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New Jerusalem

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

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1. References

(a) In canonical writings.-In the NT the name ‘New Jerusalem’ occurs only twice, and these references are both in the Apocalypse of John, viz. Revelation 3:12 : ‘He that overcometh … I will write upon him … the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God’; Revelation 21:2 : ‘And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God’ (cf. Revelation 21:10). But other phrases with the same reference occur elsewhere in the NT, as Galatians 4:26 : ‘But the Jerusalem that is above is free’; and Hebrews 12:22 : ‘But ye are come … unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.’ It is a city of heavenly origin and full of fresh life, the metropolis of the new earth (cf. Revelation 21:1). This hope of a new order of things (cf. Matthew 19:28, 2 Peter 3:13), with Jerusalem as the centre, is not confined to the NT; it occurs also in the OT, e.g. in Isaiah 65:17 : ‘For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind,’ and in Isaiah 66:22 : ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.’ But the metropolis that appears in Isaiah is not the New Jerusalem; it is the old city as before, only purified and blessed by God in a special manner. The basis of the new conception within the OT is found in such passages as Ezekiel 40:2 : ‘In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me down upon a very high mountain, whereon was as it were the frame of a city on the south,’ with the whole description of the city in the following chapters (40-48); Isaiah 54:11 ff.: ‘O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will set thy stones in fair colours and lay thy foundations with sapphires’; Isaiah 60:10 ff.: ‘And strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee’; Haggai 2:7-9 : ‘I will fill this house with glory.… The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of hosts’; Zechariah 2:4 f. (English Version ): ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls.… For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.’

(b) In non-canonical writings.-Jewish writings, mainly apocalyptic, fill up the gulf between the Old and New Testaments with regard to the new city and the conception underlying it. The new order of things appears in 1 En. xlv. 4, 5: ‘And I will transform the heaven and make it an eternal blessing and light: and I will transform the earth and make it a blessing’; lxxii. 1: ‘till the new creation is accomplished which dureth till eternity’; xci. 16: ‘And the first heaven shall depart and pass away, and a new heaven shall appear, and all the powers of the heavens shall give sevenfold light.’ In the Book of Jubilees the new creation is mentioned; cf. i. 29: ‘And the angel of the presence who went before the camp of Israel took the tables of the divisions of the years … from the day of the [new] creation when the heavens and the earth shall be renewed and all their creation according to the powers of the heaven, … until the sanctuary of the Lord shall be made in Jerusalem on Mount Zion.’ There is the same implication in 2 En. (Slavonic Enoch) lxv. 6 ff.: ‘When all creation visible and invisible, as the Lord created it, shall end, then every man goes to the great judgement, and then all time shall perish, … they (i.e. the righteous) will live eternally.… And they shall have a great indestructible wall, and a paradise bright and incorruptible, for all corruptible things shall pass away, and there will be eternal life.’ Again the renewal of creation appears in 2 Bar. (Apoc. Bar.) xxxii. 6: ‘For there will be a greater trial than these two tribulations when the Mighty One will renew His creation’; and in 4 Ezr. 7:75: ‘Thou shalt renew the creation.’ The hope of an ideal city, too, finds frequent mention in Jewish literature, e.g. in Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Daniel 5:12): ‘And, in the New Jerusalem shall the righteous rejoice, and it shall be unto the glory of God for ever’; this is the earliest occurrence of the expression ‘New Jerusalem,’ but here it simply implies the rebuilding of the old city. The idea emerges fully for the first time in 1 En. xc. 28, 29, where the pre-existence of the New Jerusalem is implied though not specifically assigned to the new house brought and set up by God Himself: ‘They folded up that old house.… And I saw till the Lord of the sheep brought a new house greater and loftier than that first, and set it up in the place of the first which had been folded up: all its pillars were new, and its ornaments were new and larger than those of the first, the old one which He had taken away, and all the sheep were within it’ (cf. liii. 6). The heavenly Jerusalem in 4 Ezra is described as ‘the city that now is invisible’ (7:26), ‘a City builded’ (8:52, 10:27), ‘the [heavenly] pattern of her [the earthly city]’ (10:49); its descent from heaven is mentioned in 13:36: ‘And Zion shall come and shall be made manifest to all men, prepared and builded, even as thou didst see the mountain cut out without hands,’ while its preservation in heaven is referred to in 2 Bar. iv. 2-7: ‘This building now built in your midst is not that which is revealed with Me, that which was prepared beforehand here from the time when I took counsel to make Paradise, and showed it to Adam before he sinned, but when he transgressed the commandment it was removed from him, as also Paradise. And after these things I showed it to My servant Abraham by night among the portions of the victims. And again also I showed it to Moses on Mount Sinai when I showed to him the likeness of the tabernacle and all its vessels. And now, behold, it is preserved with Me, as also Paradise.’ The idea of the new city as simply a purification of the old appears in 1 En. x. 16-19: ‘Destroy all wrong from the face of the earth.… And then shall all the righteous escape, and shall live till they beget thousands of children, and all the days of their youth and their old age shall they complete in peace. And then shall the whole earth be tilled in righteousness, and shall all be planted with trees and be full of blessing’; also in xxv. 1-6: ‘This high mountain which thou hast seen, whose summit is like the throne of God, is His throne, where the Holy Great One, the Lord of Glory, the Eternal King, will sit, when He shall come down to visit the earth with goodness. And as for this fragrant tree … it shall be transplanted to the holy place, to the temple of the Lord, the Eternal King. Then shall they rejoice with joy and be glad, and into the holy place shall they enter; and its fragrance shall be in their bones, and they shall live a long life on earth, such as thy fathers lived’; and again in Pss.-Sol. 17:25, 33: ‘And that he may purge Jerusalem from nations that trample (her) down to destruction’; ‘and he shall purge Jerusalem, making it holy as of old.’ Tobit mentions the ideal city in Tobit 13:16-17 : ‘For Jerusalem shall be builded with sapphires and emeralds and precious stones; thy walls and towers and battlements with pure gold. And the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with beryl and carbuncle and stones of Ophir.’

2. Rise and development of the conception.-The Jews at first had no thought of any change in the present order of things: ‘One generation goeth, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever’ (Ecclesiastes 1:4); ‘Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved for ever’ (Psalms 104:5); ‘The world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved’ (Psalms 93:1, Psalms 96:10); ‘He hath also stablished them [the heavens] for ever and ever’ (Psalms 148:6). The heavens and the earth formed an established order of things that would be eternal in duration. According to the prophetic teaching, the scene of the Messianic Kingdom was to be the present earth, and that Kingdom was to last for ever; cf. Isaiah 1:25 f.: ‘And I will … throughly purge away thy dross, and will take away all thy tin: and I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called The city of righteousness, the faithful city’; Zephaniah 3:12 f.: ‘But I will leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies … for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid’; Jeremiah 23:5 f.: ‘Behold … I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely.… In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; Jeremiah 12:15 : ‘After that I have plucked them [the hostile nations] up, I will return and have compassion on them; and I will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land’; Ezekiel 37:26 f.: ‘I will place them [Israel], and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ Isaiah 2:2 f. (= Micah 4:1 f.): ‘The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it … for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ The advent of the Kingdom at first was to synchronize with the return from exile, but with that event the hopes of the people were not fulfilled. Haggai and Zechariah expected, however, that whenever the Temple was rebuilt, the Messianic Kingdom would be ushered in (cf. Haggai 2:7-9, Zechariah 2:1-5). With Joel, who introduces us into the apocalyptic atmosphere, we find the same conception, as in the Prophets, of the eternity of the Messianic Kingdom with Jerusalem as its centre: ‘So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.… But Judah shall abide for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation’ (Joel 3:17-18; Joel 3:20). But this conception gradually underwent a change that can already be traced in two late passages of the OT, viz. Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22, where the scene of the Messianic Kingdom is no longer this present world but a new heaven and a new earth. Jerusalem will be transformed as the metropolis of the new earth, but not yet created a new as the New Jerusalem: ‘For, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old, and the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.… The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord’ (65:18b-25). The two late passages above imply a gradual transformation of the world-moral and physical-an idea which probably betrays Persian influence (cf. T. K. Cheyne, Origin of the Psalter [BL [Note: L Bampton Lecture.] , 1889], London, 1891, p. 405). The same idea is perhaps present also in Isaiah 51:16 : ‘And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people,’ but if so, it is a foreign element adopted in eclectic fashion from Zoroastrianism (cf. B. Duhm, Das Buch Jesaia [= Nowack’s Handkommentar zum AT [Note: T Altes Testament.] , iii.], Göttingen, 1892, p. 359). Nowhere else in the OT is the Messianic Kingdom conceived of otherwise than as eternal on this present earth. The change is, however, prepared for in certain post-Exilic passages, e.g. poetically in Isaiah 51:6 : ‘Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished’; also in 34:3f.: ‘Their slain also shall be cast out, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fade away, as the leaf fadeth from off the vine, and as a fading leaf from the fig tree’; and finally in Psalms 102:25 f., which, however, may simply be a reflexion of the new conception from the Maccabaean age (cf. C. A. Briggs, International Critical Commentary , ‘Psalms,’ Edinburgh, 1907, ad loc.): ‘Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.’

