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

"The angel who talked with me had a golden measuring rod 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 which was a Greek unit of measurement of and found it to be 12,000 stadia (1,500 miles) in length and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits (200 feet or 65 meters) thick. The wall was of jasper, and the city of pure gold, like pure glass. Jerusalem's precious stones embedded in the foundation walls, the pure gold streets, and the city's twelve pearl gates described all their beauty. Every kind of precious stone decorated the city walls' foundations. 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 city's great street 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 the same height, width, and breadth. Revelation 21.16 describes it as 12,000 stadia long, an ancient Greek measurement that equals about 1,500 miles or 2,400 kilometers! It is an unimaginably vast building that would cover three-quarters of North America! A "stade" the distance covered in the original Greek footraces of about 600 feet is about one-tenth of a modern mile. The angel is pictured with a "golden measuring rod" and first observed in Ezekiel 40.2-3, "In God's visions he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings 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."

Five Platonic Solids

Cities being square was typical in ancient times. Babylon, the Tower of Babel, and Nineveh were all built in a geometrical square form. 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 meetings 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 connected triangles, the cube has four square connected faces, and the Octahedron has eight triangular connected faces. The twelve faces of the Dodecahedron are more complex, and finally, the Icosahedron comprises twenty triangular faces. These are the only five solids having 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 Jerusalem city 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 classical Greek philosophers, wrote that the man 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 burnt offering altar and the incense altar are also perfect cubes. The High Priest's breastplate or "hoshen" is produced from embroidered linen as a square two layers thick with four rows of three engraved gems embedded in a golden setting. Again and again, the cube shape occurs in Ezekiel's New Jerusalem visions. 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 measured Jerusalem's city wall, and it was 144 cubits (or 266 feet) thick! Each side measured twelve thousand "stades." According to Professor William Barclay, (1907-1978) "Twelve thousand stades" is nearly 1,500 miles, and the total area of the city is therefore 2,250,000 square miles. 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 height was 39 feet, and over 8 feet thick. Even this is very impressive! Rabbis may dream of the re-created Jerusalem, but the city wall reaching Damascus and a city covering Palestine far exceeded even their greatest 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!

High and Wide

Stone WallThe New Jerusalem city wall will be 144 cubits or 266 feet thick. In an alternative translation, "thick" is translated as "high," which is not very high by modern standards or even ancient world buildings. Ancient Babylon's wall, for example, was 300 feet tall, and the walls of the porch of Solomon's temple built in 832 BC, also known as Jerusalem's first temple, were 180 feet high. If the 144 cubits describe the Jerusalem city wall's thickness, it would be massive. The wall, however, cannot be for defense, for all hostile beings, spiritual and human, are obliterated or cast into the Lake of Fire. It must be only 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!

Twelve Pearl Gates

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

Jerusalem Precious Stones

Precious StonesThe sight of the New Jerusalem precious stones in the foundation walls shows beauty and purity that will last forever. Some of these precious stones' precise identification is uncertain but even so must be very beautiful. The gold and precious stones symbolize the church's beauty and excellence. The Jerusalem Temple will be the only worship place as the centerpiece of God's earthly presence. 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 for light, for the Lord God himself, and the Lamb will be its light.

"Jerusalem City Cube"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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