1: And he showed me a river of the water of life - The ever
fresh and fruitful effluence of the Holy Ghost.
See (Eze 47:1-12); where also the trees are mentioned which
"bear fruit every month," that is, perpetually. Proceeding out
of the throne of God, and of the Lamb - "All that the Father hath,"
saith the Son of God, "is mine;" even the throne of his glory.
2: In the midst of the street - Here is the paradise of God,
mentioned, (Re 2:7).
Is the tree of life - Not one tree only, but many. Every month
- That is, in inexpressible abundance. The variety, likewise,
as well as the abundance of the fruits of the Spirit, may be
intimated thereby. And the leaves are for the healing of the
nations - For the continuing their health, not the restoring it;
for no sickness is there.
3: And there shall be no more curse - But pure life and
blessing; every effect of the displeasure of God for sin being
now totally removed. But the throne of God and the Lamb shall
be in it - That is, the glorious presence and reign of God. And
his servants - The highest honour in the universe. Shalt worship
him - The noblest employment.
4: And shall see his face - Which was not granted to Moses.
They shall have the nearest access to, and thence the highest
resemblance of, him. This is the highest expression in the
language of scripture to denote the most perfect happiness of
the heavenly state, (1Jo 3:2).
And his name shall be on their foreheads - Each of them shall be
openly acknowledged as God's own property, and his glorious
nature most visibly shine forth in them. And they shall reign
- But who are the subjects of these kings? The other inhabitants
of the new earth. For there must needs be an everlasting
difference between those who when on earth excelled in virtue,
and those comparatively slothful and unprofitable servants, who
were just saved as by fire. The kingdom of God is taken by
force; but the prize is worth all the labour. Whatever of high,
lovely, or excellent is in all the monarchies of the earth is
all together not a grain of dust, compared to the glory of the
children of God. God "is not ashamed to be called their God,
for whom he hath prepared this city." But who shall come up
into his holy place? "They who keep his commandments," verse 14.(Re 22:14)
5: And they shall reign for ever and ever - What
encouragement is this to the patience and faithfulness of
the saints, that, whatever their sufferings are, they will
work out for them "an eternal weight of glory!" Thus ends
the doctrine of this Revelation, in the everlasting happiness
of all the faithful. The mysterious ways of Providence are
cleared up, and all things issue in an eternal Sabbath, an
everlasting state of perfect peace and happiness, reserved
for all who endure to the end.
6: And he said to me - Here begins the conclusion of the
book, exactly agreeing with the introduction, (particularly(Re 22:6,7,10) with(Re 1:1,3)) and giving light to the whole book, as this book
does to the whole scripture. These sayings are faithful and
true - All the things which you have heard and seen shall be
faithfully accomplished in their order, and are infallibly true.
The Lord, the God of the holy prophets - Who inspired and
authorised them of old. Hath now sent me his angel, to show
his servants - By thee. The things which must be done shortly
- Which will begin to be performed immediately.
7: Behold, I come quickly - Saith our Lord himself, to
accomplish these things. Happy is he that keepeth - Without
adding or diminishing, (Re 22:18,19)
the words of this book.
8: I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel - The
very same words which occur, (Re 19:10). The reproof of the
angel, likewise, See thou do it not, for I am thy fellowservant,
is expressed in the very same terms as before. May it not be the
very same incident which is here related again? Is not this far
more probable, than that the apostle would commit a fault again,
of which he had been so solemnly warned before?
9: See thou do it not - The expression in the original is
short and elliptical, as is usual in showing vehement aversion.
10: And he saith to me - After a little pause. Seal not
the sayings of this book - Conceal them not, like the things that
are sealed up. The time is nigh - Wherein they shall begin to
11: He that is unrighteous - As if he had said, The final
judgment is at hand; after which the condition of all mankind
will admit of no change for ever. Unrighteous - Unjustified.
Filthy - Unsanctified, unholy.
12: I - Jesus Christ. Come quickly - To judge the world.
And my reward is with me - The rewards which I assign both to
the righteous and the wicked are given at my coming. To give
to every man according as his work - His whole inward and outward
behaviour shall be.
13: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the
last - Who exist from everlasting to everlasting. How clear,
incontestable a proof, does our Lord here give of his divine
14: Happy are they that do his commandments - His, who
saith, I come - He speaks of himself. That they may have right
- Through his gracious covenant. To the tree of life - To all the
blessings signified by it. When Adam broke his commandment, he
was driven from the tree of life. They who keep his commandments"
shall eat thereof.
15: Without are dogs - The sentence in the original is
abrupt, as expressing abhorrence. The gates are ever open;
but not for dogs; fierce and rapacious men.
16: I Jesus have sent my angel to testify these things
- Primarily. To you - The seven angels of the churches; then to
those churches - and afterwards to all other churches in succeeding
ages. I - as God. Am the root - And source of David's family and
kingdom; as man, an descended from his loins. "I am the star
out of Jacob," (Nu 24:17);
like the bright morning star, who put an end to the night
of ignorance, sin, and sorrow, and usher in an eternal day of
light, purity, and joy.
17: The Spirit and the bride - The Spirit of adoption in the
bride, in the heart of every true believer. Say - With earnest
desire and expectation. Come - And accomplish all the words of
this prophecy. And let him that thirsteth, come - Here they also
who are farther off are invited. And whosoever will, let him
take the water of life - He may partake of my spiritual and
unspeakable blessings, as freely as he makes use of the most
common refreshments; as freely as he drinks of the running stream.
18-19: I testify to every one, &c. - From the fulness
of his heart, the apostle utters this testimony, this weighty
admonition, not only to the churches of Asia, but to all who
should ever hear this book. He that adds, all the plagues shall
be added to him; he that takes from it, all the blessings shall
be taken from him; and, doubtless, this guilt is incurred by
all those who lay hinderances in the way of the faithful, which
prevent them from hearing their Lord's "I come," and answering,
"Come, Lord Jesus." This may likewise be considered as an awful
sanction, given to the whole New Testament; in like manner as
Moses guarded the law, (De 4:2,12:32); and as God
himself did, (Mal 4:4), in closing the canon of the Old Testament.
20: He that testifieth these things - Even all that is
contained in this book. Saith - For the encouragement of the
church in all her afflictions. Yea - Answering the call of
the Spirit and the bride. I come quickly - To destroy all
her enemies, and establish her in a state of perfect and
everlasting happiness. The apostle expresses his earnest
desire and hope of this, by answering, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21: The grace - The free love. Of the Lord Jesus - And all
its fruits. Be with all - Who thus long for his appearing!
It may be proper to subjoin here a short view of the whole contents of this book. In the year of the world,
3940. Jesus Christ is born, three years before the common
In that which is vulgarly called, the thirtieth year of our Lord,
Jesus Christ dies; rises; ascends.
A.D. 96. The Revelation is given; the coming of our Lord is
declared to the seven churches in Asia, and their
angels, Rev i., ii., iii.
97, 98. The seven seals are opened, and under the fifth
the chronos is declared, C. iv.-vi.
Seven trumpets are given to the seven angels, C. vii. viii.
Century, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, the trumpet of the
1st, 2d, 3d, 4th angel, C. viii.
510-589 The first woe,
589-634 The interval after the first woe, } C. ix.
634-840 The second woe,
800 The beginning of the non-chronos
many kings, } C. ix., x.
840-947 The interval after the second woe,
847-1521 The twelve hundred and sixty days of the
woman, after she hath brought forth the
man child, C xii. 6
947-1836 The third woe, 12
1058-1836 The time, times, and half a time, and
within that period, the beast, his forty- }to C. xiii. 5
two months, his number 666,
1209 War with the saints: the end of the chronos, 7
1614 An everlasting gospel promulged, C. xiv. 6
1810 The end of the forty-two months of the beast;
after which, and the pouring out of the
phials, he is not, and Babylon reigns queen, C. xv., xvi.
1832 The beast ascends from the bottomless pit, C. xvii., xviii.
1836 The end of the non-chronos, and of the many
kings; the fulfilling of the word, and of
the mystery of God; the repentance of the
survivors in the great city; the end of the
"little time," and of the three times and a
half; the destruction of the east; the
imprisonment of Satan, C. xix., xx.
Afterward The loosing of Satan for a small time;
the beginning of the thousand years' reign
of the saints; the end of the small time, C. xx.
The end of the world; all things new, C. xx., xxii.
The several ages, from the time of St. John's being in Patmos, down to
the present time, may, according to the chief incidents mentioned in
the Revelation, be distinguished thus:-
Age II. The destruction of the Jews by Adrian, C viii. 7
III. The inroads of the barbarous nations, 8
IV. The Arian bitterness, 10
V. The end of the western empire. 12
VI. The Jews tormented in Persia, C. ix. 1
VII. The Saracen cavalry. 13
VIII. Many kings, C. x. 11
IX. The ruler of the nations born, C. xii. 5
X. The third woe, 12
XI. The ascent of the beast out of the pen, C. xiii. 1
XII Power given to the beast, 5
XIII. War with the saints, 7
XIV. The middle of the third woe,
XV. The beast in the midst of his strength,
XVI. The Reformation; the woman better fed, 9
XVII. An everlasting gospel promulged, C. xiv. 6
XVIII. The worship of the beast and of his image, 9
O God, whatsoever stands or falls, stands or falls by thy judgment. Defend thy own truth! Have mercy on me and my readers! To thee be glory for ever!