Revelation 22:3
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) And there shall be no more curse . . . Better, And every curse, or accursed thing, shall not be any longer. There may be an allusion to Joshua 7:12; there is certainly a borrowing, of language from Zechariah (Zechariah 14:11). All accursed things are removed, and with them passes the curse. The blessing of God’s presence, and the blessing of God’s rule take the place of the ascendancy of evil over the groaning creation (Romans 8:22). “The throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it.” The song of the Psalmist receives new force: “the Lord reigneth: let the earth rejoice; let the multitudes of the isles be glad thereof;” the accursed things, even all things that offend, are gathered out of the kingdom (Matthew 13:41).

(3, 4) And his servants shall serve him . . .—We turn from the city to the inhabitants. They are described as serving Him, seeing Him, and resembling Him. They shall serve Him: they shall offer Him the service of the priesthood—the word employed is that used of temple service. The word translated “servants” is the word which the Apostles used when they spoke of themselves as slaves of Jesus Christ, owned as well as employed by Him (Philippians 1:1; 2Peter 2:1; Jude 1:1). Their service here was discharged in the midst of discouragements and in difficulty; and they walked by faith, not by sight. Now the servants shall serve without hindrance or opposition, and they shall be encouraged by His immediate presence. “They shall see his face;” they shall know even as they are known (1Corinthians 13:12); they shall see Him as He is. No wonder, then, that he should add (and observe that the thought is exactly that which occurs in the First Epistle of St. John (1John 3:2): “His name shall be in (or, on) their foreheads.” The name stands for what God is in holiness and righteousness, purity and love. The name on the forehead indicates their resemblance to their Master. On earth the servants of God are changed from glory to glory into the same image (2Corinthians 3:18). They aim to be perfect, as their Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48); but when they see God as He is they shall be like Him. His name is on their foreheads, for they behold His face: they wake up after His likeness, and they are satisfied (Psalm 17:15). There is a divine paradox in the double truth: those who are like God see Him, and those who see Him are like Him (Matthew 5:8). “There will come a time when the service of God shall be the beholding of Him; and though in these stormy seas, where we are now driven up and down, His Spirit is dimly seen on the face of the waters, and we are left to cast anchors out of the stern and wish for the day, that day will come, when, with the evangelist on the crystal and stable sea, all the creatures of God shall be full of eyes within, and there shall be no more curse, but His servants shall serve Him, and shall see His face” (Ruskin).

Revelation

THE TRIPLE RAYS WHICH MAKE THE WHITE LIGHT OF HEAVEN

Revelation 22:3-4One may well shrink from taking words like these for a text. Their lofty music will necessarily make all words of ours seem thin and poor. The great things about which they are concerned are so high above us, and known to us by so few channels, that usually he who says least speaks most wisely about them. And yet it cannot be but wholesome if in a reverent spirit of no vain curiosity, we do try to lay upon our hearts the impressions of the great, though they be dim, truths which gleam from these words. I know that to talk about a future life is often a most sentimental, vague, unpractical form of religious contemplation, but there is no reason at all why it should be so. I wish to try now very simply to bring out the large force and wonderful meaning of the words which I have ventured to read. They give us three elements of the perfect state of man - Service, Contemplation, Likeness. These three are perfect and unbroken.

I. The first element, then, in the perfect state of man is perfect activity in the service of God. Now the words of our text are remarkable in that the two expressions for ‘servant’ and ‘serve’ are not related to one another in the Greek, as they are in the English, but are two quite independent words; the former meaning literally ‘a slave,’ and the latter being exclusively confined in Scripture to one kind of service. It would never be employed for any service that a man did for a man; it is exclusively a religious word, and means only the service that men do for God, whether in specific acts of so-called worship or in the wider worship of daily life. So that if we have not here the notion of priesthood, we have one very closely approximating towards it; and the representation is that the activity of the redeemed and perfected man, in the highest ideal condition of humanity, is an activity which is all worship, and is directed to the revealed God in Christ.

That, then, is the first thought that we have to look at. Now it seems to me to be a very touching confession of the weariness and unsatisfactoriness of life in general that the dream of the future which has unquestionably the most fascination for most men, is that which speaks of it as Rest. The religion which has the largest number of adherents in the world - the religion of the Buddhists - formally declares existence to be evil, and preaches as the highest attainable good, something which is scarcely distinguishable from annihilation. And even though we do not go so far as that, what a testimony it is of burdened hearts and mournful lives, and work too great for the feeble limits of our powers, that the most natural thought of a blessed future is as rest! It is easy to laugh at people for singing hymns about sitting upon green and flowery mounts, and counting up the labors of their feet: but oh! it is a tragical thought that whatsoever shape a life has taken, howsoever full of joy and sunshine and brightness it may be, deep down in the man there is such an experience as that the one thing he wants is repose and to get rid of all the trouble and toil.

Now this representation of my text is by no means contradictory, but it is complementary, of that other one. The deepest rest and the highest activity coincide. They do so in God who ‘worketh hitherto’ in undisturbed tranquility; they may do so in us. The wheel that goes round in swiftest rotation seems to be standing still. Work at its intensest, which is pleasurable work, and level to the capacity of the doer, is the truest form of rest. In vacuity there are stings and torment; it is only in joyous activity which is not pushed to the extent of strain and unwelcome effort that the true rest of man is to be found. And the two verses in this Book of Revelation about this matter, which look at first sight to be opposed to each other, are like the two sides of a sphere, which unite and make the perfect whole. ‘They rest from their labors’ ‘They rest not, day nor night.’

From their labors - yes; from toil disproportioned to faculty - yes! from unwelcome work - yes! from distraction and sorrow - yes! But from glad praise and vigorous service - never! day nor night. And so with the full apprehension of the sweetness and blessedness of the tranquil Heaven, we say: It is found only there, where His servants serve Him. Thus the first thought that is presented here is that of an activity delivered from all that makes toil on earth burdensome and unwelcome; and which, therefore, is coincident with the deepest and most perfect repose.

It may seem strange to think of a blessed life which has no effort in it, for effort is the very salt and spice of life here below, and one can scarcely fancy the perfect happiness of a spirit which never has the glow of warmth that comes from exercise in overcoming difficulties. But perhaps effort and antagonism and strain and trial have done their work on us when they have moulded our characters, and when ‘school is over we burn the rod’; and the discipline of joy may evolve nobler graces of character than ever the discipline of sorrow did. At all events, we have to think of work which also is repose, and of service in which is unbroken tranquility.

Then there is further involved in this first idea, the notion of an outer world, on which and in which to work; and also the notion of the resurrection of the body, in which the active spirit may abide, and through which it may work.

Perhaps it may be that they who sleep in Jesus, in the period between the shuffling off of this mortal coil and the breaking of that day when they are raised again from the dead, are incapable of exertion in an outer sphere. Perhaps, it may be, that by reason of the absence of that glorified body of the Resurrection, they sleep in Jesus in the sense that they couch at the Shepherd’s feet within the fold until the morning comes, when He leads them out to new pastures. It may be. At all events, this we may be sure of, that if it be so they have no desires in advance of their capacities; and of this also I think we may be sure, that whether they themselves can come into contact with an external universe or not, Christ is for them in some measure what the body is to us here now, and the glorified body will be hereafter; that being absent from the body they are present with the Lord, and that He is as it were the Sensorium by which they are brought into contact with and have a knowledge of external things, so that they may rest and wait and have no work to do, and have no effort to put forth, and yet be conscious of all that befalls the loved ones here below, may know them in their affliction, and not be untouched by their tears.

But all that is a dim region into which we have not any need to look. What I emphasize is, the service of Heaven means rest, and the service of Heaven means an outer universe on which, and a true bodily frame with which, to do the work which is delight.

The next point is this: such service must be in a far higher sphere and a far nobler fashion than the service of earth. That is in accordance with the analogy of the Divine dealings. God rewards work with more work. The powers that are trained and exercised and proved in a narrower region are lifted to the higher. As some poor peasant-girl, for instance, whose rich voice has risen up in the harvest-field only for her own delight and that of a handful of listeners, heard by some one who detects its sweetness, may be carried away to some great city, and charm kings with her tones, so the service done in some little corner of this remote, rural province of God’s universe, apprehended by Him, shall be rewarded with a wider platform, and a nobler area for work. Thou hast been faithful in a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.’ God sends forth His children to work as apprentices here, and when they are ‘out of their time,’ and have ‘got a trade,’ He calls them home, not to let their faculties rest unused, but to practice on a larger theatre what they have learned on earth.

