The Meaning of Revelation 20:7 Explained

Revelation 20:7

KJV: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

YLT: And when the thousand years may be finished, the Adversary shall be loosed out of his prison,

Darby: And when the thousand years have been completed, Satan shall be loosed from his prison,

ASV: And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

What does Revelation 20:7 Mean?

Verse Meaning

At the end of the Millennium God will release Satan from the abyss (cf. 1 Peter 3:19). Two reasons are implied in the text: to demonstrate the incorrigibility of Satan, and to demonstrate the depravity of humanity. [1] God may use an angelic agent for this purpose (cf. Revelation 20:1-3).

Context Summary

Revelation 20:7-15 - Before The Great White Throne
Gog and Magog take us back to Genesis 10:2; see also Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29. It would seem that this great confederacy of the northern nations against the beloved city, Jerusalem, will be led by Satan, and overwhelmed once and for all by the direct judgment of God.
The final judgment is depicted in Revelation 20:11-15. God's people will not appear at that bar. All the human family will be arraigned, save those whose names are in the book of life, John 5:24. See Exodus 32:32; Daniel 12:1; Philippians 4:3; and Revelation 21:27. Death and Hades will surrender their contents. What a marvelous audience! The throne is great, because of the destinies to be decided; and white, because of the immaculate purity of the Judge, who will be none other than our Lord. See John 5:22; Acts 17:31. The books will surely include conscience; Romans 2:15-16; God's Word, John 12:48; and the tablets of memory, Luke 16:25. [source]

Chapter Summary: Revelation 20

1  Satan bound for a thousand years
6  The first resurrection;
7  Satan let loose again
8  Gog and Magog
10  The demons cast into the lake of fire and brimstone
11  The last and general resurrection

Greek Commentary for Revelation 20:7

When are finished [οταν τελεστηι]
Indefinite future temporal clause with οταν — hotan and the first aorist passive subjunctive of τελεω — teleō “whenever are finished.” [source]
Shall be loosed [λυτησεται]
Future passive of λυω — luō no longer bound as in Revelation 20:2. He uses the future as a prophet in Revelation 20:7, Revelation 20:8, but in Revelation 20:9, and Revelation 20:10 he uses the aorist as a seer.Out of his prison (εκ της πυλακης αυτου — ek tēs phulakēs autou). For πυλακη — phulakē in this sense see Revelation 2:10. Out of the abyss of Revelation 20:2, Revelation 20:3. [source]
Out of his prison [εκ της πυλακης αυτου]
For πυλακη — phulakē in this sense see Revelation 2:10. Out of the abyss of Revelation 20:2, Revelation 20:3. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 20:7

1 Peter 3:19 In prison [ἐν φυλακῇ]
Authorities differ, some explaining by 2 Peter 2:4; Judges 1:6; Revelation 20:7, as the final abode of the lost. Excepting in the last passage, the word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament in a metaphorical sense. It is often translated watch (Matthew 14:25; Luke 2:8); hold and cage (Revelation 18:2). Others explain as Hades, the kingdom of the dead generally. [source]
1 Peter 3:19 He went and preached [πορευτεις εκηρυχεν]
First aorist passive (deponent) participle of πορευομαι — poreuomai and first aorist active indicative of κηρυσσω — kērussō the verb commonly used of the preaching of Jesus. Naturally the words mean personal action by Christ “in spirit” as illustration of his “quickening” (1 Peter 3:18) whether done before his death or afterwards. It is interesting to observe that, just as the relative εν ωι — en hōi here tells something suggested by the word πνευματι — pneumati (in spirit) just before, so in 1 Peter 3:21 the relative ο — ho (which) tells another illustration of the words δι υδατος — di' hudatos (by water) just before. Peter jumps from the flood in Noah‘s time to baptism in Peter‘s time, just as he jumped backwards from Christ‘s time to Noah‘s time. He easily goes off at a word. What does he mean here by the story that illustrates Christ‘s quickening in spirit?Unto the spirits in prison (τοις εν πυλακηι πνευμασιν — tois en phulakēi pneumasin). The language is plain enough except that it does not make it clear whether Jesus did the preaching to spirits in prison at the time or to people whose spirits are now in prison, the point of doubt already discussed. The metaphorical use of εν πυλακηι — en phulakēi can be illustrated by 2 Peter 2:4; Judges 1:6; Revelation 20:7 (the final abode of the lost). See Hebrews 12:23 for the use of πνευματα — pneumata for disembodied spirits. [source]
1 Peter 3:19 Unto the spirits in prison [τοις εν πυλακηι πνευμασιν]
The language is plain enough except that it does not make it clear whether Jesus did the preaching to spirits in prison at the time or to people whose spirits are now in prison, the point of doubt already discussed. The metaphorical use of εν πυλακηι — en phulakēi can be illustrated by 2 Peter 2:4; Judges 1:6; Revelation 20:7 (the final abode of the lost). See Hebrews 12:23 for the use of πνευματα — pneumata for disembodied spirits. [source]
Revelation 1:7 Shall see [οπσεται]
Future middle of οραω — horaō a reminiscence of Zechariah 12:10 according to the text of Theodotion (Aquila and Symmachus) rather than the lxx and like that of Matthew 24:30 (similar combination of Daniel and Zechariah) and Matthew 26:64. This picture of the victorious Christ in his return occurs also in Revelation 14:14, Revelation 14:18-20; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:7-10.And they which (και οιτινες — kai hoitines). “And the very ones who,” Romans and Jews, all who shared in this act.Pierced First aorist active indicative of εκκεντεω — ekkenteō late compound (Aristotle, Polybius, lxx), from εκ — ek and κεντεω — kenteō (to stab, to pierce), in N.T., only here and John 19:37, in both cases from Zechariah 12:10, but not the lxx text (apparently proof that John used the original Hebrew or the translation of Theodotion and Aquila).Shall mourn (κοπσονται — kopsontai). Future middle (direct) of κοπτω — koptō old verb, to cut, “they shall cut themselves,” as was common for mourners (Matthew 11:17; Luke 8:52; Luke 23:27). From Zechariah 12:12. See also Revelation 18:9.Tribes Not just the Jewish tribes, but the spiritual Israel of Jews and Gentiles as in Revelation 7:4-8. No nation had then accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, nor has any yet done so. [source]
Revelation 18:2 Is become [κατοικητηριον]
Prophetic aorist middle.A habitation of devils (κατοικεω — katoikētērion). Late word (from πυλακη παντος πνευματος ακαταρτου — katoikeō to dwell), in N.T. only here and Ephesians 2:22. Devils should be demons, of course. So Isaiah prophesied of Babylon (Isaiah 13:21-22) and also Jeremiah (Jeremiah 50:39) and Zephaniah of Nineveh (Zephaniah 2:14). Both Babylon and Nineveh are ruins.A hold of every unclean spirit πυλακη παντος ορνεου ακαταρτου και μεμισημενου — Phulakē is garrison or watch-tower as in Habakkuk 2:1, rather than a prison (Revelation 20:7).A hold of every unclean and hateful bird (Ορνεου — phulakē pantos orneou akathartou kai memisēmenou). Orneou is old word for bird, in N.T. only Revelation 18:2; Revelation 19:17, Revelation 19:21. “The evil spirits, watching over fallen Rome like night-birds or harpies that wait for their prey, build their eyries in the broken towers which rise from the ashes of the city” (Swete). Long ago true of Babylon and Nineveh, some day to be true of Rome. [source]
Revelation 18:2 A hold of every unclean spirit [Πυλακη]
