Revelation 22:

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3a No longer will there be any curse.

Since there will no longer be any curse, what is the use of these leaves?

5 Answers 5


The great "problem" in Rev 22:3 is the hapax legomenon, κατάθεμα, which has caused much discussion. According to BDAG it has the meaning:

that which is given over to a deity, ie, under a curse, hence accursed thing, Rev 22:3

Thus, Rev 22:3 might be felicitously translated as:

And there will no longer be any accursed thing ...

Ellicott appears to agree:

(3) And there shall be no more curse . . . Better, And every curse, or accursed thing, shall not be any longer. There may be an allusion to Joshua 7:12; there is certainly a borrowing, of language from Zechariah (Zechariah 14:11). All accursed things are removed, and with them passes the curse. The blessing of God’s presence, and the blessing of God’s rule take the place of the ascendancy of evil over the groaning creation (Romans 8:22).

The Expositor's commentary is similar even if in more obtuse language:

κατάθεμα, a corrupt and rare form of κατανάθεμα = anything accursed (lit. a curse itself, Did. Revelation 16:8). i.e., abstract for concrete, here = “a cursed person,”

The Pulpit commentary is clearer:

Verse 3. - And there shall be no more curse; and there shall be no accursed thing any more. Nothing accursed exists in that city, because there is no sin there.

Indeed, this is the sense provided by several versions:

  • NLT: No longer will there be a curse upon anything
  • ESV: No longer will there be anything accursed
  • Amplified: There will no longer exist anything that is cursed [because sin and illness and death are gone];
  • GNT: Nothing that is under God's curse will be found in the city
  • CEV: God's curse will no longer be on the people of that city.

With this understanding, the "problem" with V2 about the healing of the nations evaporates. Barnes comments on this "healing of the nations" as follows:

Were for the healing - That is, they contribute to impart life and health to those who had been diseased. We are not to suppose that there will be sickness, and a healing process in heaven, for that idea is expressly excluded in Revelation 21:4; but the meaning is, that the life and health of that blessed world will have been imparted by partaking of that tree; and the writer says that, in fact, it was owing to it that they who dwell there had been healed of their spiritual maladies, and had been made to live forever.

The pulpit commentary is similar:

It is, of course, not implied that there is, in the new Jerusalem, any disease which needs healing, but the tree of life is put forward as the means by which the perpetual health and life and general well being of the inhabitants are sustained. Revelation 22:2


The "curse" is a reference to sin and sinners. Those who are sinners still when probation closes will be "cut off" and will no longer exist.

For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. (Psalm 37:22, KJV)

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41, KJV)

That final pronouncement which ends this saga is found in the same chapter of Revelation.

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22:11, KJV)

Those that are "unjust" or "filthy" at this point in time are forever cursed. They will not inherit eternal life.

But, even after the curse of sin is over, wounds from sin remain. Those wounds will take some time to heal. This is why we have the reference to the leaves of the Tree of Life being for the healing of the nations.

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. (Revelation 22:2, KJV)

During the first thousand years in heaven, before the saints return to Earth to take up residence in the earth made new, they will have opportunity to go over the books of record (see 1 Cor. 6:3) and to understand why some among their friends and loved ones are not there. I would submit that they may still shed some tears during this time, for it is at the close of the thousand years that the Bible says God will wipe away their tears.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1, KJV)

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2, 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. (Revelation 21:3, KJV)

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4, KJV)

In those verses we see that, first, there is a new earth, secondly, the New Jerusalem comes out of heaven and down to this new earth, and thirdly, the "no more tears" pronouncement comes with "no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying," clearly placing this after hell has cleaned up the mess of sin. Once hell is past, the saints will have had closure, and they will cry no more.


The thousand-year period in heaven (the millennium) will be a time for healing from sin, for though sin itself no longer troubles the saints, the wounds from sin and the memories of sin do still exist.


This chapter in Revelation talks about the Millennium. And because of this, interpretation varies, depending on your personal view of eschatology. With this in mind, here is one view to consider.

The Millennium is a period of time (an age) on earth. During this time, ‘evil’ will have been defeated,and Satan is bound.

REV 20:2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years

Couple of points. ‘Man’ will still ‘live’ as he does today - physically. There will still be people alive. BUT they still have the same ‘mortal’ bodies we do. Bodies susceptible to decay. But in this period, the trees will provide healing - the verse you quoted.

The curse that’s removed is the curse the earth received via Adam’s fall in Genesis 3. It is important to note Adam was not cursed - something I suspect you are assuming?

Man is still mortal. And with that same nature as man today, will still be susceptible to ‘sin’. Righteousness will protect man, but the righteousness during this period will be obtained the same way as during the days of Abraham - by works, by what you do. I appreciate this may be a contentious view, but have a look at what happens after this period of time! Chapter 22, Satan leads a rebellion! - against God! Not all men will walk in righteousness - hence Jesus ruling with an iron rod!

So the curse that’s lifted is the ‘curse’ the earth was under. This allows the ‘trees’ to produce (genetically ‘perfect’, i.e. ‘healthy’) leaves. (Food). But man still has his mortal flesh to contend with, so will,at times, need healing.


Since there will no longer be any curse, what is the use of the leaves in Revelation 22:2?

At the end of Jesus's one thousand year reign (Rev. 20:4) the curse on Adam will no longer be, "No longer will there be any curse."(Rev 22:3) . Because by means of these symbolic trees, all types of physical health, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs, humankind are healed completely of all the imperfections inherited from Adam:

The symbolic trees are not literal herbal healing of the nations, but the provisions that will give the obedient mankind everlasting life on the earth.

No resident will say I am sick.

Isaiah 33:24 NASB

24 And no resident will say, “I am sick”; The people who live there will be forgiven for their wrongdoing.

The residence of God is among mankind.

Revelation 21:3-4 NASB

3 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 [a]people, and God Himself will be among them[b], 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

The Peaceful Kingdom . Isaiah 11:1-9


New heavens and New Earth


  • Tks for the quick upvote, its a good encouragement. Sep 28, 2021 at 20:08

There are 12 manner of fruit. It means to defeat boredom or anything that offends. Consider by the time Revelation 22:2 takes place a major controversy that has been playing out over 8 thousand years would have finally concluded. Now the people will receive healing Spiritually; that they never could receive while imprisoned by Satans lies and his children's system.

The Companion Bible by E.W.Bullinger:

Revelation 22:2 healing. In Ezekiel 47:12 is the Divine provision for preserving and restoring health. Here, the fruits are for the enjoyment of the citizens of the new Jerusalem, and the "leaves" for the healing (health and "haleness") of the nations. For the former things having "passed away", there will be no sickness there (Revelation 21:4 ).

Rev22:3 Verse 3 no more = no ( App-105. I) longer.

curse. Greek. katanathema, or with the texts, katathema, an accursed thing. Compare Zechariah 14:11 (Septuagint anathema) .

but = and.

servants. App-190.I.2.

serve. App-137.4 and 190.III.

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