(Hierousalem kaine): This name occurs in Re 21:2 (Re 21:10, "holy city"). The conception is based on prophecies which predict a glorious future to Jerusalem after the judgment (Isa 52:1). In Revelation, however, it is not descriptive of any actual locality on earth, but allegorically depicts the final state of the church ("the bride," "the wife of the Lamb," Re 21:2,9), when the new heaven and the new earth shall have come into being. The picture is drawn from a twofold point of view: the new Jerusalem is a restoration of Paradise (Re 21:6; 22:1-2,14); it is also the ideal of theocracy realized (Re 21:3,12,14,22). The latter viewpoint explains the peculiar representation that the city descends "out of heaven from God" (Re 21:2,10), which characterizes it as, on the one hand, a product of God's supernatural workmanship, and as, on the other hand, the culmination of the historic process of redemption. In other New Testament passages, where theocratic point of view is less prominent, the antitypical Jerusalem appears as having its seat in heaven instead of, as here, coming down from heaven to earth (compare Ga 4:26; Heb 11:10; 12:22).
See also REVELATION OF JOHN.