What does Revelation 22:17 mean?
ESV: The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
NIV: The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let the one who hears say, "Come!" Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
NASB: The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires, take the water of life without cost.
CSB: Both the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" Let anyone who hears, say, "Come!" Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take the water of life freely.
NLT: The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' Let anyone who hears this say, 'Come.' Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
KJV: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
NKJV: And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Verse Commentary:
The apostle Paul affirmed the truth that salvation is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8–9). This verse extends the final invitation to sinners to come to Christ and quench their spiritual thirst. The Holy Spirit extends this invitation through the Bride, the church. Those who come to Christ drink the water of life freely.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus met a spiritually thirsty woman at a well. Her reputation was wretched and she drew water alone and at an inconvenient time of day. Jesus asked her for a drink of water and engaged her in a conversation about water. He told her that water from Jacob's well would quench thirst only temporarily but the water He offered would quench thirst forever: salvation curing a spiritual thirst (John 4:13–14). The woman responded gladly to Jesus' offer of living water. Soon she brought the people of the city to the well to "come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" (John 4:29).
Verse Context:
Revelation 22:14–21 concludes the epilogue begun in verse 6. It contains promises, blessing, an invitation, a warning, and a benediction. The Old Testament closed with the promise that the sun of righteousness will arise with healing in its wings (Malachi 4:2). The New Testament closes with the promise that the ''bright and morning star'' will come. Just as the morning star appears before the sun arises, so Jesus will come for the church before He returns to restore Israel to Himself.
Chapter Summary:
John sees additional images of New Jerusalem. The city's depiction stands in contrast to the ruin experienced during the tribulation, and evokes comparisons to the garden of Eden from the book of Genesis. After this, John relates several commands and messages from Jesus Christ. Among these are a dire warning not to manipulate the words of this message. Revelation, along with the canon of Scripture, ends with a benediction and prayer for Jesus to return.
Chapter Context:
This passage completes the description of New Jerusalem. Earlier chapters in Revelation described the final judgments against sin and death. Genesis chapter 3 described humanity's loss of paradise; Revelation 22 describes paradise regained. Concluding remarks by Jesus begin in verse 6 and continue through verse 20. Verse 21 records the apostle John's benediction, which marks the end of the New Testament canon.
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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