VERSES: 3 – 4
v.3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven,…. Either of an angel, or rather of Christ, or God himself; since the Alexandrian copy and Vulgate Latin version read, “out of the throne”,
saying, behold the tabernacle of God is with men; in allusion to the tabernacle being with the Israelites, and the “Shechinah”, or divine Majesty, being in the midst of them, and as an accomplishment of the promise in Ezekiel 37:27 in the fullest sense of it; and designs something distinct from the spiritual presence of Christ in his church, as his tabernacle and temple, and in the hearts of his people; and from the heavenly glory, or ultimate state of happiness, in which they will be “with him”, and that not as in a tabernacle, but as in a city, which has foundations: the phrase seems to denote the personal presence of Christ with his saints in human nature, like, though different from, that in the time of his humiliation; then he dwelt or tabernacled with men on earth, but it was in the form of a servant; but now he will appear in a glorious body, and indeed in all his personal glory, and reign among them as their King:
and he will dwell with them; in person and not by his Spirit, or by faith, as before, nor as a wayfaring man only for a night; but he will dwell with them for the space of a thousand years, and after that for ever: Christ and his church will now be come together as husband and wife:
and they shall be his people; that is, they shall appear to be his covenant people, that will be out of all doubt; this is made manifest in some measure in the effectual calling; but it does not yet appear neither to the saints themselves, nor to others, what they are, and shall be, but now it will be evident and unquestionable.
And God himself shall be with them; the “Immanuel”, God with us; not by his Spirit, as he was after his ascension to heaven, and since is; but in person, he himself will descend from heaven, when his church, the new Jerusalem does; the Lord their God will come in person with all the saints, and will be King over all the earth.
And be their God, as Thomas styles him, my Lord, and my God, John 20:28. The covenant of grace, with all its blessings and promises, are in him, and now will it have its full accomplishment, and the saints be in a state inexpressibly happy; see Psalm 144:15.
v.4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,…. Occasioned by sin, Satan, the hidings of God’s face, and afflictive dispensations of Providence; for these will be no more:
and there shall be no more death; natural or violent; there will be no more putting of the saints to death, or persecution of them unto death, as in former times; nor will they die a natural death any more; these children of the resurrection, and inhabitants of the new heaven and earth, will be like the angels, who die not; there will be no more deadness as to spiritual things among the saints; and as for the second death, that will have no power over them. So the Jews say[u] Echa Rabbati, fol. 48. 2. & Midrash Kohelet, fol. 61. 2., , “there is no death in the world to come”; good is laid up for the righteous in the world to come, and with them is no death[x] Maimon. Teshuva, c. 8. sect. 1.; and after the resurrection the body is perfect, and shall never aftertaste the taste of death[y] Midrash Hanneelam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 70. 1..
Neither sorrow, nor crying; on account of sin, or because of oppression and persecution, or through the loss of near relations and friends; sorrow and sighing will flee away, all occasions thereof being gone: neither shall there be any more pain; either of body or mind; there will be nothing to afflict the mind, and make that uneasy, but all the reverse; nor will there be any sickness or diseases of body, for the body will be raised glorious, powerful, incorruptible, and spiritual.
For the former things are passed away; not only the first heaven and earth, the world, its fashion, and its lusts; but the former grievous times under Rome Pagan and Papal, and everything which in this present life gives uneasiness and distress.
Original Source: Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible http://sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/gill/rev021.htm http://dailybread.com.au/7000/200/090-07-03.html