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The New Heaven and the New Earth


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

He will dwell with them;

they will be his peoples,

and God himself will be with them;


he will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.”

5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 7Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Vision of the New Jerusalem

9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. 11It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. 12It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; 13on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17He also measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. 18The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. 19The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass.

22 I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The River of Life


Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

7 “See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”


Epilogue and Benediction

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; 9but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”


12 “See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”


14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. 15Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”


The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”

And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”

And let everyone who is thirsty come.

Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; 19if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20 The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

Select a resource above

Re 21:1-27. The New Heaven and Earth: New Jerusalem Out of Heaven.

The remaining two chapters describe the eternal and consummated kingdom of God and the saints on the new earth. As the world of nations is to be pervaded by divine influence in the millennium, so the world of nature shall be, not annihilated, but transfigured universally in the eternal state which follows it. The earth was cursed for man's sake; but is redeemed by the second Adam. Now is the Church; in the millennium shall be the kingdom; and after that shall be the new world wherein God shall be all in all. The "day of the Lord" and the conflagration of the earth are in 2Pe 3:10, 11 spoken of as if connected together, from which many argue against a millennial interval between His coming and the general conflagration of the old earth, preparatory to the new; but "day" is used often of a whole period comprising events intimately connected together, as are the Lord's second advent, the millennium, and the general conflagration and judgment. Compare Ge 2:4 as to the wide use of "day." Man's soul is redeemed by regeneration through the Holy Spirit now; man's body shall be redeemed at the resurrection; man's dwelling-place, His inheritance, the earth, shall be redeemed perfectly at the creation of the new heaven and earth, which shall exceed in glory the first Paradise, as much as the second Adam exceeds in glory the first Adam before the fall, and as man regenerated in body and soul shall exceed man as he was at creation.

1. the first—that is the former.

passed awayGreek, in A and B is "were departed" (Greek, "apeelthon," not as in English Version, "pareelthe").

wasGreek, "is," which graphically sets the thing before our eyes as present.

no more sea—The sea is the type of perpetual unrest. Hence our Lord rebukes it as an unruly hostile troubler of His people. It symbolized the political tumults out of which "the beast" arose, Re 13:1. As the physical corresponds to the spiritual and moral world, so the absence of sea, after the metamorphosis of the earth by fire, answers to the unruffled state of solid peace which shall then prevail. The sea, though severing lands from one another, is now, by God's eliciting of good from evil, made the medium of communication between countries through navigation. Then man shall possess inherent powers which shall make the sea no longer necessary, but an element which would detract from a perfect state. A "river" and "water" are spoken of in Re 22:1, 2, probably literal (that is, with such changes of the natural properties of water, as correspond analogically to man's own transfigured body), as well as symbolical. The sea was once the element of the world's destruction, and is still the source of death to thousands, whence after the millennium, at the general judgment, it is specially said, "The sea gave up the dead … in it." Then it shall cease to destroy, or disturb, being removed altogether on account of its past destructions.

2. And I John—"John" is omitted in A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas; also the "I" in the Greek of these authorities is not emphatic. The insertion of "I John" in the Greek would somewhat interfere with the close connection which subsists between "the new heaven and earth," Re 21:1, and the "new Jerusalem" in this verse.

Jerusalem … out of heaven—(Re 3:12; Ga 4:26, "Jerusalem which is above"; Heb 11:10; 12:22; 13:14). The descent of the new Jerusalem out of heaven is plainly distinct from the earthly Jerusalem in which Israel in the flesh shall dwell during the millennium, and follows on the creation of the new heaven and earth. John in his Gospel always writes [Greek] Hierosoluma of the old city; in the Apocalypse always Hierousaleem of the heavenly city (Re 3:12). Hierousaleem is a Hebrew name, the original and holy appellation. Hierosoluma is the common Greek term, used in a political sense. Paul observes the same distinction when refuting Judaism (Ga 4:26; compare Ga 1:17, 18; 2:1; Heb 12:22), though not so in the Epistles to Romans and Corinthians [Bengel].

bride—made up of the blessed citizens of "the holy city." There is no longer merely a Paradise as in Eden (though there is that also, Re 2:7), no longer a mere garden, but now the city of God on earth, costlier, statelier, and more glorious, but at the same time the result of labor and pains such as had not to be expended by man in dressing the primitive garden of Eden. "The lively stones" were severally in time laboriously chiselled into shape, after the pattern of "the Chief corner-stone," to prepare them for the place which they shall everlastingly fill in the heavenly Jerusalem.

