Bible Prophecy Research
Title: New Jerusalem
Submitted by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: August 1, 1999
Updated: April 06, 2001
From the Book of Revelation:
21:9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which
had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come
hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and
high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven
11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like
unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12. And had a wall great and high, and had twelve
gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names
of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on
the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and
in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to
measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as
large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs.
The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and
forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the
18. And the building of the wall of it was of
jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19. And the foundations of the wall of the city were
garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the
second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20. The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh,
chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the
eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every
several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were
22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty
and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the
moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the
24. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in
the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day:
for there shall be no night there.
26. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the
nations unto it.
27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing
that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but
they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear
as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of
the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and
yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of
3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God
and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be
in their foreheads.
5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no
candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign
for ever and ever.
6. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful
and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants
the things which must shortly be done.
And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with
cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of
blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt
thou make it. Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the
length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. And thou shalt set in it
settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be
a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second
row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an
agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall
be set in gold in their enclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children
of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every
one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.--Exodus 28: 15-21
PRECIOUS STONES AND JEWELRY: The only
source specifying a mineralogical property is the description found in Midrash Rabbah
(Num. R. 2:7):
There were distinguishing signs for each prince; each had
a flag and a different color for every flag, corresponding to the precious stones on the
breast of Aaron... Reuben's stone was odem and the color of his flag was red; and
embroidered thereon were mandrakes. Simeon's was pitdah and his flag was of a yellow (or
green) color... Levi's was bareqet and the color of his flag was a third white, a third
black, and a third red... Judah's was nofekh and the color of his flag was like that of
the sky... Issachar's was sappir and the color of his flag was black like stibium...
Zebulun's was yahalom and the color of his flag was white... Dan's was leshem and the
color of his flag was similar to sappir... Gad's ahlamah and the color of his flag was
neither white nor black but a blend of black and white... Asher's was tarshish and the
color of his flag was like the precious stone with which women adorn themselves...
Joseph's was shoham and the color of his flag was jet black... Benjamin's was yashfeh and
the color of his flag was a combination of all the 12 colors...
Talmud - Mas. Baba Bathra 75a
Rabbah said in the name of R. Johanan: The Holy One,
blessed be He, will in time to come make a banquet for the righteous from the flesh of
Leviathan1... The rest [of Leviathan] will be spread by the Holy One, blessed
be He, upon the walls of Jerusalem, and its splendour will shine from one end of the world
to the other; as it is said: And nations shall walk at thy light, and kings at the
brightness of thy rising.2
1. Please see Leviathan
2. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to
the brightness of thy rising.--Isaiah 60:3
[It is written]: And I will make thy pinnacles of kadkod3
R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: There is a dispute [as to the meaning of kadkod] between two
angels in heaven, Gabriel and Michael. Others say: [The dispute is between] two Amoraim in
the West.4 And who are they? Judah and Hezekiah the sons of R. Hiyya. One says:
[Kadkod means] onyx; and the other says: Jasper. The Holy One, blessed be He, said unto
them: Let it be as this one [says] and as that one.5
3. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of
carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.--Isaiah 54:12; Kadkod, E.V. 'Rubies.'
Kadkod apparently denotes a shiny, sparkling stone, and it
is possible that it does not refer to one specific mineral but is a name based on the
expression kiddode esh, "sparks of fire" (Job 41:11). The Septuagint substituted
the letter resh for dalet which makes the word closer to karkond, the Arabic name for
spinel, a red precious stone. Some identify kadkod with the hyacinth, a transparent
orange, red, or brown precious stone which is a variety of zircon. -- Encyclopaedia
4. Palestine, which is west of Babylon where the
Babylonian Talmud was composed.
5. A play on the words.
And thy gates of carbuncles6 [is to be
understood] as R. Johanan [explained] when he [once] sat and gave an exposition: The Holy
One, blessed be He, will in time to come bring precious stones and pearls which are thirty
[cubits] by thirty and will cut out from them [openings]7 ten [cubits] by
twenty, and will set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. A certain student sneered at him:
[Jewels] of the size of a dove's egg are not to be found; are [jewels] of such a size to
be found? After a time, his ship sailed out to sea [where] he saw ministering angels
engaged8 in cutting precious stones and pearls which were thirty [cubits] by
thirty and on which were engravings of ten [cubits] by twenty. He said unto them: 'For
whom are these?' They replied that the Holy One, blessed be He, would in time to come set
them up in the gates of Jerusalem. [When] he came [again] before R. Johanan he said unto
him: 'Expound, O my master; it is becoming for you to expound; as you said, so have I
seen.' He replied unto him: 'Raca, had you not seen, would not you have believed? You are
[then] sneering at the words of the Sages!' He set his eyes on him and [the student]
turned into a heap of bones.
6. See #3.
7. To serve as entrances to the city.
8. Lit., 'who sat and cut'.
An objection was raised: And I will lead you komamiyuth,9
R. Meir says: [it means] two hundred cubits; twice the height of Adam.10 R.
Judah says: A hundred cubits; corresponding to the [height of the] temple and its walls.
For it is said: We whose sons are as plants grown up in their youth; whose daughters are
as corner-pillars carved after the fashion of the Temple.11 R. Johanan speaks
only of the ventilation windows.
9. I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth
out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands
of your yoke, and made you go upright.--Leviticus 26:13
10. Adam the 'first.' That is, the people will gain in
stature to twice the height of Adam. His height, originally from earth to heaven or from
one end of the earth to the other, was, after his sin, reduced to a hundred cubits. V.
11. That our sons may be as plants grown up in
their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after
the similitude of a palace:--Psalm 144:12 How then, in view of their increase to a hundred
cubits in height, necessitating correspondingly high gates, can R. Johanan say that the
gates were only twenty in height?
Rabbah in the name of R. Johanan further stated: The Holy
One, blessed be He, will make seven canopies for every righteous man; for it is said: And
the Lord will create over the whole habitation of Mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a
cloud of smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory
shall be a canopy.12 This teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, will make
for everyone a canopy corresponding to his rank.13 Why is smoke required in a
canopy? R. Hanina said: Because whosoever is niggardly towards the scholars in this world
will have his eyes filled with smoke in the world to come. Why is fire required in a
canopy? R. Hanina said: This teaches that each one will be burned by reason of [his envy
of the superior] canopy of his friend. Alas, for such shame! Alas, for such reproach!
12. And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of
mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a
flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.--Isaiah 4:5
13. Lit., 'his honour, glory.'
In a similar category is the following: And thou shalt put
of thy honour upon him,14 but not all thy honour. The elders of that generation
said: The countenance of Moses was like that of the sun; the countenance of Joshua was
like that of the moon.15 Alas, for such shame! Alas for such reproach!16
14. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon
him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.--Numbers 27:20
15. Joshua's glory was inferior to that of Moses.
16. That there should be so much deterioration in the
course of one generation.
R. Hama b. Hanina said: The Holy One, blessed be He, made
ten canopies for Adam in the garden of Eden; for it is said: Thou wast in Eden the garden
of God; every precious stone [was thy covering, the cornelian, the topaz and the emerald,
the beryl, the onyx and the jasper, the sapphire, the carbuncle and the emerald and gold]17
etc. Mar Zutra says: Eleven; for it is said: Every precious stone.18 R. Johanan
said: The least of all [these] was gold, since it is mentioned last. What is [implied] by
the work of thy timbrels and holes? Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: The Holy One,
blessed be He, said to Hiram, the King of Tyre. '[At the creation] I looked upon thee,
[observing thy future arrogance]19 and created [therefore] the excretory organs
of man.20 Others say: Thus said [the Holy One, blessed be He].' I looked upon
17. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every
precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl,
the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the
workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast
created.--Ezekiel 28:13 The text speaks of Hiram, King of Tyre, who is tauntingly asked
whether he could compare himself with Adam who had all these canopies.
18. Mar Zutra obtains the number eleven by including
'Every precious stone' in the list of materials used for making Adam's canopies.
19. Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith
the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a
God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man,
and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:--Ezekiel 28:2;
20. Lit., 'many holes' or 'orifices', created to curb
Talmud - Mas. Baba Bathra 75b
and decreed the penalty of death over Adam'.1
What is implied by, and over her assemblies?2 Rabbah said in the name of R.
Johanan: Jerusalem of the world to come will not be like Jerusalem of the present world.
[To] Jerusalem of the present world, anyone who wishes goes up, but to that of the world
to come only those invited3 will go.
