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Tuesday, June 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 21

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Verse 1

Revelation 21:1

Section 4: The New Jerusalem (chapters 21-22)

Chapter 21 - The New Jerusalem Described

The New Heaven and Earth, Revelation 21:1

The New Jerusalem Introduced, Revelation 21:2

The Old Testament Prophets Fulfilled, Revelation 21:3-5

Promised Reward and Punishments, Revelation 21:6-8

The Physical Features of the New City, Revelation 21:9-27

[At Rev 21 Coffman has a great lesson/sermon on "Heaven" p. 488-497.]

- - -

And I saw . . The usual introduction to a new vision (cf. Revelation 20:11, etc.). - PC

A new heaven and earth . . Prophesied by Isaiah, Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22 2 Peter 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17;

This new heaven and earth is what Jesus means in Matthew 5:5 where He says, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." It is the one Peter is looking for when he says, "We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13). - ZerrCBC

The new heaven and new earth . . is the victorious church.

Ezekiel 11:19-36 the Jews were united.

Ezekiel 36:26-32 a picture of the Jews after exile

The new heavens and earth were foreseen by Isaiah (Isaiah 65:17) as a part of his vision of the renewed Jerusalem. - EBCNT

Most of John’s imagery in this chapter reflects the New Jerusalem vision of Isa 60 and 66 and the new temple vision of Eze 40–48. The multiple OT promises converging in his mind suggest that he viewed the New Jerusalem as the fulfillment of all these strands of prophecy. - EBCNT

This phrase, new heaven and new earth, was not new in scripture terminology. The Old Testament prophets referred to Israel’s return from Babylon and their restoration to their own land of Judea as to them a "new heaven and new earth." (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; Ezekiel 11:19; Eze_Revelation 21:2). - Wallace

To the Corinthians the apostle Paul described the new state in Christ as the old things having passed away--referring to the new spiritual relation Revelation 19:7 in the new covenant versus the old fleshly Israelism of the Hebrews 12:22 old covenant. (2 Corinthians 5:17) To the scattered Jerusalem church the apostle Peter adapted that phrase in Galatians 4:26 to look for the heavenly reward in the eternal world. (2 Peter 3:13) In the apocalypse the apostle John applied the same phrase to the emergence of the church from the tribulation period. - Wallace

new . . “new” (Gk. kainos) is best understood here in terms of something that has been qualitatively transformed in a fundamental way, rather than as an outright new creation ex nihilo (Latin, “out of nothing”), as in the case of God’s original creation in Genesis 1. - ESVSB

first ...passed away . . Hebrews 10:9-10; Colossians 2:14; the old order of Judaism that persecuted the church is gone, and the new Israel (the church) is the real seed of Abraham; see note at Romans 9:4 and Romans 9:8 .

[Who is the real Israel today? Romans 2:28-29; Romans 4:12-14; Romans 9:4-8; Galatians 3:27-29; Revelation 2:9; Revelation 3:9; 1 Corinthians 10:18 God’s Israel today is not that nation in Palestine called by that name, but His people who live by faith in Him and His Son Jesus Christ.]

first heaven and first earth . . The wicked minions of the heathen world had been cast into the lake Isaiah 65:17 Isaiah 66:22; Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26-36; -all of this, as a prelude to the description of the new heaven and earth and the new Jerusalem. - Wallace

No sea . . Thus no sea beast Revelation 13:1 - The sea in ancient time was view as creating boundaries and separating people (nations). But now there is no sea to separate God’s people - 2 Corinthians 5:17 All in the church (and in heaven) will be "one" family, a "united" kingdom.

Verse 2

R 21:2

the holy city . . This is not "heaven" but heaven’s picture of the new messianic age. cf. Hebrews 12:22-23, that is, the church, the "Christian age." (In context the Hebrew is speaking of the church and calling it "the heavenly Jerusalem.")

"The holy city" is the Church of God (see on Revelation 11:2) ... - PC

This holy city represents God’s redeemed people (cf. Revelation 21:10; Revelation 21:19; Isaiah 52:1; Hebrews 12:22-24); (NIVZSB)

new Jerusalem . . Cf. Revelation 21:10 , John saw a city, but it is described as a bride (Ephesians 5:25-32). The Jerusalem of Hebrews 12:22; and Hebrews 7:5; Hebrews 9:23; and the city that is above, is free and "the mother of us all" Galatians 4:26. (Revelation 3:12; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22-24.)

Christianity took the place of the old system centered in the temple at Jerusalem. It was destroyed to allow the "new Jerusalem" to spread to include people everywhere (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16) which had been God’s purpose of Judaism (to be a light to the Gentiles that there is a true God in heaven to be a blessing to all, Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 42:6-7, Isaiah 49:6, Isaiah 60:1-3, Isaiah 60:19; Matthew 4:16; Acts 13:47-48, Acts 28:28; Romans 15:8-9 Luke 2:32; Acts 13:47; Acts 26:23; but they had failed in that mission, Hebrews 8:7; Hebrews 10:9;) - WG

The old Jerusalem with its old system Hebrews 8:1-13 had been typical of the city of God; but its sanctuary was cleansed and it was to be no longer earthly, but heavenly; no longer temporal but spiritual. (Hebrews 7:5; Hebrews 9:23; Hebrews 12:22) The new Jerusalem on a spiritually or figuratively renovated earth was seen as the heavenly community of Exodus 40:34-38 for all nations of men. It was the vision of the pure Ephesians 2:22 bride descending from the high realm of holiness in contrast with the fallen harlot city. - Wallace

New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven . . Thus, this is not a picture of believers going to heaven, but rather of them enjoying life in the New Jerusalem. It is the bride adorned for her husband, the church (Ephesians 5:25-32.)

coming down out of heaven . . The city John sees coming out of heaven from God is holy in contrast to the former Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 11:8; Isaiah 52:1; Matthew 4:5; Matthew 27:53).

coming down out of heaven . . The same words occur in Revelation 3:12. If the new Jerusalem is "heaven" how is it that it "came down" out of heaven? What God gave man out of heaven is the glorious kingdom on earth, his church! (Hebrews 12:28; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:13)

All the description here of the new Jerusalem is pictured in terms like the OT prophets pictured the Messianic age, in glorious hyperbole figures. This description is most like "heaven on earth" is probably also the real picture of what heaven itself will be. So we are not wrong to picture heaven in also these terms.

bride . . An important NT metaphor for the church (cf. Matthew 25:1-13; Ephesians 5:25-27). - MSB

a bride . . The church is 2 Corinthians 11:2 espoused to Christ Romans 7:1-6, married to Christ. Ephesians 5:25-27 , the church is his bride Ephesians 5:32. ( Isaiah 54:1 ) Matthew 22:1-14; Revelation 21:9-10)

This picture of the New Jerusalem as a beautiful bride in contrast with the vision of Babylon (the harlot Jerusalem) as a prostitute (Revelation 17:4-5; Revelation 18:2-3).

John calls the city a “bride” (G3565; cf. Revelation 21:9, Revelation 22:17; cf. also Revelation 19:7-8, where a different word was used). The purity and devotedness of the bride are reflected in her attire. The multiple imagery is needed to portray the tremendous reality of the city. A bride-city captures something of God’s personal relationship to his people (the bride) as well as something of their life in communion with him and one another (a city, with its social connotations). - EBCNT

Verse 3

Revelation 21:3

heard a great voice . . This great voice was the voice of God and Christ in unison, united with the throng of Revelation 19:1, and coming from one throne. - Wallace

This is the fulfillment of Revelation 7:14-17

Behold . . “Behold” further stressed its importance. This probably angelic voice (cf. Revelation 19:5) announced that God’s tabernacle, evidently the entire New Jerusalem, was now among men. Finally the relationship between God and humankind that God has always desired people to enjoy will be a reality (cf. Revelation 7:15; Genesis 3:8; Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:7; Exodus 29:45; Leviticus 26:11-12; Numbers 15:41; Deuteronomy 29:13; 2 Samuel 7:24; Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 11:4; Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 31:1, Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 34:24; Ezekiel 36:28; Ezekiel 37:23, Ezekiel 37:27; Zechariah 2:10; Zechariah 8:8; 2 Corinthians 6:16). God will dwell among his cleansed people, and they will experience intimate fellowship with Him. This is the supreme blessing of the New Jerusalem (cf. Ezekiel 37:27; Ezekiel 48:35). - Constable

the tabernacle of God . . The word translated “tabernacle” means place of abode. This is God’s house, the place where He lives (cf. Leviticus 26:11-12; Deuteronomy 12:5). - MSB

tabernacle with men . . God makes his dwelling with faithful Christians, Ephesians 3:17.

This is an OT prophecy in which God promised to dwell in the midst of his people when the New Covenant came. Ezekiel 37:19-28; Zechariah 2:11-13; Zechariah 13:9; cf. Isaiah 25:6-9; Hosea 1:9-11; Hosea 2:23; Joel 3:17-21; Zephaniah 3:17.

The great voice announced that the tabernacle of God is with men. The use of the word tabernacle here was not ecclesiastical as of old. The word meant presence. This tabernacle of God was in contrast with the Jewish tent in the wilderness which was "a shadow of heavenly things." (Hebrews 8:1-13) It was here used to signify God’s presence with men and that he would dwell in them through his church in the world. - Wallace

He will dwell among them . . God dwells in the midst of the church now, Matthew 18:20; Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 3:16; James 4:5;

The tent of the wilderness signified the presence of God with Israel and through it he dwelt in them. (Exodus 40:34-38) The church is the new tabernacle for his habitation (Ephesians 2:22), and through it God dwells in men - Wallace

they shall be His people . . According to the NT these promises are all realized now in the church (cf. Romans 9:24-25; 2 Corinthians 6:15-16; 1 Peter 2:10).

his people . . The word is a plural: peoples, though used in modern English, at least as a Gallicism, is scarcely (see however Revelation 10:11; Revelation 17:15) admitted in the English of the A. V - CBSC

... “they shall be His people” is covenant terminology; now all people (cf. John 10:16) are God’s chosen people (cf. Leviticus 26:11-12; Ezekiel 37:23, Ezekiel 37:27). - Utley

The new Jerusalem is presented as a glorious temple-city, fulfilling OT prophecies and patterns of God’s dwelling with his people. - NIVZSB [2 Corinthians 6:16 says that the church is God’s temple today.]

Verse 4

Revelation 21:4

Characteristics of the New Covenant Age.

Wipe away all tears . . An allusion to Isaiah 65:19 which was not spoken of heaven, but the new covenant age. We like to think that these glorious descriptions of God’s family in the church is based on the reality of what will literally be in heaven itself with God eternally. But remember this is a book based on symbols and we are to get a message from the picture presented but not take it literal.

Remember that the prophets used hyperbole to describe the glories that would be Israel’s when she returned from the Babylonian captivity, see Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13; Ezekiel 36:33-35, etc. - WG

The significance of the statement is that the tears will be wiped away Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 65:19; [by removing what] could cause tears; the next words of the verse agree with this explanation. - Wallace

no longer be death ... pain . .The prophets used these figures to show God blessings on Israel after captivity, Isaiah 25:8, death would be swallowed up. An allusion also to Isaiah 30:19, when Israel would weep no longer (because God would remove the cause for it). This is figurative language, perhaps based on the reality of heaven itself. - WG

There shall be no more death. The Saviour of men went down into the depths of death and came out again, bringing with Him the eternal victory over it, thus removing the possibility for the "grim monster" ever again to overcome those who are accounted worthy of the "better resurrection" with either physical or spiritual death. This will prevent sorrow, crying and pain, which explains how God will wipe away all tears. Former things are passed away will be true at that period beyond the resurrection of the righteous. - Wallace

There will be no more death . . Christ conquered death on the cross; the sting of death has been taken away for the Christians 1 Corinthians 15:55-56 The saints know they will live eternally with God.

Israel had been weeping with their harps hanging on the willows in Babylon; but upon return to their land the weeping and tears of exile would be wiped away. It was the same metaphorical representation in Revelation 7:17; Revelation 22:4 --no more death referred to the martyrdom of the saints as in Revelation 2:10; neither sorrow nor crying referred to the sorrows of persecution; and neither any more pain was just another phrase for no more Revelation 21:5 tribuation. - Wallace

sorrow, nor crying ... nor more pain . . An allusion to Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 65:19; Speaking hyperbola of the joy in Jerusalem when Israel would return from the Babylonian captivity.

Remember that the prophets descriptive poetic language to describe the glories that would be Israel when she returned from the Babylonian captivity, see Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13; etc. - WG

Philippians 4:7-8, the blessings of life in the church will be a taste of the eternal life to come. Sins are forgiven, broken fellowship is restored. (Psalms 118:24)

first things have passed away . . The system that came through Moses and typified in the tabernacle and temple in Jerusalem has passed away, and a new covenant is made with God’s people, Hebrews 10:9-10;

A new age 2 Corinthians 5:17; Matthew 5:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 ;

Verse 5

Revelation 21:5

He who sits on the throne said . . Apparently God Himself.

God speaks several times in Revelation (cf. Revelation 1:8 and probably Revelation 16:1; Revelation 16:17). There seems to be a purposeful ambiguity as to who sits on the throne, YHWH or Messiah (cf. Revelation 22:3). See fuller note at Revelation 20:11. - Utley

Behold . . “Behold” introduces a special pronouncement.

The description of the new creation in the preceding verses was proleptic. Evidently an angel then instructed John to write down what God had said because His words were faithful and true, not incredible (cf. Revelation 22:6). Alford, 4:737; Swete, p. 279; Lee, 4:818. (Constable)

I make all things new . . cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Isaiah 43:9 This same expression has been used to distinguish spiritual Israel from fleshly Israel (2 Corinthians 5:17); and that phrase was employed here in distinction of the new heaven and new earth from the old system of Judaism.

With the fall of the old Jerusalem, the destruction of its theocracy, the termination of the Jewish state, and the removal of the last vestige of Judaism, a new order would prevail under new surroundings. - Wallace

I am making all things new . . This is the promise of Isa. 60–66. This refers to the new age of the Spirit, the age of the Messiah, the age of righteousness, which Jesus inaugurated at His first coming ... Utley

And He said . . Καὶ λέγει, coming between και εἶπεν (v. 5) and καὶ εἶπεν (v. 6), indicates a change of speaker. The direction to the Seer to write what he has just heard comes doubtless from an angel, as in Revelation 14:13, Revelation 19:9 f. - Swete

And He said to me . . Read only, he saith. It is doubtful whether the speaker is still “He that sat on the throne;” for a similar command to “write” has been given already,— Revelation 14:13, Revelation 19:9; cf. Revelation 10:4 -- either by an impersonal “voice from heaven” or by the revealing angel. The question is best left open. - CBSC

Write . . The 3rd time John is given a special command to "write", Revelation 14:13, Revelation 19:9;

for these words are true and faithful . . Revelation 19:9; "these words" probably refers to the truths contained in verses in Revelation 21:1-4. - FSB

Verse 6

Revelation 21:6

He said to me . . καὶ εἶπέν μοι,

It is done . . We should read the plural: the word therefore is not an exact repetition of that in Revelation 16:17. If we ask, what is the subject to this verb, “They are come into being,” perhaps the best answer is “all things.” The new universe of which the creating Word has just gone forth, has now been made, “and God sees that it is good.” - CBSC

It is done . . The prophecies of the book are seen as completed. - finished. The events are looked at from the end view, and the main theme, the fall of Jerusalem and deliverance from Jewish persecution is looked upon from the completed view. - WG

With the proclamation it is done the vision proper concerning the church in tribulation had ended, and the Revelation had ended, and the Revelation was ready to assume the new 1 John 5:4; the church in the glory of victory rather than in the defeat of persecution. - Wallace

It is done . . The Greek term used here refers to completion—probably in reference to the words in Revelation 21:5 and the overall actions of Revelation 21:1-4. God has accomplished His purpose and made all things new. - FSB

It is done . . This is a PERFECT ACTIVE INDICATIVE. This could relate to the certainty of God’s promises regarding both wrath for unbelievers and deliverance for believers (cf. Revelation 6:11; Revelation 10:7; Revelation 16:17), or the immanence of God’s promises (cf. Revelation 1:1-3; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 10:6; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:10). - Utley

I am the Alpha and Omega . . Echoes the introduction of Christ in ch. 1 (see Revelation 1:8 and note; Revelation 1:17). Here it is the Father here, in Revelation 1:11 it is Christ.

God and Christ are the Alpha and Omega because they are the beginning and the end in creation and in salvation, and here in the promises made to the churches, in faithfulness to finish what had begun. It meant that the vision was completed and the things envisioned would be fulfilled. - Wallace

the Beginning and the End . .

When God said in the beginning, Let there be light--there was light; and of everything that God said in creation, it was done. The accomplishment of the things envisioned in the apocalypse Revelation 21:7 the eternal being of God and Christ whose "word is true from the beginning and whose righteous judgments endureth forever" (Psalms 119:160); and the voice which John heard represented it all as having been done--God’s word was sure. - Wallace

I will give to him . . An OT allusion to Isa 55. The invitation is for everyone, and it is absolutely free (cf. Romans 3:24; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8)! What a tremendous invitation from God Himself of the availability of forgiveness. Mankind’s redemption has always been central in the heart and mind of God (cf. Revelation 9:20-21; Revelation 14:6-7; Revelation 16:9, Revelation 16:11; Revelation 22:17). - Utley

fountain of the water of life . . Cf. Revelation 7:17; Revelation 22:1, Revelation 22:17. The lasting spiritual water of which Jesus spoke (John 4:13-14; John 7:37-38; cf. Isaiah 55:1-2). - MSB

In the OT springs of water are often associated with God providing for the spiritual needs of mankind (cf. Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 49:10; Jeremiah 2:13; Jeremiah 17:13; John 4:10). - Utley

The inducement offered to all to drink from the fountain of the water of life freely was the gospel invitation, to all the thirsty people under the blight of heathenism in the land, to come to the fountain of the living waters Christianity-- Wallace

freely . . [without cost; free of charge; without payment;] . . i.e. not “abundantly,” but gratis: cf. Isaiah 55:1. - CBSC

to him who thirsts . . . Matthew 11:28; Acts 15:13-17; Revelation 22:17;

Heaven belongs to those who, knowing their souls are parched by sin, have earnestly sought the satisfaction of salvation and eternal life (cf. Psalms 42:1-2; Isaiah 55:1-2; John 7:37-38). - MSB

Re: women at the well - John 4:10-14

Verse 7

Revelation 21:7

He who overcomes . . cf. Revelation 3:21 etc, Refers to those who remained faithful to Christ (compare Revelation 12:11; Revelation 15:2). - FSB

This phrase occurs throughout the letters to the seven churches (cf. Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 1:1; Revelation 3:3, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 3:12, Revelation 3:21), which link the opening chapters of the Revelation to the conclusion. - Utley

inherit all things . . Being made "sons" (2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 4:6) we are often looked upon as receiving an "inheritance." Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:4-5; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Colossians 1:12, Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 9:15; etc. - WG

The finally victorious share in the privileges, not only of God’s people, but of the Only-begotten: see Revelation 3:21. - CBSC

will inherit his blessings . . Adoption is a covenant relationship; the language of adoption certifies their privileges and responsibilities (cp. 2 Samuel 7:14-16; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 34:24). - NLTSB

all things . . Read, these things; viz. the new heavens and earth, and the things in them - CBSC

be his God.. my son . . Matthew 5:45 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

In these passages, the paternal relationship is used describing God as Father and the king as His son (compare e.g., 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalms 2:7). - FSB [ cf. Jeremiah 24:7]

Verse 8

Revelation 21:8

But the fearful . . The cowards would express the sense more accurately, at least in modern English. Those condemned are those who are afraid to do their duty, not those who do it, though timidly and in spite of the fears of nature: still less those who do it “with fear and trembling” in St Paul’s sense. - DBSC

fearful -- [cowards] . . The “cowardly” are those who fear persecution arising from faith in Christ. Not having steadfast endurance, - EBCNT

cowardly (etc) . . A solemn, serious warning about people with these kinds lifestyle traits who will be eternally lost. Such lists are probably given so that believers can identify such people and that such people should take warning and repent. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:29-32; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; cp. Exodus 20:13-17; cf. John 8:31) (MSB)

abominable . . Lit. abominated; probably alluding to crimes yet fouler than those named. - CBSC

sorcerers . . [practice magic arts; evil magic] . . Not the same word as that applied to Simon and Bar-jesus in the Acts, but cognate with that used above, Revelation 9:21, and rendered “witchcrafts” in Galatians 5:20.

The natural meaning of the word would rather be “poisoners;” and in fact in St John’s days the two generally went together, and no line could be drawn between them. It is therefore no wonder that both the Apostles speak of it as a real crime connected with murder and other “works of the flesh,” as well as with idolatry. - CBSC

lake which burns with fire and brimstone . . Synonymous with the second death, and the concept which Jesus called Gehenna (a Greek term which does not appear in Revelation). see notes at Revelation 9:17; and Revelation 14:10; and Revelation 19:20; and Revelation 20:10.

which is the second death . . Eternal separation from God. See note on the "second death" at Revelation 20:6; (cf. Revelation 2:11; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 20:14; Revelation 21:8)

Verse 9

Revelation 21:9

New Paragraph: The harlot Jerusalem contrasted with the spiritual New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, His church.

The Vision of the New Jerusalem, 21:9–22:5

The Measure of the City, vv. 9–17 - CBSC

one of the seven angels . . From Revelation 15:1; Revelation 16:1; Revelation 17:1. See also Revelation 15:6-8 for his attire and other things.

One of these angels had shown John the identification of Babylon, Revelation 17:1. We don’t know if this is the same angel or a different one of the seven.

There is a tradition in rabbinical Judiasm that there are seven angels who serve in the very Presence of God.

come and I will show you . . One of the angels with the seven bowls of judgment served as John’s guide in this part of his vision (cf. Revelation 17:1). The fact that one of these particular angels helped John understand both the mystery of Babylon and that of the New Jerusalem sets these two cities in stark contrast. - Constable

the bride . . The church is described in heavenly terms. (as in Amos the church is dressed in Mosaical terms, here in heavenly terms. Amos 9:13-15) Revelation 22:11 Ephesians 5:27 ff;

He said he would show John the Bride, but John saw a City, see next verse. The bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 22:17) is now presented under the symbol ("sign" Revelation 1:1) of a city, which we read about in Revelation 18:23; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:9; Revelation 22:17;

It is quite clear that the “bride,” the wife of the Lamb, is the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10; cf. Revelation 21:2) - Constable

Just as the "harlot" symbolized the unbelieving and persecuting "Jerusalem" while the "bride" (the church) is the New Jerusalem and brings God redemptive purposes to their climax.

Verse 10

Revelation 21:10

he carried me away in the Spirit . . This is the fourth time John says his experience was "in the Spirit." (Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:2; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 21:10;) Does this mean John was outside his body? Or does it mean he sees this by inspiration, and in a spiritual, figurative or symbolic way?

Just as the New Jerusalem is that which is alluded in Ezekiel, so does the carrying away away by the spirit allude to Ezekiel 3:14.

John entered a fresh state of prophetic ecstasy and saw a new vision (cf. Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:1; Revelation 17:3). The angel took him to a high vantage point from which he could see the New Jerusalem (lit. city of peace) descending out of heaven from God (cf. Revelation 21:2; Ezekiel 40:2). John received a fresh revelation that expanded something he had already witnessed in an earlier scene (Revelation 21:2-8; cf. Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:1). - Constable

9–10 Here the parallelism with Revelation 17:1 is clearly deliberate. The bride, the wife of the Lamb, contrasts with the great prostitute, the archetypal image for the great system of satanic evil. The bride is pure and faithful to God and the Lamb, whereas the prostitute is a mockery. To see the prostitute, John was taken to the desert; now he is elevated by the Spirit to the highest pinnacle of the earth to witness the exalted New Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:2; Revelation 17:3). - EBCNT

to a great and high mountain . . Ezekiel 40:2. The preposition rendered “to” plainly implies that St John was set on the mountain; whether the city occupied the mountain itself, or another site within view. In Ezekiel l.c. the city apparently occupies the southern slope of the mountain, whence the seer views it. - CBSC

a great, high mountain . . After Gog and Magog’s destruction (Ezekiel 38–39), Ezekiel was transported to “a very high mountain” (Ezekiel 40:2-3) to view God’s future temple. - ESVSB

As his vision will be a reinterpretation of Ezekiel’s temple prophecy (Eze 40–48), like the former prophet, he is taken to a high mountain (Ezekiel 40:2). For the moment, the author drops the bridal metaphor and in magnificent imagery describes the church in glory as a city with a lofty wall, splendid gates, and jeweled foundations. - EBCNT

the great city, the holy Jerusalem . . This "great city, the holy Jerusalem" is also the "bride", the church, which will be described in "heavenly terms."

The angel told John he would show him the bride, the Lamb’s wife, and when he looked he saw a city instead. That is because the bride is the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), and also the church is likened to a city (Hebrews 12:22-23). Having transferred the imagery from a woman to a city, the following passages will be a description of a beautiful city. , It is called holy Jerusalem because that title is attached to the church "which is the mother of us all" (Galatians 4:26). - ZerrCBC

descending out of heaven . . Verbatim as in Revelation 21:2. The descent described here is no doubt the same as there, but St John’s vision of the descent is not exactly the same. He has seen, as it were in the distance, the appearance of the city: but his attention was absorbed in listening to the sayings of Revelation 21:3-8. Now, he is summoned to attend to the other, and finds it at the same stage where he noticed it in passing before. - CBSC

If the "great city, holy Jerusalem" seen here is heaven itself, how could it be "heaven" descending out of "heaven"?

It "descends" from heaven. The church was Heaven’s creation and built (Matthew 16:18) for man on earth to enjoy a fellowship with God and with fellow saints (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 1:9).

coming down out of heaven from God . . The new Jerusalem descends to earth as a dwelling place for the saints. It comes from heaven, God’s dwelling place: - FSB

Verse 11

Revelation 21:11

This church has the glory of God -

[Is Psalms 45:1-17 the Revelation 21 of the O.T.?]

having the glory of God . . [Again another allusion to Ezekiel’s description.] The city was illuminated or shining with the light of His glory (doxa); see Ezekiel 43:5). - FSB

having the glory of God . . i.e. the visible cloud of glory (cf. Hebrews 9:5), the Shechinah of the divine Presence. See Revelation 21:23. - CBSC

Her light . . The word for light is peculiar—it would properly be used of a star, as we say “luminary.” - CBSC [Matthew 5:14, John 8:12]

Her brilliance was like a very costly stone . . The city (cf. Revelation 11:1-27) is described in very beautiful, physical, and moral terms. Like all of the Revelation, this chapter is symbolic. - Utley

like a most precious stone . . ... there is little question that John’s descriptions are primarily symbolic - EBCNT

In the most suitable language available to John, much of it drawn from the OT, he wants to portray the glory of the church with God’s presence with it. (Ephesians 5:26-27; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 8:23; Ephesians 3:21).

jasper . . A transliteration, not a translation, of the Gr. word. Rather than the modern opaque jasper, the term actually refers to a completely clear diamond, a perfect gem with the brilliant light of God’s glory shining out of it and streaming over the new heaven and the new earth (cf. Revelation 4:3). - MSB

Jasper . . "Jasper” is mentioned three times in ch. 21 (Revelation 21:11, Revelation 21:18-19; cf. Revelation 4:3). This is an opaque quartz mineral and occurs in various colors, commonly red, brown, green, and yellow, rarely blue and black, and seldom white. - EBCNT

like a jasper stone, clear as crystal . . Literal jewels and a fantastic ancient city may be a good metaphors, but they are not ultimate reality! - Utley

John compared the glory of the city to that of a beautiful gem. Jasper stones were very beautiful but not always clear. As mentioned earlier (cf. Revelation 4:3), this is probably a crystal clear gem with many facets of brilliance, probably what we call a diamond. This stone described God Himself earlier (Revelation 4:3), so it’s brilliance is a further reflection of God’s presence in the city. - Constable

clear as crystal . . Expressed by one word, and that strictly a participle, crystallizing. Are we to understand that the comparison is not with an ordinary jasper, but with a stone combining the pure and full colours of this with the crystalline structure of other more precious jewels? - CBSC

Verse 12

Revelation 21:12

Name of a tribes at each gate.

Same city seen by Ezekiel, Ezekiel 48:30 ff.

a great high wall . . Its exact height is stated in Revelation 21:17.

wall . . . No measurements are given for the length of the wall. - MSB

with twelve gates . . An allusion to Ezekiel 48:31-34.

The city’s wall with 12 gate-towers was what caught John’s attention next. The city evidently looked square (Revelation 21:16). ... The 12 gate-towers (Gr. pylon, cf. Luke 16:20) stood three to a side ( Revelation 21:13). Constable

Here, it is very important to note that the OT people of God described as gates in Revelation 21:12 are united with the NT people of God as described as foundation stones in Revelation 21:14. There has always been only one people of God, but this mystery was not clearly revealed until the gospel (cf. Eph. 2:11–3:13). - Utley

twelve angels at the gate . . As porters and sentinels. Such officers are in keeping with the image of a well-ordered city, - CBSC

The presence of angels proclaims that this is God’s city - EBCNT

name of a tribes at each gate . . So Ezekiel 48:31-34. Probably the order of the names on the gates would be the same as there; but the order can hardly be pressed as important, since it is quite different from that of the foursquare encampment in the wilderness, Num. 2. The 12 gates of heaven in Enoch xxxiii–xxxv. do not really present a very close parallel to these. - CBSC

Verse 13

Revelation 21:13

on the east . . The order of east, north, south, and west reflects Ezekiel 42:16-19. - FSB [See also Ezekiel 48:30-34 where the order is N-E-S-W, - WG]

Verse 14

Revelation 21:14

City built on the foundation of the apostles, Ephesians 2:20.

wall ... had twelve foundations . . All of the metaphors allude to Ezekiel’s temple - Ezekiel 40-48.

Probably each of the twelve sections into which the wall is divided by the gates rests on an enormous jewel, reaching from gate to gate. This symbolizes the solidity as well as the beauty of the divine structure: and was itself symbolized by the enormous size of the stones used in the foundations of the earthly temple. See St Mark 13:1 and parallels. - CBSC

foundations . . The foundations may be one on top of each other in layers, but probably each section of the wall, between the gate-towers, has its own foundation as examination of the old walls of Jerusalem reveal.

Foundations of ancient cities usually consisted of extensions of the rows of huge stones that made up the wall, down to the bedrock. Jerusalem’s first-century walls and foundation stones have recently been excavated. Huge stones, some of which are about five feet wide, four feet high, and thirty feet long, weighing eighty to one hundred tons each going deep into the ground, have been found. - EBCNT

As there are twelve gate-towers, so there are also twelve foundation stones. The wall is broken into twelve sections by the twelve gates, and each section is seen to rest on a single θεμέλιος—a vast oblong block of worked and bevelled stone, such as the stones which may still be seen in the lower ranges of the Herodian masonry at Jerusalem. - Swete

the twelve apostles . . Here John stresses the names of the twelve apostles on the foundations (see also Revelation 21:19-21). Theologically, it is significant that he brings together the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles of the Lamb and yet differentiates them. - EBCNT

...the Apostles are here mentioned in their collective and official, not in their individual character. - CBSC

of the Lamb . . His identity is taken for granted with the Jesus of the earthly ministry, as in Revelation 14:1 with the Son of God. - CBSC

Verse 15

Revelation 21:15

a golden reed . . Another allusion to Ezekiel 40:3; Ezekiel 40:5; Zechariah 2:1; The reed is about 10 feet long, which was a standard for measurement. (There are several similar symbolic actions in the OT prophets, Jeremiah 31:38-40; Amos 7:7; Amos 7:8; Zechariah 4:10;)

The fact that the angel’s measuring rod was gold reflects the dignity of the task of measuring this city’s gate-towers and walls (cf. Ezek. 40:3). Only the utensils used in the holy of holies were gold in the tabernacle and temple, but even this measuring rod is gold suggesting the high value of the city. - Constable

measure the city . . Recalls Revelation 11:1 where John is instructed to measure the temple and its worshipers. A symbol way of saying that something must measure up to a standard. Here to measure the church, and the standard to which it must measure up is the Word of God. John 12:48; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Corinthians 14:37, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Galatians 1:11-12, Matthew 17:5.

measure the city . . Recalls rev 11:1, where John is instructed to measure the temple and its worshipers. Here an angel measures “the city, its gates and its walls”

city.. gates.. wall . . As it happens, we are not actually told of their measurement. - CBSC

Verse 16

Revelation 21:16

The city four - square, approximately 1400 miles in every direction, with wall 210 feet thick, 12 gates of pearl, an angel at each gate.

city is laid out as a square . . This may be an allusion to the Holy of Holies (cf. 1 Kings 6:19-20), which was also a perfect cube.

The reason that there is no temple ( Revelation 21:22) is because God Himself will be the temple. This may be John’s way of showing that OT prophecies like Ezek. 40–48 are symbolic - Utley

the measured the city . . It is doubtful whether this is the measurement of the side of the square, or of the whole circumference. The twelve-fold measure is in favour of the former view: thus from each gate to the next would be 1000 furlongs; the outmost gate on each side being 500 from the angle. - CBSC

length -- breadth . .

twelve thousand furlongs . . This would be nearly 1,400 mi. cubed or over two million square miles, offering plenty of room for all the glorified saints - MSB

twelve thousand furlongs . . The construction is peculiar, but the sense clear. The measure would be about 1378 English miles, making the City 344 miles square, according to the lower computation. - CBSC

(Notice all the multiples of 12, which indicate this is all symbolic.)

length, breadth and height are equal . . The city is depicted as a cube of gold (Revelation 21:18). This is perhaps an allusion to the holy of holies (most holy place), the focus of God’s holy presence throughout the ot (see 1 Kings 6:20). In contrast with the holy of holies, which could only be entered by the high priest once a year, now all of God’s people will dwell in His presence. - FSB

This description could allow for either a cube or a pyramid shape. (CBSC; Constable; EBCNT)

Verse 17

Revelation 21:17

measured its wall . . Probably refers to the height of the wall, though it could refer to its thickness. Like the dimensions of the city itself, this is a multiple of 12 - FSB

The city wall was evidently 144 cubits (about 216 feet or 72 yards) thick (cf. Ezekiel 40:5; Ezekiel 42:20).

he measured the wall . . We should naturally understand, the height of it. The walls of the historical Babylon are differently stated as having been 200, 300, or nearly 340 feet high. But we are told that they were about 80 feet in breadth (Hdt. I. 178:5: cf. Jeremiah 51:58): so if we do admit that the City here is conceived as 340 miles high, there is a sort of proportion in making its walls not less than 73 yards thick. - CBSC

144 cubits . . (12 x 12) 72 yards or 216 feet. This is likely the width of the wall. - MSB

the measure of a man, that is, of an angel . . Angels use, he means, a cubit of the same length as men—viz. the average length of the forearm, from the elbow to the finger-tip. It is perhaps implied, that angels are not of superhuman stature. - CBSC

John explained that even though an angel was doing the measuring he was using human units of measure. - Constable

A cubit was the length of a man’s forearm, with a standard length of about 18 inches.

The angel is using the standard measure of the day, not some type of other-worldly, angelic measurement. - FSB

Verse 18

Revelation 21:18

In vv.18–21, John describes in more detail the priceless materials of the city with its foundations and gates (cf. Isaiah 54:11-15). The symbolism is not meant to give the impression of wealth and luxury but to point to the glory and holiness of God. - EBCNT

construction . . The walls appeared to be glistening (cf. Revelation 21:11; Revelation 4:3). The word “material” (Gr. endomesis) means “building in” and suggests that the material on the wall was jasper, not that the wall was solid jasper. Perhaps John meant that the walls were overlaid with this brilliant material, - Constable

wall ... jasper . . [see Jasper, Revelation 21:11.]

city was pure gold, like clear glass . . This gold is transparent, allowing the glory of all of it to shine through. (Matthew 5:16) - WG

The whole city appeared to shine as a mass of pure gold. Clear glass was the best quality glass in John’s day, so when he compared the gold to clear glass he probably meant that there was no impurity in the city. - Constable (Mounce, p. 381.)

pure as glass . . The city’s gold is clear to perfectly reflect God’s glory (Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5). - NIVZSB

Verse 19

Revelation 21:19

Notice how the foundation of the church is pictured in Ephesians 2:19-22

foundations of the wall . . The enumeration probably begins from one of the angles, and goes round the wall in order. It is useless to guess which Apostle’s name was on which stone - CBSC

adorned . . (garnished) . . From the next sentence we are to understand that they are adorned by being constructed of these stones, not that stones are fastened on merely for ornament. - CBSC

adorned with -- precious stones . . These stones recall those that were set into the high priest’s breastplate (see Exodus 28:17-20). - FSB

Because some of the names of these gems have changed through the centuries, it is difficult to identify each one with certainty. Eight of the 12 stones are found in the breastplate of the High-Priest (Exodus 28:1-39), and the other 4 may also be related to the breastplate. The gems picture a brilliant, indescribable panoply of beautiful colors that send forth the light of God’s glory. - MSB

This series of stones maybe identified with (1) the stones on the ephod of the High Priest (cf. Exodus 28:17-20); however, the order and names are different. This was not unusual because the names of ancient stones changed from country to country and century to century. (2) the jeweled city of Isaiah 54:11-17; (3) the splendor of the king of Tyre (or Satan) conveyed in royal (or heavenly) jewels in Ezekiel 28:12-13; or (4) the Zodiac, but presented in reverse order (Philo and Josephus). - Utley

These stones were of many different colors suggesting the extreme beauty of the city. We cannot identify all of them exactly today, but they were obviously precious gems in John’s day. - Constable

According to Philo and Josephus, Israel associated these same stones with the signs of the zodiac, and their tribal standards each bore a sign of the zodiac. If we begin with Judah, the tribe of Christ (Revelation 7:5), the sign is Aries, the Ram, which has the amethyst as its stone. The last sign is Pisces, the fishes, which has jasper as its stone. So the first zodiacal sign agrees with the twelfth foundation and the last zodiacal sign with the first foundation. In fact, the whole list agrees with John’s, though in reverse order. - EBCNY

1st jasper . . See note on Revelation 21:11.

2nd sapphire . . The Greek and Hebrew words are (as with “jasper”) the same as the English. Yet it is almost certain that the stone so called in St John’s day was not our sapphire, but the far less precious lapis lazuli. - CBSC

3rd chalcedony . . This name derives from Chalcedon, an ancient name for a city in modern Turkey. The gem is a sky-blue agate stone with translucent, colored stripes. - MSB

4th emerald . .

Verse 20

Revelation 21:20

5th sardonyx . . A variety of chalcedony with parallel layers of red and white - MSB

6th carnelian . .[sardius] . . A common stone from the quartz family, which ranged in color from orange-red to brownish-red to blood-red (Revelation 4:3) - MSB

7th chrysolite . . A gem with a transparent gold or yellowish tone. - MSB

Chrysolite ought, according to the etymology, to be a “golden stone,” while the modern chrysolite is green. Perhaps the ancient chrysolite included the modern jacinth as well as the true “Oriental topaz”. - CBSC

8th beryl . . A mineral with several varieties of gems, ranging from the green emerald to the golden yellow beryl to the light blue aquamarine - MSB

9th topaz . . Ancient topaz was a softer stone with a yellow or yellow-green color. - MSB

10th chrysoprase . . The modern form of this jewel is an apple-green variety of quartz. The Greek name suggests a gold-tinted, green gemstone. - MSB

A variety of the beryl, of a more yellowish-green: probably that now called chrysolite. - CBSC

11th jacinth . . Today this stone is a transparent zircon, usually red or reddish-brown. The one John saw was blue or shining violet in color. - MSB

Probably our sapphire, the “sapphire” above being lapis lazuli. The modern jacinth is a crystalline stone, usually red. - CBSC

12th amethyst . . A clear quartz crystal that ranges in color from a faint purple tint to an intense purple. - MSB

This, the emerald, sardius, and beryl are undoubtedly the stones now so called. - CBSC

Verse 21

Revelation 21:21

twelve gates were twelve pearls . . Each of the gates of the city is a single, 1,500-mile-high pearl. - MSB

Evidently each gate-tower that John saw (Revelation 21:12-13) had been carved out of one huge pearl. - Swete

Contrast Isaiah 54:12, where they are carbuncles. - CBSC

each individual gage was of one pearl . . Describes 12 massive pearls—each pearl is its own gate. - FSB

street of the city . . Or “square:” see on Revelation 11:8. The City has one great space in the midst of it, like an Agora or Forum: but the word Agora would have associations, commercial or political, that would be incongruous with the repose of this city. It is probably the pavement of the street which, like the walls of the houses, is of transparent gold. - CBSC

Rev 11.8 = For the sing. cf. Revelation 21:21, Revelation 22:2. The word in fact means a broad street, such as the principal street of a city would be. The modern Italian piazza is the same word; but Revelation 22:2 seems to shew that it is a street rather than a square—perhaps most accurately a “boulevard” in the modern sense, only running through the city, not round it. - CBSC

street of -- pure gold . . John further described the street or pavement of the city (probably referring to all the streets since all would be connected). These were pure gold (Revelation 21:18), as pure as transparent glass. Old Testament priests who ministered in Solomon’s temple walked on a gold floor (1 Kings 6:30). - Constable

pure gold, like transparent glass . . This is symbolic. We must realize these earthly terms are to symbolize the value and purity that are God’s people, the church.

To get carry away by thinking or speaking of "heaven" (when this is describing the church) and walking the "streets of gold" (street here is nominative, singular, feminine) is to miss the picture of the glory and value of God’s people, the church, and to make this commercial and materialistic. - WG

Verse 22

Revelation 21:22

A description of the church.

The church as a temple - 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:22.

no temple in it . . Temples functioned as a point of contact between people and gods. By following proper ritual, Israelites could approach God and offer sacrifices to Him in Jerusalem. The temple provided them with a way to communicate with God without falling into idolatry - FSB

the Lord God the Almighty . . Here again are the three most used OT titles for God (YHWH, Elohim and El Shaddai) used in combination (cf. Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7) to show the majesty of Him who sits on the throne. Notice His close connection with the Lamb of Rev. 5. They reign together and there is only one throne (cf. Revelation 22:1; Revelation 22:3). - Utley

the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb . . See the notes at Revelation 1:8; and Revelation 4:8.

and the Lamb . . More accurately, the Lord God the Almighty is the Temple of it, and the Lamb. But the coupling of the Lamb with the Eternal is scarcely the less significant: see on Revelation 20:6. - CBSC

This is another Revelation passage that affirms the deity of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, John 1:36.

are its temple . . God is present with the saints in the church, the temple of the Christian age 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9;

The temple is not a building; it is the Lord God Himself. Revelation 7:15 implies this when it says, “He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.” - MSB

Because the Lamb is in her midst, the church is “a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). - ESVSB

Verse 23

Revelation 21:23

The city . . The New spiritual Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, the church, as opposed to Babylon (the harlot).

no need for sun or moon . . In Revelation the sun and moon often stood for leaders, or a hierarchy. There is no such in the church, for Christ is our High Priest and all the saints are priests, and all are "brethren." Matthew 23:8; 1 Corinthians 1:26; Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9;

has no need of sun or moon . . Isaiah 60:19. It is impossible to say whether it is here meant that the sun and moon do not shine, or only that the city is not dependent on them. - CBSC

the glory of God illuminated it . . God’s glory provides the light. John 1:4-5; John 1:9; John 8:12; John 9:5; John 12:46; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 5:14; 1 John 1:5;

The glory of the Father and Son is all the illumination that is needed (cf. Psalms 36:9; Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 60:19-20; Zechariah 14:6-7 and also Revelation 22:5). - Utley

the light thereof . . The word is that commonly rendered candle or lamp. This makes it unlikely that the analogy is meant to be suggested, that the Lord God is the Sun of the city, and the Lamb the Moon. - CBSC

the Lamb is its light (lamp). . (its lamp is the Lamb, ) . . John 1:4-5; John 1:9; John 8:12; John 9:5; John 12:46;

Verse 24

Revelation 21:24

By it light shall the nations walk . . The light of the Gospel will show the way for men to come to Christ, to be converted, and live a life that pleases and glorifies God. 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 5:14; 1 John 1:5;

An allusion to Psalms 72:10-11; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 60:3, Isaiah 60:15-16. Another evidence that the gospel is for all, Mark 16:15-16; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:27;

In the church, through Christ and the gospel God’s promise to Abraham is fulfilled; Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 2:3; (NLTSB)

kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it . . The nations and foreign kings coming to (New) Jerusalem (the church, the kingdom of God) would fulfill the words of the prophets, Isaiah 2:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Daniel 2:44-45; Micah 2:12;

The gates of the New Jerusalem are open to all who walk by the light of the gospel and come to Christ. The invitation is to all who are thirsty, Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17.

Instead of the nations bringing their precious possessions to the harlot city, the redeemed nations will bring these offerings to the throne of God (cf. Isaiah 60:3 ff.). - EBCNT

Verse 25

Revelation 21:25

its gates shall never be shut . . An allusion to Isaiah 60:11; or Zechariah 14:6-7. The invitation of the gospel to come to Christ continually goes out. - see Revelation 21:24

no night there . . Usually in cities such gates would be open in the day and closed at night. But in God’s New Jerusalem (the church) the gates see no night and are never closed

Some would see a hint that the church is world-wide and (like the old saying about the British Empire) the sun never sets on God’s church.

no night there . . The concept of darkness in the Bible is often a metaphor for evil (cf. Matthew 6:23; Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 25:30). Light and dark were especially important symbolic theological contrasts for John (cf. John 1:4-5, John 1:7-9; John 3:19-21; John 8:12; John 11:9-10; John 12:35-36, 46; 1 John 1:5-7; 1 John 2:8-11). - Utley

Verse 26

Revelation 21:26

bring -- glory -- honor of the nations . . The coming of all kinds of people, nations, classes, races, will bring honor to the church as they dissolve into one family before God.

“. . . these verses reflect the ancient practice of kings and nations bringing their wealth and glory to the city of the greatest king." In the New Jerusalem, everyone will honor the ‘King of kings’ (see Psalms 68:29; Psalms 72:10-11; Isa. 60).

Verse 27

Revelation 21:27

Nothing unclean shall enter it . . (defileth) . . This is an allusion to Isaiah 52:1; Ezekiel 44:9; Zechariah 14:21 which seems to be a literary technique showing the ultimate difference between God’s people and those of the evil one (cf. v. 24). The new age is characterized in the lighter, open city, a city of complete righteousness. There is no evil present! - Utley

Nothing evil (or ceremonially unclean) . . Spiritual impurity is a basic concern in Revelation (see Revelation 21:8). Evil is generalized as idolatry and dishonesty (see Revelation 14:5; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15). - NLTSB

nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood . . cf. Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10;

but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life . . Luke 10:20; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 12:23;

book of life -- See Revelation 20:12; This metaphorical phrase “the book of life” is also found in Revelation 20:12-15, where two books are mentioned: (1) the book of life, which is made up of the names of God’s people (cf. Exodus 32:32; Psalms 69:28; Isaiah 4:3; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:27); and (2) the book of deeds or remembrances which records both wicked and righteous deeds (cf. Psalms 56:8, Psalms 139:16; Isaiah 65:6; Malachi 3:16). These are metaphorical of God’s perfect memory. - Utley

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Revelation 21". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/revelation-21.html. 2021.
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