Jerusalem City Cube
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82. Jerusalem City Cube
Revelation 21.15-21

"The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits (or 200 feet or 65 meters) thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The Jerusalem precious stones embedded in the foundation walls, the pure gold streets, and the twelve pearl gates of the city are described in all their beauty. "The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, and the sixth carnelian. The seventh was a chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass." (Revelation 21.15-21)✞

Four Equal Sides

Steel CubeThe Jerusalem city cube is square with four equal sides, and its height is the same as its width and breadth. Revelation 21.16 describes it as 12,000 stadia long, an ancient Greek measure of length that equaled about 1,200 miles or about 2,200 kilometers in our measurements! It was an unimaginably vast building which would cover three-quarters of North America! A stadia is about one-tenth of a modern mile. The picture of the angel with the "measuring rod" was first seen in Ezekiel 40.2-3 "In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand." Being square is typical enough for both Babylon, which is the location of the Tower of Babel and Nineveh. They are both built in the form of a square. But the new Jerusalem city cube is not the only square, but it is also in the form of a perfect cube, which as a geometric shape, is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces. The length, breadth, and height of the New Jerusalem are all the same. Wikipedia describes it this way, "In geometry, a cube is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces, facets or sides, with three meeting at each vertex. The cube is the only regular hexahedron and is one of the five Platonic solids. It has six faces, twelve edges, and eight vertices." The cube is even more significant here, as is a symbol of perfection.

Perfect Foursquare

PlatoBoth Plato, (428-348 BC), and Aristotle (384-322 BC), who are both philosophers in Classical Greece, refers to the fact that the good man who is considered perfect is called foursquare. It is perhaps surprising in our modern context because "foursquare" describes, "the location-based social networking website for mobile devices such as smartphones." New Jerusalem was also "foursquare!" or "absolutely perfect."✞

Cube Symbolism

CubeThe altar of the burnt offering and the altar of the incense are perfect cubes. The High Priest's breastplate or "hoshen" is made from embroidered linen and has a square two layers thick with four rows of three engraved gems each embedded into it, and each jewel set in gold. Again and again, the cube shape occurs in Ezekiel's visions of the new Jerusalem and the New Temple. Most importantly, in Solomon's temple, the Holy of Holies itself is a perfect cube. John of Patmos intends us to know that the whole of the New Jerusalem's city cube is to be one great Holy of Holies, the dwelling-place of God with human beings.

Jerusalem City Wall

Holy City Coming DescendingThe angel measures Jerusalem's city wall, and it is 144 cubits (or 266 feet) thick, by man's measurement! This passage informs us that each side of the New Jerusalem city wall measures twelve thousand "stades." "Twelve hundred stades," according to Professor William Barclay, is nearly 1,500 miles, and the total area of the city is therefore 2,250,000 square miles. The wall using human measurement is 144 cubits or "200 feet" thick. By comparison, the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem rebuilt by Sultan Suleiman 1 between 1537 and 1541 AD were 12,000 feet long (2.4966 miles), their average height was 39.37 feet, and the average thickness was 8.2 feet. Even this is very impressive! Rabbis may dream of the re-created Jerusalem, but the city wall reaching to Damascus and the city covering the whole of Palestine far exceeds their expectations! A city 1,200 stades long with the area and dimensions detailed in Revelation would stretch from London to New York! In the holy city, there is room for everyone, including all believers!

High and Wide

Stone WallThe Jerusalem city wall is said to be 144 cubits or 266 feet thick. In an alternative translation, "thick" is translated "high," which is not very high, by modern standards or even the height of buildings in the ancient world. The wall of ancient Babylon, for example, is 300 feet tall, and the walls of the porch of Solomon's temple built in 832 BC, also known as the First Temple in Jerusalem, are 180 feet high. If the 144 cubits describes the thickness of the Jerusalem city wall as it seems probable, then it would be extremely massive. The wall cannot be for defense, for all hostile beings, spiritual and human, are obliterated or cast into the Lake of Fire but must be simply for the wall's structural strength. God is much more eager to bring people in than to shut them out, and his Church must be the same!

Jerusalem Precious Stones

Precious StonesThe sight of the New Jerusalem precious stones in the foundation walls made of gemstones show that it is a beauty and purity that will last forever. The precise identification of some of these precious stones is uncertain but indeed very beautiful. The gold and precious stones also symbolize the beauty and excellence of the church. The Jerusalem Temple is the only place of worship as the centerpiece of God's presence on earth. No temple will be needed; however, in the new city because God's presence will be everywhere. Nothing will hinder us from being with him nor from worshipping Him. There will be no sun to give light for the Lord God himself will be its light.

Twelve Pearl Gates

CubeThe city's measurements describe a place that will hold all God's people and will be perfect for them. There are twelve gates, like twelve pearls. The variety of precious stones and the measurements are twelve or multiples of twelve, which is the number symbolizing God's people. Twelve comprises three: God's number multiplied by four, the human being's number. The walls are one hundred and forty-four cubits, twelve by twelve cubits, or a massive two hundred feet thick. There are twelve foundations for the walls and twelve gates in the city. There are twelve tribes in Israel and twelve Apostles who are leaders in the Apostolic church. The standard unit of measurement the angel uses is literally "by a human measure."

"Jerusalem City Cube"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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