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Tuesday, November 28th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 22

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

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Verse 1

Water is vital to man's earthly survival. Jesus told the woman at the well of living water. ( Joh_4:10 ) He will provide the same type of water for his saints in heaven. This is either the water of eternal life, or water that sustains life. Earth's waters had been polluted because of man's wickedness ( Rev_8:10-11 ; Rev_16:4-7 ), but this water is clear as crystal. Notice, it flows out of the throne, which would indicate its divine source. The throne is shared by God and the Lamb. By this time, Christ has given his rule to the Father. ( 1Co_15:24 )

Verse 2

On earth, man also needs food and medicine to maintain a healthful existence. God will provide for all of our basic needs in abundance. Much as we might say the magnolia grows in the South, indicating the presence of many magnolias, the tree of life grows on both sides of the river of life beside the streets of heaven. Everything man lost because of Adam's sin in the garden of Eden will be restored in heaven's garden. Literally, it could be said these trees will yield fruit twelve times, or once each month.

Verses 3-5

The curse was pronounced upon man, woman and the ground in Gen_3:16-19 , but in heaven it will be removed. Before the fall, God walked in the garden where manlived. In heaven, God's throne will be in the city of the redeemed and they will serve God. Even in heaven, God believes activity keeps man happy. One of our rewards will be seeing God's face, which no man has ever done but many have desired. We will bear the likeness of the father and clearly be identifiable as his. The statements about light are like those in Rev_21:23 ; Rev_21:25 . As God's children, we will reign with him. As much as anything else, this reign may be, as Coffman said, over our own selves.

Verse 6

This may be the angel talking, though one does also wonder if it might be Christ. The truthfulness of this revelation is first attested to by God. This is the same God that inspired the prophets to speak his word to men in the Old and New Testaments. ( Deu_18:18 ; Isa_1:1-2 ; Jer_1:1-2 ; Act_1:16 ; 1Pe_1:11 ; 2Pe_1:21 ) The word "shortly" is used in Act_12:7 ; Act_22:18 ; Rom_16:20 ; Luk_18:8 ; 1Ti_3:14 and Rev_1:1 . It means quickly, shortly, speedily or soon, according to Thayer. The events of the vision certainly were already in motion at the time of John's writing. However, it could also be said that they would happen quickly, or suddenly, without warning. Either would be acceptable.

Verse 7

The Lord is going to come suddenly, when many least expect it. ( Mat_24:42-44 ) We will be blessed if we closely watch to keep, or do, the things Christ has clearly outlined for his righteous in this book.

Verses 8-9

Even today, it is tempting to reverse the one who taught us the glorious gospel. We must remember it is the message and the who sent it that is worthy of honor and not the messenger. ( 1Co_3:5-7 ) The angel indicates he is merely a messenger of God as were the prophets before him. He is not worthy of worship, any more than the prophets were, but God is. How interesting to realize we are co-workers with angels in God's behalf.

Verse 10

The contents of a sealed book would not be made known until a lter time. The persecutions of this book would come fabout so soon that the churches of Asia needed to read the contents of this book immediately. The wicked need to hear the warnings and change their lives, as the next verse will explain.

Verse 11

This is a solemn warning that should cause sinners to see the need for a change and saints to see the need for constant watchfulness. The word translated "still" could be translated "yet more," which would indicate one grows in sin or grows in righteousness. ( 2Ti_3:13 ; 2Co_7:1 ; Heb_6:1 )

Verse 12

The Lord wants us to realize there will be no time for change at his sudden coming. When he comes again, all will be rewarded according to their works ( Gal_6:7-8 ; 2Co_5:10 ), therefore we need to resolve to hear and follow him now.

Verse 13

To say the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, is to say he is complete since these are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. To say he is first and last, is to say Jesus is eternal. (Note comments on Rev_1:17 ) Hailey says, "The 'beginning' (arche) indicates the first person in a series, one of foremost authority, one by whom all things commence. (ef. Isa_40:14 ; Isa_40:25 )

Verse 14

The American Standard renders the first part of this verse, "Blessed are they that wash their robes." Such would refer to the washing in Christ's blook ( Rev_1:5 ) which can only be ours if we keep his commandments, so the rendering is basically the same. It is by such continual obedience, or washing, that we will gain access to the tree of eternal life and an entrance into the eternal city.

Verse 15

Those who will not be allowed into the city are described as dogs because, in that day, dogs were wild scavengers who roamed in deadly packs. Also, Cofman says male prostitutes that worked in pagan temples were called dogs, so the word could describe a thoroughly immoral person. The test of this list has been dealt with under comments on Rev_21:8

Verse 16

In verse 6, we had God's testimony and now Christ adds his to confirm by two witnesses the truthfulness of this message. He had it sent ot all the churches of Asia mentioned in chapters 2 and 3. In Rev_5:5 , we noted the title "Root and offspring of David." As the morning star, Jesus could be said to be the herald of a new day that would dawn in eternity for the church.

Verse 17

The Spirit would be the Holy Spirit who spoke through the prophets and to the churches. ( Rev_2:7 ; Rev_2:11 ; Rev_2:17 ; Rev_2:29 ; Rev_3:6 ; Rev_3:13 ; Rev_3:22 ) Now, he invites Jesus to come as he has promised. (verses 7 and 12) The church, or bride, of Christ also wants Jesus to come and implores him. ( Rev_21:2 ; Rev_21:9 ; 1Co_16:22 ) Of course, there is also an invitation extended by the Spirit through the gospel to sinners to obey. Those who are thirsty for righteousness can reveive the water of life that is free or open for all. ( Mat_5:6 ; Mat_11:28-30 )

Verses 18-19

Similar warnings have been written in other places. ( Deu_4:2 ; Deu_12:32 ; Gal_1:6-9 ) The message of this book should be tampered with in no way. To add to it, would be to add to God's word and willcause one to have the terrible plagues of this book added to him. Taking away from it will cause one's place in the book of life to be taken away. Remember, one would only have to ignore or refuse to teach a part of the book to take away from it.

Verse 20

Jesus says he will come suddenly and John adds his prayer for a speedy coming to those of verse 17.

Verse 21

How appropriate to end a book addressed to those facing severe persecution with a prayer for God's favor and good will in their behalf.

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 22". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/revelation-22.html. 2014.
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