1. 'Timbrels and holes' are taken as an allusion to the
2. See #12 above.
3. ...may mean 'invited guests' as well as 'assemblies.'
Rabbah in the name of R. Johanan further stated: The
righteous will in time to come be called by the name of the Holy One, blessed be He; for
it is said: Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory. I
have formed him, yea, I have made him.4
4. Even every one that is called by my name: for I
have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.--Isaiah 43:7
R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Johanan: Three
were called by the name of the Holy One; blessed be He, and they are the following: The
righteous, the Messiah and Jerusalem. [This may be inferred as regards] the righteous
[from] what has just been said. [As regards] the Messiah — it is written: And this is
the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord is our righteousness.5 [As
regards] Jerusalem — it is written: It6 shall be eighteen thousand reeds
round about; and the name of the city from that day shall be 'the Lord is there.'7
Do not read, 'there' but 'its name'.8
5. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall
dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR
7. It was round about eighteen thousand measures:
and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is
8. 'There,' Heb. smh (shemo) 'its name', Heb.smh The
consonants smh are the same. The relevant text is accordingly to be rendered: And as to
the name of the city, from that day, 'the Lord' shall 'be its name.'
R. Eleazar said: There will come a time when 'Holy' will
be said before the righteous as it is said before the Holy One, blessed be He;9
for it is said: And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that
remaineth in Jerusalem, 'shall be called Holy.'10
9. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy,
is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.--Isaiah 6:3
10. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left
in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even
every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:--Isaiah 4:3.
Rabbah in the name of R. Johanan further stated: The Holy
One, blessed be He, will in time to come lift up Jerusalem three parasangs high; for it is
said: And she shall be lifted up, and be settled in her place.11 'In her place'
means 'like her place.'12 Whence is it proved that the space it occupied was
three parasangs in extent? Rabbah said: A certain old man told me, 'I saw ancient13
Jerusalem and it occupied14 [an area of] three parasangs.' And lest you should
think the ascent will be painful, it is expressly stated: Who are these that fly as a
cloud, and as the doves to their cotes.15 R. Papa said: Hence it may be
inferred that a cloud rises three parasangs. R. Hanina b. papa said: The Holy One, blessed
be He, wished to give to Jerusalem a [definite] size; for it is said: Then said I 'Whither
goest thou?' And he said unto me: 'To measure Jerusalem. to see what is the breadth
thereof and what is the length thereof.'16 The ministering angels said before
the Holy One, blessed be He, 'Lord of the Universe, many towns for the nations of the
earth hast thou created in thy world, and thou didst not fix the measurement of their
length or the measurement of their breadth, wilt thou fix a measurement for Jerusalem in
the midst of which is Thy Name, Thy sanctuary and the righteous?' Thereupon, [an angel]
said unto him: 'Run speak to this young man, saying: Jerusalem shall be inhabited without
walls, for the multitude of men and cattle therein.'17
11. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to
Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from
Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from
the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.--Zechariah 14:10
12. Jerusalem will he lifted up to a height equal to the
extent of the space it occupies.
13. Lit., 'first.'
14. Lit., 'it was.'
15. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and
as the doves to their windows?--Isaiah 60:8
16. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me,
To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the
length thereof.--Zechariah 2:2
17. And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man,
saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of
men and cattle therein:--Zechariah 2:4
Resh Lakish said: The Holy One, blessed be He, will in
time to come add to Jerusalem a thousand18 gardens, a thousand18
towers, a thousand18 palaces and a thousand18 mansions;19
and each [of these] will be as big as Sepphoris in its prosperity. It has been taught: R.
Jose said: I saw Sepphoris in its prosperity, and it contained a hundred and eighty
thousand markets for pudding20 dealers.
18. No satisfactory explanation of the peculiar words,
that occur in the text, seems to be available. Some regard them as numerical symbols.
Others take them as corrupt Greek, or Persian terms, corresponding to those in Hebrew that
follow them in the text.
19. ...may be a corruption of 'buildings with four gates,'
20. ...a dish made of various ingredients such as minced
meats and spices mixed with wine.
[It is written]: And the side chambers were one over
another, three and thirty times.21 What is meant by three and thirty times? R.
