Revelation 21:27
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) And there shall in no wise enter into . . .—Better, And there shall never enter into her anything unclean, and he that worketh abomination and falsehood, but only (or, except) they that have been written in the book of life of the Lamb. The gates stand open always, but no evil thing may find a home there. The emphatic repetition here (see Revelation 21:8) of the idea that all sin is excluded, is in harmony with all other Scripture: no unholiness can dwell in the presence of God. The allusion is to the care of the Jews to exclude all things unclean from the precincts of the sanctuary. The legal and ceremonial defilement had its spiritual significance, which the Apostles utilised elsewhere. (Comp. 2Corinthians 6:17-18; 2Corinthians 7:1; Revelation 18:4. On the “book of life,” see Revelation 20:12.)

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.And there shall in no wise - On no account; by no means. This strong language denotes the absolute exclusion of all that is specified in the verse.

Anything that defileth - Literally, anything "common." See the notes on Acts 10:14. It means here that nothing will be found in that blessed abode which is unholy or sinful. It will be a pure world, 2 Peter 3:13.

Neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie - See the notes on Revelation 21:8.

But they which are written in the Lamb's book of life - Whose names are there recorded. See the notes on Revelation 3:5. Compare the notes on Revelation 21:8.

27. anything that defileth—Greek, "koinoun." A and B read [koinon,] "anything unclean."

in the Lamb's book of life—(See on [2745]Re 20:12; [2746]Re 20:15). As all the filth of the old Jerusalem was carried outside the walls and burnt there, so nothing defiled shall enter the heavenly city, but be burnt outside (compare Re 22:15). It is striking that the apostle of love, who shows us the glories of the heavenly city, is he also who speaks most plainly of the terrors of hell. On Re 21:26, 27, Alford writes a Note, rash in speculation, about the heathen nations, above what is written, and not at all required by the sacred text: compare Note, see on [2747]Re 21:26.

And there shall in no wise enter into it: in the Greek there are two negative particles, which though in the Latin they make an affirmative, yet in the Greek make a stronger negative, which we translate in no wise, or by no means.

Any thing that defileth: this strongly denying particle is brought to make the bar excluding all unclean persons from heaven evident. And alas! How often had this need be denied, to make men and women, mad of their lusts, believe it! The word translated, that defileth, signifieth, what is common; nothing, no person that hath not by a holy life separated himself from the world, and all sin and wickedness, and dedicated himself to God.

Neither whatsoever worketh abomination; no profane or lewd person.

Or maketh a lie; nor any false or lying hypocrites, nor any idolaters, for idols are lies.

But they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life; none but those whose names are written in the book of life, predetermined to salvation, and redeemed with the blood of Christ. Some am not pleased with this sense; but what other thing can be meant? This is, at least, the sixth time we have met with this phrase in this book, Revelation 3:5 Revelation 13:8 17:8 20:12,15. It is also mentioned, Philippians 4:3. And what else can be meant in Moses’s prayer, Exodus 32:32? It is twice {Revelation 13:8 17:8} said, that names were written in it from the foundation of the world. God hath a particular, certain, infallible knowledge who are his, and had it from eternity; and whence he should know it, without willing of it, is very hard to conceive. It is called the Lamb’s book, to let us know, that the act of redemption by Christ bears proportion to the counsels of election. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth,.... As evil thoughts, words, and actions do; and therefore he that enters into this city must be free from all these: or "that is defiled", as the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read; or "that is unclean", as the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; alluding to the tabernacle and temple, into which no unclean person might come; see Isaiah 52:1. No profane sinner, whose mind and conscience are defiled, and whose conversation is defiling, may enter here; nor any self-righteous person, whose righteousness is as filthy rags, and he himself is as an unclean thing, shall be admitted here; only such who are washed in the blood of Christ, and have on his righteousness, and so are without spot or wrinkle; which shows the pure and perfect state of this church and therefore cannot design any state of the church previous to the coming of Christ and the first resurrection:

neither whatsoever worketh abomination; commits sin, which is abominable in the sight of God, lives and dies in a course of wickedness; or particularly is guilty of idolatry, either makes idols, or serves them, or both, which are an abomination to the Lord; see

or maketh a lie; any lie in general; who is a common liar, loves and invents a lie, and speaks one; delivers that which is false with an intention to deceive; or in particular, who embraces and propagates antichristian lies, doctrinal ones, lies spoken in hypocrisy; such shall be damned; see 1 Timothy 4:1 but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life; who are predestinated to eternal life; and though they are naturally, and in themselves defiled and sinful creatures, yet they are justified by the righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by his Spirit, and so are made meet and fit to enter this city; See Gill on Revelation 13:8. It is by the Jews observed (d), that

