New English Translation
22 Then[a] the angel[b] showed me the river of the water of life—water as clear as crystal—pouring out[c] from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 flowing down the middle of the city’s[d] main street.[e] On each side[f] of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds[g] of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year.[h] Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3 And there will no longer be any curse,[i] and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city.[j] His[k] servants[l] will worship[m] him, 4 and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.
A Final Reminder
7 (Look ! I am coming soon!
Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy expressed in this book.)[r]
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things,[s] and when I heard and saw them,[t] I threw myself down[u] to worship at the feet of the angel who was showing them to me. 9 But[v] he said to me, “Do not do this![w] I am a fellow servant[x] with you and with your brothers the prophets, and with those who obey[y] the words of this book. Worship God!” 10 Then[z] he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy contained in this book, because the time is near. 11 The evildoer must continue to do evil,[aa] and the one who is morally filthy[ab] must continue to be filthy. The[ac] one who is righteous must continue to act righteously, and the one who is holy must continue to be holy.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can have access[af] to the tree of life and can enter into the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers[ag] and the sexually immoral, and the murderers, and the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood![ah]
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!”[ai] 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say: “Come!” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wants it take the water of life free of charge.
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described[aj] in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life[ak] and in the holy city that are described in this book.
20 The one who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.[al]
- Revelation 22:1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.
- Revelation 22:1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel mentioned in 21:9, 15) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Revelation 22:1 tn Grk “proceeding.” Water is more naturally thought to pour out or flow out in English idiom.
- Revelation 22:2 tn Grk “its”; the referent (the city, the new Jerusalem) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Revelation 22:2 tn The Greek word πλατεῖα (plateia) refers to a major (broad) street (L&N 1.103).
- Revelation 22:2 tn Grk “From here and from there.”
- Revelation 22:2 tn Or “twelve crops” (one for each month of the year).
- Revelation 22:2 tn The words “of the year” are implied.
- Revelation 22:3 tn Or “be anything accursed” (L&N 33.474).
- Revelation 22:3 tn Grk “in it”; the referent (the city, the new Jerusalem) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Revelation 22:3 tn Grk “city, and his.” Although this is a continuation of the previous sentence in Greek, a new sentence was started here in the translation because of the introduction of the Lamb’s followers.
- Revelation 22:3 tn See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.
- Revelation 22:3 tn Or “will serve.”
- Revelation 22:6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.
- Revelation 22:6 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel mentioned in 21:9, 15; 22:1) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Revelation 22:6 tn Grk “faithful.”
- Revelation 22:6 tn See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.
- Revelation 22:7 sn These lines are parenthetical, forming an aside to the narrative. The speaker here is the Lord Jesus Christ himself rather than the narrator.
- Revelation 22:8 tn Or “I am John, the one who heard and saw these things.”
- Revelation 22:8 tn The pronoun “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- Revelation 22:8 tn Grk “I fell down and worshiped at the feet.” BDAG 815 s.v. πίπτω 1.b.α.ב. has “fall down, throw oneself to the ground as a sign of devotion or humility, before high-ranking persons or divine beings.”
- Revelation 22:9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here.
- Revelation 22:9 tn On the elliptical expression ὅρα μή (hora mē) BDAG 720 s.v. ὁράω B.2 states: “Elliptically…ὅρα μή (sc. ποιήσῃς) watch out! don’t do that! Rv 19:10; 22:9.”
- Revelation 22:9 tn Grk “fellow slave.” Though σύνδουλος (sundoulos) is here translated “fellow servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.
- Revelation 22:9 tn Grk “keep” (an idiom for obedience).
- Revelation 22:10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.
- Revelation 22:11 tn Grk “must do evil still.”
- Revelation 22:11 tn For this translation see L&N 88.258; the term refers to living in moral filth.
- Revelation 22:11 tn Grk “filthy, and the.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in Greek, but because of the length and complexity of the construction a new sentence was started in the translation.
- Revelation 22:12 tn The Greek term may be translated either “pay” or “pay back” and has something of a double meaning here. However, because of the mention of “wages” (“reward,” another wordplay with two meanings) in the previous clause, the translation “pay” for ἀποδοῦναι (apodounai) was used here.
- Revelation 22:13 sn These lines are parenthetical, forming an aside to the narrative. The speaker here is the Lord Jesus Christ himself rather than the narrator.
- Revelation 22:14 tn Grk “so that there will be to them authority over the tree of life.”
- Revelation 22:15 tn On the term φάρμακοι (pharmakoi) see L&N 53.101.
- Revelation 22:15 tn Or “lying,” “deceit.”
- Revelation 22:16 tn On this expression BDAG 892 s.v. πρωϊνός states, “early, belonging to the morning ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρ. the morning star, Venus Rv 2:28; 22:16.”
- Revelation 22:18 tn Grk “written.”
- Revelation 22:19 tc The Textus Receptus, on which the KJV rests, reads “the book” of life (ἀπὸ βίβλου, apo biblou) instead of “the tree” of life. When the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus translated the NT he had access to no Greek mss for the last six verses of Revelation. So he translated the Latin Vulgate back into Greek at this point. As a result he created seventeen textual variants which were not in any Greek mss. The most notorious of these is this reading. It is thus decidedly inauthentic, while “the tree” of life, found in the best and virtually all Greek mss, is clearly authentic. The confusion was most likely due to an intra-Latin switch: The form of the word for “tree” in Latin in this passage is ligno; the word for “book” is libro. The two-letter difference accounts for an accidental alteration in some Latin mss; that “book of life” as well as “tree of life” is a common expression in the Apocalypse probably accounts for why this was not noticed by Erasmus or the KJV translators. (This textual problem is not discussed in NA27.)
- Revelation 22:21 tc Most mss (א M) read “amen” (ἀμήν, amēn) after “all” (πάντων, pantōn). It is, however, not found in other significant mss (A 1006 1841). It is easier to account for its addition than its omission from the text if original. Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant.