Tag Archives: Revelation 20:8

FINAL BATTLE = FINAL COLLAPSE?

PMT 2014-108 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Nuclear explosion

In Revelation 20:7-9 is often employed against the historical optimism of postmillennialism. However, postmillennialists are very much aware of Revelation 20, and they do not see it as contradicting the postmillennial hope. This is the fourth in a brief series on this passage showing that it does not contravene our historical optimism.

The passage reads:

“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”

The surrounding (parembolen) of the “beloved city” (Rev 20:9) by nations drawn from the “four corners of the earth” (20:8) probably mirrors the surrounding of Jerusalem in AD 70.“For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank [parembalousin: paremballo < paremballo] before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side” (Lk 19:43; cp. Lk 21:20). Continue reading

THE FINAL BATTLE

PMT 2014-106 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Tank

John’s stating that these nations are in the “four corners of the earth” is a Semitism for the far reaches of the earth, represented by the four cardinal directions (Rev 20:8; 21:13; cp. Ge 28:14; Dt 3:27; Ps 107:3; Isa 11:11-12; Jer 49:36). Here he mentions “nations,” which shows that tes ges here is not “the Land” of Israel (as commonly in Rev), but the broader world.

We should understand that “after the Thousand years the symbols become even simpler and broader. They are in the far future now, and St. John deals only with gigantic general principles” (Carrington, The Meaning of Revelation, 325). “This shows that the very distant future is designed to be merely glanced at by the writer. So it is with the Hebrew prophets. But here, there is a special reason for brevity. The main object of writing the book is already accomplished, for substance. Christians have been consoled by assurances, that all the enemies with whom the church was then conflicting, would surely be overthrown. . . . [So that] mere touches and glances are all which it exhibits, or which were intended to be exhibited” (Stuart, Apocalypse, 2:354). Continue reading