"the Jerusalem of the world to come is not as the Jerusalem of this world; the Jerusalem of this world, whoever would go up to it (or enter into it) might; but that of the world to come, , "none may go up to it (or enter into it) but those who are prepared", or appointed for it.''

(d) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 2.

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
R. Jochanan (Baba-Bathra f. 76, 2,) said the coming Jerusalem would not be like the present one: in hanc ingreditur quicunque uult, in illam uero non nisi qui ad eam ordinati sunt. Citizenship similarly in John’s new city is a matter of moral character and of divine election, not of nationality. The Lord’s city is like the Lord’s table, as the Ep. to Diognetus finely puts it (5) κοινή ἀλλʼ οὐ κοινή, communis but not profanus, “common and open to all, yet in another sense no common thing.” The trait is adapted from Slav. En. ix., where the garden-paradise of the third heaven is only for those loyal to their faith, humble, just, charitable and benevolent, blameless and whole hearted, while the hell of torture (Revelation 10:4-6) is reserved for all addicted to sodomy, witchcraft, theft, lying, murder, and fornication, besides oppression and callousness to human suffering. But βδ. and ψ. may be simply “idolatry” (as in LXX); the keynote of the book being struck once more (as in En. xcix. 9). In the Egyptian litany of the nine gods (E. B. D. 35) every petition ends with the words, “I have not spoken lies wittingly, nor have I done aught with deceit,” and in Apoc. Bar. xxxix. 6 the seer accuses the Roman Empire thus: “by it the truth will be hidden, and all those who are polluted with iniquity will flee to it, as evil beasts flee and creep into the forest”.27. that defileth] Read unclean, lit. common.

whatsoever worketh] Read, he that worketh, or rather doeth.

the Lamb’s book of life] So Revelation 13:8.Revelation 21:27. [236]Ποιῶν) Others read, ὁ ποιῶν.[237] But the article is absent also, ch. Revelation 22:15, Πᾶς ΠΟΙῶΝ: and here also Πᾶς may be understood from ΠᾶΝ, which immediately precedes.— ΨΕῦΔΟς) ἘΡΓΑΖΌΜΕΝΟΙ ΨΕῦΔΟς, Sir 51:2.

[236] καὶ οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ, and there shall not enter) From this any one may collect, whether he shall enter or not.—V. g.

[237] A omits the article. The best MS. of Vulg. “aliquid coinquinatum faciens ahominationem;” so B and Rec. Text, ποιοῦν.—E.Verse 27. - And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; anything unclean, or he that doeth an abomination, and a lie. It is thus evident that "the nations" of ver. 24 are among the redeemed (cf. Isaiah 52:1, "O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean"). The lot of such as are here described is the lake of fire (ver. 8); cf. the "abomination" of the harlot (Revelation 17:4, 5). (On "lie," cf. Revelation 2:2; Revelation 3:9. "Unclean, cf. Revelation 3:4; Revelation 14:4.) But they which are written in the Lamb's book of life; but only they, etc. (cf. Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:12, 15).



That defileth (κοινοῦν)

The participle. But the correct reading is the adjective κοινὸν common, hence unhallowed. Rev., unclean.

Worketh (ποιοῦν)

Lit., maketh or doeth.

"In this present life, I reckon that we make the nearest approach to knowledge when we have the least possible communion or fellowship with the body, and are not infected with the bodily nature, but remain pure until the hour when God himself is pleased to release us. And then the foolishness of the body will be cleared away, and we shall be pure and hold converse with other pure souls, and know of ourselves the clear light everywhere, which is no other than the light of truth. For no impure thing is allowed to approach the pure" (Plato, "Phaedo," 67).

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