Note (Sept. 2018):
Many of the comments in this Chapter certainly are a reiteration of many parts of Revelation, and other parts of Scripture. Comments by different Bible expositors also give to some extent that impression.
The description of the new Heaven and new Earth etc., was finished at the end of Chapter 21 in vision form to John but is showing what will be defacto in the future. The reference in 21:8 and 22:15 is confirmation of exclusion (translated "Outside"), referring to those who after Millennial, and after the "Great White Throne Judgement", have been destroyed in the "Lake of Fire"; (see notes V.15).
It also needs to be noted that in some manuscripts the first 5 verses of Chapter 22 are included in Chapter 21; however, as mentioned, although this is still in "vision" form to John; it is describing the actual of the "new Heaven, and new Earth", after the end of the Millennial Reign!
V.1 And he showed me a (a)river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the (b)throne of God and of the Lamb.
(a) "Life"; Interlinear Greek "Zoe" (Str. No 2222). (Comp. App. 170, "ZOE", life in all its manifestations).
See: notes Chp. 21:1(b).
(b) See Zech. 6:13, which is the throne of the Priest and King Christ Messiah for 1000 years. That here gives way to "the throne of God and the Lamb"! (See also Ezk. 47:1-11).
V.2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there (a)the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit each month: and (b)the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the Nations.
(a) "Tree of life"; first mentioned in Gen. 2:9. This tree supported the life which had been created in Eden, and from which Adam and Eve were banished, after their sin and "the curse” imposed. That exclusion, to stop them eating of the fruit of "the tree of life", brought death into the world. (See: Gen. 2:15) & (Gen 2:17).
(b) See: Ezk. 47:12 and also Rev. 21:4.
V.3 And there shall be (a)no longer curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His (b)bond servants shall serve Him.
(a) "No longer curse"; that of Genesis removed at this new beginning, and in the New Jerusalem here described. This now shows the state of harmony, communion, and fellowship which will exist between God / Lamb, and their creatures.
(b) "Bond servants"; this is reminiscent of the John's comment in Chapter Rev. 1:1 and is particularly appropriate to Israel throughout the Old Testament, and is then to be Israel in the fidelity and truth that did not prevail in Old Testament.
V.4 (a)And they shall see His face; (b)and His name shall be upon their foreheads.
(a) See: Chp. 21:1(a) & 21:3.
(b) The importance of the name of the Almighty on the foreheads of these people is in direct anti-thesis to the marking of the beast/Satan on the foreheads or hands and their worship of him. See Ezk. 9:4, Rev. 7:3, 9:4, 14:1 & 20:4, and notes.
V.5 And there shall be (a)no night there, and they shall need no candle, nor the light of the sun; for the LORD GOD giveth them light: and (b)they shall reign for ever.
(a) See: Chp. 21:23-25, and notes on V. 14-15 below.
(b) "They": In the light of the previous verse together with the fact of "the Kingdom of Priests" Chapter 1:6 and (see notes), those referred to here are Jews only. This would imply only Jews would be marked on the forehead and hand by the beast as described previously.
V.6 And he said to me, These words are faithful and true: and the LORD GOD of the holy Prophets sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must (a)with speed be done.
V.7 (a)Behold, I come quickly: (b)blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
(a) See: Chps. 2:16, 3:11, 22:12 & 22:20. The context is Rev. 1:10, “The Day of the Lord”, (Jehovah). When that "Day” arrives the events are speedy, and the Lord’s return “quick”. (See the whole of the Book of Joel).
(b) This the 49th occurrence of this word, Greek "MAKARIOS", in the New Testament.
V.8 And I John am he that heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed them to me.
V.9 And he said to me, "(a)See you do not do that, I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the Prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God".
V.10 And he said to me, "(b)Seal not the words of the prophecies of this book; (c)for the Age is at hand.
(a) See 19:10.
(b) Not to be sealed, but to be seen, studied and attempted to be understood.
(c) See earlier comments on "Age times". Also App. 195 of Comp. Bible, page 214. The apparent imminence of "the Age", may indicate that the writing is before AD70; which is the writers opinions.
V.11 (a)He that is unrighteous, let him be unrighteous still; and he which is morally defiled, let him be morally defiled still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy; let him be holy still.
(a) These words which appear disjointed to the context, are added in similar vein as Dan. 12:10. Dr. Bullinger comments (condensed), "proclaim the word, (referring to V.10), because those that do various iniquities etc. will carry on. Even though they are rejected etc.", "Seal them not"!
V.12 (a)Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give everyone according as his work is.
V.13 (b)I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
(a) See: Rev. 1:1, and notes, also 1:10, also 22:7(a). Work again shown as a criterion in Revelation.