3. out of heaven—so Andreas. But A and Vulgate read, "out of the throne."

the tabernacle—alluding to the tabernacle of God in the wilderness (wherein many signs of His presence were given): of which this is the antitype, having previously been in heaven: Re 11:19; 15:5, "the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven"; also Re 13:6. Compare the contrast in Heb 9:23, 14, between "the patterns" and "the heavenly things themselves," between "the figures" and "the true." The earnest of the true and heavenly tabernacle was afforded in the Jerusalem temple described in Eze 40:1-42:20, as about to be, namely, during the millennium.

dwell with them—literally, "tabernacle with them"; the same Greek word as is used of the divine Son "tabernacling among us." Then He was in the weakness of the flesh: but at the new creation of heaven and earth He shall tabernacle among us in the glory of His manifested Godhead (Re 22:4).

they—in Greek emphatic, "they" (in particular).

his peopleGreek, "His peoples": "the nations of the saved" being all peculiarly His, as Israel was designed to be. So A reads. But B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "His people": singular.

God himself … with them—realizing fully His name Immanuel.

4. all tearsGreek, "every tear."

no more deathGreek, "death shall be no more." Therefore it is not the millennium, for in the latter there is death (Isa 65:20; 1Co 15:26, 54, "the last enemy … destroyed is death," Re 20:14, after the millennium).

sorrowGreek, "mourning."

passed awayGreek, "departed," as in Re 21:1.

5. satGreek, "sitteth."

all things new—not recent, but changed from the old (Greek, "kaina," not "nea"). An earnest of this regeneration and transfiguration of nature is given already in the regenerate soul.

unto me—so Coptic and Andreas. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac omit.

true and faithful—so Andreas. But A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic transpose, "faithful and true" (literally, "genuine").

6. It is done—the same Greek as in Re 16:17. "It is come to pass." So Vulgate reads with English Version. But A reads, "They ('these words,' Re 21:5) are come to pass." All is as sure as if it actually had been fulfilled for it rests on the word of the unchanging God. When the consummation shall be, God shall rejoice over the work of His own hands, as at the completion of the first creation God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good (Ge 1:31).

Alpha … OmegaGreek in A and B, "the Alpha … the Omega" (Re 1:18).

give unto … athirst … water of life—(Re 22:17; Isa 12:3; 55:1; Joh 4:13, 14; 7:37, 38). This is added lest any should despair of attaining to this exceeding weight of glory. In our present state we may drink of the stream, then we shall drink at the Fountain.

freelyGreek, "gratuitously": the same Greek as is translated, "(They hated Me) without a cause," Joh 15:25. As gratuitous as was man's hatred of God, so gratuitous is God's love to man: there was every cause in Christ why man should love Him, yet man hated Him; there was every cause in man why (humanly speaking) God should have hated man, yet God loved man: the very reverse of what might be expected took place in both cases. Even in heaven our drinking at the Fountain shall be God's gratuitous gift.

7. He that overcometh—another aspect of the believer's life: a conflict with sin, Satan, and the world is needed. Thirsting for salvation is the first beginning of, and continues for ever (in the sense of an appetite and relish for divine joys) a characteristic of the believer. In a different sense, the believer "shall never thirst."

inherit all things—A, B, Vulgate, and Cyprian read, "these things," namely, the blessings described in this whole passage. With "all things," compare 1Co 3:21-23.

I will be his GodGreek, "I will be to him a God," that is, all that is implied of blessing in the name "God."

he shall be my son—"He" is emphatic: He in particular and in a peculiar sense, above others: Greek, "shall be to me a son," in fullest realization of the promise made in type to Solomon, son of David, and antitypically to the divine Son of David.

