Gill’s Exposition of Revelation 21:22 to 24


VERSES: 22 – 24

Revelation 21:22

v.22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

And I saw no temple therein,…. No material temple, as was in the old Jerusalem, or such as is described in Ezekiel’s vision; nor any place of public worship, as under the Gospel dispensation; for in this state there will be no such external form of worship as now, such as preaching the word and administering ordinances. The Jews expect a third temple, but in vain.

For the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it; God will be immediately present with his people, whose face they shall see, and whom they will serve in the most pure and spiritual manner; and Christ in his human nature, in the temple of his body, that tabernacle which God pitched, and not man, which is filled with the train of the divine perfections, and in which the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily, will be the only medium of the divine Presence, and of the communications of glory to men, and of the saints’ praise to God, which will be the service they will be employed in; and the Lamb being joined with the Lord God Almighty, shows his deity and his equality with his Father.

Revelation 21:23

v.23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it,…. Which may be understood either literally of these two luminaries, which all earthly cities need; and which, though they may be in being in the new heavens, yet will not have the use with respect to this city they now have. The Jews say[1][u] T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 101. 1., the orb of the sun is in this world; and the gloss adds, but not in the future state, for the lights shall be renewed: and they further say[2][w] Raziel, fol. 17. 2., as here, that

“in the world to come, “Israel , will have no need of the light of the sun, nor of the light of the moon”, neither by day nor by night,”

as they say[3][x] Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2., the Israelites had not in the wilderness. So they represent the Lord speaking to Moses, and saying[4][y] Petirat Moseh, fol. 23. 2.,

“thy days shall cease, but thy light shall not cease; for thou shall have no need for ever of the light of the sun, nor of the light of the moon, and of the stars.”

Or else it may be understood mystically, but not of Christ, the sun of righteousness, whom the saints will always need and enjoy; but of the governors and discipline of the church in its present state; and of the written word, which is a light unto them now, and the ministration of it, and the ordinances of the Gospel, by which light and knowledge are conveyed; but in this state all will be immediately taught of God; nor shall everyone teach his neighbour, but all shall know the Lord perfectly; and also of political governors, who will be no more; see1 Corinthians 15:24.

For the glory of God did lighten it; the Shekinah, or glorious presence of God, which filled the temple of Solomon, and shone round about the shepherds at the incarnation of Christ; with the presence of God, who is light itself, which will be enjoyed in a much more glorious manner, will the church now be enlightened; and this will be an everlasting light unto her: and the Lamb is the light thereof; in whose light they will see the face of God, and see God face to face; they will see Christ as he is, and behold his glory; and look upon the angels, those glorious forms of light, and all the glorified saints, and know and converse with each other; and they will look into, and clearly discern all the mysteries and doctrines of grace, and all the various scenes of Providence, which will all be opened and laid before them. And this light will be always without any change and variation; which is no small part of the commendation of this city, which is the inheritance of the saints in light. So the holy blessed God is said by the Jews[5][z] Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2. & 98. 1. to be , “the light of Jerusalem”; he is the light of the new Jerusalem; see Isaiah 60:19 and the light of, the world to come is, by[6][a] Ben Gorion apud Aben Ezram in Psal. xlix. 19. them, called “the great light”.

Revelation 21:24

v.24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

And the nations of them which are saved,…. In distinction from them that will be deceived by Satan, Revelation 20:8. These are not all the nations of the world, which will be gathered before Christ, the Judge, for all will not be saved, there is a world that will be condemned; nor the Gentiles only, which shall come into the church state of the Jews when called, for that state is not here designed; and besides, all Israel shall be saved then; nor the living saints at Christ’s coming, who shall have escaped, and are saved from the general conflagration; for these, with the raised ones, will be caught up together to Christ, and descend and dwell together on earth, and make one church state; but all the elect of God, both Jews and Gentiles, whom God has chosen, Christ has redeemed, and the Spirit has called out of all the nations of the earth: these are only saved ones; such are already saved, not only are determined to be saved, and for whom salvation is wrought out by Christ, and to whom it is applied at conversion, and who are representatively set down in heavenly places in Christ, and are already saved by hope and faith, and with respect to the certainty of salvation; all which may be said of saints in the present state; but these will be such, who will be actually and personally saved, will be in the full possession of salvation, enjoying all the blessings of it: they will be partakers of the first resurrection, and the glories of it: the tabernacle of God will be with them, they will be free from all sorrows and death, and will inherit all things: the Syriac version reads, “the nations that are saved”; who are redeemed and saved by Christ: this may teach us how to understand those phrases, which seem to favour general redemption, as all men, the world, the whole world; see Isaiah 45:20. These words, “of them which are saved”, are left out in the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, but are in all the copies.

These nations are the inhabitants of this city, and they shall walk in the light of it, which is Christ; they shall enjoy it; they shall have the light of life, and be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light, and that continually: they shall not only come to it, but continue in it, and walk at it, and by the light of it: the walk of these will be different from the walk of saints now, who walk by faith, and not by sight; but these shall walk by sight, enjoying the beatific vision of God, and the Lamb.

The Jews say[7][b] Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 56. 3., that Jerusalem, in time to come, will be made a lamp to the nations of the world, , “and they shall walk in its light”, or by the light of it, which is the sense of Isaiah 60:3 “the Gentiles shall come to thy light”; see Isaiah 9:1 and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it; by whom may be meant either mystically all the saints, who will be kings as well as priests unto God, and will reign as such with Christ in this state, will cast their crowns at his feet, and give him all the honour and glory; or literally, the kings of the earth, who shall have relinquished antichrist, hated the whore, and burnt her with fire, and who will have been nursing fathers in the spiritual reign; or rather all good kings that ever have been in the earth: not that they will be kings of the earth at this time, for now all rule, authority, and power, will be put down; nor will any worldly riches, honour, and glory, be brought by them into this state, nor will they be needed in it; but it is to be understood of who have been kings on earth, though not of their having brought earthly riches and grandeur into the interest and churches of Christ; as David gave much towards the building of the temple, which was begun and finished by King Solomon his son, and as Constantine greatly enriched and aggrandized the church when he became emperor; but the sense seems to be this, that such who have been Christian kings on earth will prefer the happiness of this state to all their riches and greatness here; and that could all the glory of the kings of the earth be put together, it would not equal, but be greatly inferior to the glory of the new Jerusalem; Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of the inhabitants of this place; see Revelation 20:6 besides, these shall do all homage, and submit to Christ the King of kings in the midst of the church, which may be meant by “glory” and “honour”.

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Original Source: 
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible


1 [u] T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 101. 1.
2 [w] Raziel, fol. 17. 2.
3 [x] Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2.
4 [y] Petirat Moseh, fol. 23. 2.
5 [z] Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 57. 2. & 98. 1.
6 [a] Ben Gorion apud Aben Ezram in Psal. xlix. 19.
7 [b] Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 56. 3.

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