Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
Click picture to visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.
1: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
[21:1, 2. Chapters 21 and 22 are a description of the eternal state (following the Millenium and the final judgment), centering in the new Jerusalem as the eternal habitation of the saved (cf. Heb. 11:10; 12:22-24). The first heaven and the first earth are replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, predicted by Isaiah (cf. Is. 65:17; 66:22). The present universe will thus be cleansed from all the effects of sin (cf. 2 Pet. 3:7, 10-13). Since there will be no more sea, the increased land space will be fully capable of handling large numbers of redeemed people from all ages. The New Jerusalem is fully described in 21:10 - 22:5, it is a holy city, totally separate from sin (cf. vv. 8, 27; 22:15). It is being prepared (Gr. hetoimazō, cf. John 14:3) as the habitation of the bride of Christ (cf. v. 9). From God shows it's divine purpose, and out of heaven its divine origin.]
3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
[ 21:3-5. Tabernacle of God: The presence of God will be with His people, and He will forever dwell with them. A primary purpose of redemption will be accomplished: the complete fellowship of God with His redeemed people. In the eternal state, there will be no tears, death, sorrow, crying or pain. Everything will become new. God's promises are true, and He is always faithful to His Word (cf. 19:11).]
6: And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
[21:6-8. It is done: The eternal purpose of God to gather a holy, devoted people for Himself has now been accomplished. Alpha and Omega: See 1:8; 22:13. Beginning; God is the origin and source of all things (cf. Is. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12). End: He is also the goal or aim of all things (cf. Rom. 10:4). The water of life represents eternal sustenance and provision (cf. 22:1; Ps. 36:9; Is. 55:1; Jer. 2:13; John 4:14), available freely by faith (22:17). He that overcometh is the one who has a genuine, saving, perservering faith (cf. 2:11; 3:5; 1 John 5:4, 5). He will inherit all that belongs to him as a son of God (cf. John 1:12; Rom. 8:16, 17; Gal. 3:29; 4:7). But sinners, who have shown their rebellion against God by their life-style of sin, have already been cast into the lake of fire (20:12-15; cf. 22:15). The second death is eternal death (cf. 20:14).]
9: And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10: And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11: Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12: And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14: And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15: And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16: And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17: And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18: And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19: And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20: The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
[21:9-21. These verses describe the beauty and glory of the holy Jerusalem. It is called Christ's bride (cf. v. 2), a reference perhaps to the church as the city's principle inhabitant. It is an expression of the glory of God. The wall shows its security and protection. Its gates show accessibility. Saved Israel is also present. It has dimensions of approximately 1,500 miles cubed. The gold and precious stones may be earthly materials glorified (cf. 1 Cor. 15:50-54). They depict the glory, beauty, and eternal quality of the city. Jasper is green, sapphire is blue, chalcedony is green, emerald is green, sardonyx is red and white, sardius is bloodred, chrysolite is yellow or gold, beryl is green, topaz is greenish gold or yellow, chrysoprasus is green, jacinth is bluish purple, and amethyst is purple quartz. The effect is a magnificent city of brilliant gold adorned with gems of every color. There appears to be only one street (cf. 22:2), also made of pure, radiant gold.]