Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 22:14

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Ablution;   Obedience;   Readings, Select;   Righteous;   Tree;   Works;   Thompson Chain Reference - Blessings;   Doers;   Future, the;   Heaven;   Heavenly;   Home;   Living Water;   Obedience;   Obedience-Disobedience;   Salvation;   Salvation-Condemnation;   Saved, the;   Sinners;   Water;   Water of Life;   Wells;   The Topic Concordance - Blessings;   Idolatry;   Kingdom of God;   Lying/lies;   Obedience;   Paganism;   Tree of Life;   Violence;   Whoredom;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Blessed, the;   Law of God, the;   Trees;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Paradise;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day of the lord;   Jesus christ;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Beatitudes;   Condemnation;   Create, Creation;   Holy, Holiness;   Life;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Obedience;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Heaven;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Tree of Life;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Adam (1);   Cherub (1);   Eden;   Manna;   Paradise;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Blessing and Cursing;   Fall;   Obedience;   Revelation, the Book of;   Tree of Life;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hope;   Revelation, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Blessedness;   Clothes;   Gate;   Liberty (2);   Right;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Tree ;   Tree of Life;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Revelation, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - City;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Authority in Religion;   Jerusalem, New;   Life;   Revelation of John:;   Tree of Life;   Wash;  
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 27;   Every Day Light - Devotion for October 29;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Blessed are they that do his commandments - They are happy who are obedient.

That they may have right to the tree of life - The original is much more expressive, Ἱνα εσται ἡ εξουσια αυτων επι το ξυλον της ζωης· That they may have authority over the tree of life; an authority founded on right, this right founded on obedience to the commandments of God, and that obedience produced by the grace of God working in them. Without grace no obedience; without obedience no authority to the tree of life; without authority no right; without right no enjoyment: God's grace through Christ produces the good, and then rewards it as if all had been our own.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Blessed are they that do his commandments - See the notes on Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:7.

That they may have right - That they may be entitled to approach the tree of life; that this privilege may be granted to them. It is not a right in the sense that they have merited it, but in the sense that the privilege is conferred on them as one of the rewards of God, and that, in virtue of the divine arrangements, they will be entitled to this honor. So the word used here - ἐξουσία exousia- means in John 1:12, rendered “power.” The reason why this right or privilege is conferred is not implied in the use of the word. In this case it is by grace, and all the right which they have to the tree of life is founded on the fact that God has been pleased graciously to confer it on them.

To the tree of life - See the notes on Revelation 22:2. They would not be forbidden to approach that tree as Adam was, but would be permitted always to partake of it, and would live forever.

And may enter in through the gates into the city - The New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:2. They would have free access there; they would be permitted to abide there forever.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Blessed are they that do his commandments,.... Either the commandments of God, Revelation 12:17 the precepts of the moral law, which are the whole duty of man; which are done either legally in order to obtain life, and then they must be perfectly done, which no man can do; hence none live, and are justified by the deeds of it, and consequently are not blessed, but cursed; or evangelically, when they are done in the strength of Christ, from love to God, in the exercise of faith upon him, with a view to his glory, and without dependence on them, acknowledging the imperfection of them, and looking unto Jesus for righteousness and life, in whom such find both, and so are blessed persons: or else the commandments of Jesus are intended, who is speaking in the context, Revelation 22:12 and is speaking of himself, and his, as the angel does in Revelation 22:6 Christ's commandments are his new commandment of love, and the ordinances of baptism, and the Lord's supper; which are to be observed in the same evangelical manner as the commandments of God, and to be kept exactly as they are delivered, without any alteration, addition, or diminution; and they are to be attended to immediately, and without delay; and such as regard them in a right way and manner are blessed; they have much pleasure and delight in the observance of them; these commandments are not grievous, especially when they have the presence of Christ, the discoveries of his love, and are under the gracious influences of his Spirit: or it may be rather the commandments in this book are designed, for it may be rendered, "that do its commandments"; keep the sayings of this book, as in Revelation 22:7 such as relate to the worship of God, and forbid the worship of the beast, which caution against idolatry, and exhort to come out of Babylon, and direct to follow the Lamb, and charge not to add or take from anything written in this prophecy; and such persons as keep the words of it are pronounced blessed, Revelation 1:3. The Alexandrian copy reads, "that wash their garments"; and so the Ethiopic version, and also the Vulgate Latin, which adds, "in the blood of the Lamb", agreeably to Revelation 7:13 and such whose persons and garments are washed in the blood of Christ are blessed indeed; they are justified by it, pardoned through it, and both they and their services are accepted on account of it. The instances of their happiness follow,

that they may have right to the tree of life; or "power over the tree of life"; that is, Christ, not of government over him, but of enjoyment of him; a liberty of eating of the fruit of this tree, having interest in it, and so a right to partake of it; which right, or liberty, is not obtained by obedience to the commands of God, or Christ, or of this book, for this is what is due to God, and obligatory on men; and which, when done, is but their duty, and can merit nothing; though a cheerful and evangelical obedience to the divine will makes such appear to have a right to such a privilege, as the disciples of Christ are not made so, but appear to be such by bringing forth fruit, John 15:8 but to have interest in Christ, the tree of life, and a right, power, and liberty to eat thereof, is a free grace gift, Revelation 2:7 and happy are those who enjoy such a privilege! Proverbs 3:18.

And may enter in through the gates into the city: the Ethiopic version reads, "into this holy city": and which intends not entrance into a particular church of Christ, the way into which is faith in Christ, and a profession of it, and submission to the ordinance of baptism; nor entrance into heaven, which, as a Gospel church, is often called a city, and into which none shall enter, but such who are justified by the righteousness of Christ, and are regenerated by his Spirit, the gates of it are Christ and his grace; but the holy city, the new Jerusalem, is meant, and entrance into that, which is so largely described in the preceding chapter, and particularly its gates; and they must be happy persons, indeed, who enter there; and their right to it is from, and lies in Christ, his blood, righteousness, and grace, under a sense of which they yield a ready obedience to his will, which makes their right to appear. Frequent mention is made of the gates of this city in the book of Zohar; and, says R. IsaacF9Medrash Haneelam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 77. 1. ,

"when the soul זוכה לכנס בשערי, "is fit" (or worthy, or has a right) "to enter through the gates of Jerusalem" that is above, Michael the great prince goes with it, who anticipates for it the peace of the ministering angels, wondering at him, and inquiring concerning it, saying, "who is this that comes out of the wilderness", &c. Song of Solomon 3:6.'

