The Comparison: Genesis and Revelation Part 1

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth— and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—

Revelation 21:1-2 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 

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The Book of Revelation 22 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 810)

Revelation 22 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 22

Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water,[a] sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life[b] that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will look upon his face,[c] and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever.

VII. Epilogue[d]

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits, sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.” [e]“Behold, I am coming soon.”[f] Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.

It is I, John, who heard and saw these things, and when I heard and saw them I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t! I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brothers the prophets and of those who keep the message of this book. Worship God.”

10 Then he said to me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words of this book, for the appointed time[g] is near. 11 Let the wicked still act wickedly, and the filthy still be filthy. The righteous must still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”[h]

14 Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter the city[i] through its gates. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the unchaste, the murderers, the idol-worshipers, and all who love and practice deceit.

16 “I, Jesus, sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the root and offspring of David,[j] the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride[k] say, “Come.” Let the hearer say, “Come.” Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.

18 I warn everyone who hears the prophetic words in this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words in this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city described in this book.

20 [l]The one who gives this testimony says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:1, 17 Life-giving water: see note on Rev 7:17.
  2. 22:2 The tree of life: cf. Rev 22:14; see note on Rev 2:7Fruit…medicine: cf. Ez 47:12.
  3. 22:4 Look upon his face: cf. Mt 5:81 Cor 13:121 Jn 3:2.
  4. 22:6–21 The book ends with an epilogue consisting of a series of warnings and exhortations and forming an inclusion with the prologue by resuming its themes and expressions; see note on Rev 1:1–3.
  5. 22:7, 12, 20 I am coming soon: Christ is the speaker; see note on Rev 1:3.
  6. 22:7, 14 Blessed: see note on Rev 1:3.
  7. 22:10 The appointed time: see note on Rev 1:3.
  8. 22:13 Christ applies to himself words used by God in Rev 1:8.
  9. 22:14 The city: heavenly Jerusalem; see note on Rev 21:2.
  10. 22:16 The root…of David: see note on Rev 5:5Morning star: see note on Rev 2:26–28.
  11. 22:17 Bride: the church; see note on Rev 21:2.
  12. 22:20 Come, Lord Jesus: a liturgical refrain, similar to the Aramaic expression Marana tha—“Our Lord, come!”—in 1 Cor 16:22; cf. note there. It was a prayer for the coming of Christ in glory at the parousia; see note on Rev 1:3.

The Book of Revelation 21 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 809)

Revelation 21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VI. The New Creation[a]

Chapter 21

The New Heaven and the New Earth. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.[b] I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,[c] coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people[d] and God himself will always be with them [as their God].[e] He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.”

The one who sat on the throne[f] said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” He said to me, “They are accomplished.[g] I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor[h] will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards,[i] the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem.[j] One of the seven angels who held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”[k] 10 He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, [the names] of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. 13 There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles[l] of the Lamb.

15 [m]The one who spoke to me held a gold measuring rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city was square, its length the same as [also] its width. He measured the city with the rod and found it fifteen hundred miles[n] in length and width and height. 17 He also measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits[o] according to the standard unit of measurement the angel used. 18 [p]The wall was constructed of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. 19 The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every precious stone; the first course of stones was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made from a single pearl; and the street of the city was of pure gold, transparent as glass.

