Some examples of the use of "a thousand" in scripture are:
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
1 Chronicles 16:15
Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Practically every time period mentioned in Revelation is figurative, and the thousand years is no exception, IMO.
According to several scholars, Johann Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752) was the person most responsible for reviving chiliasm amongst scholars in Germany in the 18th century. Bengel became famous for his edition of the Greek New Testament, and his commentaries. Franz Delitzsch wrote of him, "To whom else do we owe it, that the orthodox Church of the present time does not brand the Chiliastic view of the last times as a heterodoxy, as is done in almost all old manuals of dogmatics; but, on the contrary, has allowed it to enter into her innermost life, so that there is scarcely a believing Christian now, who does not take this view?"
Bengel insisted that the thousand years of Revelation 20 should be taken literally, and denounced those who disagreed with his interpretation. He wrote: "… he who embraces the Divine authority of the Apocalypse, must also of necessity admit the thousand years in some sense. … But there are some who, compelled by this Text, acknowledge that there is to be a remarkable and long-continued tranquility of the Church, and maintain this with impunity. How with impunity? On account of this one thing, that they remove from their mouth the thousand years which have proceeded from the mouth of God. It is of no advantage thus to alarm good men. But these thousand years do not run on even a step simultaneously with the times of the beast, nor do they altogether precede those times, but totally follow them." [Johann Albrecht Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament, Volume 5 (1858). pp. 364-365.]
Bengel struggled to overcome an odium that was connected with chiliasm, because of its condemnation in the Augsburg Confession of 1530, where it was referred to as a "Jewish opinion." The 17th article included the paragraph:
They condemn the Anabaptists who think that to condemned men and the devils shall be an end of torments. They condemn others also, who now scatter Jewish opinions, that, before the resurrection of the dead, the godly shall occupy the kingdom of the world, the wicked being every where suppressed [the saints alone, the pious, shall have a worldly kingdom, and shall exterminate all the godless].
Events in the years 1533-1535 only seemed to confirm the pernicious nature of the doctrine of chiliasm. During that period the city of Munster in Westphalia was declared to be "new Jerusalem" after a group of Annabaptists gained control of the city council. Owen Chadwick described how Dutch prophet and ex-innkeeper, John of Leyden, was "proclaimed King of New Zion, wore vestments as his royal robes, and held his court and throne in the market-place. Laws were decreed to establish community of goods, and the Old Testament was adduced to permit polygamy. Bernard Rothman, once a man of sense, once the friend of Melanchthon, took nine wives." Meanwhile, the Bishop of Munster collected an army and began the siege of the city. Chadwick described the events that followed: [Owen Chadwick, The Reformation (New York: Penguin Books, 1997) pp. 190-191.]
They now believed they had been given the duty and the power of exterminating the ungodly. The world would perish, and only Munster would be saved. Rothman issued a public incitement to world rebellion: 'Dear brethren, arm yourselves for the battle, not only with the humble weapons of the apostles for suffering, but also with the glorious armour of David for vengeance…in God's strength, and help annihilate the ungodly.' An ex-soldier named John of Geelen slipped out of the city, carrying copies of this proclamation into the Netherlands, and planned sudden coups in the Dutch cities…. At last, on 25 June 1535, the gates of Munster were opened by sane men within the walls, and the bishop's army entered the city. The cages where the corpses of Anabaptist leaders were hung are still hanging on the tower of St. Lambert's Church.
Bengel was a notorious date-setter, and he predicted the second coming and the start of the millennium in 1836. He had a considerable influence on John Wesley (1703–1791).