| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 39 - Page 137 of 234 Index | Zoom | |
Red Sea also, and dried it up: so He led them through the abyss as through the
wilderness". Psa. 148: 7 associates "dragons" with all deeps, and Isa. 51: 9-10 does
the same. Prov. 8: 23, 24 takes us back to "the beginning, or ever the earth was, when
there were no abysses". Amos 7: 4 reveals that the great abyss could be devoured or
eaten up "by fire" while the poetic vision of Hab. 3: 10, 11 associates the trembling of
the mountains and the abyss lifting up its hands, with the paralyzing of the sun and moon.
Such are the predecessors of the seven references to the Abyss in the Revelation. The
first occurrences in Rev. 20: 1 and 3 link the purpose of the ages, just as surely as the
re-appearance of the Paradise of Rev. 22:, links this passage with the expulsion of
Gen. 3: All this gives point to the words of Rev. 21: 1 "and there was no more sea",
no more abyss, no more "deep". Associated with this connexion of the deep with Satan
and his imprisonment, is the statement in Rev. 9: 14:
"Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates."
We can no more explain how this river could hold in restraint four such angels, and
the "two hundred thousand thousand" demon horsemen that slay a third part of men, than
we can understand what sort of "key" or "chain" or "abyss" could keep in hold such a
being as Satan for a thousand years, but these are revealed facts and they agree. We can,
however, see that the Euphrates has a connexion with Babel, even as the Abyss is linked
with Gen. 1: 2.
Returning to Rev. 20: 1-3, we see that the imprisonment of Satan is the first and the
cause of a series of "restraints" that characterize the Millennial reign. The margin of
Dan. 9: 24 reads "to restrain the transgression" where the A.V. reads "to finish
transgression". The Hebrew word is kah-lah "to keep back, be restrained, shut up". The
noun form of this word keh-leh is translated in its ten occurrences "prison" with six
marginal notes which read: (lit. house of restraint). Transgression will by no means be
"finished" when Dan. 9: 24 is fulfilled, it will be "restrained" or imprisoned along with
the Devil, but will break out as soon as the Devil is loosed from his prison.
Dan. 9: 24 also says "to make an end of sins" and the margin reads "to seal up". The
same word appears in the later reference in the same verse "to seal up vision and
prophecy". The Hebrew word is chatham and appears again in Dan. 12: 4 "shut up the
words and seal the book", and this "even to the time of the end". We meet the word
again in Dan. 12: 9 "the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end", and in
Dan. 6: 17 "the king sealed it with his own signet". The words "shut up" and "close up"
of Dan. 8: 26, 12: 4, 9 but confirm the meaning of the words of Dan. 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 (II Chron. 32: 3, 30). We can therefore translate Dan. 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 Gen. 1: 2 finds an echo in the "abyss" of Rev. 20:
We have seen the possibility of a "little season" when Satan, "that old Serpent", was
loosed from the abyss of Gen. 1: 2 and immediately set about his campaign of deceit in