Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Revelation 21:4

And God will wipe away every tear
Wipe away is ἐξαλείψει [exaleipsei] , also used of blotting out names from the Book of Life (Rev. Rev. 3:5+). Both the justice and mercy of God can be seen in this term: God blots out the names of unbelievers from the Book of Life even as He wipes away the tears of believers. God wiped away every tear from the eyes of those who came out of the Great Tribulation (Rev. Rev. 7:17+). God will minister to all those who previously suffered: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mtt. Mat. 5:4). All the memories of pain and suffering will be forgotten in the wonder of the new order which God creates. The only exception will be those who were blotted out of the Book of Life. Having been cast into outer darkness, they will continually weep (Mtt. Mat. 8:12).

there shall be no more death
Here is the fulfillment of the incredible promise of the OT prophets that death would be swallowed up (Isa. Isa. 25:8; Hos. Hos. 13:14). Death had not been a part of the original created order, but came by the curse at the disobedience of Adam (Gen. Gen. 3:19). Throughout history, with few exceptions,1 death has been the common lot of the living. Although Christ abolished death de jure at His First Coming (2Ti. 2Ti. 1:10; Heb. Heb. 2:14-15), the shadow of death extended even beyond the Second Coming of Christ and into the Millennial Kingdom (Isa. Isa. 65:20). Death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. Rev. 20:14+). See commentary on Revelation 20:14. They were destroyed in the conflagration of the old order. The last enemy that would be destroyed was death (1Cor. 1Cor. 15:26).

Around our churches lie our graveyards, and all the highways are lined with cemeteries and depositories of the dead. We can scarcely open our eyes without seeing the gloomy hearse, the funeral procession, the undertaker’s warehouse, the shop full of mourning goods, or the stonecutter chiselling epitaphs. Every newspaper we pick up has its obituary lists, and every week brings forth its bills of mortality. On the right hand, on the left hand, before us, behind us, around us, beneath us, in all seasons, in all climes, everywhere is death. . . . The time will come with death itself shall die; not by the power of man, not by mortal skill or earthly medicines, but by the great redemption of God.2

Now the curse which brought death is done away with in entirety and, with it, death (Rev. Rev. 22:3+ cf. Gen. Gen. 3:19). See commentary on Revelation 21:24.

nor sorrow, nor crying
Although there was great joy in the Millennial Kingdom (Isa. Isa. 65:18-20; Jer. Jer. 31:13), this will surpass it because there will be no death.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isa. Isa. 35:10)

former things have passed away
Former things have passed away is τὰ πρῶτα ἀπῆλθαν [ta prōta apēlthan] : the first [things] departed. They departed when the “first (πρῶτη [prōtē] ) heaven and earth passed away (ἀπῆλθαν [apēlthan] )” (Rev. Rev. 21:1+). Paul encouraged the Corinthians to retain an eternal perspective in their daily lives because “the form of this world is passing away” (1Cor. 1Cor. 7:29). “The things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2Cor. 2Cor. 4:17). See commentary on Revelation 20:11. One of the reasons believers are not to love the world is because, knowing the Scriptures, they realize that all that is in the world is ultimately transitory:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1Jn. 1Jn. 2:15-17)


Notes

1 Enoch, Elijah, translated saints at the Rapture.

2 J. A. Seiss, The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966), 489-490.

Read Revelation 21:4