Re: Rev 20:4-5

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sat Oct 18 1997 - 22:55:25 EDT

On Sat, 18 Oct 1997 21:39:56 -0400 Jonathan Robie
<> writes:
>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 entirety without emphasis on the beginning or
>>end), then what is the problem with taking EZHNSAN in the same way?
>>might even expect these aorists to be taken in the same way. Do you
>>a problem with taking EBASILEUSAN constatively? Do you want to say,
>>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


>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?

Yes, but if we broaden it a bit, I think the difficulty with the
ingressive aorist becomes more evident. John says he saw TAS YUCAS ...
that these YUCAS come alive? If we take YUCAS as "souls" (so most [all?]
translations), then how is it that these souls, which are certainly
already alive, come to life? Is this why somebody here said Carl C takes
it as "corpses"? Now, I can see corpses coming alive, but not souls that
were already alive. But, is "corpses" really the meaning here? I would
like a little light on this one.

On the other hand, if YUCAS is "souls," then a constative aorist EZHSAN
makes good sense. John saw the souls of the beheaded saints. These
souls were not dead. They were alive. In fact, they lived and reigned
with Christ for a thousand years.

>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
>be the same thousand years during which Satan was imprisoned? Were
>the dead before that or not? If they "lived and reigned" with Christ for
>thousand years, did they stop living after that? The second reading
>it a lot harder to understand the context around it.

Yes, they lived and reigned during the same time that Satan is bound, the
1000 years. Many believe that Satan was bound at the first advent of
Christ (Mt 12:29, Lk 10:18) and that he will be released for a short
season at the very end, having great wrath (Rev 12:7-12).

There is no implication, of course, that after the 1000 years the souls
who were living and reigning with Christ stop living, just as an
ingressive aorist interpretation does not suggest either.

>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
>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 each.

Paul Dixon

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