Revelation 22:1
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
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(1) And he shewed me a pure river . . .—The adjective “pure” must be omitted, as it is wanting in the best MSS. The river is full of water, and that water is the emblem of life: it is the beautiful symbol of life in its gladness, purity, activity, and fulness. The garden of Eden (Genesis 2:10) had its river. Even in the wilderness Israel had from the smitten rock the water which gushed out like a river (Psalm 105:41). Prophets, in their pictures of the ages of blessing, almost invariably introduced the river, or broad stream. Joel saw a fountain out of the house of the Lord (Joel 3:18). Zechariah spoke of living waters from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8); but Ezekiel had the fullest vision when he beheld the stream which deepened and broadened in its onward progress from under the threshold of the house of God, and carried life in its train: everything lived whither the water came (Ezekiel 47:9); thus did all prophets speak of the river of God’s pleasures (Psalm 36:8). The teaching of our Lord threw new light on the prophetic imagery; the pure delights of spiritual joy and communion with God were vouchsafed to men by the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life. In the bestowal of that spirit of life did Christ give true satisfaction to the thirsting souls of men. (Comp. John 4:10-14, Joh_7:37-39.) The source of the river is in the throne. Ezekiel’s river took rise in the temple; but in our vision there is no temple (Revelation 21:22). We are brought nearer, even to the throne: it is the throne (not “thrones”)—one throne of God and the Lamb. (Comp. Revelation 3:21.)



Revelation 22:1-11Is the vision of the New Jerusalem to be realized in the present or in the future? Such features as the existence of ‘nations’ and ‘kings of the earth’ outside of it {vs. 21, 24}, and leaves of the tree of life being ‘for the healing of the nations,’ favour the former reference, while its place in the book, after the first and second resurrections and the judgment and at the very end of the whole, seems to oblige us to hold by the latter. But the question must be answered in the light of the fact that the Christian life is one in essence in both worlds, and that the difference between the conditions of the society of the redeemed here and there is only one of degree. The city ‘has already come down from heaven; its perfect form waits to be manifested.

The passage is partly the close of that vision {vs. 1-5}, and partly the beginning of the epilogue of the whole book {vs. 6-11}. The closing description of the city is saturated with allusions to Old Testament prophecy.

It is like the finale of some great concerto, in which the themes that have sounded throughout it are all gathered up in the last majestic, melodious crash. Here at the farthest point to which mortal eyes are allowed to pierce, the ‘tree of life’ that the first of mortal eyes had looked on waves its branches again. The end has circled round to the beginning. But now there is no more prohibition to pluck and eat, and now it grows, not in a garden, but in a city where the perfection of human society is entered into.

Here, on the last page of Scripture, the river, the music of whose ripple had been heard by Ezekiel and Zechariah bringing life to everything that it laved, and by the Psalmist making glad the city of God,’ flows with a broader, fuller stream, and is fouled by no stains, but is ‘clear as crystal.’ River and tree have the same epithet, and bring the same gift to the citizens. All the blessings which Jesus gives are summed up, both in John’s Gospel and in the Apocalypse, as life.’ The only true life is to live as God’s redeemed servants, and that life is ours here and now if we are His. It is but a ‘stream’ of the river that gladdens us here, the fruit has not yet its full flavor nor abundance.’ It is life, more life, for which we pant,’ and the desire will be satisfied there when the river runs always full, and every month the fruit hangs ripe and ready to be dropped into happy hands from among the healing leaves.

In verses 3 and 4 we pass from the city to the citizens. Perfect purity clothes them all. There shall be no more anything accursed’; that is, any unclean thing drawing down necessarily the divine ‘curse,’ and therefore there shall be no separation, no film of distance between the King and the people, but ‘the throne of God and the Lamb shall be therein.’ The seer has already beheld the Lamb close by the throne of God, but now he sees Him sharing it in indissoluble union. Perfect purity leads to perfect union with God and {or rather in} Christ, and unbroken, glad submission to His regal rule. And that perfect submission is the occupation and delight of all the citizens. They are His bond-servants,’ and their fetters are golden chains of honour and ornament. They ‘do Him service,’ ministering as priests, and all their acts are ‘begun, continued, and ended in Him.’ Having been faithful over a few things, they are made rulers over many things, and are yet bond-servants, though rulers.