(b) See: Rev. 1:8, 21:6.
V.14 (a)Blessed are they that do (b)(His commandments?), (wash their robes) that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates of the city.
(a) This clearly refers to at least the "Overcomers", see: Rev. 7:14.
(b) The words in the A.V., "His commandments", is disputed, and vary in the translations. The 1611 is shown. The R.S.V., "those who wash their robes". Interlinear, "doing His commandments". Strongs no. 1785, "authoritative prescription", "commandment", "precepts". J.N. Darby, "wash their robes". Dr. Bullinger, Comp., comments; "the text reads (wash their robes), but it is probable that the reading of the Received Text (Interlinear) is correct (above)". Moffat, (Martin Kiddle, Revelation), "wash their robes". Revised Authorised Version, "do his commandments", the word "his", is underlined, because the R.S.V. does not give a capital H to the pronoun! The recent translation from the PshittA by Victor Alexander, shows "His Commandments". This is particularly interesting as it is the first Translation directly from that Ancient "A" document by an Ancient languages scholar using the Ancient Aramaic. All the previous had used modern Aramaic. The HCSB and NIV has "wash their robes".
V.15 (a)Without (excluded) are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and whoever loves and makes lies".
Dr. Bullinger is of the opinion that it is a retrospective reference to Rev. 21:8, (page 683, Commentary on Revelation, and labours on the word "without", which he interprets as, out of this new Heaven and Earth).
Others believe, as per references above, that there is sufficient evidence to support the idea of an Eternal Separation State, running simultaneously with the Eternal Bliss State; to which we do not agree!
The following is in support of Dr. Bullinger’s opinion. The word "Without", or "Outside" to use the NKJV; connects in context to V14 "the city". Those that are “within the city” have “washed their robes” in the blood of the Lamb! They did that by their free will in the Millennial Age.
We know that "all not written in the Book of Life", which is the Second Death, are cast into the Lake of Fire in Rev. 20:15.
When carefully and prayerfully reading the whole of Chp. 21 and 22, the references to the evildoers are in retrospect; therefore the easier word to understand their future position and destruction in Chp. 20, would be excluded in V15 of 22.
A further support for this view (which agrees with Dr. Bullinger’s) is that the “sin question" has been dealt with completely in Christ Jesus; and therefore the “new Heaven and Earth”, are in a state of sinlessness. The problem of sinning in humans (with Satan) was dealt with at the end of the Millennial. See: Millennial Purpose .
V.16 I Jesus sent My angel to testify to you these things, in (a)the Churches (Ekklesia). I am the (b)Root and the offspring of David, the bright, the (c)morning Star.
(a) See: Chps. 1, 2 & 3.
(b) See: Isa. 11:10, Romans 15:12 & Rev. 5:5.
(c) See: Rev. 2:28. Num: 24:17. Matt. 2:2 & 2Peter 1:19.
V.17 And the Spirit and the (b)Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that thirsts come. (a)Whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
(a) This applies to all the ones mentioned as Overcomers in the Revelation Age, and in the Lamb's Book of Life!
(b) The word "Bride" here is controversial as to meaning. The J.P. Green Interlinear Greek has the same word as the G.R. Berry Interlinear, (Grk. "numphe", Strgs. 3565), meaning "Bride". However Green's has the Strongs number 3555 which has the meaning translated as "a brood of chicks"! It is almost certain that the number 3555 is a misprint within the context.
The Spirit is certainly the Holy Spirit of Almighty God. However; many Churches and Groups teach that the "Bride" here is Christ Himself! The same Churches and Groups also teach that the Bride is the Church when discussing parts of the New Testament, ignoring the Old Testament evidence that Israel is such see: The Bride of Christ:
Some translations include the capital "B", some don’t, such is the diversity of opinion. The following list shows a few.
- Dr. Bullinger in his Revelation Commentary uses "B", with the comment that to him it means the Heavenly calling. He further comments that to him it is the "remnant" of Israel, rescued by Christ as Messiah to the Jews on His return to Earth to rescue Israel from annihilation by Anti-Christ!
- The Companion Bible uses "b", with ref. to 21-9.
- KJV 1611 uses "b".
- NIV use "b", with ref. to 21-9.
- J.N. Darby uses "b" without comment.
- RSV uses "b".
- J.P. Green's Interlinear uses "b".
- G.R. Berry's Interlinear uses "b".
- Moffatt uses "B".
V.18 (a)I testify to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If anyone shall add to them, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book.
V.19 And if anyone shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the (b)Tree of Life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
(a) See Introduction Foreword.
(b) Interlinear states "scroll" (i.e. book), Darby "tree", Bullinger "tree," R.S.V. "tree", Dr. Bullinger's comments based on manuscript copies. The context of this verse shows to be the "Great Tribulation Age". (See: Rev. 2:7).
The "Tree of Life", is in the paradise of God, and is the reward for the "Overcomers", which is the opposite to that of Adam and Eve! There are many of them as shown in Rev Chapter 7 v. 14. The reasoning is that as above in V14, "the Tree of Life" is available to the "Overcomers".
The "Body of Christ" has been removed at the " Rapture", and therefore the warning is for the people in the context of the "Great Tribulation", and almost certainly those included in the period of the "Book of Life", i.e. from the "foundation" (overthrow) of the world, but not including "The Body of Christ", which was "known" before the (overthrow), Eph. 1:4 & 1Peter 1:20.
V.20 He Which testifies these things says, (a)"Surely I come quickly". Amen. COME LORD JESUS.
V.21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. (b)Amen.
(a) See Rev. 1:1, 1:10, 22:7 & 12, and notes.
(b) See notes, Chp. 3:14 (b,) Chp. 7:12 (a).
As well as continuing to describe the New Jerusalem, up to the end of V.5, the remainder to the end at V.21 is a reaffirmation and confirmation of the contents of Revelation.
Many Ancient texts include 22:1-5 in Chapter 21.
There is much comfort in what is repeated, i.e.
V.6, "These words are faithful and true".
V.7, Behold, I come quickly etc.
V.9, John warned not to worship any, only God!
V.10, The book not to be sealed, so that men must read, try prayerfully to understand.
V.12, I come quickly, with reward.
V.13, I am Alpha & Omega.
V.7 & V.14, Blessing promised to the doers and keepers of the instructions of this book. (Shows applicable to that future time).
V.15, The assurance that all evil doers are not included. This is retrospective confirmation.
V.17, The invitation to the "water of life".
V.20, The promise that He will come quickly!
Many people will argue that the promises and all of Revelation are already approx. 2000 years old, and therefore the "come quickly", comments are null and void, and untrue.
That is to misunderstand the timescale of Almighty God. Hebrews 9:26 shows that Christ came at "the end of the Ages", to put away sin. To humankind 2000 years is indeed a long time in their terms. Human history on Earth has seen many “Ages", (Administrations) (Dispensations) as God defines them. The last 2000 years since the penning of Revelation is a blink of time to God Almighty. (See earlier comments in the texts and the fact that “Earth time” is not “Space-time”, as defined by Einstein’s Relativity!
The events described in Revelation, and detailed in Matt. 24 etc., will not be long in starting on Earth, in the view of the writers. Even at the date of this page (2014), the Middle East is preparing, almost as a stage set, for the events described earlier. Israel is negotiating with the Americans to help get the Palestinians into peace negotiations. Iraq has just apparently been conquered by U.S. and U.K. coalition forces but is now looking as though civil war is imminent. There are many local factions disputing for power, and the disputed area is "the Prophetic Area" mentioned in the text. Is it possible we are witnessing the early movements of the emergence of the first (political) "Beast?" See: Rev Chapter 13 .
In recent weeks reports have surfaced of the actions of a new group in Iraq/Syria (old Babylonia). This group ISIS, (now shortened to IS “Islamic State”), is causing much suffering and terror in the Babylonian area (part of the "Prophetic Area" of the Old and New Testament). This terror on the civilian population includes executions by beheading and crucifixion; mutilation of females FGM; looting; and persecutions of many kinds.
The USA has just started to resist IS by air strikes, but not by ground assault.
Concurrently; Israel is battling Hamas in the Gaza strip, and Hamas refuse to stop shooting missiles at Israel.
All of this, together with the named Arab Nations of prophecy; auger the possibility of the "peace deal" for Israel of Dan. 9:27; as the pressure on Israel is building to stop its self-defence; no matter what their enemy is doing!
There should in the next few years be heard from Israel, "PEACE AND SAFETY!" (1Thess. 5:3). Which is the beginning of the fulfilment described earlier!
It is to be remembered this work is a "study aid", as mentioned in the Introduction, and also a discussion document. The object is to encourage the readers to study and come to love the Bible and Prophecy; and, if not yet saved, to find Salvation and Peace in Christ Jesus Messiah!
The proposition is made, and summarised in the following, that the "special empowering" that is evident in the whole of the Bible towards the "Chosen People of God" Israel; is particularly evident, when their "Prophetic History" is current. When they are "Lo- Ammi" (not My people), as at present, they are still "preserved" by Jehovah Zebaoth's Holy Spirit; but not in active overt "supernatural" ways, as is seen in the Acts period, and in many instances in the Old Testament.
