Matthew Henry Complete

Commentary on The Revelation

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Chapter 20

This chapter is thought by some to be the darkest part of all this prophecy: it is very probable that the things contained in it are not yet accomplished; and therefore it is the wiser way to content ourselves with general observations, rather than to be positive and particular in our explications of it. Here we have an account,

  1. Of the binding of Satan for a thousand years (v. 1-3).
  2. The reign of the saints with Christ for the same time (v. 4-6).
  3. Of the loosing of Satan, and the conflict of the church with Gog and Magog (v. 7–10).
  4. Of the day of judgment (v. 11, etc.).

Verses 1-10 We have here,

I. A prophecy of the binding of Satan for a certain term of time, in which he should have much less power and the church much more peace than before. The power of Satan was broken in part by the setting up of the gospel kingdom in the world; it was further reduced by the empire’s becoming Christian; it was yet further broken by the downfall of the mystical Babylon; but still this serpent had many heads, and, when one is wounded, another has life remaining in it. Here we have a further limitation and diminution of his power. Observe,

II. An account of the reign of the saints for the same space of time in which Satan continued bound (v. 4-6), and here observe,

III. An account of the return of the church’s troubles, and another mighty conflict, very sharp, but short and decisive. Observe,

Verses 11-15 The utter destruction of the devil’s kingdom very properly leads to an account of the day of judgment, which will determine every man’s everlasting state; and we may be assured there will be a judgment when we see the prince of this world is judged, Jn. 16:11. This will be a great day, the great day, when all shall appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. The Lord help us firmly to believe this doctrine of the judgment to come. It is a doctrine that made Felix tremble. Here we have a description of it, where observe,

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