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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 22:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, 7 that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

(7) The blessedness of the godly set down by their title and interest there: and their fruit in the same.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

do his commandments — so B, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian. But A, Aleph, and Vulgate read, “(Blessed are they that) wash their robes,” namely, in the blood of the Lamb (compare Revelation 7:14). This reading takes away the pretext for the notion of salvation by works. But even English Version reading is quite compatible with salvation by grace; for God‘s first and grand Gospel “commandment” is to believe on Jesus. Thus our “right” to (Greek, “privilege” or “lawful authority over”) the tree of life is due not to our doings, but to what He has done for us. The right, or privilege, is founded, not on our merits, but on God‘s grace.

throughGreek,by the gates.”

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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 22:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Blessed (μακαριοιmakarioi). This is the last beatitude of the book and “deals with the issues of the higher life” (Swete).

They that wash their robes (οι πλυνοντες τας στολας αυτωνhoi plunontes tas stolas autōn). Present active articular participle of πλυνωplunō See Revelation 7:14 for this very verb with στολαςstolas while in Revelation 3:4 the negative statement occurs. Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:11.

That they may have the right (ινα εσται η εχουσια αυτωνhina estai hē exousia autōn). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the future middle of ειμιeimi (a common construction in this book, Revelation 6:4, Revelation 6:11; Revelation 9:5, Revelation 9:20; Revelation 13:12; Revelation 14:13), that there may be their right.”

To come to the tree of life (επι το χυλον της ζωηςepi to xulon tēs zōēs). “Over the tree of life.” On εχουσια επιexousia epi = “power over” see Revelation 6:8; Revelation 13:7; Revelation 16:9; Luke 9:1. On “the tree of life” see Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2.

May enter in (εισελτωσινeiselthōsin). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομαιeiserchomai parallel with ινα εσταιhina estai (future).

By the gates (τοις πυλωσινtois pulōsin). Associative instrumental case of πυλωνpulōn (Revelation 21:12), “by the gate towers.”

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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 22:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

That do His commandments ( οἱ ποιοῦντες τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ )

Read οἱ πλύνοντες τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν theythat wash their robes. Compare Revelation 7:14.

That they may have right to the tree of life ( ἵνα ἔσται ἡ ἐξουσία αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τὸ ξύλον τῆς ζωῆς )

Lit., in order that theirs shall be authority over the tree of life. For ἐξουσία rightauthority, see on John 1:12. Ἑπί may be the preposition of direction: “may have right to come to ” (so Rev.) or may be rendered over.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Happy are they that do his commandments — His, who saith, I come - He speaks of himself.

That they may have right — Through his gracious covenant.

To the tree of life — To all the blessings signified by it. When Adam broke his commandment, he was driven from the tree of life. They who keep his commandments" shall eat thereof.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Ver. 14. That they may have right] That they may be assured of their interest in Christ and his kingdom. Plutarch tells of Eudoxas, that he would be willing to be burnt up by the sun presently, so he might be admitted to come so near it as to learn the nature of it. What then should not we be content to do or suffer for the enjoyment of Christ and heaven?

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Revelation 22:14

The Last Beatitude of the Ascended Christ.

I. If we are clean, it is because we have been made so. The first beatitude that Jesus Christ spoke from the mountain was, "Blessed are the poor in spirit"; the last beatitude that He speaks from heaven is, "Blessed are they that wash their robes." And the act commended in the last is but the outcome of the spirit extolled in the first. For they who are poor in spirit are such as know themselves to be sinful men; and those who know themselves to be sinful men are they who will cleanse their robes in the blood of Jesus Christ. (1) This mysterious robe, which answers nearly to what we mean by character, is made by the wearer. (2) All the robes are foul. (3) The foul robes can be cleansed; character may be sanctified and elevated.

II. The second thought that I would suggest is that these cleansed ones, and by implication these only, have unrestrained access to the source of light: "Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life." That of course carries us back to the old mysterious narrative at the beginning of the book of Genesis. The tree of life stands as the symbol here of an external source of life. I take "life" to be used here in what I believe to be its predominant New Testament meaning, not bare continuance in existence, but a full, blessed perfection and activity of all the faculties and possibilities of the man, which this very Apostle himself identifies with the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. And that life, says John, has an external source in heaven, as on earth.

III. Those who are cleansed, and they only, have entrance into the society of the city. The city is the emblem of security and of permanence. No more shall life be as a desert march, with changes which only bring sorrow, and yet a dreary monotony amidst them all. We shall dwell with abiding realities, ourselves fixed in unchanging, but ever-growing, completeness and peace. The tents shall be done with; we shall inhabit the solid mansions of the city which hath foundations, and shall wonderingly exclaim, as our unaccustomed eyes gaze on their indestructible strength, "What manner of stones and what buildings are here?" And not one stone of these shall be thrown down.

A. Maclaren, A Year's Ministry, 1st series, p. 43.

Reference: Revelation 22:14.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 369.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae



Revelation 22:14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

IN the inspired volume we do not find such a rigid adherence to systematic accuracy as the jealousies of controversial writers have subsequently introduced. The expressions which were used under the legal dispensation have been sometimes adopted also under the Christian dispensation; and the law of faith been delivered in terms nearly assimilated to those which were characteristic of the law of works. For instance, on one occasion, when a young man asked of our blessed Lord, “what he must do to obtain eternal life;” our blessed Lord answered, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments [Note: Matthew 19:16-17.].” Now, if this direction be taken without due explanation, it will altogether invalidate the Gospel of Christ, and supersede entirely the whole work which our blessed Saviour came from heaven to accomplish for us. The answer was given in order to convince this self-deluded man, that he neither had kept the Commandments, nor could keep them, perfectly; and that, consequently, he must seek for salvation in the way provided for him in the Gospel. In like manner, the passage which I have just read to you must also be explained according to the analogy of faith. If we were to interpret it as importing, that our obedience to the Ten Commandments would entitle us to heaven, we must set aside all that the holy Apostles have written, and go back to Moses as our only instructor; or rather, I must say, we must consign over to perdition every child of man; since God has declared, that “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified [Note: Romans 3:19-20.].” To prevent any such fatal mistake, I will unfold to you,

I. The true nature of evangelical obedience—

When the commandments are mentioned, we are apt to confine our attention to the Decalogue, i. e. to the Ten Commandments which were written by God upon tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai. But to us, under the Gospel, is another commandment given, and which is called in Scripture “The law of faith [Note: Romans 3:27.].” To “do God’s commandments” then, we must,

1. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ—

[The same inspired writer, who speaks to us in the text, says, “This is God’s commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ [Note: 1 John 3:23.].” In truth, till we have obeyed this command, all other obedience, except so far as the mere letter of the commandments, is impracticable; and, if rendered ever so perfectly, would be utterly ineffectual for our salvation. All spiritual obedience is the fruit of faith. We have no strength for it, till we have believed in Christ. It is only by grace received from Christ that we can perform any thing that is truly acceptable to God. A tree destitute of roots might as well produce its proper fruits, and in a perfect state, as we obey the law without the communication of grace from Christ to our souls. He himself has said, “Without me ye can do nothing [Note: John 15:5.].”

