The full question:

Provide an exegetical paper on Revelation 22.

ABSTRACT

Revelation 22 works as a wonderful conclusion to the letter as a whole. It finishes the picture painted of the new Jerusalem, where believers will have complete access to God, through Christ, as well as access to the tree of life. In the new Jerusalem believers will work in eternal worship and service to God. Revelation then concludes with a reminder of the trustworthiness of the book as a whole, and of the nearness of Christ’s coming. This is particularly fitting considering the persecutions and difficulties that God’s people will suffer throughout the ages, as shown throughout the book. It concludes on a note of grace: it is by Christ’s grace alone that believers can continue.

INTRODUCTION

‘With [Jesus’] promise of grace ringing in our ears, we hear our Sovereign Lord claim, “Surely I am coming soon.” We answer, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”’[1] This is the climax of the book of Revelation: the triumphant note that it ends on. While many believers have felt threatened by Revelation,[2] it is nevertheless a wonderfully encouraging book. Revelation 22 provides a fitting close to the book, with Beale suggesting that verses 1-5 finish the picture of the new Jerusalem,[3] while verses 6-21 show the purpose of the book: obedience.[4] Thus, this essay will examine the passage in two sections: Verses 1-5, and 6-22, followed by a brief synopsis, and finally, some thoughts on how it might be applied today.

1. Verses 1-5

1.1 Verses 1-2

1 Καὶ ἔδειξέν μοι ποταμὸν ὕδατος ζωῆς λαμπρὸν ὡς κρύσταλλον, ἐκπορευόμενον ἐκ τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρνίου. 2 ἐν μέσῳ τῆς πλατείας αὐτῆς καὶ τοῦ ποταμοῦ ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ξύλον ζωῆς ποιοῦν καρποὺς δώδεκα, κατὰ μῆνα ἕκαστον ἀποδιδοῦν τὸν καρπὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ τὰ φύλλα τοῦ ξύλου εἰς θεραπείαν τῶν ἐθνῶν.

The chapter begins with the conjunction Καὶ (and), showing continuation from the preceding chapter.[5] While the subject of the verse is simply he,[6] it should be understood as ‘the angel.’[7] [8] This angel showed (ἔδειξέν[9]) John[10] the river (ποταμὸν) of the water of life (ὕδατος ζωῆς[11]), which is clear like crystal (λαμπρὸν ὡς κρύσταλλον). It is coming (ἐκπορευόμενον) from the throne (τοῦ θρόνου) of God and of the Lamb (τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρνίου).

The river flows through the middle of the street (ἐν μέσῳ τῆς πλατείας). On either side[12] [13] is the tree of life (ξύλον ζωῆς), which is making (ποιοῦν) twelve fruit (καρποὺς δώδεκα), which it is yielding (ἀποδιδοῦν) every month (κατὰ μῆνα ἕκαστον). Not only does it have important fruit: the leaves of the tree (τὰ φύλλα τοῦ ξύλου) were for the healing (θεραπείαν) of the nations (τῶν ἐθνῶν).

Following the Theology of the passage:

The rive of life is a reference to the Garden of Eden,[14] [15] which brings remarkable symmetry to the biblical narrative, as John merges the glorious future city with the beginning of creation.[16] Thus, it is clear that the city is to be a ‘restoration of the garden of Eden.’[17] The water of life (ὕδατος ζωῆς) is here a reference to Ezekiel 47:1-9 and Zechariah 14:8.[18] [19] [20] The Zechariah reference is clear because Zechariah says ‘in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem.’[21] The Ezekiel reference is less clear, but the context of the proceeding and following verses, and the reference to ‘the life-giving property of water’[22] in Ezekiel both suggest that there is a link.[23] Further, it has striking similarities with Genesis 2:10, where ‘a river flowed out of Eden.’ Thus, the river is alluding back to Genesis, though on a grander scale.[24] [25] Its crystal nature symbolizes perfection,[26] which is fitting considering that the water flows from God’s throne.[27] [28] It is significant that John links the Lamb with God,[29] [30] thus placing emphasis on ‘the supreme significance of the Lamb.’[31] John here refers to two of the three persons of the Trinity, which has led some to conclude that the water refers to the Holy Spirit.[32] [33] This idea is supported by the fact that the Spirit is sometimes symbolized by water in the Old Testament,[34] Jewish writings,[35] and other parts of the New Testament.[36] [37] Thus, it is possible that the water here is referring to the Holy Spirit. However, the more likely option seems to be that it is a reference to the life that is found in God and Christ.[38] [39]

The river flowing through the centre of the city is not a geographical descriptor, but rather emphasizes the ‘centrality of eternal life in the new Jerusalem.’[40] It is surrounded by the tree of life, which is another clear reference back to Eden: the tree of life, which was forbidden when sin entered the world is now open to all.[41] [42] [43] Indeed, it is so freely open to all that it sits in the middle of the city. This theme of reversal fits with John’s style,[44] [45] and thus is a fitting motif throughout these verses. The reference to Eden is intended to show that in the new Jerusalem people will have open and free access to life, and to God, as He freely dwells there.[46] It is significant that there are twelve kinds of fruit, as Revelation frequently uses numbers to signify completeness.[47] [48] [49] Twelve here is intended to signify the completeness of the life and healing that the tree brings.[50] [51] Thus, the river and the Tree form a ‘pledge of ceaseless renewal.’[52]

The leaves and fruit are a further reference to Ezekiel,[53] where the leaves and fruit are also for the healing – although John here expands it, adding in ‘for the nations.’[54] This healing refers to the work achieved by Christ,[55] and thus the arrival of the new Jerusalem ‘inaugurates the new Creation in its full manifestation.’[56]

1.2 Verse 3

3 καὶ πᾶν κατάθεμα οὐκ ἔσται ἔτι. καὶ ὁ θρόνος τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρνίου ἐν αὐτῇ ἔσται, καὶ οἱ δοῦλοι αὐτοῦ λατρεύσουσιν αὐτῷ

Verse 3 expands on the healing of the nations: there will no longer be any curse (πᾶν κατάθεμα),[57] because the throne (ὁ θρόνος) of God and of the Lamb (τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρνίου) will be in the city,[58] and thus God’s slaves (οἱ δοῦλοι) will serve (λατρεύσουσιν) Him.