Outside the OT in the apocalyptic literature we have to look for the further progress of this conception. The gradual moral and physical transformation of the world that we have noticed as an adopted feature in Isaiah appears again, during the 2nd cent. b.c., in Jub. i. 29 (above); also in iv. 26: ‘and Mount Zion (which) will be sanctified in the new creation for a sanctification of the earth; through it will the earth be sanctified from all (its) guilt and its uncleanness throughout the generations of the world’; ‘And the days shall begin to grow many and increase amongst those children of men till their days draw nigh to one thousand years, and to a greater number of years than (before) was the number of the days’ (xxiii. 27); and once more in Test. Levi, xviii. 9: ‘In his [the Messiah’s] priesthood shall sin come to an end, and the lawless shall cease to do evil.’ It was during the stern days of the Maccabees that the change began to make itself felt with regard to the inappropriateness of the present world as the scene of the future Kingdom. The first trace of it meets us in 1 En. lxxxiii-xc., which Charles dates before 161 b.c. (cf. R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch, Oxford, 1912, Introd., p. lii). Here the centre of the Kingdom is no longer the earthly Jerusalem, but the New Jerusalem brought down from heaven (cf. 1 En. xc. 28, 29, supra). A purified city is not enough; a new and heavenly city must take the place of the old and earthly city as the metropolis of the world-wide Messianic Kingdom. It is to be noted that this portion of the Book of Enoch is dated very shortly after the Book of Daniel and not long after 1 Enoch vi-xxxvi, in neither of which does the New Jerusalem yet appear. The implication in the new idea, however, was not logically carried out until during the 1st cent. b.c. There is mention in 1 En. xci. 16 of a new heaven but not of a new earth, but it is in 1 En. xxxvii-lxxi. (94-64 b.c.) that we have for the first time the conception of a new heaven and a new earth consistently set forth. In 1 En. xlv. 4, 5 the idea is accepted in its entire significance implying the immortal blessedness of man: ‘And I will cause Mine elect ones to dwell upon it: but the sinners and evil-doers shall not set foot thereon’ (cf. Isaiah 65:20, where rather illogically the wicked still live on the new earth). The author of the Parables (i.e. 1 En. xxxvii-lxxi) stands apart from his contemporaries in this new conception of the scene of the Messianic Kingdom and also apart from the writers of the 1st cent. a.d., with regard to the duration of the Kingdom; for while most other writers left behind the OT idea of an everlasting Kingdom and expected only a temporary one on the present earth, he holds to the eternal duration of the Kingdom, contributing the new and fruitful conception of a new heaven and a new earth as the scene of it. It is here, therefore, in the apocalyptic literature that we find the immediate source of the Christian hope of a new heaven and a new earth which meets us in the NT. During the first seven decades of the 1st cent. a.d., i.e. up to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, the prevalent thought was that of a temporary Messianic Kingdom with the earth as its scene, described sometimes in a very materialistic fashion, as in 2 Bar. xxix. 5: ‘The earth also shall yield its fruit ten thousandfold and on each vine there shall be a thousand branches, and each branch will produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster will produce a thousand grapes, and each grape will produce a cor of wine.’ The spiritual change too in the members of the Kingdom seems to be wrought in a mechanical fashion, for sin disappears suddenly rather by Divine fiat than by any gradual process, in striking contrast to what we saw in Jubilees, Isaiah, and The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. The duration of the temporary Kingdom appears in 4 Ezr 7:28, 29 as 400 years, but in 2 En. xxxii., xxxiii. as 1,000 years, to which the Christian view of the Millennium owes its origin. Even the thought of a temporary Messianic Kingdom is at times given up, especially after the destruction of Jerusalem, for the present earth is wholly unfit for the advent of the Messiah; a renewal of the world is felt to be necessary-a renewal that will be everlasting and incorruptible (cf. 4 Ezr. 7:75). It is in these last decades of the 1st cent. a.d., after the earthly Jerusalem has gone, that the thought of the New Jerusalem reappears as the centre of the renewed world to which all hopes are turned, and here we encounter the writings of the NT, which contain that sublimest of descriptions of the New Jerusalem in the Christian Apocalypse. The conception of the Millennium, or the reign of Christ for a thousand years on the present earth, with Jerusalem as the metropolis of this temporary Kingdom, occurs only in the Apocalypse (cf. Revelation 20:4-6), no place being found for it elsewhere in the NT. It is a conception with an exclusively Jewish basis, but one that opens the way for the idea of a new era of blessedness, not on the present earth but in a renewed world; at the close of the Millennium the present order of things passes away-‘And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them’ (Revelation 20:11); ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away’ (Revelation 21:1). This is the scene of the final consummation, and the centre of it is no more the earthly Jerusalem or a purified Jerusalem, but the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven-from God Himself (Revelation 21:2). It is the same city that the author of Hebrews, writing some time before the author of the Apocalypse, has in mind when he refers to Abraham, who ‘looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God’ (Hebrews 11:10); it is ‘the heavenly Jerusalem’ (Hebrews 12:22), the centre of that Kingdom ‘that cannot be shaken,’ for ‘yet once more will I make to tremble not the earth only, but also the heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain’ (Hebrews 12:26-28). Even earlier in the century St. Paul has the same thought, not yet, however, developed, of the new city, ‘the Jerusalem that is above’ (Galatians 4:26), and the same idea is present when he says, ‘Our citizenship is in heaven’ (Philippians 3:20).

