Revelation Chapter 20 - 10-18-09

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Revelation Chapter 20 - October 18th Voice of Christian Israel Program Notes - William Finck with Clifton Emahiser

XX 1 And I saw a messenger descending from out of heaven1 having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he held fast the dragon, that serpent of old, who2 is the False Accuser and the Adversary 3, and he bound him for a thousand years 3 and cast him into the bottomless pit, and barred4 and set a seal upon it, that he may no longer5 deceive the Nations, until the thousand years should be completed. After6 these it is necessary for him to be released for a short time. [Genesis 3 Serpent, Revelation 12 Dragon & Serpent = Canaanite-Edomite Jews.]

4 And I saw thrones, and they who sat upon them, and judgment had been given to them, and the souls of those having been beheaded on account of the testimony of Yahshua and on account of the Word of Yahweh and who did not worship the beast nor his image and did not receive the inscribed mark upon their7 foreheads and upon their hands. And they lived and ruled with Christ8 for a thousand years. [The jews attempted to destroy Christianity, and used the Romans to persecute them. But the testimony of the Christian martyrs prevailed over the jews! Once Christianity became the religion of Europe, the jew was more or less ejected from mainstream society, had no power over Christians, was forced to live in ghettoes, and Christian law became dominant.]

Note 1. א wants “from out of heaven”.

Note 2. א has “which”

Note 3. See the notes at Rev. 12:8, 10.

Note 4. MA has “bound”.

Note 5. MA wants “no longer”.

Note 6. MA has “And after”.

Note 7. Literally “the”; MA has “their” in the text, where otherwise it is implied.

Note 8. Or “the Christ”, MA wants the article.

5 9This is the first restoration.10 [The Kingdom of God without jewish domination] 6 Blessed and holy is he having a part in the first restoration.11 Over these the second death does not have authority, but they shall be priests of Yahweh and of Christ and they shall rule with Him for the12 thousand years.

Note 9. At this point the NA27 and all Bible translations include a sentence which I deem to be spurious. It is the beginning of verse 5 in the King James Version and from the Greek it reads thusly” “Those [or in MA ‘And those’] remaining of the dead did not live until the thousand years were completed.” I do not know where the KJV translators got the “again” from, except perhaps that it is implied if they believed that the dead were to live after they were dead, however Jude indeed describes certain apparently living people as being “twice dead”! While it can be determined from the NA27 that A [the Codex Alexandrinus], MA [the version of the Majority Text with comments by Andreas of Caesarea, who lived as late as the 9th Century – or as early as the 5th], and early Vulgate, Syriac and Coptic manuscripts include the verse – which the NA27 does not consider to be spurious – yet [the Codex Sinaiticus], MK [the Koine Greek copies of the Majority Text],the Philoxenian version of the Syriac manuscripts, and certain early Church Fathers all want the verse.

My other reasons for excluding this sentence truly belong in a commentary, however I shall summarize them here. The thousand years in which Satan was bound began at the time of Constantinus II, when the jews began to be excoriated and either driven out of the Christian nations, or at least marginalized and confined to certain districts later called ghettoes, and no longer having any political power. Many jews actually migrated out of the empire at this time, to places in Africa and Arabia and to the east, especially to Khazaria. This was the binding of Satan (the Adversary) in the pit, and Christian principles prevailed in Europe for a thousand years, during which time the rest of the Germanic tribes of dispersed Israel were converted to Christianity.

During the time of Charlemagne, the jews were admitted into the empire, but were still kept apart in ghettoes and for many centuries they were excluded from most trades and from the civic life which Christians enjoyed. Commencing with the so-called “Enlightenment”, and once jewish usury in league with greedy kings broke the feudal system, the jews began to gain power – supported by their usury and every other foul business which they engaged themselves in – and “Satan” has been deceiving the Nations ever since that time, but it is a process which took a few centuries to culminate.

Since there was certainly no resurrection of the dead during this period, I must deem this verse to be suspect – and follow those manuscripts which omit it – especially since it is not found in א , the oldest of the uncials we have here, and according to the NA27, the verse is wanting in Victorinus of Pettau (who died in 304 AD) who wrote and quoted from the NT even earlier than א is believed to have existed.

Note 10. If one accepts the text noted above in note 9, then ἀνάστασις (Strong’s number 386) may surely be translated “resurrection” here, however no historical witness supports such a rendering. ἀνάστασις is “I. active (ἀνίστημι) a raising up of the dead, Aeschylus. 2. a making men rise and leave their place, removal, as of suppliants, Thucydides … an overthrow, destruction, ruin, Aeschylus, Euripides. 3. a setting up, restoration … III. a standing or rising up … 2. a rising and moving off, removal, Thucydides … 4. a rising again, the Resurrection, N.T.” (Liddell & Scott). Otherwise, this thousand-year rule of Christians is being described as the first restoration of the children of Adam (as opposed to the children of the serpent). In ancient times, the serpent was the symbol of kingship (i.e. ANET pp. 263, 276), but not in Medieval Europe, where often the serpent was depicted as having been defeated in victory, i.e. the story of St. George and the dragon.

Note 11. See the note for ἀνάστασις at verse 5 above.

Note 12. A and M have “a”; the text follows א.

7 And when the thousand years are completed, the Adversary shall be released from his prison 8 and shall go out to deceive the Nations13 which are14 in the four corners of the earth,15 Gog and Magog,16 to gather17 them to battle, of which the number of them18 is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they had gone up upon the breadth of the earth and encircled the encampment of the saints and the beloved city, and fire descended from out of heaven19 and devoured them.20 10 And the False Accuser who deceived them is cast into the lake of fire and sulfur where are also21 the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night for the eternal ages.

Note 13. א has “all the nations”.

