To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life… 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 down 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. .. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 21:6b’ 22:1-2, 5b
In this final dominant image of the New Jerusalem, John shows us that the city is like the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2: 8-10a:
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
A river watering the garden flowed from Eden…
Compare the Revelation and Genesis passages to Ezekiel 47:1-12, where God in the temple is seen as the source of life. By this comparison of the consummated Kingdom of God to the Garden of Eden, John is making it very clear to us that what we have to look forward to is the restoration of the Paradise that was lost in the fall of Adam, way back in Genesis 3. In Genesis, we also saw that there was a “tree of life” in the Garden which could sustain human life forever; here we would seem to have multiple trees of life, bearing fruit year round, never going out of season, symbolizing eternal life. John 21:6 has a similar symbol, the “water of life”, which, as I seem to recall, is what Jesus offered to the Samaritan women once upon a time…
And so, we will reign with God in intimate fellowship, in Paradise restored forever and ever; not bad as gifts go!