Revelation Jewish New Testament, JNT, CJNT, David H. Stern
1. Next the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
The river of the water of life..., flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. "There is a river, whose streams make glad the city of God, the holiest dwelling-place of the Most High. God is in the midst of her...." (Psalm 46:5-6; compare Zechariah 14:8-9). See also 3:21N.
2. Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations —
3. no longer will there be any curses. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him;
The Tree of Life was in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9), but after sinning, Adam and Eve had to be kept from it (Genesis 3:22) and the way to it guarded by a keruv ("cherub," Genesis 3:24). Here in restored Eden, the tree of life too is restored. Like the other phenomena of the new creation (see 21:14-21N) it is unlike anything we now know, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month. Moreover, the leaves of the tree are for healing the nations — no longer will there be any curses. Here "healing" seems to mean "making whole." The "curses" are evils that come upon nations — both Israel and the Gentile nations — due to their continued and unrepented sins; most of the biblical prophets pronounced curses at one time or another.
4. they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
5. Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever.
The central theme of existence in the redeemed world will be worship of God and of the Lamb Yeshua the Messiah, who share the throne. His servants will be fully focused and completely satisfied when they worship him (which is not always the case today!), because
(1) having unimpeded fellowship with God, they will see his face, and
(2) his name will be on their foreheads, meaning that God will have made diem fully his own (see also 7:2-3&N, 13:16-17a&N, 14:1&N, 17:5). Night, with its darkness symbolizing God's absence (Yn 1:5-9, 3:19-21; 1 Yn 1:5-7, 2:7-11), will no longer exist,... because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. Moreover, the physical and the spiritual will be intimately interconnected, since God's immediate presence will make them need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun. And, as promised at 3:21 and 1С 6:2-3, they will reign over the universe with the Messiah and with God as kings forever and ever.
vv. 21:9-22:5 The vision of the new Yenishalayim resembles that of Ezekiel 40-48. Compare v. 10 with Ezekiel 40:2, v. 11 with Ezekiel 43:2. w. 12-13 with Ezekiel 48:31-34. v. 15 with Ezekiel 40:3, 5, v. 27 with Ezekiel 44:9, 22:1 with Ezekiel 47:1, 22:2 with Ezekiel 47:12. See vv. 1-8N above.
6. Then he said to me, “These words are true and trustworthy: Adonai, God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must happen soon.”
vv. 6,7,10,12 Soon... very soon... near... soon. See 1:1N on "what must happen very soon." The repetition adds to the urgency.
7. “Look! I am coming very soon. Blessed is the person who obeys the words of the prophecy written in this book!”
8. Then I, Yochanan, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel showing them to me.
9. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am only a fellow-servant with you and your brothers, the prophets and the people who obey the words in this book. Worship God!”
10. Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy in this book (Daniel 12:4) because the time of their fulfillment is near.
11. “Whoever keeps acting wickedly, let him go on acting wickedly;
whoever is filthy, let him go on being made filthy.
“Also, whoever is righteous, let him go on doing what is righteous;
and whoever is holy, let him go on being made holy.”
Contrast these verses with Daniel 12:9-10, where the prophet was told, "Daniel, go your way, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end." (See also Isaiah 8:16; Daniel 8:26, 12:4). Here Yochanan is told, "Don't seal up the words of the prophecy in this book, because the time of their fulfillment is near." Moreover, in Daniel 12:10 Daniel is told, "Many will purify themselves." But here, "Whoever keeps acting wickedly, let him go on acting wickedly," because he is past the point of being able to repent (see Yn 12:39&N); yet compare v. 17 below, still an invitation to repent.
12. “Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done.
My rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. See first paragraph of 20:12bN.
13. I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
I am the "A" and the "Z" ("the Alpha and the Omega"; see 1:8&N), the Beginning and the End. Repealed from 21:6; see 3:14N. The First and the Last. Quoted from Isaiah 44:6, where Adonai says it:
"Thus says Adonai, the King of Israel, and its redeemer Adonai of Hosts [heavenly armies]: I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God."
By applying this text to himself Yeshua once again identifies himself as Adonai.