But, supposing we could of ourselves obey the law, even in its utmost extent, which not the most perfect man that ever lived could do, seeing that “in many things we all offend [Note: James 3:2.],”) still we never could atone to God for the sins we have already committed: “after having done all that was required of us, we should still be only unprofitable servants [Note: Luke 17:10.].” And therefore we must come to God through Christ, relying wholly on the merits of his death, and pleading only his perfect righteousness as the ground of our acceptance before God [Note: Philippians 3:9.]. Till we have obeyed this command, we are under a sentence of condemnation; which can never be reversed, but through faith in Christ [Note: John 3:18; John 3:36.].]

2. Comply with the whole of His revealed will—

[The law of the Ten Commandments is not made void by the Gospel, nor is one of its requirements lessened in any degree. We are as much bound to love God with all our heart and soul, and to love our neighbour as ourselves, as Adam was in Paradise: nor if we have truly believed in Christ, shall we wish any one of its demands to be lowered. We shall see that law to be “holy, and just, and good” in every respect; and we shall pant after, and labour for, a perfect conformity to its every requirement. We shall not be satisfied with a literal observance of its precepts: we shall aspire after the highest possible attainments; and strive, according to our ability, to be “holy as God is holy, and perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect” — — — At the same time, our dependence will not be on our own obedience, but on the finished work of Christ; from a full conviction that there is “no other foundation on which any man can build [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:11.],” “nor any other name but His whereby any man can be saved [Note: Acts 4:12.].”]

Having shewn what evangelical obedience is, let me point out to you,

II. The blessedness attached to it—

To understand this aright, we should look to Adam in Paradise—

[He, whilst he continued in a state of innocence, had liberty to eat of the tree of life, which was to him a sacramental pledge, that, when his obedience should be completed, he should enter into the Paradise above. But when he had sinned, he was debarred from all access to the tree of life; because it could no longer be available for the benefits which, during his state of innocence, it assured to him. He might have ignorantly had recourse to it still as the means of life, if he had continued in Paradise: and therefore God drove him out from thence, and placed cherubims with a fiery sword at the gate of Eden, to prevent him from making any such rash attempt; that so he might be shut up to the salvation which was now revealed to him through the promised Seed [Note: Genesis 3:22-24.].

Now the privilege which he forfeited is, through Christ, renewed to us: or rather, I should say, the privilege which he enjoyed in the shadow, is now imparted to us in the substance. He possessed his by obeying the commandments written on his heart; and we enjoy ours by obeying the commandments revealed to us in the Gospel. He possessed not his by any claim of merit, but by the free and sovereign gift of God: nor do we obtain ours but in a way of sovereign grace. Yet, as in his case, so in ours, the work and the reward are inseparable: and the very “right” conceded to him by works, is vouchsafed to us by faith. The very word which we here translate “right,” is, in another part of the same author’s works, translated “power:” “To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name [Note: ἐξουσία.].” There is between this passage and our text a perfect identity of import. In both cases, access to Christ, as the tree of life, was given by faith; and that access to Christ, and consequent participation of his benefits, was a pledge of eternal life.

True, in order to a full enjoyment of the final reward, there must be, as in Adam’s case, an obedience also to the moral law. But, in both cases, the reward is ultimately and equally of grace. What would have been vouchsafed to him without a Mediator, if he had continued obedient to God’s commands, will be vouchsafed to us through a Mediator, notwithstanding our past disobedience; provided we comply with the requisitions of the Gospel, by a life of faith, and by a life of holiness.]

In both cases, obedience is equally a condition of eternal life—

[Persons are apt to take offence at the word condition. But the word is proper or improper, according to the sense we annex to it. Strictly speaking, obedience would not have given to Adam in Paradise any claim to heaven, any further than heaven had been promised to him as a reward, in the event of his continuing faultless throughout the whole period appointed for his probation. But to a person seeking salvation by the law, it would actually give ground for boasting, because he would demand salvation as a debt. But under the Gospel, however obedient we be, our hope of salvation is founded on Christ alone; and to all eternity must the glory of it be given to him alone. Hence, when we speak of obedience as a condition of eternal life, we mean no more, than that without it no salvation can be attained; obedience being the necessary fruit of faith, and the only possible evidence of our meetness for heaven. In this, its true and only proper sense, we most cordially adopt the language of our text, and say, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to eat of the tree of life, and enter in through the gates of the city.” Whatever was accorded to Adam in Paradise, during his obedience to the law, shall be vouchsafed to us, if we be obedient to the Gospel. Was he strengthened and comforted by the tree of life? so shall we be, by a life of faith on Christ Jesus, who is the tree of life which beareth twelve manner of fruits—the summer-fruits of prosperity, and the winter-fruits of adversity, according as the necessities of his people shall require. And, as the heavenly Paradise would have been his; so will that city, described in the foregoing chapter, be ours, with the freest participation of all its riches and of all its honours.]

Application—To all then I say,

1. Perform your duties—

[Come to Christ, every one of you, as sinners, that you may be saved from wrath through him——And endeavour to live altogether to His glory, shewing forth, in all things, your faith by your works — — —]

2. Enjoy your privileges—

[Go to the tree of life; take of it freely; and eat of it every hour of your lives. You are told, that “the very leaves of that tree are for the healing of the nations.” What then shall its fruits be? Verily, a life of faith in the Son of God, as having loved you and given himself for you, shall richly supply your every want; and be not a pledge only, but a foretaste also, of heaven itself. And go now, and survey the heavenly city, its foundations, its walls, its gates of pearls, its very pavement of the purest gold: it is all yours; yours by “right,” by title, by the strongest of all possible claims—the promise and the oath of God. Live in expectation of it now, and you shall soon enjoy it for evermore.]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 22:14. αὐτοῦ, of Him) of Him, who is coming: Revelation 22:12. He Himself speaks concerning Himself. There is a very similar phrase, ch. Revelation 5:10 : them, that is, us.— ἵνα ἔσται) ἵνα explains the blessedness here mentioned, as ch. Revelation 14:13; and ἔσται for makes the discourse exceedingly emphatic.— τὸ ξύλον τῆς ζωῆς, the tree of life) of which they who eat, live for ever: Genesis 3:22.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Revelation 22:13"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Блаженны те, которые соблюдают заповеди Его См. пояснение к 1:3. Предпочтительный вариант – «блаженны, омывающие одежды свои», т.е. те, кому прощены грехи их, которые очистились кровью Агнца Божия (Евр. 9:14; 1Пет. 1:18, 19; см. пояснение к 7:14).

древо жизни См. пояснения к ст. 2; Быт. 2:9.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The city; the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, the eternal abode of God and his people.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.

Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right ... Some scholars still prefer the KJV rendition of this as, "Blessed are they that do his commandments," which could well be correct. Recent generations of Bible translators are allergic to any mention of "doing" God's commandments. However, as regards this verse, it could not make the slightest difference. "Washing one's robes" and "doing his commandments" are synonymous terms. Either way, there's a lot of doing for the sinner who hopes to be saved. Oh no; he does not thereby earn or merit salvation; but there are nevertheless things to be "done" by the sinner before God will save him. This is one of the seven great beatitudes of Revelation. They are:


Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein (Revelation 1:3).


Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Revelation 14:13).


Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame (Revelation 16:15).


Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).


Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (Revelation 10:6).


Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book (Revelation 22:7).


Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and to enter in through the gates into the city (Revelation 22:14).

Barclay's comment on this seventh beatitude is excellent:

This shows man's part in salvation. It is Jesus Christ who in his Cross has provided the grace by which alone man can be forgiven; but man has to appropriate that sacrifice ... We can supply soap and water, but we cannot compel a person to use them.[63]

Mounce pointed out that, "The participle, they that wash is in the present tense, suggesting continuous action."[64] One is never through with washing his robes and striving to achieve through Christ that degree of holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. When all that Christ does for people is considered, man's part in redemption is not worthy to be compared with Christ's; but still, Christ has given man a role to play in his salvation; he must wash his robes. He gives the holy bride the glorious garments; but she must put them on (See under Revelation 19:7ff). Free grace gives the white robes to the sinner, but he must take care of the laundering!

[63] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 227.

[64] Robert H. Mounce, Commentaries on the New Testament, Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977), p. 393.

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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 22:14". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Blessed are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right to come to the tree of life and may enter in by the entrances into the city.’

Christ is not just concerned to express His glory, He wants it to affect men’s behaviour and attitudes. In the final analysis only by being cleansed through the blood of Christ can men find entry to the tree of life and become part of the city that is comprised of the people of God. For ‘wash their robes’ compare Revelation 7:14, where it indicates making them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is this which gives them the right to come to the tree of life, and to enter into the city. The Bible began with expulsion from the tree of life, now it ends with a welcome to the tree of life. It is a record of how that has been accomplished.

This is the seventh statement of blessedness in the book. In Revelation 1:3 those who read, hear and keep the prophecies of the book are blessed. In Revelation 14:13 those who ‘die in the Lord’ are blessed. In Revelation 16:15 those who watch and keep their garments by them in readiness for His return are blessed. In Revelation 19:9 those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb are blessed. In Revelation 20:6 those who share the First Resurrection are blessed. And in Revelation 22:7 those who keep the prophecies of this book are blessed. Now those who are cleansed in the blood of Christ are blessed. For they, unlike the fallen Adam, have entry to the tree of life and entry into the city of God.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This final blessing in the book (cf. Revelation 1:3; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 16:15; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7) announces God"s favor on those who cleanse themselves by turning to Christ for salvation (cf. Revelation 7:14; Revelation 21:27). The robe one wears is a figure for one"s works, which others see ( Revelation 19:8; cf. Revelation 7:14).

People who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb will have access to the tree of life (i.e, they will live forever in the new creation). They will also enter the New Jerusalem by its gates (i.e, they will be able to enjoy intimate fellowship with God).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 22:14. Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. The thought of the blessed ‘reward’ that had been spoken of fills the mind of Him who is to bestow it, and He accordingly continues in this and the next following verse to enlarge upon it. Those who are to enjoy that reward are evidently conceived of as one class, the Church of Christ as a whole, not two classes, Jewish and Gentile Christians. All have ‘washed their robes,’ and in that respect they are one. In the two last clauses of the verse their blessedness is presented under two points of view—first, they have ‘a right to,’ literally, they have authority over, ‘the tree of life,’ so that they may eat continually of its fruit; secondly, they ‘enter in by the gates into the city.’ This last we might have expected to be mentioned first, for the tree of life grows within the city. But the first is the most important, and therefore receives the place of prominence. It is also possible that, as it is ‘the right’ to the tree of life that is spoken of, the eating of the tree may be separately viewed. The order may be—first, the right; secondly, the entering; thirdly, the eating.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

That they may have a right or power to eat of the tree of life. A right grounded on the promises of God and his graces. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The American Standard renders the first part of this verse, "Blessed are they that wash their robes." Such would refer to the washing in Christ"s blook (Revelation 1:5) which can only be ours if we keep his commandments, so the rendering is basically the same. It is by such continual obedience, or washing, that we will gain access to the tree of eternal life and an entrance into the eternal city.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Blessed. Greek. makarios. Fiftieth (App-10) and last occurance in N.T. Compare the forty-two occs. of the Hebrew equivalent, "ashrey, the first in Deuteronomy 33:29 (Happy).

do His commandments. The texts read "wash their robes", but it is probable that the reading of the Received Text is correct. It is a question of reading in the original MSS., and not of translation.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

right. App-172.

to = over. App-104.

through = by. No preposition.

into. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Do his commandments. So B, Syriac, Coptic, Cyprian; but A 'Aleph ('), Vulgate, read, '(blessed are they that) wash their robes'-namely, in the blood of the lamb (cf. Revelation 7:14). This takes away pretext for the notion of salvation by works. But the English reading is compatible with salvation by grace: for God's first grand Gospel "commandment" is to believe on Jesus (John 6:28-29; 1 John 3:23). Our "right" to [ exousia (Greek #1849), privilege over] the tree of life is due to, not our doings, but what He has done for us. The privilege is founded on, not merits, but God's grace. Through - `by the gates.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) Blessed are they that do his commandments . . .—The reading of two of the best MSS. is, “Blessed are they that wash their robes.” If we adopt, as we probably ought, this reading, the line of thought suggested above is helped forward: there is in Him who is the First and the Last, refuge from the power of sin and law against which such solemn warning has been given. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin: the best who have striven and conquered were victors not by their own might, but by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11). If, however, we follow the Received text, we have a benediction which echoes the blessing promised to obedience in Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:9 : this echoing of promises from point to point is in harmony with the spirit of the whole epilogue. (Comp. Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:9; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:12.) The special blessing held out to those who wash their robes (or do His commandments) is the right or authority over the tree of life. Blessed are they . . . that they may have (and continue to have) authority over the tree of life, and that they may enter in by the gates into the city. Admission into the city by the gate, which is of one pearl, and the continuous access to the tree of life, are the privileges of the faithful; and these privileges are free to all, for warnings do not forfeit privileges, but rather do they urge us to use them.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

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

(3) The seven apocalyptic beatitudes of the bride of the Lamb, the victorious church--22:14-16.

Verse 14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

This beautiful beatitude was the last of a cluster of the blessed passages of Revelation, and it rises to the highest heights of the mountain ranges of the visions of the blessed in the descriptions of their trials. After the first pronouncement of blessing in chapter one, their contexts appear as a sort of parentheses in the subject matter of the visions.

There are seven of these beatitudes in Revelation, which deserve to be listed as a parenthesis here:

The first beatitude was the blessing for them that read, heard and kept the words of the Seer, because the time was so near--chapter 1:3.

The second was the benedictory for the future martyrs who should die in the cause of the Lord from henceforth-- chapter 14:13.

The third was in praise of the state of grace for those who were aware of the imminence of ominous events and who lived in sustained preparation to meet the crisis-- chapter 16: 15.

The fourth included the faithful saints who survived the persecutions and participated in the renewed and continuous fellowship of the victorious Bride in the marriage supper of the Lamb--chapter 19:9.

The fifth was the blessed state of victory shared by the martyrs who "lived and reigned with Christ" in complete victory, which was symbolized by elevating the souls under the altar (chapter 6) to positions on the throne (chapter 20) and which symbolized the resurrection of the cause for which they died, and therefore figuratively designated the first resurrection in which the enthroned souls had part --chapter 20: 6.

The sixth was exhortatory to all who had received the completed apocalypse, and maintained faithful adherence to all of the sayings embodied in the visions--chapter 22:7.

The seventh was the blessing of reward for all, after the scenes of persecution had been accomplished, and the trials of the tribulation were ended, who through obedience entered the opened gates into the city of the new Jerusalem, the redeemed Bride of the Lamb, the victorious church of Christ--chapter 22:14.

This high note of hope in the form of beatitudes permeated the apocalypse from the first chapter to the last, and the character of them adds to the accumulation of evidence that the visions of Revelation belonged to the tribulation period of the early churches.

Returning to the text of chapter 22:14, the important words do his commandments constitute an imperative command. The condition of entering this City of God, the church, was obedience to the gospel.

The revisions that have changed the phrase "do his commandments" to "wash their robes" have served only to weaken the text and obscure its meaning. It is a specific gospel text which should not be generalized by a tampering with its words, a thing that all of the late so-called revisions appear to be specializing in doing. The text is sublime as it reads and it means that the gospel must be obeyed.

The clause that they may have right to the tree of life meant the title to it. The word right does not here merely mean a right or privilege of entering the city--but indicates the title of inheritance. The one who enters "through the gates into the city" has right to the tree of life--to the inheritance of the life which is the fruit of the tree, as set forth in the comments on verse three of this chapter. It is an edifying concept of the source of spiritual life in the church of God and of Christ.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". 1966.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
7; Psalms 106:3-5; 112:1; 119:1-6; Isaiah 56:1,2; Daniel 12:12; Matthew 7:21-27; Luke 12:37,38; John 14:15,21-23; 15:10-14; 1 Corinthians 7:19; Galatians 5:6; 1 John 3:3,23,24; 5:3
may have
John 4:12; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 9:5; *Gr:
to the
2; 2:7
and may
21:27; John 10:7,9; 14:6
Reciprocal: Genesis 2:9 - tree of life;  Leviticus 20:8 - And ye;  Leviticus 26:3 - GeneralDeuteronomy 5:29 - keep all;  Deuteronomy 11:27 - GeneralDeuteronomy 32:47 - GeneralDeuteronomy 33:28 - Israel;  Joshua 1:8 - observe;  Ezra 7:10 - to do it;  Psalm 1:1 - Blessed;  Psalm 15:2 - worketh;  Psalm 24:4 - pure;  Psalm 26:9 - Gather not;  Psalm 32:1 - Blessed;  Psalm 101:8 - cut off;  Psalm 111:10 - do his commandments;  Psalm 118:19 - Open;  Psalm 118:20 - This gate;  Proverbs 7:2 - Keep;  Proverbs 19:16 - keepeth the;  Proverbs 29:18 - but;  Ezekiel 18:5 - if;  Ezekiel 18:11 - that;  Ezekiel 41:12 - separate;  Matthew 5:3 - Blessed;  Matthew 7:24 - whosoever;  Matthew 12:50 - do;  Matthew 22:8 - but;  Matthew 28:20 - them;  Luke 6:47 - doeth;  Luke 11:28 - GeneralJohn 13:17 - happy;  Colossians 1:12 - made;  Colossians 3:4 - our;  2 Timothy 1:10 - and hath;  James 1:25 - this;  2 Peter 1:10 - if;  1 John 2:3 - if we;  Revelation 12:17 - which

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation

Entrance Into The City.

Revelation 22:14.

The last three chapters of Revelation correspond with the first three of Genesis. Creation—and new creation; the Paradise of man—and the Paradise of God; Paradise lost—Paradise regained; man expelled—man brought back. This fourteenth verse fits in with the twenty-fourth verse of the third of Genesis. Let us look at its parts.

I. The CITY.It is the new Jerusalem. At the first creation there was no city—only a garden with one man in it; now there is a city in the midst of the garden, and the citizens are the multitude that no man can number. It is a glorious city; well-built, well-watered, well-founded, well-paved, well-lighted—altogether perfect! "God has prepared for them a city"—a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

II. The GATES.These gates are twelve; each one a pearl; gates for redeemed men to enter by; gates never shut; gates for both men and angels; gates which lead into the palace of the King, through which the sons of the second Adam can enter into the new Jerusalem. They are made by God"s own hand. They are the everlasting gates or doors sung of by David, at which the King of glory enters. They are the gates through which there is the "abundant entrance" into the everlasting kingdom. No longer "narrow", but wide; not painful to pass through, but pleasant and glorious. Divine gates, for a divine city, in the midst of which there is the palace of the King.

III. The TREE.It is the tree of life, spoken of in Genesis, and also specially noted in the promise to the Church of Ephesus. It is the life-giving tree—not only now in the midst of the earthly Paradise, but the Paradise of God; nor only in the midst of Paradise, but in the midst of the city—for Jerusalem and Paradise are now one. The tree, which no doubt symbolizes Christ Himself (as does the water of life), is doubtless a real tree; only more heavenly, more spiritual, than that which grows on earth. The tree is laden with fruit; it has twelve kinds of fruit; it has a monthly harvest; its leaves are for the healing of the nations. As there is the bread of life, and the hidden manna, so is there also this tree of life—this true plant of renown.

IV. The BLESSED ONES.It is God who calls them blessed, and they must be so whom He calls by such a name. Throughout this book this word occurs several times. "Blessed is he who reads;" "blessed is he who watches;" "blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." In our text let us notice three points of BLESSEDNESS.

(1.) They keep His commandments.This carries us back to the 119th Psalm, and reminds us of the blessedness in which David rejoiced. In keeping of these commandments there is great reward, and great peace. We are called and forgiven, that we may keep these. It is to a life of such keeping that we are called. By such a life, we partake of blessedness as well as glorify God. We are redeemed that we may be holy—that we may walk in the commandments of the Lord our God and delight in His law after the inner man. This delight is blessedness. Thus one of the names of a Christian is a "keeper of the commandments of God".

(2.) They have a right to the tree of life.Not by merit, only by grace—yet still a right; something which they can claim. The reception of pardon is simply in believing; but the reward is the result of good works. This statement as to keeping the commandments and its fruits, is no more inconsistent with a free salvation than such an expression, "Holiness, without which no man can see the Lord;" nor with our Lord"s "Beatitudes," each of which gives expression and forfeiture reversed, and we introduced into the better Paradise, with the conscious certainty that we cannot fail or be driven out! No flaming sword to guard the way! All open and free! To feed on that tree forever; and in feeding find ourselves nourished and invigorated in every faculty! No death, nor disease, nor weakness, nor weariness, in sight of such a tree as this! All life and health forever!

(3.) They shall enter in through the gates into the city.They are blessed in a threefold way, as doers of the commandments, as partakers of the tree of life, as triumphant conquerors, entering in procession through the gates into the city.

(a.) The city is their city—Its name is the new Jerusalem. It is not for angels, but for men. God has built it for them; and so He is not ashamed to be called their God. The "fire" into which the unrighteous are cast is not prepared for these redeemed ones. Their citizenship is in heaven, though they shall not enter it until their Lord returns as the King of glory. As Paradise was Adam"s garden, so is the new Jerusalem their own city.

(b.) They shall enter through the gates into it—Not over the wall; not by stealth; but as conquerors in triumphal procession, their Lord, as King of glory, at their head. They are the conquerors so often mentioned in this book; and they shall be seen as such in the day of their entrance.

(c.) They shall possess it forever—This is evidently implied. Eternal possession! They shall go out no more. They are citizens of a magnificent city—a joyous city. They shall not be driven out. They, as the true cherubim, shall occupy the true Paradise, in which not only shall the tree of life be assessable, but the tree of knowledge shall be no more forbidden.

Come, O Savior! Come, O Sinner!

Revelation 22:17.

The speaker here is Jesus Himself, as the context shows. But who is the one spoken to? Is it one person or more than one? Is it the sinner that is addressed (as most think)? or is it first Christ and then the sinner? The last is the truth. The verse is twofold. In the first part, Christ is addressed; in the second, the sinner—though the word "come" runs through the whole. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come! and let him who hears say, Come!" are words addressed to Christ, pleading for His advent. "Let him who is athirst come! and whoever will, let him take the water of life freely!" are the words of invitation from Jesus to the sinner.

I. The cry for Christ"s coming.It is this advent that is the great theme of the Apocalypse, and the central object of its scenes. It opens with, "Behold, He comes;" it goes on with, "Behold I come as a thief;" and it ends with, "Behold, I come quickly." All the predictions throughout the book bear upon this event, and carry forward the Church"s hopes to this great goal. But there are three parties here represented as uttering this prayer—

(1.) The Spirit.He cries, "Come." He who has been speaking to the Churches; who has inspired all the predictions relating to the event—He Himself is brought in personally as breathing the desires which He has dictated. He has sympathized with them all; and those longings which He had put into the lips of others, now come forth from His own. "The Spirit says, Come." What so interests the Spirit in the advent?

(a.) Christ will then be fully glorified, and it is the Spirit"s office to glorify Christ. He has not yet got His glory on earth at all, nor even His full glory in heaven.

(b.) Then the whole earth will be converted, and the Spirit will get full scope to all His longings and yearnings over men. He shall no longer strive, but prevail. He shall no longer be vexed, and grieved, and quenched. No wonder that He cries, "Come!"

(2.) The Bride.The Lamb"s wife, the whole Church as a body, as a virgin betrothed, looking for the marriage day. In one sense an injured widow, in another the bride. She expects the marriage; the union, the fellowship, the blessedness, the glory; the ending of loneliness and weariness, of sorrow and shame. No wonder, then, that she sighs for the Bridegroom"s arrival, "Come!"

(3.) He who hears."Blessed is he who hears." Not as if the hearer was not part of the bride; but the word thus singles out each one on whose ears the message is falling. The moment you hear it, you should cry, "Come! Come, Lord Jesus! For then our sins and sorrows are ended; then our victory is won; then this vile body is changed; then we meet and unite forever with the loved and lost; then shall the ransomed of the Lord return, and come to Zion with songs." Let this, then, be the theme of our morning and evening cry, Come! as we read of wars, and blood, and human passion, cry louder and louder, Come!

II. The invitation to the sinner.In this latter part it is clearly the sinner that is spoken to—"Let him who is athirst come; and whoever will."

(1.) The inviter—Christ Himself; the same who said, "Come unto me." He invited once on earth; He now invites from heaven with the same urgency and love. He speaks to us with His own lips; He would have us know that He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever; that He still receives sinners; that there is still joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.

(2.) The persons invited—They are first described as the "thirsty"; but lest this should be supposed to narrow the message or to exclude any class of men, it is added, "whoever will."

1. The thirsty—Those who would gladly be happy, but know not how; who are seeking rest, but finding none; who are asking for good, "any good," anywhere; who are hewing out broken cisterns; who are betaking themselves to dried-up wells; who are drinking of the Dead Sea"s bitter water. "Ho, every one who thirsts! (Isaiah 55:1; John 4:10, John 7:37).

2. Whoever will—This is a wide enough description. It shuts out none; it names every one. Are you in quest of water for your soul? It is here. Do you want to be happy? Joy is here for you—whoever and whatever you are.

(3.) The blessings invited to—The water of life. "Water," that which will thoroughly refresh you and quench your thirst; "water of life," living and life giving; a quickening well; a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. Not a shower, nor a stream, but a well—a fountain (Revelation 21:6). This water is the Holy Spirit Himself, who comes to us as the bringer of God"s free love, with all the joy which that love introduces into the soul. His wrath withers up the soul, His free love revives it, like rain upon the mown grass. His condemnation carries death, and gloom, and bondage; but His forgiveness reverses all this. What is there that this free love of God does not contain?

(4.) The price—Freely! without money; so that the poorest can have all they need. The free gift of God! Free as the rain and dew; free as the sunbeam; free as the reviving air around. Absolutely, unconditionally free! Free to each one as he is—though the chief of sinners, the emptiest, wickedest, thirstiest of sons of men.

(5.) The time—The invitation comes forth at the close of that book which sums up all revelation. It contains Christ"s last words, meant specially for the last days of a weary, thirsty world; when men, having tried every pleasure, vanity, lust, folly, and found nothing, having exhausted every cup and broken every cistern, will be found more thoroughly weary and thirsty than before. The last generation of earth, as it will be the wickedest, so will it be the thirstiest of all. Just when human thirst is at its height, when the gates are about to close, when the last trumpet is about to sound, the message of free love to the sinner comes forth, in greatest largeness, in undiminished fullness. It is no feeble, no fettered gospel—no dried-up well!

