The river of the water of life, 1. The tree of life, 2-4. The light of the city of God is himself, 5-8. The angel will not be worshiped, 9-17. Nothing may be added to the word of God, nor taken from it, 18-21.
1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 In the midst of its street. And on each side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruits and yielded her fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse. 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 in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there. They need no candle, neither light of the sun, because the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
6 And he said to me, "These sayings are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show to his servants the things which must shortly be done."
7 "Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book."
8 And I, John, saw these things and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he says to me, "Behold, do not do that, for I am a fellow-servant of yours, of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the sayings of this book. Worship God."
10 And he says to me, "Do not seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him be righteous still. He who is holy, let him be holy still."
12 "And behold, I come quickly. And my reward is with me to give to every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 "Blessed are those who do his commandments so that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For outside are dogs, sorcerers, lewd men, murderers, idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David and the bright and morning-star."
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let him who hears say, "Come." And let him who is thirsty come. And whoever wishes, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify to every man who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if any man takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the book of life, out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He who testifies these things says, "Surely I come quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Revelation, Chapter 22[➚]
[v.2] - "the tree of life" - From the Pulpit Commentary: "The account here given is evidently derived from Ezekiel, ch. 47, where the river is connected with trees... The singular 'tree' seems intended to be understood generically of the whole of that class of trees. For this reason probably the LXX. renders the Hebrew of Ezekiel 47:7 by the plural 'trees.' We may see in this bountiful supply of the trees of life an image of the abundance of grace and life in store for the redeemed (cf. the description in Ezekiel 47)."
[v.4] - "they shall see his face" - Only the pure in heart shall see the face of God. See Matthew 5:8. Reference, 1st Corinthians 13:12.
[v.5] - Reference, Isaiah 60:19; Revelation 21:23.
[v.13] - "Alpha and Omega" - See comments for Revelation 1:8.
[v.14] - "Blessed are those who do his commandments" - There are two ways in which this part of this verse is translated into English: the way it is translated here (following the KJV), and as the ASV reads, which is, "Blessed are they that wash their robes." Of the two Greek New Testament sources used in editing the RCV, the G.R. Berry Greek New Testament supports the KJV rendering, and the Tregelles Greek New Testament supports the ASV rendering. The Latin Vulgate makes an interesting addition which probably gives better light to the meaning of the passage. It reads, "Beati, qui lavant stolas suas in sanguine Agni," which translated to English says, "Blessed [are] those who wash their clothes in the blood of the Lamb." The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary give a good explanation to show support for either of the two translations. Concerning the version along the lines of the ASV and the Latin Vulgate, it says, "This reading takes away the pretext for the notion of salvation by works." Concerning the version in the KJV, it says, "But even the English Version reading is quite compatible with salvation by grace; for God's first and grand Gospel 'commandment' is to believe in Jesus."
[v.16a] - "the root and the offspring of David" - Reference, Isaiah 11:1.
[v.16b] - "the bright and morning-star" - Reference, Isaiah 14:12.