Revelation 22:11
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
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(11) He that is unjust, let him be unjust . . .—Better, Let him that is unjust, do injustice still; and let the foul pollute himself still; and let the righteous do righteousness still; and let the holy sanctify himself still. Two pairs are selected to stand as representatives of the good and of the bad: in these four are included all classes of godly and ungodly: those who sin against society, and those who sin against themselves: those who act honourably, and those who keep themselves pure. But what does the verse mean? Does it mean that the time is so short that it is hardly sufficient to allow of men reforming themselves, so as to be ready for their Lord, and that therefore the lesson is, let those who would be ready for Him remember that now is the day of salvation? This is the view adopted by some: it contains a truth, but the meaning of the verse seems more general. Is it not the declaration of the ever terrible truth, that men are building up their destiny by the actions and habits of their lives? “Sow an act—reap a habit: sow a habit—reap a character: sow a character—reap a destiny.” The righteous become righteous: the godly become godly.

“Thus, all characters

Must shrink or widen, as our wine-skins do,

For more or less that we can pass in them:

And added years give ever a new key

To fixed prediction.”

So, slowly, but surely, may the power of being masters of our fate pass out of our hands. It is in this law of our nature that the key to many of the darkest problems of the future may lie; and not without a solemn declaration of this law does the Book of Revelation close.

22:6-19 The Lord Jesus spake by the angel, solemnly confirming the contents of this book, particularly of this last vision. He is the Lord God faithful and true. Also by his messengers; the holy angels showed them to holy men of God. They are things that must shortly be done; Christ will come quickly, and put all things out of doubt. And by the integrity of that angel who had been the apostle's interpreter. He refused to accept religious worship from John, and reproved him for offering it. This presents another testimony against idolatrous worship of saints and angels. God calls every one to witness to the declarations here made. This book, thus kept open, will have effect upon men; the filthy and unjust will be more so, but it will confirm, strengthen, and further sanctify those who are upright with God. Never let us think that a dead or disobedient faith will save us, for the First and the Last has declared that those alone are blessed who do his commandments. It is a book that shuts out form heaven all wicked and unrighteous persons, particularly those who love and make lies, therefore cannot itself be a lie. There is no middle place or condition. Jesus, who is the Spirit of prophecy, has given his churches this morning-light of prophecy, to assure them of the light of the perfect day approaching. All is confirmed by an open and general invitation to mankind, to come and partake freely of the promises and of the privileges of the gospel. The Spirit, by the sacred word, and by convictions and influence in the sinner's conscience, says, Come to Christ for salvation; and the bride, or the whole church, on earth and in heaven, says, Come and share our happiness. Lest any should hesitate, it is added, Let whosoever will, or, is willing, come and take of the water of life freely. May every one who hears or reads these words, desire at once to accept the gracious invitation. All are condemned who should dare to corrupt or change the word of God, either by adding to it, or taking from it.He that is unjust, let him be unjust still - This must refer to the scenes beyond the judgment, and must be intended to affirm an important truth in regard to the condition of people in the future state. It cannot refer to the condition of human beings on this side the grave, for there is no fixed and unchangeable condition in this world. At the close of this book, and at the close of the whole volume of revealed truth, it was proper to declare, in the most solemn manner, that when these events were consummated, everything would be fixed and unchanging; that all who were then found to be righteous would remain so forever; and that none who were impenitent, impure, and wicked, would ever change their character or condition. That this is the meaning here seems to me to be plain; and this sentiment accords with all that is said in the Bible of the final condition of the righteous and the wicked.

See Matthew 25:46; Romans 2:6-9; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Daniel 12:2; Ecclesiastes 11:3. Every assurance is held out in the Bible that the righteous will be secure in holiness and happiness, and that there will be no danger - no possibility - that they will fall into sin, and sink to woe; and by the same kind of arguments by which it is proved that their condition will be unchanging, is it demonstrated that the condition of the wicked will be unchanging also. The argument for the eternal punishment of the wicked is as strong as that for the eternal happiness of the righteous; and if the one is open to doubt, there is no security for the permanence of the other. The word "unjust" here is a general term for an unrighteous or wicked man. The meaning is, that he to whom that character properly belongs, or of whom it is properly descriptive, will remain so forever. The design of this seems to be, to let the ungodly and the wicked know that there is no change beyond the grave, and by this solemn consideration to warn them now to flee from the wrath to come. And assuredly no more solemn consideration can ever be presented to the human mind than this.

And he which is filthy, let him be filthy still - The word "filthy" here is, of course, used with reference to moral defilement or pollution. It refers to the sensual, the corrupt, the profane; and the meaning is, that, their condition will be fixed, and that they will remain in this state of pollution forever. There is nothing more awful than the idea that a polluted soul will be always polluted; that a heart corrupt will be always corrupt; that the defiled will be put forever beyond the possibility of being cleansed from sin.

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still - The just, the upright man - in contradistinction from the unjust mentioned in the first part of the verse.

And he that is holy, let him be holy still - He that is pure, in contradistinction from the filthy mentioned in the former part of the verse. The righteous and the holy will be confirmed in their character and condition, as well as the wicked. The affirmation that their condition will be fixed is as strong as that that of the wicked will be - and no stronger; the entire representation is, that all beyond the judgment will be unchanging forever. Could anymore solemn thought be brought before the mind of man?

11. unjust—"unrighteous"; in relation to one's fellow men; opposed to "righteous," or "just" (as the Greek may be translated) below. More literally, "he that doeth unjustly, let him do unjustly still."

filthy—in relation to one's own soul as unclean before God; opposed to holy," consecrated to God as pure. A omits the clause, "He which is filthy let him be filthy still." But B supports it. In the letter of the Vienne and Lyons Martyrs (in Eusebius) in the second century, the reading is, "He that is lawless (Greek, 'anomos') let him be lawless; and he that is righteous let him be righteous (literally, 'be justified') still." No manuscript is so old. A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, Andreas, and Cyprian read, "let him do righteousness" (1Jo 2:29; 3:7). The punishment of sin is sin, the reward of holiness is holiness. Eternal punishment is not so much an arbitrary law, as a result necessarily following in the very nature of things, as the fruit results from the bud. No worse punishment can God lay on ungodly men than to give them up to themselves. The solemn lesson derivable from this verse is, Be converted now in the short time left (Re 22:10, end) before "I come" (Re 22:7, 12), or else you must remain unconverted for ever; sin in the eternal world will be left to its own natural consequences; holiness in germ will there develop itself into perfect holiness, which is happiness.

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: it may be the keeping of this book open, and the publication of it, will displease wicked and filthy men; but let them be displeased, the truths of God must not be concealed.

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still: it will, on the other side, confirm the servants of God in their faith, patience, and holiness, and all the fruits of righteousness.

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still,.... These words are not to be considered as ironical expressions, such as in Ecclesiastes 11:9 much less as an allowance to do injustice and commit filthy actions; nor even as deterring persons from these things, by tacitly suggesting, that should they continue unjust and filthy, they would be severely punished; nor as an anticipation of an objection that might be made against the publication of this book, and the sayings of it, taken from the ill use that some men might make of it, who might be provoked to injure and persecute the saints more and more, or indulge a filthy conversation; but as a prophecy of what would be at the close of time, at the second coming of Christ. The imperative is put for the future, as is usual in the Hebrew language, in which it is said, let such and such things be, when the sense is, that they shall be; see Ezekiel 3:27 Zechariah 11:9 and so the meaning of this expression is, he that is now found without a righteousness, and full of all unrighteousness, and acts unrighteously, will continue so; there will be no change made in him, no regeneration, renovation, repentance, or reformation; he will remain the same wicked man he ever was; or he that hurts, or does injury to his fellow creatures, will still do mischief; at least he will have the same inclination, though not the opportunity and power, but will attempt it, of which there will be an instance in the wicked dead, when raised; see Revelation 20:8.

And he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: or he shall be filthy still: all mankind are originally, naturally, and universally filthy, or defiled with sin. Some are cleansed from it by the blood of Christ, others are not; and these will continue polluted, nor will the fire of hell fetch out the filthiness of their hearts and nature: or the words may be rendered, "he that defileth, let him defile still"; though he will not be able to defile the temple of God, or corrupt the good communications of the saints, yet he will continue to defile himself; the same evil thoughts, &c. will proceed out of him as ever, which defile the man.

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; a truly righteous man is one that is righteous, not by his own righteousness, but by the righteousness of Christ imputed to him; he is one, who by faith looks to Christ for righteousness, and receives it from him, and, in consequence of it, lives soberly, righteously, and godly, and such will continue righteous; not that they will be made more righteous, though they may have a clearer view of their justification, for the sentence of it will be afresh pronounced upon them; but the meaning is, they will ever remain in a justified state, and never enter into condemnation, their righteousness being an everlasting one. The Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, Syriac and Arabic versions, read, "and the righteous man, let him do righteousness still"; as he will do, for such will ever be before the throne of God, and serve him in his temple day and night, Revelation 7:15. And he that is holy, let him be holy still. They are holy who are sanctified by the Spirit of God, and none but such will be admitted into the pure state of things upon Christ's second coming; and such will then be perfectly holy, and without sin, and shall continue so: hence we may learn, that justification and sanctification are two distinct things, and that both are durable. With these sayings may be compared some expressions of the Jewish doctors (h), as the sense of Leviticus 11:43

"if a man defiles himself a little, they defile him much; the gloss on it is, they let, or suffer him to be more defiled; if below, they defile him above; if in this world, they defile him in the world to come; if a man sanctifies himself a little, they sanctify him much; if below, they sanctify him above; if in this world, they sanctify him in the world to come.''

(h) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 39. 1.

{5} He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

(5) An objection anticipated, but there will be some that will use this occasion for evil, and will wrest this scripture to their own destruction, as Peter says. What then? says the angel, the mysteries of God must not be concealed, which it has pleased him to communicate to us. Let them be harmful to others, let such be more and more vile in themselves, whom this scripture does not please: yet others will be further conformed to righteousness by this, and true holiness. The care and reformation of these may not be neglected, because of the voluntary and malicious offence of others.

11. He that is unjust &c.] The sense is generally understood to be, “The time is so short, that it is too late to change: for good or evil, you must go on as you are;” a solemn and terrible irony, like “Sleep on now, and take your rest,” to the Disciples who had missed their opportunity. As that was followed by “Rise, let us be going,” so there is nothing inconsistent with this in the Church continuing to preach repentance to the unjust and the filthy. But in the Epistle of the Churches of Gaul (Eus. H. E. v. i. 53) the passage is quoted (not quite accurately, it is true) as though the sense were, ‘Let the unrighteous do more unrighteousness” &c.; a possible rendering of the Greek. Then the sense will be, that the world “must be worse before it is better”—that sin must come to its height, in order that the righteous may be made perfect. For “unjust” it would be better to render “unrighteous,” or else “just” for “righteous” below, as the two words are the exact opposites of each other.

be righteous] Read, do righteousness.

be holy] More literally, be sanctified.

Revelation 22:11. Ῥυπαρευθήτω[245]) Erasmus, here patching up Greek words from Latin, made ῥυπωσάτω, from ῥυπόω. I said in my Apparatus that ῥυπάω, not ῥυπόω, is a neuter verb: but Wolf expressed his fear, that it could not be proved, that ῥυπάω only was neuter. It was the part of that most learned man, to maintain by examples his assertion concerning the use of ῥυπόω also as a neuter. Neuters in οω are indeed given, δολιόω, μεσόω, σκηνόω: but when two verbs are formed from one theme, very frequently the form in οω is active, and the form in εω or αω is neuter, as καρπόω, εὐκαρπέω· ἀντιστατέω, ἀναστατόω· ἀσθενέω, ἀσθενόω· κρατερέω, κρατερόω· and thus ῥυπάω, ῥυπόω. Undoubtedly in Aristophanes, who is quoted by Wolf (besides ῥυπῶν, which is ambiguous when taken by itself), ῥυπῶντα, ἐῤῥύπων, are neuter, not ῥυποῦντα, ἐῤῥύπουν. But grant that ῥυποῦν also is neuter, the verb ῥυπαρεύομαι, even though it does not elsewhere occur, is however defended by the analogy of the words πονηρεύομαι, σοβαρεύομαι, ψυχρεύομαι, which also are rare verbs, and, which is the point of chief importance, by all the manuscripts.—δικαιοσύνην ποιησάτω, let him do righteousness) Thus, ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην, who doeth righteousness, 1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:7.—ὁ ἅγιος, the holy) and pure, fleeing from all things filthy and profane, in opposition to the practice of dogs and swine.

[245] A omits the clause. B has ῥυπαρευθητω: so Tisch.; but Orig. 4,419c and Cypr. ῥυπανθήτω: so Lachm.—E.

Verse 11. - He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still; he that is unrighteous, let him do unrighteousness still, etc. (Revised Version). These words seem to be used ironically, as was sometimes the case with the prophets (cf. Ezekiel 3:27; Ezekiel 20:39). The intention seems to be to stir men up to a realization of the nature of their conduct in continuing to reject the warnings of God. Note that the words immediately succeeding, as well as those immediately preceding, are connected with the judgment. Revelation 22:11Unjust (ἀδικῶν)

Rev., better, unrighteous.

Let him be unjust (ἀδικησάτω)

The verb means to do wickedly. Hence Rev., correctly, let him do unrighteousness.

He which is filthy (ὁ ῥυπῶν)

Only here in the New Testament. On the kindred noun ῥύπος filth, see on 1 Peter 3:21. Ῥυπαρία filthiness occurs only in James 1:21; and the adjective ῥυπαρός filthy only in James 2:2.

Let him be filthy (ῥυπωσάτω)

The best texts read ῥυπανθήτω let him be made filthy. So Rev.

Let him be righteous (δικαιωθήτω)

Read δικαιοσύνην ποιησάτω let him do righteousness. So Rev.

Let him be holy (ἁγιασθήτω)

Rev., giving literally the force of the passive voice, let him be made holy.

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