New American Bible (Revised Edition)
VI. The New Creation[a]
The New Heaven and the New Earth. 1 (A)Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.[b] 2 I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,[c] coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.(B) 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.(C) He will dwell with them and they will be his people[d] and God himself will always be with them [as their God].[e] 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.”(D)
5 The one who sat on the throne[f] said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.”(E) 6 He said to me, “They are accomplished.[g] I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.(F) 7 The victor[h] will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.(G) 8 But as for cowards,[i] the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”(H)
The New Jerusalem.[j] 9 One of the seven angels who held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”[k] 10 He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.(I) 11 It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal.(J) 12 It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, [the names] of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. 13 There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west.(K) 14 The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles[l] of the Lamb.(L)
15 [m]The one who spoke to me held a gold measuring rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city was square, its length the same as [also] its width. He measured the city with the rod and found it fifteen hundred miles[n] in length and width and height. 17 He also measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits[o] according to the standard unit of measurement the angel used. 18 [p]The wall was constructed of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. 19 The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every precious stone; the first course of stones was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,(M) 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made from a single pearl; and the street of the city was of pure gold, transparent as glass.
22 [q](N)I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. 23 [r]The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,(O) for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light,[s] and to it the kings of the earth will bring their treasure.(P) 25 During the day its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. 26 The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, 27 but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one] who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.(Q)
- 21:1–22:5 A description of God’s eternal kingdom in heaven under the symbols of a new heaven and a new earth; cf. Is 65:17–25; 66:22; Mt 19:28.
- 21:1 Sea…no more: because as home of the dragon it was doomed to disappear; cf. Jb 7:12.
- 21:2 New Jerusalem…bride: symbol of the church (Gal 4:26); see note on Rev 19:7.
- 21:3–4 Language taken from Ez 37:27; Is 25:8; 35:10; cf. Rev 7:17.
- 21:3 People: other ancient manuscripts read a plural, “peoples.”
- 21:5 The one…on the throne: God himself; cf. Rev 4:1–11.
- 21:6 They are accomplished: God’s reign has already begun; see note on Rev 20:1–6. Alpha…Omega: see note on Rev 1:8. Life-giving water: see note on Rev 7:17.
- 21:7 The victor: over the forces of evil; see the conclusions of the seven letters (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). He will be my son: the victorious Christian enjoys divine affiliation by adoption (Gal 4:4–7; Rom 8:14–17); see note on Rev 2:26–28.
- 21:8 Cowards: their conviction is so weak that they deny Christ in time of trial and become traitors. Second death: see note on Rev 2:11.
- 21:9–22:5 Symbolic descriptions of the new Jerusalem, the church. Most of the images are borrowed from Ez 40–48.
- 21:9 The bride, the wife of the Lamb: the church (Rev 21:2), the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:10); cf. 2 Cor 11:2.
- 21:14 Courses of stones…apostles: literally, “twelve foundations”; cf. Eph 2:19–20.
- 21:15–17 The city is shaped like a gigantic cube, a symbol of perfection (cf. 1 Kgs 6:19–20). The measurements of the city and its wall are multiples of the symbolic number twelve; see note on Rev 7:4–9.
- 21:16 Fifteen hundred miles: literally, twelve thousand stades, about 12,000 furlongs (see note on Rev 14:20); the number is symbolic: twelve (the apostles as leaders of the new Israel) multiplied by 1,000 (the immensity of Christians); cf. Introduction. In length and width and height: literally, “its length and width and height are the same.”
- 21:17 One hundred and forty-four cubits: the cubit was about eighteen inches in length. Standard unit of measurement the angel used: literally, “by a human measure, i.e., an angel’s.”
- 21:18–21 The gold and precious gems symbolize the beauty and excellence of the church; cf. Ex 28:15–21; Tb 13:16–17; Is 54:11–12.
- 21:22 Christ is present throughout the church; hence, no temple is needed as an earthly dwelling for God; cf. Mt 18:20; 28:20; Jn 4:21.
- 21:23 Lamp…Lamb: cf. Jn 8:12.
- 21:24–27 All men and women of good will are welcome in the church; cf. Is 60:1, 3, 5, 11. The…book of life: see note on Rev 3:5.
New International Version
A New Heaven and a New Earth
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a](A) for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,(B) and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City,(C) the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,(D) prepared as a bride(E) beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.(F) They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.(G) 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.(H) There will be no more death’[b](I) or mourning or crying or pain,(J) for the old order of things has passed away.”(K)
6 He said to me: “It is done.(O) I am the Alpha and the Omega,(P) the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost(Q) from the spring of the water of life.(R) 7 Those who are victorious(S) will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.(T) 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars(U)—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.(V) This is the second death.”(W)
The New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues(X) came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride,(Y) the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away(Z) in the Spirit(AA) to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.(AB) 11 It shone with the glory of God,(AC) and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper,(AD) clear as crystal.(AE) 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates,(AF) and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.(AG) 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations,(AH) and on them were the names of the twelve apostles(AI) of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod(AJ) of gold to measure the city, its gates(AK) and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia[c] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human(AL) measurement, and it was 144 cubits[d] thick.[e] 18 The wall was made of jasper,(AM) and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.(AN) 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.(AO) The first foundation was jasper,(AP) the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby,(AQ) the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.[f] 21 The twelve gates(AR) were twelve pearls,(AS) each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.(AT)
22 I did not see a temple(AU) in the city, because the Lord God Almighty(AV) and the Lamb(AW) are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God(AX) gives it light,(AY) and the Lamb(AZ) is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.(BA) 25 On no day will its gates(BB) ever be shut,(BC) for there will be no night there.(BD) 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.(BE) 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful,(BF) but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.(BG)
- Revelation 21:1 Isaiah 65:17
- Revelation 21:4 Isaiah 25:8
- Revelation 21:16 That is, about 1,400 miles or about 2,200 kilometers
- Revelation 21:17 That is, about 200 feet or about 65 meters
- Revelation 21:17 Or high
- Revelation 21:20 The precise identification of some of these precious stones is uncertain.