The structure of Revelation 20

Rev. 20.1-3: The imprisonment of the dragon

John sees an angel emerge from an abyss with a key and a chain (20.1)

The angel imprisons the dragon (20.2-3b)

The angel seizes the dragon (20.2a)

The angel binds the dragon for 1,000 years (20.2b)

The angel throws the dragon into the abyss (20.3a)

The angel seals the abyss to keep the dragon from deceiving the nations (20.3b)

Explanation that the dragon must be freed briefly after the thousand years (20.3c)

Rev. 20.4-6: The thousand year reign of the martyrs

20.4: Descriptions of John’s vision

John sees thrones of people given the authority to judge (4a)

John sees the souls of the martyrs decapitated for their Christian testimony (4b)

Description of the martyrs (4c)

They had not worshiped the beast nor received his mark (4c1)

They came to life and reigned with Christ for 1,000 years (4c2)

20.5: Explanatory statements

Explanation that the rest of the dead did not rise until after the thousand years (5a)

Explanation that the content of 20.4 describes the first resurrection (5b)

20.6: Beatitude for those who take part in the first resurrection

Beatitude proper (20.6a)

Three reasons (20.6b)

Rev. 20.7-10: The final defeat of the devil

Satan’s last army is defeated (20.7-9)

20.7: Satan is released

20.8a: Satan deceives and gathers an army from Gog and Magog for battle

20.8b: The size of the army is innumerable

20.9a: The army marches across the earth

20.9b: The army surrounds the city of God’s people

20.9c: Fire from heaven devours the army

Satan is judged (20.10)

20.10a: The devil is thrown into the lake of fire

20.10b: The devil, the beast and the false prophet will be tormented forever

Rev. 20.11-15: The vision of the great throne of judgment

20.11: John sees the one seated on the throne

11a: John sees the throne and the one seated upon it

11b: The earth and the sky recede from view

20.12-13: John sees the dead judged

The first description of the judgment (20.12)

12a: John sees the dead before the throne

12b: The books are opened

12c: The dead are judged according to the books

The second description of the judgment (20.13)

13a: The sea gives up its dead

13b: Death and Hades give up their dead

13c: The dead are judged according to their works

20.14: Death and Hades are judged

14a: Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire

14b: Parenthetical explanation about the lake of fire

20:15: All those not found in the book of life are thrown into the lake of fire

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