5/31/13 V. 19, Rev 21:23 and 22:5 obviously draw on this verse. And this is clearly dealing with the new earth and not OT Israel. The verse doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no sun or moon and that the entire planet will be bathed in constant light all of the time. It could easily be referring to the New Jerusalem in particular, where the light of God will make the sun and the moon inconsequential. The brightness of the glory of the Lord will be brighter than the sun and will continually light the city. But since Eden will be restored to its past glory, it seems reasonable to believe that day and night will continue for the earth. After all, somehow our days will continue to be marked because we will continue to keep the Sabbath (Is 66:23).
V. 20, In this verse it’s also possible that our sun not setting nor the moon waning is a figure of speech for “the days of your mourning will be over.” In other words, since God will wipe away every tear (Rev 7:15-17) and sorrow and mourning will be no more (Rev 21:4) that is like constant light of day in our souls. Both the Old and New Testament constantly uses light in spiritual applications, so this isn’t attempting to explain away the possibility of a physical reality. But given the spiritual nature of light in scripture, that makes it a distinct possibility that light should be understood, at least to some degree, as spiritual in nature. The idea of no physical darkness in the New Jerusalem, however, does seem to be a fact.
V. 21, Everyone who will be a part of this glorious new order on earth will be righteous people, kings and priests of our God (Rev 5:10). And for eternity, the promised land will be ours. And because of what God has done for us and in us we shall be a continual witness to the universe of the love of God. He will be eternally glorified through us because of what he did to save us.
V. 22, We don’t know a fraction of what God has in store. At least in an earthly fulfillment of this prophecy God intended for the nation of Israel to grow and become a mighty nation. Since Israel didn’t fulfill the covenant not all of the promises were fulfilled and are awaiting a future fulfillment in the new earth.
How does this work with Jesus’ statement that we will be like the angels, not marrying and giving in marriage (Mt 22:30)? Does this mean that procreation will not continue? If that’s the case how will clans and nation increase? Perhaps it’s a gospel-related growth, which is happening now. After all, John saw a multitude that couldn’t be numbered standing before the throne (Rev 7:9).
It’s a question to be answered later. Whatever God’s plan, though, it’s sure to be greater than our wildest imaginings.