Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 21:10

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   God;   Heaven;   Jerusalem;   Readings, Select;   Thompson Chain Reference - Future, the;   Heaven;   Heavenly;   Home;   Jerusalem, New;   New;   The Topic Concordance - Jerusalem;   Newness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jerusalem;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jerusalem;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Church, the;   Create, Creation;   Holy Spirit;   Jesus Christ;   New Jerusalem;   Touch;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Babylon, Mystical;   Canticles;   ;   Citizenship;   Heaven;   Noah;   Temple;   Thousand Years;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Art and Aesthetics;   Heaven;   Heavenly City, the;   Holy City;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Christianity;   Ephesians, Epistle to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Holiness Purity;   Holy Spirit (2);   Mount Mountain ;   New Jerusalem;   Parousia;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Temple;   Type;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bride;   Lamb;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Gareb;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Stones, Precious;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Jerusalem;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Heavens, New (and Earth, New);   Jerusalem, New;   Parousia;   Revelation of John:;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Eschatology;   Gems;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

To a great and high mountain - That, being above this city, he might see every street and lane of it.

The holy Jerusalem - See on Revelation 21:2; (note).

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And he carried me away in the spirit - Gave him a vision of the city; seemed to place him where he could have a clear view of it as it came down from heaven. See the notes on Revelation 1:10.

To a great and high mountain - The elevation, and the unobstructed range of view, gave him an opportunity to behold it in its glory.

And showed me that great city, … - As it descended from heaven. See the notes on Revelation 21:2.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he carried me away in the Spirit,.... John was in an ecstasy, as in Revelation 1:10 and in the thoughts and apprehensions of his mind and spirit, it seemed to him as if he was carried away from one place to another; for this was not a corporeal sight, nor were any of the visions he had, but what was represented to his mind or spirit; it being with him as it was with the Apostle Paul when he was caught up to the third heaven, who knew not whether he was in the body or out of the body. The Ethiopic version renders it, "the Spirit brought me"; not the evil spirit Satan, who took up our Lord corporeally, and carried him to an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of this world, and their glory, Matthew 4:8 but either a good angel, or the Spirit of God:

to a great and high mountain; to such an one was Ezekiel brought in the visions of God, when the frame of a city and temple was shown him, with their dimensions, Ezekiel 40:2 as here a city is shown to John, with its wall, gates, foundations, and their measures: and he was brought to such a place, partly that he might have the more plain and full view of it; and partly to suggest unto him, that now the church of Christ was established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, and was a city on a hill, which could not be hid, Isaiah 2:2.

And showed me that great city; which is no other than the church, the bride, the Lamb's wife; just as the apostate church, all along in this book before, is called the great city, Revelation 11:8 but now that being demolished, there is no other great city in being but the church of Christ, called a city before; Revelation 21:2 here a "great one", not only because of its prodigious large dimensions, Revelation 21:16 but because of the number of its inhabitants, being such as no man can number; and because it is the residence of the great King, the tabernacle of God will be in it; though this epithet is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin and all the Oriental versions: "the holy Jerusalem"; called "the new Jerusalem", Revelation 21:2 here "holy", in allusion to the city of Jerusalem, which was called the holy city, Matthew 4:5 on account of the temple in it, the place of divine worship; but here this city is so called, because it is the residence of the holy God, Father, Son, and Spirit, inhabited only by holy men, made perfectly so, and encompassed by holy angels.

Descending out of heaven from God; See Gill on Revelation 21:2.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and 7 high mountain, and shewed me 8 that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

(7) He means the place and stately seat of the Church, foreshadowed in a mountain. {(8)} A type of that Church which is one, ample, or catholic, holy celestial, built by God, in this verse: and glorious in the verse following (Revelation 21:11). This type propounded generally, is particularly declared; (Revelation 21:12).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The words correspond to Revelation 17:3, to heighten the contrast of the bride and harlot.

mountain — Compare Ezekiel 40:2, where a similar vision is given from a high mountain.

that great — omitted in A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian. Translate then, “the holy city Jerusalem.”

descending — Even in the millennium the earth will not be a suitable abode for transfigured saints, who therefore shall then reign in heaven over the earth. But after the renewal of the earth at the close of the millennium and judgment, they shall descend from heaven to dwell on an earth assimilated to heaven itself. “From God” implies that “we (the city) are God‘s workmanship.”

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-21.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

He carried me away in the Spirit (απηνεγκεν με εν πνευματιapēnegken me en pneumati). See same language in Revelation 17:7 when John received a vision of the Harlot City in a wilderness. Here it is “to a mountain great and high” (επι ορος μεγα και υπσηλονepi oros mega kai hupsēlon). So it was with Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40:2) and so the devil took Jesus (Matthew 4:8). It was apparently not Mount Zion (Revelation 14:1), for the New Jerusalem is seen from this mountain. “The Seer is carried thither ‹in spirit‘ (cf. Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:1); the Angel‘s δευροdeuro is a και εδειχεν μοιsursum cor to which his spirit under the influence of the ‹Spirit of revelation‘ (Ephesians 1:17) at once responds” (Swete).

And he shewed me (δεικνυμιkai edeixen moi). First aorist active indicative of δειχω σοιdeiknumi just as he had said he would do in Revelation 21:9 (καινηνdeixō soi I will shew thee). Precisely the same words about Jerusalem as in Revelation 21:2, save the absence of kainēn (New).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-21.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

In the Spirit

See on Revelation 1:10.

Mountain

Compare Ezekiel 40:2.

That great city, the holy Jerusalem

Omit great. Render the article as usual, and not as a demonstrative pronoun, and construe holy with city. So Rev., the holy city Jerusalem.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

And he carried me away in the spirit — The same expression as before, Revelation 17:3.

And showed me the holy city Jerusalem — The old city is now forgotten, so that this is no longer termed the new, but absolutely Jerusalem. O how did St. John long to enter in! but the time was not yet come. Ezekiel also describes "the holy city," and what pertains thereto, xl.-xlviii. Ezekiel 40:1-Eze but a city quite different from the old Jerusalem, as it was either before or after the Babylonish captivity. The descriptions of the prophet and of the apostle agree in many particulars; but in many more they differ. Ezekiel expressly describes the temple, and the worship of God therein, closely alluding to the Levitical service. But St. John saw no temple, and describes the city far more large, glorious, and heavenly than the prophet. Yet that which he describes is the same city; but as it subsisted soon after the destruction of the beast. This being observed, both the prophecies agree together and one may explain the other.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-21.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

And showed me that great city, &c. He represents himself as having previously seen the city descend; but now the scene is suddenly changed, and the same image appears to his view under another aspect. These cases of incoherence in the train of images, which are very common in this book, add to the rhetorical beauty of the work, considered as a composition,--such incoherence being essentially characteristic of visions and dreams.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-21.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Ver. 10. To a great and high mountain] As Moses was carried up into Mount Nebo that from thence he might view the promised land. He that would contemplate heaven must soar aloft, fly a high pitch, &c. Take a turn with Christ in Mount Tabor, and be transfigured.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-21.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 21:10

The Heavenly Jerusalem.

There is no subject dearer to the Christian heart than that of the heavenly city, the city of Christian poetry and of Christian hope. Let us take up two or three points in the inspired description of the city in this chapter, and consider what they really mean.

I. Consider what is said in the thirteenth verse: "on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates"—twelve gates, that is to say, and three on each side. Of course this is not to be understood literally, because walls and gates are to keep the enemy out and to keep the citizens in; but who can suppose that there will be any need either of defences or of restraints in the heavenly city? What do these twelve gates mean, then, three on each side? What, save that the city lieth open and accessible to all quarters, and to all quarters alike? Therefore take courage, O traveller Zionwards; if only thy face be set towards the holy city, thou too shalt surely find a gate open to admit thee, from whatever direction thou shalt come.

II. Consider what is written about the city in the sixteenth verse: that it lieth four-square, and the length is as large as the breadth; the length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal. If anything were needed to show us that these descriptions are not to be literally understood, but are purely spiritual, this single sentence would be enough. The city of the vision lieth as a solid cube, which is manifestly impossible. Yet the signification of this parable is as plain as it is blessed; what does it mean save the perfect and complete proportions of heavenly happiness and glory? How great and striking is the contrast between this and any human happiness, any earthly good, so unequal, so incomplete, as that always is.

III. Consider how it is written in the eighteenth verse that "the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass." We shall remember at once that no gold on earth is like this, for it is one of the qualities of gold to be opaque, however thin it may be beaten out; even gold-leaf is not transparent; the beauties of pure gold and of clear glass are never combined in this world. Nor if they were would the result be at all desirable for building purposes. But what does this universal transparency signify in heaven save that there will be nothing to hide, nothing to keep secret, but that all will be open to all, because nothing will be shameful and nothing selfish? The city was of pure gold, precious, costly, thrice refined, of pure gold like clear glass, open, transparent, unconcealing. What a marvel is this to think upon as we look forward to that pure glory! What mysteries of joy and hope lie hid for us beneath the seemingly fantastic imagery of the Scriptures!

R. Winterbotham, Sermons and Expositions, p. 352.


Reference: Revelation 21:10-21.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ix., p. 119.


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/revelation-21.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And he carried me away in the spirit; in a trance or ecstasy, as before.

To a great and high mountain; from whence men use to have the best prospect of cities, or other places.

And showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God; there he caused me to see the whole triumphant church, answering as the antitype to Jerusalem, but more holy; being not of the earth, earthly, but from heaven, heavenly; founded, built up, and adorned by God.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-21.html. 1685.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

A mountain, great and high ... John had needed no such vantage point as this for viewing the great whore (Revelation 17:3); but it was only from such a lofty pinnacle as this that he could behold the glory of the Lamb's wife. "The heavenly city is to be described only from an exalted viewpoint, perhaps the high point of faith."[27]

Coming down out of heaven from God ... What an incredibly wonderful thought is this! That the church, which is made of ordinary mortals who came through the toils, struggles, temptations, and sorrows of life shall at last possess and exhibit the very glory of God himself - this indeed is the reward of the saints. "Till the dawn of eternity itself, this holy Jerusalem can never appear any other way than as 'coming down out of heaven from God'; for it owes its total existence to the condescension of God, and not to the works of men."[28]

[27] Leon Morris, op. cit., p. 249.

[28] G. B. Caird, The Revelation of St. John the Divine (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), p. 271.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

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).

"The holy city descending from God out of heaven should be understood as a "real event" within the visionary experience.... The descent is an announcement in visionary terms of a future event which will usher in the eternal state. That the city comes down from God means that the eternal blessedness is not an achievement of man but a gift from God." [Note: Mounce, p378.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-21.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 21:10. The Seer is carried in the spirit, for this purpose, to a great and high mountain. The object is that he may command a more uninterrupted view of the holy city as she descends in all her glory from heaven to earth. It was from the top of an ‘exceeding high mountain’ that Satan showed our Lord all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and for a similar purpose, that he may see more clearly the grandeur of the spectacle before his eyes, is St. John elevated to this height. Comparison of Ezekiel 40:2, Isaiah 2:2, and Hebrews 12:22 makes it probable that the city was situated upon the ‘mountain,’ and we are therefore to understand this word not in the sense of a solitary peak but, as often in the Gospels, in that of a range of mountains where from peak to peak the view is less hampered than in the plain. The harlot in chap. 17 was a city, Babylon; the Lamb’s wife is a city, New Jerusalem.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-21.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

spirit. App-101.

that great. The texts omit, and read "the holy city Jerusalem".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

The words correspond to Revelation 17:3, to heighten the contrast of the Bride and the harlot.

Mountain - (cf. Ezekiel 40:2.) that great. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, 'The holy city Jerusalem.' A perfect cube: the complete elect Church.

Descending. Even in the millennium the earth will not be a suitable abode for transfigured saints, who therefore shall reign in heaven over the earth. But after the millennium and judgment, they shall descend from heaven to dwell on an earth renewed, and assimilated to heaven itself. "From God" implies, 'we (the from heaven to dwell on an earth renewed, and assimilated to heaven itself. "From God" implies, 'we (the city) are God's building' (1 Corinthians 3:9).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) And he carried me away in the spirit . . .—Better, He carried me away in spirit on to a mountain, great and high. It is not merely that the height gives a fine view-ground, the symbolism carries us further. The glimpse of God’s coming glories is best gained from the consecrated heights of self-surrender and prayer. On a mountain apart—the mountain of supplication and separation from the world—is the light and glory of God best seen. There are Beulah heights and transfiguration heights from which we may gain glimpses of the city and the glory of the Lord of the city. (Comp. Matthew 17:1-4.) The angel carried away the seer to a mountain great and high, and showed him (not “that great city,” but) the holy city Jerusalem descending out of the heaven from (having its origin from) God. The tempter showed to our Lord the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; the comforting angel shows to our Lord’s prophet the city that hath the foundations, and the glory of it—the city that is of God, its builder and maker. (Comp. Hebrews 11:10, where the right rendering is not “a city,” but the city which hath the foundations.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-21.html. 1905.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

2. And he carried me away in the spirit unto a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God--21:10.

The phrase in the spirit here is the same expression as that used in chapter 1:10 and it did not refer to the Holy Spirit in either of the passages, but rather indicated the visional rapture in which John was shown these things. It was in the spirit--his own spirit--that he was carried away to the place where these things were unfolded to him in vision.

The visional point to which he was carried was a great and high mountain. This apocalyptic panorama was a part of the imagery of the exaltation of the Jerusalem Bride. The same metaphorical language was used by Isaiah in a prophetic description of the pre-eminence of the church in its spiritual elevation above the level of all institutions of men. "The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it." (Isaiah 2:2) In the same figurative character and language, John was carried in spirit to the mountain. It was not a mere mountain upon which the church was to be established in Isaiah's prophecy, but in the top of the mountains; and it is altogether fitting that John should be transported in spirit to a great and high mountain to be shown the grandeur and glory of the triumphant church.

From this eminent visional peak John saw the holy Jerusalem descending. It was designated the holy Jerusalem in contrast with the harlot Jerusalem. No greater or more impressive attributive title could have been ascribed to the Bride of Christ than that of the Holy City Jerusalem.

In this vision of elevation the entranced Seer saw that great city descending--it had not already descended, the events were yet in process, but the end was in sight. It was about to be the culmination of the entire apocalypse.

The Holy City was descending out of heaven from God-- that is, the visional emergence of the Woman from that place prepared of God mentioned in chapter 12:6, and compared with Matthew 24:16 in the comments in chapter twelve on these two related passages. The holy city, the church, was seen descending from God--that is, from the place prepared of God where God had protected her and preserved her in that period of tribulation. Upon the lofty mountain height, from a position where the Seer could descry the distant descent of the marvellous City, as if to discover by the eye an object at far focus and observe its approach, this vision of the New Jerusalem was unfolded to the revelator.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-21.html. 1966.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
he carried
1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 1 Kings 18:12; 2 Kings 2:16; Ezekiel 3:14; 8:3; 11:1,24; 40:1-3; Acts 8:39; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
that
2; Ezekiel 40:1-49; 48:15-22
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 34:1 - showed him;  1 Kings 11:36 - the city;  Ezra 3:11 - because;  Psalm 46:4 - city;  Psalm 48:1 - city;  Psalm 87:3 - Glorious;  Psalm 122:3 - builded;  Song of Solomon 4:9 - my spouse;  Song of Solomon 6:9 - The daughters;  Song of Solomon 6:10 - Who;  Isaiah 2:2 - the mountain;  Isaiah 49:16 - thy walls;  Isaiah 62:4 - Beulah;  Jeremiah 31:4 - build;  Jeremiah 33:2 - the maker;  Ezekiel 20:40 - in mine;  Ezekiel 40:2 - a very;  Ezekiel 42:20 - a separation;  Daniel 9:20 - for;  Hosea 2:19 - And I will;  Zechariah 2:5 - the glory;  Zechariah 8:3 - the holy;  Matthew 5:35 - the city;  John 14:2 - my;  Ephesians 5:27 - glorious;  Philippians 3:20 - conversation;  Hebrews 12:22 - the city;  Revelation 3:12 - the city

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-21.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

He carried me away was not literal because John never actually left the isle any time through the scenes of this book. The sense in which it was done is signified by the words in the spirit. These extra visions injected into the over-all picture-of this book, may be illustrated by certain special items called "insets" that are often seen within the scope of some large picture. They serve as explanations of some outstanding feature. In this special vision John saw a mountain from the top of which he could get a good view of what the angel wished him to see. 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). Descending out of heaven from God. That was very appropriate because while the church is composed of men and women on the earth, the design and origin of it were from the dwelling place of God. .

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-21.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 21:10

Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

That great city the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God

Read Hebrews 12:22-24.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-21.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 21:10. And he brought me in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and shelved me the city[Note: Luther: The great city, according to the rending πό λιν τὴ ν μεγά λην.] the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. That the mountain great and high is destined for the site of the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven, which was denied in their perplexity by those who would transfer the new Jerusalem to heaven (by such the mountain was considered only as a watch-tower, like the Pisgah from which Moses beheld the land of Canaan), appears first from the consideration advanced by Bengel, "In the wilderness, whither John himself had been carried, was the whore herself, therefore, also on the great and high mountain, to which he is now borne, is the city itself. Being there it stands in the view of all the nations, Revelation 21:16, Matthew 5:14." The same thing is further manifest from the Old Testament fundamental passages. Ezekiel, according to Ezekiel 40:2, after the overthrow of the city and temple, was led in the visions of God into the land of Israel, and placed there upon a very high mountain, "whereon there was like the building of a city toward the south." He was brought there, that he might be quite near the city, and get a close view of it. In Ezekiel 17:22-23 also a high and lofty mountain is spoken of in respect to the future glorification of the kingdom of God: The Zion, which even in the times of the Old Testament, when viewed with the eyes of the Spirit, appeared very high (comp. Psalms 148:3-4, "Beautiful through its height, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion in the extreme north, the city of the great king," Psalms 68:16), grows in the future to a measureless elevation (comp. Ezekiel 20:40). The last fundamental passage is Micah 4:1 (comp. Isaiah 2:2), where the future surpassing glory of the church is represented under the symbol of Zion's elevation above all mountains.

The old Jerusalem is so little thought of in respect to the new, that the latter is here simply called Jerusalem.

Bengel remarks, "The angel said, he would shew John the bride; and now he shews him a city; even as before he had said, he would shew him the great whore, and shewed him the city Babylon. It is, therefore, pre-eminently the inhabitants of Babylon and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that are respectively meant." Ch. Revelation 19:7-8, plainly shews, that by the bride is primarily intended the church in respect to its members. In the city also the inhabitants hold the most important place. But the body, the outward state, in which the soul resides, comes also into consideration, as well as the soul itself. The bride and the city would be but imperfectly seen, if the persons alone, apart from the accompanying circumstances, were presented to view.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-21.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.In the spirit—In the visional trance.

Great and high mountain—Not as the place on which the city was built, but as the standpoint of his survey of the city. So one gets a view of the old Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

It would doubtless require a very high mountain to afford a clear view of this metropolis of heaven. Apparently on a vast plain of the heavenly land, it rose up before the seer a stupendous luminous cube. It stood upon the surface 375 miles square, and towered up into the pure space 375 miles high! Of this cube the sides were jasper; a softly green transparency. And, as the divine Essence was centralized in the city, so this city cube was a vehicle of his glory which radiated a soft, vernal day over this heavenly earth. It was a great Kohi-noor, throwing light and life over the celestial world. Of this cubic city twelve layers of precious stones formed the basement; each layer of different hued radiance. So that this basement presented to the eye so many horizontal streaks of various brilliant colours.

Into each of the four walls there opened three lofty gates; each gate made of one massive pearl. The material of the solid city structure was a transparent gold, divided by streets and squares and places. No grander conception of the kind ever proceeded from the genius of poet or painter. And if the extraordinary height seems enormous, we must remember that it is a capitol as well as a capital. The angel-like citizens of the land of the resurrection, to whose will gravitation is subordinate, have no difficulty with its lofty chambers; and here may be laid up the books (Revelation 20:12) of the universal library, and the archives of the divine Sovereign over the nations of this wide and glorious monarchy.

We have narrated in such order as might give a united impression of this cube-city. The seer, however, narrates in the order that the perceptions of the distant object dawned upon his eye. Note, Revelation 1:12-15. First the general contour of jasper-hued walls, with the gates and foundations, 11-14. Then a regular measurement of its magnitudes, 15-17. Then a detailed picture of the many-coloured foundations, 18-21. Then its illumination, irradiating the nations, who frequent it from afar, 22-27. Last, are the throne, and the tree and river of life, Revelation 22:1-5. And that closes this apocalypse in triumphal glory. Old Babylon has been sent to hell, and New Jerusalem brought from heaven.

Descending—This resplendent block, itself of mountain size, John sees (so he declares in Revelation 21:2) descending from the opened firmament, and taking its position on the plane of the celestial earth.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-21.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

A fresh vision, marked by a new transport of ecstasy (cf.Ezekiel 3:14; Ezekiel 11:1, etc.).— , the vantage-ground of elevation from which the seer views the site and buildings. If the hill is the site of the city, it is a truncated cone like Cirta, or a terraced zikkurat. Ezra sees the vision of the descent of the new Jerusalem in a field of flowers (cf. 4 Esd. 9:26 f., 13:35 f.), but John follows either the older tradition of Enoch (En. xxiv., xxv.) who visited a high mountain which, as his cicerone Michael explained, was the throne of God “where the great and holy One, the Lord of glory, the King of eternity, will sit when he shall descend to visit the earth with goodness,” or more probably the primitive association of paradise with a mountain (cf. Oesterley’s Evol. of Mess. Idea, 129 f., Volz, 375).

 

 

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 21:10". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-21.html. 1897-1910.