SUMMARY.--The New Heaven and New Earth. The Bride, the Lamb's Wife. The City Coming Down out of Heaven. Its Walls, Gates, Foundation. The City of Gold and Gates of Pearl. The Light of the City. Its Holiness.
9-14. There came unto me one, etc. This is one of the angels of the vials of the wrath of God. See Revelation 16:2-4 Revelation 16:8 Revelation 16:10 Revelation 16:12 Revelation 16:17 . They did their work as wrath angels before the judgment, and are now seen engaged in other work. I will shew thee the Bride, the Lamb's wife. The glorified church henceforth to be united with her Lord. 10. He carried me away in the spirit. He seemed to be stationed on a high mountain and there to see a mighty city descending out of heaven. The angel said, "I will show thee the Bride," and he showed him a beautiful city. The harlot of chapter 17 was a great, wicked city, "Mystery, Babylon the Great," while the Bride is a great city also, the "holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven." 11. Having the glory of God. Lighted by the divine presence and glory. We cannot follow all the details of its splendor, but they are designed to show that it exhibited a splendor such as mortal eye has never seen. The walls are of jasper, the gates of pearl, the foundations of precious stones and the streets paved with gold. The dimensions are immense, beyond even human conception, and its gates stand open night and day. The names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are written upon its foundations, and of the tribes of Israel upon its gates. 12. Twelve gates. As many as there were tribes and apostles. Twelve angels. As gate-keepers to prevent the unclean from entrance. Names written thereon. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel. These were typical of the true Israel, the saints, and shows that all who belong to the true Israel will enter. 14. The wall of the city had twelve foundations. The twelve apostles of the Lamb are foundations of the Church, Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone.
15-21. And he . . . had a golden reed to measure the city. The reed is a divine measure and the city is to correspond to the measure. In chapter 11 the church is measured with a reed. Both the earthly and the heavenly church must agree with the divine plan. 16. And the city lieth foursquare. It is regular and symmetrical. Twelve thousand furlongs. I suppose that these vast dimensions, a number twelve times one thousand, both favorite Hebrew numbers, are intended to indicate the vastness of the city, rather than its exact size. 17. The wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits. Again we have twelve times twelve, the square of a favorite and sacred number. The city has twelve gates, twelve angels, twelve foundations, and a wall twelve times twelve cubits high. That is, of the angel. The measure of a man and of an angel will be the same in the New Jerusalem. 18. The wall of it was of jasper. A brightly radiant stone. See verse 11 . The city was pure gold. The symbols indicate that the city is beautiful and rich beyond conception. The costliest materials known to mortals are named in order to give us some idea.
19, 20. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished. They were adorned with precious stones. The twelve apostolic foundations present every spiritual grace and beauty. The various stones named are among the most precious known to the ancients. 21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each gate composed of a single pearl. And the street of the city. The streets were paved with pure gold. As it were transparent. Transparency is the symbol of purity.
22-27. And I saw no temple therein. John saw no temple in the city, such as at Jerusalem. It was all temple. God and the Lamb were present in it everywhere and every spot was holy. Wherever the knee was bowed the Lord was present to see and hear. The whole of the New Jerusalem will be an abode of praise. 23. And the city had no need of the sun. Night never settles down to shut out its splendor, and eternal light, springing from the brightness of God and the Lamb, precludes the need of a sun or moon. 24. And the nations . . . walk in the light of it. The redeemed of all nations enjoy the light of the city. The kings. The idea is that all who have earthly dignities and honors shall make them offerings to the New Jerusalem. 25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day. The gates were never shut. This implies, first, that the city has no fear of any foes. These have all been conquered and subdued. The struggles have been ended forever and no enemies remain to invade its happy precincts. It implies, in the second place, that "the nations of the saved" can always enter. There is always admittance freely to those "who have the right to enter in through the gate into the city." 26. They shall bring the glory and the honour. All nations are represented as contributing to increase its glory, as the nations pay tribute to an earthly capital. 27. There shall in no wise enter. Nothing sinful or unclean shall ever enter, "neither whatever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they that are written in the Lamb's book of life."