Revelation 20:8
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.

King James Bible
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Darby Bible Translation
and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war, whose number is as the sand of the sea.

World English Bible
and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Young's Literal Translation
and he shall go forth to lead the nations astray, that are in the four corners of the earth -- Gog and Magog -- to gather them together to war, of whom the number is as the sand of the sea;

Revelation 20:8 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And shall go out to deceive the nations - See the notes on Revelation 12:9. The meaning here is, that he would again, for a time, act in his true character, and in some way delude the nations once more. In what way this would be done is not stated. It would be, however, clearly an appeal to the wicked passions of mankind, exciting a hope that they might yet overthrow the kingdom of God on the earth.

Which are in the four quarters of the earth - Literally, corners of the earth, as if the earth were one extended square plain. The earth is usually spoken of as divided into four parts or quarters - the eastern, the western, the northern, and the southern. It is implied here that the deception or apostasy referred to would not be confined to one spot or portion of the world, but would extend afar. The idea seems to be, that during that period, though there would be a "general" prevalence of the gospel, and a "general" diffusion of its blessings, yet that the earth would not be entirely under its influence, and especially that the native character of the human heart would not be changed. Man, under powerful temptations, would be liable to be deluded by the great master spirit that has so often corrupted the race. Once more he would be permitted to make the trial, and then his power would forever come to an end.

Gog and Magog - The name "Gog" occurs as the name of a prince in Ezekiel 38:2-3, Ezekiel 38:16, Ezekiel 38:18; Ezekiel 39:1, Ezekiel 39:11. "He is an invader of the land of Israel, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal," Ezekiel 38:2. "Magog" is also mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2, "the land of Magog"; and in Ezekiel 39:6, "I will send a fire on Magog." As the terms are used in the Old Testament, the representation would seem to be that "Gog" was the king of a people called "Magog." The signification of the names is unknown, and consequently nothing can be determined about the meaning of this passage from that source. Nor is there much known about the "people" who are referred to by Ezekiel. His representation would seem to be, that a great and powerful people, dwelling in the extreme recesses of the north Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2, would invade the Holy Land after the return from the exile, Ezekiel 38:8-12. It is commonly supposed that they were Scythians, residing between the Caspian and Euxine Seas, or in the region of Mount Caucasus. Thus Josephus (Ant Ezekiel 1:6, Ezekiel 1:3) has dropped the Hebrew word Magog, and rendered it by Σκύθαι Skuthai - "Scythians"; and so does Jerome. Suidas renders it Persai - Persians; but this does not materially vary the view, since the word "Scythians," among the ancient writers, is a collective word, to denote all the northeastern, unknown, barbarous tribes.

Among the Hebrews, the name "Magog" also would seem to denote all the unknown barbarous tribes about the Caucasian mountains. The fact that the names Gog and Magog are, in Ezekiel, associated with Meshech and Tubal, seems to determine the locality of these people, for those two countries lie between the Euxine and Caspian Seas, or at the southeast extremity of the Euxine Sea (Rosenmuller, Bib. Geog. vol. 1, p. 240). The people of that region were, it seems, a terror to Middle Asia, in the same manner as the Scythians were to the Greeks and Romans. Intercourse with such distant and savage nations was scarcely possible in ancient times; and hence, from their numbers and strength, they were regarded with great terror, just as the Scythians were regarded by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and as the Tartars were in the middle ages. In this manner they became an appropriate symbol of rude and savage people; of enemies fierce and warlike; of foes to be dreaded; and as such they were referred to by both Ezekiel and John. It has been made a question whether Ezekiel and John do not refer to the same period, but it is not necessary to consider that question here.

All that is needful to be understood is, that John means to say that at the time referred to there would be formidable enemies of the church who might be compared with the dreaded dwellers in the land of Magog; or, that after this long period of millennial tranquility and peace, there would be a state of things which might be properly compared with the invasion of the Holy Land by the dreaded barbarians of Magog or Scythia. It is not necessary to suppose that any particular "country" is referred to, or that there would be any one portion of the earth which the gospel would not reach, and which would be still barbarous, pagan, and savage; all that is necessary to be supposed is, that though religion would generally prevail, human nature would remain essentially corrupt and unchanged; and that, therefore, from causes which are not stated, there might yet be a fearful apostasy, and a somewhat general prevalence of iniquity. This would be nothing more than has occurred after the most favored times in the church, and nothing more than human nature would exhibit at any time, if all restraints were withdrawn, and people were suffered to act out their native feelings. "Why" this will be permitted; what causes will bring it about; what subordinate agencies will be employed, is not said, and conjecture would be vain. The reader who wishes more information in regard to Gog and Magog may consult Prof. Stuart on this book, vol. 2, pp. 364-368, and the authorities there referred to. Compare especially Rosenmuller on Ezekiel 38:2. See also Sale's "Koran," Pre. Dis. section 4, and the "Koran" itself, Sura 18:94 and 21:95.