Note 14. א wants the article rendered “which are” here.

Note 15. א wants “of the earth”.

Note 16. See Genesis 10:2; Ezekiel Chapters 38 & 39.

Note 17. א and MA have “and to gather”.

Note 18. MA wants “of them”.

Note 19. M has “from Yahweh from out of heaven”; the text follows A. א has an omission which the NA27 attributes to a scribal error.

Note 20. See II Kings 1:10, 12; Ezek. 38:21-23.

Note 21. א and MA want “also”.

XX 11 And I saw a great white throne and He sitting upon it, from whose presence the earth and the heaven had fled, and a place is not found for them. 12 And I saw the dead: the great ones and the small ones, standing before the throne. And books had been opened, and another book was opened, which is that of life, and the dead were judged from out of the things written in the books according to their works. 13 And the sea had given over those dead who were22 in it, and Death and Hades had given over those who were in them, and each are judged23 according to their works. 14 And Death and Hades are cast into the lake of fire. This24 is the second death: the lake of fire.25 15 And if one is not found written in the book of life, he is cast into the lake of fire.26

Note 22. MA wants the articles rendered “who were” twice here.

Note 23. א has “are sentenced”, κατακρίνω (2632) rather than κρίνω (2919).

Note 24. א has “And this”.

Note 25. MA wants “This is the second death, the lake of fire”, although the A.V. has part of the clause.

Note 26. See Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43; 25:31-46.

The Greek Text of Revelation 20:

1 καὶ εἶδον ἄγγελον καταβαίνοντα ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, ἔχοντα τὴν κλεῖν τῆς ἀβύσσου καὶ ἅλυσιν μεγάλην ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ.

2 καὶ ἐκράτησεν τὸν δράκοντα, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὅς ἐστιν διάβολος καὶ ὁ σατανᾶς, καὶ ἔδησεν αὐτὸν χίλια ἔτη,

3 καὶ ἔβαλεν αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον καὶ ἔκλεισεν καὶ ἐσφράγισεν ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ ἵνα μὴ πλανήσῃ ἔτι τὰ ἔθνη ἄχρι τελεσθῇ τὰ χίλια ἔτη· μετὰ ταῦτα δεῖ λυθῆναι αὐτὸν μικρὸν χρόνον.

4 καὶ εἶδον θρόνους, καὶ ἐκάθισαν ἐπ᾽ αὐτούς, καὶ κρίμα ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς, καὶ τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν πεπελεκισμένων διὰ τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἰησοῦ καὶ διὰ τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ οἵτινες οὐ προσεκύνησαν τὸ θηρίον οὐδὲ τὴν εἰκόνα αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἔλαβον τὸ χάραγμα ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτῶν· καὶ ἔζησαν καὶ ἐβασίλευσαν μετὰ τοῦ χριστοῦ χίλια ἔτη.

5 [[οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν νεκρῶν οὐκ ἔζησαν ἄχρι τελεσθῇ τὰ χίλια ἔτη.]] αὕτη ἡ ἀνάστασις ἡ πρώτη.

6 μακάριος καὶ ἅγιος ὁ ἔχων μέρος ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῇ πρώτῃ· ἐπὶ τούτων ὁ δεύτερος θάνατος οὐκ ἔχει ἐξουσίαν, ἀλλ᾽ ἔσονται ἱερεῖς τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ χριστοῦ, καὶ βασιλεύσουσιν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ [τὰ] χίλια ἔτη.

7 καὶ ὅταν τελεσθῇ τὰ χίλια ἔτη, λυθήσεται ὁ σατανᾶς ἐκ τῆς φυλακῆς αὐτοῦ,

8 καὶ ἐξελεύσεται πλανῆσαι τὰ ἔθνη τὰ ἐν ταῖς τέσσαρσιν γωνίαις τῆς γῆς, τὸν γὼγ καὶ μαγώγ, συναγαγεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν πόλεμον, ὧν ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτῶν ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης.

9 καὶ ἀνέβησαν ἐπὶ τὸ πλάτος τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐκύκλευσαν τὴν παρεμβολὴν τῶν ἁγίων καὶ τὴν πόλιν τὴν ἠγαπημένην. καὶ κατέβη πῦρ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ κατέφαγεν αὐτούς·

10 καὶ ὁ διάβολος ὁ πλανῶν αὐτοὺς ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ θείου, ὅπου καὶ τὸ θηρίον καὶ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης, καὶ βασανισθήσονται ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.

11 καὶ εἶδον θρόνον μέγαν λευκὸν καὶ τὸν καθήμενον ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν, οὖ ἀπὸ τοῦ προσώπου ἔφυγεν ἡ γῆ καὶ ὁ οὐρανός, καὶ τόπος οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῖς.

12 καὶ εἶδον τοὺς νεκρούς, τοὺς μεγάλους καὶ τοὺς μικρούς, ἑστῶτας ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου, καὶ βιβλία ἠνοίχθησαν· καὶ ἄλλο βιβλίον ἠνοίχθη, ὅ ἐστιν τῆς ζωῆς· καὶ ἐκρίθησαν οἱ νεκροὶ ἐκ τῶν γεγραμμένων ἐν τοῖς βιβλίοις κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν.

13 καὶ ἔδωκεν ἡ θάλασσα τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ ὁ θάνατος καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἔδωκαν τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐκρίθησαν ἕκαστος κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν.

14 καὶ ὁ θάνατος καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἐβλήθησαν εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρός. οὖτος ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερός ἐστιν, ἡ λίμνη τοῦ πυρός.

15 καὶ εἴ τις οὐχ εὑρέθη ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ τῆς ζωῆς γεγραμμένος ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρός.