Revelation 21

The new heaven and the new earth

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had gone away. The sea also was not there any more. 2 I saw God's own holy city, called the new Jerusalem. It was coming down out of heaven from God. It was very beautiful, like a bride who is wearing beautiful clothes, ready to meet her husband.

3 I heard a voice that spoke loudly from the throne. It said, ‘Look! God's home is now among people! God will live together with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and he will be their God. 4 God will take away all the tears from their eyes. Nobody will ever die again. Nobody will be sad again. Nobody will ever cry. Nobody will have pain again. Everything that made people sad has now gone. That old world has completely gone away.’

5 God, who was sitting on the throne, said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, because these words are true. Everyone should believe them.’

6 He also said to me, ‘Everything is now done! I caused all things to begin and I will cause the end of all things. I am the beginning and the end. If anyone is thirsty, I will give them water to drink. Nobody will have to pay anything for it. That water comes from a spring of water that gives life to people. 7 Everyone who wins against Satan will receive all these things from me. I will be their God and they will be my children.

8 But I will punish other people. They include:

  • people who are afraid of trouble;
  • people who do not believe in Jesus;
  • people who do disgusting things;
  • people who murder other people;
  • people who have sex in a wrong way;
  • people who use magic to hurt people;
  • people who worship idols;
  • people who tell lies.
  • All these people will go into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. That is the second death for people.’

    New city of Jerusalem

    9 Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls that were full of the seven final troubles came to me. He said, ‘Come with me! I will show you the bride who will become the Lamb's wife.’

    10 Then God's Spirit caused me to see and to hear strange things. The angel carried me away to a great mountain that was very high. He showed me God's own holy city, Jerusalem. The city was coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It had the bright glory of God. It shone like a valuable jewel that is called jasper. It shone like clean glass. 12 The city had a very big, high wall round it. The wall had 12 gates in it. 12 angels stood at the 12 gates. The names of the 12 tribes of Israel's people were written on the 12 gates. 13 There were three gates on each side of the city:

  • three gates were on the east side,
  • three gates were on the north side,
  • three gates were on the south side,
  • three gates were on the west side.
  • 14 The city's wall has a foundation of 12 strong stones. The names of the Lamb's 12 apostles were written on those 12 stones.

    21:14When Jesus was alive on this earth, he chose 12 men to work with him. These workers were called apostles. He sent them to teach other people about him. See Matthew 10:1-5; 28:16-18. One of these men (Judas Iscariot) did not continue to believe in Jesus. Later, other men, like Paul, were also called Christ's apostles.

    15 The angel who talked to me had a long gold stick. He used it to measure things. So he could measure the city and its gates and its walls. 16 The shape of the city was a square. It was as long as it was wide. The angel measured the city with his stick. It was 12,000 stadia (2,400 kilometres) long. It was as wide and as high as it was long. 17 He also measured its wall. The size of the wall was 144 cubits (65 metres). That is the way that humans measure things. The angel also measured in the same way.

    21:17‘stadia’ and ‘cubits’ were how people measured things in John's time. 12,000 stadia was about 2,400 kilometres. 144 cubits was about 65 metres. We do not know if this was how high the wall was or how thick it was. The numbers 12,000 and 144 may mean something special.

    18 The wall was made from the jewel that is called jasper. The city was made from pure gold. The light shone through it, as light shines through clean glass. 19 The strong stones that were the foundation of the city's wall were very beautiful. They had valuable jewels in them that were different colours. Each great stone had its own special jewel. They were called:

  • 1. Jasper;
  • 2. Sapphire;
  • 3. Agate;
  • 4. Emerald;
  • 20 5. Onyx;
  • 6. Carnelian;
  • 7. Quartz;
  • 8. Beryl;
  • 9. Topaz;
  • 10. Chrysoprase;
  • 21:20‘Chrysoprase’ or ‘Turquoise’
  • 11. Jacinth;
  • 12. Amethyst.
  • 21 The 12 gates were 12 pearls. They had used a single pearl to make each gate. The city's biggest street was made from pure gold. The light shone through it, as light shines through clean glass.

    22 When I looked, I saw that there was no temple in the city. The Lord God, who has all power and authority, is there himself. The Lamb is also there. So people do not need a special place to worship him there. 23 Also, the city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it. God's bright glory gives light to the city. The Lamb is the lamp that gives it light.

    24 People from all the world's nations will live in the city's light. The earth's rulers will bring all their valuable things into it. 25 Nobody will ever shut the city's gates at the end of the day. It will always be day and there will be no night there. 26 People from all the world's nations will bring their beautiful and valuable things into the city. 27 But nothing that is bad or unclean will ever go in there. Nobody who does anything that God hates will go into the city. Nobody who tells lies will go in. Only those people with their names written in the Lamb's book of life can go in there.

    21:27We read about the ‘book of life’ in Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12.