corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 22

 

 

Verse 1

The river is suggested partly by Ezekiel’s representation of the healing stream which was to issue from the new temple and flow through the dreary Ghor of the Jordan valley (Ezekiel 47:1-12), partly by the reference (in a later apocalypse, Zechariah 14:8) to perennial waters issuing from Jerusalem as the dwelling-place of God in the new age. John has no use for Ezekiel’s idea that the stream would assist in the messianic transformation of nature. He changes the numerous trees on either side of the wady into the (generic) single tree of life, reverting as before (Ezekiel 2:7) to the ideal of the Semitic paradise. Also, he drops the notion of the river sweetening the bitter waters of the Dead Sea. Cf. Pirke Eliezer, 51, aquae putei ascensurae sunt e limine templi atque scaturient prodibuntque. The Babylonian origin of the idea is outlined by Zimmern in Archiv für Relig. Wiss. 1899, 170 f. Unlike the earthly Jerusalem with its inferior stream, the new city is to be richly equipped with conduits and all that makes a city prosperous and secure (Isaiah 33:21).


Verse 2

πλατείας (“street,” or “boulevard”) collective and generic (cf. James 5:6) like ξύλον. Take ἐναὐτῆς with what precedes, and begin a fresh sentence with καὶ τοῦ ποταμοῦ (W. H.), ξύλον being governed by ἔδειξεν (from Revelation 22:1). The river, which is the all-pervading feature, is lined with the trees of life. The writer retains the traditional singular of Genesis 2:9, combining it with the representation of Ezekiel (yet note sing, in Ezekiel 47:12); he thus gains symbolic impressiveness at the expense of pictorial coherence. Ramsay (C. B. P. ii. 453) observes, however, that the waters of the Marsyas were “probably drawn off to flow through the streets of Apameia; this practice is still a favourite one in Asia Minor, e.g., at Denizli”.— κ. μῆνα, the poetic imagination soars over the prosaic objection that months are impossible without a moon (Revelation 21:22).— καρπὸν, κ. τ. λ. To eat of the tree of life was, in the popular religious phraseology of the age, to possess immortality. In En. 24., 25., where the prophet sees a wonderful, fragrant tree, Michael explains that it must stand untouched till the day of Judgment ( καὶ οὐδεμία σὰρξ ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ἅψασθαι αὐτοῦ). “Then the righteous and the holy shall have it given them; it shall be as food for the elect unto life.” So in contemporary Judaism; e.g., 4 Esd. 7:53 and 8:52 (“For unto you is paradise set open, the tree of life is planted, the time to come is prepared, a city is builded and rest is established,”) as already in Test. Levi. 18, where the messianic high-priest is to “open the gates of paradise and remove the sword drawn against Adam, and permit the saints to eat of the tree of life”. For the association of God’s city and God’s garden, cf. Apoc. Bar. iv.: for the notion of healing, Apoc. Mos. vi., Jub. x. 12 f., and the Iranian idea that (Brandt, 434 f.) the tree of many seeds had curative properties. John is therefore using the realistic and archaic language of Jewish piety to delineate the bliss of Christians in a future state where all the original glories and privileges of God’s life with man are to be restored. The Christian heaven is to possess everything which Judaism claimed and craved for itself. Cf. the Christian addition to 4 Ezra 2:12; Ezra 2:34-35; Ezra 2:38 f.; also the famous hymn to Osiris (E. B. D., ch. 183: “I have come into the city of God—the region which existed in primaeval time—with my soul, to dwell in this land.… The God thereof is most holy. His land draweth unto itself every other land. And doth he not say, the happiness thereof is a care to me?”).


Verse 3

κατάθεμα, a corrupt and rare form of κατανάθεμα = anything accursed (lit. a curse itself, Did. Revelation 16:8). i.e., abstract for concrete, here = “a cursed person,” so Ps. Sol. 17:20 f.— λατρεύσουσι, unfettered and unspoiled devotion. The interruption of the daily service and sacrifice in Jerusalem on 17th July, 70 A.D., had sent a painful thrill to the heart of all who cherished the ideal of Acts 26:7. No fear of that in the new Jerusalem!


