What does Revelation 20:2 mean?
ESV: And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
NIV: He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
NASB: And he took hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
CSB: He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
NLT: He seized the dragon — that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan — and bound him in chains for a thousand years.
KJV: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
NKJV: He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
Verse Commentary:
According to this verse, the angel with the key to the bottomless pit and a huge chain captures the Devil, Satan, and binds him for a thousand years. Three schools of thought differ on the interpretation of the thousand years.

Postmillennialism believes this is a utopian period brought about by the preaching of the gospel. They see the world as getting better in preparation for the thousand years and anticipate Christ's arrival to the earth at the end of the thousand years.

Amillennialism believes the thousand years are entirely figurative. They deny a literal reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years and regard His reign as taking place in the hearts of His people. Generally, they refer to the church as the kingdom.

Premillennialism believes the thousand years is a literal period in which Christ rules the world after He returns to earth and judges the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the nations.

The fact that Satan is bound, rather than immediately destroyed, seems to be part of God's message in the end times. No matter how much evidence humanity is given, those who seek to reject God will always find an excuse. After a thousand years of peace and righteousness, humans will still choose to defy God. After this final demonstration of God's justice, Satan will be permanently and utterly defeated.
Verse Context:
Revelation 20:1–3 describes the Devil's punishment, following the doom of the Antichrist and the False Prophet we read about in Revelation 19:20–21. Satan is enclosed in the bottomless pit, to be released at the end of a thousand years. Matthew 24:29–31 reports the coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation, and Matthew 25:31–46 describes the judgment of the nations that takes place when Jesus inaugurates His kingdom on earth.
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 5/20/2024 8:03:30 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.