RPM, Volume 19, Number 19, May 7 to May 13, 2017

Barnes' New Testament Notes

Notes on the New Testament Explanatory and Practical
Part 105

By Albert Barnes




THE whole of chapter 21, and the first five verses of chapter 22, relate to scenes beyond the judgment, and are descriptive of the happy and triumphant state of the redeemed church, when all its conflicts shall have ceased, and all its enemies shall have been destroyed. That happy state is depicted under the image of a beautiful city, of which Jerusalem was the emblem, and it was disclosed to John by a vision of that city—the New Jerusalem—descending from heaven. Jerusalem was regarded as the peculiar dwelling-place of God, and to the Hebrews it became thus the natural emblem or symbol of the heavenly world. The conception having occurred of describing the future condition of the righteous under the image of a beautiful city, all that follows is in keeping with that, and is merely a carrying out of the image. It is a city with beautiful walls and gates; a city that has no temple—for it is all a temple; a city that needs no light—for God is its light; a city into which nothing impure ever enters; a city filled with trees, and streams, and fountains, and fruits—the Paradise Regained. The description of that blessed state comprises the following parts:—

I. A vision of a new heaven and a new earth, as the final abode of the blessed, Re 21:1. The first heaven and the first earth passed away at the judgment, Re 21:11-15 to be succeeded by a new heaven and earth fitted to be the abode of the blessed.

II. A vision of the holy city—the New Jerusalem—descending from heaven, as the abode of the redeemed, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband—representing the fact that God would truly abide with men, Re 21:2-4. Now all the effects of the apostasy will cease; all tears will be wiped away, and in that blessed state there will be no more death, or sorrow, or pain. This contains the general statement of what will be the condition of the redeemed in the future world. God will be there; and all sorrow will cease.

III. A command to make a record of these things, Re 21:5.

IV. A general description of those who should dwell in that future world of blessedness, Re 21:6-8. It is for all who are athirst; for all who desire it, and long for it; for all who "overcome" their spiritual enemies, who maintain a steady conflict with sin, and gain a victory over it. But all who are fearful and unbelieving—all the abominable, and murderers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and liars—shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. That is, that world will be pure and holy.

V. A- minute description of the city, representing the happy abode of the redeemed, Re 21:9-26. This description embraces many particulars:—

(1.) Its general appearance, Re 21:11,18,21.

It is bright and splendid—like a precious jasper-stone, clear as crystal, and composed of pure gold.

(2.) Its walls, Re 21:12,18. The walls are represented as "great and high," and as composed of 'jasper.'

(3.) Its gates, Re 21:12,13,21.

The gates are twelve in number, three on each side; and are each composed of a single pearl.

(4.) Its foundations, Re 21:14,18-20.

There are twelve foundations, corresponding to the number of the apostles of the Lamb. They are all composed of precious stones—jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, and amethyst.

(5.) Its size, Re 21:15-17. It is square—the length being as great as the breadth, and its height the same. The extent of each dimension is twelve thousand furlongs—a length on each side and in height of three hundred and seventy-five miles. It would seem, however, that though the city was of that height, the wall was only an hundred and forty-four cubits, or about two hundred and sixteen feet high. The idea seems to be that the city—the dwellings within it—towered high above the wall that was thrown around it for protection. This is not uncommon in cities that are surrounded by walls.

(6.) Its light, Re 21:23,24; 22:5.

It has no need of the sun, or of the moon, or of a lamp, Re 22:5, to enlighten it; and yet there is no night there, Re 22:5, for the glory of God gives light to it.

(7.) It is a city without a temple, Re 21:22. There is no one place in it that is peculiarly sacred, or where the worship of God will be exclusively celebrated. It will be all a temple, and the worship of God will be celebrated in all parts of it.

(8.) It is always open, Re 21:25. There will be no need of closing it as walled cities on earth are closed to keep enemies out, and it will not be shut to prevent those who dwell there from going out and coming in when they please. The inhabitants will not be prisoners, nor will they be in danger, or be alarmed by the prospect of an attack from an enemy.

(9.) Its inhabitants will all be pure and holy, Re 21:27. There will in no wise enter there anything that defiles, or that works abomination, or that is false. They only shall dwell there whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

(10.) Its enclosures and environs, Re 22:1,2. A stream of water, pure as crystal, proceeds from the throne of God and the Lamb. That stream flows through the city, and on its banks is the tree of life constantly bearing fruit—fruit to be partaken of freely. It is Paradise Regained—a holy and beautiful abode, of which the garden of Eden was only an imperfect emblem, where there is no prohibition, as there was there, of anything that grows, and where there is no danger of falling into sin.

(11.) It is a place free, consequently, from the curse that was pronounced on man when he forfeited the blessings of the first Eden, and when he was driven out from the happy abodes where God had placed him.

(12.) It is a place where the righteous shall reign for ever, Re 22:5. Death shall never enter there, and the presence and glory of God shall fill all with peace and joy.

Such is an outline of the figurative and glowing description of the future blessedness of the redeemed; the eternal abode of those who shall be saved. It is poetic and emblematical; but it is elevating, and constitutes a beautiful and appropriate close, not only of this single book, but of the whole sacred volume—for to this the saints are everywhere directed to look forward; this is the glorious termination of all the struggles and conflicts of the church; this is the result of the work of redemption in repairing the evils of the fall, and in bringing man to more than the bliss which he lost in Eden. The mind rests with delight on this glorious prospect; the Bible closes, as a revelation from heaven should, in a manner that calms down every anxious feeling; that fills the soul with peace, and that leads the child of God to look forward with bright anticipations, and to say, as John did, "Come, Lord Jesus," Re 22:20.

Verse 1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. Such a heaven and earth that they might properly be called new; such transformations, and such changes in their appearance, that they seemed to be just created, He does not say that they were created now, or anew; that the old heavens and earth were annihilated;—but all that he says is that there were such changes that they seemed to be new. If the earth is to be renovated by fire, such a renovation will give an appearance to the globe as if it were created anew, and might be attended with such an apparent change in the heavens that they might be said to be new. The description here (Re 21:1) relates to scenes after the general resurrection and the judgment—for those events are detailed in the close of the previous chapter. In regard to the meaning of the language here, see Barnes on "2 Pe 3:13".

Compare, also, "The Religion of Geology and its Connected Sciences," by Edward Hitchcock, D.D., LL.D., pp. 370-408.

For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. They had passed away by being changed, and a renovated universe had taken their place. See Barnes on "2 Pe 3:10".

And there was no more sea. This change struck John more forcibly, it would appear, than anything else. Now, the seas and oceans occupy about three-fourths of the surface of the globe, and of course to that extent prevent the world from being occupied by men—except by the comparatively small number that are mariners. There, the idea of John seems to be, the whole world will be inhabitable, and no part will be given up to the wastes of oceans. In the present state of things, these vast oceans are necessary to render the world a fit abode for human beings, as well as to give life and happiness to the numberless tribes of animals that find their homes in the waters. In the future state, it would seem, the present arrangement will be unnecessary; and if man dwells upon the earth at all, or if he visits it as a temporary abode, (see Barnes on "2 Pe 3:13,) these vast wastes of water will be needless. It should be remembered that the earth, in its changes, according to the teachings of geology, has undergone many revolutions quite as remarkable as it would be if all the lakes, and seas, and oceans of the earth should disappear. Still, it is not certain that it was intended that this language should be understood literally as applied to the material globe. The object is to describe the future blessedness of the righteous; and the idea is, that that will be a world where there will be no such wastes as those produced by oceans.

{a} "new heaven" Isa 65:17-19; 66:22; 2 Pe 3:13


Verse 2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. On the phrase "new Jerusalem," see Barnes "Ga 4:26" See Barnes "Heb 12:22".

Here it refers to the residence of the redeemed, the heavenly world, of which Jerusalem was the type and symbol. It is here represented as "coming down from God out of heaven." This, of course, does not mean that this great city was literally to descend upon the earth, and to occupy any one part of the renovated world; but it is a symbolical or figurative representation, designed to show that the abode of the righteous will be splendid and glorious. The idea of a city literally descending from heaven, and being set upon the earth with such proportions—three hundred and seventy miles high, (Re 21:16,) made of gold, and with single pearls for gates, and single gems for the foundations—is absurd. No man can suppose that this is literally true, and hence this must be regarded as a figurative or emblematic description. It is a representation of the heavenly state under the image of a beautiful city, of which Jerusalem was, in many respects, a natural and striking emblem.

Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. See Barnes on "Isa 49:18; Isa 61:10 ".

The purpose here is, to represent it as exceedingly beautiful. The comparison of the church with a bride, or a wife, is common in the Scriptures. See Barnes on "Re 19:7-8; Isa 1:21".

It is also common in the Scriptures to compare a city with a beautiful woman, and these images here seem to be combined. It is a beautiful city that seems to descend, and this city is itself compared with a richly attired bride prepared for her husband.

{b} "holy city" Isa 52:1; Heb 11:10,12,22

{a} "bride" Isa 54:5

{b} "adorned" Ps 45:9-14


Verse 3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven. As if uttered by God himself, or the voice of angels.

Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men. The tabernacle, as that word is commonly used in the Scriptures, referring to the sacred tent erected in the wilderness, was regarded as the peculiar dwelling-place of God among his people—as the temple was afterwards, which was also called a tabernacle. See Barnes on "Heb 9:2".

The meaning here is, that God would now dwell with the redeemed, as if in a tabernacle, or in a house specially prepared for his residence among them. It is not said that this would be on the earth, although that may be; for it is possible that the earth, as well as other worlds, may yet become the abode of the redeemed. See Barnes on "2 Pe 3:13".

And he will dwell with them. As in a tent, or tabernacle—skhnwsei. This a common idea in the Scriptures.

And they shall be his people. He will acknowledge them in this public way as his own, and will dwell with them as such.

And God himself shall be with them. Shall be permanently with them; shall never leave them.

And be their God. Shall manifest himself as such, in such a manner that there shall be no doubt.

{c} "tabernacle of God" 2 Co 6:16

{d} "his people" Zec 8:8


Verse 4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. This will be one of the characteristics of that blessed state, that not a tear shall ever be shed there. How different will that be from the condition here—for who is there here who has not learned to weep? See Barnes "Re 7:17".

Compare See Barnes "Isa 25:8".

And there shall be no more death. In all that future world of glory, not one shall ever die; not a grave shall ever be dug! What a view do we begin to get of heaven, when we are told there shall be no death there! How different from earth, where death is so common; where it spares no one; where our best friends die; where the wise, the good, the useful, the lovely, die; where fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, all die; where we habitually feel that we must die. Assuredly we have here a view of heaven most glorious and animating to those who dwell in a world like this, and to whom nothing is more common than death. In all their endless and glorious career, the redeemed will never see death again; they will never themselves die. They will never follow a friend to the tomb, nor fear that an absent friend is dead. The slow funeral procession will never be witnessed there; nor will the soil ever open its bosom to furnish a grave. See Barnes on "1 Co 15:55".

Neither sorrow. The word sorrow here—pnyov—denotes sorrow or grief of any kind; sorrow for the loss of property or friends; sorrow for disappointment, persecution, or care; sorrow over our sins, or sorrow that we love God so little, and serve him so unfaithfully; sorrow that we are sick, or that we must die. How innumerable are the sources of sorrow here; how constant is it on the earth! Since the fall of man there has not been a day, an hour, a moment, in which this has not been a sorrowful world; there has not been a nation, a tribe—a city or a village—nay, not a family where there has not been grief. There has been no individual who has been always perfectly happy. No one rises in the morning with any certainty that he may not end the day in grief; no one lies down at night with any assurance that it may not be a night of sorrow. How different would this world be if it were announced that hence forward there would be no sorrow! How different, therefore, will heaven be when we shall have the assurance that henceforward grief shall be at an end!

Nor crying.—kraugh. This word properly denotes a cry, an outcry, as in giving a public notice; a cry in a tumult—a clamour, Ac 23:9; and then a cry of sorrow, or wailing. This is evidently its meaning here, and it refers to all the outbursts of grief arising from affliction, from oppression, from violence. The sense is, that as none of these causes of wailing will be known in the future state, all such wailing will cease. This, too, will make the future state vastly different from our condition here; for what a change would it produce on the earth if the cry of grief were never to be heard again!

Neither shall there be any more pain. There will be no sickness, and no calamity; and there will be no mental sorrow arising from remorse, from disappointment, or from the evil conduct of friends. And what a change would this produce—for how full of pain is the world now! How many lie on beds of languishing; how many are suffering under incurable diseases; how many are undergoing severe surgical operations; how many are pained by the loss of property or friends, or subjected to acuter anguish by the misconduct of those who are loved! How different would this world be, if all pain were to cease for ever; how different, therefore, must the future state of the blessed be from the present!

For the former things are passed away. The world as it was before the judgment.

{e} "all tears" Re 7:17; Isa 25:8

{f} "death" 1 Co 15:26,54

{g} "sorrow" Isa 35:10


Verse 5. And he that sat upon the throne said. Probably the Messiah, the dispenser of the rewards of heaven. See Barnes on "Re 20:11".

Behold, I make all things new. A new heaven and new earth, (Re 21:1,) and an order of things to correspond with that new creation. The former state of things when sin and death reigned will be changed, and the change consequent on this must extend to everything.

And he said unto me, Write. Make a record of these things, for they are founded in truth, and they are adapted to bless a suffering world. Compare Barnes on "Re 14:13". See also Re 1:19.

For these words are true and faithful. They are founded in truth, and they are worthy to be believed. See Barnes on "Re 19:9".

Compare also Barnes on "Da 12:4".


Verse 6. And he said unto me. That is, he that sat on the throne—the Messiah.

It is done. It is finished, complete; or, still more expressively, it is—gegone. An expression remarkably similar to this occurs. in Joh 19:30, when the Saviour on the cross said, "It is finished." The meaning in the passage before us evidently is, "the great work is accomplished; the arrangement of human affairs is complete. The redeemed are gathered in; the wicked are cut off; truth is triumphant, and all is now complete—prepared for the eternal state of things.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. This language makes it morally certain that the speaker here is the Lord Jesus, for it is the very language which he uses of himself in Re 1:11. See its meaning explained in Barnes on "Re 1:8".

If it is applied to him here, it proves that he is Divine, for in the following verse (Re 21:7) the speaker says that he would be a God to him who should "overcome." The meaning of the language as here used, regarded as spoken by the Redeemer at the consummation of all things, and as his people are about entering into the abodes of blessedness, is, "I am now indeed the Alpha and the Omega—the first and the last. The attributes implied in this language which I claimed for myself are now verified in me, and it is seen that these properly belong to me. The scheme for setting up a kingdom in the lost world began in me, and it ends in me—the glorious and triumphant king."

I will give unto him that is athirst. See Barnes on "Mt 5:6" See Barnes "Joh 4:14" See Barnes "Joh 7:37".

Of the fountain of the water of life. An image often used in the Scriptures to represent salvation. It is compared with a fountain that flows in abundance where all may freely slake their thirst.

Freely. Without money and without price, (Barnes on "Isa 55:1; Joh 7:27; ) the common representation in the Scriptures. The meaning here is not that he would do this in the future, but that he had shown that this was his character, as he had claimed, in the same way as he had shown that he was the Alpha and the Omega. The freeness and the fulness of salvation will be one of the most striking things made manifest when the immense hosts of the redeemed shall be welcomed to their eternal abodes.

{h} "It is done" Re 16:17

{i} "I am Alpha and Omega" Re 1:8; 22:13

{k} "athirst" Re 22:17; Isa 55:1; Joh 4:10,14; 7:37


Verse 7. He that overcometh. See Barnes on "Re 2:7".

Shall inherit all things. Be an heir of God in all things. See Barnes on "Ro 8:17".
Compare Re 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21.

And I will be his God. That is, for ever. He would be to them all that is properly implied in the name of God; he would bestow upon them all the blessings which it was appropriate for God to bestow. See Barnes on "2 Co 6:18; Heb 8:10".

And he shall be my son. He shall sustain to me the relation of a son, and shall be treated as such. He would ever onward sustain this relation, and be honoured as a child of God.

{1} "all" "these"


Verse 8. But the fearful. Having stated, in general terms, who they were who would be admitted into that blessed world, he now states explicitly who would not. The fearful denote those who had not firmness boldly to maintain their professed principles, or who were afraid to avow themselves as the friends of God in a wicked world. They stand in contrast with those who "overcome," Re 21:7.

And unbelieving. Those who have not true faith; avowed infidels; infidels at heart; and all who have not the sincere faith of the gospel. See Barnes on "Mr 16:16".

And the abominable. The verb from which this word is derived means, to excite disgust; to feel disgust at; to abominate or abhor; and hence the participle—"the abominable"-refers to all who are detestable, to wit, on account of their sins; all whose conduct is offensive to God. Thus it would include those who live in open sin; who practise detestable vices; whose conduct is fitted to excite disgust and abhorrence. These must all, of course, be excluded from a pure and holy world; and this description, alas! would embrace a lamentably large portion of the world as it has hitherto been. See Barnes on "Ro 1:26, seq.

And murderers See Barnes on "Ro 1:29; Ga 5:21".

And whoremongers. See Barnes on "Ga 5:19".

And sorcerers. See the word here used—farmakeusi—explained in Barnes on "Ga 5:19, under the word witchcraft.

And idolaters. 1 Co 6:9; Ga 5:19.

And all liars. All who are false in their statements, their promises, their contracts. The word would embrace all who are false towards God, (Ac 5:1-3,) and false toward men. See Ro 1:31.

Shall have their part in the lake which burneth, etc. Barnes on "Re 20:14".

That is, they will be excluded from heaven, and punished for ever. See Barnes on "1 Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21".

{a} "fearful" Lu 12:4-9

{b} "unbelieving" 1 Jo 5:4,10

{c} "abominable" 1 Co 6:9,10

{d} "murderers" 1 Jo 3:15

{e} "whoremongers" Heb 13:4

{f} "sorcerers" Mal 3:5

{g} "idolators" 1 Co 10:20,21

{h} "all liars" Re 22:15; Pr 19:5,9


Verse 9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels, etc. See Barnes on "Re 16:6-7".

Why one of these angels was employed to make this communication is not stated. It may be that as they had been engaged in bringing destruction on the enemies of the church, and securing its final triumph, there was a propriety that that triumph should be announced by one of their number.

And talked with me. That is, in regard to what he was about to show me.

I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. I will show you what represents the redeemed church now to be received into permanent union with its Lord—as a bride about to be united to her husband. See Barnes on "Re 21:2". Compare Re 19:7-8.

{i} "seven angels" Re 15:1-6,7

{k} "Lamb's wife" Re 19:7


Verse 10. And he carried me away in the spirit. Gave him a vision of the city; seemed to place him where he could have a clear view of it as it came down from heaven. See Barnes on "Re 1:10".

