, the camels of the Midianites, Judges 7:12, and the Philistines, 1 Samuel 13:5.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-20.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.Go out—The last revelation of antichrist. It is the revelation that precedes the second advent.

Deceive the nations—Note on Revelation 14:5. Probably by taking a religious form, and erecting a hierarchy and becoming a pontiff, thus reviving the pre-millennial POPERY. Yet, as we are informed in 2 Peter 3, one form of the deception will be a denial of the reality of a second advent, based on an infidel scepticism. And yet, while infidel to Christ and his second advent, the nations may be faithful to the renewed pontificate and spiritual empire of the dragon, who emphatically deceives them into a belief of his Messiahship. And here it may be noted, that the prefix anti signifies not only opposition but instead of; so that antichrist signifies not merely an opponent to Christ, but a substitute Christ; just as anti-pope signifies a false claimant to be pope. The result will be apostasy, persecution, irreligion, vice, and misery.

Four quarters of the earth—The symbolic Jerusalem—the beloved city of next verse—is assumed as the centre; and from all the four points of the compass the hostile forces are seen advancing. That is, the true Church of the period will find itself in the midst of a growing scepticism, vice, and persecution, rising in all parts of the world, and bearing down upon herself.

Gog and Magog—An invasion shadowed by that described by Ezekiel xxxviii and 39. That invasion was led by Gog and Magog from the north countries, but it received cooperation from all quarters; from Persia on the east, from Ethiopia and Libya south, and from Gomer, west. In the tenth chapter of Genesis Magog is classed among the sons of Japhet, and, therefore, represents here the Japhetites, (Caucasians,) or Gentiles. And as in the apocalypse the Jews represent true Christians—as Jerusalem here represents the true Church—so Gentiles are antichristic, and assailants of the righteous cause. Gog, according to Ezekiel, is “prince” of Magog.

St. John here uses imagery known to the old Jewish doctors. Thus the Jerusalem Targum upon Numbers 11:27, says: “At the close of the last days Gog and Magog and their armies shall go up to Jerusalem, and shall fall by the hands of Messiah, and seven years shall the children of Israel burn their arms.” And Avoda Sara, i: “When they shall see the war of Gog and Magog, the Messiah shall say unto them, For what have you come hither? They will reply, Against the Lord and his Messiah.”

Sand of the sea—Wonderful it is how numerous are the devotees of infidelity in trying times.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-20.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Satan’s return to encounter irretrievable defeat upon the scene of his former successes ( Ezekiel 38:8), is an obscure and curious feature, borrowed in part from earlier beliefs in Judaism (Gog and the Parthians both from the dreaded N. E., Ezekiel 38:4), but directly or indirectly from a legend common to Persian and Hellenic eschatology: in the former the evil spirit has a preliminary and a final defeat, while in the latter the Titans emerge from Tartarus only to be conclusively worsted (Rohde, Psyche, 410 f.). No explanation is given of how Satan gets free. In the Iranian eschatology (Brandt, 590 f.) the serpent breaks loose at the call of Angra Mainyô (God’s opponent), seduces a part of mankind and persecutes the rest, till he is overcome by the messiah, who then proceeds to raise the dead. But as John identifies the serpent with Satan, such a theory was plainly out of the question. At any rate, Satan wins adherents for this fresh attempt from those barbarian hordes who survived the downfall of the Roman empire (Revelation 19:17-21). They are called “Gog and Magog,” after the traditional opponents who were to be defeated by the redeemed Israel of the latter days, according to the faith of Judaism (Ezekiel 38-39.). Jerusalem, the navel and centre of the earth (Ezekiel 38:12) as messiah’s residence, is besieged; but, like Gog of old, the invaders are consumed by the divine fire, whilst Satan is consigned for ever to the lake of fire, where he lies writhing among his worshippers, as a punishment for seducing men. This is at once a reminiscence of the Iranian eschatology (Hübschmann, 231), where the serpent is flung into molten metal as his final doom, in order to rid earth of his presence, and also a reflection of Enoch liv. (lxvii. 7) where the four angels grip the hosts of Azazel on the last day and “cast them into a burning furnace, that the Lord of Spirits may take vengeance on them for leading astray those who dwell on earth”.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 20:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-20.html. 1897-1910.