Revelation 21:16

Lieth foursquare (tetragwno keitai). Present middle indicative of keimai. The predicate adjective is from tetra (Aeolic for tessare four) and gwno (gwnia corner, Matthew 6:5 ) here only in N.T. As in Ezekiel 48:16 Ezekiel 48:20 . It is a tetragon or quadrilateral quadrangle ( Revelation 21:12 ). The length thereof is as great as the breadth (to mhko auth oson to plato). It is rectangular, both walls and city within. Babylon, according to Herodotus, was a square, each side being 120 stadia. Diodorus Siculus says that Nineveh was also foursquare. With the reed (twi kalamwi). Instrumental case (cf. verse Revelation 15 for kalamo) and for metrew (aorist active indicative here) Twelve thousand furlongs (epi stadiwn dwdeka ciliadwn). This use of the genitive stadiwn with epi is probably correct (reading of Aleph P), though A Q have stadiou (more usual, but confusing here with ciliadwn). Thucydides and Xenophon use epi with the genitive in a like idiom (in the matter of). It is not clear whether the 1500 miles (12,000 furlongs) is the measurement of each of the four sides or the sum total. Some of the rabbis argued that the walls of the New Jerusalem of Ezekiel would reach to Damascus and the height would be 1500 miles high. Equal (isa). That is, it is a perfect cube like the Holy of Holies in Solomon's temple ( 1 Kings 6:19 ). This same measurement (plato, mhko, upso) is applied to Christ's love in Ephesians 3:18 , with baqo (depth) added. It is useless to try to reduce the measurements or to put literal interpretations upon this highly wrought symbolic language. Surely the meaning is that heaven will be large enough for all, as Jesus said ( John 14:1 ) without insisting on the materialistic measurement of a gorgeous apartment house full of inside rooms.