And I saw an angel come down from Heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
John had seen [the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan,] and his angels, cast out of the Roman papal kingdom and dominion, (chap. 12:710). And here John had revealed unto him how the dragon (as a conquered enemy, and wretched captive) is bound, and made a close prisoner for a thousand years, after the destruction of the Roman papal kingdom and dominion. This angel is Christ, as appears, first, by the place whence he came; [And I saw an angel come down from Heaven,] (1 Thess. 3:13 and 2 Thess. 1:67). Secondly, by the emblem of his power and great authority [Having the key of the bottomless pit,] (Rev. 1:18 and 3:7). Thirdly, by the means of executing his great power. [And a great chain in his hand.] (v. 2). [And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years;] that is, a certain definite time, (v. 4) these thousand years, (so vv. 37). They are not any mystical or prophetical number, but literal, and so Pareus, and other expositors number them literally, (v. 3). [And cast him unto the bottomless pit,] that he might go into perdition with the beast, and the false prophet, (v. 10). [And shut him up, and set a seal upon him;] that is, secured him in his prison, from tempting and deceiving the nations by himself, or by his instruments; pagan, papal, or Mahometan false teachers, (as 2 Pet. 2:13) [Till the thousand years shall be fulfilled, (and ended or finished) and after that he must be loosed a little season,] (as vv. 7, 8).
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which 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
By [thrones] here we are to understand the kingdom and dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of his suffering, conquering and overcoming saints, (Rev. 11:15; Dan. 7:27; Matthew 19:28; Rev. 3:21 and 12:11). [And judgement was given unto them.] That is, to the righteous, (Ezek. 23:45) to the saints, (1 Cor. 6:23) [And I saw the souls (animas, not the bodies) of them that were beheaded,] that is, suffered death [for the witness of Jesus,] (Rev. 6:911 and 11:7) and for the Word of God, the holy scripture; [And which had not worshipped the beast:] that is, had not taken the oath of supremacy to the beast; [neither to his image:] popish kings, as head of the church, are refused to swear away the headship of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Col. 1:18) [Neither had received his mark in their foreheads or in their hands.] See chapter 13 vv. 16,17 [And they lived and reigned with Christ these thousand years.] (Rom. 8:1718, 2 Tim. 2:1112).
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
By [the rest of the dead,] here we may understand (per antithesin, and in contradistinction to them that had been killed, martyred, and slain; into whom the spirit of life from God had again entered) all those dead souls, who had worshipped the beast and his image, and had received his mark, whose names are not written in the Lambs Book of Life, [until these thousand years were finished, (or ended.) This is the first resurrection.] That is, the raising of the slain witnesses, (Rev. 11:711). See the exposition thereof, (v. 6). Five things are here said of this first resurrection, viz. first, they are holy, that is, sanctified persons, who lived godly in Christ Jesus, in times of persecution, (2 Tim. 3:12). Secondly, they are blessed, (Matthew 5:8) with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things, in Christ Jesus, (Eph. 1:3). Thirdly, [The second death hath no power over them.] They have all escaped the damnation of Hell, (Rom. 8:12, vv. 14, 15 of this chapter).
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
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 numbers of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of Heaven, and devoured them.
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 forever and ever.
[These thousand years being expired, Satan shall be loosed,] and his instruments permitted, by his deceiving the nations, (v. 8 called Gog and Magog) to gather together, from east, west, north and south, [And to compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:] i.e., the new Jerusalem, and the general assembly and church of God, (Heb. 12:2223 and Rev. 21:23) [And fire came down from God, out of Heaven, and devoured them.] (2 Thess. 1:56) as it did (Ezek. 39:6) verse 10 declares the final doom of the devil. [And the devil that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the false beast and the prophets are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.]
And I saw a great white Throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away, and there was found no place for them.
Here John had a vision and revelation, of the Day of Judgement, (Jude v. 6 and Heb. 6:2) [I saw a great white throne;] which signifies the glory and majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ at his second coming, (Heb. 9:28) which will be with power and great glory, (Matthew 24:30) then we shall all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ, (Rom. 14:1012 and 2 Cor. 5:10) whom John saw sit upon the white Throne; [From whose face the earth and the heavens fled away.] That is, they were dissolved, (2 Pet. 3:413) [And there was found no place for them:] for they must give place unto the new heaven, and the new earth, (Rev. 21:1).
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the Books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.
The throne being placed, and the judge being set on the throne, John [saw the dead, small and great stand before God]. That is, Jesus Christ, God-Man, (Acts 17:31) [And the books were opened] by these books we are to understand the bible, the holy scripture of truth, Gods statute book; that is, the books of the Old and New Testament, (Rom. 2:1216) [And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.] that is, of election unto salvation, (Phil. 4:3) [And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.] (2 Cor. 5:10) whereby is revealed the just and righteous proceedings of Jesus Christ in judgement; for the wicked shall receive their reward, according to their evil deeds; and the righteous shall receive their reward of grace, as God hath promised them, according to their good deeds, (Matt. 25:3440) but not for them.
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.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire: this is the second death.
By sea, death, and hell, here we are to understand the places where the bodies and souls of the dead were held and kept until this day of judgement: [And they were judged every man according to their works.] that is, according to their sinful thoughts, words, and deeds, (Jude vv. 615).
[Verse 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire: this is the second death.] this lake of fire is that Gehenna, into which the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, were cast. See v. 10 and Matthew 25:3146.
And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life, was cast into the lake of fire.
By [the Book of Life,] we are to understand Gods election unto everlasting salvation, or eternal life and glory; there is a remnant according to the election of grace, (Rom. 11:5, Rom. 8:30, and Eph. 1:36). Those that were [not found written in the Book of Life,] are all the non-elect, viz. wicked and ungodly persons; the workers of iniquity, who have lived in the world without God and Christ, and died in their sins; viz. all impenitent unbelievers, that obey not the gospel, (2 Thess. 1:610).