Contemporary English Version
22 The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated. 2 Then it flowed down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river are trees[a] that grow a different kind of fruit each month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations.
3 God’s curse will no longer be on the people of that city. He and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God 4 and will see him face to face. God’s name will be written on the foreheads of the people. 5 Never again will night appear, and no one who lives there will ever need a lamp or the sun. The Lord God will be their light, and they will rule forever.
The Coming of Christ
6 Then I was told:
These words are true and can be trusted. The Lord God controls the spirits of his prophets, and he is the one who sent his angel to show his servants what must happen right away. 7 Remember, I am coming soon! God will bless everyone who pays attention to the message of this book.
8 My name is John, and I am the one who heard and saw these things. Then after I had heard and seen all this, I knelt down and began to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown it to me.
9 But the angel said,
Don’t do that! I am a servant, just like you. I am the same as a follower or a prophet or anyone else who obeys what is written in this book. God is the one you should worship.
10 Don’t keep the prophecies in this book a secret. These things will happen soon.
11 Evil people will keep on being evil, and everyone who is dirty-minded will still be dirty-minded. But good people will keep on doing right, and God’s people will always be holy.
12 Then I was told:
I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done. 13 I am Alpha and Omega,[b] the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
14 God will bless all who have washed their robes. They will each have the right to eat fruit from the tree that gives life, and they can enter the gates of the city. 15 But outside the city will be dogs, witches, immoral people, murderers, idol worshipers, and everyone who loves to tell lies and do wrong.
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
Everyone who hears this[e] should say, “Come!”
If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free!
18 Here is my warning for everyone who hears the prophecies in this book:
If you add anything to them, God will make you suffer all the terrible troubles written in this book. 19 If you take anything away from these prophecies, God will not let you have part in the life-giving tree and in the holy city described in this book.
20 The one who has spoken these things says, “I am coming soon!”
So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!
21 I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to all of you.
- 22.2 trees: The Greek has “tree,” which is used in a collective sense of trees on both sides of the heavenly river.
- 22.13 Alpha and Omega: See the note at 1.8.
- 22.16 David’s Great Descendant: See the note at 5.5.
- 22.16 the bright morning star: Probably thought of as the brightest star (see 2.27,28).
- 22.17 who hears this: The reading of the book of Revelation in a service of worship.