One more point must be noticed, viz., that the highest type of Heaven’s service must be service for other people. The law for Heaven can surely not be more selfish than the law for earth, and that is, ‘He that is chiefest amongst you let him be your servant.’ The law for the perfect man can surely not be different from the law for the Master, and the law for Him is, ‘Even Christ pleased not Himself.’ The perfection of the child can surely not be different from the perfection of the Father, and the perfection of the Father is: ‘He maketh His sun to "shine," and His blessings to come - on the unthankful and on the good.’

So then the highest service for man is the service for others; - how, where, or whom, we cannot tell. We too may be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister {Hebrews 1:14}, but at all events not on ourselves can our activities centre; and not in self -culture can be the highest form of our service to God.

The last point about this first matter is simply this - that this highest form of human activity is all to be worship; all to be done in reference to Him; all to be done in submission to Him. The will of the man in His work is to be so conformed to the will of God as that, whatsoever the hand on the great dial points to, that the hand on the little dial shall point to also. Obedience is joy and rest. To know and to do His will is Heaven. It is Heaven on earth in so far as we partially attain to it, and when with enlarged powers and all imperfections removed, and in a higher sphere, and without interruptions we do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word, then the perfect state will have come. Then shall we enter into the liberty of the glory of the children of God, when, as His slaves, we serve Him in the unwearied activities done for Him, which make the worship of Heaven.

II. Next, look at the second of the elements here: - ‘They shall see His face.’

Now that expression ‘seeing the face of God’ in Scripture seems to me to be employed in two somewhat different ways, according to one of which the possibility of seeing the face is affirmed, and according to the other of which it is denied.

The one may be illustrated by the Divine word to Moses: ‘Thou canst not see My face. There shall no man see Me and live.’ The other may be illustrated by the aspiration and the confidence of one of the psalms: ‘As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness.’

A similar antithesis, which is apparently a contradiction, may be found in setting side by side the words of our Saviour: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,’ with the words of the Evangelist: ‘No man hath seen God at any time.’ I do not think that the explanation is to be found altogether in pointing to the difference between present and possible future vision, but rather, I think, the Bible teaches what reason would also teach: that no corporeal vision of God is ever possible; still further, that no complete comprehension and knowledge of Him is ever possible, and, as I think further, that no direct knowledge of, or contact with, God in Himself is possible for finite man, either here or yonder. And the other side lies in such words as these, which I have already quoted: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ ‘As through a glass darkly, but then face to face.’ Where is the key to the apparent contradiction? Here, I think. Jesus Christ is the manifest God, in Him only do men draw near to the hidden Deity, the King Invisible, who dwelleth in the light that is inaccessible.

Here on earth we see by faith, and yonder there will be a vision, different in kind, most real, most immediate and direct, not of the hidden Godhood in itself, but of the revealed Godhood manifest in Jesus Christ, whom in His glorified corporeal Manhood we shall perceive, with the organs of our glorified body; whom in His Divine beauty we shall know and love with heart and mind, in knowledge direct, immediate, far surpassing in degree, and different in kind from, the knowledge of faith which we have of Him here below. But the infinite Godhood that lies behind all revelations of Deity shall remain as it hath been through them all - the King invisible, whom no man hath seen or can see. They shall see His face in so far as they shall hold communion with, and through their glorified body have the direct knowledge of Christ, the revealed Deity.

Whether there be anything more, I know not; I think there is not; but this I am sure of, that the law for Heaven and the law for earth alike are, ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.’

But there is another point I would touch upon in reference to this second thought of our text, viz., its connection with the previous representation, ‘They shall serve Him’ - that is work in an outer sphere; ‘they shall see His face’ - that is contemplation. These two, the life of work and the life of devout communion - the Martha and the Mary of the Christian experience - are antagonistic here below, and it is hard to reconcile their conflicting, fluctuating claims and to know how much to give to the inward life of gazing upon Christ, and how much to the outward life of serving Him. But, says my text, the two shall be blended together. ‘His servants shall serve Him,’ nor in all their activity shall they lose the vision of His face. His servants ‘shall see His face’; nor in all the still blessedness of their gaze upon Him shall they slack the diligence of the unwearied hands, or the speed of the willing feet. The Rabbis taught that there were angels who serve, and angels who praise, but the two classes meet in the perfected man, whose services shall be praise, whose praise shall be service. They go forth to do His will, yet are ever in the House of the Lord. They work and gaze; they gaze and work. Resting they serve, and serving they rest; perpetual activity and perpetual vision are theirs. ‘They serve Him, and see His face.’

