Lange Commentary - Revelation 22:6 - 22:21

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Lange Commentary - Revelation 22:6 - 22:21


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

THE EPILOGUE

Rev_22:6-21

1. The Angel and John; or the Mediators of the Apocalypse

6And he said unto me, These sayings [words] are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy [om. holy—ins. spirits of the] prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the [what] things which [om. which] must [ins. come to pass] shortly be done 7[om. be done], [ins. And] behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the 8sayings [words] of the prophecy of this book. And [ins. it was] I John [ins. who heard and] saw these things, and heard them [om., and heard them]. And when I had [om. had] heard and seen [saw], I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which [who] shewed me these things. 9Then saith he [And he saith] unto me, See thou do it [om. See thou do it—ins. Take heed] not: for [om. for] I am thy [om. thy—ins, a] fellow servant [ins. of thee], and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which [those who] keep the sayings [words] of this book: worship God. 10And he saith unto me, Seal not the saying [words] of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand [near]. 11He that is unjust, let him be unjust [Let him that doeth injustice, do injustice] still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy [and let the polluted pollute himself] still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous [and let the righteous work righteousness] still: and he that is holy, let him be holy [and let the holy ( ἅãéïò ) sanctify himself ( ἁãéáóèÞôù ) still.

2. Jesus, the Author of the Apocalypse; the Spirit; and the Bride

12And, [om. And,] Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according [om. every man according—ins. render to each] 13as his work shall be [om. shall be—ins. is]. I am [am—ins. the] Alpha and [ins. the] Omega, the beginning and the end, [om. the beginning and the 14end,] the first and the last [ins., the beginning and the end]. Blessed are they that do his commandments [om. that do his commandments—ins. wash their robes], that they may have [ins. the] right to [or authority over ( Þ ἐîïõóßá ἐðὶ )], the tree of life, and may enter in through [om. in through—ins. by] the gates 15into the city. For [om. For] Without are [ins. the] dogs, and [ins. the] sorcerers, and whoremongers [the fornicators], and [ins. the] murderers, and [ins. the] idolaters, and whosoever [every one that] loveth and maketh a lie. 16I Jesus have [om. have] sent mine [my] angel to testify unto you these things in [concerning] the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and [om. and] the bright and 17[om. and—ins., the] morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.14 And let him that is athirst [thirsteth] come.14 And whosoever [om. And whosoever—ins.: he that] will, let him take the water of life freely.

3. Testimony to the Sanctity of the Apocalypse

18For [om. For] I testify unto every man [one] that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man [one] shall [om. shall] add unto these things [om. these things—ins. them], God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man [one] shall [om. shall] take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of [om. out of—ins. from] the book [om. book—ins. tree] of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things [om. and from the things] which are [have been] written in this book. 20He which [who] testifieth these things saith, Surely [Yea,] I come quickly: [.] Amen. [;] Even so, [om. Even so,] come, Lord Jesus.

Conclusion

21     The grace of our [om. our—ins. the] Lord Jesus Christ [om. Christ] be with you [om. you] all [or ins. the saints—or om. all and ins. the saints]. Amen [or om. Amen].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

SYNOPTICAL VIEW

The Epilogue of the Apocalypse is strongly suggestive of the Epilogue of the Johannean Gospel, just as the Prologue of the Apocalypse forms a pendant to the Prologue concerning the Logos. In the one case as in the other, the Coming of Christ is a fundamental thought. In the one case as in the other, the Scripture closes with a reflection relative to the Book itself; and in both cases, a mysterious, clare-obscure mode of expression is spread, like a veil, over the whole. The intimate connexion of the Apocalyptic Epilogue and Prologue is evident upon the most cursory comparison.

Here, again, we distinguish three main divisions. The first, which may be superscribed with the title of the Angel and John, reverts, in Rev_22:6-11, to the mediators or instrumentalities of the Apocalypse, and accordingly forms a parallel to Rev_22:1-6 of the Prologue. In the second division Jesus appears, as the Author of the Apocalypse, and over against His revelation is set the longing of the Spirit and the Bride for His Advent (Rev_22:12-17). The parallel passage in the Prologue is found in Rev_22:7-10. The third division is formed by the testimony to the inviolable sanctity of the Apocalypse (Rev_22:18-20). Then follow the closing words—a prayer to the Lord, and a wish for a blessing upon all readers.

[Rev_22:6.] And he said unto me. The conclusion reverts to the beginning. The series of visions is closed—hence, the mediators of the vision once more make their appearance. First, mention is made of the Angel of this Revelation (Rev_1:1). According to De Wette, Bleek, Düsterdieck et al., this is the same Angel who speaks in Rev_21:9. In other words, the Angel of the entire Revelation is accounted a special Angel from the group of the seven Angels of the Vials of Anger, and we are outside of the visions and yet, again, within them. Thus, too, the incident related Rev_19:10, is held to be repeated here—either the incident itself or the account of it. The former hypothesis would cast a shade upon the Apostle’s aptness to learn; the latter would implicate his ability as a writer. Neither the one nor the other assumption is admissible. In the scene portrayed Rev_19:10, John believed that he recognized the Lord Himself in the form of the messenger of Christ; here, it is the angelic form in which the Lord manifests Himself to him that he, in his profound reverence, identifies, wrongly, with the Person of Christ. Hence the deprecating words of the two Angels are very different. “I am thy fellow-servant and one of thy brethren who have the witness of Jesus,” says one. “I am thy fellow-servant and one of thy brethren the Prophets and of them who keep the words of this Book,” speaks the other. As the Angel of the Revelation, he places himself on a line not only with the Prophets, but also with the pious readers of the Apocalypse; this is, doubtless, owing to the fact that Christ assumes His angelic form in the sphere of prophetic, human spirit-life and pious longing for His coming. We translate here, therefore: Worship not the personal medium of the manifestation of Christ; just as we might say, Do not worship the Bible, though it is the medium of the revelation of God. Therefore the Angel further distinguishes the words of the Revelation, whose certainty and reality he affirms, from his mission from the Lord, Whom he identifies with the God of the spirits of the Prophets. Here, again, the conceptions of God and Christ run into one, as is frequently the case in the Johannean writings.

We apprehend the words ἑí ôÜ÷åé , here, as in Rev_1:1, as significant of the rapidity of the course of the things predicted, for the things of the thousand years, which form but one section of the whole eschatological time, can not be conceived of as happenning soon [or, shortly] in the ordinary sense.

Christ identifies Himself with the Angel in the declaration, Behold, I come soon [quickly], or rapidly, and conjoins with this declaration the beatitude expressive of the truth that he alone preserves the right position toward the Coming of the Lord, who keeps the words of the prophecy and makes them his guide.

The Seer now seems to come to himself after his grand visional ecstasy, as was the case, after similar ecstasies, with the Disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, with the Apostle Peter, Act_12:11 and Paul, 2Co_12:2; he is immediately overpowered, however, by a sense of the great grace which he has been deemed worthy to receive with this Revelation. And I John—not any indifferent John—a man by the name of John—am the hearer and seer of these things. And now he would fain fall down and worship before the Angel of the Revelation, as he fell down before him like a dead man at the beginning of this Revelation (Rev_1:17). Upon this he receives the prohibition before referred to, because it is his duty to distinguish between the Lord Himself and His angelic appearance, clothed in the materials of prophetic visions and Christian ideals. On the other hand, he receives the direction not to seal the words of the prophecy. He is to communicate them to the Churches and to stimulate the reading and exposition of them, because the time is near, because they are designed to keep Christians awake, and, if they slumber, to rouse them.

And now follows a saying which is peculiarly suggestive of the Gospel of John, especially of the fearful words, What thou doest [art about to do], do quickly [Joh_13:27]. Let him that doeth injustice [or, unrighteousness] do injustice [or unrighteousness] still. The meaning of this is that the time is great [weighty with import] and swift, and presses to decision; for every development, in evil and in good, the space granted is but short. The ironical tone which pertains to the first two exhortations is limited, first, by the remark that the following two sentences can have nothing of irony in them, and, further, by the earnest consideration that the seed of evil is peculiarly prospered by being brooded over, in the delusion that there is an endless time before the judgment, if, indeed, there be any judgment at all. The style of speech here employed is, doubtless, in general expressive of the following admonition: Consider that your actions are rapidly progressing to their end. The relation of moral development on both sides is pertinently intimated. The commission of unrighteousness courses into filthiness, into a filthy habit of thought and a corresponding mode of conduct; the righteousness of faith, on the other hand, develops, through the practice of right-doing, into a sanctification of life.

In the second division of the Epilogue, Jesus Himself is brought to view, with His immediate words. He announces Himself as the Recompenser, with reference to the proclamation of the Angel that the time is near and presses all men to decision. Behold, I come quickly, and My reward with Me, He says, in the words in which His Coming is announced by the Prophet Isaiah (Isa_40:10; Isa_62:11; comp. isa_11:18). He will appear as Judge, because His life is the principle and ground-law of the history of the world. This He expresses in a threefold manner. Because he is the Alpha, He must be the Omega. Because He is the First, He must be the Last. The first formula characterizes Him as the first, and hence the last, life-idea. The second formula characterizes Him as the first, and therefore the last, ideal life-form. The third formula characterizes Him as the innermost, primarily principial, and therefore, also, final life-power and substance. Because He is the Principle, He must be the Final Goal. The bearing of these words upon the judgment (in accordance with Matthew 25 and Act_17:31) is plainly manifest in the following beatitude.

In comparison with the reading, Blessed are they who wash their robes, we cannot possibly regard the other reading, Blessed are they who keep His commandments, as correct, although the sense may be the same. We have here to do with a festal symbolic expression, suggestive of the wedding garment and the saying, These have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev_7:14). These shall enter into the Holy City, with authority to eat of the trees of life. For upon the perfect appropriation of the cross of Christ, rests the putting on of the snow-white robe of righteousness, and this is the condition, at once of an eternal vital development and vital joy, and of entrance into the fellowship of eternal life.

The continued existence of a without, in contrast to an entrance into the Paradise of life, is expressed by an antithesis in the weightiest of words. Those who are excluded are again, apparently, cited in a group of six, but in reality a quinary is probably contemplated, as in the figure of the foolish virgins. The arrangement of individual characters also differs from that observed Rev_21:8. In the latter passage, the lost were contrasted with the idea of the bravery of the conquerors; hence the fearful had the precedence. Here they are contrasted with the picture of heavenly purity—the blessed, arrayed in their robes of honor; hence dogs take the precedence, as allegorical figures of spiritual uncleanness and commonness (see Mat_7:6; Php_3:2; 2Pe_2:21). Sorcerers have profaned and violated nature; fornicators have profaned and violated the personal and physical life; murderers have profaned and violated the image of God in their neighbor; idolaters have profaned and violated the symbols of the Divine and religion itself; lovers and practicers of falsehood in general—as a wider class of idolaters—have profaned and violated the consecrated reality and truth of life.

Jesus next definitively distinguishes Himself from the sending of His Angel. He declares that He has Himself sent the Angel to Christians to testify to them of the future in regard to the Churches; the dignity and weight of a testimony is thus assigned to His word. The reading chosen by us [ ἐðὶ ôáῖò ἐêêë .] we have designated in the Text, and Gram. Notes as highly momentous. Even in this expression, which has in many instances failed of being understood, the end reaches back into the beginning. The Apocalypse, namely, is in reality the Book of the future of the Christian Churches, symbolically represented, as they are, by the Seven Churches.

In conclusion, Christ places Himself, as the most glorious Man, the Son of man, over against the longing and expectation of the faithful. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Kernel in the kernel of the Theocracy, the ideal ground and the ideal blossom of the Davidic line, which rises as prominently in the midst of Israel as chosen Israel amongst the nations. Thus, as the great Promised One, He is the subject of all the longing of Israel, and, no less than this, the bright star which has risen upon mankind as the Morning Star of a new world. And well does He know that the heart of mankind goes out to Him with throbs of expectation and yearning. The Spirit in the Church and the Church as Bride answer Him with the cry, Come! And every one who hears and understands this cry is directed to join in the cry of longing, Come! But all who thirst, that is, all men of longing, must first come to Him on the platform of the spiritual life, and receive of the water of life freely [without price], in order that they may be able to sum up their yearning in that higher eschatological longing which can join in the cry, Come, Lord Jesus!

The third division of the Epilogue is the concluding attestation of the Book, and is suggestive of the attestation of the Johannean Gospel (Rev_21:24).

In this attestation we, in company with almost all exegetes, can see the words of the Prophet, only; not, with Ebrard, a remark of the Lord concerning the Book of John. In this severe verdict, reference is had not to readings and variations of opinion, but to augmentations or diminutions of the eschatological view of the world here expressed. It is an inviolable vital law that the fanatic, in the same degree in which he heightens the conceptions of judgment above the Biblical measure, loads himself with the judgment of those torments which he has imagined; thus, e.g., the mediæval exaggeration of the idea of hell brought hell torments in abundance upon the fanatics themselves. And on the other hand, similarly, it is a fact that the denier or diminisher of the prospects of Christian hope impairs his own inheritance of hope and bliss, to the same degree in which he takes away from the fullness of the Christian prospect. Every misdemeanor against the truth falls back upon him who commits it (see Introduction, p. 63, and Mat_5:19). The reference is not to transient sentiments, but to maxims which become permanent in a conduct consistently regulated by them. Thus, it is beyond question that consummate fanaticism crystallizes into a disposedness for torment; consummate libertinism into a complete incapacity for even the faintest idea of the conditions of a higher human life of blessedness. These thoroughly true thoughts meet us here as warning verdicts [vera dicta], hyperbolically expressed, designed for the protection of this glorious Book, which, in spite of these its guards, has been, and still continues to be, greatly mis-esteemed.

The Seer is sure that, together with himself, Christ attests his Book. He therefore introduces Him also, in the character of a witness, and expresses, in His testimony, the ground thought of his Book: Yea, I come quickly.

Hereupon, giving vent to that which has been the desire of his heart through his whole life, and especially during his old age, he utters the following sentence, by which he takes the Lord at His word in the name of the Church as well as in his own name: Amen, come, Lord Jesus.

In conclusion, he pronounces a benediction upon all who, with himself, are awaiting the coming of the Lord, and who constitute the true Saints of the. Latter Days. The benediction is couched in the following grand and worthy terms: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all saints. With all saints—in this adjunct, the Apocalypse, in its significance, is consistent with itself.

EXPLANATIONS IN DETAIL

Rev_22:6. And he said unto me.—With perfect, justice, Ebrard combats the view entertained by most commentators, to the effect that the Angel who is here spoken of is the same who has been the spokesman since Rev_21:9; the. same exegete maintains that, on the contrary, it is the Angel (of the Revelation) of whom mention is made in Rev_1:1. With this view, however, he conjoins the erroneous assumption that what John here reports, is nothing new, but only a reminiscence of former things; first, of the declaration previously made by the same Angel (Rev_21:5) and, secondly, of the certain truth that the entire Revelation is of Divine origin. But visional conditions do not come to an end suddenly any more than they begin suddenly; they die away gradually, even as they began. The face of Moses was still shining when he went down from the mount into the camp.

These words are, etc.—By this is meant the entire Revelation now concluded, as in Rev_22:7; Rev_22:18.

The Lord God of the spirits of the Prophets.—We apprehend these words as referring to Jehovah as the God of revelation, or, in other words, we find here a concrete summing together of God and Christ, as in the concluding words of 1Jn_5:20.

The mission of the Angel is from the Spirit of revelation, as the God of the spirits of the Prophets, the Source and Author of all prophecies, hence also of the Apocalypse (Joh_5:39; 1Pe_1:10-12).

The spirits of the Prophets.—According to De Wette, reference is had to the inspiration produced by the Spirit of God, in opposition to which Düsterdieck judiciously remarks that the spirits belonging, respectively, to the different Prophets are intended, which spirits God renders subservient to Himself.

His servants.—See Revelation 1.

Rev_22:7. And behold, I come quickly.—Adduction of Christ’s word, in corroboration of the expression ἐí ôÜ÷åé . “As in Rev_22:6 the Divine authority was cited, so here the main tenor of the Revelation now completed is made prominent. This is effected by the Angel’s speaking directly in the name of the coming Lord Himself.” Duesterdieck. We cannot perceive why the following parænesis should be regarded as “added by the Angel.” The Angel utters the whole,—in such a manner, however, as to introduce the Lord as speaking in Rev_22:7. It is this very fact that gives occasion to what follows—viz., the error, in the entertainment of which the Seer attempts to worship. Finally, we must again call attention to the subtile distinction that is to be made between the Lord Himself and the form of His revelation; not only personal Angels, but also symbolical ones, are a forbidden object of worship. This is suggestive of the second commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any image,” concretely apprehended; it also teaches us how difficult it is for man, in his admiration of the Divine, to leave that and arrive at the perfect worship of God.

Rev_22:8. And it was I, John.—The gradual coming to one’s self, e.g., out of sleep, out of somnambulic sleep, out of profound contemplation, out of an inspired or demonically excited condition, is a highly interesting phenomenon; its culmination is formed by the gradual return of ordinary consciousness [Tagesbewusstsein = day-consciousness] after the ecstasy of the Prophet.And I, John.—See Syn. View; comp. chap. 1.

Who heard and saw [ ὁ ἀêïýùí êáὶ âëÝðùí ] these things.—On the present form of the participle, see Düsterd. Though the visional unfolding of the things is over, that which the Seer has heard and seen continues to be ever spiritually present before his eyes.

And when I heard.—The reading which adds and saw, beautifully brings out the continued astonishment of the Seer.

I fell down to worship.—In Rev_19:10 he was in danger of identifying a personal Angel or beatified saint with the Lord; here he is in the more subtile peril of confounding a symbolic angelic form with the Lord Himself.

Rev_22:9. Take heed not. Ὅñá ìὴ (see Syn. View).

Rev_22:10. Seal not, etc.—See Rev_1:11; Rev_1:19; Rev_10:4; Dan_8:26; Dan_12:4; Dan_12:9. It may be asked, what is the difference between a sealing and a not sealing in the case of two Books which yet have been diffused in an identical or a similar manner. Irrespective of the fact that there is something symbolical in the expression, which declares, on the one hand, that the Book shall for a long time continue to be obscure and uncomprehended, or, on the other hand, that the Book shall be read, the antithesis also contains a distinction for the authors of the Books in question and for the Church. The symbolic mode of presentation is in itself a species of sealing; a reference to the key of symbolism, such as is frequently to be met with in John, is an unsealing (comp. Mat_13:11 sqq.). And thus there is also a difference in the ecclesiastic reservation of the Book and the submission of it for congregational edification. The Hierarchy has sealed the whole Bible; with us, even the Apocalypse is at least freely submitted to the Church for her edification.

For the time is near.—A motive for the diffusion, reading and explanation of the Apocalypse in the Christian Church.

Rev_22:11. He that doeth injustice.—This form is elucidated by analogies; not only by the already cited address of the Lord to Judas (Joh_13:27), but also by the following passages: Mat_23:32; Mat_26:45, and, in a less degree, Eze_3:27. And though there may be something of irony in the first two propositions (De Wette, et al.), there is nought of that character in the last two, viz., and let the righteous, etc.—If we seek for a common fundamental thought that shall lie at the basis of all four propositions, it is contained in the following words: “Since the judgment is at the door, let every one quickly prepare himself for it after his own free choice.” That this very idea indirectly offers to the wicked the strongest admonition to repent, is self-evident.

Work righteousness still.—The discardure of the erroneous reading äéêáéùèÞôù is of recognized importance as bearing upon the discussion relative to the meaning of äéêáéïῦí .

Rev_22:12-13. Behold, I come quickly.—Düsterdieck: “The words of Rev_22:12 sound like a communication from Christ’s own mouth.” Most certainly. “Those of Rev_22:13 (comp. chaps. Rev_1:8; Rev_21:5-6) are as the language of God Himself.” But because God calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega, it does not follow that Christ, the Son of God, may not also so denominate Himself. The Apostle Paul writes concerning God: “Of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things” (Rom_11:36). And again in Col_1:16 he writes concerning Christ: “All things were created in Him all things were created through Him and to Him.” Because Düsterdieck thinks that this presumed change of speakers must not be hypothesized, he affirms that John speaks these words “after the manner of the ancient Prophets.” And yet John here distinguishes his own speech, the speech of the Angel, the express speech of Jesus (Rev_22:16), and the speech of the Spirit! The motive for this singular retreat upon “the old Prophetic language,” (which might itself be called in question, if it were employed with the latitude and inexplicitness which would attach to its use in the present case,) seems to be simply Christ’s alleged inability to say: I am the Alpha and the Omega.

Rev_22:14. Blessed are they who wash their robes.—See Syn. View. The other reading see discussed in Düsterdieck, pp. [574,] 580.

Rev_22:15. Without are the dogs.—Düsterdieck apprehends the words as a command—foras sunto. Out with the dogs! Such a conception, however, does but obscure the clearness of the antithesis; it would be a sort of penal judgment, instead of a representation of the contrast which the region of the lost presents to Paradise—a representation which is a sermon in itself. Be it observed that the term, the dogs, is decidedly favorable to the reading, Blessed are they who wash, etc. Dogs.—“A special reference to sodomites (Eichhorn, who compares Deu_23:18) is not to be gathered from the context.” Duesterdieck.

Rev_22:16. I, Jesus.—Even these words, according to Düsterdieck, are spoken by John in the name of Jesus. And it is possible for him to entertain this opinion after all the distinct intimations which have previously been given concerning the speakers!

To testify unto you.—The ὑìῖí relates to the servants of God, as Rev_22:6 (comp. Rev_1:1). The servants of God are, through the instrumentality of the Apocalypse, constituted watchmen and warners of the Church. In this sense, even the Seven Epistles are not directly addressed to the Churches. Düsterdieck thinks, with Hengstenberg, that ὑìῖí , in case it is to be retained, refers to the Prophets.

The Root and the Offspring [Lange: Geschlecht=race].—The antithesis between root and scion—as the human parallel to the Divine antithesis of Alpha and Omega—is obliterated by the following explanation of Düsterdieck: “That which the first term [ ῥßæá ] declares figuratively and in accordance with Old Testament precedent (comp. Rev_5:5), is more literally affirmed by the second [ ãÝíïò ]: the son (Andr., Ew., et al.).” According to Hengstenberg also, the root of David is significant of the product of the root. The citation of Rev_5:5 proves nothing.

The Bright, the Morning Star.—In meaning, the passage Rev_2:28, where Christ promises to give the morning star, is entirely akin to this. Christ is the bright Morning Star of the coming day of eternity; He therefore also gives the morning star of a spiritual vision of the future (see above, Rev_2:28).

Rev_22:17. And the Spirit.—These words, according to De W., Hengstenberg, Düsterdieck, et al., are an answer to the foregoing—an answer which the Apocalyptist is represented as speaking in the name of the Spirit and the Bride. But since John utters his own Come, Lord Jesus in Rev_22:20, we cannot suppose that it was his intention to make so wide a distinction between himself and the Spirit and the Bride; and, moreover, the words, Let him that thirsteth come, etc., are in favor of the assumption that we have here the concluding words of Jesus Himself. A singular view is that of Ebrard, who holds Rev_22:17 to be a reply to the speech of Jesus, and regards Jesus as again becoming the speaker in Rev_22:18, with a view to taking the Book under His own patronage.

Let him that thirsteth, etc.—See chap Rev_21:6; Isa_55:1; Mat_5:6; Joh_7:37.

Freely [gratuitously].—The last full evangelic tone in the New Testament.

Rev_22:18-19. I testify unto every one, etc.—Testification is a solemn asseveration which binds or makes responsible those to whom it is addressed (Deu_4:2; Pro_30:5-6). We repeat the remark already made by us upon this passage, viz., that, in accordance with the symbolic expression of the Apostle, the reference is not simply to the exegetical treatment of the Apocalypse, as is usually assumed. There are many who add gloom to the Christian view of the world, and many who diminish its depth, without making use of the Apocalypse in thus doing. It is, indeed, also true that any exegetical tampering with the Apocalypse is inadmissible, and the one-sidednesses of exegesis are manifoldly connected with the one-sidednesses of fanaticism or spiritualism [Spiritualismus]. The paronomasia— ἐðéèῇ , ἐðéèÞóåé , ἀöÝëῃ , ἀöåëåὶ —is no mere play upon words; it is indicative, rather, of the fact that transgressions against the purport of the Apocalypse are connected with the inner condition of the guilty one, and hence infallibly rebound upon him, or that, as violations of the Divine faithfulness and truth, they are reflected back in violations of self.

Every one that heareth, etc.—That is, every one who is present at the reading aloud of the Book in Church; it is, therefore, designed to be read aloud in Church. According to Vitringa, Bleek, et al., the threat is directed against careless transcribers; according to Ewald and De Wette, against oral inaccuracies of repetition. Düsterdieck justly regards each of these explanations as insufficient, and lays stress upon the keeping of the contents of the Book, the revelation of God, maintaining that it is upon the falsification of that revelation that the curse is laid. Luther’s words of censure, contained in his preface of 1522, see cited in Düst., p. 582. Bleek is of opinion that Luther was not entirely wrong in taking offence at the words. De Wette also thinks the threat too harsh. Hengstenberg apprehends the words as referring to such additions and omissions as affect the actual kernel of the Book (p. 452 sqq. [Trans.]). According to Ebrard, these words are “the seal which Christ Himself impresses upon the Apocalypse.”

Rev_22:20. He who testifieth these things saith.—Here Jesus is again introduced as speaking. He is brought in, primarily, as a Witness Who supplements the foregoing testimony of John, but at the same time He indirectly appears as a Witness for the whole Apocalypse. He sums up His testimony in the all-corroborating and all-embracing affirmation: Yea, I come quickly.

The Seer replies to the word of the Lord with a grand and simple prayer: Amen; come, Lord Jesus.

Rev_22:21. The grace.—See Rev_1:4. The ὑìῶí of the Rec. does, indeed, more nearly agree with Rev_1:4, but it is, on the one hand, not as well supported as our reading, and, on the other hand, the reading with all saints, is in perfect harmony with the solemnity of the conclusion.

[ADDITIONAL NOTE ON THE EPILOGUE]

By the American Editor

[There are several matters concerning this conclusion of the Book of Divine Revelation which the writer desires to present for consideration:—

I. The Authorship

The entire Epilogue is the utterance of Jesus, by the mouth of His representative Angel (the Angel of Rev_21:9), to John—with the exception of the second clause of Rev_22:6, Rev_22:8-9, the last clause of Rev_22:20, and Rev_22:21. In this proposition there are but three points which need discussion, all of which are opposed to the views of our author.

1. The Angel that addressed John was the Angel of Rev_21:9. That Christ spoke through a representative in Rev_22:7, is admitted by all; that this was the Angel of Rev_21:9 is the point to be proved. The êáὶ åἶðÝí ìïé of Rev_22:6 shows that the speaker there mentioned must have been the one speaking in the immediately preceding verses—the phraseology forbids the idea that another speaker had been introduced. The êáß of Rev_22:7, together with the absence of any introducing clause, requires the conclusion that the same speaker continued his address; and this conclusion is confirmed by the ôïῦ äåéêíýíôïò of Rev_22:8—manifestly, the Angel at whose feet the Apostle fell was the one who had been showing him the things previously described. A difficulty in reference to this interpretation may suggest itself to some minds, arising from the generally received opinion that the Angel of Rev_21:9 was (as were all the Angels of the Vials) a Symbol; his symbolic character may be regarded as inconsistent with the language of Rev_22:9, I am thy fellow servant, etc. Possibly he was an Immediate Symbol—i. e., a simulacrum—of a real Angel; possibly, however, real Angels took part in all the scenes described. But however this may have been,—admitting the truth of the first supposition, there was neither impropriety nor incongruity in representing the simulacrum of an Angel as using the language of an Angel.

2. The second clause of Rev_22:6 is an explanatory remark introduced by John. It seems to the writer inconceivable, that, if the declaration, The Lord God sent His Angel to show, etc., had been made to the Apostle, he should immediately after have offered Divine honors to that creature. The natural hypothesis seems to be that—(1) in Rev_22:7, the Angel, as the representative of Jesus, spoke in the first person, Behold, I come quickly, and John at once drew the conclusion that the speaker, though in the form of a servant, must be his Lord—a natural mistake and one immediately corrected; and (2) the Apostle in his narrative introduced the explanatory clause of Rev_22:6.

3. The address of Rev_22:18-20 (first clause), is the utterance of Christ through His Angel, and not a declaration of the Apostle. This, in the judgment of the writer, is placed beyond doubt by a comparison of the first words of Rev_22:18 with those of Rev_22:20; the One who testifies is the One who says, I come quickly.

II. The Duty of Studying the Apocalypse

That it is the duty of every Christian to study this Book appears from the following declarations of the Epilogue:—1. The Apocalypse was given for the information of the Saints, Rev_22:6; Rev_16:2. It was designed to be read in the congregations, Rev_22:18 (I testify unto every one that heareth); see also comment on Rev_1:3, p. 90. 3. Its utterances were not sealed, i.e., closed up from individual comprehension (see foot-note*, first column, p. 193), Rev_22:10. 4. A blessing is to be bestowed upon those who keep the words of the prophecy, Rev_22:7; which keeping requires, of course, preceding study. 5. A woe shall be visited upon all who add to, or diminish from, the words of the Book, Rev_22:18-19.

The Epilogue, in implying the duty of study, agrees with the Prologue; see Rev_1:3, and the additional comment thereon, p. 90.

III. Angel Worship

The Am. Ed. cannot agree with those who hold that in the incident recorded in Rev_22:8, and in the similar incident mentioned in Rev_19:10, the Apostle was guilty of an attempt to worship a creature, knowing him to be such—i.e., that he was guilty of idolatry. Alford, in his comment on Rev_19:10, takes that position, remarking: “The Angel seems to him worthy of some of that reverence which belongs to God Himself. The reason given by Düsterdieck, that in both cases John imagined the Lord Himself to be speaking to him, is sufficiently contradicted by the plain assertion, here in Rev_17:1, and there in Rev_22:8 itself, that it was not a Divine Person, but simply an Angel.” In answer it may be said—(1) So far as Rev_17:1 is concerned, manifestly it is the Apostle’s own remark, and probably was not penned until after the incident described in Rev_19:10, i. e., after he had received the information that the one who spoke to him was a mere Angel; and (2) In reference to Rev_22:8, there is nothing in the record to forbid the hypothesis presented above in I. that it was an explanatory clause introduced by the Apostle. It seems utterly inconceivable, first, that John, either as a Jew or as an Apostle of Christ, could have offered worship to a creature, knowing him to be such; and, in the second place, that, if he had done so, he would not have been sharply rebuked for his idolatry. In neither case does the language of the Angel necessarily imply rebuke; in each case it may be interpreted, and most naturally interpreted, as a warning against error in conduct, and a rectification of the mistake whence the error was about to proceed. It may also be remarked that, unless the Apostle had been positively informed to the contrary, he might naturally have supposed that one of the Angels of the Vials was Jesus Himself. Let it be observed that, during the pouring out of the Vials, the words of Jesus, Behold, I come as a thief, had been uttered—by whom we know not, but the context would lead us to suppose that they were spoken from amongst the Seven Angels (Rev_16:15). This might naturally have excited the suspicion that Jesus was there. When the Angel who first came to him used the expression, These are the true words of God (Rev_19:10), it should occasion little surprise that John supposed him to be his Lord. And when another of the Seven, representing Jesus, adopted the language of Jesus, Behold, I come quickly (Rev_22:7), can we wonder that the Apostle leaped to the conclusion that Jesus in person was with him?

It is scarce necessary to remark that, whatever hypothesis we may adopt as to the subjective condition of John, the words of the Angels convey most positive condemnation of all creature worship.

IV. The Teaching of Christ as to His Twofold Nature

The twofold nature of Jesus is most clearly set forth. His humanity in the words, “I am the offspring ( ôὸ ãÝíïò =race, stock, descent) of David” (Rev_22:16); His Divinity, not less clearly, in Rev_22:12-13; Rev_22:16 (the root).

V. The Time of the Second Advent

At first glance, the words of Jesus, I come quickly (Rev_22:7), seem to be inconsistent with the idea that the Advent thus promised is still future. Probably this declaration, more than aught else, has induced the opinion, amongst those who hold it, that the Advent is past.

That the Coming mentioned in Rev_22:7 is the one foretold Rev_1:7 (and also Dan_7:13; Mat_24:27; Mat_24:30; Mat_26:64; Mar_14:62; Act_1:9; Act_1:11, etc.), seems to be evident upon comparison; and that that Advent has not taken place seems also to be evident upon an examination of the passages referred to, together with their contexts,—there has been nothing in history that satisfies the description of events accompanying the Advent. We must look for an explanation of the quickly ( ôá÷ý ) in the declarations of 2Pe_3:18 and Luk_18:7-8. See also footnote* (first column), p. 89.

VI. The Final Warning

Alford comments on Rev_22:18-19 as follows: “The adding and taking away are in the application and reception in the heart; and so it is not a mere formal threat to the copier of the Book. . . . . All must be received and realized. This is at least an awful warning both to those who despise and neglect this Book, and to those who add to it by irrelevant and trifling interpretations.”

VII. The Final Prayer

In the prayer, “Amen; come, Lord Jesus” (Rev_22:20), the Apostle pours forth the longing of his instructed heart for the realization of “that blessed hope” of the Church—“the glorious Appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit_2:13). In this prayer is summed up all that the Christian heart can desire—the destruction of the power of Satan; the deliverance of the creature from the bondage of corruption; the banishment of sin and sorrow from the individual heart and from the world; the restoration of all things; the establishment of the Kingdom of righteousness; the beholding by Jesus in fullness of the travail of His soul, the bestowment upon Him in completeness of His promised reward.

Let each member of the Church militant, mourning the absence of her Head, but cheered by the promise that He will come again, unite with the Apostle in the longing cry—Amen; Come, Lord Jesus.—E. R. C.]

Footnotes: 

Rev_21:9. [Crit. Eds. reject this clause with à . A. B* P., et al.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:9. [The Angels, not the vials, are, grammatically, represented as being full of the plagues; the original is Êáὶ ἥëèåí åἶò ἐê ôῶí ἐðôὰ ἀããÝëùí ôῶí ἐ÷üíôùí ôὰò ἐðôὰ öéÜëáò ôῶí ãåìüíôùí ôῶí ἐðôὰ ðëçìῶí ôῶí ἐó÷Üôùí .—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:9. We give the reading ôÞí íýìöçí ôὴí ãõíáῖêá ôïῦ ἀñíßïõ .

Rev_21:11. [Crit. Eds. omit the copula with à . A. B *. P.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:11. [The true meaning of öùóôÞñ is that which gives light.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:12. [The second] ὀíüìáôá is omitted by the Rec. [Lange retains. It is given by Lach., Tisch. (1859), with A. B*., Vulg., Cop., Syr., et al.; it is omitted by Tisch. (8th Ed.) with à . P.; it is bracketed by Alf. and Treg.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:14. [Crit. Eds. give äþäåêá with à . A. B*. P., Vulg., et al.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:15. Codd. A. B*. [ à *. P.] give ìÝôñïí .

Rev_21:16. Ôïóïῦôüí ἐóôéí before ὅóïí should be omitted. [So Crit. Eds. with à . A. B*. P., et al.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:19. A. B*. [ à 3a. P.], et al. omit êáὶ .

Rev_21:21. [See foot-note†, Rev_11:8, p. 231.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:22. [See Add. Comm. on Rev_1:8, p. 93.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:23. Codd. A. B*. [ à 1. P.]. et al., omit ἐí after öáßíùóéí .

Rev_21:24. The Rec. gives êáὶ ôὰ ἔèíç ôῶí óùæïìÝíùí ; a reading concocted, most probably, in explanation of the word ἔèíç . [ Ôῶí óùæïìÝíùí is omitted by à . A. B*. P., Vulg., Cop., Syr., Æth., et al.—E. R. C.]

Rev_21:24. The Rec. adds êáὶ ôὴí ôéìÞí . [This clause is given in B*., Vulg., Cop., Syr.; but is omitted in à . A. P., et al.—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:1. Êáèáñüí is unauthorized. [It does not appear in à . A. B*. P., Vulg., Cop., Syr., Æth.—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:2. Êáὶ ἐêåῖèåí . [Crit. Eds. read ἐíôåῦèåí êáὶ ἐêåῖèåí with A. B*., et al.—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:3. ÊáôÜèåìá ; comp. Delitzsch, p. 51. [Crit. Eds. so read with à c. A. B*. P.—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:3. [Crit. Eds. give the reading ἔóôáé ἔôé with à . A. P.—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:5. ̓ Åêåῖ is unfounded.

Rev_22:5. Ἔôé is supported by à . A., et al.; Tischendorf [1859] omits with B*. [but gives it in the 8th Ed. with à . A. P.—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:5. Tischendorf [1859], with B*., gives ïὐ ÷ñåßá , etc. which differs from the readings of Lachmann and the Rec. [Lach. and Alf. read ïὐ÷ ἕîïõóéí ÷ñåßáí with A., Vulg.; Tisch (8th Ed.) and Treg. give ïὐê ἔ÷ïõóéí ÷ñåßáí with à ., Memph., Syr.; P. also gives ἔ÷ïõóéí .—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:5. [Lach., Alf., Treg., Tisch. (8th Ed.) give öùôüò with à . A., Vulg., et al.; Tisch. (1859) omitted with B.* P.—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:5. We give the reading [ öùôéåῖ ] ἐð ̓ áὐôïýò . [So read Alf., Treg., Tisch. (8th Ed.); öùôéåῖ with à . B.*; ἐð ̓ áὐôïýò with à . A. Lach. gives öùôßóåé with A. P. ̓ Åð ̓ is omitted by B*. P.—E. R. C.]

[See additional comment on Rev_21:22, p. 387.—E. R. C.]

[See additional comment on Rev_22:3, p. 388.—E. R. C.]

[See additional comment on Rev_21:22, p. 387.—E. R. C.]

[In Job, l. c., the G.V. reads: “Ramoth and Gabis are not thought of. Wisdom is of higher value than pearls.” In the two passages in Proverbs above cited, the word which the E. V. renders rubies, is, in the G. V., translated pearls.—Tr.]

[The cui bono argument, if injudiciously pressed, might lead to the conclusion that there are no Angels at all. Angels are described as “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” ‘But,’ it may be asked, ‘what is the use of them under the government of an infinite God? Are they aught else than symbols of the watchful guardianship which God exercises over His children?’ Angels may be unnecessary as watchmen and guards at the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem, and some may object to them as “ornaments;” and yet veritable Angels ministering at the gates of that glorious abode would add to its glory, and might perform other offices that in our present condition it is impossible for us to conceive.—E. R. C.]

[De Wette interprets the ῖóá , ver 16, in reference to the height,—viz.: of the wall, as he falsely assumes—as uniform, because the wall is everywhere 144, i.e. 12 × 12, cubits high. Altered from Duesterdieck.—Tr.]

[The G. V. reads here: “und wird kein Bann mehr sein” (and there shall be no more ban).—Tr.]

[In order to the understanding of this point, the writer would refer the reader to his Preliminary Note on the Symbolism of the Vision, pp. 145 sqq.—E. R. C.]

[As an Immediate Symbol, the simulacrum of the New Jerusalem was probably to a large extent ideal. This, doubtless, was the case in the simulacra of Angels. We can hardly suppose that the simulacrum beheld by John was in all respects similar to the City that, is to be, and yet it may have been so to a greater extent than we are now prepared to admit. It should here be distinctly noted, what was set forth with great care in the Note on Symbolism, that there is a great difference between an Immediate ideal and a Mediate Symbol. The former always represents something similar in (apparent) kind to the simulacrum, although with differences as to particulars; the latter always represents something different in (apparent) kind, as the simulacrum of a lamb to represent Christ, and that of a City to symbolize a Church or people.—E. R. C.]

[The writer expresses no decided opinion as to whether the Bride, the subjects of the First Resurrection, shall consist of the martyrs; or the whole body of the redeemed or a select portion, including the martyrs—the ἀðáñ÷Þ (see p. 193). He inclines, however, to the last mentioned view.—E. R. C.]

[The hymnology connected with the New Jerusalem is exceedingly rich. A small work enti led O Mother dear, Jerusalem, by William C. Prime (A. D. F. Randolph, Now York, 1865) gives the entire Poem so named; its history, several of its versions, and also several of the ancient hymns, in Latin and English, whence its sentiments, and in many instances its language, were drawn. To these hymns, embodying as they do the opinions of many of the painted fathers of the Church, and sung in every land, is due, more than to aught else, the prevalent interpretation of the Apocalyptic description. The original English form of the hymn as it exists in a small volume of poetry, professedly of the age of Queen Elizabeth, in the British Museum, was some years ago published by Dr. Bonar. Modernized by Barnes as to its spelling, it is as follows:

Rev_22:6. We give the reading ôῶí ðíåõìÜôùí ô . ð ., in accordance with à . A. B*. [P., Vulg. except Am.,] et al.

Rev_22:7. Êáß , in accordance with A. B*. [ à . Vulg., Syr., Æth.]

Rev_22:8. [Gb., Sz., Lach., Tisch. (1859), Alf., Treg., give âëÝðùí êáὶ ἀêïýùí with A. B*. Vulg., Syr., Arm., et al.; Tisch. (8th Ed.) reverses the order with à .—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:8. B*. gives êáὶ ὅôå ἴäïí . [So Tisch. (1859).] There are several unimportant variations here. [Lach., Tisch. (8th Ed.), Alf., Treg., read ἔâëåøá with à .—E. R. C.]

Rev_22:10. à . A. B*. Lachmann [Alf., Treg., Tisch.], insert ãὰñ
SPECIAL DOCTRINO-ETHICAL AND HOMILETICAL NOTES (ADDENDUM)

Section Twenty-Second

The Epilogue. (Rev_22:6-21)

General.—The Johannean character of the Epilogue of the Revelation has already been dwelt upon. A depth of meaning and a festalness of mood, conjoined with a somewhat indefinite expression, or a mysterious form, are peculiar to this section as well as to the Epilogue of the Gospel; and the fundamental thought which animates them both is an earnest longing for the Coming of the Lord. In regard to the construction, comp. the Exeg. Notes.

Special.—The pureness of the Revelation (Rev_22:6) corroborated by its Author. By its intimate connection with the whole of Holy Writ. By its fulfillment hitherto.—(Rev_22:7.) Behold, I come quickly. 1. How this saying is misunderstood when it is interpreted in the sense of a secular computation of time. 2. How, for the standpoint of religious sentiment and Christian expectations, it always retains its truth, and, 3. continually gains in weight.—Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy.

Rev_22:8-9. What is the significance of the distinction between the Angel of Christ and Christ Himself (see Exeg. Notes)?—[Rev_22:10.] Seal not the words of the prophecy of this Book. Why not? The time is at hand.—Earnest and grand character of the course of the world to its end.—Seal not the Book; not even by false interpretations—especially, chiliastic darkenings and rationalistic volatilizings.—Seal not even the Apocalypse with hierarchic seals, much less then the whole of the Bible.

