Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, vol. 1
“Question and Answer” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, 1, 9, 131.
IN the first verse of Revelation 21, are we to understand that there is literally to be “no more sea,” in the earth made new? BEST September 1886, page 131.1
ANSWER.—We think not. You will see by Revelation 20:11, that the heaven and the earth fled away from the face of him who sat on the great white throne, “and there was no place found for them;” they were no more. In the verse to which you refer this is stated again, but in contrast with the new heaven and new earth. “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.” In other words, the first heaven and the first earth were no more. And as there is to be a new heaven and a new earth, it is only reasonable to suppose that there will be a new sea. Especially as we read of the river of life and that its waters go “down into the plain, and go into the sea.” Ezekiel 47:8. Besides this, we read in Isaiah 35:6 of the new earth; “in the wilderness shall water break out and streams in the desert.” Now it there shall be rivers and streams flowing through the new earth, it is only natural to suppose that there is some place to which they flow, and that place a new sea. BEST September 1886, page 131.2
More than this, when God made the heaven and the earth, in the beginning, he also said: “Let the waters be gathered together unto one place; ... and the gathering together of the waters called he seas.” Genesis 1:9, 10. Now if there had never been any sin on the earth, certainly this sea would have remained as long as the earth and its paradise remained, which of course would have been forever and ever. But sin entered, and grew so great that the flood came, and by that the quantity of water was greatly increased upon the earth, because the “windows of heaven were opened,” and the fountains of the great deep were broken up.” Genesis 7:11. In 2 Esdras 6:42 we have a hint of what the ancients thought of this; “upon the third day thou didst command that the waters should be gathered in the seventh par of the earth.” BEST September 1886, page 131.3
And so when “the earth and the heaven” because of sin shall flee away from the face of him who shall sit upon the great white throne, then this sea, which has been so great, increased because of sin, will also flee away with them, and like them there will be found no place for it; it will be no more. Then when he who sits upon the throne says: “Behold I make all things new,” the sea must be made new or it will not be true that he makes all things new. And so there will not be only a new heaven and a new earth, but a new sea also. All new. BEST September 1886, page 131.4
Therefore we conclude that when John says, “and there was no more sea,” he has reference exclusively to that sea that belongs with the earth and the heaven which he had just seen flee away, and for which no place was found. BEST September 1886, page 131.5
Dr. Clarke says on this passage: “The sea no more appeared than did the first heaven and earth. All was made new.” BEST September 1886, page 131.6
The “Bible Commentary” says: “(2) The former ‘sea’ has passed away like the former ‘earth,’ but this does not produce a ‘new’ sea, any more than a new ‘earth.’” BEST September 1886, page 131.7
A. T. JONES.