Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 21:24

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Heaven;   Jerusalem;   Readings, Select;   Righteous;   Walking;   Thompson Chain Reference - Future, the;   Heaven;   Heavenly;   Home;   The Topic Concordance - Jerusalem;   Name;   Newness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jerusalem;   Light;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Book of life;   City;   Peace;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Darkness;   Light;   Temple;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Glory;   Light;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Thousand Years;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gentiles;   Heaven;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gift, Giving;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Glory;   Isaiah ;   New Jerusalem;   Parousia;   Presence (2);   Revelation, Book of;   Tree of Life;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Gate;   Lamb;   Millennium;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Gareb;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Glory;   Light;   Revelation of John:;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for April 13;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The nations of them which are saved - This is an illusion to the promise that the Gentiles should bring their riches, glory, and excellence, to the temple at Jerusalem, after it should be rebuilt. See Revelation 21:26.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the nations of them which are saved - All the nations that are saved; or all the saved considered as nations. This imagery is doubtless derived from that in Isaiah, particularly Isaiah 60:3-9. See the notes on that passage.

Shall walk in the light of it - Shall enjoy its splendor, and be continually in its light.

And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it - All that they consider as constituting their glory, treasures, crowns, scepters, robes. The idea is, that all these will be devoted to God in the future days of the church in its glory, and will be, as it were, brought and laid down at the feet of the Saviour in heaven. The language is derived, doubtless, from the description in Isaiah 60:3-14. Compare Isaiah 49:23.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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 the nations of them which are saved,.... In distinction from them that will be deceived by Satan, Revelation 20:8. These are not all the nations of the world, which will be gathered before Christ, the Judge, for all will not be saved, there is a world that will be condemned; nor the Gentiles only, which shall come into the church state of the Jews when called, for that state is not here designed; and besides, all Israel shall be saved then; nor the living saints at Christ's coming, who shall have escaped, and are saved from the general conflagration; for these, with the raised ones, will be caught up together to Christ, and descend and dwell together on earth, and make one church state; but all the elect of God, both Jews and Gentiles, whom God has chosen, Christ has redeemed, and the Spirit has called out of all the nations of the earth: these are only saved ones; such are already saved, not only are determined to be saved, and for whom salvation is wrought out by Christ, and to whom it is applied at conversion, and who are representatively set down in heavenly places in Christ, and are already saved by hope and faith, and with respect to the certainty of salvation; all which may be said of saints in the present state; but these will be such, who will be actually and personally saved, will be in the full possession of salvation, enjoying all the blessings of it: they will be partakers of the first resurrection, and the glories of it: the tabernacle of God will be with them, they will be free from all sorrows and death, and will inherit all things: the Syriac version reads, "the nations that are saved"; who are redeemed and saved by Christ: this may teach us how to understand those phrases, which seem to favour general redemption, as all men, the world, the whole world; see Isaiah 45:20. These words, "of them which are saved", are left out in the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, but are in all the copies. These nations are the inhabitants of this city, and they

shall walk in the light of it, which is Christ; they shall enjoy it; they shall have the light of life, and be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light, and that continually: they shall not only come to it, but continue in it, and walk at it, and by the light of it: the walk of these will be different from the walk of saints now, who walk by faith, and not by sight; but these shall walk by sight, enjoying the beatific vision of God, and the Lamb. The Jews sayF2Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 56. 3. , that Jerusalem, in time to come, will be made a lamp to the nations of the world, והם מהלכים לאורה, "and they shall walk in its light", or by the light of it, which is the sense of Isaiah 60:3 "the Gentiles shall come to thy light"; see Isaiah 9:1

and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it; by whom may be meant either mystically all the saints, who will be kings as well as priests unto God, and will reign as such with Christ in this state, will cast their crowns at his feet, and give him all the honour and glory; or literally, the kings of the earth, who shall have relinquished antichrist, hated the whore, and burnt her with fire, and who will have been nursing fathers in the spiritual reign; or rather all good kings that ever have been in the earth: not that they will be kings of the earth at this time, for now all rule, authority, and power, will be put down; nor will any worldly riches, honour, and glory, be brought by them into this state, nor will they be needed in it; but it is to be understood of who have been kings on earth, though not of their having brought earthly riches and grandeur into the interest and churches of Christ; as David gave much towards the building of the temple, which was begun and finished by King Solomon his son, and as Constantine greatly enriched and aggrandized the church when he became emperor; but the sense seems to be this, that such who have been Christian kings on earth will prefer the happiness of this state to all their riches and greatness here; and that could all the glory of the kings of the earth be put together, it would not equal, but be greatly inferior to the glory of the new Jerusalem; Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of the inhabitants of this place; see Revelation 20:6 besides, these shall do all homage, and submit to Christ the King of kings in the midst of the church, which may be meant by "glory" and "honour".

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-21.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

of them which are saved … in — A, B, Vulgate, Coptic, and Andreas read “(the nations shall walk) by means of her light”: omitting “of them which are saved.” Her brightness shall supply them with light.

the kings of the earth — who once had regard only to their glory, having been converted, now in the new Jerusalem do bring their glory into it, to lay it down at the feet of their God and Lord.

and honour — so B, Vulgate, and Syriac. But A omits the clause.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 21:24". "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

Amidst the light thereof (δια του πωτος αυτηςdia tou phōtos autēs). Rather “by the light thereof.” From Isaiah 60:3, Isaiah 60:11, Isaiah 60:20. All the moral and spiritual progress of moderns is due to Christ, and the nations of earth will be represented, including “the kings” (οι βασιλειςhoi basileis), mentioned also in Isaiah 60:3, “do bring their glory into it” (περουσιν την δοχαν αυτων εις αυτηνpherousin tēn doxan autōn eis autēn). Present active indicative of περωpherō Swete is uncertain whether this is a picture of heaven itself or “some gracious purpose of God towards humanity which has not yet been revealed” and he cites Revelation 22:2 in illustration. The picture is beautiful and glorious even if not realized here, but only in heaven.

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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 21:24". "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

Of them which are saved

Omit.

In the light ( ἐν τῷ φωτὶ )

Read διὰ τοῦ φωτὸς amidst the light” or “by the light.”

Do bring ( φέρουσιν )

The present tense, denoting habit.

Glory and honor

Omit and honor. Compare Isaiah 60:3.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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 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 honour into it.

And the nations — The whole verse is taken from Isaiah 60:3.

Shall walk by the light thereof — Which throws itself outward from the city far and near.

And the kings of the earth — Those of them who have a part there.

Bring their glory into it — Not their old glory, which is now abolished; but such as becomes the new earth, and receives an immense addition by their entrance into the city.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-21.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

saved

Scofield "Romans 1:16".

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 21:24". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-21.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

24 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 honour into it.

Ver. 24. And the nations] See Isaiah 9:3; and that he speaketh of the life to come, see Revelation 21:11; Revelation 21:18-19; Revelation 21:21.

Do bring their glory] Despise and cast away all for heaven. Canutus set his crown upon the crucifix; which, according to the course of those times, was held greatest devotion. King Edward VI assured the Popish rebels of Devonshire, that he would rather lose his crown than not maintain the cause of God he had taken in hand to defend. Nazianzen rejoiced that he had something of value (viz. his Athenian learning) to part with for Christ, &c.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". 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 21:24. τὰ ἔθνη) Erasmus added τῶν σωζομένων,(235) and so did innumerable editors, evidently following his authority without any further examination. If Erasmus were alive at the present day, he would immediately, in my opinion, expunge the commentary of Andreas, which he eagerly caught at as the text. He also and others, who first revised the New Testament in Greek, if they should compare the copious materials collected in these two centuries, with that scantiness with which they themselves formerly had to contend, would willingly yield to the truth, and would exhort the most eager defenders of the reading established by them, in some instances with such difficulty, either to follow or lead them to better things.— διὰ) answers to the prefix ל, Isaiah 60:3. In the LXX. it is τῷ φωτὶ, without a preposition.— φέρουσι) The present, after the future περιπατήσουσι, has the force of a future: comp. Revelation 21:26.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". 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

And the nations of them, which are saved shall walk in the light of it; all that go to heaven shall be thus happy.

And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it; and such kings of the earth as shall come into heaven, shall see all their honour and glory swallowed up in the glory and honour of that place and state; and confess that all their crowns are infinitely short of this blessed and glorious crown, all their thrones nothing to these thrones.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". 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

народы Буквально «нации». Спасенные люди из каждой нации и этнической группы будут обитать в свете небес. В вечном городе больше не будет различий, ограничений, исключений по причине расовой или политической принадлежности. Все различные народы в вечности претворятся в народ Божий и будут свободно входить и перемещаться по городу.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-21.html.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.

The nations shall walk amidst the light thereof ... "These words deal with the present order."[55] They are somewhat parenthetical in this vision of the eternal state. "The history of man has verified John's prophecy, and its fulfillment continues till this day."[56] Of course, "Many feel that the time referred to here is the millennium";[57] but such views come of a failure to observe John's method. In this great vision of the ultimate glory of the church, the apostle injected these words to show that some of the glories will also pertain to the church's present existence. Upon the coronation of George VI of England, the magnificent folio published for the occasion praised the king and his dynasty as being "Among those kings who brought their glory into God's kingdom." Their interpretation of this passage was correct, whether or not their application of it is allowed. At the post-resurrection time symbolized by this vision, "there are no literal kings remaining on earth,"[58] any more than there are "dogs and sorcerers" on the outside trying to get in, as in 22:15. The words of this verse are both retrospective and prophetic.

[55] Charles H. Roberson. op. cit., p. 184.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Charles Caldwell Ryrie, op. cit., p. 122.

[58] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 513.

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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 21:24". "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 the nations shall walk by means of its light (the light of the glory of the Lord), and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it, and its entrances will never be shut by day, for there will be no night there, and they will bring the honour and the glory of the nations into it.’

The city is made up of the people of God and among the people of God there will be kings and many nations (compare Isaiah 60:3 : Psalms 72:11), and they will bring into the city all that they have which is best, even all their honour and glory. This cannot refer to earthly possessions for they have long ago suffered corruption and been left behind. This refers to their righteousnesses (Revelation 19:8), their honour, the gold, silver and jewels they received at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12), to the precious things they have stored up in Heaven through their righteous living (Matthew 6:19-20). These are they who are written in the Lamb’s book of life (v. 27).

The point John is making is that not all kings of the earth are enemies of the people of God, not all of the nations are rejected. For some have wholly accepted Christ. There will be those of them who have their part in the holy city. (Revelation 21:27 makes clear that they are those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. This is no Millennial city).

The entrances will never be closed because entrances are only closed when night comes down and evil men begin to walk abroad, but there is no night here. The light of the glory of God and of Christ shines continually. All is light, transparent and open. The presence of God is continual and gives continual light (and there is clearly no need for sleep. The spirits of just men made perfect do not need sleep). And there are no evil men for they have no access as the next verse makes clear.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-21.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The city will be so bright that it provides light for the whole new creation. The identity of the nations and kings mentioned is difficult to determine. The most probable explanation seems to be that the nations are groups of believers viewed according to their old creation nationalities, which they will retain in the new creation. The kings (rulers) probably are believing kings who ruled over nations during the old creation. [Note: See Thomas, Revelation 8-22, pp476-78, for10 suggested identifications.] These kings will bring their glory into the city, thus increasing its glory, by simply entering it, since they are glorious individuals by God"s grace.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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 21:24. The description of the glory of the New Jerusalem is continued in figures taken from the prophets of the Old Testament (comp. Isaiah 60:2-3). And the nations shall walk by the light of it. We are not required invariably to understand the heathen by the word ‘nations,’ or the faithful of the Old Covenant by the word ‘people.’ It appears from John 11:50-52 (see note there) that there is a sense in which the theocratic people are a ‘nation,’ and the heathen gathered into the flock of Christ a part of His ‘people.’ In Revelation 21:3 of this very chapter, too, we have read of a time when God shall dwell with men, and they shall be ‘His peoples.’ The two terms ‘nation’ and ‘people’ may, therefore, be applied to the same persons viewed in different aspects. The ‘peoples’ of Revelation 21:3 are the ‘nations’ of this verse and of chap. Revelation 22:2; and the choice of the different expressions is probably determined by the consideration that in the one God is thought of as ‘tabernacling’ in the midst of His people, in the other as being His people’s ‘light’ (comp. note on chap. Revelation 1:20, where we have a remarkable parallel both in thought and structure). The ‘nations’ are not converted heathen alone, but all who, whether Jew or Gentile, walk in the light.

And the kings of the earth do bring their glory into it. Not the masses of the nations only, but their highest representatives and dignitaries submit themselves with all that they have to the sway of Him who now rules in righteousness, the universal King.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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

The kings of the earth shall bring their glory; the elect, of all states and conditions, shall now be exalted like kings, or rather infinitely above the glory that we can imagine of any kings in this world. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-21.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The saved of every nation, including kings who may have yielded to the King of kings, will walk the streets of that city in the radiance of the Son"s glory. They will not seek glory and honor but bring theirs to Him.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-21.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

of . . . saved. The texts omit.

light. App-130.

it. Greek."her", as above. So also verses: Revelation 25:27.

kings, &c. Notice the order in that day.

do. Omit.

and honour. The texts omit.

into. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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 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 honour into it.

Of them ... saved ... in. 'Aleph (') A B, Vulgate, Coptic, Andreas, '(the nations shall walk) by means of [ dia (Greek #1223) footos (Greek #5457) autees (Greek #846)] her light;' omitting "of them which are saved." Her brightness supplies them with light.

The kings of the earth - who once sought only their own glory, being converted, in the new Jerusalem bring their glory to lay it down at the feet of their God and Lord.

And honour. So B, Vulgate, Syriac; but 'Aleph (') A omit.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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

(24) And the nations of them which are saved . . .—We must omit, with the best MSS., the words “of them which are saved,” and read, And the nations shall walk by means of its light, and the kings of the earth carry their glory into her. The outlook of the prophet is from the loneliness and depression of the then persecuted and despised churches; but in the vision he sees her beautiful and enlarged and honoured. All nations and peoples flock within the walls: it is the echo of the ancient prophecies. “All kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him.” The Church and kingdom of Christ increase without end; and all will cast their glory at His feet, and call Him blessed in whom all have been blessed (Psalms 72:11; Psalms 72:17).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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

This spiritual light of the Holy City would extend to the whole world of darkness: the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it--21:24. This part of the vision represented the saved as having come from all nations, that the Jew and Gentile together should walk in the light of the gospel.

The language has its counterpart in the descriptions of Isaiah (chapters 2:2-5; and 62:1-2) which were the prophecies of the new Jerusalem of the new covenant which would include all nations. The prophet said: "0 house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord." This prophecy was made by Isaiah in connection with the establishment of the new institution on the top of the mountains, and the promulgation of the new law from Jerusalem. It is the same imagery in chapter 21:4 of this vision: "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it." In the prophecy of Isaiah 62:1-4, the prophet declared that "the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory." And in this vision the Seer said: "And the kings of the earth do bring glory and honor into it." It was the vision of all nations yielding to the influence of the gospel, as if the kings of the nations had brought the glory of their crowns and scepters and treasures into the kingdom of God and of Christ by the conversion of the people of the whole world. The vision here is the extension of chapter 11:15: The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. All of these verses and visions referred to the universal expansion of Christianity in the spread of the gospel over all the world.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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 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 honour into it.
the nations
22:2; Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalms 22:27; Isaiah 2:2; 52:15; 55:5,10; 66:12,18; Jeremiah 4:2; Zechariah 2:11; 8:22,23; Romans 15:10-12,16,26
walk
Isaiah 2:5
the kings
Psalms 72:10,11; Isaiah 60:3-10,13; 66:11,12
Reciprocal: Exodus 40:34 - a cloud;  Ezra 7:15 - the silver;  Psalm 15:1 - Lord;  Psalm 22:29 - shall;  Psalm 45:9 - Kings';  Psalm 49:16 - glory;  Psalm 56:13 - the light;  Psalm 89:27 - higher;  Psalm 102:15 - GeneralPsalm 118:20 - This gate;  Psalm 138:4 - All the kings;  Psalm 140:13 - the upright;  Psalm 148:11 - Kings;  Isaiah 26:2 - Open;  Isaiah 49:23 - kings;  Isaiah 60:10 - their kings;  Daniel 4:30 - and for;  Micah 4:13 - I will consecrate;  John 8:12 - shall have;  2 Corinthians 3:10 - had;  Colossians 1:18 - in all;  Hebrews 12:14 - no man;  Revelation 21:26 - the glory

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "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

Nations and kings of the earth will not come into the city literally, for those relationships are of a temporal nature. This verse is based on the practice in ancient times that required a captive city to pay tribute to a city that had overcome it. Doubtless there will be men who had been kings, and others who were citizens of the nations ruled by these kings, who will have become servants of God and who will be among the many thousands who will throng that city.

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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-21.html. 1952.

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

Revelation 21:24. And the heathen shall walk through its light,[Note: Luther's translation, "and the heathen, that are saved, walk in the light of it," follows the less supported reading, καὶ τὰ ἔ θνη τῶ ν σωζουμέ νων, ἐ ν τῷ φωτὶ αὐ τῆ ς περιπατή σουσι.] and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. The fundamental passage is Isaiah 9:3, "And the heathen walk in thy light (not: to thy light), and kings in the brightness which goes forth on thee." And the preceding verse: "The Lord goes forth over thee, and his honour appears upon thee." The light here, as in Isaiah, is the glory of the Lord manifesting itself in the church, which is to shine forth in the new Jerusalem with the fullest and most cloudless splendour. The light irradiates the way so much for the heathen, that they walk, as it were, through it; though the through is substantially the same as by.— ἔ θνη in the usage of the Revelation are not nations generally, but always heathen nations, in their natural or christianized state; comp. at ch. Revelation 20:3. That we are to think here only of converted heathen, is clear as day. No room for conversion can be found on the further side of ch. Revelation 20:15; for every one, who had not been found written in the book of life, has already been cast into the lake of fire. But the designation was the more natural, as at the time when John saw the Apocalypse, they still actually were heathens. The heathen, besides, are not to be conceived of as without the city; but being within the city they shall be illuminated by its light, according to the representation in the immediately following verse, and in the whole of Isaiah 9. The situations of the several parties here are altogether of an absolute kind. All are either in the new Jerusalem, or in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). There is no third position.

The kings of the earth bring their glory into the new Jerusalem. The bringing belongs only to the symbolical style of the delineation. He sees them as it were coming in procession; as also in ch. Revelation 22:14, mention is made of the entrance of all true citizens into the gates of the city. The expression is merely an embodiment of the thought, that the kings with their glory shall participate in it. This implies, that they had formerly brought their glory into the kingdom of grace (comp. ch. Revelation 15:4, Revelation 17:14). Then, it is quite manifest, that the glory can be brought into the new Jerusalem only in so far as it is capable of being glorified; that all false glitter and earthly pomp must disappear. But in the kingdom of glory there reigns no levelling equality. It would otherwise stand below the kingdom of grace, and be like the land of shadows, "where there is no order," Job 10:22. As among the angels there are distinctions of rank and order (comp. at ch. Revelation 8:2), so shall there be among glorified men. If all were ruled according to a bare democratic uniformity, the teachers could not have the position that is assigned them in Daniel, nor the apostles the position indicated respecting them in Revelation 21:14; Revelation 21:19. It is contrary to all sound feeling, that a David, that a Charles the great should there be lost without distinction among the general mass. Bengel remarks, "when the heathen in the world yield themselves to Christ, their earthly glory will elevate them, and will be changed into a heavenly glory, so that they shall be brought with it into the holy Jerusalem. So is it with other natural and worldly distinctions, such as wisdom, skill, strength, accomplishments, ability, and the like. Whosoever consecrates what he has in these to God and Christ, instead of desecrating it, like others, by the love of self and the world, will thereby be ennobled in the holy city. It does not mean, that all kings of the earth with their earthly glory shall come into the holy city. Very many fail in respect to it. But what is really glorious among the kings of the earth, and is sanctified through faith in Jesus Christ, that will be regarded as an acceptable present, and as a becoming addition to the fulness of the holy city. As it is in respect to kings, so is it also proportionately in respect to their subjects." Mark also says, "As the most glorious kings here have a share in grace, so shall they ultimately have in glory, and this will be a source of glory to the heavenly commonwealth; as cities are wont to be held in highest estimation, which have the most illustrious inhabitants." The heathen and kings are brought into view here as an ornament of the new Jerusalem. The kingdom of God should, according to its idea, be universal in its dominion. But this idea was very imperfectly realized during the Old Testament; and still also in the militant church much is wanting for its realization; indeed, in St John's time it had scarcely so much as begun. The worldly power stood then in all its pomp and glory looking with indifference on the kingdom of God, or even manifesting hostility towards it. This contrast between the idea and the reality must, if it were to be regarded as a permanent one, shake faith. St John meets here the ground of offence thence arising. In the new world the bearers of the worldly power shall either have become impotent, and have been consigned to eternal misery, or they shall have entered with their peoples into the kingdom of God. From this investigation, also, it becomes obvious, why it is that only the heathen with their kings are mentioned among the citizens of the new Jerusalem, and not also the elect portion of the Jews. The latter did not require any special mention.

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Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-21.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.Of’ saved—Though doubtless giving a true meaning, these words appear to be a spurious reading, inserted by some copyist as an explanatory note.

Shall walk in the light of it—So powerful is the light of the present divine Essence, so transparent the vehicle in which it is contained, that the radiant day is flung over the vast surface of the heavenly earth. The nations of all the redeemed, in their resurrection glory, however numerous and however distant, walk in the noonday light thereof. This city is the ample luminary of all the heavenly world. Alford and Wordsworth both speak as if those kings were monarchs in our present old earth. This ignores the fact that this earth is the heavenly land, beyond the millennium, the resurrection, and the judgment. These all are kings, even though they have no subjects; and all are priests, even though there be no sacrifice. Yet kings may be there bearing rule. It is not clear that there are no degrees of the blessedness and glory of the subjects of the heavenly monarchy. Even in the new earth there may be “principalities and powers,” rulers over ten cities, and rulers over five cities. These kings may be the representatives through whom the spontaneous movements of the heavenly polity are transacted and superintended, so that the sweet harmony and blessed rhythm are ever preserved. Or we may suppose that each king, that is, every celestial dweller, has within his own being a realm. greater or lesser, of powers, glories, and felicities, infinitely superior to all earthly royalty. Or there may be in the nature and structure of the new earth, a common, undivided domain, of which each single heavenly being is a most rich and powerful proprietor, user, and king. Then what a royalty, is it not, to walk the golden streets, through the very dense divine glory, and as a prince to behold the face of the Monarch of the Universe!

Bring their glory and honour into it—Neither the nations nor the kings of this heavenly earth dwell in the capital. They come from far, many of them, and then they bring not trade, or manufactures, or garden truck, into town. But they bring their glory, (a somewhat doubtful reading,) their own affluence of magnificent being, history, and character; and their honour, that is, their adoration, for the resident King of kings in his capital. Even in this appears, perhaps, a difference of ranks and honours. Some kings are farther distant in the earth than others. On the very distant realms perhaps a dimmer glory shines. More seldom visits, less amount of glory brought, less full vision of the royal countenance, may be allowed to some kings than others. When Whitefield was asked by a bigoted follower if he expected to see Wesley in heaven, “Yes,” answered the great-hearted evangelist, “unless he should stand so much nearer the throne that I cannot descry him.”

 

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 21:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-21.html. 1874-1909.