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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 21 - Verse 2

Verse 2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. On the phrase "new Jerusalem," see Barnes "Ga 4:26"; See Barnes "Heb 12:22".

Here it refers to the residence of the redeemed, the heavenly world, of which Jerusalem was the type and symbol. It is here represented as "coming down from God out of heaven." This, of course, does not mean that this great city was literally to descend upon the earth, and to occupy any one part of the renovated world; but it is a symbolical or figurative representation, designed to show that the abode of the righteous will be splendid and glorious. The idea of a city literally descending from heaven, and being set upon the earth with such proportions—three hundred and seventy miles high, (Re 21:16,) made of gold, and with single pearls for gates, and single gems for the foundations—is absurd. No man can suppose that this is literally true, and hence this must be regarded as a figurative or emblematic description. It is a representation of the heavenly state under the image of a beautiful city, of which Jerusalem was, in many respects, a natural and striking emblem.

Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. See Barnes on "Isa 49:18; Isa 61:10 ".

The purpose here is, to represent it as exceedingly beautiful. The comparison of the church with a bride, or a wife, is common in the Scriptures. See Barnes on "Re 19:7-8; Isa 1:21".

It is also common in the Scriptures to compare a city with a beautiful woman, and these images here seem to be combined. It is a beautiful city that seems to descend, and this city is itself compared with a richly attired bride prepared for her husband.

{b} "holy city" Isa 52:1; Heb 11:10,12,22

{a} "bride" Isa 54:5 {b} "adorned" Ps 45:9-14

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