VERES. 9 – 11
v.9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels,…. Either the first of them, as one of the four beasts is the first of them, Revelation 6:1or it may be the last, and very likely the same as in Revelation 17:1
which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues; that is, the wrath of God poured out by them on the antichristian party; see Revelation 15:1.
And talked with me, saying, come hither; see Revelation 17:1.
I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. The “Lamb” is Christ, who is often so called in this book; see Revelation 5:6 Revelation 19:7 and is the Son of God, the heir of all things, the Maker and Governor of the universe, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; and who, as Mediator, has all accomplishments and qualifications to recommend him as a bridegroom, such as beauty, riches, and wisdom: the bride, his wife, is not any particular believer, nor any particular church; not the Gentile church, nor the Jewish church only, but all the elect of God, consisting of the raised and living saints at the coming of Christ; who will make up one body, one general assembly, and be as a bride, prepared and adorned for her husband: these were first betrothed to Christ in eternity, and were openly espoused by him, one by one, at conversion; and now being all gathered in by the effectual calling, the dead being raised, and the living changed, and all glorified, the marriage is consummated, and they are declared publicly to be the bride, the Lamb’s wife; See Gill on Matthew 22:2.
And now, though John had had a sight of her before, Revelation 21:2 yet that was but a glimmering one, at a distance, he being in the wilderness, Revelation 17:3 wherefore the angel calls him to him, and proposes to give him a clear, distinct, and particular view of her, in all her glory; and a glorious sight this indeed! to see the bride brought to the King in raiment of needlework, and the queen stand at his right hand in gold of Ophir. This is a sight of a quite different nature from that of the filthy strumpet, which the same angel proposed to give to John in Revelation 17:1.
v.10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
And he carried me away in the Spirit,…. John was in an ecstasy, as in Revelation 1:10 and in the thoughts and apprehensions of his mind and spirit, it seemed to him as if he was carried away from one place to another; for this was not a corporeal sight, nor were any of the visions he had, but what was represented to his mind or spirit; it being with him as it was with the Apostle Paul when he was caught up to the third heaven, who knew not whether he was in the body or out of the body. The Ethiopic version renders it, “the Spirit brought me”; not the evil spirit Satan, who took up our Lord corporeally, and carried him to an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of this world, and their glory, Matthew 4:8 but either a good angel, or the Spirit of God:
to a great and high mountain; to such an one was Ezekiel brought in the visions of God, when the frame of a city and temple was shown him, with their dimensions, Ezekiel 40:2 as here a city is shown to John, with its wall, gates, foundations, and their measures: and he was brought to such a place, partly that he might have the more plain and full view of it; and partly to suggest unto him, that now the church of Christ was established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, and was a city on a hill, which could not be hid, Isaiah 2:2.
And showed me that great city; which is no other than the church, the bride, the Lamb’s wife; just as the apostate church, all along in this book before, is called the great city, Revelation 11:8 but now that being demolished, there is no other great city in being but the church of Christ, called a city before; Revelation 21:2 here a “great one”, not only because of its prodigious large dimensions, Revelation 21:16 but because of the number of its inhabitants, being such as no man can number; and because it is the residence of the great King, the tabernacle of God will be in it; though this epithet is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin and all the Oriental versions: “the holy Jerusalem”; called “the new Jerusalem”, Revelation 21:2 here “holy”, in allusion to the city of Jerusalem, which was called the holy city, Matthew 4:5 on account of the temple in it, the place of divine worship; but here this city is so called, because it is the residence of the holy God, Father, Son, and Spirit, inhabited only by holy men, made perfectly so, and encompassed by holy angels.
Descending out of heaven from God; See Gill on Revelation 21:2.
v.11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Having the glory of God,…. Not only upon their souls, which will lie in the glorious robe of Christ’s righteousness, the bride’s wedding garment being on them, in the perfect holiness which will be in them, and in that complete knowledge of all spiritual and heavenly things they will be possessed of, they will have a glory revealed in them; but upon their bodies also, for this city, the church, the bride of Christ, will consist only of risen and changed saints, whose bodies will be freed from all dishonour; deformity, diseases, and imperfections, and will be made like unto Christ’s glorious body, and will shine like the sun in the kingdom of God.
Moreover, the presence of God may be intended by his glory, as the Shechinah, or the divine majesty of God in the tabernacle and temple was called, Exodus 40:35 1 Kings 8:11 for the glorious presence of God will now be in this church state, which will cast a lustre on all that are in it; for if the face of Moses, and of Stephen, shone so bright and glorious, through the presence of God with them; see 2 Corinthians 3:7 how much more gloriously will the saints shine in this state, when they shall enjoy the presence of God in a far more illustrious manner? to which may be added, that Jesus Christ, who is the brightness of his Father’s glory, will now appear in that, and in his own, and in the glory of his angels; and all the saints will appear with him in glory; and to see them in all this glory is a glorious sight indeed!
And her light was like unto a stone most precious; by her “light” is not meant the light she will have in her, though that will be exceeding great, but the fountain of it from whence it comes; that which holds it forth to her, and supplies her with it: the word signifies an illuminator, and is used of the ministers of the Gospel, that hold forth the word of life and light to others, Philippians 2:15 but here it intends Christ, who is the sun of righteousness, the church’s light or enlightener, Revelation 21:23 not with the light of nature, as he enlightens every man, nor with the light of grace, with which the saints are enlightened by him in the present state of things, by his Spirit, through the word and ordinances, but with the light of glory: and he is comparable to the most precious stone; he is more precious than rubies; he is so now to them that believe, in his person, offices, grace, and righteousness, and will be more so in his light and glory in the new Jerusalem state:
even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal: God the Father, who sits on the throne, is said to be to look upon like a “jasper”; See Gill on Revelation 4:2; and here Christ, the illuminator of his church, is said to be like one, because of the exceeding brightness of this stone, and the durableness of it, expressive of the perpetuity of Christ, as the light of his church and people; he is the everlasting light of it, Isaiah 60:19 and he is compared to the crystallising “jasper”.
There is one sort which is called “Aerizusa”, like to air[c] Ruaeus de Gemmis, l. 2. c. 1., and another “Crystallizusa”[d] Dioscorides, l. 5. c. 160., clear as crystal. So Pliny speaks[e] Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 9. of a white “jasper” called “Astrios”, and which, he says, is crystallo propinquans, “near to crystal”, found in India, and on the shores of Pallene. To this Christ is like, because he is light itself, and in him is no darkness at all, and will cause an everlasting day; and such a clear and bright state of things, as that there will be no night, nor any more darkness, nothing but everlasting joy, peace, prosperity, and happiness; there seems to be some reference to Isaiah 60:1.
Original Source: Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible http://sacred-texts.com/bib/cmt/gill/rev021.htm http://dailybread.com.au/7000/200/090-07-06.html