|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:22-27 Perfect and direct communion with God, will more than supply the place of gospel institutions. And what words can more full express the union and co-equality of the Son with the Father, in the Godhead? What a dismal world would this be, if it were not for the light of the sun! What is there in heaven that supplies its place? The glory of God lightens that city, and the Lamb is the Light thereof. God in Christ will be an everlasting Fountain of knowledge and joy to the saints in heaven. There is no night, therefore no need of shutting the gates; all is at peace and secure. The whole shows us that we should be more and more led to think of heaven as filled with the glory of God, and enlightened by the presence of the Lord Jesus. Nothing sinful or unclean, idolatrous, or false and deceitful, can enter. All the inhabitants are made perfect in holiness. Now the saints feel a sad mixture of corruption, which hinders them in the service of God, and interrupts their communion with him; but, at their entrance into the holy of holies, they are washed in the laver of Christ's blood, and presented to the Father without spot. None are admitted into heaven who work abominations. It is free from hypocrites, such as make lies. As nothing unclean can enter heaven, let us be stirred up by these glimpses of heavenly things, to use all diligence, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God.
Verse 23. - And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; hath no need. So Isaiah 60:19, 20, "The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting Light, and thy God thy Glory." For the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof. The glory of God (cf. ver. 11). No distinction is to be made between God and the Lamb; both are the Light (cf. John 1:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it,.... Which may be understood either literally of these two luminaries, which all earthly cities need; and which, though they may be in being in the new heavens, yet will not have the use with respect to this city they now have. The Jews say (u), the orb of the sun is in this world; and the gloss adds, but not in the future state, for the lights shall be renewed: and they further say (w), as here, that
"in the world to come, "Israel , will have no need of the light of the sun, nor of the light of the moon", neither by day nor by night,''
as they say (x), the Israelites had not in the wilderness. So they represent the Lord speaking to Moses, and saying (y),
"thy days shall cease, but thy light shall not cease; for thou shall have no need for ever of the light of the sun, nor of the light of the moon, and of the stars.''
Or else it may be understood mystically, but not of Christ, the sun of righteousness, whom the saints will always need and enjoy; but of the governors and discipline of the church in its present state; and of the written word, which is a light unto them now, and the ministration of it, and the ordinances of the Gospel, by which light and knowledge are conveyed; but in this state all will be immediately taught of God; nor shall everyone teach his neighbour, but all shall know the Lord perfectly; and also of political governors, who will be no more; see 1 Corinthians 15:24.
For the glory of God did lighten it; the Shekinah, or glorious presence of God, which filled the temple of Solomon, and shone round about the shepherds at the incarnation of Christ; with the presence of God, who is light itself, which will be enjoyed in a much more glorious manner, will the church now be enlightened; and this will be an everlasting light unto her: and the Lamb is the light thereof; in whose light they will see the face of God, and see God face to face; they will see Christ as he is, and behold his glory; and look upon the angels, those glorious forms of light, and all the glorified saints, and know and converse with each other; and they will look into, and clearly discern all the mysteries and doctrines of grace, and all the various scenes of Providence, which will all be opened and laid before them. And this light will be always without any change and variation; which is no small part of the commendation of this city, which is the inheritance of the saints in light. So the holy blessed God is said by the Jews (z) to be , "the light of Jerusalem"; he is the light of the new Jerusalem; see Isaiah 60:19 and the light of, the world to come is, by (a) them, called "the great light".
(u) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 101. 1.((w) Raziel, fol. 17. 2.((x) Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2.((y) Petirat Moseh, fol. 23. 2.((z) Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2. & 98. 1.((a) Ben Gorion apud Aben Ezram in Psal. xlix. 19.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. in it—so Vulgate. But A, B, and Andreas read, "(shine) on it," or literally, "for her."
the light—Greek, "the lamp" (Isa 60:19, 20). The direct light of God and the Lamb shall make the saints independent of God's creatures, the sun and moon, for light.
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