8. the fearfulGreek, "the cowardly," who do not quit themselves like men so as to "overcome" in the good fight; who have the spirit of slavish "fear," not love, towards God; and who through fear of man are not bold for God, or "draw back." Compare Re 21:27; 22:15.

unbelievingGreek, "faithless."

abominable—who have drank of the harlot's "cup of abominations."

sorcerers—one of the characteristics of Antichrist's time.

all liarsGreek, "all the liars": or else "all who are liars"; compare 1Ti 4:1, 2, where similarly lying and dealings with spirits and demons, are joined together as features of "the latter times."

second deathRe 20:14: "everlasting destruction," 2Th 1:9; Mr 9:44, 46, 48, "Where THEIR worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

9. The same angel who had shown John Babylon the harlot, is appropriately employed to show him in contrast new Jerusalem, the Bride (Re 17:1-5). The angel so employed is the one that had the last seven plagues, to show that the ultimate blessedness of the Church is one end of the divine judgments on her foes.

unto me—A, B, and Vulgate omit.

the Lamb's wife—in contrast to her who sat on many waters (Re 17:1), (that is, intrigued with many peoples and nations of the world, instead of giving her undivided affections, as the Bride does, to the Lamb.

10. The words correspond to Re 17:3, to heighten the contrast of the bride and harlot.

mountain—Compare Eze 40:2, where a similar vision is given from a high mountain.

that great—omitted in A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian. Translate then, "the holy city Jerusalem."

descending—Even in the millennium the earth will not be a suitable abode for transfigured saints, who therefore shall then reign in heaven over the earth. But after the renewal of the earth at the close of the millennium and judgment, they shall descend from heaven to dwell on an earth assimilated to heaven itself. "From God" implies that "we (the city) are God's workmanship."

11. Having the glory of God—not merely the Shekinah-cloud, but God Himself as her glory dwelling in the midst of her. Compare the type, the earthly Jerusalem in the millennium (Zec 2:5; compare Re 21:23, below).

her lightGreek, "light-giver": properly applied to the heavenly luminaries which diffuse light. Compare Note, see on Php 2:15, the only other passage where it occurs. The "and" before "her light' is omitted in A, B, and Vulgate.

even likeGreek, "as it were."

jasper—representing watery crystalline brightness.

12. And—A and B omit. Eze 48:30-35, has a similar description, which implies that the millennial Jerusalem shall have its exact antitype in the heavenly Jerusalem which shall descend on the finally regenerated earth.

wall great and high—setting forth the security of the Church. Also, the exclusion of the ungodly.

twelve angels—guards of the twelve gates: an additional emblem of perfect security, while the gates being never shut (Re 21:25) imply perfect liberty and peace. Also, angels shall be the brethren of the heavenly citizens.

names of … twelve tribes—The inscription of the names on the gates implies that none but the spiritual Israel, God's elect, shall enter the heavenly city. As the millennium wherein literal Israel in the flesh shall be the mother Church, is the antitype to the Old Testament earthly theocracy in the Holy Land, so the heavenly new Jerusalem is the consummation antitypical to the spiritual Israel, the elect Church of Jews and Gentiles being now gathered out: as the spiritual Israel now is an advance upon the previous literal and carnal Israel, so the heavenly Jerusalem shall be much in advance of the millennial Jerusalem.

13. On the north … on the south—A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "And on the north and on the south." In Ezekiel, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan (for which Manasseh is substituted in Re 7:6), are on the east (Eze 48:32); Reuben, Judah, Levi, are on the north (Eze 48:31); Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, on the south (Eze 48:33); Gad, Asher, Naphtali, on the west (Eze 48:34). In Numbers, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun are on the east (Nu 2:3, 5, 7). Reuben, Simeon, Gad, on the south (Nu 2:10, 12, 14). Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, on the west (Nu 2:18, 20, 22). Dan, Asher, Naphtali, on the north (Nu 2:25, 27, 29).

14. twelve foundations—Joshua, the type of Jesus, chose twelve men out of the people, to carry twelve stones over the Jordan with them, as Jesus chose twelve apostles to be the twelve foundations of the heavenly city, of which He is Himself the Chief corner-stone. Peter is not the only apostolic rock on whose preaching Christ builds His Church. Christ Himself is the true foundation: the twelve are foundations only in regard to their apostolic testimony concerning Him. Though Paul was an apostle besides the twelve, yet the mystical number is retained, twelve representing the Church, namely thirty the divine number, multiplied by four, the world number.

in them the names, &c.—As architects often have their names inscribed on their great works, so the names of the apostles shall be held in everlasting remembrance. Vulgate reads, "in them." But A, B, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas read, "upon them." These authorities also insert "twelve" before "names."

