Re: Rev 20:4-5

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sat Oct 18 1997 - 21:39:56 EDT

At 08:37 PM 10/18/97 EDT, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>Good question. The best way to take EZHSAN may be determined by its
>parallel with the accompanying aorist EBASILEUSAN. If it is constative
>(describing action in its entirely without emphasis on the beginning or
>end), then what is the problem with taking EZHNSAN in the same way? One
>might even expect these aorists to be taken in the same way. Do you have
>a problem with taking EBASILEUSAN constatively? Do you want to say, "the
>came alive and began to reign for a thousand years"? I don't think so.

Let me see if I understand you properly. I think that Carlton (and I) are
reading it like this:

1. They came to life AND they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

And I think that Paul is assuming that the META CRISTOU applies to both
EZHSAN and EBASILEUSAN, producing this reading:

2. They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Is this accurate? This second reading permits, but does not require, the
possibility that the saints had been alive before then. But the context
makes it unlikely: if they lived for a thousand years, wouldn't this be the
same thousand years during which Satan was imprisoned? Were they dead before
that or not? If they "lived and reigned" with Christ for a thousand years,
did they stop living after that? The second reading makes it a lot harder to
understand the context around it.

I know the majority is not always right, but I also notice that most
translations I have in English, German, or French follow the first reading.
The exceptions are King James and Luther, which both take EZHSAN as "lived"
in verse 4 and "lived again" in verse 5. To me, the parallelism between
EZHSAN and EZHSAN is at least as compelling as the proposed parallelism
between EZHSAN and EBALISEUSAN, and it also favors an ingressive reading of


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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