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Revelation 21 Commentary
Summary: Read Revelation 21 KJV along with a helpful commentary.
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Revelation 21 KJV
1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And I heard a great voice out of heaven 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.
4And 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: for the former things are passed away.
5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
21:1-5 The Restoration of Eden: The vision now turns its focus to the reward of the saints. The beautiful world that came under the curse of sin at the beginning is now restored as God creates “a new heaven and a new earth.” God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal home of the redeemed. There, God establishes the New Jerusalem, the capital city of His glorious kingdom.
The earth itself which sin has so defiled is to be exalted and honored above all other worlds in the universe, for “the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be His people” and He will “be their God.” “And God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be more pain.”
The redeemed of the earth will enjoy peace, perfect health, eternal life and a continual growth in their knowledge and love of God. Isaiah 11:6-9; 33:24; 35:5-10; John 14:1-3. There the powers of body and mind will continue to develop; the intellectual, spiritual and social faculties will continue to broaden and expand. The treasures of the universe will be open for study. At every hand are new delights to enjoy, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend and the company of unfallen beings who share the joy and wisdom gained through millennia spent in the contemplation of God’s handiwork. And the years of eternity, as they roll, will continue to bring more and still more glorious revelations, for “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
21:6-8 God, who is “the beginning and the end” of all things, says, “It is done.” The great controversy is ended; the rebellion is over; the entire universe is once again in harmonious accord. “He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:9.
Jesus invites every thirsty soul with these precious words of welcome, “If any man thirsts, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37. “I will give unto him that is athirst…of the water of life freely,” vs. 6. He promises that the overcomers will “inherit all things,” but the wicked will “have their part in the lake” of “fire,” “which is the second death.”
9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12And had a wall great and high, and had 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:
13On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
21:9-14 The New Jerusalem: One of the angels which poured out the “seven last plagues” directs John’s attention to the holy city, the New Jerusalem coming down “out of heaven from God.” It is shining with the glory of God and sparkles like a precious jewel, vs. 11.
The city is a perfect square, vs. 16. It is surrounded by a high wall (vs. 12) and has 12 gates, 3 on each side of the city, vs. 13. On each gate it is the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, vs. 12. There are also 12 foundations inscribed with the names of the 12 apostles, vs. 14.
15And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
21:15-17 The city measures 1500 miles and the wall is said to be 216 feet. Some scholars believe the 1500 mile measurement may be the circumference of the city, which would make each side 375 miles in length, and give the city a surface area about the size of the state of Montana. Whether the city is 1500 miles on each side or only 375 miles the primary concept to understand is that God’s city is big enough for everyone who desires residence there.
Every measurement and number given for the New Jerusalem is either the number 12, or is derived from the number 12. This city is a literal place that symbolizes the people of God, and His kingdom. It is the Most Holy Place of the universe, and dwelling place of God among His people.
18And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19And 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, an emerald;
20The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
21:18-21 The city is of “pure gold, like unto clear glass.” It is decorated with “precious stones,” and the foundations are beautiful gems shining with all the colors of a rainbow. Each of the 12 gates is made up of a single magnificent pearl.
22And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
21:22-27 “God Almighty and the Lamb” are its “temple,” and their glory “is the light thereof,” and “there shall be no night there.” There will be no evil or wickedness there, but only “they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
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