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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - REVELATION 22
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    CHAPTER 22

    Re 22:1-21. THE RIVER OF LIFE: THE TREE OF LIFE: THE OTHER BLESSEDNESSES OF THE REDEEMED. JOHN FORBIDDEN TO WORSHIP THE ANGEL. NEARNESS OF CHRIST'S COMING TO FIX MAN'S ETERNAL STATE. TESTIMONY OF JESUS, HIS SPIRIT, AND THE BRIDE, ANY ADDITION TO WHICH, OR SUBTRACTION FROM WHICH, SHALL BE ETERNALLY PUNISHED. CLOSING BENEDICTION.

    1. pure--A, B, Vulgate, and HILARY 22, omit.
    - water of life--infinitely superior to the typical waters in the first Paradise (Ge 2:10-14); and even superior to those figurative ones in the millennial Jerusalem (Eze 47:1, 12; Zec 14:8), as the matured fruit is superior to the flower. The millennial waters represent full Gospel grace; these waters of new Jerusalem represent Gospel glory perfected. Their continuous flow from God, the Fountain of life, symbolizes the uninterrupted continuance of life derived by the saints, ever fresh, from Him: life in fulness of joy, as well as perpetual vitality. Like pure crystal, it is free from every taint: compare Re 4:6, "before the throne a sea of glass, like crystal."
    - clear--Greek, "bright."

    2. The harmonious unity of Scripture is herein exhibited. The Fathers compared it to a ring, an unbroken circle, returning into itself. Between the events of Genesis and those at the close of the Apocalypse, at least six thousand or seven thousand years intervene; and between Moses the first writer and John the last about one thousand five hundred years. How striking it is that, as in the beginning we found Adam and Eve, his bride, in innocence m Paradise, then tempted by the serpent, and driven from the tree of life, and from the pleasant waters of Eden, yet not without a promise of a Redeemer who should crush the serpent; so at the close, the old serpent cast out for ever by the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, who appears with His Bride, the Church, in a better Paradise, and amidst better waters (Re 22:1): the tree of life also is there with all its healing properties, not guarded with a flaming sword, but open to all who overcome (Re 2:7), and there is no more curse.
    - street of it--that is, of the city.
    - on either side of the river--ALFORD translates, "In the midst of the street of it (the city) and of the river, on one side and on the other" (for the second Greek, "enteuthen," A, B, and Syriac read, ekeithen: the sense is the same; compare Greek, Joh 19:18); thus the trees were on each side in the middle of the space between the street and the river. But from Eze 47:7, I prefer English Version. The antitype exceeds the type: in the first Paradise was only one tree of life; now there are "very many trees at the bank of the river, on the one side and on the other." To make good sense, supposing there to be but one tree, we should either, as MEDE, suppose that the Greek for street is a plain washed on both sides by the river (as the first Paradise was washed on one side by the Tigris, on the other by the Euphrates), and that in the midst of the plain, which itself is in the midst of the river's branches, stood the tree: in which case we may translate, "In the midst of the street (plain) itself, and of the river (having two branches flowing) on this and on that side, was there the tree of life." Or else with DURHAM suppose, the tree was in the midst of the river, and extending its branches to both banks. But compare Eze 47:12, the millennial type of the final Paradise; which shows that there are several trees of the one kind, all termed "the tree of life." Death reigns now because of sin; even in the millennial earth sin, and therefore death, though much limited, shall not altogether cease. But in the final and heavenly city on earth, sin and death shall utterly cease.
    - yielded her fruit every month--Greek, "according to each month"; each month had its own proper fruit, just as different seasons are now marked by their own productions; only that then, unlike now, there shall be no season without its fruit, and there shall be an endless variety, answering to twelve, the number symbolical of the world-wide Church (compare Note, see on Re 12:1; Re 21:14). ARCHBISHOP WHATLEY thinks that the tree of life was among the trees of which Adam freely ate (Ge 2:9, 16, 17), and that his continuance in immortality was dependent on his continuing to eat of this tree; having forfeited it, he became liable to death; but still the effects of having eaten of it for a time showed themselves in the longevity of the patriarchs. God could undoubtedly endue a tree with special medicinal powers. But Ge 3:22 seems to imply, man had not yet taken of the tree, and that if he had, he would have lived for ever, which in his then fallen state would have been the greatest curse.
    - leaves . . . for . . . healing-- (Eze 47:9, 12). The leaves shall be the health-giving preventive securing the redeemed against, not healing them of, sicknesses, while "the fruit shall be for meat." In the millennium described in Eze 47:1-23 and Re 20:1-15, the Church shall give the Gospel-tree to the nations outside Israel and the Church, and so shall heal their spiritual malady; but in the final and perfect new Jerusalem here described, the state of all is eternally fixed, and no saving process goes on any longer (compare Re 22:11). ALFORD utterly mistakes in speaking of "nations outside," and "dwelling on the renewed earth, organized under kings, and saved by the influences of the heavenly city" (!) Compare Re 21:2, 10-27; the "nations" mentioned (Re 21:24) are those which have long before, namely, in the millennium (Re 11:15), become the Lord's and His Christ's.

    3. no more curse--of which the earnest shall be given in the millennium (Zec 14:11). God can only dwell where the curse and its cause, the cursed thing sin (Jos 7:12), are removed. So there follows rightly, "But the throne of God and of the Lamb (who redeemed us from the curse, Ga 3:10, 13) shall be in it." Compare in the millennium, Eze 48:35.
    - serve him--with worship (Re 7:15).

    4. see his face--revealed in divine glory, in Christ Jesus. They shall see and know Him with intuitive knowledge of Him, even as they are known by Him (1Co 13:9-12), and face to face. Compare 1Ti 6:16, with Joh 14:9. God the Father can only be seen in Christ.
    - in--Greek, "on their foreheads." Not only shall they personally and in secret (Re 3:17) know their sonship, but they shall be known as sons of God to all the citizens of the new Jerusalem, so that the free flow of mutual love among the members of Christ's family will not be checked by suspicion as here.

    5. there--so ANDREAS. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac read, "(there shall be no night) any longer"; Greek, "eti," for "ekei."
    - they need--A, Vulgate, and Coptic read the future, "they shall not have need." B reads, "(and there shall be) no need."
    - candle--Greek, "lamp." A, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic insert "light (of a candle, or lamp)." B Omits it.
    - of the sun--so A. But B omits it.
    - giveth . . . light--"illumines." So Vulgate and Syriac. But A reads, "shall give light."
    - them--so B and ANDREAS. But A reads, "upon them."
    - reign--with a glory probably transcending that of their reign in heaven with Christ over the millennial nations in the flesh described in Re 20:4, 6; that reign was but for a limited time, "a thousand years"; this final reign is "unto the ages of the ages."

    6. These sayings are true--thrice repeated (Re 19:9; 21:5). For we are slow to believe that God is as good as He is. The news seems to us, habituated as we are to the misery of this fallen world, too good to be true [NANGLE]. They are no dreams of a visionary, but the realities of God's sure word.
    - holy--so ANDREAS. But A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "(the Lord God of the) spirits (of the prophets)." The Lord God who with His Spirit inspired their spirits so as to be able to prophesy. There is but one Spirit, but individual prophets, according to the measure given them (1Co 12:4-11), had their own spirits [BENGEL] (1Pe 1:11; 2Pe 1:21).
    - be done--Greek, "come to pass."

    7. "And" is omitted in Coptic and ANDREAS with English Version, but is inserted by A, B, Vulgate and Syriac.
    - blessed-- (Re 1:3).

    8. Both here and in Re 19:9, 10, the apostle's falling at the feet of the angel is preceded by a glorious promise to the Church, accompanied with the assurance, that "These are the true sayings of God," and that those are "blessed" who keep them. Rapturous emotion, gratitude, and adoration, at the prospect of the Church's future glory transport him out of himself, so as all but to fall into an unjustifiable act; contrast his opposite feeling at the prospect of the Church's deep fall [AUBERLEN], see on Re 17:6; Re 19:9, 10.
    - saw . . . and heard--A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac transpose these verbs. Translate literally, "I John (was he) who heard and saw these things." It is observable that in Re 19:10, the language is, "I fell before his feet to worship him"; but here, "I fell down to worship (God?) before the feet of the angel." It seems unlikely that John, when once reproved, would fall into the very same error again. BENGEL'S view, therefore, is probable; John had first intended to worship the angel (Re 19:10), but now only at his feet intends to worship (God). The angel does not even permit this.

    9. Literally, "See not"; the abruptness of the phrase marking the angel's abhorrence of the thought of his being worshipped however indirectly. Contrast the fallen angel's temptation to Jesus, "Fall down and worship me" (Mt 4:9).
    - for--A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, ANDREAS, and CYPRIAN omit "for"; which accords with the abrupt earnestness of the angel's prohibition of an act derogatory to God.
    - and of--"and (the fellow servant) of thy brethren."

    10. Seal not--But in Da 12:4, 9 (compare Da 8:26), the command is, "Seal the book," for the vision shall be "for many days." The fulfilment of Daniel's prophecy was distant, that of John's prophecy is near. The New Testament is the time of the end and fulfilment. The Gentile Church, for which John wrote his Revelation, needs more to be impressed with the shortness of the period, as it is inclined, owing to its Gentile origin, to conform to the world and forget the coming of the Lord. The Revelation points, on the one hand, to Christ's coming as distant, for it shows the succession of the seven seals, trumpets, and vials; on the other hand, it proclaims, "Behold, I come quickly." So Christ marked many events as about to intervene before His coming, and yet He also says "Behold, I come quickly," because our right attitude is that of continual prayerful watching for His coming (Mt 25:6, 13, 19; Mr 13:32-37 [AUBERLEN]; compare Re 1:3).

    11. unjust--"unrighteous"; in relation to one's fellow men; opposed to "righteous," or "just" (as the Greek may be translated) below. More literally, "he that doeth unjustly, let him do unjustly still."
    - filthy--in relation to one's own soul as unclean before God; opposed to holy," consecrated to %

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