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Milepost 82 (part 2): New Jerusalem

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Milepost 82 (part 2): New Jerusalem

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Milepost 82 (part 2): New Jerusalem
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Primary References: Revelation 21:9-27

 

Like the millennial Jerusalem, New Jerusalem is near a great and high mountain and descends from heaven as a gift from God. Described in Revelation 21:11-27, it is huge, beautiful, and priceless. Starting with its size, everything about this city is incomprehensible. It is a perfect cube of approximately 1400 miles per side. The base of this city exceeds the boundaries of the United States. For example, placing one corner at Jacksonville, Florida, the city would extend almost to El Paso, Texas to the west and over 500 miles into Canada to the north. Its height is amazing as it stands 1400 miles from base to top, dwarfing anything ever created by man. Key features of New Jerusalem include:

  • Adorned as a bride for her husband (Revelation 21:2)
  • Is the tabernacle of God (Revelation 21:3)
  • Near a great and high mountain (Revelation 21:10)
  • A great city (Revelation 21:10)
  • A holy city (Revelation 21:10)
  • Descended from heaven (Revelation 21:10)
  • Has the glory of God, its chief resident (Revelation 21:10)
  • Has the glorious light of God (Revelation 21:11, 23, 22:5)
  • Has a great, high (~216 feet) wall made of jasper (Revelation 21:12, 17, 18)
  • Four sides with one facing each compass point (Revelation 21:13)
  • Has twelve gates, one for each of the twelve tribes (see Revelation 7):
    • The name of a tribe of Israel on each gate (Revelation 21:12) without mentioning which tribe is omitted
    • An angel at each gate (Revelation 21:12)
    • Four sets of three gates (Revelation 21:13)
    • Three gates on each wall (Revelation 21:13)
    • Gates made of pearls (Revelation 21:21)
    • Never to be shut (Revelation 21:25)
  • Has twelve foundations (Revelation 21:14):
    • An apostle’s name on each foundation (Revelation 21:14)
    • Decorated with different stones: Jasper (Revelation 21:19); Sapphire (Revelation 21:19); Chalcedony (agate) (Revelation 21:19); Emerald (Revelation 21:19); Sardonyx (onyx) (Revelation 21:20); Sardius (carnelian) (Revelation 21:20); Chrysolyte (Revelation 21:20); Beryl (Revelation 21:20); Topaz (Revelation 21:20); Chrysoprasus (Revelation 21:20); Jacinth (Revelation 21:20); and Amethyst (Revelation 21:20)
  • The wall and city is made of pure gold like glass (Revelation 21:18)
  • Streets of pure gold like glass (Revelation 21:21)
  • Has no temple: God the Father and the Lamb ARE its temple (Revelation 21:22)
  • Has no need of the sun or moon (Revelation 21:23)
  • The nations are made up of those who have been saved through the ages and they will walk in its light (Revelation 21:24)
  • Kings of the earth bring the honor and glory of their nations into New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:24, 26)

This city’s gold has two properties not commonly associated with gold today: transparency and great strength.

Another key feature of the city, its gates are at the same time amazing and incomprehensible. Each comes from a single pearl but pearls are only produced through the suffering of oysters and John provides no insights how such massive pearls were created. On the other hand, they constantly remind those entering the city’s gates of the sacrifices and suffering Jesus went through on their behalf. Interestingly, Jews have traditionally considered pearls inferior stones so it had to astonish them when Jesus gave them the parable of the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44-45) but this parable conveyed God’s love for gentiles in general and the church specifically. So these gates also represent the church while at the same time, represent each of Israel’s tribes through their possession of one of their names. Through their composition and names, these gates stand as eternal symbols of new unity between Jews and Christians. The fact these gates never close emphasizes the eternal state of peace and rest that pervades this time. Never will these gates close to ward off enemies and protect the city’s inhabitants (as was so common in the Old Testament).