Following the Theology of the passage:

The healing is now expanded upon: there will be no more curses,[59] because God will be present. This is a reference to Zechariah,[60] [61] [62] [63] where God’s people will be free from the curses and destruction of sin[64] in the new Jerusalem: a city without fault or blemish or sin, as ‘where God and the Lamb rule there is no accursed thing.’[65] Rather, all who are in the city serve God, and have access to both God and the Lamb.[66] The word serve (λατρεύσουσιν) here has ‘overtones of worship’[67] and could be linked with the ‘name on their foreheads’ of verse 4.[68] The idea that the saints are priests is consistent with much of Revelation,[69] and therefore it is little wonder that the word here has worship elements to it.[70] Thus, it is clear that heaven is not a place for ‘indolent leisure,’[71] but rather active and joyful service and worship of God.

1.3 Verse 4

4 καὶ ὄψονται τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῶν μετώπων αὐτῶν.

Ultimately, those in the new Jerusalem will see (ὄψοντα) God’s face (πρόσωπον), which will result in God’s name (τὸ ὄνομα) being on their foreheads (τῶν μετώπων αὐτῶν).

Following the Theology of the passage:

While believers have always had access to God through the temple and priests, and through the Holy Spirit,[72] the access to God in the new Jerusalem is expanded infinitely. Now they will see His face. This is the fulfilment of the Old Testament hope that one day God’s people will bask in His presence face-to-face.[73] This is remarkable, as even Moses could not look at God’s face because ‘man shall not see [God] and live,’[74] [75] and because no-one has ever seen God.[76] And yet believers can do so in the new Jerusalem because they have been made ‘perfectly holy and righteous.’[77] [78] This will be achieved by seeing Christ, as he is the very personification of God, and thus seeing the face of Christ is the height of salvation. Indeed, it is Jesus’ desire as well, as John 17:24 demonstrates. Thus, this is the wonderful reality of salvation and life in the heavenly Jerusalem.[79]

The fact that believers have God’s name written on their foreheads re-emphasizes the priestly aspect of the heavenly city: it is a reference to the way that God’s name was written on the high priest’s forehead.[80] [81] Thus, those in the city are to be priests in service and worship of God, belonging to Him.[82] It also contrasts with the brand of the Beast being on those who serve him.[83] [84] Ultimately, the ability to be in God’s presence is now extended to all of God’s people.[85] [86]

1.4 Verse 5

5 καὶ νὺξ οὐκ ἔσται ἔτι καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν χρείαν φωτὸς λύχνου καὶ φωτὸς ἡλίου, ὅτι κύριος ὁ θεὸς φωτίσει ἐπʼ αὐτούς, καὶ βασιλεύσουσιν εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.

Ultimately, there will be no more night (νὺξ) in the new Jerusalem, and thus no need for the light of a lamp (φωτὸς λύχνου), or the light of the sun (φωτὸς ἡλίου), because (ὅτι)[87] God himself will illuminate (φωτίσει) them. The verse ends with the ultimate climax: those in the city will reign (βασιλεύσουσιν) forever and ever (αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων). The use of the formula of a noun with οὐκ ἔσται ἔτι (there will be no longer) marks the end of the whole vision here, which began with the same expression.[88] [89]

Following the Theology of the passage:

John regularly contrasts light and dark[90] [91]and their struggle. Yet in the new Jerusalem darkness will be banished forever,[92] and light will reign. This is tied with the concept of there being no more curses: sin and death is gone, replaced by life and eternal relationship with God. Ultimately, God will shine forever, never dulled or dimmed, always bright and pure.[93] This highlights the point of the entire vision: God’s people will be free from not only the ‘danger of separation from God,’[94] but from all of the consequences and dangers of sin. And thus, they will reign forever and ever, alongside God. The eternal nature of this reign is important, because it demonstrates completely that sin, curses, and darkness are done away with, never to return. It is not that they will reign over anyone, but rather that they will share in a ‘blessed and exalted state,’[95] where they have been made royalty alongside God. This concept of believers being kings is introduced in Revelation 1:6 and involves the promise of believers sitting with Christ on his throne.[96] But as Revelation 22:4 suggests, they are not merely kings, but Priest-Kings, in eternal worship and service to God.

Verses 6-21

2.1 Verses 6-7

6 Καὶ εἶπέν μοι, Οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί, καὶ ὁ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν ἀπέστειλεν τὸν ἄγγελον αὐτοῦ δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει. 7 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ. μακάριος ὁ τηρῶν τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου.

The conclusion to the book begins with the promise that these words are faithful and true (πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί). The God of the spirits of the prophets (τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν) sent (ἀπέστειλεν) an angel (τὸν ἄγγελον) to show his slave (τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) the things which must (δεῖ)[97] to take place (γενέσθαι) soon (ἐν τάχει).[98] Verse 7 continues: Christ is coming quickly (ἔρχομαι ταχύ), and therefore blessed (μακάριος) is he who heeds (ὁ τηρῶν)[99] the words of the prophecy of this book (τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου).

Following the Theology of the passage:

Having taken his readers to the future, and the heavenly city that awaits, John now returns to the here and now.[100] One of the difficulties with this section is establishing whether it is referring to the book of Revelation as a whole, or just the preceding verses.[101] The close parallel found between Revelation 22:6 and 1:1 suggests that it is referring to the whole book, as the particular phrasing is found only in these two verses.[102] [103]

The one who gives the words of Revelation is trustworthy because He is the God of the prophets. This could be referring to the Old Testament, but more likely refers to the prophets and writers of the New Testament. They are under persecution and discrimination, and so God assures them that he is not ashamed to attach His name to them.[104] In fact, in the face of their persecution and suffering he has sent his angel to them with a message of comfort and hope. It is not that the words may take place: they must take place. In fact, they must take place soon. Thus, blessed is the one who obeys the words found within the book. While it must[105] happen soon, it does not necessarily mean that it will happen within what humans may consider soon, as God handles time differently.[106] [107] Indeed, for the New Testament writers they do not think of the time between Christ’s return and his ministry as physical time, but rather ‘the difference between the veiled and the unveiled.’[108] Thus, in a sense the return of Christ is always described as imminent.[109] [110] [111] The point being made here is not that it will happen instantly, but rather that this is something that is relevant to the readers of this book.[112] Thus, as amazing as the new Jerusalem will be, it is not the climax. Rather, the climax of history is a person, not a place: Christ.[113]

2.2 Verses 8-9

8 Κἀγὼ Ἰωάννης ὁ ἀκούων καὶ βλέπων ταῦτα. καὶ ὅτε ἤκουσα καὶ ἔβλεψα, ἔπεσα προσκυνῆσαι ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ποδῶν τοῦ ἀγγέλου τοῦ δεικνύοντός μοι ταῦτα. 9 καὶ λέγει μοι, Ὅρα μή· σύνδουλός σού εἰμι καὶ τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου τῶν προφητῶν καὶ τῶν τηρούντων τοὺς λόγους τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου· τῷ θεῷ προσκύνησον.