3. The description of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9-27; Revelation 22:1-5).-The details of this sublime description are typically Jewish, but the thought is pre-eminently Christian. The earthly Jerusalem had been in ruins for a quarter of a century, Hadrian’s new city was not yet in existence, and the Christian Seer had no thought of the possibility of rebuilding the old. The new city must come down from heaven to be a fitting abode for Christ and the saints. The Seer represents himself as being shown ‘the holy city’ from a high mountain by one of the seven angels (Revelation 21:9-10). ‘Her light was like unto a jasper stone, clear as crystal: having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: on the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb’ (Revelation 21:11-14). As in Ezekiel’s city, the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem bear the names of the twelve tribes-three names on each side of its foursquare order (cf. Ezekiel 48:30-35). But besides these, there appear twelve other names on the city wall; between each pair of gateways above the surface of the rock is a foundation stone, and each stone bears the name of an apostle. The same connexion of the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles appears in Matthew 19:28, where Jesus says of His disciples: ‘in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’ St. Paul has a similar thought when speaking of the Ephesians: ‘Ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone’ (Ephesians 2:19-20). The heavenly city is measured by the angel with a golden measuring rod (Revelation 21:15). ‘And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel’ (Revelation 21:16 f.). Moffatt translates: ‘he measured fifteen hundred miles with his rod for the City, for its breadth and length and height alike; he made the measure of the wall seventy-two yards, by human, that is, by angelic reckoning’ (The New Testament: A New Translation, London, 1913). It is a huge cube, as high as it is broad and long, like the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple (cf. 1 Kings 6:20), only the measurements are hyperbolical. The wall is out of all proportion to the height of the city, but both heights, it ought to be noted, are multiples of twelve, the number of the tribes and of the apostles.

