The 2001 Commentaries

What is the ‘New Jerusalem’ in Revelation?

info All commentaries are written by volunteers, readers, or supporters of our Bible translation project. These are not official views of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.

The Revelation chapter 22 gives us a vision of a glorious Holy City that is to be built on a foundation of the ‘Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.’

Revelation 21:9-12, 14 says:

‘Then, one of the seven messengers with the seven bowls that were full of the seven last plagues came and spoke to me, saying, Come here and I’ll show you the bride… the Lamb’s woman!

So he carried me off on the wind to an enormously high mountain, and there he showed me JeruSalem, the Holy City, which was coming down out of the sky from God. It had all the glory of God, it sparkled like the most precious of gems, and it gleamed like crystal-clear jasper stones.

It had high, thick walls and twelve gates.

There was a messenger at each of the twelve gates, and each gate was inscribed with the name of one of the twelve tribes of the sons of IsraEl. The city wall also had twelve foundation stones, upon which the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb were written.’

What is this ‘New JeruSalem?’

The original, earthly, JeruSalem was the capital city from which IsraEl’s kings ruled over God’s people and the priests ministered in the Temple.

Yet this ‘New JeruSalem,’ is described the Lamb’s bride. It could well picture all those chosen to be part of God’s arrangement to govern and minister His people.

Also, Revelation 21:2-3 tells us:

‘I also saw the Holy City New JeruSalem stepping down out of the sky from God, prepared like a bride that had been adorned for her man.

Well at that, I heard a loud voice from the throne say:

Look! The Tent of The God is with mankind!
He’s going to pitch His Tent among them, then they’ll be His people and He’ll be their God.

So, notice that in this scripture, we find a link between the ‘Holy City’ and ‘the Tent of The God.’ Does this mean that they are the same thing?

Well, the original Tent of God wasn’t located within the city’s (JeruSalem’s) walls on Mount Zion at first. However, it was moved to nearby Mount MoriAh during the later portion of David’s reign.

But then, shortly after the beginning of Solomon’s reign, it was replaced by the Temple (often referred to in Greek as the oikospermanent dwelling or house). So the point we get from this is that the city and the Tent may not be the same thing.

Also recognize that the Greek word used at Revelation 21:3, skene (translated here as Tent), means a temporary dwelling; So the use of this word indicates that this ‘tent’ isn’t going to be God’s permanent residence (His oikos or house). Therefore, there is no indication that He is going to come down to live among mankind, as some have assumed. Rather, the use of the word skene likely indicates that He will be present on occasions within His Tent, as He was in the first Tent of God (or tabernacle) when He spoke to Moses, Aaron, and to many of the High Priests that followed.

Notice too, that we read at Revelation 21:22:

‘I didn’t see a Divine Habitation (naos) within [the city], because Jehovah God the Almighty and the Lamb are its Most Holy (naos).’

So the indication from this is that The God (Jehovah/Yahweh) and Jesus will continue to live in the naos (heavenly dwelling of the Gods), but their glory will be the light of the earth.

This conclusion is in line with the words of the Old Law concerning the High Priest (who pictured Jesus); for we are told at Leviticus 21:10-12:

‘And the Priest who is the chief one among his brothers … may not leave the Holy Place and he must not make the Holy Place of his God unclean, because he wears God’s holy anointing oil.’

However, as in ancient JeruSalem, the under-Priests will apparently be allowed to come and go… though they must leave their Priestly garments inside the Most Holy (heaven?).

For we read at EzekiEl 44:19:

‘And when going to the People’s outer courtyard,
They must remove the clothes in which they will serve And leave them in the Holy’s inner chambers…
They must then wear other clothes.
For no way can they make people holy By approaching them in those clothes.’

So, notice that it doesn’t appear as though these Holy Ones will become humans once again, because we are told at EzekiEl 42:14:

‘No one may enter [this place] but the Priests;
And from the Holy Place, they can’t leave To go to the outer courtyard;
Thus, those that are leading will always be clean.
Nor may people touch the garments they wear;
For, they are also most holy.
So when touching the people, they must wear other clothes.’

For more discussion of this topic, please see the commentary, JeruSalem and the IsraEl of God.

All commentaries
























Our Bible translation

Check out our Bible translation project.

arrow_circle_right View our Bible

The 2001 Mailing List

Keep up-to-date with our project and receive interesting tidbits of Bible-related information.

arrow_circle_right Sign up