Bibles

Verses of Revelation 20

5

Revelation 20:5 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

5. But ] Should be omitted; there is more authority for reading “and.”

This is the first resurrection ] Here, as with the Millennium, there is the question whether these words are to be understood literally. In fact, the interpretation of these words, literally or otherwise, is the turning-point of the Millenarian controversy.

The plain meaning of the words is, that after the overthrow of Antichrist, the Martyrs and other most excellent Saints will rise from the dead and have their part in the Millennial kingdom: the rest of the dead, even those finally saved, will not rise till later. But at last, after the Millennium, and after the last short-lived assault of Satan, all the dead, good and wicked, will rise.

Now no Christian doubts, that the second or general Resurrection described in Rev 20:12 will be literally realised. It is therefore very harsh to suppose that the first is of a different kind. Such is, however, the view which since St Augustine’s time has been usually adopted by Catholic theologians. The first Resurrection is understood to be the resurrection “from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness.” It admits men into the kingdom of Christ, i.e. the Church, within which the power of the Devil is restrained, so that, if he can seduce some to sin, he cannot seduce them to actual idolatry or denial of God. This state of things will last through the whole course of the present dispensation, which, whatever its actual chronological length, is symbolically described as a thousand years. When that ends, there will ensue the three and a half years’ struggle with Antichrist Rev 20:7-15 being regarded as a new description of that period. If anyone can think this a legitimate interpretation of St John’s words, he may: and for the coupling of a spiritual with a literal resurrection, St Augustine, and those who follow him, compare St Joh 5:25; Joh 5:28. But it seems straining the view of “resumptions” very far, not to take the whole of this chapter as chronologically subsequent to the preceding: and really any view but the literal one seems exposed to insuperable exegetical difficulties.

If the true sense be not the literal one, it is safest to regard it as being as yet undiscovered.

Verses of Revelation 20

5

Consult other comments:

Revelation 20:5 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Revelation 20:5 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Revelation 20:5 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Revelation 20:5 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Revelation 20:5 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Revelation 20:5 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Revelation 20:5 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Revelation 20:5 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Revelation 20:5 - Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Revelation 20:5 - Geneva Bible Notes

Revelation 20:5 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Revelation 20:5 - Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 20:5 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Revelation 20:5 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Revelation 20:5 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Revelation 20:5 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 20:5 - Scofield Reference Bible Notes

Revelation 20:5 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Revelation 20:5 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Revelation 20:5 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

Revelation 20:5 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 20:5 - Combined Bible Commentary

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges