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the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Revelation 22

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Revelation 22:1 . ποταμὸν ὕδ . ζ . λαμπρὸν ὡς κρ . So A, B, א , al., Verss., Beng., Griesb., Lach., Tisch. [W. and H.]. The καθαρόν , which the Rec. has before ποταμ ., is without attestation.

Revelation 22:2 . Instead of ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐντεῦθεν (Elz., Beng.; cf. John 19:18 ), read ἐντ . κ . ἐκεῖθεν (A, B, al., Lach., Tisch. [W. and H.]). The ἕνα before ἕκαστον (Elz., Beng.) is rightly deleted by Griesb.

Revelation 22:3 . κατάθεμα . So A, B, א 1, al., Beng., Griesb., the moderns. Incorrectly, Elz.: κατανάθεμα ; cf. Matthew 26:74 .

Revelation 22:5 . The ἐκεῖ after ἔσται (Elz., Beng.) is without attestation. According to A, א , al., Griesb., Lach., Tisch. IX. [W. and H.] have written ἔτι ; Tisch. has written this also after B. καὶ οὐ χρεία λύχνου καὶ φωτός . So Tisch., according to B. This appears to be the mater lectionis; yet Lach., who writes καὶ οὐχ ἕξουσιν ( א : οὐκ ἔχουσιν ) χρείαν φωτὸς λύχνου καὶ φωτὸς ἡλίου , has in his favor the testimony of A and א ; while the rec. κ . χρείαν οὐκ ἕχουσι λύχνου καὶ φωτὸς ἡλίου is unattested. Tisch. IX. [W. and H.]: κ . οὐκ . ἔχ . χρείαν φωτὸς λύχν . κ .

φωτίσει . The fut. is certain, although the discrimination as to the form φωτίσει (A, al., Beng., Lach.), or φωτιεῖ , is difficult. The pres. (Elz.) has only unimportant witnesses. ἐπʼ αὐτούς . So A, א , Beng., Griesb., the moderns. The ἐπὶ is lacking in B, Elz.

Revelation 22:6 . τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν . So, correctly (A, B, א , al.) already, Beng., Griesb. The modification τ . ἁγίων προφ . (Elz.) is without critical value.

Revelation 22:8 . After κ . ὅτε ἤκουσυ , Tisch. has καὶ ὀτε ἵδον (B, al.). This is, at all events, more correct than the Rec. καὶ ἔβλεψα (so א ), which Lach., Tisch. IX., have indorsed, although A has κ . ἔβλεπον . But even this form is liable to suspicion because of its correspondence with the preceding βλέπων .

Revelation 22:10 . The ὄτι before ὁ καιρὸς (Rec., Beng.) is certainly a proposed interpretation; as such, the γὰρ also, after ὁ καιρ ., appears suspicious, although its omission (Griesb., Tisch.) is forbidden by A, B, א , al., Verss. (Lach., Tisch. IX.).

Revelation 22:11 . ὁ ῥυπαρὸς ῥυπαρευθήτω . So A, al., Beng., Griesb., Tisch. The form, supported by Orig. and א , ῥυπανθήτω (Lach., Tisch. IX. [W. and H.]) is the more usual, and may accordingly indeed have the force of an explanation. The Rec. ὁ ῥυπῶν ῥυπωσάτω is feebly attested. Instead of δικαιωθήτω (Elz.), Beng. already wrote δικαιοσύνην ποιησάτω (A, B, א , al.).

Revelation 22:12 . ἐστὶν αὐτοῦ . So A, א , 21, Syr., Lach., Tisch. [W. and H.]. Whether B thus read, or have αὐτοῦ ἐστὶν (Elz., Beng.), is not established; cf. Tisch.

Revelation 22:14 . The Rec. ποιοῦντες τὰς ἐντολὰς αὺτοῦ is therefore to be preferred (cf. De Wette) because the reading πλύνοντες τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν (Lach., Tisch. [W. and H.]), advocated by A, א , 7, 38, Verss., appears to have the purpose which is clearly expressed in the text of Andr. ( τ . ἐντ . ἐμοῦ ); viz., not to allow the speech of Christ (Revelation 22:13 ; Revelation 22:16 ) to be interrupted by an intervening speech of John.

Revelation 22:16 . ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις . It is certain that this reading, supported by Beng., Tisch. (cf. also De Wette, etc.), depends only upon the witnesses 4, 11, 12, 47, 48, Arm., al.; while the ἐν (A, al., Verss., Lach.), as well as the ἐπὶ (B, א , al., Syr., Elz., Tisch. IX. [W. and H.]), was apparently interpolated because the address of Christ to the churches was not understood. So the exposition.

Revelation 22:21 . The additions ὖμῶν and τῶν ἁγίων (B, al.) to πάντων , and the Ἀμήν at the close (Elz.), were properly rejected already by Beng. The subscription, which in A runs ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου , is entirely lacking in B, al.

Verses 1-5

Revelation 22:1-5 . The continuation ( καὶ ἔδειξέν μοι , cf. Revelation 21:9 sq.) and completion of the description of the glory prepared for believers in the new Jerusalem. Here, also, [4375] in connection with the statement of what John beheld, the express admonition occurs corresponding to the paracletic purpose of the entire revelation (cf. Revelation 22:12 sqq.), that only the servants of God, the victors (chs. 2, 3), can attain that blessedness.

[4375] Cf. Revelation 21:27 .

πόταμον ὕδατος ζωῆς , κ . τ . λ . In this paradise of God, [4376] there is a stream [4377] whose water is “water of life,” so that they who drink thereof [4378] receive life through this water. The description depends, as already Ezekiel 47:1 sqq., Zechariah 14:8 , upon the prototype, Genesis 2:10 .

ἘΚΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟΝ , Κ . Τ . Λ . Cf. Revelation 4:6 . The throne which belongs to God and the Lamb [4379] is the source of this stream, for only through the mediation of Christ as the Lamb, is the participation of believers in the eternal life of God inferred. [See Note XCVII., p. 494.]

ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ Τῆς ΠΛΑΤΕΊΑς , Κ . Τ . Λ . It is, in a formal respect, very harsh if the ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ be referred only to Τ . ΠΛΑΤ . ΑὐΤ . , [4380] while the Κ . Τ . ΠΟΤ . depends upon the succeeding ἘΝΤΕῦΘΕΝ ΚΑῚ ἘΚΕῖΘΕΝ ; it is more natural [4381] to refer the ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ to both Τ . ΠΛΑΤ . ΑὐΤ . and Κ . Τ . ΠΟΤ . , so that the additional designation ἘΝΤ . Κ . ἘΚΕῖΘ , more accurately declares that the trees, on both sides of the river, stand on the space lying between the street and the river, i.e., on the right and the left banks. [4382]

Τῆς ΠΛΑΤΕΊΑς . John has in view a particular street, the main street through which flows the one particular river.

ΞΎΛΟΝ ΖΩῆς . Cf. Revelation 2:7 . The expression designates the entire mass of trees in general. [4383]

ΠΟΙΟῦΝ ΚΑΡΠΟῪς ΔΏΔΕΚΑ , Κ . Τ . Λ . Cf. Ezekiel 47:12 . The meaning is correctly described already by Andr.: ἈΔΙΆΛΕΙΠΤΟΝ ΤῊΝ ΤῶΝ ΚΑΡΠῶΝ

ἝΚΦΥΣΙΝ . [4384] In eternity, the continually growing fruits of the tree of life serve the blessed for food. See similar descriptions of the rabbins in Wetst.

