Again, think again

This is a rough interpretation of Revelation 20.  The outline and chiastic diagram is borrowed from James B. Jordan of Biblical Horizons, WordMP3, and Trinity House.

Revelation 20:

Then I saw

A an angel coming down out of heaven,

B having the key to the bottomless pit

C and a great chain upon his hand.

D And he seized the dragon,

E that ancient serpent,

E’ who is a slanderer and

D’ the accuser,

C’ and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit,

B’ and shut and sealed over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any

longer, until the thousand years were ended.

A’ After that he must be loosed for a small season.

Then I saw 1) thrones (Acc. Pl), 2) and they who (1st Pl. Aor) sat upon them and judgment was given to them, 3) and the souls (Acc. Pl) of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God. 4) And those (Nom. Pl) who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands lived (1st Pl. Aor) and reigned (1st Pl. Aor) with Christ for a thousand years.

DIAGRAM

A. Satan bound in pit for millennium (vv. 1-3a).

Then I saw

A an angel coming down out of heaven,

B having the key to the bottomless pit

C and a great chain upon his hand.

D And he seized the dragon,

E that ancient serpent,

E’ who is a slanderer and

D’ the accuser,

C’ and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit,

B’ and shut and sealed over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended.

A’ After that he must be loosed for a small time.

B. Satan loosed after millennium (v. 3b).

So that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed. After these things he must be loosed for a short time.

C. Heavenly Judgement (v. 4a-b).

And I saw: thrones and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them, the souls of those beheaded on account of the testimony of Jesus and on account of the word of God;

C’ Earthly Rule (v. 4c-d).

and those (Nom. Pl) who did not worship the beast or his image, and did not receive the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

B’ Wicked loosed after millennium (v. 5a).

(The remaining dead did not live (1st Pl. Aor) until the thousand years were completed. [that is the first resurrection {of which they have no part}])

A’ Saints rule for millennium (vv. 5b-6).

Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, BUT (not kai but alla) they are priests of God and of the Messiah, and reign with him a thousand years.

DELIBERATO

      1. The whole passage is chaistic with a smaller chaism in the first section.
      2. the purpose of the 1000 yrs is for the sake of the nations, that they might not be deceived.
      3. The phrase, the rest of the dead did not live until… is ambiguous. The aorist verb zao translated “came to life” is not a literal translation, but an interpretation of the verb tense. The majority of verbs in the paragraph are all aorist, but none are translated as ingressive save zao. It should be left as lived and not came to life. We may arrive at the same place interpretively either way, but the interpretative translation does not help.a. The must be a predicate to this group: of which dead are they the remaining?

a. In the chaism B and B’ match up so that the dead are associated with the Accuser. With this, after the 1000 yrs during the short time, both Satan and the nations are loosed against the church.

b. Based upon b. since Satan and the dead are associated, when he is loosed, so too, are they. For what purpose? The final war when Satan is released to deceive the nations.

c. With C and C’ matching, we have a recapitulation of the two witnesses who were raised to life (came to life or lived [again]). C and C’ is the church as a whole who lives and reigns as priests to God during the 1000 yrs

d.  (tremulous) INTERPRETATION

If preterism is true, then interpreting this book in that light is most crucial. There is a key phrase which puts this book within the 1c. It is “not worshipping the beast or his image or taking the mark upon the hand.” This is key because the beast-empire is Rome and his image is the Temple. This is the transition from the economy (oikumene) seen established in Daniel’s time. There are empires set up by God to house his people until the Son of Man should ascend to the Ancient of Days. The entirety of this account is the vindication of the Son of Man’s enthronement and adjudication of the oikumene. Therefore it will not do to make this a universal truth about all time. This is not true of us today. We have no beast to worship, no image to take to ourselves.

Jesus told his disciples that they would rule Israel with him upon thrones, they who had taken up their crosses and followed Jesus. Here we see that affirmed in that, their martyrdom is their justification to sit upon the thrones.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
INTERPRETATION

Another key to interpretation is the land. All through Revelation, land is key. It is not the earth as a whole, but the land of Israel. Add to this the reference to the beloved city. This is not the New Jerusalem yet. There is only one city and she is under judgment.

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