What is the Bottomless Pit that is mentioned in Revelation 20? Is it a real place?

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Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).

The bottomless Pit is translated from the Greek word “abusos,” or in English “abyss.” In the Greek Old Testament, it refers to the formless earth before Creation: “And the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:1, 2). In Luke 8:31, it refers to a place where demons have no one to possess or use “And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.”

At the second coming, the wicked are all slain (Isaiah 11:4) and the righteous are taken to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). During the following 1,000 years, the devil will be chained (Revelation 20:1-3). This chain will be symbolic. A spirit being cannot be confined with a literal chain. It is symbolic in the sense that there will be no one for him to deceive “that he should deceive the nations no more” (Revelation 20:3).

For 1,000 years Satan and His angels will behold the fruit of their rebellion. They always been busy causing evil but now they have time to think. They become captives or prisoners on this earth contemplating the evil they created and waiting for their judgement. “And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited” (Isaiah 24:22).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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