Verse 4

The ancient ideal of intimate confidence is also to be realised (cf. on Matthew 5:8 and Iren. Adv. Har. Revelation 22:7). With this phrase and that of Revelation 21:22 compare Browning’s lines: “Why, where’s the need of temple when the walls | O’ the world are that … This one Face, far from vanish, rather grows | Becomes my universe that feels and knows.” The idea here is that reproduced in the seventh and supreme degree of bliss in 4 Ezra 7 :(78) where the saints “shall rejoice with confidence, have boldness undismayed, and gladness unafraid, for they shall hasten to behold the face of him whom they served in life”. By Oriental usage, no condemned or criminal person was allowed to look on the king’s face (Esther 7:8), In the ancient ch. 64 of E. B. D. (papyrus of Nu) the “triumphant Nu saith, ‘I have come to see him that dwelleth in his divine uraeus, face to face, and eye to eye.… Thou art in me, and I am in thee,’ ” The Apocalypse, however, shuns almost any approach to the inner union of the individual Christian and Christ which distinguished both Paul and the fourth gospel; it also eschews the identification of God and man which was often crudely affected by Egyptian eschatology. No allusion occurs to the supremacy of the saints over angels (Ap. Bar. 51:12, etc.), though John is careful elsewhere to keep the latter in their place (see on Revelation 21:17, Revelation 22:9). He also ignores the problem of different degrees in bliss,— ὄψονται. In Chag. 5 b there is a story of a blind rabbi who blessed some departing visitors with the words, “Ye have visited a face that is seen and sees not: may ye be counted worthy to visit the Face which sees and is not seen”. The Christian prophet has a better hope and promise. Compare, however, Plutarch’s touching faith (Iside, 79) that the souls of men after death will “migrate to the unseen, the good,” when God becomes their king and leader and where “they, as it were, hang upon him and gaze without ever wearying, and yearn for that unspeakable, indescribable Beauty”.


Verse 5

Philo (de Joshua 24) had already described heaven as ἡμέραν αἰώνιον, νυκτὸς καὶ πάσης σκιᾶς ἀμέτοχον. Cf. En. vi. 6.—Such teaching on heaven, though in a less religious form, seems to have been current among the Asiatic πρεσβύτεροι. Irenæus (5:36, 1–2) quotes them as holding (cf. above on Revelation 2:7) that some of the blessed τῆς τοῦ παραδείσου τρυφῆς ἀπολαύσουσιν, οἱ δὲ τὴν λαμπρότητα τῆς πόλεως καθέξουσιν· πανταχοῦ γὰρ σωτὴρ ὁρασθήσεται, καθὼς ἄξιοι ἔσονται οἱ ὁρῶντες αὐτόν, κ. τ. λ.

The epilogue (Revelation 22:6-21) is a series of loose ejaculations, which it is not easy to assign to the various speakers. It is moulded on the lines of the epilogue to the astronomical section of Enoch (lxxxi. f.), where Enoch is left for one year with his children—“that thou mayest testify to them all.… Let thy heart be strong, for the good will announce righteousness to the good, but the sinners will die with the sinners, and the apostates go down with the apostates”. Two characteristic motifs, however, dominate the entire passage: (a) the vital importance of this book as a valid and authentic revelation, and (b) the nearness of the end. The former is heard in the definite claim of inspiration (Revelation 22:6 f., Revelation 22:16) and prophetic origin (Revelation 22:8-9) which guarantees its contents, in the beatitude of Revelation 22:7 b (cf. Revelation 22:17), and (cf. Revelation 22:21) in the claim of canonical dignity (Revelation 22:18-19). The latter is voiced thrice in a personal (Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:12; Revelation 22:20) and twice in an impersonal (Revelation 22:6; Revelation 22:10) form. Both are bound up together (cf. Revelation 22:20 and Revelation 1:3). It is as a crucial revelation of the near future and a testimony to the authority and advent of the messiah (cf. Revelation 22:20) that this apocalypse claims to be read, and honoured in the churches. This general standpoint is clear enough, but the details are rather intricate. It is characteristic of the Apocalyse, as of ep. Barnabas, that the writer often leaves it indefinite whether God or Christ or an angel is speaking. Sometimes the divine voice is recognised to be that of Christ (cf. Revelation 1:10 f., Revelation 4:1), or may be inferred from the context to be that of an angel (e.g., Revelation 17:15; Revelation cf.1 and Revelation 19:9), perhaps as the divine spokesman (Revelation 21:5-6, cf. Revelation 22:5; Revelation 22:7). But frequently, even when the seer is addressed (Revelation 10:4, Revelation 14:13), the voice or Bath-Qol is anonymous (e.g., Revelation 11:12, Revelation 12:10, Revelation 14:2, Revelation 16:1; Revelation cf.17). In the epilogue, as it stands, it is impossible and irrelevant to determine whether Jesus (16) begins to speak at Revelation 22:10 (so Spitta, Holtzm, Porter, Forbes) and resumes in Revelation 22:18-20 a. But, while Revelation 22:6-7, and Revelation 22:8-9 are both intended in a sense to round off the entire Apocalypse, and not merely the immediately preceding vision, 8–9 (a replica of Revelation 19:9-10) stands closer to Revelation 21:9 to Revelation 22:5 than does Revelation 22:6-7. No λόγοι in the last vision justify the reference in 6, whereas the specific δεικν. μοι ταῦτα in 8 echoes the cicerone-function of the angel in Revelation 21:9-10, Revelation 22:1. Revelation 22:6-7 very probably lay originally between 9 and 10 (for the juxtaposition of εἶπεν and λέγει cf. Revelation 17:7; Revelation 17:15), where they definitely mark the beginning of the epilogue already anticipated in 8 (cf. Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:9) and in the broadened close of 9 (contrast Revelation 19:10 above). It is not necessary (though perhaps a later scribe may have thought so) to account for John’s action in 8–9 by supposing that he mistook the angelus interpres for Christ. The λόγοι of 6, when this order is adopted, acquire their natural sense (cf. Revelation 22:10), and the three successive angel-utterances (Revelation 22:8-9; Revelation 22:6-7; Revelation 22:10-11) have a proper sequence. It is needless, in view of Revelation 16:15 (cf. Revelation 3:11) to omit Revelation 22:7 a as an interpolation (Könnecke). But Revelation 22:12-13 probably have been displaced from their original order (Revelation 22:13; Revelation 22:12) and position after Revelation 22:16 (Könnecke), where Revelation 22:17 echoes Revelation 22:12 a, and Revelation 22:14-15 carries on the thought of Revelation 22:11. Revelation 22:18-19 are plainly editorial, interrupting the connexion of Revelation 22:17 and Revelation 22:20. In 11 Resch (Agrapha, § 113) attempts to prove that some logion of Jesus is quoted. On the “inconsistent optimism” of Revelation 22:13; Revelation 22:15, cf. Abbott, p. 107.


Verse 6

As in En. cviii. 6 (only mention of prophets in Enoch), “what God announces through the mouth of the prophets” relates to the future.— πνευμ. the plurality of spirits is an archaic detail (cf. Revelation 1:4) adapted also from the Enochic formula (Enoch 37:2, etc.), “God of the spirits”.


Verse 7

Here as elsewhere it is irrelevant to ask, who is the speaker? Angels are the envoys and mouthpieces of God here as in the O.T., and therefore entitled to speak in his name or in that of Christ. “The Oriental mind hardly distinguishes between an ancient personage and one who appears in his power and spirit” (A. B. Davidson on Ezekiel 34:23). In 4 Esd. 5:31–40 the angel is also addressed as if he were the Lord—the angelic personality evidently fading into the divine, as here, and the writer being equally unconscious of any incongruity in the representation (cf. Zechariah 3:1-4). As the “showing” of the δ. γ. ἐν τ. is (Revelation 1:1) an ἀποκ. of Jesus, he (or a word of his) naturally breaks in (7 a).— τηρῶν κ. τ. λ., an apocalyptic form of emphasis. Cf. e.g., Slav. En. xlvii. 1–3 and xxxvi. (“tell thou thy sons and all thy household before Me, that they may listen to what is spoken to them by thee … and let them always keep my commandments, and begin to read and understand the books written out by thee”). All apocalypses were meant to be transmitted to mankind, but the usual method of delivery is complicated (cf. En. lxxxii. 1, 2; Slav. En. xxxiii. 9, xlvii. 2, 3, etc.).


