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, the sixth carnelian, the seventh 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. It is described in Revelation 21.16 as 12,000 stadia long which was an ancient Greek measure of length that equaled about 1,200 miles or about 2,200 kilometers in our measurements! This was an unimaginably huge 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."

Symbol of Perfection

Being square was common enough for both Babylon which was the location of the Tower of Babel and Nineveh were built in the form of a square. But the new Jerusalem city cube is not 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 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 vertices." This is even more significant as the cube is a symbol of perfection.

Perfect Foursquare

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

Cube Symbolism

CubeThe Jewish Temple altar of the burnt offering and the altar of the incense were also made by design in the form of perfect cubes. The High Priest's breastplate or "hoshen" was made from embroidered linen and had a square two layers thick with four rows of three engraved gems each embedded into it, each jewel being framed in gold.

Solomon's Temple

Again and again, the cube shape occurs in Ezekiel's visions of the new Jerusalem and the New Temple. But most important of all, in Solomon's temple the Holy of Holies itself was a perfect cube. John of Patmos intended us to know that the whole of the New Jerusalem's city cube was to be one great Holy of Holies, the dwelling-place of God with human beings.

Jerusalem City Wall

Holy City Coming DescendingThe angel measured Jerusalem's city wall and it was 144 cubits (or 266 feet) thick, by man's measurement! This passage informs us that each side of the New Jerusalem city wall measured twelve thousand "stades." "Twelve hundred stades" according to Professor William Barclay was nearly 1,500 miles, and the total area of the city was therefore 2,250,000 square miles. The wall using human measurement was 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 was very impressive! Rabbis dreamed of the re-created Jerusalem but the city wall reaching to Damascus and the city covering the whole of Palestine far exceeded their expectations! A city 1,200 stades long with the area and dimensions detailed in Revelation would stretch from London to New York! We are intended to see that in the holy city there is room for everyone. No believers would be shut out!

High and Wide

Stone WallThe Jerusalem city wall was said to be 144 cubits or 266 feet thick. In an alternative translation, the same word for "thick" was translated "high", which is not very high, by modern standards or even the height of buildings in the ancient world. The wall of Babylon, for example, was 300 feet high, and the walls of the porch of Solomon's temple built in 832 BC also known as the First Temple in Jerusalem were 180 feet high. If the 144 cubits do describe the thickness of the Jerusalem city wall as does seem probable then it would be extremely massive. The wall cannot be for defense, for all hostile beings, spiritual and human, have been obliterated or cast into the Lake of Fire but must have been 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 showed that it was a place of beauty and purity that would last forever. The precise identification of some of these precious stones is uncertain but even so very beautiful. The gold and precious stones also symbolize the beauty and excellence of the church. The Jerusalem Temple is the primary place of worship as the centerpiece of God's presence on earth. No temple would be needed however in the new city because God's presence will be everywhere. He will be worshipped throughout the city, and nothing will hinder us from being with 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 were twelve or multiples of twelve which is the number symbolizing God's people. This is comprised of three which is God's number multiplied by four which is the human being's number. There were twelve tribes in Israel and twelve Apostles who were leaders in the Apostolic church. The walls are one hundred and forty-four cubits which are twelve by twelve cubits or a massive two hundred feet thick. There are twelve foundations for the walls, and twelve gates in the city. The standard unit of measurement the angel used was literally, "by a human measure."

"Jerusalem City Cube"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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