To gather them together to battle - As if to assemble them for war; that is, a state of things would exist in regard to the kingdom of God and the prevalence of the true religion as if distant and barbarous nations should be aroused to make war on the church of God. The meaning is, that there would be an awakened hostility against the kingdom of Christ in the earth. See the notes on Revelation 16:14.

The number of whom is as the sand of the sea - A common comparison in the Scriptures to denote a great multitude, Genesis 22:17; Genesis 32:12; Genesis 41:49; 1 Samuel 13:5; 1 Kings 4:20, et al.

Section c. - Condition of things in the period referred to in Revelation 20:7-8;

(1) This will occur "at the close" of the millennial period - the period of the thousand years. It is not said, indeed, that it would be "immediately" after that; but the statement is explicit that it will be "after" that, or "when the thousand years are expired." There may be an interval before it shall be accomplished of an indefinite time; the alienation and corruption may be gradual; a considerable period may elapse before the apostasy shall assume an organized form, or, in the language of John, before the hosts shall "be gathered to battle," but it is to be the "next" marked and prominent event in the history of the world, and is to precede the final consummation of all things.

(2) this will be a "brief period." Compared with the long period of prosperity that preceded it, and "perhaps" compared with the long period that shall follow it before the final judgment, it will be short. Thus, in Revelation 20:3, it is said that Satan "must be loosed a little season." See the notes on that verse. There is no way of determining the time with exactness; but we are assured that it will not be long.

(3) what will be the exact state of things then can be only a matter of conjecture. We may say, however, that it will not be:

(a) necessarily "war." The language is figurative and symbolical, and it is not necessary to suppose that an actual and bloody warfare will be literally waged against the church. Nor,

(b) will there be a literal invasion of the land of Palestine as the residence of the saints and the capital of the Redeemer's visible empire, for there is not a hint of this - not a word to justify such an interpretation. Nor,

(c) is it necessary to suppose that there will be literally such nations as will be then called "Gog and Magog," for this language is figurative, and designed to characterize the foes of the church - as being in some respects formidable and terrible as were those ancient nations.

continued...

Revelation 20:8 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Life of the Blessed in Heaven.
Having examined the glorious gifts with which the risen body is clothed, and seen that it perfects the soul in all her operations; understanding, moreover, that the glorified senses are to contribute their share to the happiness of man--we shall now consider the happy life of the blessed in heaven, including the resurrection. But, remember, it is not a new life that is now to occupy our thoughts. It is a continuation of the same life that was begun the moment the vision of God flashed upon the soul.
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

The Sea of Sodom
The bounds of Judea, on both sides, are the sea; the western bound is the Mediterranean,--the eastern, the Dead sea, or the sea of Sodom. This the Jewish writers every where call, which you may not so properly interpret here, "the salt sea," as "the bituminous sea." In which sense word for word, "Sodom's salt," but properly "Sodom's bitumen," doth very frequently occur among them. The use of it was in the holy incense. They mingled 'bitumen,' 'the amber of Jordan,' and [an herb known to few], with
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

"Now the End of the Commandment is Charity Out of a Pure Heart, and a Good Conscience, and Faith Unfeigned. "
[It is extremely probable that this was one of the probationary discourses which the author delivered before the Presbytery of Glasgow, previous to his ordination. The following is an extract from the Record of that Presbytery: "Dec. 5, 1649. The qlk daye Mr. Hew Binnen made his popular sermon 1 Tim. i. ver. 5 'The end of ye commandment is charity.'--Ordaines Mr. Hew Binnen to handle his controversie this day fifteen dayes, De satisfactione Christi."--Ed.] 1 Tim. ii. 5.--"Now the end of the commandment
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Second Coming of Christ.
^A Matt. XXIV. 29-51; ^B Mark XIII. 24-37; ^C Luke XXI. 25-36. ^b 24 But in those days, ^a immediately after the { ^b that} ^a tribulation of those days. [Since the coming of Christ did not follow close upon the destruction of Jerusalem, the word "immediately" used by Matthew is somewhat puzzling. There are, however, three ways in which it may be explained: 1. That Jesus reckons the time after his own divine, and not after our human, fashion. Viewing the word in this light, the passage at II. Pet.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Ezekiel 7:2
"And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, 'An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land.

Ezekiel 38:2
"Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him

Ezekiel 39:1
"And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal;

Ezekiel 39:6
"And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.

Hebrews 11:12
Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.

Revelation 7:1
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

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