Levi in the name of R. Papi in the name of R. Joshua of Siknin said: If [in time to come]
there will be three Jerusalems,22 each [building] will contain thirty dwellings
one over the other; if there will be thirty Jerusalems, each [building] will contain three
dwellings one over the other.
21. And the side chambers were three, one over
another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house
for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the
wall of the house.--Ezekiel 41:6
22. I.e., if Jerusalem of the time to come will be three
times the size of the Present Jerusalem.
Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 100a
R. Jeremiah sat before R. Zera and declared: The Holy One,
blessed be He, will bring forth a stream from the Holy of Holies, at the side of which
shall be all kinds of delicious fruits, as it is written, And by the river upon that bank
thereof on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not
fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit,
according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the
fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.1
1. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side
and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall
the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months,
because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for
meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.--Ezekiel 47:12
Talmud - Mas. Sanhedrin 100a
What is meant by and the leaf thereof li-terufah [for
medicine]? R. Isaac b. Abudimi and R. Hisda differ therein: One maintained, to unlock the
upper mouth;1 the other, to unseal the lower mouth.2 it has been
said likewise. Hezekiah said: To free the mouth of the dumb; Bar Kappara said: To open the
mouth3 of barren women. R. Johanan said: Literally for a medicine. What does
this mean? — R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: To give a comely countenance to scholars.4
1. I.e., to make the dumb speak, a play on words.
2. I.e., to make the barren womb bear child; cf. n. 3.
3. A euphemism for ‘womb.'
4. Lit., ‘to the possessors of mouths’, those
who toil with their mouths.
This lengthy excerpt is from Jerusalem in Prophecy
by Randall Price:
...the rabbis tell us, "Not only on the face of this
earth is there a Jerusalem, called in Hebrew Yerushalayim Shel Matta ('Jerusalem the
Lower'), but also in heaven is there such a city: Yerushalayim Shel Maalah ('Jerusalem the
...according to the Judaism of the Second Temple and the
Talmudic periods, the New Jerusalem appears as both present and future. Yet, while it
exists at the present time and exerts an influence, it will not be realized completely
until the age in which the Jerusalem on earth has fully attained its redemption...in
Jewish theology, this is still not the final age. The final age is what is called 'Olam
ha-Ba' ("the World to Come") and sometimes compared to gan ha-'eden ("the
Garden of Eden")...
The Jewish Talmud records that the heavenly city, which
would not be realized until the Age of Redemption, could already be seen by the righteous
in moments of grace (and they could receive inspiration from it as well). It was depicted
as positioned directly above earthly Jerusalem, with the earthly and heavenly Holy of
Holies in direct alignment...
What does the New Jerusalem look like?
...The New Jerusalem's dimensions are 1,500 miles equally
in every direction,
BOOK FOOTNOTE: The predicate adjective
"foursquare," describing the city, is from "four" and
"corner." This term was also used with reference to cube-shaped building stones,
cf. "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian
Literature" by W. Bauer...and indicates here a quadrilateral quadrangle or tetragonal
or as one engineer has figured, an area of 2,250,000
square miles...The New Jerusalem is laid out as a square with connecting planes of equal
size that apparently form a cube. This has long been recognized as the exact shape of the
Holy of Holies, although 240,000 times as big!
...The archetype of the Garden of Eden is also present in
the city, complete with "a river of the water of life" and "the tree of
life" (Rev 22:1-2).
The New Jerusalem and the Temple
The city of New Jerusalem is described with the Shekinah
glory of God present (Rev 21:11), but with no Temple (Rev 21:22)! Such a statement would
be startling to those accustomed to viewing the Temple as the place of the divine
presence. For this reason, Ezekiel uses historic detail to depict the return of the
Shekinah glory to the Millennial Temple (Eze 43:1-7).
[Ezekiel 43:1-7 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even
the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came
from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth
shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw,
even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions
were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the
glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the
east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the
glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and
the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the
place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel
for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor
their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.]
But, in my opinion, John's description of the New
Jerusalem has been built with allusions to Ezekiel, in order to continue a ceremonial
connection with the new earth through the New Jerusalem as a "Temple-city."
BOOK FOOTNOTE: It should also be noted (as we argue) that
if the Temple-city is the heavenly Temple's holy place descended to a restored earth, then
the language displays the continuity between the Edenic Sanctuary and Ezekiel's Temple,
both of which were patterned after the heavenly archetype and represented idyllic
realizations. Thus, the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel's) realized the earthly ideal, which
was lost at Eden, and unrealized by either the First or Second Temple, and the New Temple,
represents the ultimate realization in an uncursed (new Eden) world.
But how can the New Jerusalem be considered a Temple-city
if there is no Temple in it?
Let's remember that when John first introduced the New
Jerusalem in Rev 3:12 he spoke of believers in the New Jerusalem as "a pillar in the
temple of My God." In the ancient Greek world, it was customary to place a pillar in
a temple in order to honor a dignitary. Thus John is not in contradiction to the later
statement omitting a Temple; rather, he may be implying that the New Jerusalem is
something of a Temple itself. By comparison with all earthly Temples, including the
Millennial Temple, the New Jerusalem is unique. Earthly Temples had restrictions, even for
the righteous, and hid the Shekinah in an innermost chamber away from all human sight. The
New Jerusalem is exceptional in that it has no such limitations, but goes beyond them just
as an archetype exceeds the model. For example, in the New Jerusalem, God's bond-servants
"shall see His face" (Rev 22:4). This clearly indicates a new access without the
previous restrictions given in Exo 33:20: "You cannot see My face, for no man can see
Me and live!" The text explains that the reason this is possible is because the New
Jerusalem cannot be defiled from within by sin because there is no curse there (Rev 22:3),
nor from without, since no unclean person can enter (Rev 21:27)...
Another contrast is that the New Jerusalem is not an
earthly structure, as is the case with Israel's past and future Temples, but a structure
transferred from heaven. Based on the parallels between the description of this city and
the Garden of Eden and Ezekiel's Temple, we may conjecture a common source, namely the
archetypal heavenly Temple that John depicted in his heavenly throne visions. Thus, the
New Jerusalem is a heavenly Temple transferred to the new earth, and it will be an
inviolable and eternal structure where God can be served by His redeemed creation.
From Willmington's Guide to the Bible:
The size of this city. “… and he measured the
city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs” (Rev. 21:16).
According to our present-day measurements this city would
be roughly 1400 miles long, high, and wide. If placed in America, it would reach from New
York City to Denver, Colorado, and from Canada to Florida!
How big is a city this size? Our earth has approximately
120 million square miles of water surface and 60 million square miles of land surface. If
one multiplies 1400 by 1400 by 1400 (the dimensions of the New Jerusalem), he arrives at
the total cubic miles of the city, a staggering figure of 2 billion, 700 million. This is
some fifteen times the combined surface of the entire earth, including both land and water
area! It has been estimated that approximately 40 billion people have lived on our planet
since the creation of Adam. Of this number, over 4 billion [actually we are closer to 6
billion now] are living today. Density studies of city populations assure us that every
single one of these 40 billion could easily be accommodated upon just the first
“foundational floor” of this marvelous 1400-layered metropolis.
Also from Wilmington's Guide to the Bible:
The location. The New Jerusalem is pictured as a
stationary city floating above the earth in space. The new earth will thus become a
satellite planet encircling this starry capital, from which earth will receive its light
(Rev. 21:24, 26).
From the International Standard Bible Encylopedia:
“Foursquare,” meaning equal in length and
breadth, not round, is the translation of "rabha" ... it occurs in the
description of the altar of burnt offering (Ex 27:1; 38:1); of the altar of incense (Ex
30:2; 37:25); of the breastplate of the high priest (Ex 28:16; 39:9); of the panels of the
gravings upon the mouth of the brazen or molten sea in Solomon’s temple (1 Ki 7:31);
of the inner court of Ezekiel’s temple (Ezek 40:47); of “the holy oblation”
of the city of Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek 48:20, , “fourth”); of the new
Jerusalem of John’s vision (Rev 21:16, , ), and conveys the idea of perfect symmetry.
In the King James Version margin of 1 Ki 6:31, we have “five-square,” square
being formerly used for equal-sided, as it still is in “Three-square file.” W.
Miscellaneous musings from a list member:
The Most Holy Place in the tabernacle in the wilderness
was a cube of 10 cubits (15 feet) either way.
The Most Holy Place in Solomon's temple was also a cube,
but the dimensions were doubled, i.e. 20 cubits (30 feet). These dimensions were the same
for Zerubbabel's and Herod's Temple. Commentators point out that it thought that these
figures were too sacred to change (Ezek 41:4).
Accordingly, the dimensions of the Most Holy Place in
Ezekiel's vision of the temple is also 20 cubits.
Interestingly, some see the City of New Jerusalem shaped
as a cube as well:
(Rev 21:16 KJV) And the city lieth foursquare, and the
length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand
furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
"That the dimensions are equal on all sides indicates
that the city is shaped like a cube—like the holy of holies in the Old Testament
temple (1 Kings 6:20), indicating that the presence of God would always be with them in
its fullest intensity." (IVP Bible Background Commentary)
Comparing the volume of space in the Most Holy Place
between the tabernacle and Solomon's Temple we see the following:
Tabernacle = 10 X 10 X 10 = 1,000 cubits
Solomon's Temple = 20 X 20 X 20 = 8,000 cubits
The volume of the Most Holy Place in Solomon's Temple was
increased by a factor of 8.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal has been described as the most beautiful
building in the world. It is a testament to the love of one man for his deceased wife--or
is it? Scholars are starting to question the basic assumption that it was built purely as
a resting place for Shah Jahan's beloved wife Arjumand Banu aka Mumtaz Mahal aka Taj Mahal
("Crown of the Palace").
Shah Jahan's true motive for building the Taj Mahal
complex seems to have been lost in the romanticised version that circulates to this day.
Yes, he and his wife enjoyed an extraordinary relationship as is attested to by the fact
that she alone of his harem bore all of his 14 children; she went everywhere with him and
was even consulted in matters of state. But was that enough to inspire him to such a feat?
History records quite a different Shah Jahan than the grief stricken, love-sick man driven
to commemorate the great love of his life.
His name means "King of the World" and he
claimed descent from Genghis Khan and his successors. Architecture was a means for him to
show off his greatness and rival God in creation. Fueled by the notion that he was somehow
meant for greatness because he was born in the 1,000th year of Islam, his megalomania
reached to the very heavens and he set out to build paradise on earth, complete with the
throne of God. Only a great man could accomplish such a task, therefore, he dubbed himself
"Lord of the Age," "Shadow of God," and "August Representative of
God on Earth" which were Sufic [mystic branch of Islam] titles used to describe
"the perfect man."
Armed with a copy of "Revelations of Mecca,"
Shah Jahan set out to replicate a diagram contained in the book. "The Plain of
Assembly on the Day of Judgment" shows a heavenly paradise set out in a rectangular
design. The grand gate-way, the trees, water and Taj Mahal building itself are all placed
in a specific pattern to this end and all Koranic verses within the compound reflect the
themes of the day of judgment and paradise. The notion that heaven is like a set of
beautiful gardens, the Gardens of Paradise, is seen everywhere throughout the complex.
Shah Jahan was obsessed with emblems of power, especially thrones, and the throne of God,
the Taj Mahal building, within the garden of his paradise was the greatest symbol of his
nobility and lives on today as one of the best examples of Mohammedan architecture that
the world has ever known.
This seems to be Shah Jahan's and Islam's version of the
New Jerusalem with its carnelian from Iraq, green jade from China, lapis lazuli and
sapphire from Sri Lanka, jasper, malachite and turqoise from Tibet, and agate and amethyst
from Yemen and Persia. The marble domes were once covered with pure gold and studded with
jewels furnished from the royal treasury. Every aspect of the garden tomb of the Taj Mahal
seems to be a counterfeit to that heavenly city found in the Bible's book of Revelation.
What happened to Shah Jahan himself? He became ill and his
sons fought for his decadent kingdom. One of his sons killed 3 others and took over,
throwing his father into prison for the last eight years of his life. Not that he was
lonely as he was allowed to bring his court with him, but his freedom was curtailed. The
new ruler's next order of business was to purge the palace of rampant orgies and alcohol
abuse permitted by his father's regime. The "perfect" Shah Jahan died on January
31, 1666 at age 74 of a massive overdose of aphrodisiacs. His love story lives on, but the
real questions are: "Where is the spirit of Shah Jahan now? Is he enjoying the
delights of Paradise? Has he seen God? What did they say to each other?"
1. The Mystery of the Taj Mahal, The Learning Channel
2. Collier's Encyclopedia
3. Universal Standard Encyclopedia
Tree of Life