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for the Lamb, who is

in the center of the throne,

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will shepherd them,

and he will lead them

to springs of living waters,

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and GOD

will remove every tear

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from their eyes.”


for THE ONLY EFFICACIOUS SACRIFICE, who is intimately close to, and is fully trusted by the One with all the authority, because of His obedience and humility, will guide and protect them, and he will lead them to pure and life-giving sources of abundant rejuvenation, and THE CREATOR AND OWNER OF ALL THINGS will remove all their sadness.”


1: “In the center of the throne”

This is a different picture than that of a person sitting on the throne (i.e. exercising authority). As we saw in Revelation 4:6b it is a picture of one who is intimately close to the one exercising all authority based on his obedience and trustworthiness. In 4:6 it is used of the four living beings; here it is used of the Lamb. While the Lamb has authority, e.g. He alone can open the seven seals, He is also our example of humility and obedience. The martyrs before the throne in this passage are trusted and rewarded by God because they acted like Jesus.

2: “spring of living water”

This phrase has so much richness that it is difficult to put it into English without it sounding too bulky.

“Living,” when used in conjunction with water of any kind, made people think of the difference between putrid, smelly, diseased, cistern water, and fresh, pure, life-giving water from a natural spring.

The word that is sometimes translated “fountains” meant a “natural spring.” Their springs were a source of fresh, rejuvenating water. So with these two images (living water, and springs) we see a doubling effect, both are referring to the same thing—life-giving or rejuvenating water.

The fact that the word “waters” is plural here means that it is a sign of abundance. It did not matter what it referred to, “waters” meant an abundance of that item; usually context can help the reader know what that abundance refers to. Here the context points us toward an “abundance of fresh, pure rejuvenation.”

3: “every tear”

The sadness referred to is most likely that which has been suffered during persecution, most notably the loss of loved ones who also gave their lives for their faith.