Jerusalem City Cube
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

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 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 city's twelve pearl gates described 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."

Babylon Nineveh

Being square was typical for both Babylon, which was the location of the Tower of Babel and Nineveh. They were both built in the form of a geometrical square. But the New Jerusalem city cube is not only square but also of the same height. 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." Each of the Platonic solids, named after the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, has a different number of faces. The Tetrahedron has three triangles connected, the cube is four faces like squares connected, and the Octahedron has eight faces, all triangles connected. The twelve faces of the Dodecahedron is more complex, and finally, the Icosahedron comprises twenty triangular faces. These are the only five solids that have the same number of faces meeting at each vertex. Strangely, many viruses, such as the herpes virus, have the shape of a regular icosahedron of twenty triangular faces! The cube has six faces, twelve edges, and eight vertices but is even more significant here, as it is a symbol of perfection.

Perfect Foursquare

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

Cube Symbolism

CubeThe altar of the burnt offering and the altar of the incense are also perfect cubes. The High Priest's breastplate or "hoshen" is made from embroidered linen and is 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 New Jerusalem's city cube is to be one great Holy of Holies, God's dwelling-place 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 Old City of Jerusalem's walls 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 Damascus and the city covering 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, was 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, were 180 feet high. If the 144 cubits describe the Jerusalem city wall's thickness as probable, 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. However, the new city will need no temple 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, and the Lamb will be its light.

Twelve Pearl Gates

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

"Jerusalem City Cube"
by Ron Meacock © 2020

^Top Page Next Previous