The Meaning of Revelation 21:5 Explained

Revelation 21:5

KJV: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

YLT: And He who is sitting upon the throne said, 'Lo, new I make all things; and He saith to me, 'Write, because these words are true and stedfast;'

Darby: And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he says to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful.

ASV: And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true.

What does Revelation 21:5 Mean?

Verse Meaning

John turned from describing the New Jerusalem briefly to describe some of God"s utterances (cf. Revelation 1:8; Revelation 20:11). "Behold" introduces a special pronouncement, namely, that God will bring a new creation into existence. The description of the new creation in the preceding verses was proleptic. Evidently an angel then instructed John to write down what God had said because His words were faithful and true, not incredible (cf. Revelation 22:6). [1] Possibly it was God Himself who uttered this second statement. [2] If Song of Solomon , this is probably the first time in the book that God the Father spoke. Perhaps the vision so enthralled John that he stopped recording it.

Context Summary

Revelation 21:1-8 - "a New Heaven And A New Earth"
Here is a vision of the new creation. This is the "restitution of all things" to which Peter refers in Acts 3:21, and the deliverance of creation from the bondage of corruption which Paul anticipates in Romans 8:21. No words can portray in positive description what that universe will be, and even the inspired writer has to confine himself to negatives. All he does is to name various elements of terror and dread, saying: This shall not be there, nor that, nor the other, all of which are the fell brood of human sin. The one great positive blessing will be that which was given to Israel in type, but then will be the perpetual experience of the human family. Compare Revelation 21:3 and Exodus 25:8. Let us see to it that here and now the Lord Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the A and Z of our life. If so, we may even in this mortal life begin to experience the life of the redeemed. We may now inherit all these things, and know the intimacy of Revelation 21:7. But we must overcome. Note that the fearful, that is, the cowardly, who draw back in the face of opposition, are classed with the abominable and murderers. [source]

Chapter Summary: Revelation 21

1  A new heaven and a new earth
10  The heavenly Jerusalem, with a full description thereof
23  She needs no sun, the glory of God being her light
24  The kings of the earth bring their riches unto her

Greek Commentary for Revelation 21:5

Behold, I make all things new [Ιδου καινα ποιω παντα]
The first time since Revelation 1:8 that God has been represented as speaking directly, though voices have come out of the throne before (Revelation 21:3) and out of the sanctuary (Revelation 16:1, Revelation 16:17), which may be from God himself, though more likely from one of the angels of the Presence. This message is not addressed to John (Revelation 7:14; Revelation 17:7; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:6), but to the entire world of the blessed. See Isaiah 43:18. for the words The idea of a new heaven and a new earth is in Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; Psalm 102:25. For the locative here with επι — epi See Revelation 20:11 for the picture. [source]
And he saith [και λεγει]
Probably this means a change of speakers, made plain by μοι — moi (to me) in many MSS. An angel apparently (as in Revelation 14:13; Revelation 19:9.) assures John and urges him to write The reason given (οτι — hoti for) is precisely the saying in Revelation 22:6 and he uses the two adjectives (πιστοι και αλητινοι — pistoi kai alēthinoi) employed in Revelation 19:11 about God himself, and Revelation 3:14 about Christ. In Revelation 19:9 αλητινοι — alēthinoi occurs also about “the words of God” as here. They are reliable and genuine. [source]
True and faithful [ἀληθινοὶ καὶ πιστοί]
The proper order of the Greek is the reverse, as Rev., faithful and true. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Revelation 21:5

1 Timothy 1:15 Faithful is the saying [πιστος ο λογος]
Five times in the Pastorals (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; Titus 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:11). It will pay to note carefully πιστισ πιστευω πιστος — pistisπιστος — pisteuōλογος — pistos Same use of οτι — pistos (trustworthy) applied to αποδοχης — logos in Titus 1:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6. Here and probably in 2 Timothy 2:11 a definite saying seems to be referred to, possibly a quotation (αχιος — hoti) of a current saying quite like the Johannine type of teaching. This very phrase (Christ coming into the world) occurs in John 9:37; John 11:27; John 16:28; John 18:37. Paul, of course, had no access to the Johannine writings, but such “sayings” were current among the disciples. There is no formal quotation, but “the whole phrase implies a knowledge of Synoptic and Johannine language” (Lock) as in Luke 5:32; John 12:47. [source]
3 John 1:5 A faithful work [πιστον]
Either thus or “thou makest sure,” after an example in Xenophon quoted by Wettstein (ποιειν πιστα — poiein pista) and parallel to καινα ποιεω — kaina poieō in Revelation 21:5. But it is not certain. [source]
Revelation 1:5 The faithful witness [ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς]
For the phraseology see on 1 John 4:9. For witness, see on John 1:7; see on 1 Peter 5:1. As applied to the Messiah, see Psalm 89:37; Isaiah 55:4. The construction again departs from the grammatical rule. The words witness, first-born, ruler, are in the nominative case, instead of being in the genitive, in apposition with Jesus Christ. This construction, though irregular, nevertheless gives dignity and emphasis to these titles of the Lord. See on Revelation 1:4. The word πιστὸς , faithful is used (1), of one who shows Himself faithful in the discharge of a duty or the administration of a trust (Matthew 24:45; Luke 12:42). Hence, trustworthy (1 Corinthians 7:25; 2 Timothy 2:2). Of things that can be relied upon (1 Timothy 3:1; 2 Timothy 2:11). (2), Confiding; trusting; a believer (Galatians 3:9; Acts 16:1; 2 Corinthians 6:15; 1 Timothy 5:16). See on 1 John 1:9. The word is combined with ἀληθινός , true, genuine in Revelation 3:14; Revelation 19:11; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6. Richard of St. Victor (cited by Trench) says: “A faithful witness, because He gave faithful testimony concerning all things which were to be testified to by Him in the world. A faithful witness, because whatever He heard from the Father, He faithfully made known to His disciples. A faithful witness, because He taught the way of God in truth, neither did He care for any one nor regard the person of men. A faithful witness, because He announced condemnation to the reprobate and salvation to the elect. A faithful witness, because He confirmed by miracles the truth which He taught in words. A faithful witness, because He denied not, even in death, the Father's testimony to Himself. A faithful witness, because He will give testimony in the day of judgment concerning the works of the good and of the evil.” [source]
Revelation 1:8 The Alpha and the Omega [το Αλπα και το Ο]
The first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, each with its own neuter (grammatical gender) article. This description of the eternity of God recurs in Revelation 21:6 with the added explanation η αρχη και το τελος — hē archē kai to telos (the Beginning and the End) and of Christ in Revelation 22:13 with the still further explanation ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος — ho prōtos kai ho eschatos (the First and the Last). This last phrase appears also in Revelation 1:17; Revelation 2:8 without το Αλπα και το Ο — to Alpha kai to O The change of speaker here is unannounced, as in Revelation 16:15; Revelation 18:20. Only here and Revelation 21:5. is God introduced as the speaker. The eternity of God guarantees the prophecy just made. [source]
Revelation 20:11 A great white throne [τρονον μεγαν λευκον]
Here μεγαν — megan (great) is added to the throne pictures in Revelation 4:4; Revelation 20:4. The scene is prepared for the last judgment often mentioned in the N.T. (Matt 25:31-46; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). “The absolute purity of this Supreme Court is symbolized by the colour of the Throne” (Swete) as in Daniel 7:9; Psalm 9:1; Psalm 97:2. The name of God is not mentioned, but the Almighty Father sits upon the throne (Revelation 4:2., Revelation 4:9; Revelation 5:1, Revelation 5:7, Revelation 5:13; Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:10, Revelation 7:15; Revelation 19:4; Revelation 21:5), and the Son sits there with him (Hebrews 1:3) and works with the Father (John 5:19-21; John 10:30; Matthew 25:31.; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1). [source]