The Divine Word, and the Doom of its Defacers.

Revelation 22:18-19.

This warning in reference to the Book of Revelation is applicable to all Scripture, and carries us back to Deuteronomy 4:2and 12:32. "You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it."

It is given in the form of a testimony—from the faithful and true witness, to show its importance, and its truth. To everyone who hears that testimony the warning comes. How great the responsibility of those who have the Bible in their hands! How solemnly they should look on it, and listen to it, and handle it! In this testimony, then there is declared to us—

I. The perfection of God"s word.Man may not meddle with it—either to add, or to take away. He may meddle with his own words, or doings, or plans—to alter, to correct, to complete—but not with what is divine. The words and things of God are not for him to touch. They are perfect; perfect for the ends required; perfect for God"s purpose in speaking them to man. Can man improve the works of God? the mountains, rivers, flowers? the blue sky, the stars, the sun? Even so is the word of God too perfect for him to touch.

II. The honor God puts on it.He has magnified it, even above His works; so that he who disparages the word of God is more guilty than he who disparages the works of God. Whether we see its perfection is not the question. We may be blind to it; but whether blind or seeing, God expects honor at our hands for His word. It is the fullest expression of His mind, the completest revelation of His character. It is such a declaration of the name of God as can be found nowhere else.

III. Our responsibilities in regard to it.It is not given us for mere speculation or gratification; but for something far higher. We are responsible for the way we treat it, study it, profit by it. Its perfection makes our responsibility very great, and appeals to our consciences most powerfully. Were it not so perfect, we might deal with it as we deal with a human volume; were it not divine, we might forego the honor to it of which we speak. Hence the modern dislike to the idea of a perfect Bible; because the pressure upon the conscience is felt to be so solemn and so overpowering, with no possibility of evasion or escape. Definite Bible doctrine, the age hates, as trammeling its freedom—specially doctrine defined by a divine revelation.

IV. The sin of tampering with it.In regard to many of the things of God, the idea is, that while it is a misfortune to be in error, there is no sin in it. No sin in differing from God! No sin in trifling with His truth, or denying it! No sin in undervaluing His revelation! The sin of tampering with the Bible is one of which man is not easily persuaded; yet in the reckoning of God it is real and great. Every low thought about the Bible is sin. Every attempt to touch it, either in the way of addition or subtraction, is sin.

V. The danger of meddling with it.The danger is exceeding great; and the punishment awarded to the meddlers is the declaration of the danger. God will not be mocked in this!

There are two opposite ways in which men treat the Bible—to add or to take away; and both these our text condemns in the most fearful way.

(1.) The doom of those who ADD."God shall add unto them the plagues written in this book." Those plagues are very fearful. Read the plagues of the seals, the trumpets, the vials. Are they not fearful? They are for this life, as well as for that which is to come. The very mention of them is appalling. Who in our day credits such things, or believes that God will execute such terrible vengeance upon all such as add to His word! The Pharisees added to it; the Romanists add to it; and we ourselves often add to it, by the way in which we enter on its perusal with unteachable hearts, with preconceived opinions, which would make the obvious meanings of the word give way before them. Let us tremble at the word! Add not unto His word, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar. God adds His plagues to the adders of His book!

(2.) The doom of those who TAKE AWAY from it.This is especially the sin of our age. We sit in judgment upon its verities; we tamper with its certainty; we trifle with its words. We take from it; we render it null and void; we deny its authority; we object to its inspiration; we cut off what books we please! But let us not be deceived. God is not mocked. He also can take away—and He will! He will take away—

(a.) Our part of the book of life—effacing our names, and inserting them in the book of death!

(b.) Our part in the holy city. No holy city, no new Jerusalem—for the deniers of His word!

(c.) Our part from the things written in this book. These are many—the promises to the seven conquerors, the first resurrection, the marriage supper! How much we lose! What a condemnation is there for those who reject or mutilate the divine word!

The Free Love of Christ.

Revelation 22:21.

Thus the Bible closes with blessing. In this prayer we have the summing up of all the blessings which the word of God has uttered.

In the prospect of the Lord"s coming, and with His voice proclaiming, "Surely I come quickly!" the apostle breathes out the prayer, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." It was sent to the seven Churches of Asia—it is sent to usin these last days. Nor do we need it less. It suited well the Church in the beginning of her history—it suits her as well at its close. The love which passes knowledge is contained in it—and in that love all that a sinner needs at first, as well as all that a saint needs to the last.

Grace abounding, grace reigning, grace conquering, grace justifying, grace comforting, grace purifying—such is the key to the history of the Church of God. It is the history of Christ"s free love, and of "salvation to the uttermost," through that free love flowing down to earth. For everything pertaining to the sinner"s deliverance and eternal life comes down to us from God. Man is simply the receiver and the enjoyer of a love as boundless as it is unbought!

I. What is this grace of the Lord Jesus ChristFree love! Divine favor, unbought, unsolicited, and undeserved! With this the Bible begins, and with this it ends. The free love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! This is the "good news" which the messengers of God have brought to us; the "good news" which the cross of Christ has made available and accessible; the "good news" which remains "good" to the last, unchanged and unweakened by the lapse of time. The gospel has not become a dried-up well or broken cistern. The free love of God, coming to us through His Son, has not been exhausted or made less free. In these last days, we can take up the old message of grace to the sinner, and sound it abroad as loudly and as freshly as at the first.

No delight in the death of the wicked! Delight in his turning from his ways and living! Yearning over the impenitent, tears for Jerusalem sinners, stretching out of the hand to the rebellious, invitation upon invitation to the weary; the open door, the universal call, the beseeching to be reconciled, the pressing of the cup of life to the lips of a thirsty world—all this, continued to the last, marks he unutterable compassion of God to the sinner, the riches of the divine grace, the boundless fullness of God"s heart, as it pours out its longings, and proclaims its long suffering to the chief of sinners. Return to your Father"s house, and be blessed! Come, and be forgiven! Look, and be saved! Touch, and be healed! Ask, and it shall be given!

II. How this grace has been shown.In many ways, but chiefly in the Cross. The words of Christ were grace—the doings of Christ were grace—but at the cross it came forth most fully. Grace all concentrates there—grace shines out there in its fullness. The cross is the place and pledge of grace. The cross did not make or originate the grace; but it made it a righteous thing that grace should flow out to us. It threw wide the gates of the storehouse; it unsealed the heavenly well. From the cross comes forth the voice of love, the message of grace, the embassy of peace and reconciliation. This grace flows everywhere throughout a guilty earth; but its center is the cross; and only in connection with the cross is it available for and accessible to us. The "it is finished" of Golgotha was the throwing down of the barriers that stood between the sinner and the grace.