In that higher service the weary schism between the active and the contemplative life is closed up. Mary and Martha end their long variance, and gazing on His face does not hinder active obedience, nor does doing Him service distract from beholding His beauty. His name shall be in their foreheads,’ conspicuous and unmistakable, no longer faintly traced or often concealed, but flaming on their brows. They are known to be His, because their characters are conformed to His. They bear ‘the marks of Jesus’ in complete and visible assimilation to Him.

The vision closes with an echo of Old Testament prophecy {Isaiah 60:19}. ‘No night’ - perhaps the most blessed of all John’s negative descriptions of the future state, indicating the removal for ever of all the evil and woe symbolized by darkness, and pointing to a state in which no artifices of ours are needed to brighten our gloom with poor, man-made candles, nor any created light, though mighty and resplendent as the sun, whose beams fade into invisibility before the immortal radiance that pours out for ever from the throne, brightening every glorified face that is turned to its lustre. Thus seeing, serving, and being like ‘God and the Lamb,’ they, as a consequence, shall reign for ever and ever,’ for they are as He is, and while He lives and reigns they also live and reign.

With verse 6 begins the epilogue. An angel speaks, the same as in chapter 1:1 - is represented as ‘signifying’ the ‘revelation’ to John. He now, as it were, sets his seal on his completed roll of prophecy. To discriminate between the words of the angel and of Jesus is impossible. Jesus speaks through him. ‘Behold, I come quickly’ cannot be merely the angel’s voice. As in verse 12, a deeper voice speaks through his lips. The purpose of that solemn announcement is to impress on the Asiatic churches and through them on the whole Church through all time, the importance of keeping ‘the words of the prophecy of this book.’ ‘Quickly’ - and yet nineteen hundred years have gone since then? Yes; and during them all Jesus has been coming, and the words of this book have progressively been in process of fulfilment.

Again, the speedy coming is enforced as a reason for not sealing up the prophecy, as had been commanded in chapter x. 4, and elsewhere in the Old Testament. And a very solemn thought closes our lesson - that there is a moment, the eve of any great day of the Lord,’ when there is no more time or opportunity for change of moral or spiritual disposition. ‘Too late, too late, ye cannot enter now.’ Let us ‘redeem the time,’ buy back the opportunity while yet it is within our grasp.

Revelation 22:1-2. And — Proceeding with his description of the heavenly city, the apostle observes, he — That is, the angel who condescended to be his guide on this occasion; showed me a pure river of the water of life — The ever fresh and fructifying influence of the Holy Spirit; see Ezekiel 47:1-12, where also the trees are mentioned which bear fruit every month, that is, perpetually. Proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb — All things that the Father hath, saith the Son of God, are mine; even the throne of his glory. In the midst of the street of it — Here is the paradise of God, mentioned chap. Revelation 2:7; and on either side of the river was the tree of life — As this river ran through the chief street in the midst of the city, so there were planted on each side of it beautiful trees, not only to serve for ornament and refreshment, but which, like the tree of life in paradise, should make the inhabitants immortal; which bare twelve manner of fruits — Which produced a great variety of pleasant fruits, and in such plenty, that ripe fruit was yielded every month — So that all might freely partake of them at all seasons. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations — That is, for the preserving, not the restoring, of spiritual health; for no sickness or infirmity, of mind or body, is, or can be there: beneath the salutary shade of these trees no disease can ever invade any individual of the nations of the saved, but perpetual health shall exist and flourish in them all.