John (Κἀγὼ Ἰωάννης)[114] again identifies himself as the author or Revelation, as he both heard (ἀκούων) and saw (βλέπων) these things. Indeed, this caused John to fall down (ἔπεσα) and worship (προσκυνῆσαι) at[115] the feet of the angel (τῶν ποδῶν τοῦ ἀγγέλου) who showed him (δεικνύοντός) the visions.

But straight away the angel tells John not to worship him.[116] Rather, the angel is a fellow slave (σύνδουλός) along with John and his brothers the prophets (τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου τῶν προφητῶν), and those who observe (τῶν τηρούντων)[117] the words of this book (τοὺς λόγους τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου). Rather than worship the angel, John should worship God (τῷ θεῷ προσκύνησον).[118] This command is an imperative, which demonstrates the forcefulness of the statement: this is not something optional, but rather a must.[119]

Following the Theology of the passage:

These verses make it clear that John is the author of Revelation,[120] [121] as he identifies himself as the one who has both seen (βλέπων) and heard (ἀκούων) the things in the vision. The language of seeing and hearing is linked three times in Revelation,[122] [123] with this working to increase the reliability of the testimony.[124] What John has seen and heard causes him to fall down and worship the angel who has revealed. It is interesting that this is John’s response, as just a little earlier in Revelation John was rebuked for the same response.[125] [126] Nevertheless, the repetition of this warning helps to make it clear: those receiving the letter are not to worship the angels in the letter, or John, or even the letter itself. Rather, they are to worship the God behind the letter, as both angels and prophets are equal with anyone who ‘keeps the words of this book’ – they are all fellow slaves to God. Rather, the angel commands all to worship God (τῷ θεῷ προσκύνησον), as worshipping anything else is idolatry.[127] The command to worship God is, in a sense, the main point of Revelation:[128] God alone is the one who deserves worship.[129]

2.3 Verses 10-11

10 καὶ λέγει μοι, Μὴ σφραγίσῃς τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου, ὁ καιρὸς γὰρ ἐγγύς ἐστιν. 11 ὁ ἀδικῶν ἀδικησάτω ἔτι καὶ ὁ ῥυπαρὸς ῥυπανθήτω ἔτι, καὶ ὁ δίκαιος δικαιοσύνην ποιησάτω ἔτι καὶ ὁ ἅγιος ἁγιασθήτω ἔτι.

The angel continues, telling John not to seal up (Μὴ σφραγίσῃς)[130] [131] the words of the prophecy of this book (τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου). The conjunction for (γὰρ) shows the reason for this: because the time is near (ὁ καιρὸς… ἐγγύς ἐστιν). The angel then turns his focus to those around: he speaks about two groups, with a pairing of descriptions for each. First, the evil person (ὁ ἀδικῶν) will keep doing evil acts (ἀδικησάτω), and the defiled person (ὁ ῥυπαρὸς) will keep doing defiled acts (ῥυπανθήτω). Conversely, the righteous person (ὁ δίκαιος) will keep doing righteous acts (δικαιοσύνην), and the holy person (ὁ ἅγιος) will keep doing holy acts (ἁγιασθήτω). The repetition of ἔτιἔτι ἔτι ἔτι ‘expresses the notion of continuance.’[132]

Following the Theology of the passage:

The words are not to be sealed, as the time is near (ὁ καιρὸς… ἐγγύς ἐστιν). This contrasts with Daniel,[133] where the scroll is to be sealed until the end of time. [134] [135] Here, though, the scroll is not to be sealed. Thus, the it demonstrates that the end has arrived, and the prophesy is to be left unsealed.[136] Verse 11 continues this, as it contrasts the righteous with the evil doer. This is a reference back to Daniel 12:10, where the wicked will act wickedly.[137] This is an exhortation to the righteous to keep acting how they are,[138] as Christ’s return will be so swift that people will not have a chance to change their ways.[139] Further, it demonstrates what eternity will be like: people will be more of what they were in life. Those who are evil and vile now will, unless God intervenes, be confirmed in their wickedness and violence. Those who are righteous now, through Christ and the new birth, will be made more so. The eternal state is a complete state: people will be completed in their wickedness or in their righteousness through Christ.

2.4 Verses 12-13

12 Ἰδοὺ ἔρχομαι ταχύ, καὶ ὁ μισθός μου μετʼ ἐμοῦ ἀποδοῦναι ἑκάστῳ ὡς τὸ ἔργον ἐστὶν αὐτοῦ. 13 ἐγὼ τὸ Ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ὦ, ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος.

In verse 12 Jesus speaks concerning those described in verse 11.[140] He begins with the interjection behold (Ἰδοὺ) to draw the hearers’ attention,[141] and then states that he is coming (ἔρχομαι) soon.[142] When he comes he will bring recompense (μισθός)[143] to repay (ἀποδοῦναι) each one (ἑκάστῳ) according to (ὡς) the work (τὸ ἔργον) he has done (ἐστὶν αὐτοῦ). Jesus[144] then uses three all-inclusive terms to describe himself: he is the Alpha and the Omega (τὸ Ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ὦ), the first and the last (ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος), and the beginning and the end (ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος).

