An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 20 of 223
of Daniel 8:26, 12:4,9 but confirm the meaning of the words of Daniel 9:24.
Satham means 'to stop up' as one would a well or source of water supply.
Sennacherib attempted to stop the waters that supplied Jerusalem, and
Hezekiah stopped up the watercourse of Gihon (2 Chron. 32:3,30).  We can
therefore translate Daniel 9:24 freely yet nevertheless truthfully 'To
Imprison the transgression, to Seal Up, as a book or as a well, sins'.
We have seen that the 'deep' of Genesis 1:2 finds an echo in the
'abyss' of Revelation 20.  We have seen the possibility of a 'little season'
when Satan, 'that old Serpent', was loosed from the abyss of Genesis 1:2 and
immediately set about his campaign of deceit in Genesis that echoes the
'little season' and the 'deceit' of Revelation 20.  There is, however,
another parallel that bears upon the subject of 'Restraint' that we have
before us, but for the key to this we must turn to Psalm 8.  When it says
'that Thou mightest Still the enemy' (Psa. 8:2), the word translated 'still'
is the Hebrew shabath, and is used in Genesis 2:3 in the words, 'He had
Rested from all His work'.  It means a sabbath keeping.  God rested on the
seventh day of Creation week; Satan will unwillingly keep sabbath in prison,
for the sabbath that remains for the children of God is the 1,000 -year reign
of Christ.  He will indeed be 'stilled', but who, without access to the
original, would have dreamt of such a correspondence or such a teaching.
Here is 'restraint' indeed covering the whole period.
The remaining terms of Daniel 9: reconciliation, righteousness and the
anointing of the Most Holy, belong to a separate inquiry.  We are concerned
at the moment with 'the bottomless pit', the chain, the restraint of the
Devil and his works that introduce the Millennium into the pages of
Scripture, namely at Revelation 20:1 -3.  Sin is by no means 'finished' or
'made an end of' in the evangelical sense of the words, and the Authorized
Version margin reveals that the translators were not quite happy in thus
translating the Hebrew words used.  This element of restraint is reflected in
the 'feigned obedience' that will characterize some of the nations in the
Millennium, and after the reader has surveyed the evidence given for this
marginal translation of Psalm 18:44; 66:3 and 81:15, he may realize that
there is no need to attempt to justify the marginal rendering, the problem
will be rather to understand why the translators should have departed from
their own rendering in so many other places.  Had they been consistent, the
problem would never have arisen.  That there could not have been 'a finish'
or 'an end' to transgression or sin, Revelation 20:8,9 will demonstrate to
all who have no theory to justify, for the terms 'Gog and Magog', 'gather to
battle', 'sand of the sea', 'went up on the breadth of the earth', 'compassed
the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city' together with the
judgment of fire which 'devoured' them with which the Millennium ends, are
all so far removed from any conception of peace and sinlessness as to make a
long disquisition unnecessary.  We can only ask, if these are symptoms of
'perfect peace', are words of any use as vehicles of truth?
Some of our readers may be interested in a few sidelights on this
question of the abyss, and its relation to the Serpent.
Job 41:32 (in the LXX 41:23) reads:
'He reckons ... the tartaros of the abyss his captive'.
Peter uses the verb 'tartaroo' (cast down to hell) in 2 Peter 2:4.  The
title, 'old Nick' in folk lore is derived from the Anglo -Saxon Nicor, a