22:1-5 All streams of earthly comfort are muddy; but these are clear, and refreshing. They give life, and preserve life, to those who drink of them, and thus they will flow for evermore. These point to the quickening and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, as given to sinners through Christ. The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, applies this salvation to our souls by his new-creating love and power. The trees of life are fed by the pure waters of the river that comes from the throne of God. The presence of God in heaven, is the health and happiness of the saints. This tree was an emblem of Christ, and of all the blessings of his salvation; and the leaves for the healing of the nations, mean that his favour and presence supply all good to the inhabitants of that blessed world. The devil has no power there; he cannot draw the saints from serving God, nor can he disturb them in the service of God. God and the Lamb are here spoken of as one. Service there shall be not only freedom, but honour and dominion. There will be no night; no affliction or dejection, no pause in service or enjoyment: no diversions or pleasures or man's inventing will there be wanted. How different all this from gross and merely human views of heavenly happiness, even those which refer to pleasures of the mind!And he showed me a pure river of water of life - In the New Jerusalem; the happy abode of the redeemed. The phrase "water of life," means living or running water, like a spring or fountain, as contrasted with a stagnant pool. See the notes on John 4:14. The allusion here is doubtless to the first Eden, where a river watered the garden (Genesis 2:10, seq.), and as this is a description of Eden recovered, or Paradise regained, it was natural to introduce a river of water also, yet in such a way as to accord with the general description of that future abode of the redeemed. It does not spring up, therefore, from the ground, but flows from the throne of God and the Lamb. Perhaps, also, the writer had in his eye the description in Ezekiel 47:1-12, where a stream issues from under the temple, and is parted in different directions.

Clear as crystal - See the notes on Revelation 4:6.

Proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb - Flowing from the foot of the throne. Compare Revelation 4:6. This idea is strictly in accordance with Oriental imagery. In the East, fountains and running streams constituted an essential part of the image of enjoyment and prosperity (see the notes on Isaiah 35:6), and such fountains were common in the courts of Oriental houses. Here, the river is an emblem of peace, happiness, plenty; and the essential thought in its flowing from the throne is, that all the happiness of heaven proceeds from God.


Re 22:1-21. The River of Life: The Tree of Life: The Other Blessednesses of the Redeemed. John Forbidden to Worship the Angel. Nearness of Christ's Coming to Fix Man's Eternal State. Testimony of Jesus, His Spirit, and the Bride, Any Addition to Which, or Subtraction from Which, Shall Be Eternally Punished. Closing Benediction.

1. pure—A, B, Vulgate, and Hilary 22, omit.

water of life—infinitely superior to the typical waters in the first Paradise (Ge 2:10-14); and even superior to those figurative ones in the millennial Jerusalem (Eze 47:1, 12; Zec 14:8), as the matured fruit is superior to the flower. The millennial waters represent full Gospel grace; these waters of new Jerusalem represent Gospel glory perfected. Their continuous flow from God, the Fountain of life, symbolizes the uninterrupted continuance of life derived by the saints, ever fresh, from Him: life in fulness of joy, as well as perpetual vitality. Like pure crystal, it is free from every taint: compare Re 4:6, "before the throne a sea of glass, like crystal."

clear—Greek, "bright."Revelation 22:1,2 The river and tree of life.

Revelation 22:3-7 The glorious state of the servants of God.

Revelation 22:8,9 John is forbidden by the angel to worship him,

Revelation 22:10,11 and commanded to seal up the prophet.

Revelation 22:12,13 Christ’s coming and eternity.

Revelation 22:14-17 The blessedness of them that do God’s commandments.

Revelation 22:18-20 Nothing must be added to or taken from this prophecy.

Revelation 22:21 The concluding benediction.

And he; the angel, who showed him all before mentioned.

Showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal: no place can be happy without the accommodation of water; those places have the best accommodation of it that are near a river, especially a pure river. To let us know, that in heaven there shall be no want of any thing that can make the saints happy, it is described as having by it, or running through it, a pure river, whose water is clear, and no ordinary water, but such as giveth and preserveth life. What could this signify, but the pure and unmixed joys of heaven?

Proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; flowing from the saints thee enjoying of God and Jesus Christ.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life,.... Not baptism, which used to be administered in rivers and pools of water; and which engaged to purity of life; and, the power and authority of administering which was from God and Christ; but in this Jerusalem state there will be no use nor need of ordinances; for Revelation 22:1 belongs to the preceding chapter, and is a continuation of the same account, this being not a new vision, but a part of the former, which the same angel, as in Revelation 21:9 proceeds to show to John: nor is the Holy Ghost intended by this river, whose gifts and graces are sometimes, for their plenty, purity, and quickening virtue, compared to rivers of living water; and who is a pure and holy Spirit, and proceeds from the Father and the Son: nor the doctrine of the Gospel, which comes from the blessed God, and is the Gospel of Christ; and, when purely and faithfully preached, is clear as crystal; and is the means of conveying spiritual life to men, and of supporting it in them: nor the ultimate joys of heaven, which may be called a river of pleasure, for the fulness and variety of delight; pure, and clear as crystal, for the holiness and perfect knowledge of that state; and be said to proceed from the throne of God and the Lamb, being the free gift of God through Christ; but this state is not designed here: rather, therefore, by this river is meant the everlasting love of God, which may be compared to a river for its largeness and abundance, its height and depth, its length and breadth; and for the large displays of it in this state, when its waters will increase, and be a broad river to swim in, and be unpassable; and for the streams of it in election, redemption, calling, justification, pardon, adoption, and eternal life, which make glad the city of God; and for the pleasure it yields, and the fruitfulness it gives to those who drink of it: it may be called a river "of water of life", because in the present state of things it quickens such who are dead in trespasses and sins; revives the saints when dead and lifeless, supports their spirits, and is a cordial that preserves from fainting; it keeps and secures from dying the second death and is the spring and source of eternal life; and that itself will last and flow for ever, it is ever running water, it is everlasting love: and it may be said to be pure and

clear as crystal, it being free from all hypocrisy and dissimulation, being real, hearty, and sincere, both in the Father and in Christ, of which the fullest proofs and demonstrations are given; and being clear of all motives and conditions in the creature, by which it might be influenced; and it engaging to purity and holiness of life and conversation; for the doctrine, which brings the account of it, and the inward principle of grace, which is the fruit of it, and every discovery of it, have a tendency hereunto:

proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; not taking its rise from man's obedience, nor from his love to God, nor from his faith in Christ; for the love of God is prior to all these, and is the spring and cause of them, and therefore cannot be moved and influenced by them; but it has its origin from the sovereignty of God and of Christ, signified by the throne of both, who will be gracious to whom they will be gracious; nor can any reason be given why they love any of the sons of men, but their own sovereign will and pleasure; this is the sole motive, spring, and cause of their love; and God and the Lamb being mentioned together, shows both the equal dignity of their persons, being on the same throne, and the equality of their love to the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem: and thus, as a river adds to the pleasure, use, convenience, and wholesomeness of a city, this glorious city is commended by such a river running by it, or in the midst of it: there may be an allusion to the river which ran out of the garden of Eden, for this will be a paradisiacal state, Genesis 2:9 or rather to the waters in Ezekiel 47:1 which came from under the threshold of the Sanctuary; though this river proceeds not from the temple, there being no temple in this state, but from the throne of God and the Lamb, which is instead of it.

And {1} he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

(1) Here is absolved and finished the description of the celestial Church (as I showed before) see Geneva Re 21:12 by the effects in Re 22:5, and then this book is concluded in the rest of the chapter. The effects proceeding from God, who dwells in the Church, are these: the everlasting grace of God, in this verse, the eternal life of the godly, as in Re 2:7 the eternal fruits which the godly bring forth to God, themselves and others, Re 22:2, freedom and immunity from all evil, God himself taking pleasure in his servants, and they likewise in their God, Re 22:3. The beholding and sight of God, and sealing of the faithful from all eternity, Re 22:4 the light of God and an everlasting kingdom and glory, Re 22:5.

Revelation 22:1-5. The continuation (καὶ ἔδειξέν μοι, cf. Revelation 21:9 sq.) and completion of the description of the glory prepared for believers in the new Jerusalem. Here, also,[4375] in connection with the statement of what John beheld, the express admonition occurs corresponding to the paracletic purpose of the entire revelation (cf. Revelation 22:12 sqq.), that only the servants of God, the victors (chs. 2, 3), can attain that blessedness.

[4375] Cf. Revelation 21:27.

πόταμον ὕδατος ζωῆς, κ.τ.λ. In this paradise of God,[4376] there is a stream[4377] whose water is “water of life,” so that they who drink thereof[4378] receive life through this water. The description depends, as already Ezekiel 47:1 sqq., Zechariah 14:8, upon the prototype, Genesis 2:10.

ἘΚΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟΝ, Κ.Τ.Λ. Cf. Revelation 4:6. The throne which belongs to God and the Lamb[4379] is the source of this stream, for only through the mediation of Christ as the Lamb, is the participation of believers in the eternal life of God inferred. [See Note XCVII., p. 494.]

ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ Τῆς ΠΛΑΤΕΊΑς, Κ.Τ.Λ. It is, in a formal respect, very harsh if the ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ be referred only to Τ. ΠΛΑΤ. ΑὐΤ.,[4380] while the Κ. Τ. ΠΟΤ. depends upon the succeeding ἘΝΤΕῦΘΕΝ ΚΑῚ ἘΚΕῖΘΕΝ; it is more natural[4381] to refer the ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ to both Τ. ΠΛΑΤ. ΑὐΤ. and Κ. Τ. ΠΟΤ., so that the additional designation ἘΝΤ. Κ. ἘΚΕῖΘ, more accurately declares that the trees, on both sides of the river, stand on the space lying between the street and the river, i.e., on the right and the left banks.[4382]

Τῆς ΠΛΑΤΕΊΑς. John has in view a particular street, the main street through which flows the one particular river.

ΞΎΛΟΝ ΖΩῆς. Cf. Revelation 2:7. The expression designates the entire mass of trees in general.[4383]

ΠΟΙΟῦΝ ΚΑΡΠΟῪς ΔΏΔΕΚΑ, Κ.Τ.Λ. Cf. Ezekiel 47:12. The meaning is correctly described already by Andr.: ἈΔΙΆΛΕΙΠΤΟΝ ΤῊΝ ΤῶΝ ΚΑΡΠῶΝ

.[4384] In eternity, the continually growing fruits of the tree of life serve the blessed for food. See similar descriptions of the rabbins in Wetst.

ΚΑῚ ΤᾺ ΦΎΛΛΑ, Κ.Τ.Λ. This is to be referred to the heathen[4385] dwelling outside of the city, as little as Revelation 21:23 sqq. But against the context also is the explanation of Hengstenb., that, in the present period, the life-forces arising from the Jerusalem, even now in heaven, are to heal the sickness of the heathen, i.e., to effect their conversion; for what is expressed concerning the leaves of the tree of life refers to the same time as that which is said of the fruits. This has been correctly acknowledged by those who have thought of the conversion, in the future world, of heathen to whom in this life the gospel has not been preached,[4386] or of the full development of the weak faith of the heathen.[4387] But both are contrary to the purpose of the context, which, just because of their faith, makes the heathen[4388] share in the glory of the city. By the words ΚΑῚ ΤᾺ ΦΎΛΛΑ, Κ.Τ.Λ., in an entirely similar way the eternal refreshment and glorification of believing heathen are especially emphasized, as the preceding words ΞΎΛΟΝ ΖΩῆς

indicate in general the blessed satiety of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem, of whom no special class whatever is mentioned. In connection with this, the expression ΕἸς ΘΕΡΑΠΕΊΑΝ Τ. ἘΘΝ. is as little to be pressed, in the sense that a still present sickness of the heathen were presupposed, since it might possibly be inferred from Revelation 21:4, that the tears which God will wipe away from the blessed are the sign of pains still endured; but as the tears which are wept because of earthly sorrow are wiped away in eternal life, so the healing leaves of the tree of life serve for the healing of the sickness from which the heathen have suffered in their earthly life, but shall suffer no longer in the new Jerusalem. If they were previously hungry and thirsty, now they are also to be satisfied;[4389] if they were previously blind, miserable, and without the power of life,[4390] now they are to share in the enjoyment of all glory, holiness, and blessedness.

ΚΑῚ ΠᾶΝ ΚΑΤΆΘΕΜΑ ΟὐΚ ἜΣΤΑΙ ἜΤΙ. Cf, Zechariah 14:11. After all upon which God’s curse rests has reached its own place, and been eternally separated from the blessed communion of saints,[4391] nothing of the kind can any longer be found in the city, wherein, now, also,[4392] are the throne of God and of the Lamb, and that, too, immediately near, so that all servants of God, all inhabitants of the city, who, as belonging to God, bear his name upon their foreheads,[4393] see his face.[4394]

αὐτοῦ belongs to the chief subject ὁ θέος

καὶ νύξ, κ.τ.λ. Only by an artificial expedient does Züll. find here “something entirely new,” in comparison with what is said at Revelation 21:23; Revelation 21:25.

καὶ βασιλεύσουσιν, κ.τ.λ. With the richest and, at least, a figurative expression, John concludes his announcement of the future glory of believers, by at the same time emphasizing the eternal duration of that happy state as explicitly as in the description of the judgment upon enemies.[4395]

[4376] Cf. Revelation 2:7.

[4377] Cf. Revelation 4:6, Revelation 7:17.

[4378] Cf. Revelation 22:17.

[4379] Cf. Revelation 7:17, Revelation 5:13.

[4380] Andr., Vitr., Beng., Züll., De Wette, Hengstenb., Ebrard, Bleek.

[4381] Cf. Revelation 5:6. Ewald.

[4382] Cf. Ezekiel 47:7; Ezekiel 47:12.

[4383] Beng., De Wette, Ew., etc.

[4384] [“The perpetual growth of fruits.”]

[4385] Ewald, Züll.; cf. also De Wette.

[4386] Beng.

[4387] Ebrard.

[4388] Revelation 21:23 sqq.

[4389] Cf. Revelation 22:17; Revelation 7:16.

[4390] Cf. Revelation 3:17.

[4391] Revelation 20:10; Revelation 20:15, Revelation 21:27.

[4392] This is (cf. The river is suggested partly by Ezekiel’s representation of the healing stream which was to issue from the new temple and flow through the dreary Ghor of the Jordan valley (Ezekiel 47:1-12), partly by the reference (in a later apocalypse, Zechariah 14:8) to perennial waters issuing from Jerusalem as the dwelling-place of God in the new age. John has no use for Ezekiel’s idea that the stream would assist in the messianic transformation of nature. He changes the numerous trees on either side of the wady into the (generic) single tree of life, reverting as before (Ezekiel 2:7) to the ideal of the Semitic paradise. Also, he drops the notion of the river sweetening the bitter waters of the Dead Sea. Cf. Pirke Eliezer, 51, aquae putei ascensurae sunt e limine templi atque scaturient prodibuntque. The Babylonian origin of the idea is outlined by Zimmern in Archiv für Relig. Wiss. 1899, 170 f. Unlike the earthly Jerusalem with its inferior stream, the new city is to be richly equipped with conduits and all that makes a city prosperous and secure (Isaiah 33:21).

