20:1 And 1 I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key 2 of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
(1) Now follows the third part of the prophetic
history, which is of the victory by which Christ overcame the dragon, as I
noted in (Revelation
7:1). This part must necessarily be joined with the end of the twelfth
chapter and be applied to the correct understanding of it. This chapter has
two parts, one of the dragon overcome, to (Revelation
20:2-10): the other of the resurrection and last judgment to (Revelation
20:11-15). The story of the dragon is twofold: First of the first victory,
after which he was bound by Christ, to the sixth verse (Revelation
20:1-6). The second is of the last victory, by which he has thrown down
into everlasting punishment, there to the fifteenth verse (Revelation
20:7-15). This first history happened in the first time of the Christian
Church, when the dragon thrown down from heaven by Christ, went about to
molest the new birth of the Church in the earth, (Revelation
12:17,18:1). For which cause I gave warning, that this story of the dragon
must be joined to that passage. (2) That is, of
hell, where God threw the angels who had sinned, and bound them in chains of
darkness to be kept till damnation, (2 Peter
20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old
serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him 3
a thousand years,
(3) The first of which (continuing this history
with the end of the second chapter) in the 36 years from the passion of
Christ, when the Church of the Jews being overthrown, Satan attempted to
invade the Christian church gathered from the Gentiles, and to destroy part of
her seed, (Revelation
12:17). The thousandth year falls precisely on the times of that wicked
Hildebrand, who was called Gregory the seventh, a most damnable necromancer
and sorcerer, whom Satan used as an instrument when he was loosed out of
bonds, from then on to annoy the saints of God with most cruel persecutions,
and the whole world with dissentions, and most bloody wars: as Benno the
Cardinal reports at large. This is the first victory gained over the dragon in
20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut
him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations 4
no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be
loosed 5 a little season.
(4) Namely, with that public and violent deceit
which he attempted before in chapter 12 and which after a thousand years (alas
for woe!) he most mightily achieved in the Christian world. (5)
Which being once expired, the second battle and victory shall be; (Revelation
20:4 6 And I
saw a thrones, and they sat upon them,
and 7 judgment was given unto them: and
[I saw] the souls of them that were 8
beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which 9
had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark
upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ
a thousand years.
(6) A description of the common state of the
Church of Christ in earth in that space of a thousand years, during which the
devil was in bonds; in which first the authority, life, and common honour of
the godly, is declared, (Revelation
20:4). Secondly, newness of life is preached to others by the gospel after
that time; (Revelation
20:5). Finally, he concludes with promises, (Revelation
(a) For judgment was committed to them, as to
members joined to the head: not that Christ's office was given over to them.
(7) This was a type of the authority of the good
and faithful servants of God in the Church, taken from the manner of men. (8)
Of the martyrs, who suffered in those first times. (9)
Of the martyrs who suffered after both the beasts were now risen up, chapter
15. For there, these things are expounded.
20:5 10 But
the rest of the dead 11 lived not again
until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.
(10) Whoever shall lie dead in sin, and not know
the truth of God.
(11) They shall not be renewed with newness of
the life by the enlightening of the gospel of the glory of Christ. For this is
the first resurrection, by which souls of the dead do rise from their death.
In the second resurrection their bodies shall rise again.
20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the
first resurrection: on such the 12
second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, 13
and shall reign with him a thousand years.
(12) That by this both body and soul, that is,
the whole man is condemned and delivered to eternal death; (Revelation
(13) A return to the intended history, by
resuming the words which are in the end of the fourth verse (Revelation
20:7 14 And
when the 15 thousand years are expired,
Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
(14) The second history, of the latter victory of
Christ, as was said in (Revelation
20:1). In which are summarily described the work, overthrow, and eternal
punishment of Satan.
(15) Of which I spoke. See Revelation
20:2 Then there will be given to him liberty to rage against the
Church, and to molest the saints for the sins of men: to whom the faithful
shall have associated themselves more then was fitting, tasting with them of
their impurity of doctrine and life.
20:8 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
20:9 And they went up on the b
breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the
beloved city: and 17 fire came down from
God out of heaven, and devoured them.
(b) As if he said, in so much that the whole face
of the earth, however great it is, was filled.
(17) The wrath of God, consuming the adversaries,
and overthrowing all their enterprises; (Hebrews
10:27). This is the second part mentioned See Geneva,
in the overthrow of Satan.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,
where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and
night for ever and ever.
(18) The third part, eternal destruction against
those that are overcome: as I noted in the same place.
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
(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
20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand
before 22 God; and the 23
books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] 24
of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their works.
(22) That is, Christ the judge; (2 Corinthians
(23) As it were, his books of reckoning or
accounts, that is, the testimony of our conscience, and of our works, which by
no means can be avoided.
(24) The book of the eternal decree of God, in
which God the Father has elected in Christ according to the good pleasure of
his will, those that shall be heirs of life. This also is spoken according to
the manner of men.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up
the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their
(25) This is a reply or an answer to an
objection: for some man will say, "But they are dead, whom the sea, death
and the grave has consumed, how shall they appear before the judge?" John
answers, by resurrection from death, where all things (however repugnant)
shall minister and serve at the commandment of God, as in (Daniel
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
(26) The last enemy which is death shall be
abolished by Christ (that he may no more make any attempt against us) (1 Corinthians
15:16) and death shall feed on the reprobate in hell for evermore,
according to the righteous judgment of God, in the next verse (Revelation