15. had a golden reed—so Coptic. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac read, "had (as) a measure, a golden reed." In Re 11:2 the non-measuring of the outer courts of the temple implied its being given up to secular and heathen desecration. So here, on the contrary, the city being measured implies the entire consecration of every part, all things being brought up to the most exact standard of God's holy requirements, and also God's accurate guardianship henceforth of even the most minute parts of His holy city from all evil.

16. twelve thousand furlongs—literally, "to twelve thousand stadii": one thousand furlongs being the space between the several twelve gates. Bengel makes the length of each side of the city to be twelve thousand stadii. The stupendous height, length, and breadth being exactly alike, imply its faultless symmetry, transcending in glory all our most glowing conceptions.

17. hundred … forty … four cubits—twelve times twelve: the Church-number squared. The wall is far beneath the height of the city.

measure of a man, that is, of the angel—The ordinary measure used by men is the measure here used by the angel, distinct from "the measure of the sanctuary." Men shall then be equal to the angels.

18. the building—"the structure" [Tregelles], Greek, "endomeesis."

gold, like … clear glass—Ideal gold, transparent as no gold here is [Alford]. Excellencies will be combined in the heavenly city which now seem incompatible.

19. And—so Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas. But A, B, and Vulgate omit. Compare Re 21:14 with this verse; also Isa 54:11.

all manner of precious stones—Contrast Re 18:12 as to the harlot, Babylon. These precious stones constituted the "foundations."

chalcedony—agate from Chalcedon: semi-opaque, sky-blue, with stripes of other colors [Alford].

20. sardonyx—a gem having the redness of the cornelian, and the whiteness of the onyx.

sardius—(See on Re 4:3).

chrysolite—described by Pliny as transparent and of a golden brightness, like our topaz: different from our pale green crystallized chrysolite.

beryl—of a sea-green color.

topazPliny [37.32], makes it green and transparent, like our chrysolite.

chrysoprasus—somewhat pale, and having the purple color of the amethyst [Pliny, 37, 20, 21].

jacinth—The flashing violet brightness in the amethyst is diluted in the jacinth [Pliny, 37.41].

21. every severalGreek, "each one severally."

22. no temple … God … the temple—As God now dwells in the spiritual Church, His "temple" (Greek, "naos," "shrine"; 1Co 3:17; 6:19), so the Church when perfected shall dwell in Him as her "temple" (naos: the same Greek). As the Church was "His sanctuary," so He is to be their sanctuary. Means of grace shall cease when the end of grace is come. Church ordinances shall give place to the God of ordinances. Uninterrupted, immediate, direct, communion with Him and the Lamb (compare Joh 4:23), shall supersede intervening ordinances.

23. in it—so Vulgate. But A, B, and Andreas read, "(shine) on it," or literally, "for her."

the lightGreek, "the lamp" (Isa 60:19, 20). The direct light of God and the Lamb shall make the saints independent of God's creatures, the sun and moon, for light.

24. of them which are saved … in—A, B, Vulgate, Coptic, and Andreas read "(the nations shall walk) by means of her light": omitting "of them which are saved." Her brightness shall supply them with light.

the kings of the earth—who once had regard only to their glory, having been converted, now in the new Jerusalem do bring their glory into it, to lay it down at the feet of their God and Lord.

and honour—so B, Vulgate, and Syriac. But A omits the clause.

25. not be shut … by day—therefore shall never be shut: for it shall always be day. Gates are usually shut by night: but in it shall be no night. There shall be continual free ingress into it, so as that all which is blessed and glorious may continually be brought into it. So in the millennial type.

26. All that was truly glorious and excellent in the earth and its converted nations shall be gathered into it; and while all shall form one Bride, there shall be various orders among the redeemed, analogous to the divisions of nations on earth constituting the one great human family, and to the various orders of angels.

27. anything that defilethGreek, "koinoun." A and B read [koinon,] "anything unclean."

in the Lamb's book of life—(See on Re 20:12; Re 20:15). As all the filth of the old Jerusalem was carried outside the walls and burnt there, so nothing defiled shall enter the heavenly city, but be burnt outside (compare Re 22:15). It is striking that the apostle of love, who shows us the glories of the heavenly city, is he also who speaks most plainly of the terrors of hell. On Re 21:26, 27, Alford writes a Note, rash in speculation, about the heathen nations, above what is written, and not at all required by the sacred text: compare Note, see on Re 21:26.

Re 22:1-21. The River of Life: The Tree of Life: The Other Blessednesses of the Redeemed. John Forbidden to Worship the Angel. Nearness of Christ's Coming to Fix Man's Eternal State. Testimony of Jesus, His Spirit, and the Bride, Any Addition to Which, or Subtraction from Which, Shall Be Eternally Punished. Closing Benediction.

1. pure—A, B, Vulgate, and Hilary 22, omit.

water of life—infinitely superior to the typical waters in the first Paradise (Ge 2:10-14); and even superior to those figurative ones in the millennial Jerusalem (Eze 47:1, 12; Zec 14:8), as the matured fruit is superior to the flower. The millennial waters represent full Gospel grace; these waters of new Jerusalem represent Gospel glory perfected. Their continuous flow from God, the Fountain of life, symbolizes the uninterrupted continuance of life derived by the saints, ever fresh, from Him: life in fulness of joy, as well as perpetual vitality. Like pure crystal, it is free from every taint: compare Re 4:6, "before the throne a sea of glass, like crystal."

clearGreek, "bright."

2. The harmonious unity of Scripture is herein exhibited. The Fathers compared it to a ring, an unbroken circle, returning into itself. Between the events of Genesis and those at the close of the Apocalypse, at least six thousand or seven thousand years intervene; and between Moses the first writer and John the last about one thousand five hundred years. How striking it is that, as in the beginning we found Adam and Eve, his bride, in innocence m Paradise, then tempted by the serpent, and driven from the tree of life, and from the pleasant waters of Eden, yet not without a promise of a Redeemer who should crush the serpent; so at the close, the old serpent cast out for ever by the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, who appears with His Bride, the Church, in a better Paradise, and amidst better waters (Re 22:1): the tree of life also is there with all its healing properties, not guarded with a flaming sword, but open to all who overcome (Re 2:7), and there is no more curse.

street of it—that is, of the city.

on either side of the riverAlford translates, "In the midst of the street of it (the city) and of the river, on one side and on the other" (for the second Greek, "enteuthen," A, B, and Syriac read, ekeithen: the sense is the same; compare Greek, Joh 19:18); thus the trees were on each side in the middle of the space between the street and the river. But from Eze 47:7, I prefer English Version. The antitype exceeds the type: in the first Paradise was only one tree of life; now there are "very many trees at the bank of the river, on the one side and on the other." To make good sense, supposing there to be but one tree, we should either, as Mede, suppose that the Greek for street is a plain washed on both sides by the river (as the first Paradise was washed on one side by the Tigris, on the other by the Euphrates), and that in the midst of the plain, which itself is in the midst of the river's branches, stood the tree: in which case we may translate, "In the midst of the street (plain) itself, and of the river (having two branches flowing) on this and on that side, was there the tree of life." Or else with Durham suppose, the tree was in the midst of the river, and extending its branches to both banks. But compare Eze 47:12, the millennial type of the final Paradise; which shows that there are several trees of the one kind, all termed "the tree of life." Death reigns now because of sin; even in the millennial earth sin, and therefore death, though much limited, shall not altogether cease. But in the final and heavenly city on earth, sin and death shall utterly cease.

yielded her fruit every monthGreek, "according to each month"; each month had its own proper fruit, just as different seasons are now marked by their own productions; only that then, unlike now, there shall be no season without its fruit, and there shall be an endless variety, answering to twelve, the number symbolical of the world-wide Church (compare Note, see on Re 12:1; Re 21:14). Archbishop Whatley thinks that the tree of life was among the trees of which Adam freely ate (Ge 2:9, 16, 17), and that his continuance in immortality was dependent on his continuing to eat of this tree; having forfeited it, he became liable to death; but still the effects of having eaten of it for a time showed themselves in the longevity of the patriarchs. God could undoubtedly endue a tree with special medicinal powers. But Ge 3:22 seems to imply, man had not yet taken of the tree, and that if he had, he would have lived for ever, which in his then fallen state would have been the greatest curse.

leaves … for … healing—(Eze 47:9, 12). The leaves shall be the health-giving preventive securing the redeemed against, not healing them of, sicknesses, while "the fruit shall be for meat." In the millennium described in Eze 47:1-23 and Re 20:1-15, the Church shall give the Gospel-tree to the nations outside Israel and the Church, and so shall heal their spiritual malady; but in the final and perfect new Jerusalem here described, the state of all is eternally fixed, and no saving process goes on any longer (compare Re 22:11). Alford utterly mistakes in speaking of "nations outside," and "dwelling on the renewed earth, organized under kings, and saved by the influences of the heavenly city" (!) Compare Re 21:2, 10-27; the "nations" mentioned (Re 21:24) are those which have long before, namely, in the millennium (Re 11:15), become the Lord's and His Christ's.

3. no more curse—of which the earnest shall be given in the millennium (Zec 14:11). God can only dwell where the curse and its cause, the cursed thing sin (Jos 7:12), are removed. So there follows rightly, "But the throne of God and of the Lamb (who redeemed us from the curse, Ga 3:10, 13) shall be in it." Compare in the millennium, Eze 48:35.

serve him—with worship (Re 7:15).

4. see his face—revealed in divine glory, in Christ Jesus. They shall see and know Him with intuitive knowledge of Him, even as they are known by Him (1Co 13:9-12), and face to face. Compare 1Ti 6:16, with Joh 14:9. God the Father can only be seen in Christ.

inGreek, "on their foreheads." Not only shall they personally and in secret (Re 3:17) know their sonship, but they shall be known as sons of God to all the citizens of the new Jerusalem, so that the free flow of mutual love among the members of Christ's family will not be checked by suspicion as here.

5. there—so Andreas. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac read, "(there shall be no night) any longer"; Greek, "eti," for "ekei."

they need—A, Vulgate, and Coptic read the future, "they shall not have need." B reads, "(and there shall be) no need."

candleGreek, "lamp." A, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic insert "light (of a candle, or lamp)." B Omits it.

of the sun—so A. But B omits it.

giveth … light—"illumines." So Vulgate and Syriac. But A reads, "shall give light."

them—so B and Andreas. But A reads, "upon them."

reign—with a glory probably transcending that of their reign in heaven with Christ over the millennial nations in the flesh described in Re 20:4, 6; that reign was but for a limited time, "a thousand years"; this final reign is "unto the ages of the ages."

6. These sayings are true—thrice repeated (Re 19:9; 21:5). For we are slow to believe that God is as good as He is. The news seems to us, habituated as we are to the misery of this fallen world, too good to be true [Nangle]. They are no dreams of a visionary, but the realities of God's sure word.

holy—so Andreas. But A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "(the Lord God of the) spirits (of the prophets)." The Lord God who with His Spirit inspired their spirits so as to be able to prophesy. There is but one Spirit, but individual prophets, according to the measure given them (1Co 12:4-11), had their own spirits [Bengel] (1Pe 1:11; 2Pe 1:21).

be doneGreek, "come to pass."

7. "And" is omitted in Coptic and Andreas with English Version, but is inserted by A, B, Vulgate and Syriac.

blessed—(Re 1:3).

8. Both here and in Re 19:9, 10, the apostle's falling at the feet of the angel is preceded by a glorious promise to the Church, accompanied with the assurance, that "These are the true sayings of God," and that those are "blessed" who keep them. Rapturous emotion, gratitude, and adoration, at the prospect of the Church's future glory transport him out of himself, so as all but to fall into an unjustifiable act; contrast his opposite feeling at the prospect of the Church's deep fall [Auberlen], see on Re 17:6; Re 19:9, 10.

saw … and heard—A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac transpose these verbs. Translate literally, "I John (was he) who heard and saw these things." It is observable that in Re 19:10, the language is, "I fell before his feet to worship him"; but here, "I fell down to worship (God?) before the feet of the angel." It seems unlikely that John, when once reproved, would fall into the very same error again. Bengel's view, therefore, is probable; John had first intended to worship the angel (Re 19:10), but now only at his feet intends to worship (God). The angel does not even permit this.

