The End Times
In my last post, we reviewed the Revelation 21:9-14 ~ The New Jerusalem ~ Part 1. In this post, we continue to explore Revelation 21:15-21 ~ The New Jerusalem ~ Part 2.
“15 The angel speaking with me had a gold measuring-rod with which to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out in a square, its length equal to its width. With his rod, he measured the city at 1,500 miles, with length, width, and height the same. 17 He measured its wall at 216 feet by human standards of measurement, which the angel was using. 18 The wall was made of diamond and the city of pure gold resembling pure glass. 19 The foundations of the city wall were decorated with all kinds of precious stones—the first foundation stone was diamond, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh turquoise and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate made of a single pearl. The city’s main street was pure gold, transparent as glass.” ~ Revelation 21:15-21 (CJB)
The angel…measured the city at 1,500 miles, with length, width, and height the same. The city was a perfect cube, as was its prototype, the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. Placed over the United States of America, it would extend from Maine to Florida and from the east coast westward to Colorado, plus extends 1,500 miles into the sky. Talk about a megalopolis? Admittedly, I have a tough time understanding the engineering of such a humongous structure, but with God, nothing is impossible.
The names of the Twelve Tribes inscribed on the gates, and the Twelve Emissaries on the foundations, may be meant to indicate that the founders of the City would never be forgotten but would be held in loving remembrance by the City’s inhabitants throughout the endless ages of eternity.
The precious stones emulate the breastplate of the High Priest, bearing 12 stones inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes (Exodus 28:15-30) must have been a sort of dim foreshadowing, given in the distant past, of what God was working toward. The stones are similar to those of the New Jerusalem. There is difficulty in identifying some of these stones. They may not have been the same as those which now bear their names.
The foundation’s sparkle with the colors of the rainbow. Each gate is a pearl, and the whole is composed of the most valuable and beautiful material things known to man, constructed together in a spectacle resplendent beyond imagination—a display of eternal beauty, glory, peace, security.
There are always the skeptics who question this as being a literal city. The real question to be answered is, why not? If a man can build the majestic and beautiful cities of today, why can’t the Creator of the universe create an even more magnificent and more uniquely beautiful city? This city, built by God, is the same city that Abraham was in search of For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God ~ Hebrews 11:10. Also, just before Yeshua ascended back up into heaven, he told the disciples: In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. ~ Yochanan 14:2. Yeshua was talking about this Holy City, which is a real city and the future home of all children of God.
He measured its wall at 216 feet by human standards of measurement, which the angel was using. 18 The wall was made of diamond and the city of pure gold resembling pure glass. This measurement appears to be the thickness of the wall as Revelation 21:12 says it had a great, high wall.
The angel describes the walls as made of diamond and the city of pure gold resembling pure glass. He now turns to explain the foundations! And what a description it is.
The foundations of the city wall were decorated with all kinds of precious stones—the first foundation stone was diamond [other translations say “Jasper”], the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh turquoise and the twelfth amethyst. Warren Wiersbe has this to say: 
Building foundations are usually underground, but these foundations will not only be visible but beautifully garnished with precious stones. Each separate foundation will have its own jewel, and the blending of the colors will be magnificent as God’s light shines through. No one can be dogmatic about the color of these gems, and it really doesn’t matter. Jasper, as we have seen, is a clear crystal. Sapphire is a blue stone, and chalcedony is probably greenish-blue. The emerald, of course, is green; and the sardonyx is like our onyx, a white stone streaked with brown, though some scholars describe it as red and white. Sardius is a red stone (sometimes described as “blood red”) and chrysolite a yellow quartz like our modern topaz. Beryl is green and topaz a yellow-green. We are not sure about the chrysoprasus; some think it is a golden-tinted stone, others, an apple-green color. The jacinth is probably blue, though some claim it was yellow; and the amethyst is a rich purple, or blue-red.
Compare the foundation stones with the judgment breastplate of the Cohen HaGadol, which also had twelve different stones. They represented the twelve tribes of Israel, whose judgment Aaron was to “bear on his heart before Adonai continually” (Exodus 28:15-21, 29-30).
The twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate made of a single pearl. The city’s main street was pure gold, transparent as glass.” There are twelve gates, three to the north, three to the south, three to the east, and three to the west. On each gate, there is the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Each gate is a great pearl, indicating that entrance to the city is made possible only through the death of Yeshua, for pearls are a product of physical suffering. The gates are open continuously, allowing people to come and go at will.
In my next post, we’ll examine Revelation 21:22-27 ~ The Habitation of God.
Click here for the PDF version.
 Translators and commentators seem to have difficulty in converting stadia into miles. Most range from 1400 to 1500 miles. At that distance, I’m not sure 100 miles is all that significant.
 A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.
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