In a great and high mountain. The elevation, and the unobstructed range of view, gave him an opportunity to behold it in its glory.

And showed me that great city, etc. As it descended from heaven. Barnes on "Re 21:2".

{l} "great city" Eze 40; Eze 48


Verse 11. Having the glory of God. A glory or splendour such as became the dwelling-place of God. The nature of that splendour is described in the following verses.

And her light. In Re 21:23 it is said that "the glory of God did lighten it." That is, it was made light by the visible symbol of the Deity—the Shekinah. See Barnes on "Lu 2:9" See Barnes "Ac 9:3".

The word here rendered light—fwsthr—occurs nowhere else in the New Testament except in Php 2:15. It means, properly, a light, a light-giver, and, in profane writers, means commonly a window. It is used here to denote the brightness or shining of the Divine glory, as supplying the place of the sun, or of a window.

Like unto a stone most precious. A stone of the richest or most costly nature.

Even like a jasper stone. On the jasper, see Barnes on "Re 4:3".

It is used there for the same purpose as here, to illustrate the majesty and glory of God.

Clear as crystal. Pellucid or resplendent like crystal. There are various kinds of jasper—as red, yellow, and brown, brownish yellow, etc. The stone is essentially a quartz, and the word crystal here is used to show that the form of it referred to by John was clear and bright.

{m} "glory of God" Isa 60:1,2


Verse 12. And had a wall great and high. Ancient cities were always surrounded with walls for protection, and John represents this as enclosed in the usual manner. The word great means that it was thick and strong. Its height also is particularly noticed, for it was unusual. See Re 21:16.

And had twelve gates. Three on each side. The number of the gates correspond to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and to the number of the apostles. The idea seems to be that there would be ample opportunity of access and egress.

And at the gates twelve angels. Stationed there as guards to the New Jerusalem. Their business seems to have been to watch the gates that nothing improper should enter; that the great enemy should not make an insidious approach to this city as he did to the earthly Paradise.

And names written thereon. On the gates.

Which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. So in the city which Ezekiel saw in vision, which John seems also to have had in his eye. See Eze 48:31. The inscription in Ezekiel denoted that that was the residence of the people of God; and the same idea is denoted here. The New Jerusalem is the eternal residence of the children of God, and this is indicated at every gate. None can enter who do not belong to that people; all who are within are understood to be of their number.

{n} "twelve gates" Eze 48:31-34


Verse 13. On the east three gates, etc. The city was square, (Re 21:16,) and the same number of gates is assigned to each quarter. There does not appear to be any special significancy in this fact, unless it be to denote that there is access to this city from all quarters of the world, and that they who dwell there will have come from each of the great divisions of the earth; that is, from every land.


Verse 14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations It is not said whether these foundations were twelve rows of stones placed one above another under the city, and extending round it, or whether they were twelve stones placed at intervals. The former would seem to be the most probable, as the latter would indicate comparative feebleness and liability to fall. Compare Barnes on "Re 21:19.

And in them. In the foundation of stones. That is, the names of the apostles were cut or carved in them so as to be conspicuous.

The names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Of the Lamb of God; the Messiah. For an illustration of this passage, see Barnes on "Eph 2:20".

{o} "and in them" Eph 2:20


Verse 15. And he that talked with me. The angel, Re 21:9.

Had a golden reed to measure the city. See Barnes on "Re 11:1".

The reed, or measuring rod, here, is of gold, because all about the city is of the most rich and costly materials. The rod is thus suited to the personage who uses it, and to the occasion. Compare a similar description in Eze 40:3-5; 43:16. The object of this measuring is to show that the city has proper architectural proportions.

And the gates thereof, etc. To measure every part of the city, and to ascertain its exact dimensions.

{p} "golden reed" Re 21:1; Eze 40:3; Zec 2:1


Verse 16. And the city lieth four-square. It was an exact square. That is, there was nothing irregular about it; there were no crooked walls; there was no jutting out, and no indentation in the walls, as if the city had been built at different times without a plan, and had been accommodated to circumstances. Most cities have been determined in their outline by the character of the ground—by hills, streams, or ravines; or have grown up by accretions, where one part has been joined to another, so that there is no regularity, and so that the original plan, if there was any, has been lost sight of. The New Jerusalem, on the contrary, had been built according to a plan of the utmost regularity, which had not been modified by the circumstances, or varied as the city grew. The idea here may be that the church, as it will appear in its state of glory, will be in accordance with an eternal plan, and that the great original design will have been fully carried out.

And the length is as large as the breadth. The height also of the city was the same—so that it was an exact square.

And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. As eight furlongs make a mile, the extent of the walls, therefore, must have been three hundred and seventy-five miles. Of course, this must preclude all idea of there being such a city literally in Palestine. This is clearly a figurative or symbolical representation; and the idea is, that the city was on the most magnificent scale, and with the largest proportions, and the description here is adopted merely to indicate this vastness, without any idea that it would be understood literally.

The length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal. According to this representation, the height of the city, not of the walls, (compare Re 21:17,) would be three hundred and seventy-five miles. Of course, this cannot be understood literally; and the very idea of a literal fulfilment of this shows the absurdity of that method of interpretation. The idea intended to be conveyed by this immense height would seem to be that it would contain countless numbers of inhabitants. It is true that such a structure has not existed, and that a city of such a height may seem to be out of all proportion; but we are to remember

(a) that this is a symbol; and

(b) that, considered as one mass or pile of buildings, it may not seem to be out of proportion. It is no uncommon thing that a house should be as high as it is long or broad. The idea of vastness and of capacity is the main idea designed to be represented. The image before the mind is, that the numbers of the redeemed will be immense.


Verse 17. And he measured the wall thereof. In respect to its height. Of course, its length corresponded with the extent of the city.

An hundred and forty and four cubits. This would be, reckoning the cubit at eighteen inches, two hundred and sixteen feet. This is less than the height of the walls of Babylon, which Herodotus says were three hundred and fifty feet high. See Introduction to Isa 13:1. As the walls of a city are designed to protect it from external foes, the height mentioned here gives all proper ideas of security; and we are to conceive of the city itself as towering immensely above the walls. Its glory, therefore, would not be obscured by the wall that was thrown around it for defence.

According to the measure of a man. The measure usually employed by men. This seems to be added in order to prevent any mistake as to the size of the city. It is an angel who makes the measurement, and without this explanation it might perhaps be supposed that he used some measure not in common use among men, so that, after all, it would be impossible to form any definite idea of the size of the city.

That is, of the angel. That is, "which is the measure employed by the angel." It was, indeed, an angel who measured the city, but the measure which he employed was that in common use among men.


Verse 18. And the building of the wall of it. The material of which the wall was composed. This means the wall above the foundation, for that was composed of twelve rows of precious stones, Re 21:14; 19-20.

The height of the foundation is not stated, but the entire wall above was composed of jasper.

Was of jasper. See Barnes on "Re 4:3".

Of course, this cannot be taken literally; and an attempt to explain all this literally would show that that method of interpreting the Apocalypse is impracticable.

And the city was pure gold. The material of which the edifices were composed.

Like unto clear glass. The word rendered glass in this place— ualov—occurs in the New Testament only here and in Re 21:21. It means, properly, "anything transparent like water;" as, for example, any transparent stone or gem, or as rock-salt, crystal, glass.—Rob. Lex. Here the meaning is, that the golden city would be so bright and burnished that it would seem to be glass reflecting the sunbeams. Would the appearance of a city as the sun is setting, when the reflection of its beams from thousands of panes of glass gives it the appearance of burnished gold, represent the idea here? If we were to suppose a city made entirely of glass, and the setting sunbeams falling on it, it might convey the idea represented here. It is certain that, as nothing could be more magnificent, so nothing could more beautifully combine the two ideas referred to here—that of gold and glass. Perhaps the reflection of the sunbeams from the "Crystal Palace," erected for the late "industrial exhibition" in London, would convey a better idea of what is intended to be represented here than anything which our world has furnished. The following description from one who was an eye-witness, drawn up by him at the time, and without any reference to this passage, and furnished at my request, will supply a better illustration of the passage before us than any description which I could give: "Seen as the morning vapours rolled around its base—its far-stretching roofs, rising one above another, and its great transept, majestically arched, soaring out of the envelope of clouds—its pillars, window-bars, and pinnacles, looked literally like a castle in the air; like some palace, such as one reads of in idle tales of Arabian enchantment, having about it all the ethereal softness of a dream. Looked at from a distance at noon, when the sunbeams came pouring upon the terraced and vaulted roof, it resembles a regal palace of silver, built for some Eastern prince; when the sun at eventide sheds on its sides his parting rays, the edifice is transformed into a temple of gold and rubies; and in the calm hours of night, when the moon walketh in her brightness, the immense surface of glass which the building presents looks like a sea, or like throwing back in flickering smile the radiant glances of the queen of heaven."


Verse 19. And the foundations of the wall of the city. See Barnes on "Re 21:14".

Were garnished. Were adorned, or decorated. That is, the foundations were composed of precious stones, giving them this highly ornamented and brilliant appearance.

The first foundation. The first row, layer, or course. Barnes on "Re 21:14".

Was jasper. See Barnes on "Re 4:3".

The second, sapphire. This stone is not elsewhere mentioned in the New Testament. It is a precious stone next in hardness to the diamond, usually of an azure or sky-blue colour, but of various shades.

