Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 21:11

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Having the glory of God - Instead of the sun and moon, it has the splendor of God to enlighten it.

Unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal - Among precious stones there are some even of the same species more valuable than others: for their value is in proportion to their being free from flaws, and of a good water, i.e., a uniform and brilliant transparency. A crystal is perfectly clear, the oriental jasper is a beautiful sea-green. The stone that is here described is represented as a perfectly transparent jasper, being as unclouded as the brightest crystal, and consequently the most precious of its species. Nothing can be finer than this description: the light of this city is ever intense, equal, and splendid; but it is tinged with this green hue, in order to make it agreeable to the sight. Nothing is so friendly to the eye as blue or green; all other colors fatigue; and, if very intense, injure the eye. These are the colors of the earth and sky, on which the eye of man is to be constantly fixed. To these colors the structure of the eye is adapted; and the general appearance of the earth and the sky is adapted to this structure.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Having the glory of God - A glory or splendor such as became the dwelling place of God. The nature of that splendor is described in the following verses.

And her light - In Revelation 21:23 it is said that “the glory of God did lighten it.” That is, it was made light by the visible symbol of the Deity - the “Shekinah.” See the Luke 2:9 note; Acts 9:3 note. The word here rendered “light” - φωστὴρ phōstēr- occurs nowhere else in the New Testament except in Philemon 2:15. It means, properly, a light, a lightgiver, and, in profane writers, means commonly a “window.” It is used here to denote the brightness or shining of the divine glory, as supplying the place of the sun, or of a window.

Like unto a stone most precious - A stone of the richest or most costly nature.

Even like a jasper stone - On the jasper, see the notes on Revelation 4:3. It is used there for the same purpose as here, to illustrate the majesty and glory of God.

Clear as crystal - Pellucid or resplendent like crystal. There are various kinds of jasper - as red, yellow, and brown, brownish yellow, etc. The stone is essentially a quartz, and the word “crystal” here is used to show that the form of it referred to by John was clear and bright.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God has various employments for his holy angels. Sometimes they sound the trumpet of Divine Providence, and warn a careless world; sometimes they discover things of a heavenly nature of the heirs of salvation. Those who would have clear views of heaven, must get as near to heaven as they can, on the mount of meditation and faith. The subject of the vision is the church of God in a perfect, triumphant state, shining in its lustre; glorious in relation to Christ; which shows that the happiness of heaven consists in intercourse with God, and in conformity to him. The change of emblems from a bride to a city, shows that we are only to take general ideas from this description. The wall is for security. Heaven is a safe state; those who are there, are separated and secured from all evils and enemies. This city is vast; here is room for all the people of God. The foundation of the wall; the promise and power of God, and the purchase of Christ, are the strong foundations of the safety and happiness of the church. These foundations are set forth by twelve sorts of precious stones, denoting the variety and excellence of the doctrines of the gospel, or of the graces of the Holy Spirit, or the personal excellences of the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven has gates; there is a free admission to all that are sanctified; they shall not find themselves shut out. These gates were all of pearls. Christ is the Pearl of great price, and he is our Way to God. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. The saints in heaven tread gold under foot. The saints are there at rest, yet it is not a state of sleep and idleness; they have communion, not only with God, but with one another. All these glories but faintly represent heaven.
Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 431

In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. (Hebrews 11:14-16.) There the great Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God's people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home. SR 431.1

There is the New Jerusalem, “having the glory of God,” her light “like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Revelation 21:11. Saith the Lord, “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” Isaiah 65:19. “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:3, 4. SR 431.2

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 676

Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying: ... for the former things are passed away.” “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24. GC 676.1

There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the glorified new earth, “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” “Her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” Saith the Lord: “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Isaiah 62:3; Revelation 21:11, 24; Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3. GC 676.2

In the City of God “there shall be no night.” None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. “And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day. GC 676.3

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 357

Heavens Is a Real and Wonderful Place

And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. Revelation 21:18, 19 ML 357.1

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 17-8

At first only a few were identified with this group who were moving forward in advancing light. By the year 1846 they reckoned their numbers as about fifty. EW xvii.1

The larger group who turned from confidence in the fulfillment of prophecy in 1844 numbered approximately thirty thousand. Their leaders came together in 1845 in a conference in Albany, New York, April 29 to May 1, at which time they restudied their positions. By formal action they went on record as warning against those who claim “special illumination,” those who teach “Jewish fables,” and those who establish “new tests” (Advent Herald, May 14, 1845). Thus they closed the door to light on the Sabbath and the Spirit of Prophecy. They were confident that prophecy had not been fulfilled in 1844, and some set time for the termination of the 2300-day period in the future. Various times were set, but one after another they passed by. These people, held together by the cohesive element of the Advent hope, at first aligned themselves in several rather loosely knit groups with considerable variation in certain doctrinal positions. Some of these groups soon faded out. The group that survived became the Advent Christian Church. Such are identified in this book as the “first day Adventists” or “nominal Adventists.” EW xvii.2

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