This Chapter and also 22, leave a great deal to speculation and imagination. Many commentators have tried to give firm opinions on the various aspects and statements; but in all honesty, much that follows will not be understood (in the writers opinion), until the actual events.
One can say with confidence that a whole new order of things is taking place; which with Satan destroyed and also “death and the grave” eliminated; the curses of Eden, the original rebellion of Lucifer dealt with; Almighty God and His Anointed Christ Jesus are then in total righteousness preparing a perfection of great joy for the people of God, in all their classifications, (see V.7 below).
V.1 (a)And I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth: for the former Heaven and former Earth were passed away; and there was (b)no more sea.
(a) See: Chp. 20:11. The Almighty’s Face is there shown, and Earth and Heaven that is, cannot stand before His Face! It is a fact of the Scripture record that nobody at any time “has seen the face of God”. There are a number of examples given in the O.T., one notable is when Moses is shielded by God’s hand, so that he was not struck down by the sight of God’s face, (Ex. 33:20 & 33:23). Clearly in 20:11, the purpose at the end of Millennial is to remove and renew, and God’s face revealed is that beginning. In Chp. 22:4, "His servants", "see His face" but not until after the curse imposed at Eden is removed, (22:3).
(b) "No more sea"; this statement argues strongly for the "New Heaven and New Earth", of (a) above being spiritual, real, but not in the sense we at present understand.
The present seaways of the world covering approx. two thirds of the Earth’s surface, sustains all life, as we humans understand it. The fact that at the end of Millennial, in the "New Creation", no sea exists, tends to support this idea.
However, all sea at present (the world’s oceans), are a mass of minerals and elements and many so called impurities; which kill men/animals if drunk; but from which all drinking water is obtained by the process of the "Carbon Cycle". As all life on Earth is a combination of various elements (either mass or atomic); which are renewed and reused from the world’s oceans, it follows that when the oceans are not present, life given by the Almighty is in a different form.
Clues on this were given after Christ’s resurrection, and Paul describes in 1Cor. 15:20-58 & Phil. 3:10-21, which refer to the "glorified body" of the resurrected in Jesus Christ. Regarding those people that have an existence on the “New Earth”; see notes at the bottom of V1(b).
In Chapter 22:1 is shown a "river of water of life, clear as crystal out of the throne of God". This water is given “freely to the thirsty" (V6). This water is clearly as pure as is possible, and in Ezk. 47:8, the eastern flow “purifies” the Dead Sea! (See: Zech. 14:8, i.e. two flows).
It is clear that Earth dwellers at that time need that water for life!
Bearing in mind that the Millennial is an interim step to the purity of Eden; the next stage, 1000 years later, "the New Heaven and Earth", is the return to Eden and the unsullied state of that time. Satan is bound in that period (Millennial i.e. 1000 years long) and cannot repeat his deception of Eden!
Christ is ruling from Jerusalem, and dealing with man’s corruption directly!
The statement "no more sea" of V1 above, may not mean no more polluted water! It may mean, as pure water is flowing from the Temple in Jerusalem, that the seas of the world become pure; as per. the Dead Sea of Ezk. 47:8 in the previous Age.
As often is the case, we shall not know until that time; see note above.
V.2 (a)And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband.
(a) See: V.9-14, and notes.
V.3 (a)And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God.
(a) It had been impossible from the fall at Eden up to this point, for God to dwell amongst His Creation, due to the fall of Eve and Adam, of which Adam in the order of God, carried the responsibility. The resultant curse, (Gen. 3), has only just been removed, (22:3), which brings man back into fellowship, as Adam had been.
V.4 (a)And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: the former things are passed away".
(a) All of these resulted from the fall at Eden. Christ at Calvary obtained the victory for mankind over the terrible result of Satan's success with Eve and Adam, for those that trust Him. Christ in the Millennial reign, will deal with man’s fallen nature, and Satan’s final destruction, (see earlier notes), and Rev. 20:10.
V.5 (a)And He That sits upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new". And He said, "Write: for these words are true and faithful".
(a) See: 20:11 & 21:1.
V.6 (a)And He said, "IT IS DONE. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. (b)I will give unto him that thirsts of the fountain of the water of life freely.
(a) The great work and plan of God Almighty is done. The saving work in Christ, the dealing with "the Mystery of Iniquity", the fallen nature of mankind revealed, dealt with, and witnessed by Heavenly Creation, the vanquishing and destruction of Satan and his angels (demons), the dissolving of Heaven and Earth, and the Creation of the new etc.
(b) See: 22:1, and notes.
V.7 (a)He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.
(a) See: Chp. 20:5-12, and notes.
V.8 (a)But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the false, shall have their part in the Lake which burneth with Fire and Brimstone; which is the Second Death.
(a) See earlier notes on "Overcomers", 5:9 (b), 3:21 (a), 12:11 (a) & 22:15. Also see V. 27 and notes.
V.9 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven last plagues, and talked with me saying, "Come hither, I will show thee the (a)Bride, the Lamb’s wife".
(a) See: Chp. 19:7(b), see notes and references.