Verse 8

There is no trace of any reluctance on the prophet’s part to return to earth, as in Asc. Isa. (Gk.), 2:33–35.


Verse 9

The warning against any Christian θρησκεία τῶν ἀγγέλων is not, as in the parallel passage, an indirect exaltation of the prophetic order as equivalent to the angelic in religious function, but an assertion that even ordinary Christians who accept the Apocalypse are equal to the hierophant angel. Unlike Nebo, the angelic interpreter of Marduk’s will in Babylonian religion, he is not to be worshipped, for all his importance. Precautions against angel-worship could hardly be more stringent. “The repetition of the scene is enough to show that it does not represent a natural ebullition of feeling and its corretction, but that the narrative has a purpose … and that those who observed the practice made use of” John’s name, or at any rate believed they could appeal to him as sanctioning their superstition (Weizäcker, ii. 203–204).


Verse 10

The book of Daniel, the great classic of apocalyptic literature, is represented (cf. Slav. En. xxxiii. 9–11, xxxv. 3; En. xciii. 10, civ. 12, etc.) as having been providentially kept secret at the time of its composition, since it referred to a future period (Daniel 8:26, Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9). This was a literary device, to explain why it had not been divulged before. As John’s apocalypse is for an immediate crisis, it is not to be reserved for days to come. It is not merely valid (7) but intended for the prophet’s contemporaries (unlike Isaiah 30:8, cf. Cheyne’s note), though reserved, like most of its class, as esoteric literature for the “wise” (contrast 4 Esd. 14:38–48). Some interval, however, is presupposed between the vision and its fulfilment, otherwise it would be futile to write the visions down, and to arrange for their circulation throughout the churches. A certain career (Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:9; Revelation 22:18-19) is anticipated for the Apocalypse. But (Revelation 22:11.) persistence in good and evil is about all the writer expects—a stereotyped feature of the apocalyptic outlook on the obduracy of the wicked and the perseverance of the saints. Apocalyptic never encouraged propaganda, and no radical or widespread change is anticipated during the brief interval before the end. As in Daniel 12:10-11, so here, the crisis simply accentuates and accelerates human character along previous lines. No anxiety is shown, however, as in 4 Esd. 4:50 f., whether the prophet himself is to see the end.


Verse 15

κύνες, an archaic metaphor, coloured by the nomad’s hatred of hounds; cf. Arabia Deserta, i. 337, 339 (“only the dog has no citizenship in the nomad life”. “It is the only life mishandled by the gentle Arab, who with spurns and blows cast out these profane creatures from the tent.”) Here κύνες are not merely impure pagans, but the impudently impure, possibly in the special and darker sense of “sodomites” (cf. 1 Timothy 1:10; Deuteronomy 23:19-20, collated with πόρνη and βδέλυγμα). cf. on Revelation 21:8 and Cooke’s North Sem. Inscriptions, p. 68. Such loathsome practices were not uncommon in the Oriental cults.


Verse 16

Jesus in person now speaks in the colloquy (Revelation 22:16; Revelation 22:13; Revelation 22:12) to ratify what has just been said. This apocalypse is not an individual fantasy (2 Peter 1:21). For the contemporary need of such accrediting, cf. Herm. Sim. ix. 22 and Ascension. Isa. 3:30, 31 (where in the last days “everyone will say what is pleasing in his own eyes. And they will make of none effect the prophecy of the prophets which were before me, and these my visions also will they make of none effect, in order to speak after the impulse of their own hearts.”)— ἄγγελον, not John (Weiss, Wellh.) but the angelus interpres (cf. on Revelation 1:2; Revelation 1:20).— ὑμῖν, the plural here and in Revelation 22:6 (cf. Revelation 1:1) might suggest that John’s apocalypse incorporated some visions of other members belonging to the prophets in the Asiatic circle or school (cf. the tradition about the co-operative origin of the Fourth gospel, in the Muratorian canon). But while any Jewish Christian sources may have been drawn from this quarter, the final authorship and authority is claimed by (or, for) John himself (cf. Revelation 22:8).— δαυείδ. Like most early Christians, John attached more weight to the Davidic descent of Jesus as messiah (Baldensperger, 82 f.), than Jesus himself allowed. Here Christ’s authority in revelation is bound up with his legitimate claim to be messiah, and thus to inaugurate the new and eternal day of God. As ἀνατολή (the dawn = צֶמַח) was already a messianic symbol, and employed in LXX (Jeremiah 23:5, Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12) to denote the messianic branch or stem, this double usage explains the imagery here (so Justin, Apol. i. 32). Jesus has not only the historic preparation of Israel behind him but the infinite future before him. In one sense he was the climax of Hebrew expectation; in another, he is of world-wide significance. In connexion with the heavenly Jerusalem it was natural that Jesus should be hailed as the scion of the David who had founded the first Jerusalem. The star-metaphor reflects the significance of the morning-star which meant the beginning of a new day for toilers in the Levant; but its eschatological outlook was taken ultimately from Babylonian astro-theology, where Nebo-Mercury (nebî = prophet), the morning-star, announced the new era, or from Egyptian theology where (cf. E. B. D. p. cxliii.) Pepi the dead king “goeth forth into heaven among the Stars which never perish, and his guide the Morning-Star leadeth him to Sekhet-Hetep [the fields of peace]”. The phraselogy brings out the conviction of the early church that the present trial was only the cold, dark hour before the dawn. Their faith in Jesus assured them that an eternal prospect of bliss awaited them, and that this vista of hope was hound up with the person of the risen Jesus (cf. Revelation 22:13). The watchword was, sunrise and morning-star (cf. Expos. Dec. 1902, 424–441). Christianity was not some ephemeral Oriental cult, which had had its day; the cosmic overthrow meant a new era for its adherents. The Apocalypse thus closes, as it began (Revelation 1:5-6) with a note of ringing emphasis upon the eternal significance of Christ in the divine plan and purpose.

Revelation 22:13 Gathers up the double thought of 16 and of 12. As the Christian ἔργα (Revelation 2:2; Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:19, etc.) are done within the sphere of faith, their recompense is a religious as well as a thoroughly moral conception (cf. Hastings’ D. B. iii. 82, and Montefiore’s Hibbert Lectures, p. 538). To the day’s work, the day’s wage. For the origin of this feeling on Syrian or Semitic soil, where the fellahin’s work “was scrutinised before the wages were paid” by one who was “at once the paymaster of his dependents and their judge,” cf. Hatch’s Hibb. Lectures, pp. 224 f. and Dalman, i. § viii. 3. The reward, like the new Jerusalem, was safely stored in heaven. No fear of inadequate moral appreciation in the next world, at any rated


Verse 17

The promise of 12 a is caught up and answered by a deep “come” from the prophets in ecstasy ( πνεῦμα personified, cf. Revelation 2:7, etc.) and the Christian congregation.— νύμφη. Hitherto (Revelation 21:2, etc.) this term has been reserved for the church triumphant in the world to come. Now, with the memory of these oracles fresh in his mind, the prophet applies it to the church on earth, as Paul had already done.— καὶ ἀκούων κ. τ. λ., a liturgical note, like Mark 13:14 (cf. Weinel, 84, 85).— καὶ διψῶν κ. τ. λ., addressed to strangers who sometimes attended the Christian worship (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:23-24). For this fine turn of expression (the double use of come), cf. Did. x. 6, “may grace come and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David! If anyone is holy let him come [i.e., to the Lord’s table]; if anyone is not, let him repent. Mârăna thâ” (cf. below, Revelation 22:20). The less likely alternative is to take ἔρχου here as addressed not to Jesus but to the outside world.