22 [q]I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. 23 [r]The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light,[s] and to it the kings of the earth will bring their treasure. 25 During the day its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. 26 The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, 27 but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one] who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1–22:5 A description of God’s eternal kingdom in heaven under the symbols of a new heaven and a new earth; cf. Is 65:17–2566:22Mt 19:28.
  2. 21:1 Sea…no more: because as home of the dragon it was doomed to disappear; cf. Jb 7:12.
  3. 21:2 New Jerusalem…bride: symbol of the church (Gal 4:26); see note on Rev 19:7.
  4. 21:3–4 Language taken from Ez 37:27Is 25:835:10; cf. Rev 7:17.
  5. 21:3 People: other ancient manuscripts read a plural, “peoples.”
  6. 21:5 The one…on the throne: God himself; cf. Rev 4:1–11.
  7. 21:6 They are accomplished: God’s reign has already begun; see note on Rev 20:1–6Alpha…Omega: see note on Rev 1:8Life-giving water: see note on Rev 7:17.
  8. 21:7 The victor: over the forces of evil; see the conclusions of the seven letters (Rev 2:71117263:51221). He will be my son: the victorious Christian enjoys divine affiliation by adoption (Gal 4:4–7Rom 8:14–17); see note on Rev 2:26–28.
  9. 21:8 Cowards: their conviction is so weak that they deny Christ in time of trial and become traitors. Second death: see note on Rev 2:11.
  10. 21:9–22:5 Symbolic descriptions of the new Jerusalem, the church. Most of the images are borrowed from Ez 40–48.
  11. 21:9 The bride, the wife of the Lamb: the church (Rev 21:2), the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:10); cf. 2 Cor 11:2.
  12. 21:14 Courses of stones…apostles: literally, “twelve foundations”; cf. Eph 2:19–20.
  13. 21:15–17 The city is shaped like a gigantic cube, a symbol of perfection (cf. 1 Kgs 6:19–20). The measurements of the city and its wall are multiples of the symbolic number twelve; see note on Rev 7:4–9.
  14. 21:16 Fifteen hundred miles: literally, twelve thousand stades, about 12,000 furlongs (see note on Rev 14:20); the number is symbolic: twelve (the apostles as leaders of the new Israel) multiplied by 1,000 (the immensity of Christians); cf. Introduction. In length and width and height: literally, “its length and width and height are the same.”
  15. 21:17 One hundred and forty-four cubits: the cubit was about eighteen inches in length. Standard unit of measurement the angel used: literally, “by a human measure, i.e., an angel’s.”
  16. 21:18–21 The gold and precious gems symbolize the beauty and excellence of the church; cf. Ex 28:15–21Tb 13:16–17Is 54:11–12.
  17. 21:22 Christ is present throughout the church; hence, no temple is needed as an earthly dwelling for God; cf. Mt 18:2028:20Jn 4:21.
  18. 21:23 Lamp…Lamb: cf. Jn 8:12.
  19. 21:24–27 All men and women of good will are welcome in the church; cf. Is 60:13511The…book of life: see note on Rev 3:5.

The Book of Revelation 20 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 808)

Revelation 20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

The Thousand-year Reign. [a]Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss[b] and a heavy chain.He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan,[c] and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed. After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image nor had accepted its mark[d] on their foreheads or hands. They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. Blessed[e] and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over these; they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for [the] thousand years.

[f]When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog,[g] to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. They invaded the breadth of the earth[h] and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. 10 The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Large White Throne.[i] 11 Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. 12 I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.[j] The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. 13 The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades[k] gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death.[l]15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:1–6 Like the other numerical values in this book, the thousand years are not to be taken literally; they symbolize the long period of time between the chaining up of Satan (a symbol for Christ’s resurrection-victory over death and the forces of evil) and the end of the world. During this time God’s people share in the glorious reign of God that is present to them by virtue of their baptismal victory over death and sin; cf. Rom 6:1–8Jn 5:24–2516:331 Jn 3:14Eph 2:1.
  2. 20:1 Abyss: see note on Rev 9:1.
  3. 20:2 Dragon…serpent…Satan: see notes on Rev 12:391015.
  4. 20:4 Beast…mark: see Rev 13 and its notes.
  5. 20:6 Blessed: see note on Rev 1:3Second death: see note on Rev 2:11Priests: as in Rev 1:65:10; cf. 1 Pt 2:9.
  6. 20:7–10 A description of the symbolic battle to take place when Satan is released at the end of time, when the thousand years are over; see note on Rev 20:1–6.
  7. 20:8 Gog and Magog: symbols of all pagan nations; the names are taken from Ez 38:1–39:20.
  8. 20:9 The breadth of the earth: Palestine. The beloved city: Jerusalem; see note on Rev 14:1.
  9. 20:11–15 A description of the final judgment. After the intermediate reign of Christ, all the dead are raised and judged, thus inaugurating the new age.
  10. 20:12 The book of life: see note on Rev 3:5Judged…scrolls: see note on Rev 14:12.
  11. 20:13 Hades: the netherworld; see note on Rev 1:18.
  12. 20:14 Second death: see note on Rev 2:11.

