THE JEWISH ORIGINAL VERSION
Durer, Albrecht: Apocalypse riders of the four horses
Note: All of the following points will be explained later from within the text: be patient!
The Jewish original version was written very likely in late 70 or 71 C.E. in Syria Antioch by a temple of Jerusalem ex-priest named John . He might have composed it in order to start an apocalyptic sect (among unmarried Jews of Israelite descent). But it is more likely that the purpose of this work was to offer an explanation for the holocaust of 70 C.E. and to provide badly needed hope for the Jews (so they would not lose their faith). The apocalypse gave also the opportunity for our ex-priest to vent off his considerable anger against the Gentiles and, above all, the Romans (who destroyed the temple and killed many Jews). The author was later known as " Presbyter John " in Asia Minor, a Christian elder/apostle based in Ephesus.
The most reliable piece of evidence about the existence of presbyter John in Asia Minor comes from Eusebius (influential bishop of Cesarea, Palestine, early 4th century) in his "History of the Church", the testimony of Papias (future bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor), who was probably a young man at the end of the first century.
HC, 3, 39: "And whenever anyone came who had been a follower of the presbyters, I inquired into the words of the presbyters, what Andrew and Peter had said , or Philip, or Thomas or James or John [here is evidence that John the fisherman was not presbyter John] or Matthew, or any other disciples of the Lord, and what Aristion and the presbyter John , disciples of the Lord, were still saying ."
The authorship of Revelation was hotly disputed by early Christians, such as Dionysius (bishop 247-264) of Alexandria (reference: Eusebiusí "History of the Church", 7, 25). Dionysius argued forcefully that Revelation was not written by the gospel & epistlesí author. Also, he was convinced that none of the literature allegedly composed by John the fisherman (the traditional author) came from him. And Eusebius himself was leaning towards presbyter John as the author of Revelation ("History of the Church", 3, 39).
As for John the fisherman, the traditional author (likely illiterate and not Greek speaking:
Ac4:13 "... realized that they [Peter and John] were unschooled, ordinary men ..." ),
Acts (3:3,4,11,4:14,8:14) and Paulís letters (Gal2:9) show him only in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
John claimed to have experienced the apocalyptic vision (or dream) and written about it during Emperor Galba short reign (68-69 C.E.) (see 17:10).
This apocalypse was added on, updated & Christianized in about 95 C.E. and released during Emperor Domitianís persecution. The imagery is very much inspired by the O.T., mainly Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel & Zechariah, and also by some pagan mythical stories.
And yes, there are mentions of resurrections (specified three and a half days after death) and ascensions to heaven, crucifixion of a "our Lord" (all of those in Rome), a harvesting "Son of Man", and a woman giving birth to a male child-Messiah (with no mention of any father) immediately saved (from Satan) in heaven and the future ruler over the Gentiles. Could our author knew about Markís gospel (GMark) and paralled and/or outdid Markís claims?
a) In GMark, Jesusí death lasts 39 hours (maximum) but in Revelation, the two Jewish witnessesí death lasts 84 hours.
b) In GMark, Jesusí body is left alone, with its revival and ascension not witnessed. However in Revelation, the two dead bodies, their revival and ascension are witnessed by a crowd.
Warning: It is highly probable that the following text includes more gore, hate, horror and killings than anything else ever written. Reading the whole thing can be a challenge. You have been warned!
Godís Court in Heaven
4:1 ... (NKJV) I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. [everything and everybody look very physical in heaven!]
3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting [and not the twelve apostles (Mt19:28b)] , clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
5 And from the throne proceeded lightning, thundering, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning [there is air in heaven!] before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God [and not one Holy Spirit. Thatís not written by a Christian] .
6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, [probably refer to the top of the vault (or firmament) over the earth: see Genesis 1:6-8] like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.
7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.
8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" [the creatures can talk! Also notice "is to come", probably referring to Godís coming on earth]
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."
The Opening of the Scroll
5:1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?"
3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb [the Lamb is undoubtedly Isaiahís suffering servant 52:13-15 & 53:1-12] as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God [what happened to the Holy Spirit?] sent out into all the earth. [seven is Godís number!]
7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne [God has hands!] .
8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood;
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." [the Kingdom to come is to be on earth]
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, [God is not alone in heaven! The ancient Greek pantheon of gods is outnumbered!]
12 saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain [this Lamb is never said to have been crucified, just slain] to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea [all the creatures of the sea are going to be killed (16:3)] , and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" [this worshipping (by animals!) will not prevent the destruction of the sea creatures: is there a moral to that?]
14 Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the twenty-four elders fell down and worshipped Him who lives forever and ever.
6:1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see." [the four mythical creatures do a lot of talking. In contrast the Lamb does not say a word!]
2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer [the first one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse] .
3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come and see."
4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius [inflated prices occuring during famines] ; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see."
8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death , and Hades followed with him [Hellenistic influence: Hades is the god of the underworld and Death has become a godly entity] . And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. [refer to the many Jews killed in Jerusalem and all over Judea in 70 C.E.]
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, " How long , O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? " [the whole book relishes the idea of revenge against Gentiles and above all Rome. Also to be noted: here, God is called to avenge the Jews killed in the holocaust of 70C.E. In the synoptic gospels, God is avenging his Son by killing the same Jews!]
11 Then a white robe was given to each of them [the souls are clothed as in a ghost like fashion] ; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer . [that does not sound like thousands of years!]
12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake ; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.
13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth , as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. [stars do not fall on earth because of earthquake]
14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up [Greek mythology] , and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,
16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from His wrath!
17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
7:1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth [the earth has corners!] , holding the four winds of the earth , that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. [we know now from where the winds are coming!]
2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
3 saying, " Do not harm the earth , the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads." [these Ďservantsí of God are still on earth and alive]
4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel [very Jewish. Later weí ll learn that these servants are virgins. Consequently, for example, Peter, who had been married, could not have been among them: not Christian at all! Furthermore, at that time, around 70-73 C.E., most of Jesusí followers were dead] were sealed:
5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, " Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God,
12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from ?" [these ones would be the other righteous Jews and proselytes, alive at the time (the ones who died before are still waiting! (6:11)). Our author might have reluctantly included them because:
a) They are not mentioned in the next chapters.
b) He is most concerned about the 144,000 all male Jewish "servants", who will be featured again and again.
In Antioch, there were more proselytes (Gentiles converted to Judaism) than Jews from Palestine]
14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [strange imagery; blood stains clothes]
15 "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple [day and night exist in heaven!] . And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
16 "They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat [sun rays and heat were considered harmful; cold is not mentioned] ;
17 and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Godís Wrath Is Unleashed
8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense [heaven is well stocked in incense!] , that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar [there is lot of gold in heaven!] which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angelís hand.
5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thundering, lightning , and an earthquake. [Hellenistic influence: Zeus was a specialist of thundering and lightning!]
6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. [undersea erupting volcanoes do not redden the sea]
9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died [they were among the ones which worshipped God earlier (5:13)!] , and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven [rather hard to imagine a great star falling on our little speck of dirt called earth. Obviously, these stars were not understood to be far and massive] , burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers.
11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.
12 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night . [not very logical or scientific!]
13 And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!" [more to come! Like it wasnít enough]
9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth [another falling star] . To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power [locusts were believed to come from inside the earth] .
4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth [by the way, all green grass had been burned up already (8:7)] , or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads [the 144,000 virgin Jews are still on earth!] .
5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man.
6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.
7 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. [scary! and more to come]
8 They had hair like womenís hair, and their teeth were like lionsí teeth.
9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle.
10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.
11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon . [Hellenistic influence: a Greek god becomes an angel]
12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.
13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates ." [the river Euphrates, at the border of the Roman empire, is flowing about one hundred miles east of Antioch. This border with the mysterious and largely unknown East, a source of invasion, was a constant worry; especially if you were living in Antioch! Antioch itself was a metropolis in the Roman empire, with about 800,000 inhabitants, one third of them Jews or proselytes. This city, the former capital of the Seleucid kings, was the third largest in the empire, after Rome and Alexandria (Egypt)]
15 So the four angels , who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind . [angels are killers of holocaustic proportion; how uglier can it get!]
16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million [the eastern hords, inspired by the Parthiates who were feared cavalry men, and whose kingdom was east of the Euphrates, over Mesopotamia and Persia] ; I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone.
18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed; by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.
19 For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.
20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent [repentance is presented as a way of salvation from further punishment] of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. [not all Gentiles could have been that bad!]
John Spares Humanity From More Calamities
10:1 I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.
2 He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land,
3 and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.
4 Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them."
5 The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven
6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,
7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished , [the mystery is still ON!] as He declared to His servants the prophets.
8 Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth."
9 So I went to the angel [our John is very mobile!] and said to him, "Give me the little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth."
10 Then I took the little book out of the angelís hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter."
John Surveys the Temple
11:1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod . And the angel stood, saying, " Rise [implying the vision came as a dream during sleeping] and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there . [the author was in Jerusalem before its destruction]
2 "But leave out the court [of the Gentiles] which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they [the Romans] will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months . [thatís three and a half years and inspired from the revised book of Daniel. The apocalypse was "scheduled" for the fall and winter of 73-74 C.E. ]
The Two Witnesses (Prophets) and Their Resurrection & Ascension
3 "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days [three and a half Jewish years] , clothed in sackcloth."
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner.
6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy [obviously rain comes through holes from heaven! As in Genesis 7:11] ; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. [the author gives plenty of weapons to these prophets so they can survive! Life was tough for a Jewish (or early Christian) missionary]
7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt [most likely refer to corrupted and (morally) decadent Rome. Egypt was known for its magic. In these days, magical acts were considered the devilís work, not entertainment] , where also our Lord was crucified . [who is He? Not Jesus, who was not crucified in Rome (neither Sodom, nor Egypt!). Most likely means God himself (figuratively)]
9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days , and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.
10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. [true resurrection would be validated if it happens after three days (72 hours), when the body starts to smell and decompose. Compare this with Johnís gospel 11:1-44 and Markís gospel 8:31, 9:31, 10:34]
12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they ascended to heaven in a cloud , and their enemies saw them. [a Jewish dual ascension! Compare with Lukeís acts 1:9. Also notice the cloud as a mean of transportation to go to heaven]
More of Godís Wrath
13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord , and He shall reign forever and ever!" [another call for the kingdom of God]
16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God,
17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. [God is to be the ruler of his Kingdom on earth. This is according to most prophetic O.T. books which call for a new (divine) world order]
18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come , and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth ." [whoís destroying the earth?]
19 Then the of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple [now we know where the ark disappeared to!] . And there were lightning, noises, thundering, an earthquake, and great hail .
The Woman, The Child and The Dragon
12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. [astrology]
2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon [influence of China: Antioch was at the western end of the "silk" road. This is the only book in the bible where dragons are mentioned (fourteen times!)] having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven [the stars of heaven were thought to be close to earth and small too!] and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.
5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron . And her Child was caught up to God and His throne . [a Jewish child-Messiah, and it is not Jesus. At the time, in the Jewish world, no "Messiah" lived on earth, so one is thought to be groomed in heaven. Whatís new!]
6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days [again three and a half years] .
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan , who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation , and strength, and the kingdom of our God has come , for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. ...
12 "Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath [now, all the trouble on earth is caused by the devilís wrath!] , because he knows that he has a short time ." [thousands of years?]
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.
14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time [Danielís original undefined time period] , from the presence of the serpent.
15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. [that explains the cause of flash flood!]
16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. [all over the "book" the mythology is so strong that the one of the ancient Greeks looks pale in comparison]
17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God. [the explanation for the destruction of Jerusalem and many Jews in 70 C.E.: the Dragon (Satan) wanted to persecute the woman who gave birth to the child-Messiah, but was prevented to do so; consequently he took his revenge on the woman offsprings (the Jews) by using the evil Romans]
The Evil Roman Empire
13:1 (NIV) And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea [the Roman empire, seen as a maritime power] . (NKJV) He had seven heads [Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula (Caius), Claudius, Nero, Galba, Vespasian] and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power [Roman power comes from Satan] , his throne, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded [possibly refer to Galba public murder and the lack of leadership the same year (69 C.E.)] , and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
4 So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" [after the (political and military) recovery in 70 C.E., Rome power was seen unbeatable]
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months . [again three and a half years]
6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
7 It was granted to him [the beast (Roman empire) is blamed, not emperor Vespasian, the seventh "head". Iíll come back to that later on] to make war with the saints [the righteous Jews of the times. Same meaning as in the book of Daniel] and to overcome them [allusion to the "Jewish war" of 70 C.E.] . And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear [expression used in Markís gospel 4:23, probably an often used one in these days] .
10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. [allusion to Danielís Ďantichristí, in reality Antiochus IV the Seleucid king in 168 B.C.E.]
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence [At that time (just after the destruction of Jerusalem), Vespasianís son Titus protected the Jews of Antioch (see Josephus Wars, Book VII, Chapter V, Section 2) and his father, the new emperor, was highly respected. Consequently a demoniac entity is introduced to provoke Godís wrath. This could be inspired from Sejanus, the commander of the pretorian guard, who, during the latter years of emperor Tiberius, almost usurped power in Rome] , and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. [refer to the Roman recovery after the near collapse of 69 C.E.]
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men [possibly referring to incidents of lightning starting fires] .
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. [the resurgence of Roman power is explained by the "beast" and its power]
15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, [inspired by the fact that some owners were Ďbrandingí their slaves]
17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast.
Entertainment in Heaven
14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth [now the 144,000 "saints" are in heaven, unannounced! The last time we heard about them, they were on earth 9:4] .
4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins [the author did not like women; certainly he was not married] . These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first fruits [the first fruits is not Jesus as in 1Co15:20] to God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Still More of Godís Wrath
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel [another gospel!] to preach to those who dwell on the earth; to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people;
7 saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth and the sea ." [the sea did not seem a great creation of God because the Ďnew earthí will be without it: Jews or Israelites were traditionally land people, having no use, only fear, for the sea]
8 And another angel followed, saying, " Babylon [at that time, Babylon was a decaying provincial city in the Parthiate kingdom. It was used as a code name for Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Babylon, as head of a "city empire" (just like Rome) was responsible for the only prior total destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E.] is fallen, is fallen , that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels.
11 "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: Ď Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on .í [refer to the Jews killed in 70 C.E.] " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man , [a Jewish Son of Man! This one is an angel as implied by the next verse, not Jesus. Probably inspired by the "Like a Man" in Da7:13] having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud , "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe."
16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. [very reminescent of Joel 3:13]
17 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven [the temple of heaven is mentioned often] , he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire [angels have different (destructive) powers, just like the mythological Greek gods] , and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe."
19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horsesí bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
15:1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous [what is marvelous about plagues?] : seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete .
2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works , Lord God Almighty ! Just and true are Your ways, O King [the King is God, not Jesus] of the saints! [what is great and marvelous about this ultimate destruction? These "saints" are relishing calamities on humans and earth; but they cannot be faulted as courtesans!]
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.
6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen [linen is the most appreciated fabric for angels, saints and wealthy mortals] , and having their chests girded with golden bands [gold is also very appreciated in heaven!] .
7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.
8 The temple was filled with smoke [heaven is not a smoke free environment!] from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. [the author is rejoicing on destruction; letís face it: so much overkill, and more to come]
16:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth."
2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image.
3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died. [here goes a big part of Godís creation! The worshipping of 5:13 did not help!]
4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying: " You are righteous [what is righteous about it, killing humans and (certainly innocent) plants and animals?] , O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due." [so much blood!]
7 And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments ." [are they judgments or random destruction of life?]
8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.
11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds. [repentance of sins is a key to salvation, as in John the Baptistís message]
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates [again reference to the great river close to Antioch, a constant worry for invasion from the mysterious East] , and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon.
14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon . [the site (Megiddo, in northern Israel) is chosen because several ancient battles occurred here already (1468 B.C.E., Jdg5:19, 2Ki23:29: 609 B.C.E.)]
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
18 And there were noises and thundering and lightning ; and there was a great earthquake , such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. [earthquakes are a big part of Godís arsenal of weapons!]
19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon [Rome] was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found . [they seem to disappear here. And, in the book of Daniel, at the time of the end, a huge mountain is filling the whole earth (2:35b). Would it be a conflict here?]
21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men , each hailstone about the weight of a talent [about 100 pounds; enough to kill anyone!] . Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail [that did not seem to kill them!] , since that plague was exceedingly great. [the battle of Armageddon is not described here but implied by the hail (according to Job 38:22-23: "Have you entered the treasury of snow, Or have you seen the treasury of hail , Which I [God] have reserved for the time of trouble, For the day of battle and war ?" ). Hail is another big part of Godís arsenal, to be used for great battle. And, obviously the Gentiles and their kings are not destroyed because they are alive and well later on in 21:24]
The Great Harlot: Rome and its Populace
17:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters [the Mediterranean sea and its connected smaller seas like Aegean, Adriatic, etc. which shores were parts of the Roman empire. Geographically, the Babylonian empire was not straddling any sea] ,
2 "with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."
3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints. [allusion to the massacres of 70 C.E.] And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
7 But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom: (NIV) The seven heads are seven hills [the seven hills of ancient Rome. The identification could not be more positive, short of spelling ROME, which would have been considered very subversive. Babylon was built on a flat alluvial plain: no hills here!] on which the woman sits.
10 (NKJV) "There are also seven kings. Five have fallen [Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero] one is [Galba, the emperor ruling when the vision occured; as we are led to believe!] , and the other has not yet come [Vespasian] . And when he comes, he must continue a short time [he had to last three and a half years after Jerusalemís destruction] .
12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
13 "These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
15 Then he said to me, " The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. [the Roman empire straddling the Mediterranean sea]
16 "And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17 "For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
18 "And the woman whom you saw is that great city [Rome] which reigns over the kings [at that time, there were still a few client kingdoms within the Roman empire and along its borders. That was less true in 95 C.E.: the Romans had a policy to reduce them into provinces] of the earth."
18:1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.
2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, " Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
3 "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury."
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
5 "For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 "Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her.
7 "In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ĎI sit as queen, and am no widow [means that the city (Rome) is a center of power, unlike Babylon] , and will not see sorrow.í
8 "Therefore her plagues will come in one day; death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
9 "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning,
10 "standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ĎAlas, alas, that great city Babylon that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.í
11 "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:
12 "merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk [in these days all silk was coming from China and most of it must have transited through Antioch] and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble;
13 "and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. [Rome was seen sucking out goods and wealth out of the provinces and client kingdoms. That was mainly true: tax money from the provinces (like Syria) was used to provide free food and entertainment for the Roman populace and build lavish grandiose public buildings such as palaces, arena, public baths, temples, forum, etc. Luxury goods and slaves were in high demand from emperor, courtesans, aristocrats, profiteers, absentee landlords, etc.]
14 "The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.
15 "The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 "and saying, ĎAlas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17 ĎFor in one hour such great riches came to nothing.í Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance [Rome is about 20 miles away from the sea, Babylon was more than 200 miles away from it. Ostie was the sea harbor of Rome (15 miles away) during antiquity. Today, modern Rome has no nearby sea port]
18 "and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ĎWhat is like this great city?í
19 "They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ĎAlas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.í
20 "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy ones and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"
21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea , saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore [Rome is still on the map and ancient Babylon has been found: one more prophecy not fulfilled] .
22 "The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore.
23 "The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
24 "And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth."
Rome is Finally Destroyed
19:1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God [the Lord is not Jesus!]
2 "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her ." [reference to the many Jews killed in 70 C.E.]
3 Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!" [the destruction of Rome is a bit premature!]
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!"
5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!"
6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
The New Order and the Marriage of the Lamb
7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen [thatís a lot of linen! Wait and see who is the wife!] , clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9 Then he said to me, "Write: ĎBlessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!í " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. [the No Name Messiah, certainly not Jesus]
14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. [eastern and Parthiates influence are again obvious. Note: in these days, most of the Roman army was comprised of foot soldiers, not cavalry men]
15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron . [this peacemaker from heaven and ruler of the Gentiles (living outside the Kingdom) refer to the "Son of Man" of Daniel & the "angelized" one of 14:14, and also to the (suddenly) grown up child-Messiah of 12:5]
20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 He laid hold of the dragon , that serpent of old , who is the Devil and Satan
3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should not deceive the nations . [the (Gentiles) nations are still here!]
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him [God is the Judge, not Jesus as in Jn5:22, Mt25:31-46, Ac10:42; a sure indication of a Jewish composition] who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. [as in the book of Daniel 7:10b,12:1b, which the author had the opportunity to read and study. The same goes for all the other books (Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc...)]
13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea .
The New Jerusalem: The Kingdom of God on Earth
2 Then I, John , saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [a rather odd couple, a silent lamb and a giant cubic city!]
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men [what about women?] , and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son . [that does not sound Christian! Obviously the Lamb (or Jesus) is not considered Godís Son. Also, notice there is no mention of daughter, and more generally, of women inhabiting the "New Jerusalem". Even the Lambís wife is not a female!]
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lambís wife ."
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain , and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God ,
11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel [very Jewish] :
13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall .
16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs [1,500 miles, a bit big for a city!] . Its length, breadth, and height are equal . [it must have taken a long time to measure that with a reed! And the author did have a good vision to see 1,500 miles in all three directions from the top of the (very, very, very) high mountain!]
17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. [angel and man have same measuring unit!]
18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. [pure gold can hardly be compared with clear glass. The properties are very different]
19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. [pure gold is not transparent]
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it . [obviously, some kings and Gentiles managed to survive]
25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). [no sea, no mountains, no nights: boring]
26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it . [Now, it is the Gentiles who are bringing the good stuff to the "saints"]
27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lambís Book of Life.
22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 (NIV) On each side of the river stood the tree of life [as in Ge2:9] , bearing twelve crops of fruit, yelding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations [the fruit of the tree provide food and immortality for the "saints". The leaves, a lesser product of the tree, have enough potency to heal the outsiders. These ones would stay mortal. The destruction of Death (and Hades) is a Christian concept (1Co15:26, Rev20:14)]
3 (NKJV) And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever [immortality] .
6 Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place ." [still waiting. Does "shortly" mean a few millennia?]
10 And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand . [still waiting, two thousand years later]
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."
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; [that did not prevent latter additions]
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.