III. The last element is, ‘His name shall be in their foreheads.’ That is, as I take it - a manifest likeness to the Lord whom they serve is the highest element in the perfect state of redeemed men.

We hear a good deal in this Book of the Revelation about writing the names and numbers of persons and of powers upon men’s faces and foreheads; as for instance, you remember we read about the ‘number of the beast’ written upon his worshippers, and about ‘the name of the new Jerusalem, and the name of my God ‘being written as a special reward, upon him that overcomes.’ The metaphor, as I suppose, is taken from the old, cruel practice of branding a slave with the name of his master. And so the primary idea of this expression: ‘His slaves shall bear His name upon their foreheads,’ is that their ownership shall be conspicuously visible to all that look.

But there is more than that in it. How is the ownership to be made visible? By His name being in their foreheads. What is ‘His name ‘? Universally in Scripture ‘His name’ is His revealed character, and so we come to this: the perfect men shall be known to belong to God in Christ, because they are like Him. The ownership shall be proved by the likeness, and that likeness shall no longer be hidden in their hearts, no longer be difficult to make out, so blurred and obliterated the letters of the name by the imperfections of their lives and their selfishness and sin; but it shall flame in their foreheads, plain as the inscription on the high priest’s mitre that declared him to be consecrated to the Lord.

And so that lovely and blessed thought is here of a perfect likeness in moral character, at all events, and a wonderful approximation and resemblance in other elements of human nature to the glorified humanity of Jesus Christ our Lord, which shall be the token that we are His.

Oh! what a contrast to the partial ownership, proved to be partial by our partial resemblance here on earth! We say, as Christian men and women, that we bear His name. Is it written so that men can read it, or is it like the name of some person traced in letters of gas jets over a shop-front - half blown out by every gust of wind that comes? Is that the way in which His name is written on your heart and character? My brother, a possibility great and blessed opens before us of a nobler union with Him, a closer approximation, a clearer vision, a perfecter resemblance. ‘We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is’!

One last word. These three elements, service, contemplation, likeness; these three are not different in kind from the elements of a Christian man’s life here. You can enjoy them all sitting in these pews; in the bustle and the hurry of your daily life, you can have every one of them. If you do not enjoy them here you will never have them yonder. If you have never served anybody but yourself how shall death make you His servant? If all the days of your life you have turned away your ear when He has been saying to you ‘Seek ye My face,’ what reason is there to expect that when death’s hammer smashes the glass through which you have seen darkly, ‘the steady whole of that awful face’ will be a pleasant sight to you? If all your life you have been trying, as some of you men and women, old and young, have been trying, and are trying now, to engrave the name of the beast upon your foreheads, what reason have you to expect that when you pass out of this life the foul signs shall disappear in a moment, and you will bear in your brow ‘the marks of the Lord Jesus’ in their stead? No! No! These things do not happen; you have got to begin here as you mean to end yonder. Trust Him here and you will see Him there. Serve Him here and you will serve Him yonder. Write His new Name upon your hearts, and when you pass from the imperfections of life you will bear His name in your foreheads.

And if you do not - I lay this upon the consciences of you all - if you do not you will see Christ; - and you will not like it! And you will bear, not the Image of the Heavenly, which is life, but the image of the earthy, which is death and hell. Revelation 22:3-5. And then too there shall be no more curse — As there is in this present world, and has been ever since the fall of man; but only pure life and blessing, every effect of the displeasure of God for sin being now totally removed; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it — That is, the glorious presence and reign of God and the Lamb; and his servants — The most honourable title in the universe; shall serve him — The noblest employment. And they shall see his face — The blessed inhabitants shall enjoy the so much talked of beatific vision, a privilege not granted even to Moses. They shall have the nearest access to, and the most free intercourse with him. This is the strongest expression in the language of Scripture, to denote the most perfect happiness of the heavenly state, 1 John 3:2. And his name shall be on their foreheads — Each of them shall be openly acknowledged as God’s own property, and his glorious nature shall most visibly shine forth in them. There seems in this expression to be an allusion to the name of God being on the golden plate which the Jewish high-priest wore on his forehead. And there shall be no night there — In this blessed state there shall be no interruption of their happiness and joy, but they shall live in the continual light of God’s countenance. And they need no candle, neither light of the sun — No instruction, aid, or comfort from any means of grace, ordinances of God, or any creature, as on earth; for the Lord God giveth them light — Their knowledge and wisdom, holiness and happiness, proceed immediately from God himself, from his constant and everlasting presence with them, and favour to them, so that they shall enjoy the same unspeakable happiness, without any interruption or diminution. And they shall reign for ever and ever — What an encouragement is this to the patience and faithfulness of these saints. That all their sufferings here on earth shall work out for them an eternal weight of glory! Observe, reader, the kingdom of God is taken by force; but the prize is well worth all the labour. What is high, amiable, or excellent in all the honours, riches, pleasures, titles, dignities, monarchies of the earth, has, if taken together, not the weight or value of a grain of dust, compared to the glory, riches, and felicity of the children of God. God is not ashamed to be called their God, for whom he hath prepared this city. But who shall come up into this holy place? Who shall have a right to the tree of life? They who, being justified by grace, are made heirs according to the hope of it, Titus 3:7; they who, having this hope in them, purify themselves as he is pure, 1 John 3:3; they who do his commandments, Revelation 22:14; and give diligence to be found with him in peace without spot and blameless, 2 Peter 3:14. Thus ends the doctrine of the Revelation, in the everlasting happiness of all the faithful. The mysterious ways of Providence are cleared up, and all things issue in an eternal sabbath, an everlasting state of perfect peace and felicity, reserved for all who endure to the end.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 there shall be no more curse - This is doubtless designed to be in strong contrast with our present abode; and it is affirmed that what now properly comes under the name of a curse, or whatever is part of the curse pronounced on man by the fall, will be there unknown. The earth will be no more cursed, and will produce no more thorns and thistles; man will be no more compelled to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow; woman will be no more doomed to bear the sufferings which she does now; and the abodes of the blessed will be no more cursed by sickness, sorrow, tears, and death.

But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it - God will reign there forever; the principles of purity and love which the Lamb of God came to establish, will pervade that blessed abode to all eternity.

And his servants shall serve him - All his servants that are there; that is, all the inhabitants of that blessed world. For the meaning of this passage, see the notes on Revelation 7:15.

3. no more curse—of which the earnest shall be given in the millennium (Zec 14:11). God can only dwell where the curse and its cause, the cursed thing sin (Jos 7:12), are removed. So there follows rightly, "But the throne of God and of the Lamb (who redeemed us from the curse, Ga 3:10, 13) shall be in it." Compare in the millennium, Eze 48:35.

serve him—with worship (Re 7:15).

And there shall be no more curse; nothing that is devoted to the devil, katanayema, no accursed person, or thing.

But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; the presence of a holy and pure God will prevent and forbid that.

And his servants shall serve him; it is a place in which God alone shall be served by his own servants. And there shall be no more curse,.... As there was in Eden, from whence a river came, and where was a tree of life; for there the serpent cursed for his concern in man's transgression, and the earth on account of it; but in this new earth, and paradisiacal state, and on the inhabitants of it, will be no curse; here will be no sin, the cause of the curse, nor pain and sorrow, nor death, corporeal, spiritual, and eternal, or the wrath of God, the several effects of sin, and parts of the curse; the curse of the law cannot here take place; for, besides the righteousness of Christ, which all in the new Jerusalem will be clothed with, and so be blessed and secure from the curse, they will be perfectly pure and holy in nature, and constant and complete in their obedience and service; they will always do the will of God on earth, as it is done in heaven; no accursed person, or anyone devoted to ruin and destruction, will be here; not the old serpent, the devil, he will be shut up in the bottomless pit; nor the blasphemous beast and false prophet, they will be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire before this time comes; no cursing, or accursed men will dwell here; not such who curse themselves, or the saints, or such who will be bid to depart as cursed, these will be destroyed in the general conflagration; nor will there be any anathema denounced against any person, for here wilt be no introducers of another Gospel, nor any that do not love the Lord Jesus Christ; nor will any be an anathema, or accursed from Christ, excommunicated from the church of Christ, for that will have no members deserving of that; none but what are pure and undefiled; see Zechariah 14:11

but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; God himself will be there, his tabernacle will be among men; the name of this city will be "Jehovah Shammah", the Lord is here; the pure and spotless Lamb of God, the Son of the Blessed, will be here, whose presence will make it an happy state; these will both have their throne, or seat, here; they will sit on one throne, being the one God over all, blessed for ever; this city will be the city of the great King, where his royal glory and majesty will be most illustriously displayed, and which will greatly make for the felicity of this state, and secure it from the curse:

and his servants shall serve him: either the angels, who are ministering spirits, and the servants of God and of the Lamb; or the ministers of the Gospel, the servants of the most high God; or rather all the true followers of Christ, who shall be where he is, and "serve him": both God and the Lamb, who are one in nature, though two distinct persons; wherefore serving them both is not serving two masters: and the service the saints will be employed in, in this state, will not be preaching the word, or attending on the ministry of it, or subjecting to ordinances, which will now be at an end, but celebrating the praises of God, adoring the perfections of his nature, ascribing the glory of every providence, and of all salvation to him, and magnifying the riches of his grace; and this they will perform in the most spiritual, fervent, and perfect manner, and that continually; see Revelation 7:15.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
κατάθεμα, a corrupt and rare form of κατανάθεμα = anything accursed (lit. a curse itself, Did. Revelation 16:8). i.e., abstract for concrete, here = “a cursed person,” so Ps. Sol. 17:20 f.—λατρεύσουσι, unfettered and unspoiled devotion. The interruption of the daily service and sacrifice in Jerusalem on 17th July, 70 A.D., had sent a painful thrill to the heart of all who cherished the ideal of Acts 26:7. No fear of that in the new Jerusalem!3. no more curse] The word for “curse” is rather peculiar; it is no doubt meant as a translation of that rendered “utter destruction” in Zechariah 14:11, of which this verse is a reminiscence.

the throne &c.] Implied already in Revelation 21:23 and Revelation 22:1. Interpreters compare the last words of Ezekiel cognate prophecy.

his servants] Note the singular pronoun, implying the Unity of the Persons named.

shall serve him] See Revelation 7:15, and note there.Revelation 22:3. Κατάθεμα) Thus comp. with other editions printed at Antwerp and Geneva, and with almost all the MSS. See App. Ed. ii.[240]—ἐν αὐτῇ, in it) This may possibly refer to the street: comp. Job 29:7, ἐν δὲ πλατείαις ἐτίθετό μου ὁ δίφρος. But it refers to the city itself, as Revelation 22:2, αὐτῆς, of it: although in truth the throne will be in the most conspicuous place of the city.—αὐτοῦ, of Him) Where mention is made both of God and of the Lamb, the following relative, αὐτοῦ, of Him, has reference either to the Lamb, ch. Revelation 6:17, also ch. Revelation 1:1, Revelation 20:6, because in these places there is ascribed to the Lamb, wrath, revelation, the kingdom: or it has reference to God, as in this passage, because the throne is more frequently ascribed to God; wherefore also, ch. Revelation 11:15, the word βασιλεύσει, shall reign, refers to the Lord. It is not there said, they shall reign; nor is it said in any place, αὐτῶν, of them, in the plural, on account of their intimate union. In the mention of the Lamb, there is an allusion also to God: in the mention of God, there is an allusion also to the Lamb.

[240] So AB. But Rec. Text, κατανάθεμα.—E.Verse 3. - And there shall be no more curse; and there shall be no accursed thing any more. Nothing accursed exists in that city, because there is no sin there. The narrative here passes into the future tense (cf. Revelation 20:7). But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him; and the throne, etc. This is the consequence of there being no accursed thing (cf. Joshua 7:12, 13, "Neither will I be with you any more .... There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel"). God dwells in the city because all is holy. The throne of God and of the Lamb is one - God and the Lamb are one. Again, his servants, the servants of God and the Lamb (cf. John 10:30). They "serve him," as described in Revelation 19:1-7 and elsewhere. Shall serve (λατρεύσουσιν)

See on Luke 1:74. Rev., do Him service. The word originally means to serve for hire. In the New Testament, of the worship or service of God in the use of the rites intended for His worship. It came to be used by the Jews in a very special sense, to denote the service rendered to Jehovah by the Israelites as His peculiar people. See Romans 9:4; Acts 26:7; Hebrews 9:1, Hebrews 9:6. Hence the significant application of the term to Christian service by Paul in Philippians 3:3.

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