Revelation 20:9 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
9. And they went up &c.] The Seer does not pass easily over the immense space of time during which the world is too happy to have a history. He sees the establishment of the earthly kingdom of Christ, and foretells its end: it is only gradually that he comes to see the end also brought before his view as present.
the breadth of the earth ] Perhaps rather, of the land; they overspread the whole land of Israel, against which, as we see from the next clause, their attack is directed.
the camp of the saints ] God’s people assemble in military array, and stand on their defence against His enemies. They are probably prepared to fight, but as in Rev 19:21, they have no need.
the beloved city ] i.e. Jerusalem, which, it appears from this place only, will be the seat and capital of the millennial kingdom. It appears that in the popular millennial anticipations, which discredited the literal interpretation of this prophecy, this localisation of the kingdom was much insisted on, and it was even thought that the Jewish law and the sacrificial worship would be revived. This of course is utterly incredible to most Christians: but there is no difficulty in supposing that the Kingdom of God may literally have an earthly centre in the Holy City and the Holy Land. Even if the literal view be not taken, the prophecy can hardly imply less than a future purity of the Church far exceeding the present; and it may be that this purified Church will recognise a better Papacy at Jerusalem, one not too proud to learn either from the excellences or from the faults of the Roman.
and fire came down &c.] Cf. 2Ki 1:10, and ch. Rev 11:5, and even Rev 13:13. This does not agree with the description of Gog’s overthrow in Ezekiel 39, where the army lie slain till they are buried, and their weapons are broken up for firewood.
from God ] Should probably be omitted.
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".