Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. A
river of water of life, or of living water. It is spoken with allusion to the rivers of paradise and to the tree of life.
Ver. 2. For
the healing of the nations, or Gentiles, to signify the call of all Gentiles or nations to this heavenly happiness. (Witham)
Ver. 4. They
shall see his face. Thus in a few words is expressed the happiness of the blessed in heaven; they shall see God,
from which vision proceed love, joy, and everlasting praises of the divine Majesty. (Witham)
Ver. 6. These
words are most faithful. Here begins the conclusion and close of all these revelations. --- The Lord God of the spirits
of the prophets sent his Angel to shew, &c. and in the 16th verse it is said: I, Jesus, have sent my Angel to testify:
from whence we may understand that Jesus, as to his person, is the same Lord God with the Father, though as man he is the
root of the offspring of David, of the race of David, as the Messias was to be. (Witham)
Ver. 7. Behold
I come quickly. Man's life is short, and at his death he must give an account to God. All time is short, if compared with
eternity. St. John (ver. 8) was again for casting himself at the feet of the Angel, though here it is not expressed whether
it were to adore God, or whether it were by an inferior veneration to the Angel, often expressed by adoration. (Witham)
Ver. 8-9. This
is the second time the saint wishes to adore the Angel, but not with the supreme worship of latria, as he knew the
object of his worship was only an Angel, and of course a mere creature; but the Angel, through respect for St. John, still
refuses the proffered honour, (see Chap. xix. 10.) and to shew the holy society that was hereafter to exist between Angels
and men, who were to compose but one and the same family. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 10. Seal
not the words; as not designed to be kept sealed or secret, but to be delivered to the faithful for their instruction,
that they may be prepared to suffer persecutions; that their faith, hope, and charity may be enlivened and increased by a
firm expectation of their happiness in the next world, after short sufferings in this. (Witham)
Ver. 11. He
that hurteth, (by living in sins against God, himself, and his neighbours) let him hurt still; i.e. he shall be
permitted; and he that is just, let him be justified still, and increase in virtues by God's assistance. (Witham) ---
It is not an exhortation or license to go on in sin, but an intimation that how far soever the wicked may proceed, their progress
shall quickly end, and then they must expect to meet with proportionable punishments. (Challoner)
Ver. 13. I
am alpha and omega. See Chap. i. 8. (Witham)
Ver. 14. That
they may have a right or power to eat of the tree of life. A right grounded on the promises of God and his graces.
Ver. 15. Without
are dogs; meaning unbelievers, and whosever loveth and maketh a lie, i.e. all the wicked, who have not walked
in the ways of truth. (Witham)
Ver. 17. And
the Spirit and the bride say: Come. That is, the Spirit of God, who moves us to love and praise him; and the bride,
i.e. the Church, the spouse of Christ, which earnestly desires to be happy in the enjoyment of God: and every one that heareth
these divine promises, let him with all the affections of his soul, with his whole heart, say: Come. He that thirsteth
after justice, the Author and Fountain of all justice, let him come and be filled gratis by the bounty and liberality
of our merciful God. (Witham)
I, John, testify and bear witness of all the truths contained in this revelation: If any man shall add to
these things, he becomes guilty of sin, and makes himself liable to the punishments and plagues that are written
in this book. (Witham)
He that giveth testimony of these things, i.e. God, and Jesus Christ by an Angel, saith, surely, (or even so,
or truly, these are certain truths) I come quickly, to reward the good and punish the evil. To which words St. John
himself replieth with a zealous prayer and earnest desire, saying, Amen, let it be so. --- Come, Lord Jesus:
come, and remain always in my soul by thy grace, and make me partaker of thy glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Witham) --- Conclusion.
The Church in sighs and groans, and by the mouth of her children, solicits the coming of Jesus Christ, her divine Spouse.
The fruit to be drawn from the perusal of this sacred book, is ardently to desire the kingdom of God, to sigh after the day
of eternity, to feel the weight of the yoke of the present life, and the disgrace of our exile, and to live here below as
strangers. Enkindle in me, O Lord, this desire; enable my poor soul to join with the beloved disciple in this prayer: Come,
Lord Jesus; that she may go and lose herself in Thee, who art her Centre, her God, her All.
END OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The water and the tree of life. The conclusion.
1 And he shewed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding
from the throne of God, and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river,
was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month, and the leaves of the tree for the healing
of the nations.
3 And there shall be no curse any more: but the throne of God, and of
the Lamb, shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him.
4 And they shall see his face: and his name shall be on their foreheads.
5 *And night shall be no more: and they shall not need the light of a
lamp, nor the light of the sun; for the Lord God shall enlighten them, and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said to me: These words are most faithful and true. And the
Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his Angel, to shew his servants the things which must be done shortly.
7 And behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of
the prophecy of this book.
8 And I, John, who have heard and seen these things. And after I had
heard and seen, I fell down to adore before the feet of the Angel, who shewed me these things:
9 And he said to me: See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant,
and of thy brethren, the prophets, and of them who keep the words of the prophecy of this book: Adore God.
10 And he saith to me: Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book:
for the time is at hand.
11 He that hurteth, let him hurt still: and he that is filthy, let him
be filthy still: and he that is just, let him be justified still: and he that is holy, let him be sanctified still.
12 Behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to render to every
man according to his works.
13 *I am alpha and omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the
14 Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that
they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.
15 Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and the unchaste, and murderers,
and those that serve idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I, Jesus, have sent my Angel, to testify to you these things in the
churches. I am the root and stock of David, the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say: Come. And he that heareth, let him
say: Come. And he that thirsteth, let him come: *and he that will, let him take the water of life, gratis.
18 For I testify to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy
of this book: If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book.
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this
prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from these things which are
written in this book.
20 He that giveth testimony of these things, saith: Surely, I come quickly:
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
5: Isaias lx. 20.
13: Isaias xli. 4. and xliv. 6. and xlviii. 12.; Apocalypse i. 8. and
17. and xxi. 6.
17: Isaias lv. 1.