20:10 brimstone. “Brimstone” was the Old English name for sulphur (“brim” developed into “burn,” sulphur being the “stone” that burns). When sulphur ignites, it burns with a very bright light and with the noxious odor of sulphur dioxide. This smell was noted by the ancients both in lightning storms and volcanic storms, so both came to be known as “fire from God”—hence the Greek words for brimstone came to be theion or theiodes. Whether or not the lake of fire and brimstone will actually incorporate burning sulphur, the use of the term indicates that the fiery lake will always be associated with the fiery judgment of a holy God on willful sin.
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