By Dudley Ross Spears
The millennialists take the number “thousand” of Revelation 20:5 literally. They say that the assumed future reign of Christ on earth will be a thousand years in duration – no more, no less. It would seem that they should take the number literally everywhere they find it, if they select a passage out of Revelation and take that literally. If they say it means a literal number in a book of symbols, surely in a passage where symbolism is not so prominent they should take it literally.
David wrote, “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psa. 50:10). Do you suppose any millennialist or literalist would affirm that God has only cattle on a thousand hills and no more than that? I believe God has more cows than that – don’t you? But again the Psalmist said, “A thousand years in thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by” (Psa. 90:4). Do you believe the Psalmist is trying to say that only a literal thousand years would be like yesterday and a thousand years and one more day would not? But this is the foolishness of the consequences of a literal interpretation of figures of speech in the Bible.
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 9, p. 261
May 5, 1983