Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 21:2

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Bride;   Church;   Heaven;   Jerusalem;   Readings, Select;   Restoration;   Types;   Thompson Chain Reference - Adorning;   Beauty, Spiritual;   Beauty-Disfigurement;   Bride;   Bridegroom;   Christ;   Church;   Future, the;   Heaven;   Heavenly;   Home;   Jerusalem, New;   Names;   New;   Similitudes;   Spiritual;   Titles and Names;   The Topic Concordance - Covenant;   Earth;   Heaven/the Heavens;   Jerusalem;   Newness;   Sorrow;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ Is God;   Cities;   Excellency and Glory of the Church, the;   Jerusalem;   Tabernacle;   Titles and Names of the Church;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jerusalem;   Solomon's Song;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   City;   Eschatology;   Marriage;   Millennium;   Peace;   Prophecy, prophet;   Vision;   Zion;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Animals;   Beauty;   Christians, Names of;   Church, the;   Confidence;   Create, Creation;   God;   Jerusalem;   Jesus Christ;   New Command;   New Creation;   New Heavens and a New Earth;   New Jerusalem;   Restore, Renew;   Song of Solomon, Theology of;   Touch;   World;   Worship;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Type, typology;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Solomon, Song of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Canticles;   ;   Citizenship;   Heaven;   Marriage;   Noah;   Revelation of John, the;   Thousand Years;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bride;   Heaven;   Heavenly City, the;   Holy City;   Jewels, Jewelry;   Revelation, the Book of;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hope;   Jehovah-Shammah;   Marriage;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - City;   Clothes;   Dependence;   Eschatology;   Family;   Holiness Purity;   Marriage (I.);   New Jerusalem;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Type;   Union with God;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bride;   Eternal State;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Bride;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Marriage;   Solomon the song of;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Marriage;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Bride;   Jerusalem;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Bride;   Jerusalem;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Heavens, New (and Earth, New);   Husband;   Jerusalem, New;   New;   Parousia;   Revelation of John:;   Song of Songs;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Eschatology;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And I John - The writer of this book; whether the evangelist and apostle, or John the Ephesian presbyter, has been long doubted in the Church.

New Jerusalem - See the notes on Galatians 4:24-27; (note). This doubtless means the Christian Church in a state of great prosperity and purity; but some think eternal blessedness is intended.

Coming down from God - It is a maxim of the ancient Jews that both the tabernacle, and the temple, and Jerusalem itself, came down from heaven. And in Midrash Hanaalem, Sohar Gen. fol. 69, col. 271, Rab. Jeremias said, "The holy blessed God shall renew the world, and build Jerusalem, and shall cause it to descend from heaven." Their opinion is, that there is a spiritual temple, a spiritual tabernacle, and a spiritual Jerusalem; and that none of these can be destroyed, because they subsist in their spiritual representatives. See Schoettgen.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven - See the Analysis of the chapter. On the phrase “new Jerusalem,” see the Galatians 4:26 note, and Hebrews 12:22 note. Here it refers to the residence of the redeemed, the heavenly world, of which Jerusalem was the type and symbol. It is here represented as “coming down from God out of heaven.” This, of course, does not mean that this great city was “literally” to descend upon the earth, and to occupy any one part of the renovated world; but it is a symbolical or figurative representation, designed to show that the abode of the righteous will be splendid and glorious. The idea of a city literally descending from heaven, and being set upon the earth with such proportions - three hundred and seventy miles high Revelation 21:16, made of gold, and with single pearls for gates, and single gems for the foundations - is absurd. No man can suppose that this is literally true, and hence this must be regarded as a figurative or emblematic description. It is a representation of the heavenly state under the image of a beautiful city, of which Jerusalem was, in many respects, a natural and striking emblem.

Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband - See the notes on Isaiah 49:18; Isaiah 61:10. The purpose here is, to represent it as exceedingly beautiful. The comparison of the church with a bride, or a wife, is common in the Scriptures. See the Revelation 19:7-8 notes, and Isaiah 1:21 note. It is also common in the Scriptures to compare a city with a beautiful woman, and these images here seem to be combined. It is a beautiful city that seems to descend, and this city is itself compared with a richly-attired bride prepared for her husband,

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-21.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Revelation 21:2

The holy city, New Jerusalem.

The descent of the New Jerusalem

When tired of the turmoils of the present, how delightful it is to look up and hear, from the blessed source of all transgression, “Behold, I make all things new!” (chap. 5). All things--science, literature, arts, philosophies, commerce, trade, intercourse between countries and provinces, and above all, in religion--all things will be made new. This new golden age belongs to a more interior Christianity than earth has yet received: an inner city for the soul, which was imaged by that which John saw, a golden city and a crystal one, descending from the Lord out of heavens a New Church, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. Some are startled when they hear of a new Church; yet nothing can be plainer than that such a Church was in due time to be given to men. Jerusalem in the Scriptures signifies the Church: a New Jerusalem must therefore mean a New Church. The magnificent city beheld in spirit by John was a grand symbol of the future new and glorious Church which would bless the earth. It is to descend from God, the Father of His people and the Author of all good out of heaven. It does not originate with man. When the Lord came into the world and planted the kingdom of God within men, as He said (Luke 17:20-21), it is foretold by the prophet in similar terms to those used by John, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,” etc. (Isaiah 65:17-18). To alter the state of society altogether, both as to its principles and practices, is to change heaven and earth. “If any man be in Christ,” said Paul, “he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). And, indeed, when this happy change takes place with any one individually, he feels all things to have a new face and a new reality for him. His view of the Lord is altogether bright and new, where it had before been dark and threatening. His thoughts, his hopes, his prospects, are altogether confident and cheerful, and his outward life is new and virtuous. And may we not look around now, and ask, Is it not so? Has not society, even now, immensely changed? Where are the old bigoted principles which taught men to go out and persecute, and even destroy others, in the name of God? Where all the old maxims which taught each nation to regard others as their natural enemies, and to injure and destroy their power and their trade as a patriotic act and a duty? Where are the selfish maxims which confined power and privilege to a few to whom all others should slavishly bend? These are all gone, or rapidly going; and, instead of their unholy reign, we see constantly advanced and constantly extending sentiments of brotherhood, of reverential remembrance that we are all children of One who is our Father and our Saviour. Every year the mutual intercourse of nations, and the good-will which is its attendant, are extending, and, aided by the victorious march of steam and telegraph, will no doubt ere long unite all nations in the ties of mutual love. A new heaven and a new earth are indeed appearing. And now, therefore, is the time that the New Jerusalem may be expected. Oh, what a hope and a blessing for mankind are unfolded by the descent of this city of God! To those who enter it the perplexities of ages are ended. Enmity gives way to love, anxiety to trust, and crime to virtue. God in His Divine humanity dwells with men. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. (J. Bailey, Ph. D.)

