No More Sea?

So I was reading through Revelation, specifically the last couple chapters, and had this question for you.

Revelation 21:1 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.”

That last little phrase caught my attention.  Why does John point out that the sea is no more?  What does he mean by that?  Will there be no sea anywhere or just no sea in the Holy City, New Jerusalem, that comes down from heaven (read a little further in the chapter to find out about New Jerusalem)?

Most scholars point out that ancient societies often associated the sea with chaos and evil, thus the removal of the sea is a removal of a great symbol and source of evil.  Others point out that the sea is one of the three realms of creation referred to throughout Revelation (heaven, earth, and sea; read Rev. 5:13; 10:6; 12:12; 14:7).  They claim that the sea is simply not a major part of the new creation.  Some scholars believe that John is referring specifically to the ocean that separated him from his readers (John was banished on an island when he wrote Revelation).  Here oceans are representative of separation.  They separated John from his readers and they separate nations from other nations.  In the new creation, God will remove these boundaries by eliminating the seas. (Trinity Journal Volume 24. Winona Lake, IL: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2003.)

What do you think?  Will there be oceans in the New Earth?  Why do you think John mentions no more sea?

Post your responses in the comments below.


  1. Tricky stuff, Pastor Andy! I think I lean more to the “separation of nations” argument. No more sea means no more separation of people. Just one big people group worshiping God for eternity! (Although, I probably am a bit skewed by the giant ocean separating me and my son. That could be clouding my opinion a bit.)


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