14. How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city!
15. Outside are the homosexuals, those involved with the occult and with drugs, the sexually immoral, murderers, idol-worshippers, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
14-15 These verses may be the words of Yeshua (as this version has it), or of Yochanan. Those who wash their robes, who obtain forgiveness for their sins. How? "With the blood of the lamb" (7:14), that is, through the atoning work of Yeshua the Messiah, so that their robes are "white" (7:14; see also 3:4, 19:7-8, Isaiah 1:18).
To eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city is to enjoy eternal life in fellowship with God.
Outside, in the lake of Fire (20:12b, 21:8,21:27), are unrepentant sinners. They are outside not only in the future, but outside even now, to the extent that the Kingdom of God has broken through into this world in the hearts and lives of the saved.
Homosexuals, Greek kunes ("dogs"). One can imagine literal wild dogs slavering over the wicked excluded from the city (compare Mt 15:26&N, Lk 16:21). But Deuteronomy 23:18-19 illustrates the figurative use of the word "dog" in the Bible to mean "male (homosexual) prostitute":
"No daughter of Israel is to be a female prostitute (k'deshah), nor is a son of Israel to be a male prostitute (kadesh). You are to bring neither the wages of a female prostitute (zonah) nor the wages of a dog (kelev) into the house of Adonai your God in payment of any vow; both of them are an abomination to Adonai your God."
On the New Testament's attitude toward homosexuality see Ro 1:24-28&N. Those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult. See 9:2IN.
16. “I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.
I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities, as stated in 1:1-2.
The Root and Offspring of David. King David sprang from this Root, because Yeshua pre-existed David (Micah 5:1(2), Yn 8:58), and through Yeshua everything, including David's ancestor Adam, was made (Yn 1:1-2, 14). But Yeshua is also David's offspring; in particular, he is the promised Son of David who would be the Messiah (see Mt 1:1&N). Yeshua's Davidic ancestry is referred to in the rest of the New Testament also at Mt 1:6,9:27, 15:22, 21:9; Lk 1:32, 2:4, 3:31; Ro 1:3; 2 Ti 2:8. In Revelation the term "Root of David" is found also at 5:5&N. The bright Morning Star. See 2:28&N, 2 Ke 1:19N.
17. The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ Let anyone who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let anyone who is thirsty come — let anyone who wishes, take the water of life free of charge.”
As in vv. 14-15. either Yeshua or Yochanan may be speaking here. No matter which, both the Holy Spirit and the Bride, the Messianic Community, identified also with the New Jerusalem (21:2&N), agree with Yeshua in reiterating his call to the thirsty to take the water of life free of charge (see 21:6&N).
18. I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues written in this book.
19. And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book.
The warning of either Yeshua or Yochanan follows the form of Deuteronomy 4:2, which reads:
"Don't add anything to the word which 1 am commanding you, and don't take anything away from it, so that you may keep the mitzvot of Adonai your God which I am commanding you."
Yochanan's warning refers to the Book of Revelation, not to the whole Bible. However, it is a warning which 1 or anyone who deals with the Word of God must keep in mind at all times. It is my fervent hope that both my translation and my commentary have not distorted what God meant us to know, for work of this kind mediates eternal destinies. My prayer is that the eternal destinies of the readers of this commentary will be with God and his son Yeshua, and that my work has not distanced anyone from him but brought people closer.
20. “The one who is testifying to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’”
Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua!
21. May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!
This is the epilogue to the Book of Revelation.
The congregation is instructed to say "Amen" (Ro 9:5&N) at the close of the public reading of the book (1:3). The two final sentences, one for heaven and one for earth, set the tone for those inspired to do the Lord's will. So 1 echo the words of Yochanan: Come, Lord Yeshua. and May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all.
- chapter 1
- chapter 2
- chapter 3
- chapter 4
- chapter 5
- chapter 6
- chapter 7
- chapter 8
- chapter 9
- chapter 10
- chapter 11
- chapter 12
- chapter 13
- chapter 14
- chapter 15
- chapter 16
- chapter 17
- chapter 18
- chapter 19
- chapter 20
- chapter 21
- chapter 22