Heaven

“I saw the holy city.” The words are allegorical of course. But they signify something in which we all believe. A city is a real thing. Not the less real if it be heavenly. “The holy city” is what we commonly call heaven.

I. Heaven is a state. It is not a place. It may or may not be connected with space: we know not. Certainly that is not its essence. Where God is, where Christ is, there is heaven. If even it have a place, that is not what makes it heaven. Even already, even in this life, we have had experience that neither place nor yet circumstance is a condition of happiness. Such glimpses of happiness as we catch below, whether in others or in ourselves, are absolutely independent of both. Heaven is a state--a state of happiness; of perfect satisfaction for the whole man, in body, soul, and spirit; the entire absence for ever of all that is painful and bitter and sorrowful, and the conscious, the pervading presence of all that is restful and delightful and blessed.

II. Heaven is a society. On the one side we have had trying experiences in this world of companies and co-existences which were not delightful. The wear and tear of life, the rubs and jars of life, the annoyances and wearinesses of life, are connected in our “thoughts not with solitude but with society. But when we speak of heaven, of the Holy City, as a society, we must carefully exclude all these experiences. In heaven there will be perfect communion of mind with mind, heart with heart, spirit with spirit.

1. In his vision of the great multitude which no man could number he gives this as the history of them all (Revelation 7:14).

2. There will be this also--a unity of employment (Revelation 14:4; Revelation 22:3). There will be no monotony there--but there will be unbroken harmony; harmony not of praise only but of work.

3. This unity of memory, and this unity of employment in the holy city, will be, further, and yet more briefly, a unity of worship. (Dean Vaughan.)

The New Jerusalem

But why a New Jerusalem? Because the old one failed of its purpose, and was spoiled by the wickedness of man. What is the idea of Jerusalem as depicted in the Bible? Simply a city where everything is at peace because it is under the full enjoyment of God’s presence, a city which is safe and happy because it allows itself to be guided and ruled by God in every detail. As, however, this old Jerusalem failed of its object, it is the work of God in the Christian dispensation to form a new one. And this is going on now; we are still hoping for and working towards the New Jerusalem. But God does not tell us merely to look forward to it. Just as in the wilderness He was with His people, foreshadowing the glory of Jerusalem in the glory of the tabernacle, so now He is still going about with humanity. We are not, then, to look forward to a Jerusalem as something which will be entirely new, or to a heaven which will be absolutely strange, but rather it is our duty in this world to build up a social life upon such principles as we know will form the basis of life in the future state. There are three great principles appearing over and over again in the Apocalypse in its references to this heavenly society, the New Jerusalem; and the first is that it is a life of brotherhood, of social brotherhood. All the beings to be found there are of one mind, of one heart and soul, before the throne of God, all singing one song, all clothed in the same dress. They are a great brotherhood banded together with but one aim, one desire--and that the glory of Almighty God. The second great principle of the New Jerusalem is the awfulness of sin; over and over again we are told that out of it must be cast everything that is unclean; every sin must be banished. God Almighty is the Light of it, and He cannot look upon impurity. Once more, the third great principle is the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ. Who is the object of worship in heaven? Who is on the throne whom all the saints and angels are worshipping and adoring? Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Alpha arid Omega, the Beginning and the End, In the New Jerusalem there is but one object of adoration--the Lord Jesus. There is but one beginning and ending, but one answer to every question--Christ. What we want is greater faith in Jesus Christ; a greater belief that God is as good as His word, and that though the world does present a very sorry appearance, and though the Church may seem to be an utter failure, still God is on His throne, and Jesus is interceding for us, and the saints and angels are on our side. But remember, we must be true to our part of the transaction; He needs our co-operation, and it is only by thus working together that we shall produce the New Jerusalem. (James Adderley, M. A.)

The first city and the last

(with Genesis 4:17):--In Genesis we have the first city built by Cain, in Revelation the last city built by Christ. I wish to show how the spirit of Christ will purify and exalt city life, how it will arrest the evil of the multitude within the city walls, how it will develop the good, and bring the corporate life to a glorious perfection. It was said of Augustus that he found Rome brick and left it marble; but Christ shall work a far grander transformation, for, finding the cities of the earth cities of Cain, He shall change them into New Jerusalems, holy cities, cities of God. We must not look for the city that John saw in some future world, strange and distant; we must look for it in the purification of the present order. Now, what makes a great city a sad sight? what is the cause of its terrible and perplexing contrasts? and how will Christ cure these evils, and bring the clean thing out of the unclean?

I. The spirit of Cain was the spirit of ungodliness. It was the spirit of worldliness, it was the fastening to the earthly side of things, and the leaving out of the spiritual and Divine: it made material life a substitute for God, and in all things aimed to make man independent of God. In opposition to this Christ brings into city life the element of spirituality. “Coming down out of heaven from God.” It is in the recognition of the living God that Christ creates the fairer civilisation. He puts into our heart assurance of God’s existence, government, watchfulness, equity, faithfulness.

II. The spirit of Cain was the spirit of unbrotherliness. The first city was built in the spirit of a cruel egotism, built by a fratricide, and Cain’s red finger-marks are on the city still. The rich things of commerce are stained by extortion and selfishness--the bloody finger-marks are not always immediately visible, but they are generally there, Yes, the foundation-stone of the city was laid on the corpse of a brother, and ever since has the city been built up in the spirit of rapacity, ambition, and cruelty. And what is the outcome of this selfishness? It creates everywhere weakness and wretchedness and peril. It throws a strange black shadow on all the magnificence of civilisation. And in the end, whatever has the stain of blood on it rots and smells and perishes. The spirit of Christ is the spirit of brotherliness. There are red marks once more on the new city, but this time they are the Builder’s own blood, teaching us that as He laid down His life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Oh! what a mighty difference will the working of this spirit make in all our civilisation! How it will inspire men, soften their antagonisms, lighten their burdens, wipe away their tears, make rough places smooth, dark places bright, crooked places plain.

III. The spirit of Cain was the spirit of unrighteousness. Cain acted in untruthfulness, injustice, violence. Our great populations are full of wretchedness, because there is everywhere such lack of truth and equity and mercy. The spirit of Christ is the spirit of righteousness. Christ comes not only with the sweetness of love, but with the majesty of truth and justice. He creates, wherever He is received, purity of heart, conscientiousness, faithfulness, uprightness of spirit and action. And in this spirit of righteousness shall we build the ideal city. Some time ago, in one of the Reviews, a writer gave a picture of the London of the future, when all sanitary and political improvements shall have been perfected. No dust in the streets, no smoke in the air, no noise, no fog, spaces everywhere for flowers and sunlight, the sky above always pure, the Thames running below a tide of silver; but think of the city of the future in whose life, laws, institutions, trade, politics, pleasure the righteousness of Christ shall find full and final manifestation. Where is the poet, the painter who shall paint for us that golden city so holy and clean? It is painted for us here; it is “the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven,” etc. (W. L. Watkinson.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Revelation 21:2". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/revelation-21.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I John saw the holy city,.... The same with the beloved city in Revelation 20:9 the church of God: sometimes the church militant is called a city, of which the saints are now fellow citizens, governed by wholesome laws, and enjoying many privileges; but here the general assembly and church of the firstborn, or all the elect of God, are intended, the whole body and society of them, being as a city, compact together; called holy, not only because set apart to holiness by God the Father, and their sins expiated by the blood of Christ, or because he is made sanctification to them, or because internally sanctified by the Spirit of God, which now is but in part; but because they will be perfectly holy in themselves, without the being of sin in them, or any spot of it on them: and John, for the more strong ascertaining the truth of this vision, expresses his name, who saw it, to whom God sent his angel, and signified to him by these Apocalyptic visions what should be hereafter; though the name is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions:

new Jerusalem; the church of God, both in the Old and New Testament, is often called Jerusalem, to which its name, which signifies the vision of peace, agrees; it was the city of the great King, whither the tribes went up to worship; it was a free city, and a fortified one: the Gospel church state in its imperfection is called the heavenly Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem above, which is free, and the mother of all; and here the church in its perfect state is called the new Jerusalem, where will be complete peace and prosperity; and which is called new, because it has its seat in the new heaven and new earth: the inhabitants of which will appear in their new and shining robes of immortality and glory; and to distinguish it from the old Jerusalem, and even from the former state of the church; for this will be תליתאה "the third time" that Jerusalem will be built, as say the Jews, namely, in the time of the King MessiahF18Zohar in Gen. fol. 126. 4. :

coming down from God out of heaven; which designs not the spiritual and heavenly original of the saints, being born from above, on which account the church is called the heavenly Jerusalem; but a local descent of all the saints with Christ from the third heaven into the air, where they will be met by living saints; and their bodies being raised and united to their souls, they will reign with Christ in the new earth: and this is

"the building which the Jews say God will prepare for the Jerusalem which is above, לנחתא, "to descend into"F19Ib. fol. 103. 4. :'

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; Christ is the husband, or bridegroom, and the church is his spouse, and bride; and in these characters they will both appear at this time, when the marriage between them will be consummated: and the church may be said to be prepared as such, when all the elect of God are gathered in, the number of the saints is perfected; when the good work of grace is finished in them all, and they are all arrayed in the righteousness of Christ: and to be "adorned", when not only they are clothed with the robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, and are beautified with the graces of the Spirit, but also with the bright robes of immortality and glory. The phrase is Jewish, and is to be read exactly as here in the book of ZoharF20Zohar in Gen. fol. 53. 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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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

(2) The state of this glorious Church is first described generally to (Revelation 21:3-8), and then specially and by parts, in the verses following. The general description consists in a vision shown afar off, (Revelation 21:2) and in speech spoken from heaven. In the general these things are common, that the Church is holy, new, the workmanship of God, heavenly, most glorious, the spouse of Christ, and partaker of his glory in this verse.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

And I John — “John” is omitted in A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Andreas; also the “I” in the Greek of these authorities is not emphatic. The insertion of “I John” in the Greek would somewhat interfere with the close connection which subsists between “the new heaven and earth,” Revelation 21:1, and the “new Jerusalem” in this verse.

Jerusalem  …  out of heaven — (Revelation 3:12; Galatians 4:26, “Jerusalem which is above”; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:14). The descent of the new Jerusalem out of heaven is plainly distinct from the earthly Jerusalem in which Israel in the flesh shall dwell during the millennium, and follows on the creation of the new heaven and earth. John in his Gospel always writes [Greek] {(Hierosoluma} of the old city; in the Apocalypse always Hierousaleem of the heavenly city (Revelation 3:12). {Hierousaleem} is a Hebrew name, the original and holy appellation. {Hierosoluma} is the common Greek term, used )in a political sense. Paul observes the same distinction when refuting Judaism (Galatians 4:26; compare Galatians 1:17, Galatians 1:18; Galatians 2:1; Hebrews 12:22), though not so in the Epistles to Romans and Corinthians [Bengel].

bride — made up of the blessed citizens of “the holy city.” There is no longer merely a Paradise as in Eden (though there is that also, Revelation 2:7), no longer a mere garden, but now the city of God on earth, costlier, statelier, and more glorious, but at the same time the result of labor and pains such as had not to be expended by man in dressing the primitive garden of Eden. “The lively stones” were severally in time laboriously chiseled into shape, after the pattern of “the Chief corner-stone,” to prepare them for the place which they shall everlastingly fill in the heavenly Jerusalem.

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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 21:2". "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

The holy city, new Jerusalem (την πολιν την αγιαν Ιερουσαλημ καινηνtēn polin tēn hagian Ierousalēm kainēn). “The New Earth must have a new metropolis, not another Babylon, but another and greater Jerusalem” (Swete), and not the old Jerusalem which was destroyed a.d. 70. It was called the Holy City in a conventional way (Matthew 4:5; Matthew 27:53), but now in reality because it is new and fresh (καινηνkainēn), this heavenly Jerusalem of hope (Hebrews 12:22), this Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26.) where our real citizenship is (Philippians 3:20).

Coming down out of heaven from God (καταβαινουσαν εκ του ουρανου απο του τεουkatabainousan ek tou ouranou apo tou theou). Glorious picture caught by John and repeated from Revelation 3:12 and again in Revelation 21:10. But Charles distinguishes this new city of God from that in 21:9-22:2 because there is no tree of life in this one. But one shrinks from too much manipulation of this symbolism. It is better to see the glorious picture with John and let it tell its own story.

Made ready (ητοιμασμενηνhētoimasmenēn). Perfect passive participle of ετοιμαζωhetoimazō as in Revelation 19:7. The Wife of the Lamb made herself ready in her bridal attire.

As a bride adorned (ως νυμπην κεκοσμημενηνhōs numphēn kekosmēmenēn). Perfect passive participle of κοσμεωkosmeō old verb (from κοσμοςkosmos ornament like our cosmetics), as in Revelation 21:19. Only here the figure of bride is not the people of God as in Revelation 19:7, but the abode of the people of God (the New Jerusalem).

For her husband (τωι ανδρι αυτηςtōi andri autēs). Dative case of personal interest.

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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 21:2". "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

I John

Omit John.

New Jerusalem

Others join new with coming down, and render coming down new out of heaven.

A bride

Compare Isaiah 61:10; Isaiah 62:5.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "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 I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I saw the holy city — The new heaven, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem, are closely connected. This city is wholly new, belonging not to this world, not to the millennium, but to eternity. This appears from the series of the vision, the magnificence of the description, and the opposition of this city to the second death, Revelation 20:11,12; 21:1; 2,5,8,9; 22:5.

Coming down — In the very act of descending.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-21.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

All the ideas of earthly greatness and magnificence entertained by the Jews were centred in the city of Jerusalem. A new Jerusalem was therefore an appropriate symbol under which to convey a high conception of the splendors of the heavenly state.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-21.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Ver. 2. The holy city] The Church in glory, saith Diodate. The Church wayfaring and warfaring, saith Brightman, whose interpretation of this text, Nitur coniectura optabili magis quam opinabili, saith Pareus, is more to be wished than imagined. The glory of Christ’s bride is fitter to be believed than possible to be discoursed, saith Prosper. The Italians have this proverb among them, He that hath not seen Venice, believes not the bravery of it; and he that hath not lived somewhile there, understandeth it not. This is much more true of Uranople, the New Jerusalem. St John’s New Jerusalem, and Ezekiel’s city and temple, from Ezekiel 40:1-49 to the end, are contemporary (say some), and signify one and the same thing. (Haffen refferus.)

As a bride adorned, &c.] Bishop Ridley, the night before he suffered, invited his hostess and the rest at table to his marriage; for, said he, tomorrow I must be married. Some other martyrs went as merrily to die as ever they did to dine.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-21.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 21:2. ἱερουσαλὴμ) It is not without reason that John always writes in his Gospel ἱεροσόλυμα, of the old city; in the Apocalypse always ἱερουσαλὴμ, of the heavenly city. ἱερουσαλὴμ is a Hebrew name, the original and more holy one: ἱεροσόλυμα, afterwards in ordinary use, is a Greek name, and rather used in a political sense. St Paul observes the same difference, when refuting Judaism, Galatians 4:26 (comp. the same Epistle, Revelation 1:17-18, Revelation 2:1); Hebrews 12:22, although at other times he uses them indiscriminately, and says to the Romans and Corinthians, for the sake of σεμνότητος [dignity] and to win their favour, ἱερουσαλήμ.— εἶδον, I saw) The more recent Editions have incorrectly introduced the name of John in this verse.(224) It was the beginning of an ecclesiastical section [used in the services of the Church]; but the text itself most closely connects together the new heaven, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem. The new city has no connection with the millennium, as Lange and some others judge, Comm. Apoc. f. 241, etc.; but it belongs to the state of perfect renovation and eternity, as is shown by the series of visions, the magnificence of the description, and the opposition to the second death: ch. Revelation 20:11-12, Revelation 21:1-2; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 21:8-9, Revelation 22:5.— καταβαίνουσαν, coming down) This may be taken in vision, respecting the act of descending: in the reality signified, without reference to that act, it may be understood of the state of the Divine συγκατάβασις to men. For in Topographies, words which convey the idea of motion, often signify a condition, and among them this very verb of descending: Psalms 104:8; Joshua 15:3; Joshua 15:10, etc. The whole city is inclusive and included; in so far as it includes the inhabitants, it descends.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-21.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The holy city, new Jerusalem; that is, the whole chorus or number of the elect of God, answering God’s chosen people in Jerusalem.

Coming down from God out of heaven; not locally coming down, but who had their original from heaven, and were all persons of heavenly minds.

Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; in their best robes of glory, such as brides use to wear, when on their wedding day they adorn themselves for their bridegrooms.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-21.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

святой Иерусалим, новый Ср. 3:12; Евр. 11:10; 12:22-24; 13:14. Это город-столица на небесах, место совершенной святости. Он показан «сходящим с небес», чем подчеркивается, что он уже существовал; но он спускается в новое небо и новую землю со своего места в высоте. Это город, где будут жить святые (ср. Ин. 14:1-3).

Невеста Важная новозаветная метафора, которая обозначает Церковь (ср. Мф. 25:1-13; Еф. 5:25-27). Иоанн черпает этот образ в третьей части еврейской свадебной церемонии. Верующие (Невеста) в Новом Иерусалиме приходят встречать Христа (Жениха) на заключительной церемонии истории спасения (см. пояснение к 19:7). Весь город, заполненный святыми, называется Невестой, т.е. все святые, несомненно, включены в образ Невесты и в ее благословение. Бог ввел в Свой дом Невесту для Своего возлюбленного Сына: все святые живут с Христом в доме Отца (обещание, сделанное до того, как Церковь начала существовать).

(21:2 - 22:5) В эти стихи включена хронология Откровения: ветхозаветные святые, святые годины искушения и все обращенные во время тысячелетия будут в конце концов приняты спасенной Невестой и будут жить в Новом Иерусалиме. Иоанн описал завершение всех дел во Христе и новый Иерусалим, переходящий в состояние вечности (ср. 19:7; 20:6; 1Кор. 15:28; Евр. 12:22-24).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-21.html.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

The holy city, new Jerusalem ... The writer of this prophecy gave no hint, whatever, of exactly when the appearance of this holy city would occur; and it is therefore a gratuitous amendment of the holy Scriptures for scholars to assert that, "The writers of the New Testament ... expected his second coming ... in their own day."[7] How could such a remark be true in the light of the "one thousand years" which John had just mentioned as leading up to the judgment day? See further comment on this particular misunderstanding of many scholars in my Commentary on 1Thessalonians, pp. 18-20.

The holy city ... "This is the church of God, now glorified and prepared for perfect communion with her Redeemer."[8] "The old Jerusalem became one with Babylon the great harlot; but the new Jerusalem is the city which Paul calls 'The Jerusalem that is above' (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22)."[9] See more on this under verse 9, below. "The text does not say the church will become the Lamb's bride at that time";[10] she is already the Lord's wife (Ephesians 5:25ff). See discussion, "Regarding the Marriage Metaphor," under Revelation 19:7.

Coming down out of heaven ... When humanity's long and pitiful dream of some golden age, some fair Utopia, is finally realized, it will not come through man's devices, but "down out of heaven from God"; and only the redeemed shall participate in it. "People may vainly imagine that by better education, better environment, disarmament conferences, share-the-wealth programs, etc., they can bring forth a new order";[11] but it is only a fool's dream. "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." See James 1:17 and my Commentary on James, p. 30. To the extent that people or nations may walk after God's commandments now, some little likeness to the ultimate happiness may be achieved, but in no other way.

[7] Ray Summers. Worthy is the Lamb (Nashville: Broadman Press. 1961), p. 209.

[8] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 510.

[9] James William Russell. Compact Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House. 1964). p. 652.

[10] John T. Hinds. A Commentary on the Book of Revelation (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1962,. p. 297.

[11] William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1956), p. 241.

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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.’

See Revelation 21:9-10. This descent is on the new earth, the new creation. The creation of Genesis 1 is no more, except in the sense that it has been the prototype of the new creation. The idea is that just as God created the old world and then created man to people it, so now, having created the new unpopulated earth He sends down from Heaven the city of His people (compare Hebrews 12:22), to the prepared place (compare John 14:3). And the people descend together as a city (for they were previously in Heaven - Revelation 14:1-3) and are one together and form the bride. The holy city has put on her beautiful garments (Isaiah 52:1) and is as a bride adorned for her husband.

That Jerusalem is the bride parallels Revelation 19:7 and the wording is very similar, demonstrating that the new Jerusalem is to be seen as representing the people of God. The bride was a composite figure, for she consisted of the whole people of God, and the new Jerusalem is the same, for in the end a city is its people. Compare how in Matthew 8:34 ‘all the city came out to meet Jesus’ (a city ‘coming out’ is similar to a city ‘coming down’. See also Matthew 11:20; Matthew 12:25; Matthew 21:10; Mark 1:33; Mark 6:11; Luke 4:43; Acts 13:44; Acts 14:21; Acts 17:5; Acts 17:16). Thus it is now ‘the holy city’. Previously His people were the holy sanctuary (Revelation 11:1) in which God dwelt (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19), now they are seen as one with, and part of, the holy city wherein God will dwell (v. 3). Jerusalem is created a rejoicing and her people a joy (Isaiah 65:18). This is the work of the Amen (Isaiah 65:16), and the former troubles will be forgotten (v. 17).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-21.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

In the same vision, John next saw a city descending out of heaven from God (cf. Revelation 21:10; Revelation 3:12; Hebrews 11:13-16). It was holy in contrast to the former Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 11:8; Isaiah 52:1; Matthew 4:5; Matthew 27:53). As the old Jerusalem will be Jesus Christ"s capital during the Millennium, so the New Jerusalem will be His capital from then on. In the bride-husband simile, the city is the bride, and Christ is the husband ( Revelation 21:9-10; cf. Revelation 3:12). Obviously some symbolism is present in the descriptions of the New Jerusalem.

"Just as the four actual kingdoms of Daniel 2, 7 do not literally correspond to the imagery that portrays them, so the New Jerusalem does not literally correspond to the imagery of Revelation 21-22. Though it is an actual literal city, its glory will far surpass the language that John uses to portray it. John"s language is an attempt to describe what is in one sense indescribable." [Note: David L. Turner, "The New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-22:5," in Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, p276.]

The use of the bride figure to describe the New Jerusalem should not lead us to conclude that the New Jerusalem is identical with the church. Some interpreters have equated the two. [Note: E.g, Lilje, p259.] The bride figure elsewhere describes the church (e.g, Revelation 19:7; 2 Corinthians 11:2), but here the city is the bride. The bride figure describes different entities in intimate relationship to Christ. The Old Testament also used the bride as a figure to describe Israel"s relationship to God ( Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 2:2; Jeremiah 3:20; Ezekiel 16:8; Hosea 2:19-20). This does not mean that Israel, the church, and the New Jerusalem are three names of the same entity. However, this bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, now evidently encompasses two previous brides of Christ: Israel and the church. The city is the corporate identity of those who reside in it. Like Babylon, it is a real city, but it also represents the people who live there, which in this case include old covenant and new covenant believers. It is the place that Jesus Christ went to the Cross to prepare for His disciples ( John 14:2). Like the name "Babylon," "New Jerusalem" probably represents both a real city and what Jerusalem has represented throughout history.