Revelation 4:2 Upon the throne [Επι]
επι του τρονου — Epi with the accusative, as in Revelation 4:4; Revelation 6:2, Revelation 6:4.; Revelation 11:16; Revelation 20:4, but in Revelation 4:9, Revelation 4:10; Revelation 5:1, Revelation 5:7; Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:15 we have επι τωι τρονωι — epi tou thronou (genitive), while in Revelation 7:10; Revelation 19:4; Revelation 21:5 we have epi tōi thronōi (locative) with no great distinction in the resultant idea. [source]
Revelation 22:6 These words [ουτοι οι λογοι]
The same words used in Revelation 21:5 by the angel there. Whatever the application there, here the angel seems to endorse as “faithful and true” (πιστοι και αλητινοι — pistoi kai alēthinoi) not merely the preceding vision (21:9-22:5), but the revelations of the entire book. The language added proves this: “Sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass” (απεστειλεν τον αγγελον αυτου δειχαι τοις δουλοις αυτου α δει γενεσται εν ταχει — apesteilen ton aggelon autou deixai tois doulois autou ha dei genesthai en tachei), a direct reference to Revelation 1:1 concerning the purpose of Christ‘s revelation to John in this book. For “the God of the spirits of the prophets” (ο τεος των πνευματων των προπητων — ho theos tōn pneumatōn tōn prophētōn) see Revelation 19:10; 1 Corinthians 14:32. Probably the prophets‘ own spirits enlightened by the Holy Spirit (Revelation 10:7; Revelation 11:8; Revelation 22:9). [source]
Revelation 4:2 Was set [εκειτο]
Imperfect middle of κειμαι — keimai old verb, used as passive of τιτημι — tithēmi As the vision opens John sees the throne already in place as the first thing in heaven. This bold imagery comes chiefly from 1 Kings 22:19; Isaiah 6:1.; Ezekiel 1:26-28; Daniel 7:9. One should not forget that this language is glorious imagery, not actual objects in heaven. God is spirit. The picture of God on the throne is common in the O.T. and the N.T. (Matthew 5:34.; Matthew 23:22; Hebrews 1:3 and in nearly every chapter in the Revelation, Revelation 1:4, etc.). The use of κατημενος — kathēmenos (sitting) for the name of God is like the Hebrew avoidance of the name επι τον τρονον — Jahweh and is distinguished from the Son in Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:10.Upon the throne (Επι — epi ton thronon). επι του τρονου — Epi with the accusative, as in Revelation 4:4; Revelation 6:2, Revelation 6:4.; Revelation 11:16; Revelation 20:4, but in Revelation 4:9, Revelation 4:10; Revelation 5:1, Revelation 5:7; Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:15 we have επι τωι τρονωι — epi tou thronou (genitive), while in Revelation 7:10; Revelation 19:4; Revelation 21:5 we have epi tōi thronōi (locative) with no great distinction in the resultant idea. [source]

What do the individual words in Revelation 21:5 mean?

And said the [One] sitting on the throne Behold new I make all things He says Write [this] because these the words faithful TRUE are
Καὶ εἶπεν καθήμενος ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ Ἰδοὺ καινὰ ποιῶ πάντα λέγει Γράψον ὅτι οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσιν

εἶπεν  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
  the  [One] 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
καθήμενος  sitting 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Middle or Passive, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: κάθημαι  
Sense: to sit down, seat one’s self.
θρόνῳ  throne 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: θρόνος  
Sense: a throne seat.
Ἰδοὺ  Behold 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: ἰδού  
Sense: behold, see, lo.
καινὰ  new 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: καινός  
Sense: new.
ποιῶ  I  make 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
πάντα  all  things 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.
λέγει  He  says 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω 
Sense: to say, to speak.
Γράψον  Write  [this] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: γράφω 
Sense: to write, with reference to the form of the letters.
ὅτι  because 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
οὗτοι  these 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
λόγοι  words 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: λόγος  
Sense: of speech.
πιστοὶ  faithful 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: πιστός  
Sense: trusty, faithful.
ἀληθινοί  TRUE 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἀληθινός  
Sense: that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine.