seashore

The original question was: Revelation 21:1-2 mentions the new earth will have no sea! Is that because Jewish people thought sea was symbolic of chaos?

Answer by John Mackay

We have sometimes been asked to preach in churches which take this position,  and we have read commentaries that say God is will not making a new sea on the new earth, because to the mostly non-seagoing Jewish people, the sea was a fearful thing. Add to that their Jewish captivity in pagan Babylon – or coming out of bondage from Egypt where earth and sea had been viewed as the result of chaotic gods battling one another – any sea, whether the Galilean or the larger Mediterranean with known records of often stormy weather certainly reflected such watery chaos. Remember Jonah was tossed overboard in a storm. The apostle Paul was nearly drowned in a storm. Therefore, it is claimed, the first century Jewish idea of a perfect world in the mindset of the ageing apostle John as he received The Revelation on the island of Patmos, would be one where there would be no reminder of what the nasty sea could do – hence a new creation without a sea, even though rivers were are recorded as being present!(Revelation 22:1)

If the Bible had added such an explanation about the ‘sea-less’ statement in Revelation, you would be justified in believing it, but the Bible never adds such reasoning to the text. And perhaps the real problem with this sea-less theory is the belief that God was acting only to fit with the Jewish cultural mindset.  So let us give you a more accurate mindset from a converted Jew and trained religious leader, the Apostle Paul. In Philippians2:15 he wrote; “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” Instead of claiming the God who is Christ limits himself to Jewish ways of thinking, we must realise that God has acted, does act, and only ever acts to fit His own holy, righteous and perfect mindset. To the One who created the sea, the ocean has never represented chaos, nor has it ever represented disorder. It was created on the third day of His creating and, along with all the rest of His work, He declared on the sixth day that it was “very good”.

I know it will probably be a disappointment to the surfers and the deep-sea fishermen amongst us to have no sea. However, those of us who love Jesus will be so intrigued and amazed by being in His presence forever and being given the exciting tasks He allocates to us to do in this new creation, that we won’t even remember the pleasures we had in a sin-filled world where we could not only be carried on the thrill of a wave, but also dumped by that same wave and have our back broken, or fall from a fishing boat and drown. Never again will such things happen. But just to encourage you sea lovers, there will be plenty of water to look at, such as rivers etc. (Revelation 22)

So as interesting as this Jewish culture based explanation sounds, it is hogwash, and don’t be surprised that it is associated 8 times out of 10 with the mindset that the beginning of Gods revealed Word in Genesis 1-6 (creation – Noahs flood ) is also explainable on the basis of Jewish cultural thinking, and so the reader is encouraged to NOT view it as real history either, which reduces the Bible at both beginning and end to nothing useful or usable at all, which is exactly the way the Serpent in Genesis and Revelation who is also the Devil or Satan wants you to treat Gods revealed Word on History past present and future.

P.S. Have you ever wondered if Jesus will remake dinosaurs too? Interesting thought!

Now reread the text for yourself: Revelation 21:1-5

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. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. 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. 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

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About The Contributor

John Mackay