Following the Theology of the passage:

In many ways, verse 12 echoes the sentiment of verse 7:[145] Christ is coming quickly, and will give out his blessings (described as rewards here).[146] The language of the reward being given to everyone according to what they have done is a reference to Isaiah 40:10 and 62:11.[147] This is not to say that people are saved by their works, as Christ is the only one worthy of salvation through works.[148] Rather salvation comes through faith in Christ and what he has done: those washed by Jesus’ blood will be saved.[149] Nevertheless, Revelation does seem to speak of the importance of believers actions:[150] thus, there seems to be a sanctification associated with them. This is what Jesus is referring to here: it is the difference between justification and sanctification. Thus, believers do works, in Christ, and God in his grace decides to reward them. [151]

It is important to note that there is no escaping the coming of Christ: everyone (ἑκάστῳ) will get what they deserve.[152] The idea of Christ judging ‘stands in…tension’[153] with Revelation 20:11-14, but is consistent with Matthew 16:27, where Jesus will judge and repay according to what people have done.[154] The context of Matthew 16 is helpful, as Jesus is talking about his death and suffering, and the suffering that his followers will experience. And yet, they will be victorious alongside Christ. Thus it is with Revelation: much of the book is filled with the suffering of Christ’s people. And yet there will be a day when they will be rewarded,[155] when Christ comes to judge. The divine titles given to Christ in verse 13 show why it is that he may judge: because he is God.[156] [157] [158] This is the only place in Revelation where all three titles for Christ appear.[159] The point being made is that Christ may judge because he is divine.

2.5 Verses 14-15

14 Μακάριοι οἱ πλύνοντες τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν, ἵνα ἔσται ἡ ἐξουσία αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τὸ ξύλον τῆς ζωῆς καὶ τοῖς πυλῶσιν εἰσέλθωσιν εἰς τὴν πόλιν. 15 ἔξω οἱ κύνες καὶ οἱ φάρμακοι καὶ οἱ πόρνοι καὶ οἱ φονεῖς καὶ οἱ εἰδωλολάτραι καὶ πᾶς φιλῶν καὶ ποιῶν ψεῦδος.

The attention then moves to those who are blessed (Μακάριοι) because they wash (πλύνοντες) their robes (τὰς στολὰς).[160] The conjunction ‘in order that’ (ἵνα) shows why they do this: so that they may have the right (ἐξουσία) to the tree of life (τὸ ξύλον τῆς ζωῆς), and may enter (εἰσέλθωσιν[161]) the city (τὴν πόλιν) by the gates (τοῖς πυλῶσιν).[162]

The blessed ones in the city are contrasted in verse 15 with those outside (ἔξω):[163] the dogs (οἱ κύνες) and sorcerers (οἱ φάρμακοι) and the sexually immoral (οἱ πόρνοι) and murderers (οἱ φονεῖς) and idolaters (οἱ εἰδωλολάτραι), and all (πᾶς) who love (φιλῶν) and practice (ποιῶν) lying (ψεῦδος). It is hard to discern who is speaking here: while it is possible that it is Jesus, it seems more likely that it is John,[164] as Jesus is re-introduced as the speaker in verse 16.[165]

Following the Theology of the passage:

These verses have a distinctly cultic emphasis: those inside are there because they have washed their robes, which has Old Testament origins.[166] While it does not say in what, the reader may think back to Revelation 7:14, where the washing of robes is explicitly linked with the blood of the lamb.[167] Some have suggested that this refers to baptism, or martyrdom,[168] [169] or good works.[170] But when one considers the early use in 7:14 it becomes clear that this is referring to Christ and his saving works. This may be emphasized through the use of the phrase ‘enter by the gates,’ which may be a reference to Psalm 118:20, because 118:22 is ‘one of the most frequently used messianic prophecies’[171] of the New Testament. Either way, the point is clear: those inside enter through Christ’s blood.[172] Conversely, those who are unclean will remain outside of the gates, which is a reference to Old Testament uncleanness.[173] Thus they are ‘barricaded forever outside the city.’[174] This does not mean that they literally live outside of the city, but rather are under God’s curse for rejecting Him.[175] The list given here is remarkably similar to the list in 21:8, with the addition of dogs, which carries the Eastern connotations of uncleanness and vileness.[176]

2.6 Verses 16-17

16 Ἐγὼ Ἰησοῦς ἔπεμψα τὸν ἄγγελόν μου μαρτυρῆσαι ὑμῖν ταῦτα ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις. ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ῥίζα καὶ τὸ γένος Δαυίδ, ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ λαμπρὸς ὁ πρωϊνός. 17 Καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ ἡ νύμφη λέγουσιν, Ἔρχου. καὶ ὁ ἀκούων εἰπάτω, Ἔρχου. καὶ ὁ διψῶν ἐρχέσθω, ὁ θέλων λαβέτω ὕδωρ ζωῆς δωρεάν.

Jesus (Ἐγὼ Ἰησοῦς) speaks again: he has sent (ἔπεμψα) his angel (ἄγγελόν) to testify (μαρτυρῆσαι) these things. The preposition for (ἐπὶ) shows who the message is intended for: the churches (ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις). Jesus then identifies himself as the root (ῥίζα) and the descendant (γένος) of David, and as the bright morning star (ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ λαμπρὸς ὁ πρωϊνός).

In response to this, the Spirit (πνεῦμα) and the bride (νύμφη) say ‘come’ (Ἔρχου), as does the one who hears (ἀκούων). The one who is thirsty (διψῶν) should also come (ἐρχέσθω): the one who wishes (θέλων) the water of life (ὕδωρ ζωῆς) should take (λαβέτω) freely (δωρεάν). The fact that there are five imperatives[177] in such a relatively short space emphasizes the instructive nature of the verse.

Following the Theology of the passage:

Jesus’ testimony is worthwhile because of who he is: the root and descendant of David.[178] The use of I Am (ἐγώ εἰμι) here is reminiscent of the seven I Am sayings in John’s gospel and has strong Old Testament references. While some have suggested that it is linked with YAHWEH’s statement in Exodus 3:14,[179] the Greek texts do not use ἐγώ εἰμι, which suggests that it is not referring to that. Rather, Jesus seems to be making a connection with the Creator-Lord of Isaiah 40-55,[180] where the Greek LXX contains the phrase ἐγώ εἰμι.[181] [182] Thus, Jesus’ ἐγώ εἰμι claim here is ‘an extraordinarily significant one. It is a divine self-declaration, encapsulating YHWH’s claim to unique and exclusive divinity.’[183] This is emphasized further with what Jesus claims to be: the promised seed of David, and the bright morning star. Both of these are references to Old Testament prophecies: the root refers to Isaiah 11:1, 10 and the star to Numbers 24:17.[184] Jesus is showing that he is both divine, and the fulfilment of prophesies.[185] Therefore, his testimony is valid.

Indeed, Christ satisfies all who come to him,[186] and thus there is an exhortation to do so. The Spirit and the bride[187] exhort all to come and take. There is some debate about whether the invitation is to Christ, to believers, or to unbelievers,[188] but Morris notes that the initial context of who is speaking, and the response at the end suggests that it must be non-believers that are being exhorted to come.[189]

2.7 Verses 18-19

18 Μαρτυρῶ ἐγὼ παντὶ τῷ ἀκούοντι τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου· ἐάν τις ἐπιθῇ ἐπʼ αὐτά, ἐπιθήσει ὁ θεὸς ἐπʼ αὐτὸν τὰς πληγὰς τὰς γεγραμμένας ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τούτῳ, 19 καὶ ἐάν τις ἀφέλῃ ἀπὸ τῶν λόγων τοῦ βιβλίου τῆς προφητείας ταύτης, ἀφελεῖ ὁ θεὸς τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς καὶ ἐκ τῆς πόλεως τῆς ἁγίας τῶν γεγραμμένων ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τούτῳ.

John[190] closes by testifying (Μαρτυρῶ) to everyone who hears (ἀκούοντι) the words of the prophecy of this book (τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου). This is followed by the conjunction if (ἐάν), which has a hortatory emphasis: if anyone adds (ἐπιθῇ) to the prophesy, then God will add (ἐπιθήσει) to him the plagues (πληγὰς) that are written (γεγραμμένας) in this book. Further, if anyone takes away (ἀφέλῃ) from it, then God will take away (ἀφελεῖ) his access to the tree of life and the holy city (τῆς πόλεως τῆς ἁγίας), which are written (γεγραμμένων) in the book.

Following the Theology of the passage:

The book closes with a solemn warning from God[191] to not change anything.[192] Anyone who does faces the fearsome prospect of judgement, as everyone deserves the ‘opportunity to respond to the prophecy as John has received it.’[193] The warning of curses here is a reference to Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32.[194] [195] The message of Revelation has been challenging at times, and thus there may be a temptation to remove parts that do not sit well with those who will be judged. [196] But it is not just the removal of words that brings judgement, but the adding of words[197] that will bring judgement from Jesus as well.[198] The severity of the punishment and judgement highlight the importance of God’s Word: it is not merely a human creation, open to modifying and adaptation, but rather than divine Word of God, beyond human intervention.[199] The covenantal context of the Deuteronic passages shows that the words of Revelation are the final, authoritative prophecy for the churches.[200]

2.8 Verses 20-21

20 Λέγει ὁ μαρτυρῶν ταῦτα, Ναί, ἔρχομαι ταχύ. Ἀμήν, ἔρχου κύριε Ἰησοῦ. 21 Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ μετὰ πάντων

He who testifies (μαρτυρῶν) to these things says ‘Yes (Ναί[201]), I am coming (ἔρχομαι) quickly (ταχύ).’[202] John then urges the Lord Jesus (κύριε Ἰησοῦ) to come (ἔρχου).[203] The book then concludes in an unusual way:[204] with a blessing of grace (Ἡ χάρις) from the Lord Jesus (τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ). While this is the standard closing for first-century Christian letters, it is an unusual way for an apocalypse to end,[205] which suggests that Revelation is not only an apocalypse, but an epistle as well.[206] There is also a textual variation: some manuscripts say ‘with the saints,’ ‘with all,’ ‘with all the saints,’ and ‘with you all,’ along with other variations.[207] [208] While some prefer ‘all the saints’[209] or ‘the saints’[210] because they emphasize that John is be writing to believers, ‘all’ is the shortest and hardest reading, and thus is most likely to be what John originally wrote.[211]

Following the Theology of the passage:

The proper response to Revelation is a prayer for the coming of Christ.[212] [213] The exhortation to Christ to come quickly is clearly a major theme of the conclusion to Revelation, appearing four times.[214] [215] Christ responds that he is indeed coming quickly.

If, as discussed above, the final words in verse 21 are indeed ‘with all’ then it adds an element of universality to the book.[216] It is not that John suggests that all people will be saved, or get to enter the new Jerusalem. But rather that he wishes grace on all people, so that all might taste the goodness that God offers.

The letter ends with a reminder that all believers are sustained by God’s grace, not just some. This is a fitting end to a book that discusses the persecution and suffering that Christians will face, and their need to depend on Christ’s grace.[217] Revelation closes with a call to Christ’s grace to enable the hearers to heed the exhortations of the letter and persevere.[218] [219] Thus, it ends on a positive note: while the Old Testament ends with the threat of God coming,[220] the New Testament ends with the promise of Christ coming. Thus, it ‘is no longer a threat, but a promise.’[221]

Argument of the Passage as a Whole

Revelation 22:1-5 develops the redemptive-historical themes of Eden, Jerusalem and the temple, bringing them all together in a glorious picture of a heavenly city where God’s people may worship Him face-to-face. Ultimately, this is a city of salvation.[222] Revelation 22:6-21 then brings the letter as a whole to completion. These verses assure the hearer that what has been spoken in the letter is true, and end with a warning against changing the testimony contained within, and an exhortation for Christ to come quickly. These are both major themes throughout the final section of Revelation.[223]

Implication for Today

Revelation 22 shows believers the importance of having their eyes focused on the heavenly City, where they will be free to enjoy and worship God forever. The fact that Revelation ends on this note is significant: while there are persecutions and trials now, that is not the end outcome for Christians. Rather, they have a destiny free from curses, where they will have an eternal ability to worship and serve God. This is an encouraging reminder for believers today when they face trials and persecution: they are to look to the future, as Revelation does.

Verse 9 provides a helpful reminder to believers to beware of exalting messengers above the Sender. While ministers and Word bringers are important, they are ultimately mere servants. It is God alone who is worthy of worship. Yet the temptation is real and frequent: the church often lifts ministers and preachers to a status that they are not worthy of, being mere messengers.[225] [226] [227] Thus, Revelation 22 provides a helpful reminder that God alone is worthy of worship.

