Monday, January 22, 2024

River of Life (22.1–5)


And he showed me a river of life’s water, bright like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the lamb. In the middle of its street, and on this side and that side of the river, was a tree of life making twelve fruits, yielding its fruit for each month. And the tree’s leaves are for the nations’ healing. And there will not be any curse anymore. And the throne of God and the lamb will be in it, and his slaves will serve him. And they will see his presence, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no night there, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun because the Lord God will illuminate over them, and they will reign for ever and ever.


This vision of the new Jerusalem is largely inspired by the same in Ezekiel.



35.5–7 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.


47.1, 12 Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple towards the east […] On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.


2.8–10 And Yhwh God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground Yhwh God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flows out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divides and becomes four branches.


14.8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.


3.18 On that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, the hills shall flow with milk, and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; a fountain shall come forth from the house of Yhwh and water the Wadi Shittim.

1 Enoch

24.3–4; 25.3–6 The seventh mountain was in the middle of these, and it rose above them in height, like the seat of a throne. And fragrant trees encircled it. Among them was a tree such as I had never smelled, and among them was no other like it. It had fragrance sweeter smelling than all spices, and its leaves and blossoms and the tree never wither. Its fruit is beautiful, like dates of the palm trees. And he answered me and said, ‘This high mountain that you saw, whose peak is like the throne of God, is the seat where the Great Holy One, the Lord of glory, the King of eternity, will sit, when he descends to visit the earth in goodness. And as for this fragrant tree, no flesh has the right to touch it until the great judgment, in which there will be vengeance on all and a consummation forever. Then it will be given to the righteous and the pious, and its fruit will be food for the chosen. And it will be transplanted to the holy place, by the house of God, the King of eternity. Then they will rejoice greatly and be glad, and they will enter into the sanctuary.’

LXX Zechariah

14.11 there will be no more curse

Testament of Levi

9.12 ‘Present to the Lord the twelve trees that have leaves, as Abraham taught me.’

18.10–11 ‘And he shall open the gates of the garden; he shall remove the sword that has threatened since Adam, and he will grant to the holy ones to eat of the tree of life.’

Testament of Dan

5.12 And the saints shall refresh themselves in Eden; the righteous shall rejoice in the new Jerusalem, which shall eternally be for the glorification of God.

Sibylline Oracles

1.24–25 He bade him live in an ambrosial garden, so that he might be concerned with beautiful works.

2.174–176 Later the faithful chosen Hebrews will ruler over exceedingly mighty men, having subjected them as of old, since power will never fail.

2.313–321, 331–338 But as for the others, as many as were concerned with justice and noble deeds, and piety and most righteous thoughts, angels will lift them through the blazing river and bring them to light and to life without care, in which is the immortal path of the great God and three springs of wine, honey, and milk. The earth will belong equally to all, undivided by walls or fences. It will then bear more abundant fruits spontaneously. […] Whenever they ask the imperishable God to save men from the raging fire and deathless gnashing he will grant it, and he will do this. For he will pick them out again from the undying fire and set them elsewhere and send them on account of his own people to another eternal life with the immortals in the Elysian plain where he has the long waves of the deep perennial Acherusian lake.

4 Ezra

7.98 they press forward to see the face of him whom they served in life and from whom they are to receive their reward when glorified.

2 Enoch

8.1–3 They brought me up to the third heaven. And they placed me in the midst of the garden. And that place has an appearance of pleasantness that has never been seen. Every tree was in full flower. Every fruit was ripe, every food was in yield profusely; every fragrance was pleasant. And the four rivers were flowing past with gentle movement, with every kind of garden producing every kind of good food. And the tree of life is in that place

2 Baruch

73.1 And it will happen that after he has brought down everything which is in the world, and has sat down in eternal peace on the throne of the kingdom, then joy will be revealed and rest will happen.

5 Ezra

2.18–19 I have consecrated and prepared for you twelve trees loaded with various fruits, and the same number of springs flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains on which roses and lilies grow; by these I will fill your children with joy.

Odes of Solomon

6.8, 18 For there went forth a stream, and it became a river great and broad; indeed it carried away everything, and it shattered and brought it to the temple. […] Because everyone recognized them as the Lord’s, and lived by the living water of eternity.

Greek Revelation of Ezra

5.21 And the angels led me away to the east and I saw the tree of life.

3 Enoch

48A.10 Moreover, the kingdom of Israel, gathered from the four quarters of the world, shall eat with the Anointed One, and the nations shall eat with them

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