The Book of Revelation 19 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 807)

Revelation 19 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 19

After this I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

    “Alleluia![a]
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
    for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot
    who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

They said a second time:

“Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever.”

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen. Alleluia.”

The Victory Song.[b] A voice coming from the throne said:

“Praise our God, all you his servants,
    [and] you who revere him, small and great.”

Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder, as they said:

    “Alleluia!
The Lord has established his reign,
    [our] God, the almighty.
Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory.
For the wedding day of the Lamb[c] has come,
    his bride has made herself ready.
She was allowed to wear
    a bright, clean linen garment.”

(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)[d]

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed[e] are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These words are true; they come from God.” 10 I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t! I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brothers who bear witness to Jesus. Worship God. Witness to Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”[f]

The King of Kings. 11 [g]Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was [called] “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness. 12 His eyes were [like] a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name[h] inscribed that no one knows except himself. 13 He wore a cloak that had been dipped in[i]blood, and his name was called the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven followed him, mounted on white horses and wearing clean white linen. 15 Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press[j] the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty. 16 He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

17 [k]Then I saw an angel standing on the sun. He cried out [in] a loud voice to all the birds flying high overhead, “Come here. Gather for God’s great feast, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of military officers, and the flesh of warriors, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of all, free and slave, small and great.” 19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to fight against the one riding the horse and against his army. 20 The beast was caught and with it the false prophet[l] who had performed in its sight the signs by which he led astray those who had accepted the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. The two were thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur. 21 The rest were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

Footnotes:

  1. 19:1, 3, 4, 6 Alleluia: found only here in the New Testament, this frequent exclamation of praise in the Hebrew psalms was important in Jewish liturgy.
  2. 19:5–10 A victory song follows, sung by the entire church, celebrating the marriage of the Lamb, the union of the Messiah with the community of the elect.
  3. 19:7 The wedding day of the Lamb: symbol of God’s reign about to begin (Rev 21:1–22:5); see note on Rev 10:7His bride: the church; cf. 2 Cor 11:2Eph 5:22–27. Marriage is one of the biblical metaphors used to describe the covenant relationship between God and his people; cf. Hos 2:16–22Is 54:5–662:5Ez 16:6–14. Hence, idolatry and apostasy are viewed as adultery and harlotry (Hos 2:4–15Ez 16:15–63); see note on Rev 14:4.
  4. 19:8 See note on Rev 14:12.
  5. 19:9 Blessed: see note on Rev 1:3.
  6. 19:10 The spirit of prophecy: as the prophets were inspired to proclaim God’s word, so the Christian is called to give witness to the Word of God (Rev 19:13) made flesh; cf. Rev 1:26:912:17.
  7. 19:11–16 Symbolic description of the exalted Christ (cf. Rev 1:13–16) who together with the armies of heaven overcomes the beast and its followers; cf. Rev 17:14.
  8. 19:12 A name: in Semitic thought, the name conveyed the reality of the person; cf. Mt 11:27Lk 10:22.
  9. 19:13 Had been dipped in: other Greek manuscripts and versions read “had been sprinkled with”; cf. Rev 19:15The Word of God: Christ is the revelation of the Father; cf. Jn 1:1141 Jn 2:14.
  10. 19:15 The treading of the wine press is a prophetic symbol used to describe the destruction of God’s enemies; cf. Is 63:1–6Jl 4:13.
  11. 19:17–21 The certainty of Christ’s victory is proclaimed by an angel, followed by a reference to the mustering of enemy forces and a fearsome description of their annihilation. The gruesome imagery is borrowed from Ez 39:417–20.
  12. 19:20 Beast…false prophet: see notes on Rev 13The fiery pool…sulfur: symbol of God’s punishment (Rev 14:1020:1014–15), different from the abyss; see note on Rev 9:1.

The Book of Revelation 18 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 806)

Revelation 18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 18

The Fall of Babylon.[a] After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth became illumined by his splendor. [b]He cried out in a mighty voice:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
    She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
    a cage for every unclean bird,
    [a cage for every unclean] and disgusting [beast].
For all the nations have drunk[c]
    the wine of her licentious passion.
The kings of the earth had intercourse with her,
    and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her drive for luxury.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

“Depart from her,[d] my people,
    so as not to take part in her sins
    and receive a share in her plagues,
for her sins are piled up to the sky,
    and God remembers her crimes.
Pay her back as she has paid others.
    Pay her back double for her deeds.
    Into her cup pour double what she poured.
To the measure of her boasting and wantonness
    repay her in torment and grief;
for she said to herself,
    ‘I sit enthroned as queen;
    I am no widow,
    and I will never know grief.’
Therefore, her plagues will come in one day,
    pestilence, grief, and famine;
    she will be consumed by fire.
For mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”

The kings of the earth who had intercourse with her in their wantonness will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her pyre. 10 They will keep their distance for fear of the torment inflicted on her, and they will say:

“Alas, alas, great city,
    Babylon, mighty city.
    In one hour your judgment has come.”

11 The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her, because there will be no more markets[e] for their cargo: 12 their cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple silk, and scarlet cloth; fragrant wood of every kind, all articles of ivory and all articles of the most expensive wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, spice,[f] incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human beings.

14 “The fruit you craved
    has left you.
All your luxury and splendor are gone,
    never again will one find them.”

15 The merchants who deal in these goods, who grew rich from her, will keep their distance for fear of the torment inflicted on her. Weeping and mourning, 16 they cry out:

“Alas, alas, great city,
    wearing fine linen, purple and scarlet,
    adorned [in] gold, precious stones, and pearls.
17 In one hour this great wealth has been ruined.”

Every captain of a ship, every traveler at sea, sailors, and seafaring merchants stood at a distance 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her pyre, “What city could compare with the great city?” 19 They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning:

“Alas, alas, great city,
    in which all who had ships at sea
    grew rich from her wealth.
In one hour she has been ruined.
20 Rejoice over her, heaven,
    you holy ones, apostles, and prophets.
For God has judged your case against her.”

21 A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
    and will never be found again.
22 No melodies of harpists and musicians,
    flutists and trumpeters,
    will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
    will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
    will ever be heard in you again.
23 No light from a lamp
    will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
    will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
    all nations were led astray by your magic potion.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and holy ones
    and all who have been slain on the earth.”

Footnotes:

  1. 18:1–19:4 A stirring dirge over the fall of Babylon-Rome. The perspective is prophetic, as if the fall of Rome had already taken place. The imagery here, as elsewhere in this book, is not to be taken literally. The vindictiveness of some of the language, borrowed from the scathing Old Testament prophecies against Babylon, Tyre, and Nineveh (Is 232427Jer 50–51Ez 26–27), is meant to portray symbolically the inexorable demands of God’s holiness and justice; cf. Introduction. The section concludes with a joyous canticle on the future glory of heaven.
  2. 18:2 Many Greek manuscripts and versions omit a cage for every unclean…beast.
  3. 18:3–24 Rome is condemned for her immorality, symbol of idolatry (see note on Rev 14:4), and for persecuting the church; cf. Rev 19:2.
  4. 18:4 Depart from her: not evacuation of the city but separation from sinners, as always in apocalyptic literature.
  5. 18:11 Ironically, the merchants weep not so much for Babylon-Rome, but for their lost markets; cf. Ez 27:36.
  6. 18:13 Spice: an unidentified spice plant called in Greek amōmon.