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Revelation 20

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Posted on CCPC's website 2022

The study Index page.

     Again. This study is verse by verse, IMAGE by Image, IDEA by Idea, and concept by concept. Which means it is a Marathon.
     We are using sources that John the Apostle and those mentioned as the recipients of the letter, the Seven Churches and other First Century Christians, the majority of which were Jews, would / should / could have been familiar with. We will also reference newer translations and versions of the book, beginning with the 1560 Geneva Bible (the bulk source for the 1611 KJV, which we also use) all the way up to much more current publications, and examinations of the text from various scholars, as well as beginning the analysis of the text from the Greek.
     It should be said here, as we are beginning with the Greek, we are going in remembering that John was writing in an 'apocalyptic' style. It seems many translations have forgotten that and 'moderated' the language.
"Say not always what you know, but always know what you say."
- Claudius Caesar (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, 10 BC - 54 AD)

     After the things from the previous chapter happen, Then, John sees an angel “katabainonta” (coming down / descending) out of heaven, holding the key to the “abyssou” (Abyss)...

Keeping track of pits:
     Is this the Bottomless Pit of song and story, and mentioned in chapter 9 when the fifth trumpet sounds? We know from chapter 9 that you need a key to open it, and that key is kept 'upstairs'. We also know that it Was full of locusts and smoke. So, maybe.
     We know more about what it isn't, it isn't the Abyss from which the beast from the sea rose in chapter 13, there was no lock on that one. But it could be the pit mentioned in 11 which may be the pit from 9, if it had been left unlocked.
     There is also that hole under the Euphrates where some unpleasant angels were held for a time, an angel had to go open that one too. So there are several of these things around, and none of them appear to be a wine cellar that anybody would want in their house.
... and a “halysin megalen” (chain great) in his hand.

     And he “ekratesen” (seized with strength) the dragon, the “ophis ho archaios” (serpent / snake ancient)....
     The reference is clearly to “Eve's friend” from the Garden.
     .... who is “estin Diabolos kai ho Satanas” and “edesen” (bound / fastened) him “chilia eta” (thousand years).

     And he “ebalen” (threw / cast) him into the Abyss, and “ekleisen” (shut / closed) it over him, and “esphragisen” (set a seal) over it / him, so that he not “planese” (lead astray / deceive) the nations any longer, until were “telesthe” (finished / completed) the thousand years. After this it is “dei” (necessary) to release him “mikron chronon” (little / short time).
     This set of years in Revelation appears to be an actual span of a millennium. Whether or not it is exactly one thousand orbits of the Earth around the Sun or not is irrelevant, we are on God's calendar, and to Him, it's one day.

     And I saw “thronous” (thrones / seats of power), and “ekathisan” (they settled into them) and “krima” (judicial decisions) were given to them, and to the souls of those “pepelekismenon” (literally: 'head chopped off with an axe') because of the “martyrian” (testimony / witness) of “Iesou” and because of the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast or his image, or take his mark. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

5 AND 6
     The “loipoi ton nekron” (remainder of the corpses) are not “ezesan” (made alive / given life) again until “telesthe” (completed / finished). This is the “anastasis te prote” (raising again / resurrection the first (principal / most important)). “Makarios kai hagios” (Blessed / Happy / To be envied and 'set apart by God' / sacred / holy) is the one having a part in the 'resurrection first'! Over these (the people in the first resurrection) the “deuteros thanatos” (second death) has no “exousian” (power / influence), and they will be priests of God, and of Christ, and “basileusousin” (reign / rule) with Him a thousand years.

Question: “is this the Millennial Kingdom?”
     Partial answer: Probably.
     Rest of the answer: Let's do a 'sitrep'. The beast and the false prophet are otherwise occupied, the Dragon (Satan) is locked up in a hole, Christ and those who followed Him and served God are running the place, and the time scale is a... So, yeah, OK, we can call it that. Other things happen later, but it would appear that a good selection of believers are in this group.

7 and 8
     After the thousand years are “telesthe” (accomplished), “lythesetai” (to be released) “Satanas” out of the “phylakes” (place of guarding / prison) and “exeleusetai” (will go out) “planesai” (to lead astray / deceive) the 'foreign nations' in the “tessarsin goniais” (four corners) of the Earth, and “Gog kai Magog”...

A tangent of Gog and Magog, and bears, “oh my
     Gog and Magog make their first appearance in Revelation 20. But the first time we meet them in the Bible is in 1 Chronicles 5 and then later in Ezekiel 38 where the prince of Gog from Magog calls in forces from all over the world to invade Israel. However, before the war is over, God intervenes and natural disasters claim Magog.
     Who, and or what, is identified as Gog and Magog? Well, everybody that has ever been in any way against Israel, and now, those who stand against the Christian Church. Nominees include the ancient Scythians, by no less than the historian Josephus, they've also been the Huns, the Magyars of Hungary, and the Muslims led by al-Malik al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf I, also known as Saladin, who, in the 1180s, defeated the Christian Crusaders in the Holy Land and captured Jerusalem.
     More recently they have been pinned on Russia (the bear, get it?), or China, or Iraq, or whoever else is convenient at the time. Links below to more from Josephus and Salah ad-Din (Saladin)
End tangent
     ... to gather them together for the war, with their number like the sand of the sea.

     And they “anebesan” (went up) the “platos” (breadth) and they “ekykleusan” (surrounded) the “parembolen” (compound) of those 'set apart by God' and the City “egapemenen” ('something' loved). “Kai katebe pyr ek tou ouranou kai katephagen autous” (and came down fire from the sky/heaven and devoured them).

     And “ho diabolos”, the one “planon” (led them astray) was thrown into... The 1611 got it right... and “basanisthesontai” (they will be tortured) day and night in 'perpetuity'.
     The Beast and the False Prophet have already been there since the end of chapter 19, which means, they've already been in the lake for a thousand years before their master joins them. One would have to guess that they won't be happy to see him, and may well make his stay there even more miserable.

     Then John sees one of those epic images from the book.
     “Thronon megan leukon” (stately seat / throne large/great brilliant white) and the One sitting on it, 'from' whose face “prosopou” (appearance / presence) “ephygen” (run away / try to escape) the “ge” (earth (as the planet itself)) and the heavens and a “topos” (location / 'spot') was “ouch” (not / no (absolute negative)) found for them.

     This verse is one of the keys to the entire drama in The Apocalypse.
     And I saw the “nekrous” (corpses / dead bodies) “megalous kai tous mikrous” (large / great and little / small (implied is 'important and common people')), “hestotas enopion” (standing in front of) the throne, “kai biblia enoichthesan” (and scrolls opened up).

     Based solely on this text, this is a mass event, there is no qualification or separation, this is, evidently, Everybody. Also, it does not directly exclude those from any previous chapters, it says “the dead”.

12 continues
     ... And “allo biblion” (another roll) was opened, “ho estin tes zoes” (which is the one of life). And were “ekrithesan” (decided / discerned (legal trial)) “hoi nekroi” (the lifeless) out of the things having been written on the scrolls, “kata ta erga auton” (in relation to the acts of them).

     And “edoken” (offered / gave) the “thalassa” (sea) the nekrous (lifeless / dead) in it, and “thanatos” (Death) and “Hades” gave up their dead, and “ekrithesan” (decided...) hekastos (every one) 'according to their acts'.

     And 'Death' and 'Hades' (here the two words are used as proper names, as was done in 13) were “eblethesan” (thrown) into the lake of fire.
     This is the same lake from verse 10 and Chapter 19 where the other notable bad guys are 'chilling out'.
     .... This “thanatos deuteros” (death second) is 'the lake of fire'.

     The 1611 has got it just about right:
     “And whosoeuer was not found written in the booke of life, was cast into the lake of fire.”

End 20

Selected Sources for this chapter:
Gog from Magog in:
Flavius Josephus of the Antiquities of the Jews — Book I, Chapter 6. “How every nation was denominated from their first inhabitants.

Salah ad-Din "The Righteousness of the Faith" (1138 - 1193)

Sources used throughout entire study:
Bible Hub Interlinear pages:

the Geneva Bible downloadable

the 1611 KJV

The study Index page.

NOTE: The Bible Study Lesson presented above is posted as a reference document to begin a conversation of the topic. And that's it. Please accept it at such.

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