22:1 Then the angel showed me [glimpse of the interior of heavenly Jerusalem] the river of the water of life [cf. John 4:10], as clear as crystal, flowing [abundantly] from the throne of God and of the Lamb [and therefore free from any impurities]
22:2 down the middle of the great [main] street of the city. On each side [refers to accessibility] of the river stood the tree [nourished by the river of life; symbolizes restoration of what was forfeited in Eden] of life [cf. Gen. 2:9; this tree represents eternal life], bearing twelve [number symbolizing completeness in religion or spiritual matters] crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month [cf. Ps. 1:1-3; Ezek. 47:12]. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing [perhaps reference to ongoing spiritual health] of the nations.
22:3 No longer [heaven will restore what was lost when sin entered the world] will there be any curse [of sin]. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve [not just rest in heaven] Him.
22:4 They will [finally] see [previously not possible; great privilege] His face [full revelation; intimacy to be constantly enjoyed; barriers removed], and His name will be on their foreheads.
22:5 There will be no more night [perhaps meaning no more evil (cf. Jn. 3:19); nothing will diminish God’s glory in heaven]. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light [God’s light dispels all darkness or evil]. And they will reign for ever and ever.
22:6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
22:7 “Behold, I [Christ] am coming soon [phrase appears three times in ch. 22:7,12,20; does not necessarily mean immediately; implies a call to readiness and expectancy because when He does return it will be quick or sudden]! Blessed is he who keeps [continually heeds, guards, obeys; cf. Rev. 1:3] the words of the prophecy [foretelling (prophecy) and forthtelling (exhortation)] in this book.”
22:8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship [see also 19:10] at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.
22:9 But he [cf. v. 8, angel] said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep [observe/obey] the words of this book. Worship God [only He is worthy of worship; theme of the book]!”
22:10 Then he [cf. v. 8, angel] told me, “Do not seal up [instead make the message public] the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time [season] is near [therefore apply message today].
22:11 [cf. Matt. 13:30; first part of this verse refers to sin-hardened people who have reached the point of no return or perhaps means that some will not have time to repent because Jesus will return suddenly and without warning] Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile [morally defiled] continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”
22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon [cf. 2 Pet. 3:8; a warning (to the lost) and a promise (to the believer); should serve as motivation to holy living]! My reward [can mean either a positive reward or a negative punishment] is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done [work or sum total of a person’s life; cf. Rom. 2:5-6].
22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last [and everything in between], the Beginning and the End.
22:14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes [equivalent to trusting Christ as Savior and Lord; see Rev. 7:14], that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates [John 10:9] into the city.
22:15 Outside [the gates; excluded from heaven by their sins; the place of those who do not wash their robes] are the dogs [label of reproach; applied to those who had committed abominable sins], those who practice magic arts [promote pagan superstitions], the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you [plural: perhaps refers to John and the seven churches] this testimony [message] for [the message of this book is intended primarily for…] the churches [as in 1:4 and also all churches throughout history; believers who make up churches]. I am the Root [cf. Isa. 11:1] and the Offspring of David [Jewish Messiah (Anointed One)], and the bright Morning Star [dawning of eternal day for all who place their trust in Him; the One who dispels darkness; heralds new day of hope and promise].”
22:17 The [Holy] Spirit [inspires the church (bride) to issue the invitation to “come”] and the bride [church in the sense of the totality of all believers] say, “Come [invitation to lost sinners to come to Jesus for salvation]!” And let him who hears [implies that recipients of gospel must share it with others] say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty [spiritually], let him come [while there is time]; and whoever wishes [indicates freedom to believe], let him take the free gift [cf. Rom. 6:23b] of the water of life.
22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.
22:19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
22:20 He who testifies to these things says [the heart of our Christian hope…], “Yes, I am coming [incentive for holy living] soon [a relative term; God does not measure time as we do].” Amen. [John’s yearning and earnest prayer…] Come [reflects our readiness and faithfulness to His work], Lord Jesus [cf. 1 Cor. 16:22; Maranatha (Aramaic) means “Come, Lord Jesus”].
Note: “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9)
22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen [let it be so].