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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 22

2. The Wood of the Life



“In the midst of the Broadspace of the City, and on each side of the stream was a WOOD OF LIFE”.

The Broadspace of the New Jerusalem is the four-square area within the Wall. We read of no rows of habitations dividing the intramural space into avenues, and streets, broad or narrow. The Broadspace is constituted of all “the wise” who shine as the brightness of the firmament; and of “the stars” who have turned many to righteousness (Dan. 12:3): in other words, of “the general assembly — ecclesia of the Firstborns — spirits of just ones who have been made perfect” (Heb. 12:23).

To him, then, who believes the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity, and the name of Jesus Anointed,” and has therefore been immersed (Acts 8:12), and thenceforth, “by a patient continuance in well-doing, seeks for glory, and honor, and incorruptibility” (Rom. 2:7): and thus overcomes the world — “to him,” saith the Spirit, “I will give to eat from the Wood of the Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of the Deity” (ch. 2:7).

This passage taken in connection with ch. 22:2, shows, that the New Jerusalem is identical with “the Paradise of the Deity,” in the corporate sense of the phrase. Every individual of the Bride adorned, upon whom bath been engraved “the Name of the City of the Deity, New Jerusalem,” is therefore a constituent of His Paradise in the territorial Paradise of the Holy Land. Hence, in Cant. 4:12, “a Paradeisos, or Paradais, is my sister Spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon”. In this Bridal Garden of the Deity is planted the evergreen, and aromatic, and fruit-bearing, trees of THE WOOD OF THE LIFE that shall never end.

The reader will perceive that I have rendered xulon zoes, which in the English Version, is expressed by the phrase, the Tree of Life, by the words a Wood of Life. The sound of this form of words is not so euphonious, but it is more in harmony with the mind of the Spirit, as will appear from what follows.

In the Apocalypse there are two Greek words, xulon and dendron, which are both rendered tree in the E.V., but incorrectly, as I believe. I cannot suppose, that the Spirit selected these two different words to express exactly the same idea; but the rather, because there was a distinction of ideas, which required different words to convey it. To translate xulon by “tree,” involves one in a difficulty from which there is no satisfactory extrication. If xulon be rendered “tree”, the difficulty is, how a tree can be at one and the same time on both sides of a river. The difficulty, however, vanishes in rendering xulon by the word wood. A wood may be enteuthen kai enteuthen, “on this side and the other,” or “on each side” of a river, and yet be one wood; a singular noun of multitude, or plurality, which harmonizes with the structure of other Apocalyptic symbols, which are formed upon the principle of many in one; as many sons of men in One Son of Man; many emperors in One Head of the Beast; many clerical orders in One False Prophet; and many dendra, or trees, in One xulon, or Wood.

The word dendron, “a tree,” occurs in Rev. 7:1,3; 8:7; 9:4, and is so rendered there correctly enough; but in ch. 2:7; 22:2,14, “tree,” in the E.V. is, in the Greek, xulon; and in ch. 18:12, it is also xulon twice, but in both instances rendered by the E.V. wood; as “thyme wood,” and “precious wood”.

It may be remarked that while dendron in the singular only repre sents one tree, the word xulon, in the singular, may represent a plurality; as “they made their feet fast, ejs to xulon, in the stocks”. In short, the matter of all trees is used symbolically for any number of individual trees

— one material, or xulon, typical of a whole forest, or aggregation of dendra.

But, I need add no more here upon the wood of life, which is the Great Wood of the many choice trees of righteousness planted by YAHWEH in his divine garden. By referring to pp. 208-218, of Vol. 1 of this work, the reader will find what might otherwise have been continued here. But, I do not wish him to be put to the necessity of paying twice for the same matter. If he possess the first volume he can refer to it, and read; which will save me time and labor, and himself expense.




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