Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
“V. New Heaven and New Earth (21:1-22:5)” pp. 726-776.
“C. New Jerusalem as the Final Eden (22:1-5)” pp. 768-776
Osborne observes that Revelation 22:1-5 depicts the New Jerusalem as a restoration of the Edenic paradise. On a side note, he also points out that in Genesis 2-3, before the Fall, the Tree of Life was accessible to the people. It was fine for people oriented to God (Osborne 2002, 768).
Here in Revelation 22, not only are there trees of life, but they grow along “a river of water of life” from the temple. The idea of water and life is very common in all the Bible (Osborne 2002, 769). As elsewhere in Revelation, Osborne observes the unity of God and the Lamb, who occupy the throne equally (Osborne 2002, 770). The theme of the tree of life is present in Revelation 22B, a theme Osborne traces through the Old Testament. Here, oddly, it is a singular tree but seems to line both banks of the river, giving different fruit (Osborne 2002, 771). Osborne suggests the different fruit in the different times suggest abundance and the lack of seasons. The fact that the leaves are for healing is a little puzzling in a place where there is no illness or harm. This may be viewed as a reminder of the perfection - the leaves are for healing but are never needed. The description of the tree is followed by the observation that there is no curse, no evil (Osborne 2002, 773).
Revelation 22:3b-4 speaks of the centrality of God’s throne in the city. All the good there, Osborne observes, is predicated on the fact that God is present for His people (Osborne 2002, 773). The service of his people is worship. Osborne notes the double meanings of douleuo and latreuo, the words used to describe the work of the free servants of God (Osborne 2002, 773-774). God’s people will see Him clearly and bear his name on their foreheads. The new name given to them is God’s name.
Revelation 22:5 concludes the vision with God’s presence as the eternal light of His kingdom. His people reign with Him forever (Osborne 2002, 775).