Verse 18-19

Luther strongly objected to the extravagant threat of this editorial note. The curse is certainly not only an anti-climax like the editorial postscript in John 21:24-25 (both indicating that either when published or when admitted to the canon, these two scriptures needed special authentication) but “an unfortunate ending to a book whose value consists in the spirit that breathes in it, the bold faith and confident hope which it inspires, rather than in the literalness and finality of its disclosures” (Porter). But the words are really a stereotyped and vehement form of claiming a canonicity equal to that of the O.T. (cf. Jos. Ant. xx. 11. 2, τοσούτου γὰρ αἰῶνος ἤδη παρῳχηκότος οὔτε προσθεῖναί τις οὔτε ἀφελεῖν ἀπʼ αὐτῶν οὔτε μεταθεῖναι τετόλμηκεν). They are adapted from Enoch cvi. 10 f. where the author expects his book to be a comfort and joy to the righteous, but exposed to perversion and alteration: “Many sinners will pervert and alter the words of uprightness” instead of refusing to “change or minish aught from my words”. Similar threats to careless or wilful copyists especially in frenaeus (Eus. H. E. Revelation 22:20), and Rufin. pref. to Origen’s περὶ ἀρχῶν (cf. Nestle’s Einführung, 161 f.). This nervous eagerness to safeguard Christian teaching was part and parcel of the contemporary tendency to regard apostolic tradition (cf. Revelation 18:20, Revelation 21:14, etc.) as a body of authoritative doctrine, which must not be tampered with. An almost equally severe threat occurs in Slav. En. xlviii. 7–9, 56. (also Revelation 3:3), so that the writer, in this jealousy for the letter rather than for the spirit, was following a recognised precedent (R. J. 125 f.), which was bound up with a conservative view of tradition and a juristic conception of scripture (Titius, pp. 206 f., Deissm, 113 f.). Rabbinic librarii got a similar warning in that age (cf. Bacher’s Agada d. Tann, i. 254), and Christian copyists, if not editors, required it in the case of the Apocalypse, although apparently they paid little heed to it, for as early as the time of Irenæus there were serious discrepancies in the copies circulated throughout the churches. John had himself omitted a contemporary piece of prophecy (cf. on Revelation 10:4). But he explains that he was inspired to do so; this verse refuses to let others deal similarly with his book.

The prayer of Revelation 22:17 is answered in Revelation 22:20, which repeats the assurance of the messiah’s speedy advent. This μαρτυρία ἰησοῦ, in the prophetic consciousness (Revelation 19:10), is specifically eschatological. The close and sudden aspect of the end loomed out before Judaism (cf. 4 Esd. 4:26, 44 50, Apoc. Bar. xxiii. 7, lxxxiii. 1) as before the Christian church at this period, bat it was held together with calculations which anticipated a certain process and progress of history. The juxtaposition of this ardent hope and an apocalyptic programme, here as in Mark 13:5-37; Mark 13:4 Esd. 14:11, 12, is one of the antinomies of the religious consciousness, which is illogical only on paper. In Sanhed. 97 a, a rabbinic cycle of seven years culminating in messiah’s advent is laid down; whereupon “Rab. Yoseph saith, There have been many septennial cycles of this kind, and he has not come … Rabbi Zera saith, Three things come unexpectedly: the messiah, the finding of treasure-trove, and a scorpion” (cf. Drummond’s Jewish Messiah, 220).— κύριε. The Lordship of Jesus is defined as his right to come and to judge (Revelation 22:12), which is also the point of Romans 14:9-12 (cf. Kattenbusch, ii. 609, 658 f.). ἔρχου, κύριε is the Greek rendering of the Aramaic watchword of the primitive church (cf. on Revelation 22:17), which possibly echoed a phrase in the Jewish liturgy (cf. on 1 Corinthians 16:22, and E. Bi. 2935, 2936).


Verse 21

Revelation 22:21. A benediction at the close of the reading (Revelation 1:3, Revelation 22:7) before the congregation, rather than an epistolary epilogue to the Apocalypse. The epistolary form in which apocalypses, like historical and homiletical writings of the age, were occasionally cast, was connected with their use in Christian worship. Such open letters of pastoral counsel were circulated by means of public reading, and were indeed designed for that end. They were not to be rejected as merely local (cf. Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:23, Revelation 22:7-21; Mark 13:14; Mark 13:37), any more than their contents were to be arbitrarily treated by individuals (Revelation 22:18; Revelation 22:1) in accordance with their own predilections.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 22:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-22.html. 1897-1910.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology