CHAPTER 21: ALL THINGS NEW
Verse 1: Thus begins the description of how all things are new because of the now total victory of Christ. It is centered on a New Jerusalem. These verses are similar to 2 Thessalonians 1:10.
Verse 2: Keeping Isaiah 61:10-11 in mind, we see a mixed metaphor imagery of New Jerusalem and a Bride being one in the same. We should remember the mixing of the Woman and the Great City of 17:18 and see a contrast here. This city comes out of Heaven from God just as Christ did.
Verse 3: God is with man on earth as it is in Heaven.
Verse 4: The result of the victory of Christ is no more death (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 20:14; 1 Corinthians 15:26) mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 7:17; Isaiah 35:10, 51:11, 65:19).
Verses 5-6: “It is done” is repeated (much like Christ on the cross in John 19:30) from Revelation 10:6-7 and Revelation 16:17. Everything in process is fulfilled. There has been a progression of terms in the “now but not yet” fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. In addition, this image shares the promise of free life forever offered from the One seated on the throne.
Verses 7-8: The offer of life continues, but with warning that rejection means they will receive fire and sulfur in the Lake of Fire. This is “the second death” (see Romans 6:23 and also 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrew 12:14).
Verses 9-21: The Bride-City. Here are mixed metaphors depicting the Bride as a City. The jewels are gates. Pearls measure a perfect cube because she is perfect and holy… like clear gold. The entire Bride-City is without any pollutants.
NOTE: Pearls come by suffering (process of torment and stress). In Matthew 13:45-46, the ‘pearl of great price’ is received by giving all for it. Job makes a similar reference that through pressure in life God refines us (Job 23:10).
Verse 22: There is no need of a temple in the city since Jesus is there and will remain forever.
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. “Entry for ‘PEARL'”. “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia”. 1915. [public domain]
“(Heb. gabish ). The Hebrew word in (Job 28:18) probably means “crystal.” Pearls, however are frequently mentioned in the New Testament, (Matthew 13:45; 1 Timothy 2:9; Revelation 17:4; 21:21) and were considered by the ancients among the most precious of gems, and were highly esteemed as ornaments. The kingdom of heaven is compared to a “pearl of great price.” In (Matthew 7:6) pearls are used metaphorically for anything of value, or perhaps more especially for “wise sayings.” (The finest specimens of the pearl are yielded by the pearl oyster (Avicula margaritifera), still found in abundance in the Persian Gulf and near the coasts of Ceylon, Java and Sumatra. The oysters grow in clusters on rocks in deep water, and the pearl is found inside the shell, and is the result of a diseased secretion caused by the introduction of foreign bodies, as sand, etc., between the mantle and the shell. They are obtained by divers trained to the business. March or April is the time for pearl fishing. A single shell sometimes yields eight to twelve pearls. The size of a good Oriental pearl varies from that of a pea to about three times that size. A handsome necklace of pearls the size of peas is worth $15,000. Pearls have been valued as high as $200,000 or $300,000 a piece.–ED.)”