Sunday, May 9, 2010


"River of Life" from the Bamberg Apocalypse

I have treasured these two verses of this morning's reading from Revelation for many, many years now:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Now here is a commentary:

The river of life in 22:1-2 is based on Ezekiel 47:1-12, where the river flows out of God's temple. In Revelation's New Jerusalem there is no temple building, and so the river flows from the throne of God, flows with life from the presence and the ruling power of the Lord of all. The old serpent has been dispensed with (20:2, 10), and the tree of life flourishes among the people again. In Ezekiel, the river was lined with all kinds of trees, but here there is only one, the one that matters, the tree of life lost with Adam's and Eve's sin. In Ezekiel's vision, the leaves were for healing (of Israel), but here they are for the healing of all the nations. Here there is nothing cursed (verse 3). Paradise is fulfilled in this city.

-- Brian Peterson

The fact that in Ezekiel the leaves were for the healing of Israel but now are for the healing of all the nations is a critical point to notice, I think. God wants us all to be healed - every single one of us.

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