The Book of Revelation is about the closing of the Lord’s “conflict” with creation, Satan and his angels and of course man. It links to the Book of Genesis and it is filled with Hebraic thought, images, phrases, symbols and idioms and if a person is not well versed in this “apocalyptic” style they will find the book hard to interpret.
It was written in this style to reveal things not previously known or understood concerning the past, present or future. This style is found in other books such as Daniel and Zechariah. The key to understanding Revelation is to be very familiar with Hebrew idioms, signs, phrases and symbols and how they relate to biblical eschatology. This book has been misinterpreted by many and this is because they do not understand the above.
The verses we are going to deal with can be found in Rev 22.1-2 and so we will look at those briefly to give a taste of how Hebraic apocalyptic writings should be interpreted.
Revelation chapters 21 and 22 take place after the thousand year Messianic Kingdom is over and when the Lord sets up the “Olam Haba” or the “world to come” on earth as seen in biblical eschatology. For more information on biblical eschatology we refer you to several articles on this site. These chapters do not happen in Heaven but on earth and that is very important to understand. Once you have a working knowledge of the idioms and phrases, this book is not difficult to interpret.
What we are going to do with these verses is to write them out and put commentary in parenthesis to give the meaning of what is being conveyed through the sign or symbolism. Rev 22.1-2 says “And he showed me a river (rivers are channels of truth in this context) of water of life (the word of God) clear as crystal (no impurities) coming from the throne of God (the Father) and the Lamb (Yeshua). In the middle of its street (the way of life), and on either side of the river was the tree of life (wisdom-Prov 3.13-19) bearing twelve (number of teaching and divine government) fruit (results of the teaching), yielding its fruit every month and the leaves (teaching) of the tree were for the healing of the nations (promotes life, peace and no conflicts).”
In other words, God will be present with the redeemed of mankind and there will be prosperity and peace throughout the world. The Word of God will be known and obeyed and the wisdom that comes forth from that knowledge will promote peace and healing among all the nations. There will be no more war, sin or death and all the things that weigh down mankind today. The earth will be restored back to the way it was in the Garden of Eden and the Lord will be the center of all life and worship.
Revelation 22.3-4 sums it up where it says that “there shall be no more curse (sin and death) and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it (the Shekinah-presence of God) and his bond-servants (believers) shall serve him (experience his favor) and they (the believers) shall see his face (in the presence) and his name (authority, methods, word of God) shall be on their foreheads (seat of the intellect, profession and comprehension).”