I am reading in the book of Revelation (ESV bible) about "The New Jerusalem," Chapter 21:22-27 and it is written,

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth swill bring their glory into it, 25 and tits gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

My understanding from the verse is that the New Jerusalem does not need the sun or moon to shine on it to give it light, because the glory of God gives it light and its lamp is the lamb (Jesus).

Verse 23

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it,for the glory of God gives it light,and its lamp is the lamb.

In my mind ,i can visualize a city "shining bright," with the glory of God and the light of the lamb,in the same way as the below verse describes glory/splendour,

Revelation 18:1

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory.

My understanding of the word "glory", which is written in these verses,is that it is a "heavenly glory", which is somewhat different to an "earthly glory",which now brings me to my question.

In Rev 21 verse 24 it is written,

By its light will the nations walk,and the Kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.

My understanding is that the "earthly Kings" will bring their "glory" into the New Jerusalem, and that this glory must be an earthly glory because they are earthly kings.

My question is,if the Heavenly glory is splendour and bright,then how is the reader meant to understand the glory that the Kings of the earth will bring into the city, considering that this is an earthly glory, which i interpret to be different from a Heavenly glory.

What is the glory that the Kings of the earth possess,which they will take with them into the "New Jerusalem".

  • We should consider who the kings are. Are they earthly political rulers that we have now? Or maybe: "Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years." Rev. 20:6
    – Joshua
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 13:48
  • @ Joshua Bigbee,thanks for your comment.This may be helpful to you if you are considering answering the question. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/17378/…
    – Bagpipes
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 14:20
  • I remember seeing that one. I disagreed with the leading answer as you can see. I also see this as a bit of a systematic matter. Whether you are post or premillenial will make a big difference.
    – Joshua
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 16:51

4 Answers 4


Like most words, the word has more than one usage/meaning. Obviously when it speaks of people walking in the light of God's glory it is referring to his radiance, which obviates sun and moon. But in the passage about the kings of the earth bringing their glory into the city the meaning is "tribute".

The Revelation presents an eschatology that differs greatly from what most people have ever heard. It has nothing whatsoever with the idea of people "going to heaven when they die". It describes divine terrorism using horrific broad brush disasters to completely demoralize and subjugate the nations under the feet of his Christ in preparation for God's own descent to the middle east in the promised land to dwell among his people. The glorified Jerusalem is surrounded by walls but there is a gate that is open and the humiliated "dogs" outside the city pay tribute to Yehovah by bringing their finery to him. The passage that I think best summarizes the meaning of the Revelation (after the letters to the Asian assemblies) is this one:

1Co 15:24 Then the end will come, when after he has done away with every ruler and every authority and power, the Messiah hands over the kingdom to God the Father. 1Co 15:25 For he must rule until God puts all the Messiah's enemies under his feet. 1Co 15:26 The last enemy to be done away with is death, 1Co 15:27 for "God has put everything under his feet." Now when he says, "Everything has been put under him," this clearly excludes the one who put everything under him. 1Co 15:28 But when everything has been put under him, then the Son himself will also become subject to the one who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

The genuine Christian hope is not "going to heaven when you die" but rather being resurrected and living with God forever in the New Jerusalem in the promised land. Life goes on outside of the gate but there is a contrast:

Luke 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. Luk 13:29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.


Jonathan Pageau seems to hint at 1:16 in his YouTube video "AI: The Beast or Jerusalem?" that Revelation is contrasting two types of hierarchy. One of diversity and one of tyranny. Under the beast, there is a hierarchy but no true diversity is allowed. Under Christ, diversity is maximized (see liberty vs freedom). Another piece of evidence (besides, you know, how diverse creation is) is this passage saying there are kings and they work together and add their glory to the greater glory. See also, casting crowns and saints given rule over cities.

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    – ray grant
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 22:11

How can the kings of the earth refer to those who reject Christ when Revelation says (before this verse) those that reject Christ were thrown into the lake of fire, which will be cast out of His sight when the old is done away with and all things are made new? Paul refers to christians as "becoming kings", yet these are christians who have never offered their crown to the king of kings, thus they never put on the new man. They will labor still (from never entering His rest) and will bring the fruit of their labors into the kingdon. In every house there are items of gold and silver, wood and stone, some for honor and some for dishonor. Note too that Revelation slso says outside the city will dwell thr dogs and those that remain unclean and that many sons will be cast out into outer datkness (away from light within New Jerusalem) where there will be weeping ( cause they still fell short of the glory of God) and gnashing of teeth (resentful over their pastors whose " doctrine of unmerited favor has left them in the dark)


I think that we all would agree that those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior would be gathered into the group called "The Body of Christ,or,The Bride of Christ." This would also include those that are saved during The Tribulation.(Rev. 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.)

Yet, we seem to forget that not everyone that dies either is in Heaven with Christ, or is imprisoned in the Hell side of Hades. There is one other group. The Sanctified Ones. Babies, children that pass away before that day of "accountability"... whenever that day would be. Also, there would be those persons with severe mental handicaps that never reach the ability to make the decision to come to Christ. These souls are not "Saved". There may be others,also,although my heart has a very rough time with the idea. Read 1 Cor. 7:14, and remember that the text says SANCTIFIED, not SAVED. (An enigmatic set of verses,there,indeed.)

Knowing,then, that Sanctification means "to Set Apart,Make Holy, or Consecrate"... could we suppose,that these Sanctified Ones are those that are referred to as "The Kings of the Earth"... then the original picture from Creation, of God creating a world, and placing Man in that world to worship and fellowship with Him, will have come full circle.

Rev. 22:2 "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Those that live in The Holy City,and are closest to God the Father, and to Christ Jesus, should have no need for any kind of healing, but, perhaps, those that live outside of The City certainly could feel some disappointment.

  • Imaginative but based more on tradition than on any scripture.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 16:02

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