V.10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the (a)holy city Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God,
(a) See: Chp. 3:12, 21:2 and notes.
V.11 (a)Having the glory of God: her light was like a stone most precious, like a jasper stone clear as crystal;
(a) This unequalled.
V.12 (a)Having a wall great and high and twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
(a) See: Ezk. 48:31-35, (see Jehovah Shammah = "Jehovah is there", Ezk. 48:35).
V.13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
V.14 (a)And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
(a) In the O.T. God attempted to obtain in His chosen people Israel, faithfulness, fidelity and love and service.
Faithfulness to Him Jehovah, as their "One True God".
Fidelity in their dealings and actions with each other, and with Him.
Love from them to Him for His care and protection of them, and service in witness!
It failed. Israel was unfaithful with the gods of the local neighbours, they did not honour Jehovah’s Name among themselves or the Nations around them. For their sin, after they warred and split when Solomon died, the presence (Glory) of Jehovah departed from them, and they were exiled to Babylon, and Syria. Even at this low ebb, God promised not to abandon them, so as to keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that they would never cease to be a people on Earth. He promised they would be revived, and eventually they as “the unfaithful wife”, (see Joel and elsewhere), would become "the Bride", (Isa. 49:18, 61:10, 62:5 & John 3:29). This promise entailed the fulfilling of the prophecy in Jer. 31:34, and which CHRIST as JESUS achieved at His death on the cross outside the walls of Jerusalem. He witnessed to that fact at His last meal with the apostles, who are mentioned in V.14 above, (see Matt. 26:28, Mark 14:24 & Luke 22:20). They were sent to Israel only, to witness that fact.
Of those who are the Overcomers of earlier Chapters and descriptions, some are part of the "remnant", saved by Christ, whilst still in their flesh, so as to fulfil God’s early promises, regarding the survival of Israel, and so that Satan could not obtain victory on Earth by defeating a promise of God. The twelve apostles are therefore the above mentioned foundations, underpinning the Twelve Tribes (gates), of whom are made up of all the people of Israel and proselytes that form the Bride, after the resurrection of O.T. Israel, as mentioned in Ezekiel 37 and Daniel 12:2.
V.15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
V.16 And the city lies four cornered, and the (a)length is the same as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length, the breadth and the height of it are the same.
V.17 (b)And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, the measure of a man (a)that is of the angel.
(a) A definite statement on the dimensions. We are told in V.17, that the measurements are the same for men and angels, so we can take what is said, i.e. 12,000 furlongs (Greek "STADIA"), as applying to each length of wall, and to the height. Converted to miles, that equals 1,500 miles long, wide and high.
(b) It must be remembered that the dimensions in (a) are the city. The wall measures 144 cubits, (i.e. 144 x 18 inches approx.) which is approx. 216 ft. high.
V.18 And the building of the wall was of jasper: and the city was clear gold, like clear glass.
V.19 (a)The foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire; the third a chalcedony; the fourth emerald;
V.20 The fifth sardonyx; the sixth sardius; the seventh chrysolyte; the eighth beryl; the ninth topaz; the tenth a chrysoprasus, the eleventh jacinth; the twelfth an amethyst.
(a) See: Exodus 28:17-21, the breastplate worn by Aaron the priest. Worn over the heart of the priest during ceremonial, who in the O.T. took the place of the Great High Priest, Christ Messiah! (in the order of Melchisedec; Heb. 7:13-17).
V.21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each gate one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass.
V.22 And I saw no Temple in it, for the LORD God Almighty and the LAMB are its (a)Temple.
(a)See: The Jewish Temple's Purpose and Meaning.
V.23 And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God lights it, and the Lamb is the lamp of it.
V.24 (b)And the Nations shall walk in the light of it: (a)and the kings of the Earth bring their glory into it.
(a) The context here is of the "New Heaven and New Earth", and the kings of the Earth willingly give homage, glory and substance to the Almighty and The Lamb as rulers of the new Earth and all things. In the Millennial to do such was under duress, with penalties with non-performance, (see: Zech. 14:16-19 etc.).
(b) Here is the definite statement that in this "new Creation" there are many Nations. Clearly, the problem of the fall at Eden, and the sin nature of the person (sinning), are no longer the heavy load that are carried by the world's peoples at the present time.
From Revelation there are clearly quite a few groupings of occupants of the New Heaven and new Earth. True Christians called The Body of the Lord are clearly one group, and they are a Heavenly calling. See App. 112 Comp. Bible (5). The inhabitants of the New Jerusalem are a second group. The Nations of the world a third group.
V.25 And the gates shall not be shut by day, for night shall not be there,
V.26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the Nations to it.
V.27 (a)And there shall not enter into it anything that defiles, or works abomination, or lies: but those that are written in (b)the Lamb’s Book of Life.
(a) These have been dealt with, (see Chp. 20:15, and 22:15), and this statement is to give the comparison of the old and new state.
(b) See Chp. 13:8, and notes.
If you have questions or comments, please click here.
Or go to Chapters 1 to 22 or
SUBJECTS GROUPED or