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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 21

Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy ScriptureOrchard's Catholic Commentary

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Verses 1-27

A Double Vision (XXI-XXII:5) corresponding to the double vision of God and of the Lamb prefixed to the central part of the book which is now being concluded.

21:1-8 The Proelamation of the New Jerusalem. A new heaven and a new earth. No more sea. The New Jerusalem descends from God dressed like a bride. A Voice cries that God’s dwelling is with men: he shall be called ’God-with-them’. There shall be no more sorrow—the ’first things’ have passed away. Then he who is enthroned tells John to write, for all is accomplished—all is made new. He himself is the Origin and End: to the thirsty he will give the Water of Life: the Conqueror shall be his son. But evil-doers shall be cast out into the Second Death. 1. A ’new’ heaven and earth: see below. No more sea—the Jews disliked the sea, symbol of agitation and chaos, as, to the Greeks, of barrenness.

2. Heaven descends and penetrates the earth—nature is ’supernaturalized Cf.Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 9:11. Ez 37:27; Jeremiah 31:33.3. The Shekinah (cf. § 968g) becomes permanent. ’God-with-us ’, Emmanuel: Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 8:8, Isaiah 8:10. The notion of the Holy Land or the Holy City, as a bride wedded to Yahweh was immemorial: cf. the Messianic role, Matthew 22:1; Matthew 25:1; John 3:29 and the doctrine of St Paul about the union of the Church and of each soul with Christ, e.g.2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25.6 f. Alpha and Omega: of the Father, 1:8; of the Son, 22:13. The symbolism returns to that of the beginning of the book.

8. The Cowards, contrasted with the Victorious. The ’defiled’ probably refers to perverted vices. ’Sorcerers’, i.e. poisoners: poisoning was then a prevalent crime and connected with witchcraft.

Bibliographical Information
Orchard, Bernard, "Commentary on Revelation 21". Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/boc/revelation-21.html. 1951.
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