The following link: The Events of Pentecost; What is the Truth? (Discussion Document)., discusses this idea in more detail, and may well provoke a re-study of Revelation and the Prophets, and www.revelationsmessage.co.uk.
The "Arab Spring" started in early 2011, and has spread to all the Arab Nations, who are named in Scripture relative to "end times", or "end Age times."
The changes that are now in train, and have yet to reach a critical stage regarding outcomes for each country, may well be the formation of the first "beast" of Chapter 13 of Revelation. Whether or not these present upheavals are that first manifestation, Chapter 13 describes it as a political entity; which morphs into its second stage as a religious entity, with serious consequences for Israel and the world.
Also to be watched is the outcome of the Syrian conflict, as the Anti-Christ is described as "an Assyrian", (Isa. 10, 14, 30, 31 & Micah 5), also Rev Chapter 13.
Clearly the Turkish situation relative to the whole area is critical, as "Satan's seat" is stated in Chapter 2:13 to be at "Pergamum" in the future.
Never before has such turmoil ensued in the "Prophetic Area" since the Ottoman downfall in 1918; and in the writers view is not a rehearsal!
Comment Nov. 2015: the ISIL force in Syria/Iraq has grown in strength and aggression, and threatens to overwhelm Syria and Assad. The Russians joined Assad recently, and are conducting many airstrikes against ISIL, but according to Western reports, also against the forces against Assad! America had stayed out of the conflict under Obama; but has just announced that air and ground operations may soon start, with apparently close co-operation with Russia! It remains to be seen if these reports are correct.
In Jerusalem, there has been much unrest recently with many young Palestinian’s using knives to kill and maim Jews. When questioned on T.V., one young male Palestinian stated that “the Mosque of Omar must be freed from the Jewish oppressive control”. It is notable that most of the Palestinian fighters are young people, with many more being female!
There is no doubt that the focal point of the Jerusalem fighting is the Jewish “Temple Mount”, of which the foundations of Solomon are still in place and where God has repeatedly said in the Bible that “His Name will dwell”, in the future!
There is also no doubt that the whole region’s conflict has Israel as its focal point!
Note 2016: Russia has joined the fray on the side of Syria’s Assad, which has complicated the whole war scenario. USA and “special forces” are also operating against ISIS; but recently Turkey has grown closer to Russia, and is also coping with an internal crises (coup). Also, as is well known, Turkey has been in conflict with the Kurds for many years; and recently the Kurds have gained/regained much territory which they claim as part of their original homeland. This puts the whole “Prophetic Area” (Babylonia etc.) into flux; and events are already at crisis point regarding loss of life and general destruction. If these events are part of the “Last Days” of Daniel etc., Israel must soon be drawn into the fray, which may lead to the prophecy of Dan. 9:27. (See: The "Prophetic Area" and its Significance! ).
Note 2017: ISIS has been beaten back in Iraq and Syria (Babylonia), town by town in recent months. However, the cost is high in terms of civilian casualties and property destruction. Despite ISIS losses in Babylonia (in which Iran [Persia] wishes to step into) they are strengthening in Afghanistan, and apparently in Pakistan, and are waging worldwide terror raids in mainly Western Countries (USA, Europe); and there seems to be some consolidation of many secret terror cells.
There is rumoured co-operation between N. Korea and Iran regarding nuclear warheads; but the USA seems to be well aware of these reported developments. However, Israel is also very sensitive to all of this; and as usual, their very competent defence intelligence is sure to be not taken by surprise.
We must hope for a “peace deal” between the Palestinians and Israel soon; with an agreed Temple rebuilding location, which will not be the Temple of Ezekiel 43!
NOTE (Sept. 2018):
Present Trump moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem on the 14th May 2018; which was the 70th Anniversary of the State of Israel, and stated that the U.S. Embassy would be located in the Capital of the Country! This enraged the many enemies of Israel, led largely by Iran. The “alliance” of Nations north, west, south and east of Israel has enlarged and strengthened recently led by Turkey, Russia, Syria and Iran etc.; and military operations are strengthening against “rebel” forces in Syria, ostensibly to eliminate the anti-Assad military. Iran seems to have secured military rights of access to Syrian Military Bases; which makes Israel vulnerable to “accidental strikes” from its north! The Russians are currently engaged in “war games” off the coast of Syria, which involves 26 warships!
The USA announced recently that it is eliminating the 300 million “aid” to the Palestinian Authority, much of which was reportedly used in operations against Israel.
With such activity surrounding Israel, there must soon be more conflict in that area. (See: Biblical 7 and 70 Significance)!
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