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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Revelation 22

 

 

Verses 1-21


The Vision ended. The Lord is at Hand

The inner life of the heavenly Jerusalem is described. Then the 'Revelation' closes with the repeated assurance that Christ is at hand, and with the yearnings of the Church and of St. John for the joy of. His advent.

1-5. In the New Jerusalem, the blessed life of Eden is more than restored. There is a river of life (cp. Genesis 2:10), i.e. the Holy Spirit: cp. John 4:14; John 7:37. Cp. also Ezekiel 47:1; Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:8, in which prophecies the waters come from the Temple: here there is no Temple, and the waters flow from the throne of God, i.e. they are the result of God's immediate presence, and of His fully accepted government (Revelation 22:1). On either side of the river as it flows in the midst of the street is a grove of trees, the tree of life: cp. Genesis 2:9; Ezekiel 47:12. The fruit is always available, for there is a fresh crop every month: cp. the manna, John 6:31. The leaves healed the sin of the 'nations' within the city, and the fruit nourishes their life. In the tree we see the cross on which Christ hung as precious fruit (Revelation 22:2). Now, too, as He became 'a curse for us' (Galatians 3:13), the curse of Eden (cp. Genesis 3:17, Genesis 3:22.) is taken away: cp. Zechariah 14:11. Over the 'sweet societies' of the Redeemed, God and the Lamb reign for ever. The Redeemed offer up worship face to face with God (the 'beatific vision') (cp. Psalms 17:15; Matthew 5:8, 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2) and receive His Name, i.e. are marked as His (see on Revelation 7:3 and Revelation 14:1), and transformed into His likeness (Revelation 22:3.). And as His glory thus shines upon and enters into them, they 'reign,' i.e. their life can develop and expand to its fullest powers, there being no evil ('curse,' Revelation 22:3) in them to be restrained, nor hindering circumstances without to restrain them (Revelation 22:5).

1. Clear] RV 'bright.' If. And of the Lamb. In the midst of the street.. river] RV 'and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that.'

2. Manner] RM 'crops.'

5. Candle] RV 'light of lamp.'

6-9. Affirmation of the truth of the vision which is now concluded, and of the near approach of that of which it tells (Revelation 22:6-7). St. John, knowing the angel has finished his task and is about to leave him, falls before him in worship, as in Revelation 19:10, but is again charged to worship God alone (Revelation 22:8.).

6. The Lord God of the holy prophets] RV 'the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets': cp. 1 Corinthians 14:32.

The meaning is that the words of the Christian prophets do not speak their own mind, but God's. 7. Christ's voice breaks in: cp. Revelation 16:15.

8. RV 'And I John am he that heard and saw these things.'

10-15. The vision is not to be sealed, as was Daniel's (cp. Daniel 12:4), because it is for immediate use (Revelation 22:10). Those who 'will not turn and repent because of the Revelation which Christ has now completed, will not, cannot have any greater power brought to bear on them before He comes again: cp. Luke 16:31;' (Benson) (Revelation 22:11-13). Happy are they who are purified, through faith, by His blood (cp. Revelation 7:14), for the life and joy of the city are for them (Revelation 22:14.).

10. Seal not] RV 'seal not up': cp. Revelation 10:4.

11. Cp. Ezekiel 3:27; Ezekiel 20:39; Daniel 12:10. Unjust] RV 'unrighteous.' Be unjust] RV 'do unrighteousness.' Be filthy] RV 'be made filthy.' Be righteous] RV 'do righteousness.'

Be holy] RV 'be made holy.'

12-15. Spoken by Christ: cp. Revelation 22:7, Revelation 16:15.

14. Do his commandments] RV 'wash their robes.' Right] RV 'the right to come.'

16f. The Messiah attests the Revelation (Revelation 22:16). The Holy Spirit in the Church (cp. Romans 8:16), and the Church herself, hearing His voice, call for His advent, and, at the same time, invite all who will to take part with the Church in this joyful expectation (Revelation 22:17).

16. The root, etc.] The reference is to the Messiahship of our Lord, as son of David, and as the 'star' of Balaam's prophecy: cp. Revelation 2:28; Revelation 5:5; Numbers 24:17; Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 11:10; Matthew 1:1; Matthew 22:42.

17. Bride] see on Matthew 21:2. Heareth] see on 18. Athirst] cp. Matthew 21:6. Freely] cp. Isaiah 55:1.

18f. A warning that the book is not to be falsified by addition or excision: cp. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32.

19. Book of life] RV 'tree of life.'

And from the things] RV omits.

20f. Christ sums up the book by announcing His speedy advent, and St. John prays for it (Revelation 22:20). The book, and with it the Bible, closes in prayer for that in which all its blessings are contained, 'the grace,' i.e. the manifested love, 'of the Lord Jesus' (Revelation 22:21).

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Revelation 22:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/revelation-22.html. 1909.

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