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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The Revelation of John

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21.1–21 : The new heaven and earth and the new Jerusalem.

1 :

The future holds promise of a transformation so complete that there will be a new heaven and … earth; see Isa. 65.17; 66.22; Rom. 8.19–21 . No longer any sea: perhaps, as in Babylonian legend, the sea is regarded as hostile.

2 :

The new Jerusalem is not in heaven but comes down from it (see v. 10; 3.12 ). Bride: see 19.7–8 n.

3 :

God … dwelling with humanity: compare Ezek. 37.27 .

4 :

Wipe every tear: see 7.17; Isa. 25.8; 35.10 .

5 :

Only here and in 1.8 does God (the One) speak. All things new: Isa. 43.19 .

6 :

Alpha and Omega: see 1.8 n. To the thirsty … water: see 7.17 n.; 22.1; Isa. 55.1 .

7 :

Their God … my children: Pss. 2.7; 89.27–28 .

10 :

Showed me … the Holy City: compare Ezek. 40.2 .

12–14 :

The juxtaposition of twelve tribes (v. 12 ) and twelve apostles (v. 14 ) points to old and new covenant peoples; see 4.4 n.

15 :

A gold measuring rod: see Ezek. 40.5 .

16 :

The dimensions correspond to the temple's Holy of Holies, but there is no longer to be a temple (see 21.22 ) and all (as priests; see 1.6 n.; Isa. 61.6 ), not only the high priest, have access to God.

18–20 :

Exod. 28.15–21; Isa. 54.11–12 .

21.22–22.5 : A city of light and life.

23 :

Did not need the sun: see Isa. 60.19 .

24 :

Isa. 60.3, 5 .

25 :

Isa. 60.11 .

26 :

Isa. 60.3–9 .

27 :

Nothing unclean: see Isa. 52.1 .

22.1 :

The river of the water of life: compare Ezek. 47.1–12 , where it flows from the temple; here it flows from the throne (see Zech. 14.7–8 ).

2 :

A tree of life: see 2.7 n.; Ezek. 47.7 . Healing of the nations: compare Ezek. 47.12 , Sept.; also Isa. 49.6 .

3 :

Every accursed thing shall disappear: in Gen. 3.17–18 it is humanity that is accursed; now humankind is redeemed in a new paradise with access to the tree of life.

4 :

See … face to face: Ps. 17.15; 1 Cor. 13.12 . Name on their foreheads: see 3.12 n. ; in Exod. 28.36–38 the high priest has “Holy to the Lord” on his forehead, but now all are priests and bear God's name.

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