ΚΑῚ ΤᾺ ΦΎΛΛΑ , Κ . Τ . Λ . This is to be referred to the heathen [4385] dwelling outside of the city, as little as Revelation 21:23 sqq. But against the context also is the explanation of Hengstenb., that, in the present period, the life-forces arising from the Jerusalem, even now in heaven, are to heal the sickness of the heathen, i.e., to effect their conversion; for what is expressed concerning the leaves of the tree of life refers to the same time as that which is said of the fruits. This has been correctly acknowledged by those who have thought of the conversion, in the future world, of heathen to whom in this life the gospel has not been preached, [4386] or of the full development of the weak faith of the heathen. [4387] But both are contrary to the purpose of the context, which, just because of their faith, makes the heathen [4388] share in the glory of the city. By the words ΚΑῚ ΤᾺ ΦΎΛΛΑ , Κ . Τ . Λ . , in an entirely similar way the eternal refreshment and glorification of believing heathen are especially emphasized, as the preceding words ΞΎΛΟΝ ΖΩῆς

Τ . ΚΑΡΠῸΝ ΑΎΤ . indicate in general the blessed satiety of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem, of whom no special class whatever is mentioned. In connection with this, the expression ΕἸς ΘΕΡΑΠΕΊΑΝ Τ . ἘΘΝ . is as little to be pressed, in the sense that a still present sickness of the heathen were presupposed, since it might possibly be inferred from Revelation 21:4 , that the tears which God will wipe away from the blessed are the sign of pains still endured; but as the tears which are wept because of earthly sorrow are wiped away in eternal life, so the healing leaves of the tree of life serve for the healing of the sickness from which the heathen have suffered in their earthly life, but shall suffer no longer in the new Jerusalem. If they were previously hungry and thirsty, now they are also to be satisfied; [4389] if they were previously blind, miserable, and without the power of life, [4390] now they are to share in the enjoyment of all glory, holiness, and blessedness.

ΚΑῚ ΠᾶΝ ΚΑΤΆΘΕΜΑ ΟὐΚ ἜΣΤΑΙ ἜΤΙ . Cf, Zechariah 14:11 . After all upon which God’s curse rests has reached its own place, and been eternally separated from the blessed communion of saints, [4391] nothing of the kind can any longer be found in the city, wherein, now, also, [4392] are the throne of God and of the Lamb, and that, too, immediately near, so that all servants of God, all inhabitants of the city, who, as belonging to God, bear his name upon their foreheads, [4393] see his face. [4394]

αὐτοῦ belongs to the chief subject ὁ θέος

καὶ νύξ , κ . τ . λ . Only by an artificial expedient does Züll. find here “something entirely new,” in comparison with what is said at Revelation 21:23 ; Revelation 21:25 .

καὶ βασιλεύσουσιν , κ . τ . λ . With the richest and, at least, a figurative expression, John concludes his announcement of the future glory of believers, by at the same time emphasizing the eternal duration of that happy state as explicitly as in the description of the judgment upon enemies. [4395]

[4376] Cf. Revelation 2:7 .

[4377] Cf. Revelation 4:6 , Revelation 7:17 .

[4378] Cf. Revelation 22:17 .

[4379] Cf. Revelation 7:17 , Revelation 5:13 .

[4380] Andr., Vitr., Beng., Züll., De Wette, Hengstenb., Ebrard, Bleek.

[4381] Cf. Revelation 5:6 . Ewald.

[4382] Cf. Ezekiel 47:7 ; Ezekiel 47:12 .

[4383] Beng., De Wette, Ew., etc.

[4384] [“The perpetual growth of fruits.”]

[4385] Ewald, Züll.; cf. also De Wette.

[4386] Beng.

[4387] Ebrard.

[4388] Revelation 21:23 sqq.

[4389] Cf. Revelation 22:17 ; Revelation 7:16 .

[4390] Cf. Revelation 3:17 .

[4391] Revelation 20:10 ; Revelation 20:15 , Revelation 21:27 .

[4392] This is (cf. Joshua 7:12 ; Beng.) the inner connection with what follows, which, however, appears to be formally annexed by the καὶ .

[4393] Revelation 14:1 , Revelation 3:12 .

[4394] Cf. Revelation 21:3 , Revelation 7:15 .

[4395] Revelation 10:10 ; cf. Revelation 20:14 sq.


