Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

To: annalex

9 posted on 08/24/2022 6:06:49 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies ]

To: annalex

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

From: Revelation 21:9b-14, 22-23

A New World Comes Into Being. The New Jerusalem
[9b] (One of the seven angels) spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb." [10] And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, [11] having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. [12] It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed; [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 on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

[22] And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. [23] And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.


9-21. In contrast with the punishment visited on the evil city, Babylon, the harlot (cf. 17:1), we are now shown the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, the spouse, coming down from heaven. There is a significant parallel between 17:1ff and 21:9ff.

The author writes with a truly remarkable mastery of language: after the introduction (v. 9), he describes the Holy City using three literary devices which, after giving the measurements of the city, he repeats in more or less reverse order. The description is like the impressions a traveler has as he approaches: first, from afar, he sees its radiance--the city as a whole and the glory of God (vv. 10-11); as he comes closer he can distinguish walls and gates (vv. 12-13), and when closer still its foundation stones (v. 14). Once inside, he realizes its sheer scale (vv. 15-16) and is able to assess the size and richness of its walls (vv. 17-18) and foundation stones and gates (vv. 19-21); and he is spellbound by the brightness that shines from the glory of God (21:22-22:5).

The city is given the titles of Bride and Wife (Spouse) which are normally used to designate the Church (cf. 19:7). This is easy to understand in the context of the imagery used: the city represents the Church, the community of the elect viewed in its complete, indissoluble union with the Lamb.

10-14. This vision is rather like the one the prophet Ezekiel had when he saw the New Jerusalem and the temple of the future (cf. Ezek 40-42). However, St John stresses (cf. also 21:2) that the city comes down from heaven: this shows that the full establishment (so long desired) of the messianic kingdom will be brought about by the power of God and in line with his will.

The description of the Holy City begins with the view from outside. This is the first thing that is seen and it is what makes it strong and unassailable. He speaks of walls and gates and foundations. The names of the tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles show the continuity between the ancient chosen people and the Church of Christ; and yet the point is made that the Church is something quite new which rests on the twelve Apostles of the Lord (cf. Eph 2:20). The arrangement of the gates, in threes facing the four points of the compass, indicates that the Church is universal: all nations must come to it to gain salvation. his is what St Augustine means when he says that "outside the catholic Church one can find everything except salvation" ("Sermo Ad Cassar", ).

21b-27. After taking us up to the walls and through the gates of the ity, the author brings us right inside, to its very center; this also so amazingly rich. However, surprisingly, there is no temple. This makes it different from the Jerusalem described by Ezekiel, for the center of that city was the temple (cf. Ezek 4042). The temple in Jerusalem and the tent of the tabernacle in the wilderness symbolized the fact that God dwelt there; it was the visible sign of divine presence ("shekinah" in Hebrew), a presence revealed by the descent of the cloud of the glory of God.

In the heavenly Jerusalem there is no longer any need for God to have a dwelling-place, because God the Father himself and the Lamb are always present. The Godhead does not need to be brought to mind by the temple (the symbol of his invisible presence), because the blessed will always see God face to face. This sight of God is what causes the righteous to be forever happy. "There are no words to explain the blessedness which the soul enjoys, the gain which he obtains once his true nature has been restored to him and he is able henceforth to contemplate his Lord" (Chrysostom, "Ad Theodorum Lapsum", 1, 13).

In the Old Testament theophanies of Yahweh, a splendid brightness revealed the divine glory. And so, the presence of God will fill the heavenly Jerusalem with such a brightness of light that there is no need of sun or moon. Beside God the Father, with equal rank and dignity, is the Lamb, whose glory will also shine out, revealing his divinity.

This light will illuminate all those who worship the Lord, thereby fulfilling the messianic prophecies of Isaiah (cf. Is 60:3, 5, 11; 65-66).

The gates of the Holy City will stay open by day, that is, always, because there will be no more night, nor anything unclean: the saints will be the only ones to enter.

10 posted on 08/24/2022 6:47:18 AM PDT by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson