Revelation 3:12
Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write on him my new name.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Will I make a pillar.—A pillar, and an unshaken one. There may be reference to the frequent earthquakes which had shaken down buildings in their city. Those who overcome will prove real supports to the great Christian temple. (Comp. Galatians 2:9.)

Write upon him.—Or, grave upon it. On the sides of the four marble pillars which survive as ruins of Philadelphia inscriptions are to be found. The writing would be the name of God, the name of the heavenly Jerusalem and (omit the repetition, “I will write upon him”) the new, unknown name of Christ Himself. The allusion is to the golden frontlet inscribed with the name of Jehovah. (Comp. Revelation 22:4.) He will reflect the likeness of God; and not only so, he will bear the tokens—now seen in all clearness—of his heavenly citizenship (Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 12:22-23). And a further promise implies that in the day of the last triumph, as there will be new revealings of Christ’s power, there will be unfolded to the faithful and victorious new and higher possibilities of purity. Thus does Scripture refuse to recognise any finality which is not a beginning as well as an end—a landing-stage in the great law of continuity. (See Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12.)

Revelation

VI. - THE VICTOR’S LIFE-NAMES

Revelation 3:12.

The eyes which were as a flame of fire saw nothing to blame in the Philadelphian Church, and the lips out of which came the two-edged sword that cuts through all hypocrisy to the discerning of the thoughts and intents of the heart, spoke only eulogium- ‘Thou hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name.’ But however mature and advanced may be Christian experience, it is never lifted above the possibility of temptation; so, with praise, there came warning of an approaching hour which would try the mettle of this unblamed Church. Christ’s reward for faithfulness is not immunity from, but strength in, trial and conflict. As long as we are in the world there will be forces warring against us; and we shall have to fight our worst selves and the tendencies which tempt us to prefer the visible to the unseen, and the present to the future. So the Church which had no rebuke received the solemn injunction: ‘Hold fast that thou hast; let no man take thy crown.’ There is always need of struggle, even for the most mature, if we would keep what we have. The treasure will be filched from slack hands; the crown will be stricken from a slumbering head. So it is not inappropriate that the promise to this Church should be couched in the usual terms, ‘to him that overcometh,’ and the conclusion to be drawn is the solemn and simple one that the Christian life is always a conflict, even to the end.

The promise contained in my text presents practically but a twofold aspect of that future blessedness; the one expressed in the clause, ‘I will make him a pillar’; the other expressed in the clauses referring to the writing upon him of certain names. I need not do more than again call attention to the fact that here, as always, Jesus Christ represents Himself as not only allocating the position and determining the condition, but as shaping, and moulding, and enriching the characters of the redeemed, and ask you to ponder the question. What in Him does that assumption involve?

Passing on, then, to the consideration of these two promises more closely, let us deal with them singly. There is, first, the steadfast pillar; there is, second, the threefold inscription.

I. The steadfast pillar.

Now I take it that the two clauses which refer to this matter are closely connected. ‘I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out.’ In the second clause the figure is dropped, and the point of the metaphor is brought out more clearly. The stately column in the temples, with which these Philadelphian Christians, dwelling in the midst of the glories of Greek architecture, were familiar, might be, and often has been, employed as a symbol of many things. Here it cannot mean the office of sustaining a building, or pre-eminence above others, as it naturally lends itself sometimes to mean. For instance, the Apostle Paul speaks of the three chief apostles in Jerusalem, and says that they ‘seemed to be pillars’; by which pre-eminence and the office of maintaining the Church are implied. But that obviously cannot be the special application of the figure here, inasmuch as we cannot conceive of even redeemed men sustaining that temple in the heavens, and also inasmuch as the promise here is perfectly universal, and is given to all that overcome - that is to say, to all the redeemed. We must, therefore, look in some other direction. Now, the second of the two clauses which are thus linked together seems to me to point in the direction in which we are to look. ‘He shall go no more out.’ A pillar is a natural emblem of stability and permanence, as poets in many tongues and in many lands have felt it to be. I remember one of our own quaint English writers who speaks of men who are bottomed on the basis of a firm faith, mounting up with the clear shaft of a shining life, and having their persevering tops garlanded about, according to God’s promise, ‘I will give thee a crown of life.’ That idea of stability, of permanence, of fixedness, is the one that is prominent in the metaphor here.

But whilst the general notion is that of stability and permanence, do not let us forget that it is permanence and stability in a certain direction, for the pillar is ‘in the temple of My God.’ Now I would recall to you the fact that in other parts of Scripture we find the present relation of Christian men to God set forth under a similar metaphor: ‘Ye are the temple of the living God’; or again, ‘In whom ye are builded for a habitation of God through the Spirit’; or again, in that great word which is the foundation of all such symbols, ‘We will come and make our abode with Him.’ So that the individual believer and the community of all such are, even here and now, the dwelling-place of God. And whilst there are ideas of dignity and grace attaching to the metaphor of the pillar, the underlying meaning of it is substantially that the individual souls of redeemed men shall be themselves parts of, and collectively shall constitute, the temple of God in the heavens.

This book of the Apocalypse has several points of view in regard to that great symbol. It speaks, for instance, of there being no temple therein,’ by which is meant the cessation of all material and external worships such as belong to earth. It speaks also of God and the Lamb as themselves being ‘the Temple thereof.’ And here we have the converse idea that not only may we think of the redeemed community as dwelling in God and Christ, but of God and Christ as dwelling in the redeemed community. The promise, then, is of a thrilling consciousness that God is in us, a deeper realization of His presence, a fuller communication of His grace, a closer touch of Him, far beyond anything that we can conceive of on earth, and yet being the continuation and the completion of the earthly experiences of those in whom God dwells by their faith, their love, and their obedience. We have nothing to say about the new capacities for consciousness of God which may come to redeemed souls when the veils of flesh and sense, and the absorption in the present drop away. "We have nothing to say, because we know nothing about the new manifestations and more intimate touches which may correspond to these new capacities. There are vibrations of sounds too rapid or too slow for our ears as at present organized to catch. But whether these be too shrill or too deep to be heard, if the ear were more sensitive there would be sound where there is silence, and music in the waste places. So with new organs, with new capacities, there will be a new and a deeper sense of the presence of God; and utterances of His lips too profound to be caught by us now, or too clear and high to be apprehended by our limited sense, will then thunder into melody and with clear notes sound His praises. There are rays of light in the spectrum, at both ends of it, as yet not perceptible to human eyes; but then ‘we shall, in Thy light, see light ‘flaming higher and deeper than we can do now. We dwell in God here if we dwell in Christ, and we dwell in Christ if He dwell in us, by faith and love. But in the heavens the indwelling shall be more perfect, and transcend all that we know now.

