New Jerusalem

By Clovis Miller

Consider, if you will, the information we may derive from the Bible (Revelation Chapter 21) concerning the eternal city called, 'new Jerusalem'.

21:1 And 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.

21:2 And I, John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,

21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Verse 15 - 16 "..a gold reed to measure the city..."

Here John sees an angel holding a golden reed, with which he is told to measure the size of new Jerusalem. In verse 16, John states that the city is layed out as a square and that its length, breath and height are of equal size. Its size is given as 12,000 furlongs, which is said to be equal to about 1,380 miles. Some however, have calculated this measurement to be as much as 1,500 miles.

There are two ways we can look at these measurements. First it may be that the length, breadth and height are 12,000 furlongs (1,380 miles) each. Second, we can view the total measurement as 12,000 furlongs (stadia, in Greek).

This second view seems to be more in keeping with what John is stating, because he is very explicit in other details which he gives about the city; and he does not specifically state that each measurement is 12,000 furlongs.

Following the second understanding, we would see that each measurement: the length, breadth and height of the city, would actually be 4,000 furlongs each. If the total of the measurements is 12,000 furlongs (1,380 miles); then three lengths, of equal measurement, would be equal exactly 460 miles (1,380 divided by 3). Based on these calculations, a city, whose length and width are 460 miles, would contain 211,600 square miles of space.

The 460 miles of height can be understood as representing the twelve foundations (each approximately 38.3 miles high). The city will be elevated 460 miles above the surface of the new earth. This is the very mountain of God! It is not clear if its foundations are terraced like steps (as a pyramid), or if the sides are set vertically, one upon another.

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We are not actually told the size of each foundation. We are only told the length, breadth and height of the city. If its foundations are to be terraced as steps, the twelfth, or top foundation, would be a 460 mile square, or slightly larger to allow its walls to be set back from the edge. Foundations below it would then be successively larger.

A similiar construction was employed in the ancient tower of Babel, whereby it is believed that Nimrod constructed a series of platforms, one upon another, in an attempt to reach up to heaven. Here, it appears that God has built a city atop of a similiar, though enormous platform, wherein He will dwell eternally as King of the universe.

To put the size of this city in perspective: if we were to set its eastern limit at Memphis, Tennessee; its western limit would fall in the vicinity of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

If we extend a line connecting Memphis and Oklahoma City, to representing the middle of new Jerusalem, 230 miles north of this line (half of the 460 miles of length) would show the city as covering the northern half of Arkansas; approximately the southern half of Missouri; southeastern Kansas as far west as Wichita, and the northeastern quarter of the State of Oklahoma.

On the south side of this line it would cover the southern half of Arkansas; the southeastern quarter of the State of Oklahoma; the northeastern portion of Texas, the northern one-fourth of the State of Louisiana, and portions of western Mississippi.

Dallas and Forth Worth, Texas would occupy a very small parcel in the southwestern corner of a city the size which is portrayed here. New Jerusalem will be an enormous city, to say the least!

We may also contrast the size of new Jerusalem with that of Babylon, the glory of man, whose ancient dimensions were a 15 mile square (225 square miles of territory). Based on the dimensions given above, the size of new Jerusalem would be sufficient, within its walls, to accomodate 941 cities the size of ancient Babylon!

It might be added here, that if new Jerusalem's size (211,000 square miles) is proportional to the new earth, as current Jerusalem (50 square miles) is to this earth; then the new earth will also be enormous in size, perhaps as large or larger than our sun.

Verse 17 - 20

"..he measured the wall thereof..."

The walls were measured to be 144 cubits, by man's measurement. A cubit was equal to approximately 1.5 feet, making the height of the walls about 216 feet. The 1,840 miles of walls enclosing the city (460 miles each side), rest upon the twelfth foundation of Amethyst, which is a violet colored precious stone. Upon this foundation of bluish-purple color, will flow streets of pure gold.

The foundations of new Jerusalem's walls, will serve a different purpose than those for the walls of earthly cities of the past. They will be like monuments commemorating the service of the Apostles, and their faithfulness in establishing the base upon which the Church sits. Jesus is the chief cornerstone {Eph. 2:20}, but they are also reckoned to be a part of the foundation, as well.

All twelve foundations were adorned with precious stones of every sort. The foundations themselves were of the following makeup and approximate color:

1st ------ Japser ----------- Clear or Diamond
2nd ----- Sapphire ------- Deep Blue
3rd ----- Chalcedony ---- Sky Blue
4th ------ Emerald --------- Green
5th ------ Sardonyx ------- Red and White
6th ------ Sardius ---------- Fiery Red
7th ------ Chrysolite ------ Golden
8th ------ Beryl ------------- Sea Green
9th ------ Topaz ------------ Transparent Green
10th ---- Chrysoprase --- Purple
11th ---- Jacinth ----------- Red
12th ---- Amethyst ------- Violet

It appears that each foundation is of a base material which is embedded with stones which make up the other eleven foundations. For example: the base of the first foundation is Jasper (diamond). In it is embedded stones from the other eleven foundations.

What we see in the lowest foundation, whose sides have a minimum length of 460 miles, by 38 mile high, is the glow or sparkle of the most precious diamonds ever seen. Embedded in this foundation are sapphires, chalcedony stones, emeralds etc.

In the second foundation which rest atop of the first, the base is of Sapphire (Deep Blue). This, as all other foundations which rest on top of it, may be proportionally smaller, or equal to, the dimensions found in the one below it. In this base of Sapphire is embedded the other eleven stones: jasper, chalcedony stone, emeralds etc.

We see this grand mind boggling display continued upwards for the distance of 460 miles: in approximately 38.3 mile foundational increments. Sitting atop the twelfth foundation are walls, 216 high of pure jasper (dazzling like diamonds), which surround a 211,600 square mile city whose structures are of pure gold. This super pure gold is clear like glass.

"...twelve gates..."

There are three gates in each of the four external walls. To space them equally apart, with the center gates set at 230 miles to center from each end would put each of the other gates at 115 miles from the corner of the walls, and the same distance, center to center, from the middle gate of each wall.

Each of the gates is to be of one pearl, set as it were, in the wall or band of Jasper (diamonds) surrounding the city. The gates of the city shall never be closed (verse 25). All the in bound streets from these gates are of pure gold, like transparent glass, just as the city itself.

Based on the equi-distance of the gates in the four walls, the inbound intersecting streets from these gates, would create twelve blocks of the city bordering the inside of the walls. Each of these blocks would be a square of 115 miles (13,225 square miles). The total area for buildings within these blocks would then be 158,700 square miles of space (13,225 x 12). The height of the buildings or mansions, within the city is not given. We are only told that the city is of pure gold.

The remaining 52,900 square miles within the interior of the city, may constitute Paradise {2:7} (the Garden of God, whose throne will, undoubtedly, be set at the very center). One of the roads connecting two of the center gates, in the walls, will probably represent what is called "...the street..." (singular): the main street of the city.

"...I saw no temple..."

The one thing missing, from heaven, in this city, is the temple in which God had previously dwelt. Now He will come down and dwell openly among the people. His throne is found there, but no temple structure; for the Father and the Lamb have become its Temple.

The city also had no need of the sun or the moon to shine within it, for the radiance of God the Father and the Lamb continually provides all of its light: a light in which there is no shadow {Jas. 1:17}. The nations which are redeemed by Him shall walk in that light, and the kings of the earth (the saints) shall bring their glory and honor into the city unto Him.

It doesn't here state, if God will create a sun and moon for the new earth; only that there will be no need of such in the city of new Jerusalem. We know there will be a new heaven created, which implies that there will be heavenly bodies within it. Chapter 22:2 indicates that the tree of life bore twelve different fruits; one each month. This does show that time will still be measured in the new creation. The sun and moon were originally created to measure the length days and years in the first creation {Gen. 1:14}.

"...there shall in no wise enter..."

This chapter concludes in verse 27 by stating to all who hear or read this book, that no one, nor anything which is in any wise unclean, shall enter into the gates of this perfect city. This is not to say, that unclean persons or ideas, will exist in the new earth, but is notice to the unclean of this world, that no such person or thing will be found there.

Only those whose name are written in the Book of Life will be counted worthy of that privilege. This is an admonition to us, to be holy like Him who sits upon the throne {I Pet. 1:15-16} ; {Heb. 12:14}; for the Great King will give dominion to the saints to eternally rule over the new earth which He has created.

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