And finally, it ends with the cry for Jesus to return soon.[228] But sadly, many believers today, particularly in the Western world, do not feel the urgency of John’s cry for Christ to return. This is because life is good now, and thus they do not yearn for Christ and his new Jerusalem as they should. But Revelation reminds believers that they must long for Christ’s return above anything else.[229]

Conclusion

Revelation 22 is a wonderful climax and conclusion for the book as a whole, reminding the reader that, despite their present persecutions, they have an incredible destination waiting.[230] Thus, Christians throughout any age can echo the cries of John: ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’

Footnotes

  1. Richard D. (Richard Davis) Phillips, Revelation (Reformed Expository Commentaries; Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2017), 716.

  2. Robert W Wall, Revelation (Grand Rapids: Baker Pub. Group, 2011), 2.

  3. As does Morris. Leon Morris, Revelation: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press/IVP Academic, 2009), 241–244.

  4. G. K Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2013), 1103–1157.

  5. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1103.

  6. Shown through the third person singular ἔδειξέν (he showed).

  7. Morris, Revelation, 242.

  8. As does Kistemaker. Simon J. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2001), 580.

  9. This is aorist as John is recounting a vision already completed, hence the past tense.

  10. Literally ‘me’ (μοι).

  11. ζωῆς could be either appositional genitive (and hence translate as ‘waters which are life’) or adjectival genitive (and hence translate as ‘living waters’). Beale suggests that it is likely adjectival. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1103–1104.

  12. Literally ‘from here and there’ (ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐκεῖθεν).

  13. David Mathewson, Revelation: A Handbook on the Greek Text (Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament; Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016), 301.

  14. Through the references to life, water, and the tree of life.

  15. David Edward Aune, Revelation 17 – 22 (Nachdr. ed.; Word Biblical Commentary [general ed.: Bruce M. Metzger; David A. Hubbard; Glenn W. Barker. Old Testament ed.: John D. W. Watts. New Testament ed.: Ralph P. Martin]; Vol. 52,C; Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2008), 1175–1176.

  16. Gordon D. Fee, Revelation: A New Covenant Commentary (New Covenant Commentary Series 18; Eugene, Oregon: Cascade, 2011), 303.

  17. Fee, Revelation, 303.

  18. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1103.

  19. George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1972), 286–287.

  20. J. Scott Duvall, Revelation (Teach the Text Commentary Series; Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2014), 298–299.

  21. Zechariah 14:8

  22. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1103.

  23. Ezekiel 47:9

  24. G. R. Beasley-Murray, The Book of Revelation (London: Marshall, Morgan, and Scott, 1974), 330.

  25. The idea of living water appears numerous times in Revelation (for example, Revelation 7:17; 21:6; 22:17), with it reaching its climax here in the new Jerusalem. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary, 580.

  26. Fee suggests that it means ‘without impurities.’ Fee, Revelation, 303.

  27. Morris, Revelation, 242–243.

  28. While the water flows from the sanctuary in Ezekiel, here it flows from God’s throne. This is significant, as it demonstrates that there will be no temple in the new Jerusalem, as there is such open and easy access to God. Wilfrid J. Harrington, Revelation (Sacra Pagina Series v. 16; Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1993), 216.

  29. See also Revelation 21:22

  30. Erin Palmer, ‘Imagining Space in Revelation: The Heavenly Throne Room and New Jerusalem’, J. Theta Alpha Kappa 39/1 (2015): 44–45.

  31. Morris, Revelation, 242–243.

  32. As the Spirit comes from the Father and the Son, and brings life

  33. Michael Wilcock, I Saw Heaven Opened (London: Inter Varsity Press, 1975), 212.

  34. Ezekiel 36:25-27

  35. Pesikta Rabbati 1.2

  36. John 3:5; 4:10-24; 1 John 5:7-8

  37. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1104–1105.

  38. As this is what Ezekiel 47 is referring to.

  39. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1104.

  40. Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John, 287.

  41. Fee, Revelation, 303.

  42. Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John, 287.

  43. Paul Gardner, Revelation: The Compassion and Protection of Christ (Fearn: Christian Focus, 2008), 297–299.

  44. Fee, Revelation, 303.

  45. Rodney A. Whitacre, John (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series 4; Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 36.

  46. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1106.

  47. For example, see Brunk on the relevance of the number seven signifying completeness in regards to the Seven Letters to the Churches. Menno J Brunk, ‘Seven Churches of Revelation Two and Three’, Bibl. Sacra 126/503 (July 1969): 241.

  48. For a wider biblical use of numbers to signify completion, see the seven days of creation in Genesis 1:1-2:3, the seven clean animals taken on the ark in Genesis 7:2, the year of Jubilee occurring every 49 (7×7) years in Leviticus 25:8 and the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24.

  49. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 58–59.

  50. This is another reference back to Ezekiel 47.

  51. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1106.

  52. Martin Kiddle, The Revelation of St. John (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1941), 441.

  53. Ezekiel 47:12

  54. Harrington, Revelation, 216.

  55. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1108.

  56. William J. Dumbrell, The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament (The Moore Theological College Lectures 1983; Homebush West NSW: Lancer Books [u.a.], 1985), IV.

  57. Literally: ‘every curse will be no longer.’

  58. Literally, ‘in it’ (ἐν αὐτῇ).

  59. C.H. Giblin, The Book of Revelation: The Open Book of Prophecy (Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1991), 212.

  60. Zechariah 14:11

  61. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1112.

  62. Morris, Revelation, 243–244.

  63. Harrington, Revelation, 216.

  64. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1112.

  65. Morris, Revelation, 243.

  66. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1113.

  67. Morris, Revelation, 243.

  68. T. F. Glasson, The Revelation of John (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965).

  69. Revelation 1:6, 5:10; 20:6

  70. Grant R. Osborne, Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2002), 773.

  71. Morris, Revelation, 244.

  72. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1113–1114.

  73. Psalm 11:4-7, 27:4

  74. Exodus 33:20

  75. Brian K. Blount, Revelation: A Commentary (1st ed ed.; The New Testament Library; Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 399.

  76. John 1:18

  77. John MacArthur, Revelation 12-22 (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary; Chicago, Ill: Moody Press, 2000), 288.

  78. Osborne, Revelation, 774.

  79. Indeed, to see God face-to-face is ‘to know who God is in his personal being. This will be the heart of humanity’s eternal joy in their eternal worship of God.’Richard Bauckham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation (England: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 142.

  80. Exodus 28:36-38

  81. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1114.

  82. John MacArthur, Revelation: The Christian’s Ultimate Victory (MacArthur Bible Studies; Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 131.

  83. Revelation 13:6, 14:9, 17:5, 20:4

  84. Ben Witherington, Revelation (New Cambridge Bible Commentary; Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 273.

  85. J. P. M. Sweet, Revelation (London: SCM, 1979), 312.

  86. Metzger suggests that seeing God face-to-face is referring to a king’s subjects having an audience with him. Thus, believers will now have ‘a relationship of absolute trust and openness.’ Bruce M. Metzger, Breaking the Code: Understanding the Book of Revelation (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993), 103.

  87. ὅτι is being used in a causal sense here, to introduce the dependant clause. They will not need lights because/for God will be their light. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1996), 460–461.

  88. Revelation 21:1, 4

  89. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1115.

  90. John 3:19; 8:12; 12:35

  91. Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003), p.382.

  92. See also Revelation 21:25

  93. H. B. Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John (London: Macmillan, 1906), 296.

  94. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1115.

  95. Morris, Revelation, 244.

  96. Revelation 3:21

  97. The use of δεῖ here is significant, as there is great certainty here.

  98. Literally: ‘in a short time.’

  99. The participle here has a deictic article, which is ‘used to point out an object or person…who is present.’ Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, 221.

  100. M. Eugene Boring, Revelation (Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching; Louisville: John Knox Press, 1989), 224.

  101. Blount argues that it is referring to just the preceding verses. (Blount, Revelation, 403.)

  102. Aune, Revelation 17 – 22, 1182.

  103. Verses 18-19 also support the fact that it is referring to the whole book here, as they clearly refer to the whole book.

  104. Morris, Revelation, 245–246.

  105. And will!

  106. 2 Peter 3:8

  107. David R Helm, 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: Sharing Christ’s Sufferings (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2015), 254–255.

  108. Thomas Torrance, The Apocalypse Today (London: James Clarke & Co. Ltd, 1960).

  109. Morris, Revelation, 246.

  110. Indeed, the concept of Christ returning quickly appears multiple times in Revelation. See Revelation 2:16; 3:11; 22:12, 20.

  111. Thus, it is not meant to be taken literally, but is metaphorical of a nearness of the end of this age.

  112. Ian Paul, Revelation (England: Inter Varsity Press, 2018), 365.

  113. Blount, Revelation, 402.

  114. The use of the personal pronoun ‘I’ (Κἀγὼ) here emphasises John’s identity as the author. He is making it very clear that he is referring to himself, by saying ‘I, John.’

  115. Literally ‘before’ (ἔμπροσθεν).

  116. The angel literally says ‘see that you do not’ (Ὅρα μή). Stephen S. Smalley, The Revelation to John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 527.

  117. The participle means that it could literally translate as ‘the observing ones.’

  118. It is worth noting that προσκύνησον has a dative direct object here (τῷ θεῷ), which is often used to show true deity, whereas worship of false gods often has an accusative direct object. Thus, God is truly worthy of worship. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, 172.

  119. It is also significant that it is a present imperative: it ensures there is an ongoing command to not worship someone other than God. For the use of present imperatives, see Jeremy Duff, The Elements of New Testament Greek (3rd ed ed.; Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 81.

  120. Richard Bauckham, ‘Revelation’, in The Oxford Bible Commentary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 1305.

  121. Smalley, The Revelation to John, 568.

  122. Revelation 5:11; 8:13; 22:8

  123. Smalley, The Revelation to John, 113.

  124. The fact that the two participles are linked with καὶ and only has an article before the first word suggests that they are closely linked. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, 270–275.

  125. Revelation 19:10

  126. Morris, Revelation, 246.

  127. Daniel L. Akin, Christ- Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Revelation (Christ-Centered Exposition; Nashville, Tennessee: Holman Reference : B & H Publishing Group, 2016), 351.

  128. Revelation 14:6-7. The real goal of the gospel is to bring people to worship God. Redemption is not an end goal in and of itself, but rather a means to a grander end of knowing and worshipping God. This is ultimately what the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem will do.

  129. Richard Bauckham, The Climax of Prophecy: Studies on the Book of Revelation (Edinburgh: Clark, 1998), 134.

  130. Μὴ σφραγίσῃς is a subjunctive, which highlights that this is a hypothetical possibility: it is not that John has already sealed it up and the angel is now telling him not to. Rather, it is a warning to not do it in the future. The point is to ‘forbid an action from the beginning.’Mathewson, Revelation, 307.

  131. The fact that this follows the structure of Μὴ + second person aorist subjunctive ensures that the statement carries the force of an imperative, and hence translates as ‘do not’ rather than ;you should not.’Daniel B. Wallace, The Basics of New Testament Syntax: An Intermediate Greek Grammar (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 2000), 204–205.

  132. Mathewson, Revelation, 307.

  133. Daniel 12:4

  134. G. K. Beale and Sean McDonough, ‘Revelation’, in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2007), 1156.

  135. William J. Dumbrell, Revelation: Visions for Today (North Parramatta, New South Wales: Redeemer Baptist Press, 2011), 331.

  136. It is worth noting that John is told to seal up the vision in Revelation 10:4, but this is only until God’s time – which is revealed in Revelation 22:10. MacArthur, Revelation, 67.

  137. Beale and McDonough, “Revelation,” 1156.

  138. Morris, Revelation, 247.

  139. Morris, Revelation, 247.

  140. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1138.

  141. As well as to add emphasis. Mathewson, Revelation, 308.

  142. Literally ‘quickly’ (ταχύ). This is a temporal adverb. Mathewson, Revelation, 308.

  143. The noun here acts as a verb

  144. The use of I am (ἐγὼ) suggests that this is still the same person speaking as in verse 12. Mathewson, Revelation, 308.

  145. Osborne, Revelation, 787.

  146. Therefore, for a discussion of the meaning around ‘coming quickly’ see Section 3.1.

  147. Beale and McDonough, “Revelation,” 1156.

  148. Revelation 5:9-10

  149. Revelation 7:14

  150. Revelation 14:13; 19:8

  151. See also 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10

  152. Morris, Revelation, 247.

  153. Aune, Revelation 17 – 22, 1218.

  154. Jean Calvin, A harmony of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke (Volume 2) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979), 195–196.