Revelation 21:18-21 : ‘And the building of the wall thereof was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass’ (cf. also Isaiah 54:11 f. and Tobit 13:16 f.). Similar lists occur in Ezekiel 28:13 of the precious stones with which the king of Tyre was covered, and in Exodus 28:17-20; Exodus 39:10-13 of the gems set in the breastplate of the high priest; the latter are reproduced in the Apocalypse evidently from memory, as the lists do not completely coincide. What was exclusively for the high priest’s breastplate is now for the whole city of the New Jerusalem-the foundation stones with the names of the apostles are brilliant with all manner of sparkling gems, and each gate consists of a single monster pearl.

Revelation 21:22 f.: ‘And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof. And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb.’ The actual presence of God and the Christ in the City forms the sanctuary; similarly in 2 Corinthians 6:16 St. Paul says: ‘we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people’; only what St. Paul says of individuals the Seer says of the ideal city as a whole. No need in such a place for any created light, since the Divine presence is there illuminating all; its sun is the glory of the Father, and its lamp the glorified Son. There is here a fulfilment of the ideal in Isaiah 60:19 f.: ‘The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.…’

Revelation 21:24-27 : ‘And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory into it. And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there): and they shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it: and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’ The traits are all found in Isaiah: ‘And nations shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising’ (Isaiah 60:3); ‘Thy gates also shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the wealth of the nations, and their kings led with them’ (Isaiah 60:11); ‘henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean’ (Isaiah 52:1).

The description closes in Revelation 22:1-5 : Revelation 22:1 f.: ‘And he shewed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.’ The old Jerusalem had been in a waterless region, but already Ezekiel saw ‘waters’ issuing out ‘from under the threshold of the house eastward,’ and falling into the Kedron valley, and finally making their way to the Dead Sea (cf. Ezekiel 47:1-12); and in Zechariah 14:8 there is the expectation that, when the day of the Lord cometh, ‘living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.’ In the New Jerusalem the source of the river is in the throne of God and the Lamb, and on its banks is the tree of life, the generic singular here going back to Genesis 2:9, though the representation has its origin in Ezekiel 47:12 : ‘And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow every tree for meat, whose leaf shall not wither, neither shall the fruit thereof fail: it shall bring forth new fruit every month, because the waters thereof issue out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for healing.’ A fragrant tree is mentioned in Enoch, xxv. 4 f., which ‘no mortal is permitted to touch till the great judgement, when he shall take vengeance on all and bring (everything) to its consummation for ever. It shall then be given to the righteous and holy. Its fruit shall be for food to the elect: it shall be transplanted to the holy place, to the temple of the Lord, the Eternal King.’ For the Christian Seer, the river flows through the heavenly city and the leaves of the trees on its banks serve to heal the nations.

Revelation 22:3-5 : ‘And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall do him service; and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.’ The throne of God and of the Lamb takes the place of the Temple; there is nothing needed to symbolize the Divine Presence in the Heavenly City, for that Presence itself is visible. Nowhere else do we find it stated that there will be no temple in the New City. It is the climax of the Christian hope. The faithful shall see His face and abide with the Christ for ever.

The whole description is in some respects still a material one, like the Jewish descriptions we have cited, but it soars above its Jewish basis and presents us with the ancient hope of the people of God glorified and transformed by the Christian Seer.

Literature.-R. H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the OT in English, 2 vols., Oxford, 1913, Eschatology, Hebrew, Jewish, and Christian2, London, 1913; W. Bousset, Die Offenbarung Johannis6 (Meyer’s Kommentar zum NT, xvi.), Göttingen, 1906; H. B. Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John 2, London, 1907; J. Moffatt, Expositor’s Greek Testament , ‘Revelation,’ do., 1910.

J. Robertson Buchanan.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'New Jerusalem'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdn/​n/new-jerusalem.html. 1906-1918.
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