"Revelation as a whole may be characterized as A Tale of Two Cities, with the sub-title, The Harlot and the Bride." [Note: Beasley-Murray, p315.]

There have been several explanations of the relationship of the New Jerusalem to the new earth. It may be that John saw as a city what he had formerly seen as a new heaven and earth. In other words, the New Jerusalem and the new heaven and earth may be two different figures describing the eternal state. Thus the eternal dwelling place of believers will be a completely new creation by God that John saw in his visions first as a new world and then as a new city.

Alternatively the New Jerusalem could be a satellite above the new earth. Some hold that the New Jerusalem will be a satellite of the present earth during the Millennium, and when God creates the new earth it will descend out of heaven and rest on the surface of the new earth. [Note: Pentecost, Things to . . ., p580.] Some believe that the New Jerusalem will be within the new earth. [Note: McGee, 5:1068-72.] The text does not say the New Jerusalem will come down to the new earth, only that John saw it coming down out of heaven from God (cf. Revelation 21:10).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "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 21:2. The Apostle beholds the metropolis of the renovated world under the figure of that metropolis which was so intimately associated with the memories and aspirations of the people of God, a New Jerusalem. Her newness will be afterwards more particularly described, but even now we are told enough to convey to us a lofty idea of her grandeur and beauty. She comes down out of heaven, from God, and she is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Is there not a reminiscence in the word ‘prepared’ of that great promise in John 14:3 which the apostle who saw this vision was to record? The Bridegroom is now the ‘Husband’ (comp. ‘wife’ in Revelation 21:9).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-21.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

From the seventh verse of the foregoing chapter, begins as it were the third part of the Apocalypse containing the coming of antichrist, the great day of judgment, the punishment of the wicked, and the eternal happiness of God's elect in heaven, or in the celestial Jerusalem, which St. John describes in this chapter as if it were like a large city, beautified and enriched with gold and all manner of precious stones, &c. (Witham)

Coming down from God out of heaven. By the city we must understand its citizens, the Angels and saints. (Witham) --- Justice, innocence, the good works of the saints, are the ornaments of the inhabitants of this new Jerusalem, the Church triumphant. If the world of the old Adam has appeared so beautiful, so magnificent, good God, what will be the riches of that which is made for Jesus Christ, the second Adam, and for his members! O Jesus! Father of the world to come, render us worthy of this new and everlasting world, and give us a disgust, a mortal hatred, for that which perishes, and which is the cause of our perdition.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-21.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The devil and his forces have done all they could to break up this union, but the church is now seen separated from sin and beautifully dressed for her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-27) New Jerusalem is a title for the church. (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22) Perhaps she is let down out of heaven because she is specially prepared of God.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-21.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

John. The texts omit.

new Jerusalem. See Revelation 3:12. The city "above" (Galatians 1:4, Galatians 1:26); "which hath the foundations" (Hebrews 11:10); "the heavenly Jerusalem" (Hebrews 12:22).

bride. Greek. numphe. See v. 9; Revelation 22:17, and App-197.

husband. App-123.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "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 I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I John. "John" is omitted in 'Aleph (') A B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Andreas; also "I" is not emphatic. The insertion of "I John" would interfere with the close connection between "the new heaven and earth," Revelation 21:1, and the "new Jerusalem."

Jerusalem ... out of heaven - (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 3:12.) The descent of the new Jerusalem out of heaven is distinct from the earthly Jerusalem, in which Israel in the flesh shall dwell during the millennium, and follows on the "new heaven and earth." [John in his gospel always writes Hierosoluma (Greek #2414) of the old city; in the apocalypse, always Hierousaleem (Greek #2419) of the heavenly city (Revelation 3:12). Hierousaleem (Hebrew #2419) is Hebrew, the original, holy appellation. Hierosoluma (Greek #2414) is the common Greek, in a political sense.] Paul observes the same distinction when refuting Judaism (Galatians 4:26 : cf. Revelation 1:17-18; Revelation 2:1; Hebrews 12:22); not so in the letters to Romans and Corinthians (Bengel).

Bride - made up of the citizens of "the holy city." There is no longer merely a paradise, as in Eden (there is that also, Revelation 2:7), a mere garden, but now the city of God on earth, costlier and statelier, at the same time the result of labour such as had not to be expended by man in dressing the garden of Eden. "The lively stones" were in time laboriously chiselled into shape, after the pattern of "the chief corner stone," to prepare them for the place which they shall everlastingly fill in the heavenly Jerusalem.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "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

(2) And I John saw the holy city . . .—Better, And the holy city, new Jerusalem, I saw coming down out of the heaven from God, prepared . . . The name John is omitted in the best MSS. The new Jerusalem is more fully described later on (Revelation 21:10 et seq.). The city is also the bride (comp. Revelation 21:9-10). Both images—the “city” and the “bride”—are familiar to the Bible student. The sacred city appears linked to God by a sacred bond. (Comp. Psalms 45:13-14; Isaiah 61:10; Isaiah 62:4-5; Galatians 4:26; Ephesians 5:25-27.) The city-bride is now adorned for her Husband. We know what her ornaments are, now that He is about to present her to Himself a glorious Church: the meekness and gentleness of Christ, and her loving obedience to Him (1 Peter 3:4), are her jewels. She is seen, not rising from earth or sea, like the foes of righteousness (Revelation 13:1; Revelation 13:11), but coming down from heaven. The world will never evolve a golden age or ideal state. The new Jerusalem must descend from God. The true pattern, which alone will realise man’s highest wishes, is the pattern in the mount of God (Acts 7:44).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "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 I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband---21:2.

The old Jerusalem, the harlot and the Babylon of Revelation had fallen--the Jerusalem of Judaism.

Here the Jerusalem of Galatians 4:26 and Hebrews 12:22 were envision by the Seer as the bride of Christ. It was a vision of the fall of the old and the triumph of the new. The fact that this new Jerusalem was seen coming down from God out of heaven is the proof that it was not in reference to or descriptive of the eternal home; but rather that God was envisioned as presenting to the new earth what he had preserved from the tribulation of the old, "for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away."

In the period of persecution the vision was of the militant church passing through tribulation; but that scene was completed and here the vision was of the triumphant church coming out of tribulation into the victory of the cause of her Christ, the Conqueror of her enemies. The new Jerusalem was described as the beautified Woman, who had once fled into the wilderness as a persecuted church, but was now seen coming from God her Preserver wondrously clothed, resplendently attired, richly adorned, gloriously displayed--triumphantly descending out of heaven. The persecuted Woman had fled to "the place prepared of God" for her refuge, protection and preservation, but was here envisioned as having returned and in the ultimate descriptive phrases of victory and triumph she was presented to "the new heaven and the new earth" as the glorious Bride of the Lamb--the picture of the Conquering Christ and his Victorious Church.

The new dwelling place for the new Jerusalem had been renovated and purged from all heathen domination. The old Jerusalem with its old system of worship 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 the righteous for all nations of men. It was the vision of the pure church Bride descending from the high realm of holiness in contrast with the fallen harlot city.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "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 I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I
1:1,4,9
the holy
3:12; Psalms 48:1-3; 87:3; Isaiah 1:21; 52:1; Jeremiah 31:23; Hebrews 11:10; 12:22; Hebrews 13:14
coming
10; Galatians 4:25,26
as
19:7,8; Psalms 45:9-14; Isaiah 54:5; 61:10; 62:4; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-27,30-32
Reciprocal: Nehemiah 11:18 - the holy;  Psalm 46:4 - city;  Psalm 68:16 - the hill;  Psalm 84:1 - How;  Psalm 107:7 - that they;  Song of Solomon 2:16 - beloved;  Song of Solomon 4:7 - GeneralSong of Solomon 4:9 - my spouse;  Song of Solomon 6:3 - my beloved's;  Song of Solomon 6:4 - comely;  Isaiah 48:2 - they call;  Isaiah 49:18 - as a bride;  Isaiah 65:11 - my holy;  Jeremiah 2:32 - a maid;  Jeremiah 33:2 - the maker;  Ezekiel 16:10 - clothed;  Ezekiel 43:7 - where I;  Daniel 9:20 - for;  Hosea 2:19 - And I will;  Matthew 5:35 - the city;  Matthew 9:15 - Can;  Matthew 25:1 - the bridegroom;  Matthew 27:53 - holy;  John 14:2 - I go;  Ephesians 5:32 - speak;  Revelation 11:2 - and the;  Revelation 21:9 - the Lamb's;  Revelation 22:17 - the bride;  Revelation 22:19 - and out

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-21.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

NEW JERUSALEM.

Revelation 21:2. — "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of the Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." The "new Heaven" and "new earth" beheld by the Seer are not described. Of their configuration, size, and appearance we can say nothing. Their adaptation for eternal use, without change, decay, or death can surely be predicated, but not more. Without doubt they will be regions of everlasting bloom and beauty.

But now a new sight greets the eye of the Seer. He not only beholds the physical platforms on which the glories of eternity are to be displayed, but "I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem." The term "holy city" occurs three times in the Apocalypse (see Revelation 11:2; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 22:19). The first of these references is to the literal Jerusalem in the coming crisis; the other two point to the holy character of the glorified Church. The "beloved city" (Revelation 20:9) is a descriptive epithet of millennial Jerusalem, the actual city of that name. The Church, the bride and wife of the Lamb, is holy in character and ways, whether during the reign (v. 10) or in the eternal state (v. 2).

But the Church is also termed "new Jerusalem" (see also Revelation 3:12). There are three Jerusalems — the heavenly (Hebrews 12:22), the earthly (Revelation 11:2), and the mystical (Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:10). The epithet "new Jerusalem" is in contrast to the old and literal city which has played such an important part in the world's history. The term new is used three times — new Heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem. If the Jewish people, as such, are in the eternal state merged in the simple appellation men, then the earthly city, Jerusalem, as a distinctive seat and centre of government will have passed away. Cities and nations are connected with time, not with eternity, and as such have no place in God's everlasting ages of unbroken rest and blessedness, in which the redeemed alone have part. The two descriptive terms "holy city" and "new Jerusalem" are both used to set forth the Church as she enters on her eternal state of blessedness, a state more deep and unchanging than even the millennial condition in which she shared in glory the rights and dignities of the Lamb. That which succeeds the public reign of the thousand years has a character peculiar to itself; in it God is all and in all.

COMING DOWN.

2. — "Coming down out of the Heaven from God." This is verbally repeated in verse 10. Heaven is the proper home of the Church, and God the source of her being and happiness. It is not said the new Jerusalem "comes down from Heaven," but out of it. She has been dwelling in it. She has not had a casual acquaintance with Heaven, but knows it well and intimately, and is perfectly at home in the very dwelling place of God. The Church comes "out" of it in the love and glory of the place where God dwells. It is a marvellous statement. The "coming down" in verse 2 is a thousand years after the "coming down" of verse 10. The former is in eternity; the latter is at the commencement of the millennial age. In the former the Church comes down to the eternal earth; in the latter she rests over the millennial earth.

THE BRIDE PREPARED AND ADORNED.

2. — "Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." The bride is prepared in Heaven ere her public manifestation in the kingdom (v. 9), or in her descent to the earth (v. 3). The marriage was celebrated in Heaven a thousand years before the sight given us of her here. The fact is stated in Revelation 19:7-8, to which our text clearly refers. There she had been adorned in robes of spotless white; here she is witnessed still in her bridal attire. A thousand years of love, blessedness, and companionship with her Husband and Lover are but brief. She is eternally united to Him Who died for her, and is now about to enter on a yet deeper character of blessedness in the unchanging rest and joys of eternity. She is regarded as yet wearing her bridal robes. No soil or spot, nothing to mar their lustre, and no change in her bridal affections. The term husband tells of established relationship, of satisfied affection. "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom" (John 3:29).{*"Where is the chronological place of the new Jerusalem? Before, or after, or contemporary with, and to continue after the thousand years? We may confidently answer that it is the last of these;. . . there can hardly be a doubt that the wife mentioned (Revelation 19:7) is the same as the bride, the wife mentioned in Revelation 21:9. The latter is distinctly identified with the holy city, new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2)." — "The Critical English Testament," vol. 3, p. 852.}{The marriage takes place in Heaven before the warrior king and his conquering armies issue forth (Revelation 19:7); then we have the binding and confinement of Satan, and the reign of Christ for a thousand years — contemporary events — at the close of the millennial era the last satanic outburst is witnessed, followed by the resurrection and judgment of the wicked; then the eternal state is entered upon after the thousand years, in which the bride is still seen in her bridal robes and beauty (Revelation 21:2). Then in verse 9 the description is retrogressive, and shows the bride, the glorified Church during the thousand years' reign. Before the reign (Revelation 19:7), after the reign (Revelation 21:2), during the reign (Revelation 21:9).}

THE NEW JERUSALEM AND THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM.

2. — We beg the reader's careful attention to the distinction between the new Jerusalem of the Apocalypse, which is the glorified Church, and the heavenly Jerusalem spoken of by Paul (Hebrews 12:22). This latter, unlike the former, does not refer to people, but is the city of the living God, an actual city, the location of all the heavenly saints. It is the same that is referred to in the previous chapter, for which saints and patriarchs looked (Hebrews 11:10-16), a material city, built and prepared by God Himself, grand and vast beyond all telling. The city of Paul is a material one; the city of John is a mystical one.

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-21.html.

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

Holy city new Jerusalem means the church that is to be united at the last day in the final marriage of Christ as the bridegroom. (See the comments at Revelation 19:7.) Paul speaks of the church as the "heavenly Jerusalem" in Hebrews 12:22, and he also speaks of it as the city that is above and is free and "the mother of us all" ( Galatians 4:26), Prepared refers to the condition a bride brings to herself in view of her approaching marriage.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". 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 21:2

Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

By

the holy city, new Jerusalem,

we are to understand Jerusalem that is above, { Galatians 4:26} which shall come

down from God out of heaven

upon Mount Zion, { Hebrews 12:22-24}

Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

She is the bride, the Lamb's wife. See Revelation 19:7-8; Revelation 21:9; that Isaiah, the church in her latter day glory, { Revelation 21:22-27} And I saw no Temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the Temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved, shall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsover worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lambs Book of Life. And Isaiah 60:1-22 Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my Glory. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee, shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The City of the LORD, the Zion of the holy one of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw it self: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of the mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hand, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-21.html.

Harold Norris' Commentary on the Book of Revelation

Verse2.

John not only saw "a new heaven and a new earth," but he also saw A NEW CITY "THE NEW JERUSALEM" "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, COMING DOWN out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Notice that John carefully describes the holy city, the new Jerusalem as "COMING DOWN out of heaven from God" in verse2. And in verse10 John repeats that this city he sees as "COMING DOWN out of heaven from God." It is not a city which has grown up out of the earth by social evolution by man"s efforts and schemes. It is a city which comes down from heaven as God"s free gift to the redeemed--So in verse2John sees the new order in terms of a new earth, a new city, a new bride. The most important word and lesson of life is that we must find beyond time the secrets of life. The city comes down from God into a man"s heart.

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Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.And I—To our seer who has been narrating the victory over Babylon, the harlot, the first thought to occur is the new Jerusalem, the bride. But after this first outburst he postpones the city to Revelation 21:9; while he stops to tell us (Revelation 21:3-8) something about the country.

From God—Of this city the builder and maker is God.

Out of heaven—Coming down from above the firmament by an opening in its vast visible concave.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-21.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

=origin, = originator. This conception of the new Jerusalem as messiah’s bride in the latter days is an original touch, added by the prophet to the traditional Jewish material (cf. Volz, 336 f.). In 4 Esd. 6:26 (Lat. Syr.) “the bride shall appear, even the city coming forth, and she shall be seen who is now hidden from the earth”; but this precedes the 400 years of bliss, at the close of which messiah dies. In En. xc. 28 f. a new and better house is substituted for the old, while in 4 Esd. 9–11. the mourning mother rather suddenly becomes “a city builded” with large foundations (i.e., Zion). These partial anticipations lend some colour to Dalman’s plea that the conception of a pre-existent heavenly Jerusalem was extremely limited in Judaism, and that John’s vision is to be isolated from the other N.T. hints (see reff.). For a fine application of the whole passage, see Ecce Homo, ch. 24. The vision conveys Christian hope and comfort in terms of a current and ancient religious tradition upon the new Jerusalem (cf. Charles on Apoc. Bar. iv. 3). The primitive form of this conception, which lasted in various phases down to the opening of the second century, was that the earthly Jerusalem simply needed to be purified in order to become the fit and final centre of the messianic realm with its perfect communion between God and man (cf. Isaiah 60; Isaiah 54:11= Tobit 13:16-17, Ezekiel 40-48, En. x. 16–19, xxv. 1, Ps. Sol. 17:25, 33, Ap. Bar. xxix, xxxix.–xl, lxxii, lxxiv, 4 Esd. 7:27–30, 12:32–34, etc.). But alongside of this, especially after the religious revival under the Maccabees, ran the feeling that the earthly Jerusalem was too stained and secular to be a sacred city; its heavenly counterpart, pure and pre-existent, must descend (so here, after En. xc. 28, 29, Ap. Bar. xxxii. 3, 4, Test. Daniel 5, etc.). In rabbinic theology, the vision of the heavenly Jerusalem was taken from Adam after his lapse, but shown as a special favour to Abraham, Jacob and Moses (cf. Ap. Bar. iv). The Christian prophet John not only sees it but sees it realised among Christian people—a brave and significant word of prophecy, in view of his age and surroundings.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-21.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

2. The new Jerusalem. Not the old material city. This is the church of Christ (Matthew 16:18), “like a bride dressed to meet her husband.”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 21:2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-21.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.