XCVII. Revelation 22:1 . ποταμὸν ὕδατος ζωῆς

This has often been interpreted as referring to the Holy Spirit (Gerhard, Lightfoot, Calov., Philippi, etc.). Thus Calov.: “By the river of water of life ἐκπορευόμενον from the throne of God and of the Lamb, we understand the Holy Spirit, whose ‘personal characteristic,’ as they say, is ἐκπόρευσις (John 15:26 ), from the Son, no less than from the Father, the throne of majesty.”

Verses 6-21

Revelation 22:6-21 . The Epilogue , which naturally contains two parts, since it first (Revelation 22:6-17 ) comprises the revelations which John had received, and then also (Revelation 22:18-21 ) the prophetical book in which John had written the revelations received for the service of the churches, comes to a close. In both respects this conclusion corresponds to the introduction of the whole (chs. 1 3), in which likewise the double purpose enters, viz., that of communicating the prophetical scriptures to the churches, and that of designating the contents of revelation as such from the very beginning.

καὶ εἷπέν μοι , viz., the angel, who spoke at Revelation 21:9 . [4396] This is acknowledged also by Ebrard, who, however, finds here not an angelic declaration interposed anew, but a repetition of the account of John, who now once more recalls the angelic declaration previously received. Ebrard decides, logically, that in Revelation 22:8 sqq. there is presented not a repetition of the event actually occurring, Revelation 19:10 , but only a repetition of the account of the same. This conception, however, is not only in conflict with the mode of statement in the text, but is also improper for the reason that thereby the return, indispensable to the harmony of the entire Apoc., from the series of visions, Revelation 4:1 to Revelation 22:5 , revealing the future [4397] to the standpoint of the introductory vision, [4398] is cut off. Cf. also Revelation 22:16 .

ΟὟΤΟΙ ΟἹ ΛΌΓΟΙ , Κ . Τ . Λ . Cf. Revelation 21:5 . The angel looks back to the entire revelation communicated to John. Cf. Revelation 22:7 ; Revelation 22:18 ( Τ . ΛΌΓ . Τ . ΠΡ . Τ . ΒΙΒΛ . ΤΟΎΤ . ). So also Klief.

ΤῶΝ ΠΝΕΥΜΆΤΩΝ ΤῶΝ ΠΡΟΦΗΤῶΝ . “The spirits” of the prophets are here no more than in 1 Corinthians 14:32 , the effects of the Spirit present in the prophets, [4399] but are the spirits belonging to the different prophets, which God subjects to himself, and inspires and instructs by his own Spirit. Thus the Lord, who is the God of the spirits of all the prophets, has especially manifested himself now in the spirit of John; this God has communicated to John [4400] his true words of revelation by signifying to him, through the ministry of the angel, the things which are to come, in order that he may proclaim them to his servants.

ΤΟῖς ΔΟΎΛΟΙς ΑὐΤΟῦ , i.e., believers in general, ΤΑῖς ἘΚΚΛΗΣΊΑΙς , Revelation 22:16 . [4401]

ΚΑῚ ἸΔΟῪ , ἜΡΧΟΜΑΙ ΤΑΧΎ . As the Divine authority, so also especially the chief contents of the now completed revelation are again made prominent, this occurs by the angel speaking directly in the name of the coming Lord himself, [4402] and then the parenetic inference which this affords ( ΜΑΚΆΡΙΟς , Κ . Τ . Λ . ) [4403] is added by the angel.

On Revelation 22:8 sqq., cf. Revelation 19:10 .

ἈΚΟΎΩΝ ΚΑῚ ΒΛΈΠΩΝ ΤΑῦΤΑ . The part. pres. [4404] marks, without regard to time, the idea of (ecstatic) hearing and seeing of these things, and accordingly the prophetic dignity of John, who just by hearing and seeing all that has been “shown” him for eye and ear, has become the Divinely-appointed interpreter of the Divine mysteries. Thus the pres. particularly shows that the ΤΆΥΤΑ [4405] refers not only to what has been reported, Revelation 22:6 sq., but also to the entire revelation of God. On the other hand, the aor. occurs ( κ . ὅτε ἤκουσα ) where that which is special, Revelation 22:6 sq., is treated. The variations, consequently, which by additions to the mere ἤκουσα recur to the first clause of Revelation 22:8 , [4406] yield an absolutely false interpretation; for John falls down before the angel, because he thinks that in the speech heard ( ὅτε ἤκουσα ), Revelation 22:6-7 (consider especially Revelation 22:7 ), he recognizes the Lord himself.

καὶ τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου τῶν προφητῶν . That the prophets are here especially emphasized as the brethren of John, distinguished from the rest of believers, [4407] is natural, because it is now the intention to assert the prophetical authority of John and his book, which the rest of believers are to receive and keep as a testimony of the Lord. Corresponding also with this, is the fact that the angel immediately imparts the command [4408] not to seal [4409] the revelations written in this book, but to communicate them to believers.

ὁ καιρὸς γὰρ ἐγγύς ἐστιν . Cf. Revelation 1:3 . The nearer the time is, the more the churches need warning and consolation with respect to what is contained in this revelation.

ὁ αδικῶν , κ . τ . λ . The practical result afforded by this revelation is expressed, Revelation 22:11 , by the angel himself in a parenetic address [4410] which, recurring to what the former visions proclaimed, as well concerning the eternal ruin of the godless as also the eternal glory of the righteous, applies it to both classes of men. In connection with this, the summons to those doing wrong, and the filthy ( ὁ ῥυπαρός ) [4411] to continue in their godless course, and thus to hasten to sure ruin, is not without a certain irony. [4412] [See Note XCVIII., p. 494.] The purpose of Revelation 22:11 is the less to be mistaken, as the allusion to the retributive advent of the Lord not only immediately precedes ( ὁ καιρ . γ . ἐγγύς έστιν , Revelation 22:10 ), but also is added directly afterwards (Revelation 22:12 sq.), and here the impending righteous retribution is expressly emphasized: ὁ μισθός μου , κ . τ . λ . Cf. Revelation 11:18 ; Isaiah 40:10 ; Isaiah 62:11 .

ὡς τὸ ἔργον ἐστὶν αὐτοῦ . Cf. Revelation 20:12 .

The words, Revelation 22:12 , read like a speech out of Christ’s own mouth, those of Revelation 22:13 [4413] like one of God himself; but, just because of this alternation, it is unnatural to ascribe both declarations to the angel, speaking in the name of Christ and God. On the other hand, the alternation of speakers appears too confused, if Christ himself and God be regarded as actually speaking, particularly since Revelation 22:14 sq. ( τ . ἐντ . αὐτοῦ ) is most easily regarded a parenetic digression of John. Hence the speeches of Revelation 22:12-13 , at the close of the book, must be conceived of here in the same way as the keynote of the entire speech of God given from the very beginning in the introduction, Revelation 1:8 . In the ancient prophetic way, John, who shows himself to be a true interpreter of Divine revelation, in two compendious Divine declarations, fixes the fundamental thoughts of this entire prophecy (cf. Revelation 22:20 ); the very abruptness of these expressions is an indication that Christ and God do not actually enter into the scene as themselves speaking. The speech, Revelation 22:12 sq., thus understood, forms then the transition from the speech of the angel actually present to the parenetic words of John, Revelation 22:14 sq.

τ . ἐντολ . αὐτοῦ . Of God, [4414] not of Christ. [4415] On the reading advocated by Ew. ii., πλύνοντες , κ . τ . λ ., see Critical Notes. This reading is deprived of its plausibility by the correct estimate of Revelation 22:12-13 .

ἵνα ἔσται . Cf. Winer, p. 271.

ἡ ἐξουσία αὐτῶν ἑπὶ τὸ ξύλον τ . ζ . The purpose of the godly who endeavor, according to the promised reward, to eat of the fruits of the tree of life, [4416] shall certainly be attained; hence the beatitude.

καὶ τοῖς πυλῶσιν , κ . τ . λ . Cf. Revelation 21:27 .

