Revelation 21:10
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
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(10) And he carried me away in the spirit . . .—Better, He carried me away in spirit on to a mountain, great and high. It is not merely that the height gives a fine view-ground, the symbolism carries us further. The glimpse of God’s coming glories is best gained from the consecrated heights of self-surrender and prayer. On a mountain apart—the mountain of supplication and separation from the world—is the light and glory of God best seen. There are Beulah heights and transfiguration heights from which we may gain glimpses of the city and the glory of the Lord of the city. (Comp. Matthew 17:1-4.) The angel carried away the seer to a mountain great and high, and showed him (not “that great city,” but) the holy city Jerusalem descending out of the heaven from (having its origin from) God. The tempter showed to our Lord the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; the comforting angel shows to our Lord’s prophet the city that hath the foundations, and the glory of it—the city that is of God, its builder and maker. (Comp. Hebrews 11:10, where the right rendering is not “a city,” but the city which hath the foundations.)

21:9-21 God has various employments for his holy angels. Sometimes they sound the trumpet of Divine Providence, and warn a careless world; sometimes they discover things of a heavenly nature of the heirs of salvation. Those who would have clear views of heaven, must get as near to heaven as they can, on the mount of meditation and faith. The subject of the vision is the church of God in a perfect, triumphant state, shining in its lustre; glorious in relation to Christ; which shows that the happiness of heaven consists in intercourse with God, and in conformity to him. The change of emblems from a bride to a city, shows that we are only to take general ideas from this description. The wall is for security. Heaven is a safe state; those who are there, are separated and secured from all evils and enemies. This city is vast; here is room for all the people of God. The foundation of the wall; the promise and power of God, and the purchase of Christ, are the strong foundations of the safety and happiness of the church. These foundations are set forth by twelve sorts of precious stones, denoting the variety and excellence of the doctrines of the gospel, or of the graces of the Holy Spirit, or the personal excellences of the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven has gates; there is a free admission to all that are sanctified; they shall not find themselves shut out. These gates were all of pearls. Christ is the Pearl of great price, and he is our Way to God. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. The saints in heaven tread gold under foot. The saints are there at rest, yet it is not a state of sleep and idleness; they have communion, not only with God, but with one another. All these glories but faintly represent heaven.And he carried me away in the spirit - Gave him a vision of the city; seemed to place him where he could have a clear view of it as it came down from heaven. See the notes on Revelation 1:10.

To a great and high mountain - The elevation, and the unobstructed range of view, gave him an opportunity to behold it in its glory.

And showed me that great city, ... - As it descended from heaven. See the notes on Revelation 21:2.

10. The words correspond to Re 17:3, to heighten the contrast of the bride and harlot.

mountain—Compare Eze 40:2, where a similar vision is given from a high mountain.

that great—omitted in A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, and Cyprian. Translate then, "the holy city Jerusalem."

descending—Even in the millennium the earth will not be a suitable abode for transfigured saints, who therefore shall then reign in heaven over the earth. But after the renewal of the earth at the close of the millennium and judgment, they shall descend from heaven to dwell on an earth assimilated to heaven itself. "From God" implies that "we (the city) are God's workmanship."

And he carried me away in the spirit; in a trance or ecstasy, as before.

To a great and high mountain; from whence men use to have the best prospect of cities, or other places.

And showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God; there he caused me to see the whole triumphant church, answering as the antitype to Jerusalem, but more holy; being not of the earth, earthly, but from heaven, heavenly; founded, built up, and adorned by God. And he carried me away in the Spirit,.... John was in an ecstasy, as in Revelation 1:10 and in the thoughts and apprehensions of his mind and spirit, it seemed to him as if he was carried away from one place to another; for this was not a corporeal sight, nor were any of the visions he had, but what was represented to his mind or spirit; it being with him as it was with the Apostle Paul when he was caught up to the third heaven, who knew not whether he was in the body or out of the body. The Ethiopic version renders it, "the Spirit brought me"; not the evil spirit Satan, who took up our Lord corporeally, and carried him to an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of this world, and their glory, Matthew 4:8 but either a good angel, or the Spirit of God:

to a great and high mountain; to such an one was Ezekiel brought in the visions of God, when the frame of a city and temple was shown him, with their dimensions, Ezekiel 40:2 as here a city is shown to John, with its wall, gates, foundations, and their measures: and he was brought to such a place, partly that he might have the more plain and full view of it; and partly to suggest unto him, that now the church of Christ was established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, and was a city on a hill, which could not be hid, Isaiah 2:2.

And showed me that great city; which is no other than the church, the bride, the Lamb's wife; just as the apostate church, all along in this book before, is called the great city, Revelation 11:8 but now that being demolished, there is no other great city in being but the church of Christ, called a city before; Revelation 21:2 here a "great one", not only because of its prodigious large dimensions, Revelation 21:16 but because of the number of its inhabitants, being such as no man can number; and because it is the residence of the great King, the tabernacle of God will be in it; though this epithet is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin and all the Oriental versions: "the holy Jerusalem"; called "the new Jerusalem", Revelation 21:2 here "holy", in allusion to the city of Jerusalem, which was called the holy city, Matthew 4:5 on account of the temple in it, the place of divine worship; but here this city is so called, because it is the residence of the holy God, Father, Son, and Spirit, inhabited only by holy men, made perfectly so, and encompassed by holy angels.

Descending out of heaven from God; See Gill on Revelation 21:2.

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and {7} high mountain, and shewed me {8} that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

(7) He means the place and stately seat of the Church, foreshadowed in a mountain.

(8) A type of that Church which is one, ample, or catholic, holy celestial, built by God, in this verse: and glorious in the verse following Re 21:11. This type propounded generally, is particularly declared; Re 21:12.

A fresh vision, marked by a new transport of ecstasy (cf. Ezekiel 3:14; Ezekiel 11:1, etc.).—ὄρος, the vantage-ground of elevation from which the seer views the site and buildings. If the hill is the site of the city, it is a truncated cone like Cirta, or a terraced zikkurat. Ezra sees the vision of the descent of the new Jerusalem in a field of flowers (cf. 4 Esd. 9:26 f., 13:35 f.), but John follows either the older tradition of Enoch (En. xxiv., xxv.) who visited a high mountain which, as his cicerone Michael explained, was the throne of God “where the great and holy One, the Lord of glory, the King of eternity, will sit when he shall descend to visit the earth with goodness,” or more probably the primitive association of paradise with a mountain (cf. Oesterley’s Evol. of Mess. Idea, 129 f., Volz, 375).Verse 10. - And he carried me away in the Spirit (so also in Revelation 17:3; cf. Revelation 1:10) to a great and high mountain. From which a clear view of "the city" might be obtained (cf. Ezekiel 40:2). The preposition ἐπί implies "on to." And showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God; showed me the holy city Jerusalem; not great, which is the title of Babylon (cf. Revelation 16:19). Just as the harlot, signifying faithless Christians, was identified with Babylon, the world city (see on Revelation 18.), so the bride, the faithful portion of Christ's flock, is merged in Jerusalem, the heavenly city. Coming down, etc. (cf. ver. 2). In the Spirit

See on Revelation 1:10.


Compare Ezekiel 40:2.

That great city, the holy Jerusalem

Omit great. Render the article as usual, and not as a demonstrative pronoun, and construe holy with city. So Rev., the holy city Jerusalem.

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