King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Revelation 22

A description of the heavenly state, under the figures of the water and the tree of life, and of the throne of God and the Lamb. (1-5) The truth and certain fulfilling of all the prophetic visions, The Holy Spirit, and the bride, the church, invite, and say, Come. (6-19) The closing blessing. (20,21)

Revelation 22 Audio:

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A description of the heavenly state, under the figures of the water and the tree of life, and of the throne of God and the Lamb

1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

The truth and certain fulfilling of all the prophetic visions, The Holy Spirit, and the bride, the church, invite, and say, Come

6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

The closing blessing

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. A river of water of life, or of living water. It is spoken with allusion to the rivers of paradise and to the tree of life. Wi.

Ver. 2. For the healing of the nations, or Gentiles, to signify the call of all Gentiles or nations to this heavenly happiness. Wi.

Ver. 4. They shall see his face. Thus in a few words is expressed the happiness of the blessed in heaven; they shall see God, from which vision proceed love, joy, and everlasting praises of the divine Majesty. Wi.

Ver. 6. These words are most faithful. Here begins the conclusion and close of all these revelations. — The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his Angel to shew, &c. and in the 16th verse it is said: I, Jesus, have sent my Angel to testify: from whence we may understand that Jesus, as to his person, is the same Lord God with the Father, though as man he is the root of the offspring of David, of the race of David, as the Messias was to be. Wi.

Ver. 7. Behold I come quickly. Man’s life is short, and at his death he must give an account to God. All time is short, if compared with eternity. S. John (v. 8) was again for casting himself at the feet of the Angel, though here it is not expressed whether it were to adore God, or whether it were by an inferior veneration to the Angel, often expressed by adoration. Wi.

Ver. 8-9. This is the second time the saint wishes to adore the Angel, but not with the supreme worship of latria, as he knew the object of his worship was only an Angel, and of course a mere creature; but the Angel, through respect for S. John, still refuses the proffered honour, (see C. xix. 10.) and to shew the holy society that was hereafter to exist between Angels and men, who were to compose but one and the same family. V.

Ver. 10. Seal not the words; as not designed to be kept sealed or secret, but to be delivered to the faithful for their instruction, that they may be prepared to suffer persecutions; that their faith, hope, and charity may be enlivened and increased by a firm expectation of their happiness in the next world, after short sufferings in this. Wi.

Ver. 11. He that hurteth, (by living in sins against God, himself, and his neighbours) let him hurt still; i.e. he shall be permitted; and he that is just, let him be justified still, and increase in virtues by God’s assistance. Wi. — It is not an exhortation or license to go on in sin, but an intimation that how far soever the wicked may proceed, their progress shall quickly end, and then they must expect to meet with proportionable punishments. Ch.

Ver. 13. I am alpha and omega. See C. i. 8. Wi.

Ver. 14. That they may have a right or power to eat of the tree of life. A right grounded on the promises of God and his graces. Wi.

Ver. 15. Without are dogs; meaning unbelievers, and whosever loveth and maketh a lie, i.e. all the wicked, who have not walked in the ways of truth. Wi.

Ver. 17. And the Spirit and the bride say: Come. That is, the Spirit of God, who moves us to love and praise him; and the bride, i.e. the Church, the spouse of Christ, which earnestly desires to be happy in the enjoyment of God: and every one that heareth these divine promises, let him with all the affections of his soul, with his whole heart, say: Come. He that thirsteth after justice, the Author and Fountain of all justice, let him come and be filled gratis by the bounty and liberality of our merciful God. Wi.

Ver. 18-19. I, John, testify and bear witness of all the truths contained in this revelation: If any man shall add to these things, he becomes guilty of sin, and makes himself liable to the punishments and plagues that are written in this book. Wi.

Ver. 20-21. He that giveth testimony of these things, i.e. God, and Jesus Christ by an Angel, saith, surely, (or even so, or truly, these are certain truths) I come quickly, to reward the good and punish the evil. To which words S. John himself replieth with a zealous prayer and earnest desire, saying, Amen, let it be so. — Come, Lord Jesus: come, and remain always in my soul by thy grace, and make me partaker of thy glory for ever and ever. Amen. Wi. — Conclusion. The Church in sighs and groans, and by the mouth of her children, solicits the coming of Jesus Christ, her divine Spouse. The fruit to be drawn from the perusal of this sacred book, is ardently to desire the kingdom of God, to sigh after the day of eternity, to feel the weight of the yoke of the present life, and the disgrace of our exile, and to live here below as strangers. Enkindle in me, O Lord, this desire; enable my poor soul to join with the beloved disciple in this prayer: Come, Lord Jesus; that she may go and lose herself in Thee, who art her Centre, her God, her All.