The remaining two chapters describe the eternal and consummated kingdom
of God and the saints on the new earth. As the world of nations is to
be pervaded by divine influence in the millennium, so the world of
nature shall be, not annihilated, but transfigured universally in the
eternal state which follows it. The earth was cursed for man's sake;
but is redeemed by the second Adam. Now is the Church; in the
millennium shall be the kingdom; and after that shall be the new world
wherein God shall be all in all. The "day of the Lord" and the
conflagration of the earth are in
2Pe 3:10, 11
spoken of as if connected together, from which many argue against a
millennial interval between His coming and the general conflagration of
the old earth, preparatory to the new; but "day" is used often of a
whole period comprising events intimately connected together, as are
the Lord's second advent, the millennium, and the general conflagration
and judgment. Compare
as to the wide use of "day." Man's soul is redeemed by
regeneration through the Holy Spirit now; man's body shall be
redeemed at the resurrection; man's dwelling-place, His
inheritance, the earth, shall be redeemed perfectly at the creation of
the new heaven and earth, which shall exceed in glory the first
Paradise, as much as the second Adam exceeds in glory the first Adam
before the fall, and as man regenerated in body and soul shall exceed
man as he was at creation.
1. the first--that is the former.
passed away--Greek, in A and B is "were departed"
(Greek, "apeelthon," not as in English Version,
was--Greek, "is," which graphically sets the thing before
our eyes as present.
no more sea--The sea is the type of perpetual unrest. Hence our
Lord rebukes it as an unruly hostile troubler of His people. It
symbolized the political tumults out of which "the beast" arose,
As the physical corresponds to the spiritual and moral world, so the
absence of sea, after the metamorphosis of the earth by
fire, answers to the unruffled state of solid peace which shall
then prevail. The sea, though severing lands from one another,
is now, by God's eliciting of good from evil, made the medium of
communication between countries through navigation. Then man shall
possess inherent powers which shall make the sea no longer necessary,
but an element which would detract from a perfect state. A "river" and
"water" are spoken of in
Re 22:1, 2,
probably literal (that is, with such changes of the natural properties
of water, as correspond analogically to man's own transfigured body),
as well as symbolical. The sea was once the element of the world's
destruction, and is still the source of death to thousands, whence
after the millennium, at the general judgment, it is specially said,
"The sea gave up the dead . . . in it." Then it shall
cease to destroy, or disturb, being removed altogether on account of
its past destructions.
2. And I John--"John" is omitted in A, B, Vulgate, Syriac,
Coptic, and ANDREAS; also the "I" in the
Greek of these authorities is not emphatic. The insertion of "I
John" in the Greek would somewhat interfere with the close
connection which subsists between "the new heaven and earth,"
and the "new Jerusalem" in this verse.
Jerusalem . . . out of heaven--
"Jerusalem which is above";
Heb 11:10; 12:22; 13:14).
The descent of the new Jerusalem out of heaven is plainly
distinct from the earthly Jerusalem in which Israel in the flesh
shall dwell during the millennium, and follows on the creation of the
new heaven and earth. John in his Gospel always writes [Greek]
Hierosoluma of the old city; in the Apocalypse always
Hierousaleem of the heavenly city
Hierousaleem is a Hebrew name, the original and holy
appellation. Hierosoluma is the common Greek term, used
in a political sense. Paul observes the same distinction when refuting
Ga 1:17, 18; 2:1;
though not so in the Epistles to Romans and Corinthians
bride--made up of the blessed citizens of "the holy city." There
is no longer merely a Paradise as in Eden (though there is that also,
no longer a mere garden, but now the city of God on earth,
costlier, statelier, and more glorious, but at the same time the result
of labor and pains such as had not to be expended by man in dressing
the primitive garden of Eden. "The lively stones" were severally in
time laboriously chiselled into shape, after the pattern of "the Chief
corner-stone," to prepare them for the place which they shall
everlastingly fill in the heavenly Jerusalem.
