What does Revelation 21:3 mean?
ESV: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
NIV: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
NASB: And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them ,
CSB: Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God.
NLT: I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, 'Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.
KJV: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
NKJV: And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Verse Commentary:
In the old Jerusalem God dwelt in the temple, in the Holy of Holies, into which only the high priest could enter once a year. In eternity, God will be present always with all His people. John heard a loud voice from the throne proclaim, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man." According to this verse, the saints—God's people—will enjoy close fellowship with God. The fellowship will resemble the experience Adam and Eve enjoyed with God in the garden of Eden before they fell into sin.

Sometimes the questions are raised, "What happens to those who become believers during the millennium? Will they have glorified bodies in eternity?" Likely, God will remove millennial believers from the earth before He renovates it, and then return them to the renovated earth in glorified bodies. During the millennium, the unglorified believers still had the longstanding promise that the pure in heart would see God (Matthew 5:8), in the New Jerusalem they will enjoy the fulfillment of that promise.
Verse Context:
Revelation 21:1–8 continues the progression of events which came after the end of the tribulation: Christ's return to earth (Revelation 19:11–16), the defeat and destruction of those who war against Christ (Revelation 19:17–21), the incarceration of Satan (Revelation 20:1–3), the millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:4–6), the release of Satan and the nations' final revolt against God (Revelation 20:7–10), and the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11–15). Here we see the creation of the new heaven and the new earth. Upcoming verses describe the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9–27).
Chapter Summary:
This chapter focuses on the New Jerusalem. This is not the earthly, historic Jerusalem of the tribulation (Revelation 11:2, 8). Nor is it the surviving Jerusalem of the millennium that serves as Jesus' capital (Revelation 20:9). It is the heavenly city referred to in Hebrews 12:22, whose designer and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10, 16). John attempts to describe the indescribable using analogies to precious gems and metals.
Chapter Context:
Leading up to this chapter, all sin and evil have been entirely defeated. Satan is banished to hell, along with every person who rejected Christ, as seen in chapter 20. Here, John describes the nature of the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city which descends onto earth after the ultimate victory over evil. Chapter 22 is a further description of this perfect eternity, and last messages from Jesus to those who read John's words.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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