1. Revelation 21:2 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Why must we know that John saw this holy city “coming down out of heaven from God”?

Revelation 21:2 (ESV)

2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

John’s perspective here is from the earth (Revelation 17:3; Revelation 18:1; Revelation 20:1), viewed as beneath heaven. The source of the city is heaven above; its destination is earth below.

The addition of the words “from God” is intriguing. Since heaven is God’s dwelling place, the city coming down “out of heaven” must invariably mean it comes “from God,” so the addition of the words “from God” strikes us as redundant. By including the reference to God, the Holy Spirit presses upon John’s readers that the city’s descent is God’s own work (both in its existence as well as in its present action of descending). That God and man would live together in one city (as foreshadowed in the old Jerusalem) is fully God’s doing, and that is to say that God in heaven is all in on the project. That is clearly an amazing and wonderful thought!