“He who spoke with me had for a measure, a golden reed, to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. The city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. He measured the city with the reed, Twelve thousand twelve stadia. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Its wall is one hundred forty-four cubits, by the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass. The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”
The angel who has spoken to John has a golden reed, to measure the city. It has been made to special requirements.
“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.”
The size and dimensions of the city echo the multiples of twelve theme, for the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles. We also have the recurrence of the number 144, reminding us of the 144,000 who’ll make up the city fo God – the sum total of the people of God.
“These are the exits of the city: On the north side four thousand and five hundred reeds by measure; and the gates of the city shall be named after the tribes of Israel…”
The city is a massive cube made for transparent glass with the golden theme also included. The glass is for purity and the Holness of that place, reserved for the elect and redeemed people of God. It is gold, which is for the majesty and glory of this place, where the bodies and souls of sinful people have been cleansed in the precious blood of Christ and now glorified, made immortal and incorruptible.
The foundation are full of precious stones, signifying the doctrines of the Word of God which shine out so brightly in a darkened world and now made so glorious in this brilliant place. The walls shine like Japser, a clear stone for the holiness of the Lord and brilliant to show His glory and eternal majesty.
There is a list of the precious stones in the foundations all with some meanings. Japser for purity and majesty; Sapphire blue as the sky and precious and long lasting; Chalcedony which was regarded as the diamond on the breastplate of the High priest; Emerald, green on which Judah’s name was written, the remnant of the people of God; Onyx stone, on which was written the name of Joseph, the Saviour of His people and the Egyptians; Topaz; Beryl; Sardius; Chrysolite, like gold; Chrysoprasus, also like gold; Jacinth; Amethyst. These twelve jewels bedecked the breastplate of the High Priest in Old Testament times and denote the full number of the twelve tribes, the people of God. They shine like jewels in the heavenly city.
“The Lord their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they are like the jewels of a crown, lifted on high over his land.For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!”
The twelve gates are pearls, indicating Christ Jesus, the Pearl of great price. Through faith in Him is the only way into the city. He alone is the precious one. He is the shepherd of the sheep and the only way into the sheepfold. This city is totally accessible from all directions and there is free movement in and out because of the safety that Christ affords.
“I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture. The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.”
“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom. He will gently lead those who have their young.”
The measurement are very precise and deliberate.The city has been planned and prepared like the Bride for her husband and like the home that God is preparing for those who love him and wait for Him. Everything is planned and purposed for the people of God in this life on earth and also in this heavenly city. The LORD loves His people and wants the best for them. He is even now preparing that place for all who love Him.
“Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.” But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.:
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
Beloved, the place is prepared for you, and all things are ready. We must also be ready and waiting for our Lord to come for us.