The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Revelation 22

Rev 22:1

Comparison of Gen 1-3 with Rev 20-22: (a) Paradise lost (Gen 3:23)... Paradise regained (Rev 21:25). (b) Curse imposed (Gen 3:17)... Curse removed (Rev 22:3). (c) Sorrow and death (Gen 3:16-19)... "No more" (Rev 21:4). (d) Man's dominion (Gen 1:28) broken (Gen 3:19)... Man's dominion restored (Rev 22:5). (e) Serpent triumphant (Gen 3:13)... Serpent bound (Rev 20:2,3), then destroyed (v 10).

The Lamb in Rev: his wrath (Rev 6:16); his blood (Rev 7:14); his book of life (Rev 13:8); his song (Rev 15:3); his marriage (Rev 19:7); his supper (Rev 19:9); and his throne (Rev 22:1).

Rev 22:2

The nations will be healed!

The tree of life (Rev 2:7; Eze 47:12; Gen 2:9).

"In Isa's prophecy of 'the acceptable day of the Lord', a prophecy about the Year of Jubilee, the redeemed are 'called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified... For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations' (Isa 61:2,3,11). The fruits of the Spirit, the gracious influence of the saints with Christ, will be a steady healing influence in the lives of the nations.

"And the beautiful symbolism of Ezek 47 describes the stream of cleansing truth (LXX has 'waters of remission', ie forgiveness) which pours forth from the altar, the throne of God, as an ever widening, ever deepening stream" (WRev).

FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS: At the time spoken of there will be nations to be healed!

Rev 22:3

Vv 3,4: "Every phrase here is appropriate to a High Priest ministering in the Holy of Holies. Yet this is not a description of the High Priest ministering in the Holy of Holies, but of others who are now exalted to share his high honour. God is enthroned above the cherubim and the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat. Before Him is not one High Priest but many who are now exalted to share the highest privilege of all. In the Mosaic order the high priest must be always wrapped in a dense cloud of incense when entering the Holy of Holies, 'that he die not' (Lev 16:12,13). But these with open face -- and not in a mirror -- behold the glory of the Lord, because they have themselves been changed from glory to glory (2Co 3:18). Moses, pleading for reassurance by the sight of God's face, was hidden in the cleft of a rock and permitted to see His back, the departing glory of the Law. But these minister unafraid, seeing the very face of God and revelling in a fulness of divine fellowship. What formerly was the unique privilege of the High Priest, to wear the resplendent name of God on his forehead -- 'Holy to the Lord' (Exo 28:36) -- is now the royal priestly honour of them all" (WRev).

NO LONGER... CURSE: Cp Gen 3:17.

Rev 22:4

HIS FACE: The face of God, reflected in Christ (John 14:9; Mat 5:8; 1Jo 3:2; 1Ti 6:15; Isa 33:17).


Rev 22:5

THERE WILL BE NO MORE NIGHT: "In the tabernacle and temple it was not so. Except when there came a dim glow from red-hot coals in the high priest's censer and except for the brief moments on the Day of Atonement when the Shekinah Glory of God shone forth, the Holy of Holies was normally in complete darkness. It had no light of the sun, nor of the seven-branched candlestick. But in this wondrous city-temple the effulgent Glory of God will be ever present, and His immortal saints, neither abashed nor ashamed, will glory in their eternal redemption and blessedness" (WRev).

Rev 22:10

Cp Dan 12:4: The message sealed in Daniel's day is sealed no longer!

Rev 22:15

The Kingdom of God coexisting with a sinful world.

DOGS: Sodomites (Deu 23:18). A dog is an unclean animal, and was used by the Israelites to describe Gentiles. Unjustified Gentiles (Mat 15:26,27), or Jews who act as such (Phi 3:2), are excluded from the city. Within its walls are found the true Israelites (whether Jewish or Gentile: see Rom 2:28; 9:8).

WHO LOVES AND PRACTICES FALSEHOOD: The serpent is to be excluded from this garden!

Rev 22:16

THE ROOT AND THE OFFSPRING OF DAVID: He is Yahweh manifest in flesh (2Co 5:19; 1Ti 3:16). He is the "root" of David because Yahweh's promise to reveal Himself in a Redeemer was the cause of David's elevation. He is also the "offspring" of David (see Rev 5:5).

Rev 22:18

// Pro 30:6; Deu 4:2; 12:32; 24:19-21.

Rev 22:21

AMEN: "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" (2Co 1:20).

The word "amen" is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the NT, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best-known word in human speech. The word is directly related -- in fact, almost identical -- to the Hebrew word for "believe" (aman), or "faithful." Thus, it came to mean "sure" or truly," an expression of absolute trust and confidence. When one believes God, he indicates his faith by an "amen." When God makes a promise, the believer's response is "amen" -- "so it will be!" In the NT, it is often translated "verily" or "truly." When we pray according to His Word and His will, we know God will answer, so we close with an "amen," and so also do we conclude a great hymn or anthem of praise and faith.

The word is even a title of Christ Himself. The last of His letters to the seven churches begins with a remarkable salutation by the glorified Lord: "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" (Rev 3:14).

We can be preeminently certain that His Word is always faithful and true, because He is none other than the Creator of all things, and thus He is our eternal "Amen." As 2Co 1:20 reminds us, every promise of God in Christ is "yea and amen," as strong an affirmation of truth as can be expressed in the Greek language.

It is, therefore, profoundly meaningful that the entire Bible closes with an "amen." "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Rev 22:21), assuring everyone who reads these words that the whole Book is absolutely true and trustworthy. Amen.
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