9. Literally, "See not"; the abruptness of the phrase marking the angel's abhorrence of the thought of his being worshipped however indirectly. Contrast the fallen angel's temptation to Jesus, "Fall down and worship me" (Mt 4:9).

for—A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Andreas, and Cyprian omit "for"; which accords with the abrupt earnestness of the angel's prohibition of an act derogatory to God.

and of—"and (the fellow servant) of thy brethren."

10. Seal not—But in Da 12:4, 9 (compare Da 8:26), the command is, "Seal the book," for the vision shall be "for many days." The fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy was distant, that of John's prophecy is near. The New Testament is the time of the end and fulfilment. The Gentile Church, for which John wrote his Revelation, needs more to be impressed with the shortness of the period, as it is inclined, owing to its Gentile origin, to conform to the world and forget the coming of the Lord. The Revelation points, on the one hand, to Christ's coming as distant, for it shows the succession of the seven seals, trumpets, and vials; on the other hand, it proclaims, "Behold, I come quickly." So Christ marked many events as about to intervene before His coming, and yet He also says "Behold, I come quickly," because our right attitude is that of continual prayerful watching for His coming (Mt 25:6, 13, 19; Mr 13:32-37 [Auberlen]; compare Re 1:3).

11. unjust—"unrighteous"; in relation to one's fellow men; opposed to "righteous," or "just" (as the Greek may be translated) below. More literally, "he that doeth unjustly, let him do unjustly still."

filthy—in relation to one's own soul as unclean before God; opposed to holy," consecrated to God as pure. A omits the clause, "He which is filthy let him be filthy still." But B supports it. In the letter of the Vienne and Lyons Martyrs (in Eusebius) in the second century, the reading is, "He that is lawless (Greek, 'anomos') let him be lawless; and he that is righteous let him be righteous (literally, 'be justified') still." No manuscript is so old. A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Andreas, and Cyprian read, "let him do righteousness" (1Jo 2:29; 3:7). The punishment of sin is sin, the reward of holiness is holiness. Eternal punishment is not so much an arbitrary law, as a result necessarily following in the very nature of things, as the fruit results from the bud. No worse punishment can God lay on ungodly men than to give them up to themselves. The solemn lesson derivable from this verse is, Be converted now in the short time left (Re 22:10, end) before "I come" (Re 22:7, 12), or else you must remain unconverted for ever; sin in the eternal world will be left to its own natural consequences; holiness in germ will there develop itself into perfect holiness, which is happiness.

12. And—in none of our manuscripts. But A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian omit it.

behold, I come quickly—(Compare Re 22:7).

my reward is with me—(Isa 40:10; 62:11).

to giveGreek, "to render."

every manGreek, "to each."

shall be—so B in Mai. But B in Tischendorf, and A, Syriac, read, "is."

13. I am AlphaGreek, "… the Alpha and the Omega." A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Origen, and Cyprian transpose thus, "the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Andreas supports English Version. Compare with these divine titles assumed here by the Lord Jesus, Re 1:8, 17; 21:6. At the winding up of the whole scheme of revelation He announces Himself as the One before whom and after whom there is no God.

14. do his commandments—so B, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian. But A, Aleph, and Vulgate read, "(Blessed are they that) wash their robes," namely, in the blood of the Lamb (compare Re 7:14). This reading takes away the pretext for the notion of salvation by works. But even English Version reading is quite compatible with salvation by grace; for God's first and grand Gospel "commandment" is to believe on Jesus. Thus our "right" to (Greek, "privilege" or "lawful authority over") the tree of life is due not to our doings, but to what He has done for us. The right, or privilege, is founded, not on our merits, but on God's grace.

throughGreek, "by the gates."

15. But—so Coptic. But A, B, Hippolytus, Andreas, and Cyprian omit.

dogsGreek, "the dogs"; the impure, filthy (Re 22:11; compare Php 3:2).

maketh—including also "whosoever practiceth a lie" [W. Kelly].

16. mine angel—for Jesus is Lord of the angels.

unto you—ministers and people in the seven representative churches, and, through you, to testify to Christians of all times and places.

root … offspring of David—appropriate title here where assuring His Church of "the sure mercies of David," secured to Israel first, and through Israel to the Gentiles. Root of David, as being Jehovah; the offspring of David as man. David's Lord, yet David's son (Mt 22:42-45).

the morning star—that ushered in the day of grace in the beginning of this dispensation and that shall usher in the everlasting day of glory at its close.

