Summary of passage: Jerusalem shone with the glory of God. It had 12 walls with 12 gates with 12 guardian angels. The names of the 12 tribes were written on the gates. The city had 12 foundations with the names of the 12 apostles on them. The city boasted of riches, its walls, foundations, gates, and streets made of precious stones and gold.
6a) Gold, (12 stones for 12 foundations: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, amethyst), and pearls. Click HERE for precious stones of Bible explained.
b) They are the same, each representing the 12 Tribes (Click HERE for study last year. We breezed through this chapter but my End Notes has pictures and a discussion of the breastplate).
7) Part personal Question. My answer: The fact we have the 12 tribes and the 12 apostles inscribed in the walls and foundations shows us: 1) God’s plan for humanity coming to fruition 2) The meeting of the Old and New Covenants AND the inclusion of both peoples under both covenants as we all walk with the Lord.
Nothing is left to chance with God. All has meaning. All is significant. All leads back to Him. Some people dismiss the Old Testament as nothing but antiquated laws and rules that don’t apply to them. These people are sorely mistaken. All of God’s Word is from Him for us. We follow and obey all. This shows God is in control and all links back to His plans for our Salvation and Jesus.
It’s important because God is important. We need Him, all of Him, and we can’t get any closer than His Word, prayer, and Jesus.
8a) Glory: How God will create a city for believers out of the most beautiful and durable materials around. He wants us to have an amazing eternal life. What to look forward to!
Security: He has a plan and we don’t need a plan except it being God’s.
Perfect: His word is perfect. His reasons are perfect. He is perfect.
b) Personal Question. My answer: It’s comforting when I don’t know which direction to go that God does know. He is there for me. He is waiting for me. When life gets tough, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is Him. All are important for all are God.
c) Personal Question. My answer: The opulence of the Holy City. I never imagined it so beautiful. Even now I can’t imagine it. Heaven on earth. Awesome!
Conclusions: Liked the 12 repetition. A ton here and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Personal questions can be summed up like this: Why is God important? Answer that one and you’ll answer ALL of them from now on.
End Notes: Some commentators believe this city will be on earth or will be suspended over earth.
The “very precious jewel” is most likely a diamond as the hardest substance on earth and one of the clearest and most beautiful. I talked earlier about how the name diamond at this time did not exist yet (see HERE for discussion).
This is a real city as described here with walls and gates. There can be no doubt. These gates represent security, safety, and well-being. No unclean may enter. Isaiah 26:1-2 mentions this wall. The names of the 12 tribes and apostles on the gates are as a memorial for all they did in God’s plan for humanity.
This vision also fulfills Ezekiel’s vision. He too saw 12 gates, 12 angels, and the 12 tribes inscribed on the walls (Ezekiel 48:30-35).
Note the 12 apostles are inscribed on the foundation stones. They brought the foundational message of Christianity–that of Jesus Christ–to the world who is the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).
Some scholars suggest the arrangement of the gates reflects on the layout of the tribes during the Exodus (Numbers 2).
In Ezekiel’s vision he also saw an angel with a measuring rod in his hand (Ezekiel 40:3). Ezekiel 40:5 shows this angel going around the outside of the temple area and measuring the various aspects of the temple. The measuring of the city (and the temple in Ezekiel’s vision) is to show the security found in this city. We saw this symbol in Revelation 11:1-2. These vast measurements of the city show the people of God are secure and safe. It also serves to show the size and scope of the eternal dwelling place and it’s perfect symmetry.
12,000 represents perfection and completion. We saw this in Revelation 7 with the 144,000 sealed, 12,000 from each tribe. The Holy of Holies was a perfect square, 20 cubics each way (1 Kings 6:20). It is where God dwelled with His people. God’s people here have been made perfect as well (Hebrews 12:22-24). The Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple was overlaid with gold as was the entire temple (1 Kings 6:20-22).
12,000 stadia is about 1500 miles. This is the distance from Maine to Florida. This city is huge with plenty of room for God’s people! It is a perfect measurement either a square or a pyramid. The entire ground is holy. 144 cubits is about 200 miles and no one is for sure if this is the height of the wall or the width.
The emphasis on clear and glass shows God’s light will be uninhibited and shine everywhere.
In addition to the priest’s breastplates we read in Exodus 28, Isaiah mentions this as well (Isaiah 54:11–13). Identifying the gemstones precisely is difficult since the names of changed but the idea is there: this city is beyond our imaginings. Since its architect is God (Hebrews 11:10) we should expect that.
It’s clear this Holy City of the New Jerusalem is magnificent, glorious, beautiful, and perfect. All for us!