The Water and the Tree of Life; the Service and the Kingdom of God’s Servants. Chap. 22 Revelation 22:1-51. pure] Should be omitted.

river of water of life] See Revelation 7:17, Revelation 21:6.

clear] Bright would perhaps be more accurate.

proceeding out of the throne &c.] In Ezekiel’s vision (chap. 47) the River proceeded out of the Temple, here out of the Temple’s antitype. We are also meant to think of the River that watered the ancient paradise, Genesis 2:10, and of such parallels to Ezekiel’s vision as Psalm 46:4; Psalm 65:9; Zechariah 14:8. The original type, of which these Prophecies are developments, is the fact that there was a natural spring, that of Siloam, in the precincts of the Temple at Jerusalem. We are not told here, as in the old Paradise, that the River is fourfold: but if the City stands on a pyramidal mountain (see on Revelation 21:16) it is likely enough that there is a stream running down each of its four faces, the throne which is the source being at the summit.

Revelation 22:1. Ποταμὸν[238]) See App. Ed. ii. In the mention of clothing, the Apocalypse more than once uses together καθαρὸν λαμπρὸν; in other places, either καθαρὸν separately, or λαμπρὸν separately, as by far the most weighty part of the authorities here read.

[238] ABh Vulg. Hilar. 22 reject καθαρόν: which Rec. Text without the oldest authorities adds.—E.

Verse 1. - And he showed me a pure river. Omit "pure." "And" connects this part of the vision with what precedes (Revelation 21:9-27). It would have been better, perhaps, if the twenty-first chapter had included the first five verses of the twenty-second, so as to take in the whole of the description of the heavenly Jerusalem. But there is a break at this point, as is indicated by the repetition of "And he showed me," which points to a new phase or section of the vision. In the previous section (Revelation 21:9-27) the angel had showed St. John the city and its wails with their gates and foundations; in this section he shows him the river of the water of life, and the tree of life. The latter part of each section is occupied with the evangelist's own observations (Revelation 21:22-27; Revelation 22:3-5), for we cannot suppose that the phrase, "these words," in ver. 6, is intended to apply specially to anything in these particular sections. He is the angel mentioned in ver. 9, and again referred to in vers. 10, 15, 16, 17. Most probably the pronoun "he" in ver. 6 does not refer to the same angel as this one. River. The source of this stream, its course or channel, and its fertile banks, are mentioned or implied in what follows; but there is no reference to any estuary or mouth: eternity is the ocean in which this river is lost. Of water of life. Ὕδωρ ζωῆς is perhaps identical in meaning with "living water," ὕδωρ ζῶν, but is properly distinguished from it in translation. The two expressions are peculiar to St. John's writings in the New Testament; the genitival form, which is the more Hebraizing, only occurs in this book in Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:1, 17; whereas the participial and more classical form is confined to the Gospel (John 4:10; John 7:38). "Living water," in its simplest literalness, means such water as is pure, flowing, clear, fresh, and wholesome; not stagnant, or turbid, or salt. Hence it is a proper term for the water of a beautiful and fertilizing river. Here, however, the genitival form reminds us of the familiar expression, similarly moulded, "the tree of life," which inclines us to think that" water of life" signifies water possessing life giving powers, water which restores, refreshes, supports life, and is therefore to be compared with "living water" taken in its spiritual sense. Of this whosoever drinketh shall never thirst again; when it has been once received within the soul, it becomes a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14). Clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; clear, or transparent. We seldom use the rendering of the Revised Version, bright, as an epithet of water. As crystal (see note on Revelation 4:6, the only other place in the New Testament where the word occurs). The source of the river was in the Divine throne, the seat of the Triune God and the crucified Saviour. All eternal life is derived from our heavenly Father by the Holy Spirit for the sake of the Redeemer. Revelation 22:1Pure


Clear (λαμπρὸν)

See on Luke 23:11. Rev., bright.

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Revelation 21:27
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