Revelation 9:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 9:20, NIV: "The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood--idols that cannot see or hear or walk."

Revelation 9:20, ESV: "The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,"

Revelation 9:20, KJV: "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:"

Revelation 9:20, NASB: "The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;"

Revelation 9:20, NLT: "But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God. They continued to worship demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood--idols that can neither see nor hear nor walk!"

Revelation 9:20, CSB: "The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk."

What does Revelation 9:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A running theme of the Bible is humanity's stubbornness. The events of Revelation, in large part, are meant to demonstrate that God's wrath and judgment on man is well-deserved; even when confronted with the most terrible consequences imaginable, humanity at large refuses to submit or to repent. According to this verse, unbelievers who are not killed by the events described in this chapter still refuse to repent. They show no remorse or indication of a change of mind and heart. They continue to practice idolatry by worshiping demons and manmade idols of gold and silver and bronze and wood.

Whether in the literal sense of bowing to statues, or the symbolic sense of emphasizing wealth and pleasure above God, idolatry is among the most dangerous and most often condemned sins in Scripture. It is no wonder Paul warned the Corinthians about idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:19–21), and the apostle John commanded, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21).

John's description here notes that these idols cannot see or hear or walk. They are lifeless. Daniel charged King Belshazzar of Babylon with the sin of idol worship. He told him: "You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know" (Daniel 5:23). He also told Belshazzar the price of his idolatry: his kingdom would come to a sudden end, given to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:26–28).