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
(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 (Re 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 (Re 20:2-10): the other
of the resurrection and last judgment to (Re 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 (Re 20:1-6). The second is of the last victory,
by which he has thrown down into everlasting punishment,
there to the fifteenth verse (Re 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,
(Re 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, (2Pe 2:4)
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, (Re 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 the earth.
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
(5) Which being once expired, the second battle and victory
shall be; (Re 20:7-8).
20:46 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, (Re 20:4).
Secondly, newness of life is preached to others by the
gospel after that time; (Re 20:5). Finally, he
concludes with promises, (Re 20:6).
(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
(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
20:510 But the rest of the dead 11 lived not again until
the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first
(10) Whoever shall lie dead in sin, and not know the truth of
(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; (Re 2:11).
(13) A return to the intended history, by resuming the words
which are in the end of the fourth verse (Re 20:4).
20:714 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 (Re 20:1). In which are summarily
described the work, overthrow, and eternal punishment of
(15) Of which I spoke. )See Geneva "Re 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
20:816 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
(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; (He 10:27). This
is the second part mentioned (see Geneva "Re 20:7"), in
the overthrow of Satan.
20:1018 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.
20:1119 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
(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; (2Pe 3:7,10).
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; (2Co 5:10).
(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.
20:1325 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 works.
(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 (Da 12:1,2).
20:1426 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)
(1Co 15:16) and death shall feed on the reprobate in
hell for evermore, according to the righteous judgment of
God, in the next verse (Re 20:15).