The New Jerusalem
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth [Is. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13]. [L For] The first heaven and the first earth had ·disappeared [passed away], and there was no sea anymore [C the sea represents chaos and evil, so its absence indicates peace and security]. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem [C the believers’ eternal dwelling place; 3:12], coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride ·dressed [adorned] for her husband [19:7, 9]. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “[L Look; T Behold] Now God’s ·presence [dwelling; tabernacle] is with people, and he will ·live [dwell; tabernacle; John 1:14] with them, and they will be his people [Ex. 29:45; Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 37:27]. God himself will be with them and will be their God.[a] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes [7:17; Is. 25:8], and there will be no more death [Is. 25:8; 1 Cor. 15:54], ·sadness [mourning], crying, or pain, because ·all the old ways [the old order; L the first things] are gone.”
5 The One who was sitting on the throne [C Jesus] said, “Look! I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this, because these words are ·true and can be trusted [L faithful/reliable and true].”
6 The One on the throne said to me, “It is ·finished [done; accomplished]. I am the Alpha and the Omega [C the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; 1:8], the Beginning and the End. I will give ·free water [L freely] from the spring of the water of life to anyone who is thirsty [Is. 55:1; John 7:37]. 7 Those who ·win the victory [conquer] will ·receive [inherit] ·this [L these things; C God’s promise], and I will be their God, and they will be my children [21:3; 2 Sam. 7:14]. 8 But cowards, those ·who refuse to believe [without faith], who do ·evil [vile; detestable] things, who kill, who sin sexually, who do ·evil magic [sorcery], who worship idols, and who tell lies—all these will have ·a place [L their part] in the lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death [20:6].”
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last ·troubles [plagues] came to me, saying, “·Come with me [L Come], and I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb [C the church; Eph. 5:27–29].” 10 And the angel carried me away ·by the Spirit [or in the spirit] to a very large and high mountain. He showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It ·was shining with [possessed; L had] the glory of God and was ·bright [radiant; brilliant] like a ·very expensive jewel [precious stone], like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 The city had a great high wall with twelve gates with twelve angels at the gates, and on each gate was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south, and three on the west [Ezek. 48:30–35]. 14 The walls of the city were built on twelve foundation stones, and on the stones were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod made of gold to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city ·was built in a square [L lies foursquare], and its length was equal to its width. The angel measured the city with the rod. The city was ·1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide, and 1,500 miles high [L 1,200 stadia—its length and width and height are equal; C the unit of measure called a stadium was approximately 600 feet]. 17 The angel also measured the wall. It was ·216 feet [L 144 cubits] ·high [or thick; C the Greek is ambiguous], by human measurements, which the angel was using. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was made of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city walls were ·decorated [ornamented] with every kind of ·jewel [precious stone; Ex. 28:15–21; Is. 54:11–12]. The first foundation was jasper, the second was sapphire, the third was ·chalcedony [agate], the fourth was emerald, 20 the fifth was ·onyx [sardonyx], the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was ·chrysolite [yellow quartz], the eighth was beryl, the ninth was topaz, the tenth was ·chrysoprase [turquoise], the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst [C the specific identity of some of these jewels is uncertain]. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate having been made from a single pearl. And the ·street [main street; square] of the city was made of pure gold as clear as glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God ·Almighty [All-powerful] and the Lamb are the city’s temple [C a temple representing the presence of God is not needed because God’s presence is throughout the city]. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God ·is its [gives it] light, and the Lamb is the city’s lamp [Is. 60:19]. 24 By its light the ·people of the world [nations] will walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it [Is. 60:1–3]. 25 The city’s gates will never be shut on any day [Is. 60:11], because there is no night there. 26 The glory and the honor of the nations will be brought into it [C as gifts to God]. 27 Nothing ·unclean [impure; profane; common] and no one who does ·shameful [detestable; abominable] things or tells lies will ever go into it. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s ·book [scroll] of life [3:5] will enter the city.
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the ·water of life [or living water]. It was ·shining [bright; clear] like crystal and was flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the ·street [main street; square] of the city [Gen. 2:10; Ezek. 47:1–12]. The tree of life was on each side of the river [Gen. 2:9; C heaven is like Eden, only better]. It produces ·fruit twelve times a year, once each month [or twelve kinds of fruit, producing fruit each month]. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of all the nations. 3 ·Nothing that God judges guilty will be in that city [Nothing accursed will be there; or There will no longer be any curse; Gen. 3:16–19; Zech. 14:11]. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and God’s servants will ·worship [serve] him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads [C denoting ownership; 3:12; 7:3; contrast 13:16; Ex. 28:36–38]. 5 There will never be night again. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will give them light. And they will ·rule as kings [reign] forever and ever.
6 The angel said to me, “These words ·can be trusted and are [are faithful and] true.” The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets [C the spirit that inspires the prophets; 1 Cor. 14:32], sent his angel to show his servants the things that must happen ·soon [quickly].
7 “·Listen [L Look; T Behold]! I am coming ·soon [quickly]! ·Blessed [Happy] is the one who obeys the words of prophecy in this ·book [scroll].”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I ·bowed [fell] down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed these things to me. 9 But the angel said to me, “·Do not worship me [Don’t do that!; L See, not]! I am a ·servant like you [fellow servant with you], your brothers the prophets, and all those who ·obey [keep] the words in this ·book [scroll]. Worship God!”
10 Then the angel told me, “Do not ·keep secret [L seal; contrast 10:4] the words of prophecy in this ·book [scroll], because the time is near for all this to happen. 11 Let whoever is doing ·evil [wrong; harm] continue to do evil [wrong; harm; Dan. 12:10]. Let whoever is ·unclean [vile; impure; filthy] continue to be ·unclean [vile; impure; filthy]. Let whoever is ·doing right [righteous; just] continue to do ·right [righteousness; justice]. Let whoever is holy continue to be holy.”
12 “·Listen [L Look; Behold]! I am coming ·soon [quickly]! ·I will bring my reward with me [L and my reward is with me; Is. 40:10], and I will repay ·each one of you [L each person] for what you have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End [1:8; 21:6].
14 “·Blessed [Happy] are those who wash their robes [C an image of spiritual cleansing] so that they will receive the ·right [power; authority] to eat the fruit from the tree of life and may ·go through [enter] the gates into the city. 15 Outside the city are the ·evil people [L dogs], those who do ·evil magic [sorcery], who ·sin sexually [fornicate], who murder, who worship idols, and who love lies and tell lies.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to ·tell you [testify/witness to] these things for the churches. I am the ·descendant from the family of David [root and descendant/offspring of David; C a messianic title applied to Jesus; 5:4; Is. 11:10], and I am the bright morning star [2:28; Num. 24:17; C a messianic title].”
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears this say, “Come!” Let whoever is thirsty come; whoever wishes may ·have [take; receive] the water of life ·as a free gift [freely].
18 I ·warn [testify to] everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this ·book [scroll]: If anyone adds anything to these words, God will add to that person the ·disasters [plagues] written about in this ·book [scroll]. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of this ·book [scroll] of prophecy, God will take away that one’s ·share [part] of the tree of life and of the holy city, which are written about in this ·book [scroll; Deut. 4:2; 12:32].
20 ·Jesus, the One who says these things are true, [L The One who witnesses to these things] says, “Yes, I am coming ·soon [quickly].”
·Amen [C Hebrew for “so be it”]. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
- Revelation 21:3 and … God Some Greek copies do not have this phrase.