The third, a chalcedony. This word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The stone referred to is an uncrystallized translucent variety of quartz, having a whitish colour, and of a lustre nearly like wax. It is found covering the sides of cavities, and is a deposit from filtrated silicious waters. When it is arranged in stripes, it constitutes agate; and if the stripes are horizontal, it is the onyx. The modern carnelian is a variety of this. The carnelian is of a deep flesh red, or reddish-white colour. The name chalcedony is from Chalcedon, a town in Asia Minor, opposite to Byzantium, or Constantinople, where this stone was probably first known.— Webster's Dic.

The fourth, an emerald. See Barnes on "Re 4:3".

The emerald is green.

{a} "foundations of the wall" Isa 54:11


Verse 20. The fifth, sardonyx. This word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. The name is derived from Sardis, a city in Asia Minor, (Barnes on "Re 3:1,) and onux—a nail—so named, according to Pliny, from the resemblance of its colour to the flesh and the nail. It is a silicious stone or gem, nearly allied to the onyx. The colour is a reddish yellow, nearly orange.—Webster's Dic.

The sixth, sardius. This word does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It is also derived from Sardis, and the name was probably given to the gem because it was found there. It is a stone of a blood-red or flesh colour, and is commonly known as a carnelian. It is the same as the sardine stone mentioned in Re 4:3. See Barnes on "Re 4:3"

The seventh, chrysolite. This word does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It is derived from crusov, gold, and liyov, stone, and means golden stone, and was applied by the ancients to all gems of a golden or yellow colour, probably designating particularly the topaz of the moderns.—Rob. Lex. But in Webster's Dic. it is said that its prevalent colour is green. It is sometimes transparent. This is the modern chrysolite. The ancients undoubtedly understood by the name a yellow gem.

The eighth, beryl. This word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The beryl is a mineral of great hardness, and is of a green or bluish-green colour. It is identical with the emerald, except in the colour, the emerald having a purer and richer green colour, proceeding from a trace of oxide of chrome. Prisms of beryl are sometimes found nearly two feet in diameter in the state of New Hampshire.—Webster.

The ninth, a topaz. This word does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. The topaz is a well-known mineral, said to be so called from Topazos, a small island in the Arabian Gulf. It is generally of a yellowish colour, and pellucid, but it is also found of greenish, bluish, or brownish shades.

The tenth, a chrysoprasus. This word does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It is derived from crusov, gold, and prason, a leek, and denotes a precious stone of greenish golden colour, like a leek; that is, "apple-green passing into a grass-green."—Rob. Lex. "It is a variety of quartz. It is commonly apple-green, and often extremely beautiful. It is translucent, or sometimes semi-transparent; its hardness little inferior to flint."—Webster's Dic.

The eleventh, a jacinth. The word does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It is the same word as hyacinth—uakinyov—and denotes properly the well-known flower of that name, usually of a deep purple or reddish blue. Here it denotes a gem of this colour. It is a red variety of zircon. See Webster's Dic., under the word hyacinth.

The twelfth, an amethyst. This word, also, is found only in this place in the New Testament. It denotes a gem of a deep purple or violet colour. The word is derived from a, priv., and meyuw, to be intoxicated, because this gem was supposed to be an antidote against drunkenness. It is a species of quartz, and is used in jewelry.


Verse 21. And the twelve gates. Re 21:12.

Were twelve pearls. See Barnes on "Re 17:4; Mt 13:46".

Every several gate was of one pearl. Each gate. Of course, this is not to be understood literally. The idea is that of ornament and beauty, and nothing could give a more striking view of the magnificence of the future abode of the saints.

And the street of the city was pure gold. Was paved with gold; that is, all the vacant space that was not occupied with buildings was of pure gold. See Barnes on "Re 21:18".


Verse 22. And I saw no temple therein. No structure reared expressly for the worship of God; no particular place where he was adored. It was all temple—nothing but a temple. It was not like Jerusalem, where there was but one house reared expressly for Divine worship, and to which the inhabitants repaired to praise God; it was all one great temple reared in honour of his name, and where worship ascended from every part of it. With this explanation, this passage harmonizes with what is said in Re 2:12; 7:15.

For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it They are present in all parts of it in their glory; they fill it with light; and the splendour of their presence may be said to be the temple. The idea here is, that it would be a holy world—all holy. No particular portion would be set apart for purposes of public worship, but in all places God would be adored, and every portion of it devoted to the purposes of religion.


Verse 23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it. This imagery seems to be derived from Isa 60:19-20. See Barnes on "Isa 60:19"
See Barnes "Isa 60:20".

No language could give a more striking or beautiful representation of the heavenly state than that which is here employed.

For the glory of God did lighten it. By the visible splendour of his glory. See Barnes on "Re 21:11".

That supplied the place of the sun and the moon.

And the Lamb is the light thereof. The Son of God; the Messiah. See Barnes on "Re 5:6; Isa 60:19".

{a} "sun" Re 22:5; Isa 60:19,20

{b} "the light" Joh 1:4


Verse 24. And the nations of them which are saved. All the nations that are saved; or all the saved considered as nations. This imagery is doubtless derived from that in Isaiah, particularly Isa 60:3-9. See Barnes on "Isa 60:3, seq.

Shall walk in the light of it. Shall enjoy its splendour, and be continually in its light.

And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

{c} "nations" Isa 60:3-11; 66:10-12

{d} "kings" Ps 72:11


Verse 25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day. It shall be constantly open, allowing free ingress and egress to all who reside there. The language is derived from Isa 60:11. See Barnes on "Isa 60:11".

Applied to the future state of the blessed, it would seem to mean, that while this will be their permanent abode, yet that the dwellers there will not be prisoners The universe will be open to them. They will be permitted to go forth and visit every world, and survey the works of God in all parts of his dominions.

For there shall be no night there. It shall be all day; all unclouded splendour. When, therefore, it is said that the gates should not be "shut by day," it means that they would never be shut. When it is said that there would be no night there, it is, undoubtedly, to be taken as meaning that there would be no literal darkness, and nothing of which night is the emblem: no calamity, no sorrow, no bereavement, no darkened windows on account of the loss of friends and kindred. Compare Barnes on "Re 21:4".

{e} "for there shall be no night" Zec 14:7


Verse 26. And they shall bring, etc. See Barnes on "Re 21:24".

That blessed world shall be made up of all that was truly valuable and pure on the earth.


Verse 27. And there shall in no wise. On no account; by no means. This strong language denotes the absolute exclusion of all that is specified in the verse.

Anything that defileth. Literally, "anything common." See Barnes on "Ac 10:14".

It means here that nothing will be found in that blessed abode which is unholy or sinful. It will be a pure world, 2 Pe 3:13.

Neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie. See Barnes on "Re 21:8".

But they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. Whose names are there recorded. See Barnes on "Re 3:5".
Compare See Barnes "Re 21:8".

{f} "there shall" Isa 35:8; 52:1; 60:21; Joe 3:17; Mt 13:41; 1 Co 6:9,10

Ga 5:19-21; Eph 5:5; Heb 12:14

{g} "Lamb's book of life" Re 13:8


Verse 1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life. In the New Jerusalem; the happy abode of the redeemed. The phrase "water of life," means living or running water, like a spring or fountain, as contrasted with a stagnant pool. See Barnes on "Joh 4:14".

The allusion here is doubtless to the first Eden, where a river watered the garden, (Ge 2:10, seq.,) and as this is a description of Eden recovered, or Paradise regained, it was natural to introduce a river of water also, yet in such a way as to accord with the general description of that future abode of the redeemed. It does not spring up, therefore, from the ground, but flows from the throne of God and the Lamb. Perhaps, also, the writer had in his eye the description in Eze 47:1-12, where a stream issues from under the temple, and is parted in different directions.

Clear as crystal. See Barnes on "Re 4:6".

Proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Flowing from the foot of the throne. Compare Re 4:6. This idea is strictly in accordance with Oriental imagery. In the East, fountains and running streams constituted an essential part of the image of enjoyment and prosperity, (see Barnes on "Isa 35:6,) and such fountains were common in the courts of Oriental houses. Here, the river is an emblem of peace, happiness, plenty; and the essential thought in its flowing from the throne is, that all the happiness of heaven proceeds from God.


Verse 2. In the midst of the street of it. Professor Stuart renders this, "between the street thereof and the river;" and says that "the writer conceives of the river as running through the whole city; then of streets parallel to it on either side; and then, on the banks of the river, between the water and the street, the whole stream is lined on either side with two rows of the tree of life." The more common interpretation, however, is doubtless admissible, and would give a more beautiful image; that in the street, or streets of the city, as well as on the banks of the river, the tree of life was planted. It abounded everywhere. The city had not only a river passing through it, but it was pervaded by streets, and all those streets were lined and shaded with this tree. The idea in the mind of the writer is that of Eden or Paradise; but it is not the Eden of the book of Genesis, or the Oriental or Persian Paradise: it is a picture where all is combined that in the view of the writer would constitute beauty, or contribute to happiness.

And on either side of the river. As well as in all the streets. The writer undoubtedly conceives of a single river running through the city—probably as meandering along—and that river lined on both sides with the tree of life. This gives great beauty to the imagery.

Was there the tree of life. Not a single tree, but it abounded everywhere—on the banks of the river, and in all the streets. It was the common tree in this blessed Paradise—of which all might partake, and which was everywhere the emblem of immortality. In this respect, this new Paradise stands in strong contrast with that in which Adam was placed at his creation, where there seems to have been a single tree that was designated as the tree of life, Ge 3:22-23. In the future state of the blessed, that tree will abound, and all may freely partake of it; the emblem—the pledge of immortal life—will be constantly before the eyes, whatever part of the future abode may be traversed, and the inhabitants of that blessed world may constantly partake of it.