3. out of heaven--so ANDREAS. But A and
Vulgate read, "out of the throne."
the tabernacle--alluding to the tabernacle of God in the
wilderness (wherein many signs of His presence were given): of which
this is the antitype, having previously been in heaven:
Re 11:19; 15:5,
"the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven"; also
Compare the contrast in
Heb 9:23, 14,
between "the patterns" and "the heavenly things themselves," between
"the figures" and "the true." The earnest of the true and heavenly
tabernacle was afforded in the Jerusalem temple described in
as about to be, namely, during the millennium.
dwell with them--literally, "tabernacle with them"; the
same Greek word as is used of the divine Son
"tabernacling among us." Then He was in the weakness of the
flesh: but at the new creation of heaven and earth He shall
tabernacle among us in the glory of His manifested Godhead
they--in Greek emphatic, "they" (in particular).
his people--Greek, "His peoples": "the nations of
the saved" being all peculiarly His, as Israel was designed to be. So A
reads. But B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "His
God himself . . . with them--realizing fully His name
4. all tears--Greek, "every tear."
no more death--Greek, "death shall be no more." Therefore
it is not the millennium, for in the latter there is death
1Co 15:26, 54,
"the last enemy . . . destroyed is death,"
after the millennium).
passed away--Greek, "departed," as in
5. sat--Greek, "sitteth."
all things new--not recent, but changed from the old
(Greek, "kaina," not "nea"). An earnest of this
regeneration and transfiguration of nature is given already in the
unto me--so Coptic and ANDREAS. But
A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac omit.
true and faithful--so ANDREAS. But A, B,
Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic transpose, "faithful and
true" (literally, "genuine").
6. It is done--the same Greek as in
"It is come to pass." So Vulgate reads with English
Version. But A reads, "They ('these words,'
are come to pass." All is as sure as if it actually had been fulfilled
for it rests on the word of the unchanging God. When the consummation
shall be, God shall rejoice over the work of His own hands, as at the
completion of the first creation God saw everything that He had
made, and behold it was very good
Alpha . . . Omega--Greek in A and B,
"the Alpha . . . the Omega"
give unto . . . athirst . . . water of
Isa 12:3; 55:1;
Joh 4:13, 14; 7:37, 38).
This is added lest any should despair of attaining to this exceeding
weight of glory. In our present state we may drink of the stream, then
we shall drink at the Fountain.
freely--Greek, "gratuitously": the same Greek as is
translated, "(They hated Me) without a cause,"
As gratuitous as was man's hatred of God, so gratuitous
is God's love to man: there was every cause in Christ why man should
love Him, yet man hated Him; there was every cause in man why (humanly
speaking) God should have hated man, yet God loved man: the very
reverse of what might be expected took place in both cases. Even in
heaven our drinking at the Fountain shall be God's gratuitous
7. He that overcometh--another aspect of the believer's life: a
conflict with sin, Satan, and the world is needed. Thirsting for
salvation is the first beginning of, and continues for ever (in the
sense of an appetite and relish for divine joys) a characteristic of
the believer. In a different sense, the believer "shall never thirst."
inherit all things--A, B, Vulgate, and
CYPRIAN read, "these things," namely, the
blessings described in this whole passage. With "all things," compare
I will be his God--Greek, "I will be to him a God," that
is, all that is implied of blessing in the name "God."
he shall be my son--"He" is emphatic: He in particular
and in a peculiar sense, above others: Greek, "shall be to
me a son," in fullest realization of the promise made in type to
Solomon, son of David, and antitypically to the divine Son of
8. the fearful--Greek, "the cowardly," who do not quit
themselves like men so as to "overcome" in the good fight; who have
the spirit of slavish "fear," not love, towards God; and who through
fear of man are not bold for God, or "draw back." Compare
Re 21:27; 22:15.
abominable--who have drank of the harlot's "cup of
sorcerers--one of the characteristics of Antichrist's time.
all liars--Greek, "all the liars": or else "all
who are liars"; compare
1Ti 4:1, 2,
where similarly lying and dealings with spirits and
demons, are joined together as features of "the latter times."
Mr 9:44, 46, 48,
"Where THEIR worm dieth not, and the fire is not
9. The same angel who had shown John Babylon the harlot,
is appropriately employed to show him in contrast new Jerusalem, the
The angel so employed is the one that had the last seven plagues, to
show that the ultimate blessedness of the Church is one end of the
divine judgments on her foes.
unto me--A, B, and Vulgate omit.
the Lamb's wife--in contrast to her who sat on many
(that is, intrigued with many peoples and nations of the world, instead
of giving her undivided affections, as the Bride does, to the Lamb.
10. The words correspond to
to heighten the contrast of the bride and harlot.
where a similar vision is given from a high mountain.
that great--omitted in A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and
CYPRIAN. Translate then, "the holy city
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