ἔξω οἱ κύνες , κ . τ . λ . The ordinary idea in the declarative sense, expressed by the annexed δὲ , appears too feeble; the inner opposition to the beatitude, Revelation 22:14 , more readily suggests the conceiving of the words, Revelation 22:15 , as a command, so that ἔξω , etc., does not mean “ foris sc. sunt ” [“without are dogs”], but “ foras sc. sunto ” [“let dogs be without”], etc. [4417]

οἱ κύνες . General designation of moral impurity; cf. ῥυπαρός , Revelation 22:11 . [4418] A special reference to Sodomites [4419] does not lie in the context.

κ . οἱ φαρμακοὶ , κ . τ . λ . Cf. Revelation 21:8 .

Still once more there follows, Revelation 22:18 , a concluding certification of the prophet, which in a double respect comprehends the introduction of the whole, since Christ, as the One revealing his own coming, not only maintains that he himself has given this revelation through the angel sent by him, [4420] but also expressly emphasizes the determination of the same for the churches. [4421] The latter occurs in an address to the churches themselves, ὑμῖν

ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις , which is then the more applicable if the words, Revelation 22:16 , be regarded not as an actual speech coming from the Lord’s mouth, but [4422] as spoken in the name of Christ. The reading ἐπὶ τ . ἐκκλ ., i.e., “over,” in reference to the churches, [4423] not “to” the churches, [4424] nor “in [4425] the churches,” nor with the gen., as Beng. explains, [4426] since he refers the ὑμῖν as dative to the angels of the churches, but regards the ἐκκλησίαις , which he also reads without a preposition, as an ablative avoids indeed the seeming difficulty that the speech of the Lord is directly applied to the churches, but creates a far greater difficulty with respect to the relation of the ὑμῖν , which then can refer only to the prophets in general. [4427] But the idea that the Lord had the mystery of his advent proclaimed by all the Christian prophets is here not only impertinent, but is expressly rejected by the words ἔπεμφα τ . ἄγγελόν μου , which definitely marks the present revelation to the prophet John; but the application of this to the churches is throughout appropriate. Cf. also the answer of the churches, Revelation 22:17 . [See Note XCIX., p. 494.] ἡ ρίζα καὶ τὸ γένος Δαυῒδ . What the first expression means figuratively, and according to the O. T. prototype, [4428] the second says more properly: the Son. [4429] In this passage the interpretation is also to be rejected, according to which the sense is that “in Christ alone the family of David stands and is preserved.” [4430] [See Note XLV., p. 216.] ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ λαμπρὸς ὁ πρωἰνός . Here Christ himself is called the bright morning-star; [4431] for from him issues the light of eternal day. [4432]

[4396] De Wette, Bleek, Volkm.

[4397] ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχ ., Revelation 22:6 . Cf. Revelation 4:1 .

[4398] Revelation 1:9 to Revelation 3:22 .

[4399] De Wette.

[4400] Cf. Revelation 1:1 sqq.

[4401] Cf. Revelation 1:1 .

[4402] Cf. Revelation 22:12 ; Revelation 11:3 .

[4403] Cf. Revelation 14:13 , Revelation 19:9 .

[4404] Cf. Revelation 20:10 .

[4405] Notice the plural, which recurs also in the correl., τ . δεικν . μοι ταῦτα , Revelation 22:8

[4406] See Critical Notes.

[4407] Cf., on the other hand, Revelation 19:10 .

[4408] Cf. Revelation 1:11 ; Revelation 1:19 .

[4409] Cf. Revelation 10:4 ; Daniel 8:26 ; Daniel 12:4 ; Daniel 12:9 .

[4410] According to Klief., an exhortation, added by John, is contained in Revelation 22:11-15 .

[4411] Cf. Revelation 21:27 : βδέλυγμα ; James 1:21 : ῥυπαρία .

[4412] Cf. Ezekiel 3:27 . Andr., De Wette, Ebrard, Kienlen.

[4413] Cf. Revelation 21:5-6 , Revelation 1:8 .

[4414] Cf. Revelation 12:17 , Revelation 14:12 . Züllig, De Wette, Hengstenb.

[4415] Grot., Beng., etc.

[4416] Revelation 22:2 ; Revelation 2:7 .

[4417] Cf. Matthew 5:13 ; Matthew 13:48 .

[4418] Philippians 3:2 ; Matthew 7:6 .

[4419] Eichh., who compares Deuteronomy 23:18 .

[4420] Cf. Revelation 1:1 .

[4421] Cf. Revelation 1:3 sqq.

[4422] Cf. Revelation 22:12 sq.

[4423] Züll., Hengstenb. Cf. Revelation 10:11 .

[4424] Luth.

[4425] Vulg.

[4426] Cf. also Wolf.

[4427] Cf. Revelation 22:9 . Hengstenb.

[4428] Cf. Revelation 5:5 .

[4429] Andr., Ewald, etc. Cf. Virg., Aen ., IV. Revelation 12 : Credo equidem genus esse deorum.

[4430] Vitr., etc.

[4431] Cf., on the other hand, Revelation 2:28 .

[4432] Cf. Revelation 21:23 .

To the message announced several times from Revelation 22:6 , as from the Lord’s own mouth, about which the entire revelation revolves, there now follows the answer: Ἔρχου . Thus speak “ the Spirit ,” who, on the one hand, qualifies the prophets for announcing the future to the churches, and, on the other hand, also works faith in the churches, and thus inspires them also with hopeful longing for the coming of the Lord, [4433] “ and the Bride ,” i.e., the assembly of believers who are moved by the Spirit [4434] [see Note C., p. 494]; and thus also every individual is to speak who hears the joyful promise of the coming of the Lord ( καὶ ὁ ἀκ ., κ . τ . λ . In connection with the latter summons, John expressly adds ( καὶ ὁ διφῶν ) [4435] that the eternal blessings of life, which the coming Lord will distribute, are to be had gratuitously by every one who desires to receive them. [4436] This pertains only to the desire that is authenticated by the fidelity of obedience. The δωρεάν placed with great emphasis at the close, is truly of an evangelical character, and energetically defends the book against the charge of anti-Pauline Judaism. [4437]

[4433] Cf. Revelation 19:10 , Revelation 2:7 ; Revelation 2:11 .

[4434] Cf. Revelation 21:9 .

[4435] Cf. Revelation 21:6 ; Isaiah 55:1 .

[4436] Cf. Revelation 1:3 .

[4437] Cf. Romans 3:24 .


XCVIII. Revelation 22:11 . ὁ ῥυπαρὸς ῥυπανθήτω , κ . τ . λ .

Alford finds a parallel in our Lord’s saying, Matthew 26:45 : “ ‘Sleep on now, and take your rest;’ also Ezekiel 20:39 ;” and interprets the irony: “ ‘The time is so short that there is hardly room for change;’ the lesson conveyed in its depth being, ‘Change while there is time.’ ”


XCIX. Revelation 22:16 . ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις

Luthardt: “A congregational book; not a book merely for a few, and for a small circle, is this book of prophecy. And Jesus himself expressly confirms the fact that it is from Him. Who will venture to contradict Him?”


C. Revelation 22:17 . τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ ἡ νύμφη

Luthardt: “The Spirit, who lives in the Church, and the Bride, the Church, that lives in the Spirit, say ‘Come!’ This is all her sighing and longing.” Hengstenberg, however, qualifies this: “Not the Spirit who dwells in all believers (Romans 8:26 ), but the Spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10 ); the Spirit of the prophets (Revelation 22:6 ), in which John was on the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10 , Revelation 4:2 ), who also speaks through John in ch. Revelation 14:13 , who proclaims the promises in the seven epistles. The Spirit, and John his organ, as the representative of the Bride, proclaim ‘ Come .’ This ‘Come,’ spoken in her name by the organ of the Church, is a fact; they speak, and hence there follows the summons to all the individual members of the Church to join in this ‘ Come .’ ”

Verses 18-21

Revelation 22:18-21 . The close of the book in which the prophet has communicated to the churches the revelation given to him. Instead of the commendation, accompanied by rich promises, of the prophetical book, which stood in the beginning, [4438] there appears here likewise a threatening corresponding to its Divine authority against all who corrupt it (Revelation 22:18 sq.). The prophet then once more declares, as a word of the Lord himself, the chief sum of the entire revelation, by, on his part, meeting this promise of the Lord with the believing prayer for its fulfilment (Revelation 22:20 ), and then concludes with the Christian farewell greeting, corresponding to the address to the churches (Revelation 1:4 ).

The threatening (Revelation 22:18 sq.) has developed from the allusion in Deuteronomy 4:2 , [4439] but has been shaped ( ἘΠΙΘΉΣΕΙ Θ . ἘΠʼ ΑὐΤ . ΤᾺς ΠΛΗΓᾺς , Κ . Τ . Λ . , Revelation 22:18 ; ἈΦΕΛΕῖ Θ . ΤῸ ΜΈΡΟς ΑὐΤ . ἈΠῸ Τ . ΞΎΛΟΥ , Κ . Τ . Λ . , Revelation 22:19 ), according to the standard of the preceding descriptions, the threatened “plagues” being not only those described in ch. 16, which indeed in Revelation 15:1 ; Revelation 15:8 , are co-ordinated as the last described in the former visions, [4440] and is marked in its righteousness by the paronomastic mode of expression ( ἐάν τις ἐπιθῇ

ἐπιθήσει ὁ θεός ἀφέλῃ

ἀφελεῖ ). [4441] The threatening is presented in the most formal way, παντὶ τῲ ἀκούοντι τοὺς λόγους , κ . τ . λ ., i.e., to every one who, through the reading in the church, hears the prophetic discourses written in the present book. [4442] From this personal designation it results, at all events, that the threatening with the curse is not directed against inconsiderate transcribers; [4443] but on the other hand, Ew. i. and De Wette improperly press the expression τ . ἀκούοντι , when they refer the threat to the danger that what is received only with the ear in oral communication is easily falsified, and thus a distraction of Christian hope could be produced. Then the threatening must by its injustice create offence. [4444] But the ἀκούοντες come into consideration, not as mediators of the literary tradition, but as those who are to appropriate “the contents” of the prophetical book, revealed to them by God, notice that ἐάν τις ἐπιθῇ ἐπʼ αὐτά , is first said, for their own wrarning and encouragement, and are to maintain it in its purity, and to act accordingly. These fall under the curse when they arbitrarily falsify the revelation of God that has been given, because they will not approve the righteous ways of God, which are here described, [4445] and consequently call down upon themselves the wrathful judgments of God, which impend over unbelievers.

ὁ μαρτυρῶν ταῦτα , Christ. Cf. Revelation 1:2 , Revelation 19:10 . With a word of the coming Lord himself, which contains the very marrow of the entire revealed testimony given to the prophet, [4446] he concludes his book, not, however, without sealing with his Ἀμήν his believing acceptance of the Lord’s promise, [4447] and expressing his own longing for the Lord’s coming, in the sense of Revelation 22:17 .

[4438] Revelation 1:3 .

[4439] LXX.: οὑ προσθήσετε

καὶ οὐκ ἀφελεῖτε , κ . τ . λ .

[4440] On τ . μέρος αὐτ ., κ . τ . λ ., cf. Revelation 21:8 . Ewald: “Shall withdraw fellowship.”

[4441] Cf. Revelation 11:18 .

[4442] Cf. Revelation 1:3 . Ew., Dc Wette.

[4443] Vitr., Züll., Bleek, etc.

[4444] De Wette. Cf. also Luther, Introduction of 1522: “Besides, I think that it is entirely too much that he severely commends and threatens with respect to such a book of his own, more than other holy books, as though it were of much more Importance.”

[4445] Cf. Revelation 15:3 sq., Revelation 11:17 sqq.

[4446] Cf. Introduction, p. 28.

[4447] Cf. Revelation 5:14 , Revelation 19:4 .

The epistolary closing wish (Revelation 22:21 ) corresponds to the dedication (Revelation 1:4 sqq.) whence also the πάντων obtains its limitation. This is expressed incorrectly in the addition τῶν ἁλίων , but correctly in the ὑγῶν . Rec., Luth.

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 22". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/revelation-22.html. 1832.
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