17. Reply of the spiritual Church and John to Christ's words (Re 22:7, 12, 16).

the Spirit—in the churches and in the prophets.

the bride—not here called "wife," as that title applies to her only when the full number constituting the Church shall have been completed. The invitation, "Come," only holds good while the Church is still but an affianced Bride, and not the actually wedded wife. However, "Come" may rather be the prayer of the Spirit in the Church and in believers in reply to Christ's "I come quickly," crying, Even so, "Come" (Re 22:7, 12); Re 22:20 confirms this view. The whole question of your salvation hinges on this, that you be able to hear with joy Christ's announcement, "I come," and to reply, "Come" [Bengel]. Come to fully glorify Thy Bride.

let him that heareth—that is, let him that heareth the Spirit and Bride saying to the Lord Jesus, "Come," join the Bride as a true believer, become part of her, and so say with her to Jesus, "Come." On "heareth" means "obeyeth"; for until one has obeyed the Gospel call, he cannot pray to Jesus "Come"; so "hear" is used, Re 1:3; Joh 10:16. Let him that hears and obeys Jesus' voice (Re 22:16; Re 1:3) join in praying "Come." Compare Re 6:1, 10; see on Re 6:1. In the other view, which makes "Come" an invitation to sinners, this clause urges those who themselves hear savingly the invitation to address the same to others, as did Andrew and Philip after they themselves had heard and obeyed Jesus' invitation, "Come."

let him that is athirst come—As the Bride, the Church, prays to Jesus, "Come," so she urges all whosoever thirst for participation in the full manifestation of redemption-glory at His coming to us, to COME in the meantime and drink of the living waters, which are the earnest of "the water of life pure as crystal … out of the throne of God of the Lamb" (Re 22:1) in the regenerated heaven and earth.

And—so Syriac. But A, B, Vulgate, and Coptic omit "and."

whosoever will—that is, is willing and desirous. There is a descending climax; Let him that heareth effectually and savingly Christ's voice, pray individually, as the Bride, the Church, does collectively, "Come, Lord Jesus" (Re 22:20). Let him who, though not yet having actually heard unto salvation, and so not yet able to join in the prayer, "Lord Jesus, come, "still thirsts for it, come to Christ. Whosoever is even willing, though his desires do not yet amount to positive thirsting, let him take the water of life freely, that is, gratuitously.

18. For I testify—None of our manuscripts have this. A, B, Vulgate, and Andreas read, "I" emphatic in the Greek. "I testify."

unto these things—A, B, and Andreas read, "unto them."

add … add—just retribution in kind.

19. book—None of our manuscripts read this. A, B, Aleph, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "(take away his part, that is, portion) from the tree of life," that is, shall deprive him of participation in the tree of life.

and from the things—so Vulgate. But A, B, Aleph, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas omit "and"; then "which are written in this book" will refer to "the holy city and the tree of life." As in the beginning of this book (Re 1:3) a blessing was promised to the devout, obedient student of it, so now at its close a curse is denounced against those who add to, or take from, it.

20. Amen. Even so, come—The Song of Solomon (So 8:14) closes with the same yearning prayer for Christ's coming. A, B, and Aleph omit "Even so," Greek, "nai": then translate for Amen, "So be it, come, Lord Jesus"; joining the "Amen," or "So be it," not with Christ's saying (for He calls Himself the "Amen" at the beginning of sentences, rather than puts it as a confirmation at the end), but with John's reply. Christ's "I come," and John's "Come," are almost coincident in time; so truly does the believer reflect the mind of his Lord.

21. our—so Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic. But A, B, and Aleph omit.

Christ—so B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas. But A and Aleph omit.

with you all—so none of our manuscripts. B has, "with all the saints." A and Vulgate have, "with all." Aleph has, "with the saints." This closing benediction, Paul's mark in his Epistles, was after Paul's death taken up by John. The Old Testament ended with a "curse" in connection with the law; the New Testament ends with a blessing in union with the Lord Jesus.

Amen—so B, Aleph, and Andreas. A and Vulgate Fuldensis omit it.

May the Blessed Lord who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, bless this humble effort to make Scripture expound itself, and make it an instrument towards the conversion of sinners and the edification of saints, to the glory of His great name and the hastening of His kingdom! Amen.