The special point in regard to which that perfection is expressed here is to be kept prominent. ‘He shall go no more out.’ Permanence, and stability, and uninterruptedness in the communion and consciousness of an indwelling God, is a main element in the glory and blessedness of that future life. Stability in any fashion comes as a blessed hope to us, who know the curse of constant change, and are tossing on the unquiet waters of life. It is blessed to think of a region where the seal of permanence will be set on all delights, and our blessedness will be like the bush in the desert, burning and yet not consumed. But the highest form of that blessedness is the thought of stable, uninterrupted, permanent communion with God and consciousness of His dwelling in us. The contrast forces itself upon us between that equable and unvarying communion and the ups and downs of the most uniform Christian life here - to-day thrilling in every nerve with the sense of God, to-morrow dead and careless. Sometimes the bay is filled with flashing waters that leap in the sunshine; sometimes, when the tide is out, there is only a long stretch of grey and oozy mud. It shall not be always so. Like lands on the equator, where the difference between midsummer and midwinter is scarcely perceptible, either in length of day or in degree of temperature, that future will be a calm continuance, a uniformity which is not monotony, and a stability which does not exclude progress.

I cannot but bring into contrast with that great promise he shall go no more out ‘an incident in the gospels. Christ and the Twelve were in the upper room, and He poured out His heart to them, and their hearts burned within them. But they went out to the Mount of Olives ‘- He to Gethsemane and to Calvary; Judas to betray and Peter to deny; all to toil and suffer, and sometimes to waver in their faith. ‘He shall go no more out.’ Eternal glory and unbroken communion is the blessed promise to the victor who is made by Christ ‘a pillar in the temple of My God.’

II. Now, secondly, notice the threefold inscription.

We have done with the metaphor of the pillar altogether. We are not to think of anything so incongruous as a pillar stamped with writing, a monstrosity in Grecian architecture. But it is the man himself on whom Christ is to write the threefold name. The writing of a name implies ownership and visibility.

So the first of the triple inscriptions declares that the victor shall be conspicuously God’s. ‘I will write upon him the name of My God.’ There may possibly be an allusion to the golden plate which flamed in the front of the high priest’s mitre, and on which was written the unspoken name of Jehovah. But whether that be so or no, the underlying ideas are these two which I have already referred to - complete ownership, and that manifested in the very front of the character.

How do we possess one another? How do we belong to God? How does God belong to us? There is but one way by which a spirit can possess a spirit - by love, which leads to self-surrender and to practical obedience. And if - as a man writes his name in his books, as a farmer brands on his sheep and oxen the marks that express his ownership - on the redeemed there is written the name of God, that means, whatever else it may mean, perfect love, perfect self -surrender, perfect obedience, that the whole nature shall be owned, and know itself owned, and be glad to be owned, by God. That is the perfecting of the Christian relationship which is begun here on earth. And if we here yield ourselves to God and depart from that foolish and always frustrated attempt to be our own masters and owners, so escaping the misery and burden of self -hood, and entering into the liberty of the children of God, we shall reach that blessed state in which there will be no murmuring and incipient rebellions, no disturbance of our inward submission, no breach in our active obedience, no holding back of anything that we have or are; but we shall be wholly God’s - that is, wholly possessors of ourselves, and blessed thereby. ‘He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life, the same shall find it.’ And that Name will be stamped on us that every eye that looks, whoever they may be, shall know ‘whose we are and whom we serve.’

The second inscription declares that the victor conspicuously belongs to the City. Our time will not allow of my entering at all upon the many questions that gather round that representation of ‘the New Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven.’ I must content myself with simply pointing to the possible allusion here to the promise in the preceding letter to Sardis. There we were told that the victor’s name should not ‘be blotted out of the Book of Life’; and that Book of Life suggested the idea of the burgess-roll of the city, as well as the register of those that truly live. Here the same thought is suggested by a converse metaphor. The name of the victor is written on the rolls of the city, and the name of the city is stamped on the forehead of the victor. That is to say, the affinity which, even here and now, has knit men who believe in Jesus Christ to an invisible order, where is their true mother-city and metropolis, will then be uncontradicted by any inconsistencies, unobscured by the necessary absorption in daily duties and transient aims and interests, which often veils to others, and renders less conscious to ourselves, our true belonging to the city beyond the sea. The name of the city shall be stamped upon the victor. That, again, is the perfecting and the continuation of the central heart of the Christian life here, the consciousness that we are come to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and belong to another order of things than the visible and material around us.

The last of the triple inscriptions declares that the victor shall be conspicuously Christ’s. ‘I will write upon him My new name.’ All the three inscriptions link themselves, not with earlier, but with later parts of this most artistically constructed book of the Revelation; and in a subsequent portion of it we read of a new name of Christ’s, which no man knoweth save Himself. "What is that new name? It is an expression for the sum of the new revelations of what He is, which will flood the souls of the redeemed when they pass from earth. That new name will not obliterate the old one - God forbid! It will not do away with the ancient, earth-begun relation of dependence and faith and obedience. ‘Jesus Christ is the same . . . for ever’: and His name in the heavens, as upon earth, is Jesus the Saviour. But there are abysses in Him which no man moving amidst the incipiencies and imperfections of this infantile life of earth can understand. Not until we possess can we know the depths of wisdom and knowledge, and of all other blessed treasures which are stored in Him. Here we touch but the fringe of His great glory; yonder we shall penetrate to its central flame.

That new name no man fully knows, even when he has entered on its possession and carries it on his forehead; for the infinite Christ, who is the manifestation of the infinite God, can never be comprehended, much less exhausted, even by the united perceptions of a redeemed universe; but for ever and ever, more and more will well out from Him. His name shall last as long as the sun, and blaze when the sun himself is dead.

‘I will write upon him My new name’ was said to a church, and while the eulogium was, ‘Thou hast not denied My name.’ If we are to pierce the heart and the glory there, we must begin on its edges here. If the name is to be on our foreheads then, we must bear in our body the marks of the Lord Jesus - the brand of ownership impressed on the slave’s palm. In the strength of the name we can overcome; and if we overcome. His name will hereafter blaze on our foreheads - the token that we are completely His for ever, and the pledge that we shall be growingly made like unto Him. 3:7-13 The same Lord Jesus has the key of government and authority in and over the church. He opens a door of opportunity to his churches; he opens a door of utterance to his ministers; he opens a door of entrance, opens the heart. He shuts the door of heaven against the foolish, who sleep away their day of grace; and against the workers of iniquity, how vain and confident soever they may be. The church in Philadelphia is commended; yet with a gentle reproof. Although Christ accepts a little strength, yet believers must not rest satisfied in a little, but strive to grow in grace, to be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Christ can discover this his favour to his people, so that their enemies shall be forced to acknowledge it. This, by the grace of Christ, will soften their enemies, and make them desire to be admitted into communion with his people. Christ promises preserving grace in the most trying times, as the reward of past faithfulness; To him that hath shall be given. Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace, shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation; and the same Divine grace that has made them fruitful in times of peace, will make them faithful in times of persecution. Christ promises a glorious reward to the victorious believer. He shall be a monumental pillar in the temple of God; a monument of the free and powerful grace of God; a monument that shall never be defaced or removed. On this pillar shall be written the new name of Christ; by this will appear, under whom the believer fought the good fight, and came off victorious.Him that overcometh - See the notes on Revelation 2:7.

Will make a pillar in the temple of my God - See the introductory remarks to this epistle. The promised reward of faithfulness here is, that he who was victorious would be honored as if he were a pillar or column in the temple of God. Such a pillar or column was partly for ornament, and partly for support; and the idea here is, that in that temple he would contribute to its beauty and the justness of its proportions, and would see the same time be honored as if he were a pillar which was necessary for the support of the temple. It is not uncommon in the New Testament to represent the church as a temple, and Christians as parts of it. See 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:5.

And he shall go no more out - He shall be permanent as a part of that spiritual temple. The idea of "going out" does not properly belong to a pillar; but the speaker here has in his mind the man, though represented as a column. The description of some parts would be applicable more directly to a pillar; in others more properly to a man. Compare John 6:37; John 10:28-29; 1 John 2:19, for an illustration of the sentiment here. The main truth here is, that if we reach heaven, our happiness will be secure forever. We shall have the most absolute certainty that the welfare of the soul will no more be perilled; that we shall never be in danger of falling into temptation; that no artful foe shall ever have power to alienate our affections from God; that we shall never die. Though we may change our place, and may roam from world to world until we shall have surveyed all the wonders of creation, yet we shall never "go out of the temple of God." Compare the notes on John 14:2. When we reach the heavenly world our conflicts will be over, our doubts at an end. As soon as we cross the threshold we shall be greeted with the assurance, "he shall go no more out forever." That is to be our eternal abode, and whatever of joy, or felicity, or glory, that bright world can furnish, is to be ours. Happy moment I when, emerging from a world of danger and of doubt, the soul shall settle down into the calmness and peace of that state where there is the assurance of God himself that that world of bliss is to be its eternal abode!

And I will write upon him the name of my God - Considered as a pillar or column in the temple. The name of God would be conspicuously recorded on it to show that he belonged to God. The allusion is to a public edifice, on the columns of which the names of distinguished and honored persons were recorded; that is, where there is a public testimonial of the respect in which one whose name was thus recorded was held. The honor thus conferred on him "who should overcome" would be as great as if the name of that God whom he served, and whose favor and friendship he enjoyed, were inscribed on him in some conspicuous manner. The meaning is, that he would be known and recognized as belonging to God; the God of the Redeemer himself - indicated by the phrase, "the name of my God."

And the name of the city of my God - That is, indicating that he belongs to that city, or that the New Jerusalem is the city of his habitation. The idea would seem to be, that in this world, and in. all worlds wherever he goes and wherever he abides, he will be recognized as belonging to that holy city; as enjoying the rights and immunities of such a citizen.

Which is New Jerusalem - Jerusalem was the place where the temple was reared, and where the worship of God was celebrated. It thus came to be synonymous with the church - the dwelling-place of God on earth.

Which cometh down out of heaven from my God - See this explained in the notes on Revelation 21:2 ff. Of course this must be a figurative representation, but the idea is plain. It is:

(1) that the church is, in accordance with settled Scripture language, represented as a city - the abode of God on earth.

(2) that is, instead of being built here, or having an earthly origin, it has its origin in heaven.

It is as if it had been constructed there, and then sent down to earth ready formed. The type, the form, the whole structure is heavenly. It is a departure from all proper laws of interpretation to explain this literally, as if a city should be actually let down from heaven; and equally so to infer from this passage, and the others of similar import in this book, that a city will be literally reared for the residence of the saints. If the passage proves anything on either of these points, it is, that a great and splendid city, such as that described in Revelation 21, will literally come down from heavens. But who can believe that? Such an interpretation, however, is by no means necessary. The comparison of the church with a beautiful city, and the fact that it has its origin in heaven, is all that is fairly implied in the passage.

And I will write upon him my new name - See the notes on Revelation 2:17. The reward, therefore, promised here is, that he who, by persevering fidelity, showed that he was a real friend of the Saviour, would be honored with a permanent abode in the holy city of his habitation, In the church redeemed and triumphant he would have a perpetual dwelling; and wherever he should be, there would be given him sure pledges that he belonged to him, and was recognized as a citizen of the heavenly world. To no higher honor could any man aspire; and yet that is an honor to which the most humble and lowly may attain by faith in the Son of God.

The Epistle to the Church at Laodicea

The contents of the epistle to the church at Laodicea Revelation 3:14-22 are as follows:

(1) The usual salutation to the angel of the church, Revelation 3:14,

continued...

12. pillar in the temple—In one sense there shall be "no temple" in the heavenly city because there shall be no distinction of things into sacred and secular, for all things and persons shall be holy to the Lord. The city shall be all one great temple, in which the saints shall be not merely stones, as m the spiritual temple now on earth, but all eminent as pillars: immovably firm (unlike Philadelphia, the city which was so often shaken by earthquakes, Strabo [12 and 13]), like the colossal pillars before Solomon's temple, Boaz (that is, "In it is strength") and Jachin ("It shall be established"): only that those pillars were outside, these shall be within the temple.

my God—(See on [2681]Re 2:7).

go no more out—The Greek is stronger, never more at all. As the elect angels are beyond the possibility of falling, being now under (as the Schoolmen say) "the blessed necessity of goodness," so shall the saints be. The door shall be once for all shut, as well to shut safely in for ever the elect, as to shut out the lost (Mt 25:10; Joh 8:35; compare Isa 22:23, the type, Eliakim). They shall be priests for ever unto God (Re 1:6). "Who would not yearn for that city out of which no friend departs, and into which no enemy enters?" [Augustine in Trench].

write upon him the name of my God—as belonging to God in a peculiar sense (Re 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; and especially Re 22:4), therefore secure. As the name of Jehovah ("Holiness to the Lord") was on the golden plate on the high priest's forehead (Ex 28:36-38); so the saints in their heavenly royal priesthood shall bear His name openly, as consecrated to Him. Compare the caricature of this in the brand on the forehead of the beast's followers (Re 13:16, 17), and on the harlot (Re 17:5; compare Re 20:4).

name of the city of my God—as one of its citizens (Re 21:2, 3, 10, which is briefly alluded to by anticipation here). The full description of the city forms the appropriate close of the book. The saint's citizenship is now hidden, but then it shall be manifested: he shall have the right to enter in through the gates into the city (Re 22:14). This was the city which Abraham looked for.

new—Greek, "kaine." Not the old Jerusalem, once called "the holy city," but having forfeited the name. Greek, "nea," would express that it had recently come into existence; but Greek, "kaine," that which is new and different, superseding the worn-out old Jerusalem and its polity. "John, in the Gospel, applies to the old city the Greek name Hierosolyma. But in the Apocalypse, always, to the heavenly city the Hebrew name, Hierousalem. The Hebrew name is the original and holier one: the Greek, the recent and more secular and political one" [Bengel].

my new name—at present incommunicable and only known to God: to be hereafter revealed and made the believer's own in union with God in Christ. Christ's name written on him denotes he shall be wholly Christ's. New also relates to Christ, who shall assume a new character (answering to His "new name") entering with His saints on a kingdom—not that which He had with the Father before the worlds, but that earned by His humiliation as Son of man. Gibbon, the infidel [Decline and Fall, ch. 64], gives an unwilling testimony to the fulfilment of the prophecy as to Philadelphia from a temporal point of view, Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect,—a column in a scene of ruins—a pleasing example that the paths of honor and safety may sometimes be the same."

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God: though by the temple of God in this place some understand the church of Christ on earth, where those always were, and are, and always shall be, most famous, who have overcome temptations best, from the world, the flesh, and the devil; yet, considering that all the promises before made to those who overcome are of another life, it seems best rather to interpret this so, that God would make such a one of fame and renown in heaven, great in the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 5:19, to sit upon a throne there, Matthew 19:28. He shall have a higher degree in glory, (for stars differ from one another in glory, 1 Corinthians 15:41), pillars being not only for support, but ornament, and principal parts in buildings.

And he shall go no more out; he shall have an eternal inheritance, of which he shall not be dispossessed.

And I will write upon him the name of my God; as men use, upon pillars and monuments erected for their own use and honour, to write their names; so I will peculiarly own, and challenge such a one for myself.

And the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem; and I will write upon him: This man is an inhabitant of the new Jerusalem.

And I will write upon him my new name; I will glorify him with that glory of which myself was made partaker, upon my ascension after my resurrection, John 17:22,24. He that overcometh,.... In the hour of temptation, in this period of time; that stands his ground then, sustains the shock of the beast, with courage and intrepidity, and overcomes him:

will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; by which is meant not the church triumphant, though such will have a place, and an abiding one there; but the church militant, so called in allusion to the temple at Jerusalem, for its author, matter, situation, strength, solidity, magnificence, and stateliness, and for its holiness; and may be said to be the temple of God, because it is of his building, and is the place where he dwells, and is worshipped; and the temple of Christ's God, as he is man and Mediator, through whom all worship is given to God in it; and those who are overcomers by the grace and strength of Christ are made pillars by him here, in allusion to the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, in Solomon's temple; that is, they become very ornamental in the church, they are made honourable members of it; they come in at the right door into it, and fill up their places, and all relative duties in it, and walk becoming their profession; and, like pillars, are a support to it, to the interest of the church, the truths of the Gospel, and to weak and poor saints; and, as pillars, they are upright in heart and conversation, and are steady, firm, and constant:

and he shall go no more out; out of the church, the temple of the Lord, but shall abide in it unto death: it is a promise of perseverance both in the grace of God, and in a profession of religion; there shall not be such instances of apostasy as now,

And I will write upon him the name of my God; in allusion to inscriptions of names on pillars; the sense is, that it should be manifest that such are interested in God, as their covenant God and Father, in like manner as he is the God and Father of Christ; and this should be as plain and as evident as an inscription on a pillar, or as if it was written upon their foreheads, as the high priest had on his forehead written, "holiness to the Lord"; and indeed it will be by their holiness that it will so clearly appear that God is their covenant God; for in this church state, or spiritual reign of Christ, holiness unto the Lord shall be upon the bells of the horses:

and the name of the city of my God; which is new Jerusalem, in allusion to "Jehovah Shammah"; meaning the Gospel church in the latter day glory; and the sense is, that such shall be manifestly citizens of this city, in this new and glorious state of the church, and shall enjoy all the privileges of it, which at this time especially will be many and great. This will not be the new Jerusalem church state, or the thousand years' reign of Christ in person, for in that there will be no temple, as in this; but it will have the name, and some appearance of it; it will bear some resemblance to it, and be a pledge of it:

which cometh down out of heaven, from my God; as it is before called new Jerusalem, in distinction from the old, so here it is said to come down from heaven, or to be the heavenly Jerusalem, in distinction from the earthly one. The inhabitants of it will be born from above, and be called with an heavenly calling, and their conversation will be in heaven, and all the glory of this church will come from God,

And I will write upon him my new name; either the name of "Jehovah" our righteousness; or rather the name of King of kings, and Lord of lords, Revelation 19:16; which Christ will now acquire, or at least this will now be made more manifest upon the destruction of antichrist, in this church state; in which conquest he will make all his people sharers, and they shall now more openly appear to be kings, and to reign with him in his spiritual kingdom.

{9} Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: {10} and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

(9) The conclusion which contains a promise, and a commandment.

(10) That is, the new man shall be called after his father, mother, and his head Christ.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 3:12. As in all the epistles, so here, the concluding promise to the “victor” (cf. Revelation 3:11) proceeds to the time of eternal glory after the coming of the Lord. This is, besides, especially indicated here by the expression τ. καιν. Ἰερους., κ.τ.λ. The incorrect reference to “the Church militant,”[1501] or “the Church militant and triumphant,”[1502] causes the most perverted interpretations of individual points. Thus N. de Lyra interprets, by understanding ἘΝ Τ. ΝΑῷ Τ. Θ. Μ. and Τ. ΠΌΛΕΩς Τ. Θ. Μ. of the Church militant, and the ΠΟΙΉΣΩ ΑὐΤ. ΣΤΎΛΟΝ, recalling Galatians 2:9 : “Brave and powerful in faith, not only for himself, but also for comforting and sustaining others;” and remarks on ἜΞΩ Οὐ ΜῊ ἘΞΈΛΘῌ ἜΤΙ, “by apostasy, not by excommunication;” on ΓΡ. ΈΠʼ ΑὐΤ. Τ. ὌΝ Τ. Θ. Μ., “for they [viz., bishops] represent in the Church the person of God;” on ΚΑΤΑΒ. ἙΚ Τ. ΟὐΡ.: “For the Church militant is ruled and directed by the Holy Spirit;” and on Τ. ὌΝ, Μ. ΤῸ ΚΑΙΝΌΝ: “As the Lord himself at the circumcision was called Jesus, and afterwards Christ, so believers are first called disciples of Jesus, and then[1503] Christians.[1504] Similar distortions occur in Grot.,[1505] Wetst.,[1506] etc. The correct reference to the future glory[1507] is not in any way, as with Beng., to be so limited that the first promise ποιήσω αὐτ. στύλον ἐν τ. ναῷ τ. θ. μ. is fulfilled already at the time of Revelation 7:15, and before that of ch. 19, on the ground that there will be no temple in the new Jerusalem.[1508] For if it be said that in the new Jerusalem there will be no special place for the worship and revelation of God, as God himself will be immediately near all the blessed, this does not prevent, that, according to an idea of an entirely different kind, but of essentially the same meaning, the entire community of perfected believers is contemplated as the temple of God, in which individuals may appear as pillars. This is only a transfer of the figure of the temporal to that of the heavenly communion of saints;[1509] while the figure contains a significant feature, founded neither upon Isaiah 22:23,[1510] nor 1 Kings 7:15 sqq.,[1511] in that[1512] by being compared not to foundation-stones, but to the pillars of the temple,[1513] they are represented in their immutable firmness (κ. ἔξω, κ.τ.λ.) and glorious adornment. Incorrectly, Eichh.:[1514] “The friends of the King, having more intimate access to him, who are admitted to his counsels, maybe called columns.”

καὶ ἔξω οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃ ἔτι. The subject is not ὁ στύλος,[1515] but ὁ νικῶν.[1516] Therefore the remark on ἐξέλθῃ is in no wise necessary, that the verb as intransitive expresses the[1517] sense of a passive.[1518] He who once, in the sense above indicated, is made a victor in the temple of God, henceforth shall no more go forth, either voluntarily (viz., by a fall), or under constraint.

ΚΑῚ ΓΡΆΨΩ ἘΠʼ ΑΥΤῸΝ ΤῸ ὌΝΟΜΑ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ ΜΟΥ. Cf. in general Tr. Bara bathra, p. 75, Revelation 2 :[1519] “R. Samuel … says that R. Jochanan said that three are called by the name of God; e.g., the righteous,[1520] the Messiah,[1521] and Jerusalem.[1522]

ἘΠʼ ΑὐΤΌΝ, viz., upon the victor,[1523] not upon the pillar.[1524] Areth. says more accurately: ἘΠῚ ΤῸΝ ΝΟΗΤῸΝ ΣΤΎΛΟΝ [on the mental pillar]; yet here the ΑὐΤΌΝ is entirely identical with the preceding object (ΠΟΙΉΣΩ) ΑὐΤΌΝ. If the question be asked as to where the inscription is to be regarded as written, the answer is to be given otherwise than Revelation 2:17, and according to Revelation 14:1, Revelation 22:4 (cf. Revelation 17:5, Revelation 7:3): “upon the forehead.” Since the ΝΑΌς is mentioned, the thought is closely connected therewith of the inscription upon the high priest’s[1525] diadem, קרש ליהוה;[1526] and that, too, the more as by ΤῸ ὌΝΟΜΑ Τ. Θ. Μ. ft. the holy name יהוה[1527] is meant.[1528] At all events,[1529] the holy and blessed state of belonging to God is expressed.

So, too, the name of the city of God—which is arbitrarily traced to a breast-shield of the wearer, instead of the names of the twelve tribes[1530]—designates the right of citizenship in the new Jerusalem.[1531] The name “city” need not, however, be derived from Ezekiel 48:35,[1532]—although the description (Revelation 21:3 sqq.) is applicable as an exposition of that significant designation,—but John himself calls the city of God Ἡ ΚΑΙΝῊ ἹΕΡΟΥΣΑΛΉΜ.

Ἡ ΚΑΤΑΒΑΊΝΟΥΣΑ, Κ.Τ.Λ.
The construction as Revelation 1:5. The meaning of the expression is elucidated by ch. 21. Falsely rationalizing, not only Grot.: “It has been procured by the wonderful kindness of God,” but even Calov.:[1533] “It has God as its author.”

Κ. Τ. ὌΝΟΜΆ ΜΟΥ ΤῸ ΚΑΙΝῸΝ. Not the name mentioned in Revelation 19:16,[1534] but that meant in Revelation 19:12.[1535] But he who bears the new name of the Lord is thereby designated as eternally belonging to the Lord as though with the Lord’s own signature. If, however, the name of the Lord in this sense and significance can be placed alongside of that of God and the new Jerusalem, the Lord must verily be the one that in Revelation 3:7 he professes to be; in that also he says of himself ΠΟΙΉΣΩ, ΓΡΆΨΩ, he proclaims himself as one who is to be recognized as the eternal King of the kingdom of heaven.

[1501] N. de Lyra, Areth., Grot., Wetst., Schöttg., etc.

[1502] Vitr., C. a Lap., Stern, etc.

[1503] Acts 11.

[1504] The Jesuit C. a Lap. (cf. the brethren of his order, Rib. Vieg.) thinks that, according to “the new name” which the Lord received at his circumcision, the victors will be called “Jesuani” or “Jesuits.”

[1505] οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃ: “Will not be compelled again to flee as under Nero.” τ. ὄν. τ. πολ. τ. θεμ.: “This name is the Catholic Church, viz., as it was free and flourishing under the Christian emperors.”

[1506] στυλ., in opposition to the earthquakes which were frequent at Philadelphia. Cf. Revelation 3:1.

[1507] Calov., Beng., Eichh., Heinr., Ew., De Wette, Hengstenb., Ebrard, Klief.

[1508] Revelation 21:22.

[1509] Cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16 sqq.; Ephesians 2:19 sqq.; 1 Peter 2:5 sqq.

[1510] Eichh., Ew.

[1511] Grot., Vitr., Züll.

[1512] Cf. De Wette, etc.

[1513] Galatians 2:9.

[1514] Cf. Revelation 3:8.

[1515] Eich., Ebr.

[1516] Ew., De Wette, Hengstenb., Klief.

[1517] Vitr., Eichh., Ew.

[1518] Possibly ἐκβάλλεσθαι. Cf. Mark 4:21; Genesis 43:18; Matthew 8:12; Matthew 9:33. Syr.

[1519] In Wetst.

[1520] Isaiah 43:7.

[1521] Jeremiah 23:6.

[1522] Ezekiel 48:35.

[1523] Vitr., Calov., Schöttg., Eichh., Heinr., Ewald, Züll., Hengstenb., Ebrard.

[1524] Grot., De Wette.

[1525] Cf. Revelation 3:12. The reward of steadfastness here is a stable relation to God and absolute (trebly verified) assurance of eternal life, permanence ἐν τῷ ναῷ (verbally inconsistent with Revelation 21:22) τοῦ θεοῦ μου (four times in this verse). From Strabo (xii. 868[905] ἥ τε φιλαδελφίαοὐδὲ τοὺς τοίχους ἔχει πιστούς, ἀλλὰ καθʼ ἡμέραν τρόπον τινὰ σαλεύονται καὶ διΐστανται: xiii. 936 B., πόλις φιλ. σεισμῶν πλήρής· οὐ γὰρ διαλείπουσιν οἱ τοῖχοι διϊστάμενοι, καὶ ἄλλοτʼ ἄλλο μέρος τῆς πόλεως κακοπαθῶν, κ.τ.λ.) we learn that the city was liable to frequent and severe earthquakes, one of which had produced such ruin a while ago (Tac Ann. ii. 47) that the citizens had to be exempted from Imperial taxation and assisted to repair their buildings. These local circumstances (cf. Juv. vi. 411; Dio Cass. lxviii. 25; Renan, 335) lend colour to this promise, which would also appeal to citizens of a city whose numerous festivals and temples are said to have won for it the sobriquet of “a miniature Athens” (E. Bi. 3692). The promise is alluded to in Ep. Lugd., where God’s grace is said to have “delivered the weak and set them up as στύλους ἑδραίους able by means of their patience to stand all angry onsets of the evil one,” and Attalus of Pergamos is termed a στύλον καὶ ἑδραίωμα of the local Christians. Permanent communion with God is further expressed in terms of the widespread ethnic belief that to be ignorant of a god’s name meant inability to worship him, whereas to know that name implied the power of entering into fellowship with him. “Just as writing a name on temple-walls puts the owner of the name in continual union with the deity of the temple, so for early man the knowledge, invocation and vain repetition of the deity’s name constitutes in itself an actual, if mystic, union with the deity named” (Jevons’ Introd. Hist. Religion, 1896, p. 245; cf. Jastrow, p. 173). καὶ γράψω, κ.τ.λ., inscriptions upon pillars being a common feature of Oriental architecture, cf. Cooke’s North Semitic Inscriptions, p. 266, names on pillars; also Reitzenstein’s Poimandres, 20. The provincial priest of the Imperial cultus erected his statue in the temple at the close of his year’s official reign, inscribing on it his own name and his father’s, his place of birth and year of office. Hence some of the mysterious imagery of this verse, applied to Christians as priests of God in the next world. This is more probable than to suspect an allusion to what was written on the high priest’s forehead (Exodus 28:36, cf. Revelation 7:3; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 22:4). Pillars were also, of course, sculptured now and then in human shape. For the first (a) of the three names, cf. Baba Bathra, 75, 2: R. Samuel ait R. Jochanan dixisse tres appellari nomine Dei, justos (Isaiah 43:7), Messiam (Jeremiah 23:6), Hierosolyma (Ezekiel 48:35); also Targ. Jerus. on Exod. xxviii. 30, quisquis memorat illud nomen sanctum [i.e., τετραγράμματον] in hora necessitatis, eripitur, et occulta reteguntur. Where a name was equivalent in one sense to personality and character, to have a divine name conferred on one or revealed to one was equivalent to being endowed with divine power. The divine “hidden name” (Asc. Isa. i. 7 Jewish: “as the Lord liveth whose name has not been sent into this world,” cf. Revelation 8:7) was (according to En. lxix. 14f.) known to Michael, and had talismanic power over dæmons. Perhaps an allusion to this also underlies the apocalyptic promise, the talismanic metaphor implying that God grants to the victorious Christian inviolable safety against evil spirits (cf. Romans 8:38-39). The second (b) name denotes (cf. Isaiah 56:5, Ezekiel 48:35) that the bearer belongs not merely to God but to the heavenly city and society of God. Since rabbinic speculation was sure that Abraham had the privilege of knowing the mysterious new name for Jerusalem in the next world, John claims this for the average and honest Christian. On the connexion between the divine name and the temple, see 3Ma 2:9; 3Ma 2:14, Jdt 9:8, etc. The third (c) “my own new name” (Revelation 19:12) is reflected in Asc. Isa. ix. 5 (the Son of God, et nomen eius non potes audire donec de carne exibis); it denotes some esoteric, incommunicable, pre-existent (LXX of Psalm 71:17, En. lxix. 26, cf. R. J. 249, 344) title, the knowledge of which meant power to invoke and obtain help from its bearer. The whole imagery (as in Revelation 2:17, Revelation 19:12) is drawn from the primitive superstition that God’s name. like a man’s name, must be kept secret, lest if known it might be used to the disadvantage of the bearer (Frazer’s Golden Bough, 2nd ed. i. 443 f.). The close tie between the name and the personality in ancient life lent the former a secret virtue. Especially in Egyptian and in Roman belief, to learn a god’s name meant to share his power, and often “the art of the magician consisted in obtaining from the gods a revelation of their sacred names”. The point made by the prophet here is that the Christian God bestows freely upon his people the privilege of invoking his aid successfully, and of entering into his secret nature; also, perhaps, of security in the mysterious future across death. See the famous ch. 125. of E. B. D. where the successive doors will not allow Nu to pass till he tells them their names (cf. chapters cxli. f.). Ignatius tells the Philadelphians (obviously referring to this passage, ad Phil. 6) that people unsound upon the truth of Jesus Christ are to him στῆλαι καὶ τάφοι νεκρῶν, ἐφʼ οἶς γέγραπται μόνον ὀνόματα ἀνθρώπων. The μόνον is emphatic. In the survival of 2 Peter during the later conquests which left the other six towns of the Apocalypse more or less ruined, Gibbon (ch. 64.) irrelevantly finds “a pleasing example that the paths of honour and safety may sometimes be the same”.

[905] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[906]. Codex Porphyrianus (sæc. ix.), at St. Petersburg, collated by Tischendorf. Its text is deficient for chap. Revelation 2:13-16.12. Him that overcometh] Lit. He that overcometh, I will make him, as in Revelation 2:26.

a pillar] Used of chief men in the Church in Galatians 2:9, and perhaps 1 Timothy 3:15. All Christians are living-stones in the Temple (Ephesians 2:20 sqq., 1 Peter 2:5), all necessary to its completeness, but some of course filling in it a more important position than others: and such important position is indicated by the image of the “pillars” ll.cc. But here the promise is not for Apostles or their successors only, but for all the faithful: the point is not “he shall be one of the great and beautiful stones on which the others rest,” but “he shall be so placed that he cannot be removed while the whole fabric stands.”

I will write upon him] We repeatedly have in this book the image of the divine Name written on the foreheads of God’s servants: see Revelation 7:3, Revelation 14:1, Revelation 22:4. Hence the inscribing the name is here equally appropriate to the figure and the thing signified: probably the metaphor of the pillar is not dropped, but writing the name on the pillar means the same as writing it on the man.

the name of my God, and the name of the city] Cf. Isaiah 44:5; Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 33:16; Ezekiel 48:35, for the junction of these two names. The three names joined here are in a manner those of the Trinity, the Church being representative of the Spirit. It is probable that passages like this did much to suggest the use of the sign of the Cross on the forehead, both at Baptism and on other occasions that seemed to call for a profession of faith: and the image of the “new name” (cf. Revelation 2:17) harmonises well with the much later usage of conferring a name in Baptism.

which cometh down] Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:10.

my new name] See on Revelation 2:17, and Revelation 19:12 there referred to.Revelation 3:12. [51] Ναῷ) A recent error has λαῷ.[52] See App. on this passage, Ed. ii.

[51] Bengel is silent, indeed, respecting the pillar, both here and in der Erkl. Offenb. (as S. R. Ernesti admonishes, Bibl. th. Noviss. T. T. p. 708); but I think that it should not be concealed, that he endeavoured to illustrate the phrase in den LX. Reden, p. 155, sq., using these words:—Der Tempel Gottes ist, das Heiligthum Gottes. In demselben eine Säule abgeben, ist eine sehr grosse Ehre. Sie gehöret, ganz in jene Welt, und da ist eine immerwährende Ehre, denn er wird nicht mehr hinauskommen. So lang der Tempel selber steht, wird auch der Pfeiler darinn stehen. Wann einer in der Welt schon etwa viel zu bedeuten hat, ist ein General oder Gesandter, oder Staats-Minister, auf welchem ein Königreich, als auf einer Säule, ruhet; so kann er über eine Weile gesturzet und weggethan werden, dass man kaum weiss, wo er hingekommen ist. Aber ein Pfeiler in Gottes Tempel komnt nimmer hinaus. (Comp. Revelation 22:5, end. See also Galatians 2:9.)—E. B.

[52] Viz. in the Elzev. Rec. Text of 1624.—E.Verse 12. - Him that overcometh will I make a pillar. (For construction, ὁ νικῶν, ποιήσω αὐτὸν, see on Revelation 2:26.) The "overcoming" is a present continuous process, but will have a termination, and then he who has faithfully fought the daily battle will be made a pillar, steadfast, immovable. St. John may be alluding to

(1) the two pillars of Solomon's temple set up in the porch, and called Jachin (יָכִין he will establish) and Boaz (בֹּעַץ, in him is strength); see 1 Kings 7:15, 21 and 2 Chronicles 3:17. Both names signify steadfastness and permanence, and would serve to render emphatic the superiority in these respects of the reward to come when compared with the evanescent nature of present suffering. A pillar is constantly used as a figure of strength and durability (see Jeremiah 1:18; Galatians 2:9).

(2) A contrast may be intended between the immovableness of the Christian's future position and the liability of pillars in the Philadelphian temples to succumb to the effects of the frequent earthquakes which took place there (see on ver. 7). Such pillars, moreover, were frequently sculptured in human shape.

(3) Matthew Henry suggests that a reference may be intended to monumental pillars bearing inscriptions; the signification being "a monumental pillar of the free and powerful grace of God, never to be defaced or removed; not a support - heaven needing no such props." But it seems much more likely that St. John is alluding to the Hebrew temple. In the temple. The temple is ναὸς, the shrine, the dwelling place of God, not ἱερὸν, the whole extent of the sacred buildings. The latter word occurs often in St. John's Gospel, but never in the Apocalypse. The temple in the Revelation is the abode of God, the sacred shrine into which all may be privileged to enter, both in this world and in the world to come. Of my God (see note on Revelation 3:2; 2:7). And he shall go no more out. "And out of it he shall in no wise go out more:" such is the full force of the Greek. The conqueror's period of probation will be over, and he shall be for ever free from the possibility of falling away. Trench quotes St. Augustine: "Quis non desideret illam civi-tatem, unde amicus non exit, quo inimicus non intrat?" And I will write upon him the name of my God (cf. Revelation 22:4, "His name shall be in their foreheads;" and Revelation 9:4, "Those which have not the seal of God in their foreheads;" the former passage referring to the elect in heaven, the latter distinguishing Christians on earth from their heathen oppressors). In the passage under consideration the action is future; it does not refer to holy baptism, but to the sealing of the faithful upon their entrance into glory - a sealing which shall settle for ever, and make all things sure. "To write the name upon" anything is a common figurative expression in Hebrew to denote taking absolute possession of, and making completely one's own. Thus Joab fears that Rabbah may be called after his name, i.e. looked upon as his, if David should be absent at the capture of it (2 Samuel 12:28; cf. also Numbers 6:27). The struggling Christian is encouraged by hearing that a time will come when he will without any doubt become God's own, incapable of being removed or claimed by other. In the rabbinical book, 'Bava Bathra,' 75. 2, it is noted that there are three applications of the name of God:

(1) to the just (Isaiah 43:7);

(2) to the Messiah (Jeremiah 23:6);

(3) to Jerusalem (Ezekiel 48:35).

A reference may be intended to the frontlet of the high priest, upon which was inscribed, "Holiness to the Lord" (Exodus 28:36). The inscription is threefold:

(1) the name of God;

(2) the name of the new Jerusalem;

(3) the name of Christ.

For God was the Christian maintaining his warfare; to the Church, the new Jerusalem, was he rendering this service; under Christ, as Captain, was the fight being accomplished. Again, the victorious Christian was

(1) to belong completely to God;

(2) to possess the citizenship of the new Jerusalem;

(3) to enter into the glory of Christ, which was the new name, that which he knew not yet.

We can here trace an analogy to the baptismal formula.

(1) The name of God the Father, whose we are made;

(2) God the Holy Ghost, whose indwelling guides and sustains his Church, the new Jerusalem;

(3) God the Son, by whose Name we shall enter glory. And the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem; rather, the city... new Jerusalem (see Revised Version). In Ezekiel 48:35 the name given to the city Jerusalem is Jehovah Shammah, "the Lord is there;" and in Jeremiah 33:16 Jehovah Tsidkenu, "the Lord our Righteousness." Either of these may be meant; but, as Alford points out, the holy name itself has already been inscribed. In any case, the victorious one is to be openly acknowledged a citizen of the new Jerusalem. The old Jerusalem was destroyed, and her citizens scattered; but a new Jerusalem, of which the true Israelites are the citizens, should reunite the faithful. It is noticeable that without exception, throughout the Revelation, St. John uses the Hebraic form of the name Ιερουσαλὴμ, while in the Gospel Ιεροσόλυμα always occurs. He almost seems to distinguish thus between the earthly Jerusalem and the heavenly - the home of the true Israel. Which cometh down out of heaven from my God. "Which cometh down" (ἡ καταβαίνουσα), a grammatical anomaly (cf. ver. 11; Revelation 2:20 and Revelation 3:12). The name "new Jerusalem" is always coupled in the Revelation with the phrase, "coming down from heaven" (see Revelation 21:2, 10). The spirituality and holiness of the Church is thus set forth, since its being is wholly due to God, in its creation and sustenance. And I will write upon him my new name; and mine own new name (Revised Version). This is not any of the names given in the Revelation, but that referred to in Revelation 19:12, οὐδεὶς οῖδεν εἰ μὴ αὐτός, which no one knew except himself. The passage is a promise that when Christ makes us completely his own by writing his own new name on us, he will admit us into his full glory, which is at present incomprehensible to us. Such comprehension is one of the things "which shall be hereafter" (Revelation 1:19), and which cannot now be known to us, "for now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). Pillar (στύλον)

The word occurs, Galatians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:15; Revelation 10:1. The reference here is not to any prominence in the earthly church, as Galatians 2:9, but to blessedness in the future state. The exact meaning is doubtful. Some explain, he shall have a fixed and important place in the glorified church. Compare Matthew 19:28. Others emphasize the idea of stability, and find a possible local reference to the frequent earthquakes from which Philadelphia had suffered, and which had shaken its temples. Strabo says: "And Philadelphia has not even its walls unimpaired, but daily they are shaken in some way, and gaps are made in them. But the inhabitants continue to occupy the land notwithstanding their sufferings, and to build new houses." Others again emphasize the idea of beauty. Compare 1 Peter 2:5, where the saints are described living stones.

Temple (ναῷ)

See on Matthew 4:5.

Upon him

The conqueror, not the pillar. Compare Revelation 7:3; Revelation 9:4; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 22:4. Probably with reference to the golden plate inscribed with the name of Jehovah, and worn by the High-Priest upon his forehead (Exodus 28:36, Exodus 28:38). See on Revelation 2:17.

New Jerusalem

See Ezekiel 48:35. The believer whose brow is adorned with this name has the freedom of the heavenly city. Even on earth his commonwealth is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). "Still, his citizenship was latent: he was one of God's hidden ones; but now he is openly avouched, and has a right to enter in by the gates to the city" (Trench). The city is called by John, the great and holy (Revelation 21:10); by Matthew, the holy city (Matthew 4:5); by Paul, Jerusalem which is above (Galatians 4:6); by the writer to the Hebrews, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22). Plato calls his ideal city Callipolis, the fair city ("Republic," vii., 527), and the name Ouranopolis, heavenly city, was applied to Rome and Byzantium. For new (καινῆς), see on Matthew 26:29. The new Jerusalem is not a city freshly built (νέα), but is new (καινὴ) in contrast with the old, outworn, sinful city. In the Gospel John habitually uses the Greek and civil form of the name, Ἰεροσόλυμα; in Revelation, the Hebrew and more holy appellation, ἱερουσάλημ.

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