December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss 2 and a heavy chain.
- He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, 3 and tied it up for a thousand years
- and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed. After this, it is to be released for a short time.
- Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image nor had accepted its mark 4 on their foreheads or hands. They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
- The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection.
- Blessed 5 and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over these; they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for (the) thousand years.
- 6 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison.
- He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, 7 to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
- They invaded the breadth of the earth 8 and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them.
- The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
- 9 Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them.
- I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. 10 The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls.
- The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades 11 gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
- Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death. 12 )
- Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.
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1 [1-6] Like the other numerical values in this book, the thousand years are not to be taken literally; they symbolize the long period of time between the chaining up of Satan (a symbol for Christ's resurrection-victory over death and the forces of evil) and the end of the world. During this time God's people share in the glorious reign of God that is present to them by virtue of their baptismal victory over death and sin; cf Romans 6:1-8; John 5:24-25; 16:33; 1 John 3:14; Eph 2:1.
2  Abyss: see the note on Rev 9:1.
3  Dragon . . . serpent . . . Satan: see the notes on Rev 12:3, 9, 10, 15.
4  Beast . . . mark: see Rev 13 and its notes.
5  Blessed: see the note on Rev 1:3. Second death: see the note on Rev 2:11. Priests: as in Rev 1:6; 5:10; cf 1 Peter 2:9.
6 [7-10] A description of the symbolic battle to take place when Satan is released at the end of time, when the thousand years are over; see the note on Rev 20:1-6.
7  Gog and Magog: symbols of all pagan nations; the names are taken from Ezekiel 38:1-39:20.
8  The breadth of the earth: Palestine. The beloved city: Jerusalem; see the note on Rev 14:1.
9 [11-15] A description of the final judgment. After the intermediate reign of Christ, all the dead are raised and judged, thus inaugurating the new age.
10  The book of life: see the note on Rev 3:5. Judged . . . scrolls: see the note on Rev 14:12.
11  Hades: the netherworld; see the note on Rev 1:18.
12  Second death: see the note on Rev 2:11.
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