|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 24. - And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the nations shall walk by means of her light. Omit "of them which are saved." The description, following that of Isaiah, makes use of earthly symbolism; but it is not, therefore, to be supposed (as Afford) that there will be hereafter a real earth with inhabitants. "The nations" are the redeemed, described in this way on account of their selection from every "kindred, and nation, and tribe, and tongue" (Revelation 7:9): not the wicked nations of Revelation 16:19. Though the Authorized Version is probably incorrect in inserting "of them which are saved," yet these words appear to give the correct sense of the passage. The description is evidently still founded on the prophetical writings, "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising" (Isaiah 60:3). And the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. Omit "and honour," according to א, A, P, and others. Not that there are literal kings and earth. The language is intended to convey an idea of God's supreme glory and unquestioned authority. There are now no kings to dispute his sway. Instead, all join in promoting his glory.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the nations of them which are saved,.... In distinction from them that will be deceived by Satan, Revelation 20:8. These are not all the nations of the world, which will be gathered before Christ, the Judge, for all will not be saved, there is a world that will be condemned; nor the Gentiles only, which shall come into the church state of the Jews when called, for that state is not here designed; and besides, all Israel shall be saved then; nor the living saints at Christ's coming, who shall have escaped, and are saved from the general conflagration; for these, with the raised ones, will be caught up together to Christ, and descend and dwell together on earth, and make one church state; but all the elect of God, both Jews and Gentiles, whom God has chosen, Christ has redeemed, and the Spirit has called out of all the nations of the earth: these are only saved ones; such are already saved, not only are determined to be saved, and for whom salvation is wrought out by Christ, and to whom it is applied at conversion, and who are representatively set down in heavenly places in Christ, and are already saved by hope and faith, and with respect to the certainty of salvation; all which may be said of saints in the present state; but these will be such, who will be actually and personally saved, will be in the full possession of salvation, enjoying all the blessings of it: they will be partakers of the first resurrection, and the glories of it: the tabernacle of God will be with them, they will be free from all sorrows and death, and will inherit all things: the Syriac version reads, "the nations that are saved"; who are redeemed and saved by Christ: this may teach us how to understand those phrases, which seem to favour general redemption, as all men, the world, the whole world; see Isaiah 45:20. These words, "of them which are saved", are left out in the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, but are in all the copies. These nations are the inhabitants of this city, and they
shall walk in the light of it, which is Christ; they shall enjoy it; they shall have the light of life, and be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light, and that continually: they shall not only come to it, but continue in it, and walk at it, and by the light of it: the walk of these will be different from the walk of saints now, who walk by faith, and not by sight; but these shall walk by sight, enjoying the beatific vision of God, and the Lamb. The Jews say (b), that Jerusalem, in time to come, will be made a lamp to the nations of the world, , "and they shall walk in its light", or by the light of it, which is the sense of Isaiah 60:3 "the Gentiles shall come to thy light"; see Isaiah 9:1
and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it; by whom may be meant either mystically all the saints, who will be kings as well as priests unto God, and will reign as such with Christ in this state, will cast their crowns at his feet, and give him all the honour and glory; or literally, the kings of the earth, who shall have relinquished antichrist, hated the whore, and burnt her with fire, and who will have been nursing fathers in the spiritual reign; or rather all good kings that ever have been in the earth: not that they will be kings of the earth at this time, for now all rule, authority, and power, will be put down; nor will any worldly riches, honour, and glory, be brought by them into this state, nor will they be needed in it; but it is to be understood of who have been kings on earth, though not of their having brought earthly riches and grandeur into the interest and churches of Christ; as David gave much towards the building of the temple, which was begun and finished by King Solomon his son, and as Constantine greatly enriched and aggrandized the church when he became emperor; but the sense seems to be this, that such who have been Christian kings on earth will prefer the happiness of this state to all their riches and greatness here; and that could all the glory of the kings of the earth be put together, it would not equal, but be greatly inferior to the glory of the new Jerusalem; Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of the inhabitants of this place; see Revelation 20:6 besides, these shall do all homage, and submit to Christ the King of kings in the midst of the church, which may be meant by "glory" and "honour".
(b) Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 56. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. of them which are saved … in—A, B, Vulgate, Coptic, and Andreas read "(the nations shall walk) by means of her light": omitting "of them which are saved." Her brightness shall supply them with light.
the kings of the earth—who once had regard only to their glory, having been converted, now in the new Jerusalem do bring their glory into it, to lay it down at the feet of their God and Lord.
and honour—so B, Vulgate, and Syriac. But A omits the clause.
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