  155. J. C Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2012), 164.

  156. See Revelation 1:8, where the title ‘Alpha and Omega’ is used of God.

  157. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1138.

  158. Phillips, Revelation, 690–691.

  159. Smalley, The Revelation to John, 532.

  160. There is a variant reading here, with some manuscripts suggesting that the ones who are blessed are those who obey. This could be because the two phrases (‘those who wash their robes’ and ‘those who obey’) sound similar (Bruce Manning Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994), 690.) or because the phrase is used in Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 (Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1140.)

  161. The fact that this is a subjunctive is significant, because it shows that future and hypothetical nature of the entering: they will only enter if they wash their robes.

  162. τοῖς πυλῶσιν is a dative of means, showing the instrument by which the verb is achieved. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, 162.

  163. The sentence begins with ἔξω for emphasis: ‘Outside are…’

  164. Morris, Revelation, 247.

  165. Mathewson, Revelation, 309.

  166. Exodus 19:10, 14

  167. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1138–1139.

  168. G. B. Caird, A Commentary on St. John the Divine (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), 285.

  169. M Rist, ‘The Revelation of St. John the Divine (Introduction and Exegesis)’, in The Interpreter’s Bible XII (ed. G. A. Buttrick; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1957), 546–549.

  170. Aune, Revelation 17 – 22, 1220.

  171. Beale and McDonough, “Revelation,” 1157.

  172. And thus have access to the Tree of Life. See Revelation 2:7. Louis A. Brighton, Revelation (Concordia Commentary; St. Louis, MO: Concordia Pub. House, 1999), 69.

  173. Leviticus 24:14; Numbers 15:36

  174. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1141.

  175. Duvall, Revelation, 306.

  176. E. W. Bullinger, Commentary on Revelation A Classic Evangelical Commentary. (London: Kregel Pubns, 2004), 683.

  177. Ἔρχου, εἰπάτω, Ἔρχου, ἐρχέσθω and λαβέτω.

  178. These words (root and descendant) are largely exchangeable, and are two ways of saying the same thing. The point being made is that Jesus is the fulfilment of David messianic prophecies. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1146–1147.

  179. Paul Barnett, John: The Shepherd King (Sydney South, NSW: Aquila Press, 2011), 111.

  180. In particular, see 41:4, 43:10, 13, 25, 46:4, 48:12, 51:12, 52:6.

  181. Andreas J. Köstenberger, John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2004), 256.

  182. Richard Bauckham, ‘The Trinity and the Gospel of John’, in The Essential Trinity (eds. Brandon Crowe and Carl Trueman; Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2017), 107.

  183. Bauckham, “The Trinity and the Gospel of John,” 107.

  184. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1146.

  185. Osborne, Revelation, 792–793.

  186. The ‘life-giving water’ is a reference to both Isaiah 55:1 and John 7:37. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation (The New International Commentary on the New Testament 17; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977), 395.

  187. Which usually refers to the heavenly Jerusalem in Revelation. R. H. Charles, The Revelation of St. John (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1970), 440.)

  188. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1148–1149.

  189. Morris, Revelation, 248–249.

  190. Literally, ‘I’ (ἐγὼ).

  191. Akin, Christ- Centered Exposition, 355.

  192. Morris, Revelation, 249.

  193. Joseph L Mangina, Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: BrazosPress, 2017), 253.

  194. Craig R. Koester, Revelation and the End of All Things (Second Edition ed.; Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2018), 200.

  195. J. Ramsey Michaels, Revelation (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series 20; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 258.

  196. Koester, Revelation and the End of All Things, 200–201.

  197. Geoffrey C Bingham, The Revelation of St John the Divine: Commentary and Essays on the Book of the Revelation (Blackwood, S. Aust.: New Creation Publications, 1993), 211.

  198. James M. Hamilton, Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches (Preaching the Word; Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2012), 412.

  199. Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John, 295–296.

  200. Revelation 1:1-20

  201. Ναί here adds emphasis to the statement. Mathewson, Revelation, 313.

  202. The present verb here has a futuristic slant, thus emphasising the certainty and immediacy of the event. Wallace, The Basics of New Testament Syntax, 229–230.

  203. The use of the vocative κύριε Ἰησοῦ ensures that this is a emotive plea, rather than a simple address. Wallace, The Basics of New Testament Syntax, 40.

  204. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, 396.

  205. Morris, Revelation, 250.

  206. Osborne, Revelation, 798.

  207. Morris, Revelation, 250.

  208. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 690–691.

  209. R. H. Charles, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John (Edinburgh: Clark, 1920).

  210. H. B. Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John (3rd ed.; London: Macmillan, 1911), 313.

  211. Following the concept that the shorter text is often the more likely text, as scribes are often more likely to add extra details, and that the harder reading is often more likely, as scribes are more likely to soften the reading.

  212. Akin, Christ- Centered Exposition, 355–356.

  213. George Beasley-Murray, ‘Revelation’, in New Bible Commentary (Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 2009), 1455.

  214. Revelation 22:7, 10, 12, 20

  215. Osborne, Revelation, 787.

  216. Morris, Revelation, 250.

  217. Morris, Revelation, 250.

  218. Osborne, Revelation, 798.

  219. Osborne, Revelation, 798.

  220. Malachi 4:6

  221. Michaels, Revelation, 260.

  222. William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1990), 248–249.

  223. Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1155.

  224. An effort has been made to consider the meaning of the passage for today in the ‘Following the Theology of the passage’ sections, but some brief comments will be made here too.

  225. 1 Corinthians 3:5; Acts 14:7-18

  226. H Hailey, Revelation (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 427.

  227. Jean Calvin, The Acts of the Apostles (Volume 2) (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1973), 6–7.

  228. Indeed, that is the ‘final climactic statement of John’s entire vision of future events.’ Stanley E. Porter, Verbal Aspect in the Greek of the New Testament, with Reference to Tense and Mood (Nachdr. ed.; Studies in Biblical Greek 1; New York: Lang, 2003), 350.

  229. Craig S. Keener, Revelation (The NIV Application Commentary; Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2000), 522.

  230. Metzger, Breaking the Code, 106.

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