The grace itself was uncreated and eternal; it did not originate in the purpose—but in the nature of God. Still its outflow to sinners was hemmed in by God"s righteousness; and until this was satisfied at the cross, the grace was like forbidden fruit to man. Divine displeasure against sin, and divine love of holiness, found their complete satisfaction at the altar of the cross—where the "consuming fire" devoured the great burnt-offering, and gave full vent to the pent-up stores of grace. The love of the Father, giving His son, was there. The love of the Holy Spirit, by whom a body was prepared for Him, and by whom "He offered Himself without spot," was there. The cross is the great exhibition of the grace!

III. How we get this grace.Simply by taking it as it is, and as we are; by letting it flow into us; by believing God"s testimony concerning it. Grace supposes no preparation whatever in him who receives it, but that of worthlessness and guilt, whether these be felt or unfelt. The dryness of the ground is that which fits it for the rain; the poverty of the beggar is that which fits him for the alms; so the sin of the sinner is that which fits him for the grace of Christ. If anything else were needed, grace would be no more grace, but would become work or merit. Where sin abounds, there it is that grace much more abound. How many are shutting out the grace by trying to prepare themselves for it! Open your mouth wide and I will fill it, is all that God asks. Our thirst may be but the thirst for happiness; our hunger may be but the hunger of earth; our feelings may be altogether unspiritual; our sense of sin nothing—yet all this does not make us less qualified for Christ"s free love, or that free love less immediate or less bounteous in its flow. In the belief of God"s testimony to the grace of His Son, we let in the grace, and become partakers of the pardon and the joy.

IV. What grace does for us.It does so many things, that we find it not easy to reply to this question, any more than to such—What does the light do for us? What does the air do for us? It does for us exceeding abundantly, above all we ask or think.

(1.) It pardons—Forgiveness through the grace and work of Christ is the beginning of the good news. He who believes God"s record of the grace of Christ is forgiven.

(2.) It pacifies—It brings peace to the conscience. Not the grace without the blood—but still the grace that comes to us through the blood, pacifies.

(3.) It liberates—Dread of God"s anger kept us in bondage; the knowledge of the grace of Christ reaching us through the finished propitiation of the cross sets us free, by removing this dread.

(4.) It enlightens—With the grace there pours in light from Him who is the Light of the world. The grace dispels the darkness.

(5.) It strengthens—The sight of the free love brought to us by the blood invigorates the soul. Until we see it, our hands hang down, and our knees fail us.

(6.) It purifies—It is holy grace, holy love; and it carries its purifying power into the soul that receives it. The cross is the wondrous revelation of divine holiness—and the love which comes to us through the cross, is purifying love.

(7.) It comforts—Only such free love can sustain the soul in sorrow, or speak consolation, or bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted!

V. How long grace lasts.Forever! It has not end. Christ loves forever. His grace is unchangeable like Himself. Its fullness is inexhaustible. It will be a perpetual fountain throughout eternity. It does for the evil days here—and for the glorious days hereafter. It suits us on earth—it will suit us in the kingdom. There is grace that is to be brought to us, at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and in the ages to come God will show us the exceeding riches of His grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus our Lord!

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Bibliographical Information
Bonar, Horatius. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation".

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

Blessed is from MAKARIOS, and in the King James Version it has been rendered "blessed" 43times and "happy" 6 times. The reason for their blessedness or happiness is their right to the tree of life. The word right is from the word EXOUSIA, which also means power or authority. It is a very serious passage in view of the notions of many people as to the lot of the unsaved. As an outburst of sentiment or emotion it is said, "How could God refuse to admit any person to the eternal happiness when He has it within his power to grant it." But the last part of the statement is not true, for God cannot do that which is not right. ( Titus 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:13.) If those who do the commandments are the ones who have the right to the tree of life, then it would not be right for others to have access to it. And if they would not have a right to it, it would be wrong for them to have it. And since God cannot do wrong it follows that He cannot admit any person to the city who has not done the commandments. It is clear that having right to the tree of life requires the right for entrance into the city, for we learned at verse2that the tree is growing inside the city.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 22:14

Revelation 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

By the commandments of God, we are to understand the moral law which Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill. Therefore the apostle told the primitive saints, that they were not without the law to God, but under the law to Christ. { 1 Corinthians 9:21} This doing of the commandments of God is not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the spirit. { Romans 7:6} This blessedness is two fold; first,

They have right to the tree of life

not by merit, but of mercy and free grace. Secondly, an entrance through the gates into the holy city, the new Jerusalem, and the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, { 2 Peter 1:10-11; 2 Peter 1:15}

For without are dogs, etc.

That Isaiah, all sorts of ungodly and wicked men and women.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation".

Harold Norris' Commentary on the Book of Revelation


"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." ( Revelation 22:14). These appeared much earlier in7:14. They were those sealed and made safe because they had "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Purity and conquest over sin is a characteristic of those redeemed by Christ. It is this purity and conquest over sin which gives them access to the tree of life which man lost because of his fall into sin in the garden of Genesis chapter3.

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

Revelation 22:14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that their power may be to the tree of life, and to enter by the gates into the city. The meaning is, blessed therefore are they; for the benediction rests on the circumstance, that God in Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. Were it otherwise, they would be the most miserable of men (1 Corinthians 15:19). To keep or to do God's commandments, or his will, his law, is a mode of speech peculiarly frequent with St John (ch. Revelation 12:17, Revelation 14:12; John 7:19, John 4:34, John 6:38, John 7:17, John 9:31). Among these commands faith in Jesus is the foremost (comp. at ch. Revelation 14:12). A similar benediction pronounced on doing is found in John 13:17, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." The his shows that the angel is speaking here in his own person. Bengel's remark, "His is ornately put for mine; his, of him who is the Alpha and the Omega," would only be warrantable, if the other supposition were not so natural.

In the words, "that their power may be," &c., the manner in which the blessedness is to be realized is more accurately determined (comp. on ch. Revelation 14:13). Bengel: "When Adam broke the command the way to the tree of life was barred; but they who do the commandments shall have power over the tree of life."

No other entrance can be found into the new Jerusalem, but through the gates. Their being so expressly mentioned here, therefore, can only be intended to add vividness to the description. He who travels toward a city in the first instance directs his eye to the gates; and the glory of the gates here referred to, described in ch. Revelation 21:21, here again comes especially into view. Allusion is, perhaps, made to Psalms 122:1-2.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14.Have right—All these expressions point to the tree of life as the final reward of a successful probation; and show that not the millennium is meant, but the final heaven beyond the universal resurrection.

May enter’ gates—May be allowed a life in the new earth, of which entrance to the capital is a right.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 22:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.