Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Revelation 22

Verse 1

Proceeding out of the throne, &c.; so described in order to represent the happiness of heaven, here prefigured under the symbol of a river, as derived from the presence and influences of God and the Lamb.

Verse 2

Of it; of the city described in the Revelation 21:1-29.--The tree of life; that tree of which man had been deprived when he first entered upon his career of transgression. (Genesis 3:22.)

Verse 3

No more curse; the curse shall be no more; that is, the terrible curses originally denounced against human sin in the days of Adam's transgression (Genesis 3:14-19) shall now be removed forever. Thus the volume of the word of God, having opened with a history of that terrible malediction pronounced upon the human race, which has made this world such a scene of sorrow, now sublimely closes with a prophetic announcement of its perpetual removal. This link, connecting the beginning with the end, binds together the whole word of God, and gives a lofty unity to the long succession of vastly varied materials which the sacred volume comprises.--And his servants shall serve him; shall be employed, actively, in the pursuit and accomplishment of his plans.

Verse 4

Shall see his face; shall be admitted to intimate communion with him.--His name, &c. This was a mark of ownership. The meaning is, that they shall be entirely his.

Verse 10

And he saith unto me; that is, Jesus saith, as is evident from what follows, especially Revelation 22:16.

Verse 11

The meaning is, Let men continue in these various characters, if they will. I come quickly with the rewards that they will respectively deserve. A similar mode of expression is adopted in Ecclesiastes 11:9.

Verse 15

Dogs; reprobates. (See Matthew 7:6.)

Verse 17

The bride; the church.

Verse 21

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The manner in which the Redeemer is spoken of throughout this book, and especially in this farewell benediction, joined as he is constantly with God as the united object of celestial adoration, and represented repeatedly as clothing himself with the names and attributes of supreme divinity,--and yet, on the other hand, steadily separated from God by a marked and clearly-expressed distinction,--leaves us where indeed we ought to expect to be left, entirely in the dark in respect to the nature and modes of existence which pertain to the mysterious principle of divinity. The human mind is uneasy in this darkness and difficulty, and vainly attempts their removal. Some endeavor to cut the knot, by making Jesus a mere human prophet, and changing to metaphors all those declarations of the word of God which assign to him a position apparently divine. This is a very simple view of the subject, and easily understood. But the question, in this, as in all other researches after knowledge, is not what is simple, but what is true. Others, on the other hand, connecting and combining the various declarations of Scripture, and deducing inferences from them, make out what may be called a theory or the Godhead, distinct, defined, systematic, and drawn out into its details. But, on mature reflection, it will appear that he occupies the most truly philosophical ground, who allows, with the most undisturbed and quiet mind, the mystery of the Godhead to rest in the profound concealment in which it has pleased the Holy Spirit to leave it involved,--who draws no inferences, frames no theory or system, but simply reads what is written, and leaves it as it stands, without attempting to throw human light upon what divine revelation has left obscure. He waits for knowledge to come. And in the mean time he adores the Redeemer so unequivocally described as divine. He sees in him a Lamb slain as an atoning sacrifice for sin. In that atonement he finds relief from remorse, and comfort an peace come from it to displace gloomy recollections of sin, and dark forebodings of retribution; and he closes the sacred volume invoking the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, as his only hope of salvation.

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Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 22". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.