Add parallel Print Page Options

Chapter 20

The Thousand-year Reign. [a]Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss[b] and a heavy chain.(A) He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan,[c] and tied it up for a thousand years(B) 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[d] on their foreheads or hands. They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.(C) The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. Blessed[e] 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.

Read full chapter


  1. 20:1–6 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. Rom 6:1–8; Jn 5:24–25; 16:33; 1 Jn 3:14; Eph 2:1.
  2. 20:1 Abyss: see note on Rev 9:1.
  3. 20:2 Dragon…serpent…Satan: see notes on Rev 12:3, 9, 10, 15.
  4. 20:4 Beast…mark: see Rev 13 and its notes.
  5. 20:6 Blessed: see note on Rev 1:3. Second death: see note on Rev 2:11. Priests: as in Rev 1:6; 5:10; cf. 1 Pt 2:9.