πυλακη παντος ορνεου ακαταρτου και μεμισημενου — Phulakē is garrison or watch-tower as in Habakkuk 2:1, rather than a prison (Revelation 20:7).A hold of every unclean and hateful bird (Ορνεου — phulakē pantos orneou akathartou kai memisēmenou). Orneou is old word for bird, in N.T. only Revelation 18:2; Revelation 19:17, Revelation 19:21. “The evil spirits, watching over fallen Rome like night-birds or harpies that wait for their prey, build their eyries in the broken towers which rise from the ashes of the city” (Swete). Long ago true of Babylon and Nineveh, some day to be true of Rome. [source]
Revelation 20:4 And they sat upon them [και εκατισαν επ αυτους]
First aorist active indicative of κατιζω — kathizō Another period here apparently synchronous (Revelation 20:7) with the confinement of Satan in the abyss. No subject is given for this plural verb. Apparently Christ and the Apostles (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30) and some of the saints (1 Corinthians 6:3), martyrs some hold. [source]
Revelation 20:7 Shall be loosed [λυτησεται]
Future passive of λυω — luō no longer bound as in Revelation 20:2. He uses the future as a prophet in Revelation 20:7, Revelation 20:8, but in Revelation 20:9, and Revelation 20:10 he uses the aorist as a seer.Out of his prison (εκ της πυλακης αυτου — ek tēs phulakēs autou). For πυλακη — phulakē in this sense see Revelation 2:10. Out of the abyss of Revelation 20:2, Revelation 20:3. [source]
Revelation 20:10 They shall be tormented [βασανιστησονται]
Return to the prophetic future of Revelation 20:7, Revelation 20:8. For βασανιζω — basanizō see Revelation 9:5; Revelation 14:10. For “day and night” (ημερας και νυκτος — hēmeras kai nuktos) see Revelation 4:8; Revelation 7:15; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 14:11. For “for ever and ever” (εις τους αιωνας τον αιωνων — eis tous aiōnas ton aiōnōn) see Revelation 1:6, Revelation 1:18; Revelation 4:9, Revelation 4:10; Revelation 5:13; Revelation 7:12; Revelation 10:6; Revelation 11:15, etc. The devil was cast down from heaven (Revelation 12:9), then imprisoned (Revelation 20:2.), now he received his final doom. [source]
Revelation 20:10 Into the lake of fire and brimstone [εις την λιμνην του πυρος και τειου]
As in Revelation 19:20 with the two beasts, as he adds, “where are also the beast and the false prophet” Return to the prophetic future of Revelation 20:7, Revelation 20:8. For βασανιζω — basanizō see Revelation 9:5; Revelation 14:10. For “day and night” (ημερας και νυκτος — hēmeras kai nuktos) see Revelation 4:8; Revelation 7:15; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 14:11. For “for ever and ever” (εις τους αιωνας τον αιωνων — eis tous aiōnas ton aiōnōn) see Revelation 1:6, Revelation 1:18; Revelation 4:9, Revelation 4:10; Revelation 5:13; Revelation 7:12; Revelation 10:6; Revelation 11:15, etc. The devil was cast down from heaven (Revelation 12:9), then imprisoned (Revelation 20:2.), now he received his final doom. [source]
Revelation 20:12 The dead, the great and the small [τους νεκρους τους μεγαλους και τους μικρους]
The general resurrection of Revelation 20:13 is pictured by anticipation as already over. No living are mentioned after the battle of Revelation 20:7-10, though some will be living when Jesus comes to judge the quick and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13.). All classes and conditions (Revelation 11:18; Revelation 13:16; Revelation 19:5, Revelation 19:18) John saw “standing before the throne” (εστωτας ενωπιον του τρονου — hestōtas enōpion tou thronou). [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 20:7 mean?

And when shall have been completed the thousand years will be released - Satan out of the prison of him
Καὶ ὅταν τελεσθῇ τὰ χίλια ἔτη λυθήσεται Σατανᾶς ἐκ τῆς φυλακῆς αὐτοῦ

τελεσθῇ  shall  have  been  completed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: τελέω  
Sense: to bring to a close, to finish, to end.
χίλια  thousand 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: χίλιοι  
Sense: a thousand.
ἔτη  years 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: ἔτος  
Sense: year.
λυθήσεται  will  be  released 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λύω  
Sense: to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened.
  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Σατανᾶς  Satan 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Σατανᾶς  
Sense: adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act), the name given to.
ἐκ  out  of 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐκ 
Sense: out of, from, by, away from.
φυλακῆς  prison 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: φυλακή  
Sense: guard, watch.
αὐτοῦ  of  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.

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