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twelve tribes of the children of the south, three gates; and on Israel.
the west, three gates. 13 On the east, three gates ; 14 And the wall of the city on the north, three gates; on had twelve foundations, and in strength and defence. The prophet four cardinal points of the compass. Isaiah said, God appoints "salvation We certainly cannot see any propriety for walls and bulwarks;" Isa. xxvi. in any other supposition touching this 1 ; lx. 10–18. Twelve gates. — verse; but there are persons who can Many very wise speculations have discover images and proofs of the been made about the twelve gates, trinity wherever the number three with the twelve angels, &c. The is mentioned. gates, in our judgment, are mentioned 14. Twelve foundations. — As the only because there must be gates to a revelator had mentioned the twelve city which has walls, otherwise there tribes, whose names he had represent can be no entrance. The numbered as being engraved upon the twelve twelve was chosen because it was a gates, so he had a desire to mention famous sacred number with the Jews, the twelve apostles also. He thereon account of the number of the fore supposed the city to have twelve tribes; and as, if there be gates, principal foundations, and on these there must be janitors or gate-keepers, were placed the names of the twelve so an angel is placed at each gate. apostles of the Lamb. This agrees The names of the tribes were engraved precisely with the beautiful metaphor upon the gates, to show who resided of the apostle : “Now, therefore, ye within the walls. The twelve tribes are no more strangers and foreigners, here are to be understood metaphor- but fellow-citizens with the saints, and ically, as in chapter vii. 5–8. of the household of God; and are built
13. Three gates. — Hammond, with upon the foundation of the apostles out the acuteness he frequently shows, and prophets, Jesus Christ himself supposes that “these entrances, three being the chief corner-stone; in whom toward every quarter, denote the all the building, fitly framed together, coming in of men from all quarters of groweth unto a holy temple in the the world to the faith of Christ, or Lord: in whom ye also are builded doctrines of the gospel, and their together, for a habitation of God baptism, their sacrament of admission through the spirit ;" Eph. ii. 19–22. to all, performed by a threefold im- Does not this show that the revelator mersion, as there were three gates on was not describing things that are to each side,] and profession of faith in take place after the immortal resurthe three persons, Father, Son and rection, but the state of the church on Holy Ghost.”—(Com. on the place.) earth? Peter was one of the principal Metaphors were not designed to be stones in this foundation. See Matt. treated in this manner. They are not xvi. 18. If the revelator was describto be explained and applied in every ing the state of the church on earth, point. The object of the revelator does it not show that all that is dewas to show a very beautiful and scribed in the twentieth chapter must perfect city, to represent the spiritual be on the earth? If it had been a city or the new Jerusalem. And as judgment after the immortal resurrecthere must be gates where there are tion, which is described in the twenwalls, and as twelve gates answered tieth chapter, how is it that we find to the twelve tribes, and as no city the church still described as existing has all its gates on one side of it, it on the earth? was a very natural division of them 15. Measure the city. — As, accordto put three in each wall, facing the ling to the style of the prophets, it them the names of the twelve 18 And the building of the apostles of the Lamb.
wall of it was of jasper : and the 15. And he that talked with city was pure gold, like unto me, had a golden reed to meas- clear glass. ure the city, and the gates 19 And the foundations of thereof, and the wall thereof. the wall of the city were gar
16 And the city lieth four- nished with all manner of presquare, and the length is as cious stones. The first founlarge as the breadth : and he dation was jasper; the second, measured the city with the reed, sapphire; the third, a chalcetwelve thousand furlongs. The dony; the fourth, an emerald. length, and the breadth, and the 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the height of it are equal.
sixth, sardius; the seventh, 17 And he measured the wall chrysolite ; the eighth, beryl : thereof, a hundred and forty the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, and four cubits, according to the a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, measure of a man, that is, of the a jacinth; the twelfth, an ameangel.
thyst. became necessary to give the meas- the measurement, he now comes to urement of the city, [Ezek. xl. 3 ; speak of the external beauty, richness Zech. ii. 1; Rev. xi. 1,] so the revela- and glory of this imaginary city. tor supposed the angel that talked The wall seemed to be of itself like with him to have a golden reed in his jasper-stone, beautiful, very brilliant, hand, for the purpose of measuring and yet not painful to behold. | Puré the city, the gates, and the wall. gold. The city was rich beyond These things show how fully he was all comparison, being built of gold, instructed in the style of the proph- polished to that high degree, that, ets.
although gold, it had still, for transpa16. Twelve thousand furlongs. - rency, the appearance of glass. These dimensions were surely imagi. 19, 20. All manner of precious stones. nary. Everything is made conform- The foundations of the city repreable to the most exact rule. The city sented the twelve apostles of the Lamb. is in the form of a cube - the length, These foundations are represented as breadth, and height, are equal. It is being ornamented with twelve kinds an extraordinary city, constructed of precious stones, like the breastplate with the most exquisite art, but is of the high priest. These stones were surely metaphorical.
set one for each tribe, as a kind of 17. An hundred and forty and four sign of that tribe. See Exod. xxxviii cubits. — Twelve times twelve cubits 17–21. It was perhaps from this
the number twelve still lwelling in fact that a covering of precious stones his mind. A cubit is the ordinary came to signify the highest state of length of the human arm, from the glory, prosperity and riches. So the elbow (cubitus) to the tip of the original state of Tyre was expressed : longest finger. The revelator says, “ Thou hast been in Eden, the garden although he was talking with the of God; every precious stone was thy angel, that he intended the cubit of covering, the sardius, topaz, and the ordinary length; i. e., according to diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the the measure of a man.
jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and 18. Of jasper.- Having got through the carbuncle, and gold: the work. 21 And the twelve gates were mighty and the Lamb are the twelve pearls ; every several temple of it. gate was of one pearl; and the 23 And the city had no need street of the city was pure gold, of the sun, neither of the moon, as it were transparent glass. to shine in it: for the glory of
22 And I saw no temple God did lighten it, and the therein ; for the Lord God Al- Lamb is the light thereof.
manship of thy tabrets and of thy highest and most important sense, for pipes was prepared in thee in the day the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb that thou wast created;" Ezekiel are the temple of it. God was present xxviii. 13. The foundations of the in this Jerusalem in a nearer and new Jerusalem were garnished in the more definite sense than he had been highest possible degree. The whole present in the former. In the new intent is to make the metaphor trans- Jerusalem his presence will not be cendently glorious. The revelator confined to place. There is no need copies from the prophets.
of an outward temple ; he is himself 21. Twelve pearls. — Pearls were the temple. He dwelleth not now in of great value; and were used as temples made with hands; Acts xvii. representations of the most precious 24. The worship of God under the things; Matt. vii. 6. They were used new covenant is confined to no place. for personal ornaments, as they are Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, to this day; 1 Tim. ii. 9. Each of “Woman, believe me, the hour comthe gates was said to be of one pearl eth when ye shall, neither in this
a thing impossible in itself, because mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worthe pearl being found in a fish, no ship the Father;" John iv. 21. “But one could have been obtained large the hour cometh, and now is, when enough for a gate of a city, much less the true worshippers shall worship the a city of such dimensions. This Father in spirit and in truth; for clearly shows that the expression was the Father seeketh such to worship hyperbolical, and that the design was him.” to describe a city of exceeding rich- " Where'er the saints assemble now, ness, adorned in the highest manner,
There is a house for God." as a metaphor of the gospel, or coven- 23. The glory of God did lighten it. ant of God, in which he dwells with – It was a spiritual city the sun
We repeat a remark made be- need not shine upon it. The glory fore, that the Jews were accustomed of God made it radiant; the sun of to represent the enslaving of a people righteousness shed upon it its beams. under the metaphor of the destruction Its light was spiritual light. The of a city; and a return from captivity, Jews, who abounded in the richest or a renewed or increased state of metaphors, were accustomed to say, prosperity, was represented by the when the glory of God was peculiarly rebuilding of a city. It is so in the manifested in a place, that it had no case before us. It is measured with longer the need of the sun and moon. great exactness, but the whole, surely, See Isaiah lx. 18—20: “Violence is metaphorical.
shall no more be heard in thy land, 22. I saw no temple therein. — In wasting nor destruction within thy the old city of Jerusalem there was a borders; but thou shalt call thy walls temple ; i. e., an outward, literal, tem- Salvation and thy gates Praise. The ple; but there was no such temple sun shall be no more thy light by in the new Jerusalem; yet the new day; neither for brightness shall the city was not without a temple in the moon give light unto thee; but the
24 And the nations of them | glory and honor of the nations which are saved shall walk in into it. the light of it: and the kings of 27 And there shall in no the earth do bring their glory wise enter into it anything and honor into it.
that defileth, neither whatso25 And the gates of it shall ever worketh abomination, or not be shut at all by day: for maketh a lie; but they which there shall be no night there. are written in the Lamb's book
26 And they shall bring the of life.
Lord shall be unto thee an everlast- the kings of Sheba and Seba shall ing light, and thy God thy glory. offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall Thy sun shall no more go down; down before him; all nations shall neither shall thy moon withdraw it-serve him ;'' Psa. lxxii. 10, 11. self; for the Lord shall be thine ever- 25, 26. Shall not be shut. - The lasting light, and the days of thy figure here is principally quoted from mourning shall be ended.”
The Isaiah, to whom the revelator became revelator applies the metaphors of the frequently indebted : “ Therefore thy prophets to the superior beauty and gates shall be open continually; they radiance of the gospel.
shall not be shut day nor night; that 24. Them which are saved. - The na- men may bring unto thee the forces tions of them that are saved were of the Gentiles, and that their kings those who had been brought to the may be brought;" Isa. lx. 11. In earthknowledge of the truth, and saved ly cities the gates are shut at night, thereby. The Christians were called to exclude thieves and enemies, and the saved ; 1 Cor. i. 18. They were to avoid surprise. But as there is no saved from error, sin, and moral death. night in the new Jerusalem, these | Walk in the light of it. — They precautions would be unnecessary. walked in the light of the new Jeru- 27. Anything that defileth. — All glosalem. Before the coming of Christ, ry and all honor will be conferred the people walked in darkness; Isa. upon the new Jerusalem, that the ix. 2. When he came, they saw a nations can bring. Everything that great light. But they did not all walk defileth will be excluded from it, bein that light; some continued in dark- cause “the unrighteous cannot in
The saved, however, walked herit the kingdom of God.” They in the light of the new Jerusalem. must be washed, and sanctified, and | Bring their glory, &c. — And as saved, before they can enter. Only the kings, in building up an earthly city, saved shall walk in the light of it, use their immense influence and those whose names are enrolled among treasures, to bring glory and honor to the Christian believers, in the Lamb's it, they are said to do the same here: book of life. The conclusion of this “And kings shall be thy nursing description will be found in the next fathers, and their queens thy nursing chapter. mothers; they shall bow down to thee
CHAPTER XXII. with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou Preliminary Remarks. - In the preshalt know that I am the Lord: for ceding chapter we found an account they shall not be ashamed that wait of the descent of the new Jerusalem for me;" Isa. xlix. 23. In describing from heaven; and a description of it the glory of Solomon's kingdom, the under the figure of an earthly city. Psalmist said, “ The kings of Tarshish This description had not closed at the and of the isles shall bring presents ; end of the chapter, but is continued to
2 In the midst of the street
of it, and on either side of the ND he showed me a pure river, was there the tree of life,
river of water of life, clear which bare twelve manner of as crystal, proceeding out of the fruits, and yielded her fruit erthrone of God and of the Lamb. ery month : and the leaves of the end of the fifth verse of the chap- 2. On either side of the river. - This ter now before us.
description is clearly taken from Eze1. Pure river of the water of life. kiel, as well as that of the preceding The throne of God is supposed by the verse. Hear what the prophet says: revelator to be set up in the new Je- “ And by the river, upon the bank rusalem. It is a divine kingdom in thereof, on this side and on that side, which God reigns in conjunction with shall grow all trees for meat, whose the Son, and of course the throne of leaf shall not fade, neither shall the God and the Lamb is represented as fruit thereof be consumed; it shall being there. See verse 3. From the bring forth new fruit according to his throne of God and the Lamb, or from months, because their waters they under the throne, came out a pure issued out of the sanctuary; and the river of the water of life, clear as fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the crystal. Nothing adds more to the leaf thereof for medicine;" xlvii. 12. beauty, comfort, and health of a city, In the description of a beautiful garthan a river running through it. In den, how is the scene heightened by describing a perfect city, therefore, the introduction of a pure stream of the river is introduced. In the garden water. See Solomon's description: of Eden, the persection of beauty, “Thy plants are an orchard of pomethere was the river to water it; Gen. granate, with pleasant fruits; camii. 10. But unquestionably the reve- phire, with spikenard, spikenard and lator had his mind on Ezekiel's de- saffron ; calamus and cinnamon, with scription of the city. Ezekiel had all trees of frankincense; myrrh and thereby prefigured the happy state of aloes, with all the chief spices; a the Jews after their return from cap- fountain of gardens, a well of living tivity. As he had prefigured their waters, and streams from Lebanon ;' return to Jerusalem by the resurrec. Song, iv. 13—15. Tree of life. — In tion in the valley that had been filled Ezekiel's description, the healing tree, with dry bones, so he proceeds to de- or tree of life, was seen on either scribe a city for them to dwell in. As bank of the river, yielding its fruit the Christians, by the help of God, monthly, the leaves of which were for were to overcome Gog and Magog, medicine. The revelator paints a viz., their spiritual enemies, they street on each side of the river, and must have a spiritual city to dwell in, between the street and the brink of and the new Jerusalem was that city. the river on either side grew the tree And as Ezekiel saw the waters issue of life. Not that there was one tree out from under the threshold of the only; but that all the trees were of house eastward, xlvii. 1, so here, in that species. They were all the tree the new Jerusalem, the waters issue of life. I Yielded her fruit every month. from beneath the throne. The waters - And this tree bore its fruit every which Ezekiel saw were healing, liv- month. It is not intended that the ing waters: “Everything shall live, tree bore twelve different kinds of (said the prophet,) whither the river fruit, for no tree does this; but it afcometh ;" ver. 9. So in the revela- forded twelve harvests in the year. tor's description, the water is called It is said the tree bore twelve fruits ; the "water of life, clear as crystal.” and this is explained by the re.