Summary of passage: We see the river of life running through the middle of the New Jerusalem. On each side of the river stands the tree of life, bearing 12 kinds of fruit. The curse is lifted. God and Jesus will dwell in the city. We will see God’s face and be marked. God will be the light and we shall reign forever.
12) The River of Life. Other waters in the Bible:
In the Garden is a river that flows from Eden and nourishes the land (Genesis 2:10-14).
Exodus 17:6 & Numbers 20:11 when Moses strikes the rock and water flows out for the people to drink.
John 19:34: Jesus is pierced and water flows to rid us of our sins.
Psalm 46:4-5: A river gladdens the city.
Ezekiel 47:5-12: A river flows from the house of God with miraculous properties. It reverses the deadly saltiness of the Dead Sea and produces healing fruits on its banks.
John 4:10-14: Whoever drinks of Jesus’s water will never thirst again. It will spring up and offer eternal life. John 7:38 says believers have streams of living water flowing within them.
13a) Both disobeyed God’s order to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and were deceived by the serpent.
b) Everything. Life with God by their side. Paradise. Eternal life. No sin. No evil.
14) Personal Question. My answer: Everything.
Conclusions: Weak. Hope Lesson 28 has more than this to these 5 verses. Question 12 was good and interesting, but you’ll have to research it to get the most out of it. So google away!
Here we see prophesy and God’s promises fulfilled. What a way to end the Bible! God is so, so good as all of Scripture culminates in His glory and mercy and our salvation.
End Notes: Prophets used a river as a symbol of richness, provision, and peace (Isaiah 48:18, Zechariah 14:8, Ezekiel 47:1-9). Water is a basic need for life on earth. The idea is in heaven there shall be no want.
The water is clear, again a sign of perfection and purity. It is a gift from God.
Note how the Bible began with the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24) and now we end with one. God is awesome!
Scholars differ on whether this is one tree or a series of trees or one tree reaching over the river. No matter. The idea is restoration. The tree shows man is restored to God again with full access and fellowship with Him. Ezekiel 47:7,12 prophesies trees as well.
The tree bears fruit, which we can eat. Again, scholars differ here but most agree we will eat in heaven but we won’t have to to survive. Jesus enjoyed food after his resurrection (Luke 24:41-43, John 21:12-14) and angels ate with Abraham (Genesis 18:6-8). It could be used as a communion or for fellowship with Jesus.
Why is healing needed in heaven? Here, the Greek word used also means “health-giving”, a much better translation than healing.
The Millennial earth will still have curses (Isaiah 65:20) just less. Here, all are gone forever.
We will serve God, not sit around idle, and reign forever (Daniel 7:27; Revelation 3:21).
We shall see God’s face (1 Corinthians 13:12, 1 John 3:2)! Imagine! In ancient times criminals were banished from the presence of the king.
Revelation 3:12 is fulfilled: Those who remain true to God shall be marked.
The Lord shall be our everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19-20)
Conclusions to Lesson 27: Such messages of hope to believers. We’ve read about the coming suffering and judgments but the light at the end of the tunnel is God and we get to walk toward it and in it all of our lives. Every other minor want/problem/complaint pales in comparison to our future. If only we could keep that in our minds in the day-to-day heartaches and trials.