What does Revelation 20:13 mean?
ESV: And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
NIV: The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.
NASB: And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them; and they were judged, each one of them according to their deeds.
CSB: Then the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them; each one was judged according to their works.
NLT: The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds.
KJV: And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
NKJV: The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Verse Commentary:
According to this verse, the sea gave up the dead that were in it. The wicked who perished in the oceanic waters receive resurrected bodies to appear before the great white throne judgment. This number includes those who perished at sea, even those who died under the second trumpet judgment and the second bowl judgment. Death and Hades also give up their dead. The bodies of all the wicked who died and went into conscious punishment are raised to appear before the great white throne. This verse helps remind us that the state of a person's physical body after death has nothing to do with their eternal destiny. God can re-assemble and resurrect a person whether their body was buried, cast into the sea, cremated, or mummified.

Hades is a term often used for the abode of the dead in general, and in certain contexts is specifically implied to be the realm of the wicked.. In the Old Testament, it was called Sheol, and used in a very general sense. This contrasts with "paradise," or "Abraham's Bosom," which many interpret as a separated "compartment" within Sheol / Hades, and the temporary waiting place for those of faith (Luke 16:19–23). Neither Sheol nor Hades is the eternal abode of any person; only the lake of fire has that distinction for unbelievers. Once again, we learn that the wicked are judged according to what they had done (Romans 6:23). No one at the great white throne judgment can plead innocent because their record is written in the books (John 3:36; Revelation 20:12).
Verse Context:
Revelation 20:11–15 occurs just after the end of the kingdom reign of Christ on earth, when Satan was released for a brief time. He gathered rebel forces together to battle God and His saints, but lost and was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7–10). The next event described by John is the judgment at the great white throne. This is the point where unbelievers are judged according to their actions—a death sentence for everyone not saved through Christ (Romans 6:23). Chapter 21 describes the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven and the beginning of the eternal age.
Chapter Summary:
Revelation chapter 20 represents the final lesson, final judgment, and final victory of the end times. Satan is bound, but not destroyed, and released after a thousand years of peace and righteousness. Proving that no evidence or reason to believe in and follow Jesus is enough for those determined to rebel, some follow Satan and are destroyed in a rebellion. Those who died without faith in Christ, through all of history, are resurrected to face the great white throne judgment. There, they are sentenced for sin and consigned eternally to the lake of fire.
Chapter Context:
This chapter comes between the account of our Lord's decisive victory at Armageddon and the descent of the New Jerusalem from heaven to earth. It focuses on the beginning of Jesus' reign on the earth and the great white throne judgment when unbelievers from all periods of history are judged and sentenced to eternal suffering in the lake of fire. Daniel 7:18, Isaiah 11, Joel 3:16–21, Obadiah 1:21, and Micah 4:2 are just a few of the Old Testament references to the reign of Jesus on the earth. After this point in the end times, evil has been entirely and completely defeated.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
Accessed 5/26/2024 5:06:45 PM
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