Which bare twelve manner of fruits. "Producing twelve fruit-harvests; not (as our version) twelve manner of fruits."—Professor Stuart. The idea is not that there are twelve kinds of fruit on the same tree, for that is not implied in the language used by John. The literal rendering is, "producing twelve fruits"—poioun karpouv dwdeka. The word "manner" has been introduced by the translators without authority. The idea is, that the tree bore every month in the year, so that there were twelve fruit-harvests. It was not like a tree that bears but once a year, or in one season only, but it constantly bore fruit—it bore every month. The idea is that of abundance, not variety. The supply never fails; the tree is never barren. As there is but a single class of trees referred to, it might have been supposed, perhaps, that, according to the common method in which fruit is produced, there would be sometimes plenty and sometimes want; but the writer says that, though there is but one kind, yet the supply is ample. The tree is everywhere; it is constantly producing fruit.

And yielded her fruit every month. The word "and" is also supplied by the translators, and introduces an idea which is not in the original, as if there was not only a sucession of harvests, which is in the text, but that each one differed from the former, which is not in the text. The proper translation is, "producing twelve fruits, yielding or rendering its fruit in each month." Thus there is indeed a succession of fruit-crops, but it is the same kind of fruit. We are not to infer, however, that there will not be variety in the occupations and the joys of the heavenly state, for there can be no doubt that there will be ample diversity in the employments, and in the sources of happiness, in heaven; but the single thought expressed here is, that the means of life will be abundant: the trees of life will be everywhere, and they will be constantly yielding fruit.

And the leaves of the tree. Not only the fruit will contribute to give life, but even the leaves will be salutary. Everything about it will contribute to sustain life.

Were for the healing. That is, they contribute to impart life and health to those who had been diseased. We are not to suppose that there will be sickness, and a healing process in heaven, for that idea is expressly excluded in Re 21:4; but the meaning is, that the life and health of that blessed world will have been imparted by partaking of that tree, and the writer says that, in fact, it was owing to it that they who dwell there had been healed of their spiritual maladies, and had been made to live for ever.

Of the nations. Of all the nations assembled there, Re 21:24. There is a close resemblance between the language here used by John and that used by Ezekiel, (Eze 47:12,) and it is not improbable that both these writers refer to the same thing. Compare also, in the Apocrypha, 2 Esdras 2:12; 8:52-54.

{a} "In the midst" Eze 47:1,12

{b} "street" Re 21:21

{c} "tree of life" Re 2:7


Verse 3. And there shall be no more curse. This is doubtless designed to be in strong contrast with our present abode; and it is affirmed that what now properly comes under the name of a curse, or whatever is part of the curse pronounced on man by the fall, will be there unknown. The earth will be no more cursed, and will produce no more thorns and thistles; man will be no more compelled to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; woman will be no more doomed to bear the sufferings which she does now; and the abodes of the blessed will be no more cursed by sickness, sorrow, tears, and death.

But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. God will reign there for ever; the principles of purity and love which the Lamb of God came to establish will pervade that blessed abode to all eternity.

And his servants shall serve him. All his servants that are there; that is, all the inhabitants of that blessed world. For the meaning of this passage, see Barnes on "Re 7:15".

{d} "no more curse" Zec 14:11

{e} "throne of God" Eze 48:35

{f} "servants" Re 7:15


Verse 4. And they shall see his face. See Barnes on "Mt 18:10".

They would be constantly in his presence, and be permitted continually to behold his glory.

And his name shall be in their foreheads. They shall be designated as his. See Barnes on "Re 3:12" See Barnes "Re 7:3" See Barnes "Re 13:16".

{g} "And they shall" Mt 5:8; Joh 12:26; 17:24; 1 Co 13:12; 1 Jo 3:2

{h} "his name" Re 3:12


Verse 5. And there shall be no night there. See Barnes "Re 21:25".

And they need no candle. No lamp; no artificial light, as in a world where there is night and darkness.

Neither light of the sun; for the Lord God, etc. See Barnes on "Re 21:23".

And they shall reign for ever and ever. That is, with God; they shall be as kings. See Barnes on "Re 5:10" See Barnes "Re 20:6". Compare See Barnes "Ro 8:16" See Barnes "2 Ti 1:11"

See Barnes "2 Ti 1:12".

{i} "there shall be no night" Re 21:23,25

{k} "light" Ps 36:9

{l} "reign" Ro 5:17


This portion of the Apocalypse contains the most full and complete continuous description of the state of the righteous in the world of blessedness that is to be found in the Bible. It seems to be proper, therefore, to pause on it for a moment, and to state in a summary manner what will be the principal features of that blessedness. All can see that, as a description, it occupies an appropriate place, not only in regard to this book, but to the volume of revealed truth. In reference to this particular book, it is the appropriate close of the account of the conflicts, the trials, and the persecutions of the church; in reference to the whole volume of revealed truth, it is appropriate because it occurs in the last of the inspired books that was written. It was proper that a volume of revealed truth given to mankind, and designed to describe a great work of redeeming mercy, should close with a description of the state of the righteous after death. The principal features in the description are the following:—

(1.) There will be a new heaven and a new earth: a new order of things, and a world adapted to the condition of the righteous. There will be such changes produced in the earth, and such abodes fitted up for the redeemed, that it will be proper to say that they are new, Re 21:1.

(2.) The locality of that abode is not determined. No particular place is revealed as constituting heaven; nor is it intimated that there would be such a place. For anything that appears, the universe at large will be heaven—the earth and all worlds; and we are left free to suppose that the redeemed will yet occupy any position of the universe, and be permitted to behold the peculiar glories of the Divine character that are manifested in each of the worlds that he has made. Comp. See Barnes "1 Pe 1:12".

That there may be some one place in the universe that will be their permanent home, and that will be more properly called heaven, where the glory of their God and Saviour will be peculiarly manifested, is not improbable; but still there is nothing to prevent the hope and the belief that in the infinite duration that awaits them they will be permitted to visit all the worlds that God has made, and to learn in each, and from each, all that he has peculiarly manifested of his own character and glory there.

(3.) That future state will be entirely and for ever free from all the consequences of the apostasy as now seen on the earth. There will be neither tears, nor sorrow, nor death, nor crying, nor pain, nor curse, Re 21:4; 22:3. It will, therefore, be a perfectly happy abode.

(4.) It will be pure and holy. Nothing will ever enter there that shall contaminate and defile, Re 21:8,27. On this account, also, it will be a happy world, for

(a) all real happiness has its foundation in holiness; and

(b) the source of all the misery that the universe has experienced is sin. Let that be removed, and the earth would be happy; let it be extinguished from any world, and its happiness will be secure.

(5.) It will be a world of perfect light, Re 21:22-25; 22:6. There will be

(a) literally no night there;

(b) spiritually and morally there will be no darkness—no error, no sin. Light will be cast on a thousand subjects now obscure; and on numerous points pertaining to the Divine government and dealings which now perplex the mind there will be poured the splendour of perfect day. All the darkness that exists here will be dissipated there; all that is now obscure will be made light. And in view of this fact, we may well submit for a little time to the mysteries which hang over the Divine dealings here. The Christian is destined to live for ever and ever. He is capable of an eternal progression in knowledge. He is soon to be ushered into the splendours of that eternal abode where there is no need of the light of the sun or the moon, and where there is no night. In a little time—a few weeks or days—by removal to that higher state of being, he will have made a degree of progress in true knowledge compared with which all that can be learned here is a nameless trifle. In that future abode he will be permitted to know all that is to be known in those worlds that shine upon his path by day or by night; all that is to be known in the character of their Maker, and the principles of his government; all that is to be known of the glorious plan of redemption; all that is to be known of the reasons why sin and woe were permitted to enter this beautiful world. There, too, he will be permitted to enjoy all that there is to be enjoyed in a world without a cloud and without a tear; all that is beatific in the friendship of God the Father, of the Ascended Redeemer, of the Sacred Spirit; all that is blessed in the goodly fellowship of the angels, of the apostles, of the prophets; all that is rapturous in reunion with those that were loved on the earth. Well, then, may he bear with the darkness and endure the trials of this state a little longer.

(6.) It will be a world of surpassing splendour. This is manifest by the description of it in chap. xx., as a gorgeous city, with ample dimensions, with most brilliant colours, set with gems, and composed of pure gold. The writer, in the description of that abode, has accumulated all that is gorgeous and magnificent, and doubtless felt that even this was a very imperfect representation of that glorious world.

(7.) That future world will be all abode of the highest conceivable happiness. This is manifest, not only from the fact stated that there will be no pain or sorrow here, but from the positive description in Re 22:1,2. It was, undoubtedly, the design of the writer, under the image of a Paradise, to describe the future abode of the redeemed. as one of the highest happiness—where there would be an ample and a constant supply of every want, and where the highest ideas of enjoyment would be realized. And,

(8.) All this will be eternal. The universe, so vast and so wonderful, seems to have been made to be fitted to the eternal contemplation of created minds, and in this universe there is an adaptation for the employment of mind for ever and ever.

If it be asked now why John, in the account which he has given of the heavenly state, adopted this figurative and emblematic mode of representation, and why it did not please God to reveal any more respecting the nature of the employments and enjoyments of the heavenly world, it may be replied,

(a) that this method is eminently in accordance with the general character of the book, as a book of symbols and emblems.

(b) He has stated enough to give us a general and a most attractive view of that blessed state.