Rev_22:11. Lofty import of these words: What thou doest (wilt do), do quickly! (See Exeg. Notes.)—Christ’s word concerning His Coming (Rev_22:12). He announces Himself as the righteous Recompenser.—His reward according to men’s works: 1. The reward not as the wages of hired service, but an honorarium of love; 2. Not for works of hired service, but for those of the service of love.—Christ as the Alpha and Omega. Some say: Omega, but not Alpha. Others: Alpha, but not Omega. Whoso, however, rightly says the one, says also the other.—Antithesis of blessedness and damnation (Rev_22:14-15).—Without—its import (Rev_22:15).—Who is without? Note the pure and purely moral character of these traits.—Christ’s testimony regarding His Coming: A testimony to the Church (Rev_22:16).—Christ in His human and Divine glory (I am the Root, etc.).—How His human and Divine glory guarantees His Coming.—[Rev_22:17.] The three-fold Come—of the Spirit, the Bride, the individual Christian.—He who would greet the Lord with a come! must first hearken to the Lord’s call: Come!—Our Welcome to the Advent of Christ must be based upon His Welcome to the reception of salvation.—The clear sound of the Gospel may still be heard at the very close of the Revelation. Here, also, the declaration is: Take freely.—[Rev_22:18.] The Apostle’s warning in regard to the Apocalypse: It is no subject for haughty-cavil, but an enigma for humble meditation.—The mysteries and enigmas of Scripture concluded with a final enigma.—Whoso occupies a wrong position in regard to the future, occupies also a wrong position in regard to the present and the past.—[Rev_22:20.] Briefest and most sublime dialogue between the Lord and His people. 1. He says: I come quickly 2. We say: Amen, yea, come, Lord Jesus.—Who can, with a good courage, say Amen to the announcement of His Coming?—The sum of all human longing, all Christian hope, all Divine promise, in the cry: Come, Lord Jesus!—The Apocalypse, a Book of faith; of love; of hope; of longing, of patience; of comfort; of investigation; of knowledge. Of sacred awe, of blessed vision.

Rev_22:21. The benediction. Benedictions from the beginning to the end of the Scriptures: In respect (1) of their purport; (2) of their rich development; (3) of their conditionedness; (4) of their glorious operation.

Starke (Rev_22:10): No man should be prohibited from reading the Holy Scriptures.

Rev_22:11. If the wicked wilfully refuse to follow, God at last suffers them to go their own way (Pro_1:24 sqq.).

Rev_22:12. Comp. Isa_40:10.

Rev_22:17. Because many souls should yet be drawn to Christ—among other things, by the testimonies of this Book concerning the glorious Coming of Christ—John adds these words: let him that heareth, say, Come.

Rev_22:19. O awful punishment of those who falsify God’s word! There is nothing more precious [than the word of God]—hence it needs no addition of worldly eloquence, there is nothing more pure—hence we must take nothing from it.

Rev_22:20. Let us say Amen and Yea to the promises of our Saviour, although as yet we see nothing (?) of their fulfillment.

Calwer Handbuch der Bibelerklärang. [Rev_22:10.] Although much in the Revelation was not intended to be understood until the times of fulfillment, yet this Book is not a shut (sealed) Book, but a Revelation [Offenbarung].

Lisko (Bibelwerk): [Rev_22:16.] He [Christ] is also the bright morning-star, Who caused the day, the whole period of Divine life in mankind, to arise, and issue forth from Himself, and Who now beams upon us from the other world (as the morning-star of the Day of Eternity).

Gerlach (Bibelwerk): Rev_22:17. To inflame the longing of the faithful for the return of their Saviour, is one of the principal designs of this Book.

[From M. Henry: Rev_22:20. Christ will come quickly; let this word be always sounding in our ear, and let us give all diligence, that we may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.—Surely I come quickly.—Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. What comes from heaven in a promise, should be sent back to heaven in a prayer.

Rev_22:21. Nothing should be more desired by us than that the grace of Christ should be with us in this world, to prepare us for the glory of Christ in the other world.—From The Comprehensive Commentary: Rev_22:16. The bright and morning star. Christ’s rising, in His incarnation, introduced the gospel-day; His rising in power introduceth the millennial day; His rising in the saving influences of His Spirit introduceth the spiritual day of grace and comfort; and His appearance to judge the world will introduce the eternal day of light, purity and joy. (Brown.)—“The Spirit,” by the sacred Word, and by His convictions and influence in the sinner’s conscience, says “Come” to Christ for salvation; “the Bride,” or the whole Church militant and triumphant, says “Come,” and share our felicity. It therefore behooves every man who hears the invitation to call on others to “come.” (Scott.)—From Barnes: Rev_22:11 : There is nothing more awful than the idea that a polluted soul will be always polluted; that a heart corrupt will be always corrupt; that the defiled will be put forever beyond the possibility of being cleansed from sin.

Rev_22:16. The bright and morning star. (Let that star) remind us that the Saviour should be the first object that should draw the eye and the heart on the return of each day.

Rev_22:17. And let him that is athirst, come. Whoever desires salvation, as the weary pilgrim desires a cooling fountain to allay his thirst, let him come as freely to the gospel as that thirsty man would stoop down at the fountain and drink.—From Vaughan: Rev_22:7. A special blessing is pronounced by our Lord Jesus Christ upon those who prize, and keep as a precious and sacred deposit, this particular portion of His revealed truth.

Rev_22:11. There will come a time to each one of us, when, whatever we are, that we shall be; when the seal of permanence will be set upon the spiritual condition; when the unjust man shall be unjust forever, and the righteous man shall be forever righteous.

Rev_22:12. To give back to each one as his work is. That is the judgment. It is the reaping of the thing sown. It is the receiving back the things themselves that were once done in the body (2Co_5:10); receiving back the very acts and deeds themselves, only developed, full-grown, full-blown, ripened unto harvest.—From Bonar: Rev_22:14. Blessed are they that keep His commandments. It is to a life of such keeping that we are called. By such a life, we partake of blessedness as well as glorify God.—Enter in through the gates into the city. (Enter) not over the wall; not by stealth; but as conquerors in triumphal procession, their Lord, as King of glory, at their head.

Rev_22:17. Note here, 1. The cry for Christ’s advent. 2. The invitation to the sinner. Observe (1) The inviter; Christ Himself. He invited once on earth; He now invites from heaven with the same urgency and love. (2) The persons invited; a. The thirsty. They who would fain be happy, but know not how; who are seeking rest, but finding none; who are hewing out broken cisterns; betaking themselves to dried-up wells. b. Whosoever will. A wide description. It shuts out none. (3) The blessings invited to; The water of life. “Water,” that which will thoroughly refresh you and quench your thirst; “water of life,” living and life-giving. This water is the Holy Ghost Himself, Who comes to us as the bringer of God’s free love, with all the joy which that love introduces into the soul. (4) The price. Freely. Free to each one as he is; though the chief of sinners, the emptiest, wickedest, thirstiest of the sons of men.

Rev_22:18-19. Note here, 1. The perfection of God’s word. 2. The honor God puts on it. 3. Our responsibilities in regard to it. 4. The sin and clanger of tampering with it.]