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1. Of the bottomless pit. See on ch. ix. 1. This is to be distinguished from the lake of fire. Compare ver. 10.
The dragon (ton drakonta). See on ch. xii. 3. The word is commonly derived from edrakon, the second aorist tense of derkomai to see clearly, in allusion to the sharp sight of the fabled dragon.
Old (arcaion). See on 1 John ii. 7.
3. Sealed. See on John iii. 33.
4. Thrones. See on ch. ii. 13.
They sat. All the faithful members of Christ's Church. Compare they reigned with Christ.
Beheaded (pepelekismenwn). From pelekuv an ax. Only here in the New Testament.
They lived. Equivalent to lived again. Compare ver. 5.
5. Lived - again (anezhsan). Read ezhsan lived, as in ver. 4
6. Hath part (ecwn merov). A phrase peculiar to John as referring to a person. Compare John xiii. 8.
Second death. See on ch. ii. 11.
8. Gog and Magog. See Ezekiel 38, 39. Compare Gen. x. 2. where Magog appears as a son of Japhet. Magog is a general name for the northern nations, and, according to Ezekiel, Gog is their prince. Josephus says that the descendants of Magog were the Scythians.
9. On the breadth (epi to platov). Lit., over (epi). As distinguished from the "four corners" of ver. 8. They overspread the earth.
The beloved city. Compare Psalm lxxviii. 68.
From God. Omit.
The books (biblia). No article. Read books. Compare Dan. vii. 10.
Book of life. See on ch. iii. 5.
13. The sea. As commonly understood, the sea means the literal sea, and the passage signifies that the dead contained in it shall rise. So Alford. Other interpreters, however, say that it cannot mean the literal sea. Thus Milligan argues that the symbols of the Apocalypse must always be interpreted in the same way. "Symbols," he says, "are a form of speech, and therefore subject to the rules that regulate the interpretation of all speech... The power of that convention which links a certain sense to a certain sound in ordinary terms, is not less binding in the presence than in the absence of metaphor of any kind whatever. Thus when we read in the Apocalypse of 'the sea' as an emblem of the troubled and sinful nations of the earth, we are bound, unless forbidden by the context, to carry that interpretation through, and to understand the sea of the troubled and sinful world."
Hell (o adhv). Rev., Hades. See on Matt. xvi. 18.
14. This is the second death. Add even the lake of fire.
15. And whosoever (ei tiv). Lit., if any. So Rev.