(c) It is not certain that we would have appreciated it, or could have comprehended it, if a more minute and literal description had been given. That state may be so unlike this that it is doubtful whether we could have comprehended any literal description that could have been given. How little of the future and the unseen can ever be known by a mere description; how faint and imperfect a view can we ever obtain of anything by the mere use of words, and especially of objects which have no resemblance to anything which we have seen! Whoever obtained any adequate idea of Niagara by a mere description? To what Greek or Roman mind, however cultivated, could there have been conveyed the idea of a printing-press, of a locomotive engine, of the magnetic telegraph, by mere description? Who can convey to one born blind an idea of the prismatic colours; or to the deaf an idea of sounds? If we may imagine the world of insect tribes to be endowed with the power of language and thought, how could the gay and gilded butterfly that to-day plays in the sun. beam impart to its companions of yesterday—low and grovelling worms many adequate idea of that new condition of being into which it had emerged? And how do we know that we could comprehend any description of that world where the righteous dwell, or of employments and enjoyments so unlike our own?

I cannot more appropriately close this brief notice of the revelations of the heavenly state than by introducing an ancient poem, which seems to be founded on this portion of the Apocalypse, and which is the original of one of the most touching and beautiful hymns now used in Protestant places of worship—the well-known hymn which begins, "Jerusalem! my happy home." This hymn is deservedly a great favourite, and is an eminently beautiful composition. It is, however, of Roman Catholic origin. It is found in a small volume of miscellaneous poetry, sold at Mr. Bright's sale of manuscripts in 1844, which has been placed in the British Museum, and now forms the additional MS. 15,225. It is referred, by the lettering on the book, to the age of Elizabeth, but it is supposed to belong to the subsequent reign. The volume seems tb have been formed by or for some Roman Catholic, and contains many devotional songs or hymns, interspersed with others of a more general character. See Littell's Living Age, vol. xxviii, pp. 333—336. The hymn is as follows :— \- ,/p>


To the tune of" Diana."

Jerusalem! my happy home !
When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end—
Thy joys when shall I see?

O happy harbour of the saints-
O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow may be found,
No grief, no care, no toil.

In thee no sickness may be seen,
No hurt, no ache, no sore;
There is no death, no ugly deil*, [*devil]
There's life for evermore.

No dampish mist is seen in thee,
No cold nor darksome night;
There every soul shines as the sun,
There God himself gives light.

There lust and lucre cannot dwell,
There envy bears no sway;
There is no hunger, heat, nor cold,
But pleasure every way.

Jerusalem ! Jerusalem!
God grant I once may see
The endless joys, and of the same
Partaker aye to be.

The walls are made of precious stones,
Thy bulwarks diamonds square:
Thy gates are of right orient pearl,
Exceeding rich and rare.

Thy turrets and thy pinnacles
With carbuncles do shine;
Thy very streets are paved with gold,
Surpassing clear and fine.

Thy houses are of ivory.
Thy windows crystal clear-
Thy tiles are made of, beaten gold—
O God, that I were there!

Within thy gates no thing doth come
That is not passing clean;
No spider's web, no dirt, no dust,
No filth may there be seen.

Ah, my sweet home, Jerusalem!
Would God I were in thee;
Would God, my woes were at an end.
Thy joys that I might see!

Thy saints are crown'd with glory great,
They see God face to face;
They triumph still, they still rejoice—
Most happy is their case.

We that are here in banishment
Continually do moan;
We sigh and sob, we weep and wail,
Perpetually we groan.

Our sweet is mixed with bitter gall,
Our pleasure is but pain;
Our joys scarce last the looking on,
Our sorrows still remain.

But there they live in such delight,
Such pleasure, and such play.
that to them a thousand years
Doth seem as yesterday.

Thy vineyards and thy orchards are
Most beautiful and fair;
Full furnished with trees and fruits,
Most wonderful and rare.

Thy gardens and thy gallant walks
Continually are green;
There grow such sweet and pleasant flowers
As nowhere else are seen.

There's pectar and ambrosia made,
There's musk and civet sweet;
There many a fair and dainty drug
Are trodden under feet.

There cinnamon, there sugar grows.
There nard and balm abound;
What tongue can tell, or heart conceive.
The joys that there are found?

Quite through the streets, with silver sound,
The flood of life doth flow;
Upon whose banks, on every side,
The wood of life doth grow.

There trees for evermore bear fruit,
And evermore do spring'
There evermore the angels Sit,
And evermore do sing.

There David stands with harp in hand,
As master of the quire;
That might this music hear.

Our Lady sings Magnificat,
With tune surpassing sweet;
And all the virgins bear their parts.
Sitting above her feet.

The Deum doth Saint Ambrose sing,
Saint Austin doth the like:
Old Simeon and Zachary
Have not their song to seek.

And cheerfully doth sing
With blessed saints, whose harmony
In every street doth ring.

Jerusalem, my happy home!
Would God I were in thee;
Would God my woes were at an end,
Thy joys that I might see!



THIS portion of the book of Revelation is properly the epilogue, or conclusion. The main purposes of the vision are accomplished; the enemies of the church are quelled; the church is triumphant; the affairs of the world are wound up; the redeemed are received to their blissful, eternal abode; the wicked are cut off; the earth is purified, and the affairs of the universe are fixed on their permanent foundation. A few miscellaneous matters, therefore, dose the book.

(1.) A solemn affirmation on the part of him who had made these revelations, that they are true, and that they will be speedily accomplished, and that he will be blessed or happy who shall keep the sayings of the book, Re 22:6,7.

(2.) The effect of all these things on John himself, leading him, as in a former case, Re 19:10 to a disposition to worship him who had been the medium in making to him such extraordinary communications, Re 22:8,9.

(3.) A command not to seal up what had been revealed, since the time was near. These things would soon have their fulfilment, and it was proper that the prophecies should be unsealed, or open, both that the events might be compared with the predictions, and that a persecuted church might be able to see what would be the result of all these things, and to find consolation in the assurance of the final triumph of the Son of God, Re 22:10.

(4.) The fixed and unchangeable state of the righteous and the wicked, Re 22:11-13.

(5.) The blessedness of those who keep the commandments of God, and who enter into the New Jerusalem, Re 22:14,15.

(6.) Jesus, the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star, proclaims himself to be the Author of all these revelations by the instrumentality of an angel, Re 22:16.

(7.) The universal invitation of the gospel—the language of Jesus himself—giving utterance to his strong desire for the salvation of men, Re 22:17.

(8.) A solemn command not to change anything that had been revealed in this book, either by adding to it or by taking from it, Re 22:18,19.

(9.) The assurance that he who had made these revelations would come quickly, and the joyous assent of John to this, and prayer that his advent might soon occur, Re 22:20.

(10.) The benediction, Re 22:21.

Verse 6. And he said unto me. The angel-interpreter, who had showed John the vision of the New Jerusalem, Re 21:9-10. As these visions axe now at an end, the angel comes to John directly, and assures him that all these things are true—that there has been no deception of the senses in these visions, but that they were really Divine disclosures of what would soon and certainly occur.

These sayings are faithful and true. These communications; all that has been disclosed to you by symbols, or in direct language. See Barnes on "Re 21:5".

And the Lord God of the holy prophets. The same God who inspired the ancient prophets.

Sent his angel. See Barnes on "Re 1:1".

To show unto his servants. To all his servants, that is, to all his people, by the instrumentality of John. The revelation was made to him, and he was to record it for the good of the whole church.

The things which must shortly be done. The beginning of which must soon occur—though the series of events extended into distant ages, and even into eternity. See Barnes on "Re 1:1-3".

{a} "sent his angel" Re 1:1


Verse 7. Behold, I come quickly. See Barnes on "Re 1:3".

The words here used are undoubtedly the words of the Redeemer, although they are apparently repeated by the angel. The meaning is, that they were used by the angel as the words of the Redeemer. See Re 22:12-20.

Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. That receives them as a Divine communication; that makes use of them to comfort himself in the days of darkness, persecution, and trial; and that is obedient to the precepts here enjoined. See Barnes on "Re 1:3".

{b} "quickly" Re 22:10,12,20


Verse 8. And I John saw these things, and heard them. That is, I saw the parts that were disclosed by pictures, visions and symbols; I heard the parts that were communicated by direct revelation.

And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel, etc. As he had done on a former occasion. See Barnes on "Re 19:10".

John appears to have been entirely overcome by the extraordinary nature of the revelations made to him, and not improbably entertained some suspicion that it was the Redeemer himself who had manifested himself to him in this remarkable manner.


Verse 9. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not. See Barnes on "Re 19:10.

For I am thy fellow-servant. Barnes on "Re 19:10".

And of thy brethren the prophets. In Re 19:10, it is, "of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus." Here the angel says that, in the capacity in which he appeared to John, he belonged to the general rank of the prophets, and was no more entitled to worship than any of the prophets had been. Like them, he had merely been employed to disclose important truths in regard to the future; but as the prophets, even the most eminent of them, were not regarded as entitled to worship on account of the communications which they had made, no more was he.

And of them which keep the sayings of this book. "I am a mere creature of God. I, like men, am under law, and am bound to observe the law of God." The "sayings of this book" which he says he kept, must be understood to mean those great principles of religion which it enjoined, and which are of equal obligation on men and angels.

Worship God. Worship God only. Barnes on "Re 19:10".


Verse 10. And he saith unto me. The angel.

Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book. That is, seal not the book itself, for it may be regarded altogether as a prophetic book. On the sealing of a book, see Barnes on "Re 5:1".

Isaiah (Isa 8:16; 30:8) and Daniel (Da 8:26; 12:4,9) were commanded to seal up their prophecies. Their prophecies related to far-distant times, and the idea in their being commanded to seal them was, that they should make the record sure and unchangeable; that they should finish it, and lay it up for future ages; so that, in far-distant times, the events an might be compared with the prophecy, and it might be seen that there was exact correspondence between the prophecy and the fulfilment. Their prophecies would not be immediately demanded for the use of persecuted saints, but would pertain to future ages. On the other hand, the events which John had predicted, though in their ultimate development they were to extend to the end of the world, and even into eternity, were about to begin to be fulfilled, and were to be of immediate use in consoling a persecuted Church. John, therefore, was directed not to seal up his predictions; not to lay them away to be opened, as it were, in distant ages; but to leave them open, so that a persecuted church might have access to them, and might in times of persecution and trial have the assurance that the principles of their religion would finally triumph. See Barnes on "Re 10:2".

For the time is at hand. That is, they are soon to commence. It is not implied that they would be soon completed. The idea is, that as the scenes of persecution were soon to open upon the church, it was important that the church should have access to these prophecies of the final triumph of religion, to sustain it in its trials. Compare Barnes on "Re 1:1,3".

{c} "Seal not" Da 8:26


Verse 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still. This must refer to the scenes beyond the judgment, and must be intended to affirm an important truth in regard to the condition of men in the future state. It cannot refer to the condition of men this side the grave, for there is no fixed and unchangeable condition in this world. At the close of this book, and at the close of the whole volume of revealed truth, it was proper to declare, in the most solemn manner, that when these events were consummated everything would be fixed and unchanging; that all who were then found to be righteous would remain so for ever; and that none who were impenitent, impure, and wicked, would ever change their character or condition. That this is the meaning here seems to me to be plain; and this sentiment accords with all that is said in the Bible of the final condition of the righteous and the wicked. See Mt 25:46; Ro 2:6-9; 1 Th 1:7-10; Da 12:2; Ec 11:3.

Every assurance is held out in the Bible that the righteous will be secure in holiness and happiness, and that there will be no danger—no possibility—that they will fall into sin, and sink to woe; and by the same kind of arguments by which it is proved that their condition will be unchanging, is it demonstrated that the condition of the wicked will be unchanging also. The argument for the eternal punishment of the wicked is as strong as that for the eternal happiness of the righteous; and if the one is open to doubt, there is no security for the permanence of the other. The word unjust here is a general term for an unrighteous or wicked man. The meaning is, that he to whom that character properly belongs, or of whom it is properly descriptive, will remain so for ever. The design of this seems to be, to let the ungodly and the wicked know that there is no change beyond the grave, and by this solemn consideration to warn them now to flee from the wrath to come. And assuredly no more solemn consideration can ever be presented to the human mind than this.

And he which is filthy, let him be filthy still. The word filthy here is, of course, used with reference to moral defilement or pollution. It refers to the sensual, the corrupt, the profane; and the meaning is, that their condition will be fixed, and that they will remain in this state of pollution for ever. There is nothing more awful than the idea that a polluted soul will be always polluted; that a heart corrupt will be always corrupt; that the defiled will be put for ever beyond the possibility of being cleansed from sin.

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still. The just, the upright man—in contradistinction from the unjust mentioned in the first part of the verse.

And he that is holy, let him be holy still. He that is pure, in contradistinction from the filthy mentioned in the former part of the verse. The righteous and the holy will be confirmed in their character and condition, as well as the wicked. The affirmation that their condition will be fixed is as strong as that that of the wicked will be be—and no stronger; the entire representation is, that all beyond the judgment will unchanging for ever. Could any more solemn thought be brought before the mind of man?

{a} "he that is unjust" Pr 1:24-33; Ec 11:3; Mt 25:10; 2 Ti 3:13

{b} "righteous" Pr 4:18; Mt 5:6


Verse 12. And behold, I come quickly. See Barnes on "Re 1:1,3".

These are undoubtedly the words of the Redeemer; and the meaning is, that the period when the unchanging sentence would be passed on each individual—on the unjust, the filthy, the righteous, and the holy—would not be remote. The design of this seems to be to impress on the mind the solemnity of the truth that the condition hereafter will soon be fixed, and to lead men to prepare for it. In reference to each individual, the period is near when it is to be determined whether he will be holy or sinful to all eternity. What thought could there be more adapted to impress on the mind the importance of giving immediate attention to the concerns of the soul?

And my reward is with me. I bring it with me to give to every man: either life or death; heaven or hell; the crown or the curse. He will be prepared immediately to execute the sentence. Compare Mt 25:31-46.

To give every man according as his work shall be. See Barnes on "Mt 16:27" See Barnes "Ro 2:6" See Barnes "2 Co 5:10".

{c} "come quickly" Zep 1:14

{d} "according" Re 20:12


Verse 13. I am Alpha and Omega, etc. See Barnes on "Re 1:8,11".

The idea here is, that he will thus show that he is the first and the and last —the beginning and the end. He originated the whole plan of salvation, he will determine its close; he formed the world, and he will wind up its affairs. In the beginning, the continuance, and the end, he will be recognised as the same being presiding over and controlling all.

{e} "Alpha and Omega" Isa 44:6


Verse 14. Blessed are they that do his commandments. See Barnes on "Re 1:3" See Barnes "Re 22:7".

That they may have right. That they may be entitled to approach the tree of life; that this privilege may be granted to them. It is not a right in the sense that they have merited it, but in the sense that the privilege is conferred on them as one of the rewards of God, and that, in virtue of the Divine arrangements, they will be entitled to this honour. So the word here used—exousia—means in Joh 1:12, rendered power. The reason why this right or privilege is conferred is not implied in the use of the word. In this case it is by grace, and all the right which they have to the tree of life is founded on the fact that God has been pleased graciously to confer it on them.

To the tree of life. See Barnes on "Re 22:2".

They would not be forbidden to approach that tree as Adam was, but would be permitted always to partake of it, and would live for ever.

And may enter in through the gates into the city. The New Jerusalem, Re 21:2. They would have free access there; they would be permitted to abide there for ever.

{f} "Blessed" Lu 12:37


Verse 15. For without are dogs. The wicked, the depraved, the vile: for of such characters the dogs, an unclean animal among the Jews, was regarded as a symbol, De 23:18. On the meaning of the expression, see Barnes on "Php 3:2".

The word "without" means that they would not be admitted into the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, Re 21:8, 27.

And sorcerers, etc. All these characters are specified in Re 21:8, as excluded from heaven. See Barnes on "Re 21:8".

The only change is, that those who "love and make a lie" are added to the list; that is, who delight in lies, or that which is false.

{g} "without" Re 21:8,27

{h} "dogs" Php 3:2

{i} "the root" Re 5:5


Verse 16. I Jesus. Here the Saviour appears expressly as the speaker— ratifying and confirming all that had been communicated by the instrumentality of the angel.

Have sent mine angel. Barnes on "Re 1:1".

To testify unto you. That is, to be a witness for me in communicating these things to you.

In the churches. Directly and immediately to the seven churches in Asia Minor, (chapters 2 and 3) remotely and ultimately to all churches to the end of time. Compare Barnes on "Re 1:11".

I am the root. Not the root in the sense that David sprang from him, as a tree does from a root, but in the sense that he was the "root-shoot" of David, or that he himself sprang from him, as a sprout starts up from a decayed and fallen tree—as of the oak, the willow, the chesnut, etc. See Barnes on "Isa 11:1".

The meaning then is, not that he was the ancestor of David, or that David sprang from him, but that he was the offspring of David, according to the promise in the Scripture, that the Messiah should be descended from him. No argument then, can be derived from this passage in proof of the pre-existence, or the divinity of Christ.

And the offspring. The descendant; the progeny of David: "the seed of David according to the flesh." See Barnes on "Ro 1:3".

It is not unusual to employ two words in close connexion to express the same idea with some slight shade of difference.

And the bright and morning star. See Barnes on "Re 2:28".

It is not uncommon to compare a prince, a leader, a teacher, with that bright and beautiful star which at some seasons of the year precedes the rising of the sun, and leads on the day. Compare Barnes on "Isa 14:12".

The reference here is to that star as the harbinger of day; and the meaning of the Saviour is, that he sustains a relation to a dark world similar to this beautiful star. At one time he is indeed compared with the sun itself in giving light to the world; here he is compared with that morning star rather with reference to its beauty than its light. May it not also have been one object in this comparison to lead us, when we look on that star, to think of the Saviour? It is perhaps the most beautiful object in nature; it succeeds the darkness of the night; it brings on the day—and as it mingles with the first rays of the morning, it seems to be so joyous, cheerful, exulting, bright, that nothing can be better adapted to remind us of Him who came to lead on eternal day. Its place—the first thing that arrests the eye in the morning—might serve to remind us that the Saviour should be the first object that should draw the eye and the heart on the return of each day. In each trial—each scene of sorrow—let us think of the bright star of the morning as it rises on the darkness of the night—emblem of the Saviour rising on our sorrow and our gloom.


Verse 17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. That is, come to the Saviour; come and partake of the blessings of the gospel; come and be saved. The construction demands this interpretation, as the latter part of the verse shows. The design of this whole verse is, evidently, to show the freeness of the offers of the gospel; to condense in a summary manner all the invitations of mercy to mankind; and to leave on the mind at the close of the book a deep impression of the ample provision which has been made for the salvation of a fallen race. Nothing, it is clear, could be more appropriate at the close of this book, and at the close of the whole volume of revealed truth, than to announce, in the most clear and attracting form, that salvation is free to all, and that whosoever will may be saved.

The Spirit. The Holy Spirit. He intreats all to come. This he does

(a) in all the recorded invitations in the Bible—for it is by the inspiration of that Spirit that these invitations are recorded;

(b) by all his influences on the understandings, the consciences, and the hearts of men;

(c) by all the proclamations of mercy made by the preaching of the gospel, and by the appeal which friend makes to friend, and neighbour to neighbour, and stranger to stranger—for all these are methods in which the Spirit invites men to come to the Saviour.

And the bride. The church. See Barnes on "Re 21:2, See Barnes "Re 21:9".

That is, the church invites all to come and be saved. This it does

(a) by its ministers, whose main business it is to extend this invitation to mankind;

(b) by its ordinances—constantly setting forth the freeness of the gospel;

(c) by the lives of its consistent members—showing the excellency and the desirableness of true religion;

(d) by all its efforts to do good in the world;

(e) by the example of those who are brought into the church—showing that all, whatever may have been their former character, may be saved; and

(f) by the direct appeals of its individual members. Thus a Christian parent invites his children; a brother invites a sister, and a sister invites a brother; a neighbour invites his neighbour, and a stranger a stranger; the master invites his servant, and the servant his master. The church on earth and the church in heaven unite in the invitation, saying, Come. The living father, pastor, friend, invites—and the voice of the departed father, pastor, friend, now in heaven, is heard re-echoing the invitation. The once-loved mother that has gone to the skies still invites her children to come; and the sweet-smiling babe that has been taken up to the Saviour stretches out its arms from heaven, and says to its mother—Come.

Say, Come. That is, come to the Saviour; come into the church; come to heaven.

And let him that heareth say, Come. Whoever hears the gospel, let him go and invite others to come, Nothing could more strikingly set forth the freeness of the invitation of the gospel than this. The authority to make the invitation is not limited to the ministers of religion; it is not even confined to those who accept it themselves. All persons, even though they should not accept of it, are authorized to tell others that they may be saved. One impenitent sinner may go and tell another impenitent sinner that if he will he may find mercy and enter heaven. How could the offer of salvation be made more freely to mankind?

And let him that is athirst come. Whoever desires salvation, as the weary pilgrim desires a cooling fountain to allay his thirst, let him come as freely to the gospel as that thirsty man would stoop down at the fountain and drink. See Barnes on "Isa 55:1".

Compare Barnes on "Mt 5:6" See Barnes "Joh 7:37" See Barnes "Re 21:6".

And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Re 21:6. Every one that is disposed to come, that has any sincere wish to be saved, is assured that he may live. No matter how unworthy he is; no matter what his past life has been; no matter how old or how young, how rich or how poor; no matter whether sick or well, a freeman or a slave; no matter whether educated or ignorant; no matter whether clothed in purple or in rags—riding in state or laid at the gate of a rich man full of sores, the invitation is freely made to all to come and be saved. With what more appropriate truth could a revelation from heaven be closed?

{a} "bride" Re 21:2,9

{b} "Come" Isa 2:5

{c} "And let him" Re 21:6


Verse 18. For I testify. The writer does not specify who is meant by the word "I" in this place. The most natural construction is to refer it to the writer himself, and not to the angel, or the Saviour. The meaning is, "I bear this solemn witness, or make this solemn affirmation, in conclusion." The object is to guard his book against being corrupted by any interpolation or change. It would seem not improbable, from this, that as early as the time of John books were liable to be corrupted by additions or omissions, or that at least there was felt to be great danger that mistakes might be made by the carelessness of transcribers. Against this danger, John would guard this book in the most solemn manner. Perhaps he felt, too, that as this book would be necessarily regarded as obscure from the fact that symbols were so much used, there was great danger that changes would be made by well-meaning persons with a view to make it appear more plain.

Unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. The word "heareth" seems here to be used in a very general sense. Perhaps in most cases persons would be made acquainted with the contents of the book by hearing it read in the churches; but still the spirit of the declaration must include all methods of becoming acquainted with it.

If any man shall add unto these things. With a view to furnish a more full and complete revelation; or with a profession that new truth had been communicated by inspiration. The reference here is to the book of Revelation only—for at that time the books that now constitute what we call the Bible were not collected into a single volume. This passage, therefore, should not be adduced as referring to the whole of the sacred Scriptures. Still, the principle is one that is thus applicable; for it is obvious that no one has a right to change any part of a revelation which God makes to man; to presume to add to it, or to take from it, or in any way to modify it. Compare Barnes on "2 Ti 3:16".

God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. Th se "plagues" refer to the numerous methods described in this book as those in which God would bring severe judgment upon the persecutors of the church, and the corrupters of religion. The meaning is, that such a person would be regarded as an enemy of his religion, and would share the fearful doom of all such enemies.

{d} "add" Pr 30:6


Verse 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy. If he shall reject the book altogether; if he shall, in transcribing it, designedly strike any part of it out. It is conceivable that, from the remarkable nature of the communications made in this book, and the fact that they seemed to be unintelligible, John supposed there might be those who would be inclined to omit some portions as improbable, or that he apprehended that when the portions which describe Antichrist were fulfilled in distant ages, those to whom those portions applied would be disposed to strike them from the sacred volume, or to corrupt them. He thought proper to guard against this by this solemn declaration of the consequence which would follow such an act. The whole book was to be received—with all its fearful truths—as a revelation from God; and however obscure it might seem, in due time it would be made plain; however faithfully it might depict a fearful apostasy, it was important, both to show the truth of Divine inspiration and to save the church, that these disclosures should be in their native purity in the possession of the people of God.

God shall take away his part out of the book of life. Perhaps there is here an intimation that this would be most likely to be done by those who professed to be Christians, and who supposed that their names were in the book of life. In fact, most of the corruptions of the sacred Scriptures have been attempted by those who have professed some form of Christianity. Infidels have but little interest in attempting such changes, and but little influence to make them received by the church. It is most convenient for them, as it is most agreeable to their feelings, to reject the Bible altogether. When it said here that "God would take away his part out of the book of life," the meaning is not that his name had been written in that book, but that he would take away the part which he might have had, or which he professed to have in that book. Such corruption of the Divine oracles would show that they had no true religion, and would be excluded from heaven. On the phrase "book of life," see Barnes on "Re 3:5".

And out of the holy city. Described in chapter 21. He would not be permitted to enter that city; he would have no part among the redeemed.

And from the things which are written in this book. The promises that are made; the glories that are described.

{e} "take away" Re 3:5

{1} "out of the book" "from the tree"


Verse 20. He which testifieth these things. The Lord Jesus; for he it was that had, through the instrumentality of the angel, borne this solemn witness to the truth of these things, and this book was to be regarded as his revelation to mankind. See Barnes on "Re 1:1; Re 22:16 ".

He here speaks of himself, and vouches for the truth and reality of these things by saying that he "testifies" of them, or bears witness to them. Compare Joh 18:37. The fact that Jesus himself vouches for the truth of what is here revealed, shows the propriety of what John had said in the previous verses about adding to it, or taking from it.

Saith, Surely I come quickly. That is, the development of these events will soon begin—though their consummation may extend into far-distant ages, or into eternity. See Barnes on "Re 1:1,3" See Barnes "Re 22:7, See Barnes "Re 22:10".

Amen. A word of solemn affirmation or assent. See Barnes on "Mt 10:13".

Here it is to be regarded as the expression of John, signifying his solemn and cheerful assent to what the Saviour had said, that he would come quickly. It is the utterance of a strong desire that it might be so. He longed for his appearing.

Even so. These, too, are the words of John, and are a response to what the Saviour had just said. In the original, it is a response in the same language which the Saviour had used, and the beauty of the passage is marred by the translation "Even so." The original is, "He which testifieth to these things saith, Yea—nai—I come quickly. Amen. Yea—nai—come, Lord Jesus." It is the utterance of desire in the precise language which the Saviour had used—heart responding to heart.

Come, Lord Jesus. That is, as here intended, "Come in the manner and for the objects referred to in this book." The language, however, is expressive of the feeling of piety in a more extended sense, and may be used to denote a desire that the Lord Jesus would come in any and every manner; that he would come to impart to us the tokens of his presence; that he would come to bless his truth and to revive his work in the churches; that he would come to convert sinners, and to build up his people in holiness; that he would come to sustain us in affliction, and to defend us in temptation; that he would come to put a period to idolatry, superstition, and error, and to extend the knowledge of his truth in the world; that he would come to set up his kingdom on the earth, and to rule in the hearts of men; that he would come to receive us to his presence, and to gather his redeemed people into his everlasting kingdom. It was appropriate to the aged John, suffering exile in a lonely island, to pray that the Lord Jesus would speed fly come to take him to himself; and there could have been no more suitable close of this marvellous book than the utterance of such a desire. And it is appropriate for us as we finish its contemplation, disclosing so much of the glories of the heavenly world, and the blessedness of the redeemed in their final state, when we think of the earth, with its sorrows, trials, and cares, to respond to the prayer, and to say, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly." For that glorious coming of the Son of God, when he shall gather his redeemed people to himself, may all who read these Notes be finally prepared. Amen.

{a} "Surely" Re 22:7,12

{b} "Even so" Heb 9:28; Isa 25:9


Verse 21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The usual benediction of the sacred writers. See Barnes on "Ro 16:20".

{c} "grace" 2 Th 3:18

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