Revelation 21:16-26

16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia.[a] Its length and width and height are equal.
17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits[b] by 1human measurement, which is also 2an angel's measurement.
18 The wall was built of 3jasper, while the city was pure gold, 4clear as glass.
19 5The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and 6the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.
22 And 7I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
23 And the city 8has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for 9the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
24 By its light 10will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth 11will bring their glory into it,
25 and 12its gates will never be shut by day--and 13there will be no night there.
26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

Revelation 21:16-26 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 21

This chapter contains an account of the happy state of the church, consisting of all the elect, both Jews and Gentiles, which will take place upon the first resurrection, and will continue during the thousand years' reign mentioned in the preceding chapter. The seat of the church in these happy times will be the new heaven and the new earth, Re 21:1 the church that will dwell there is described by its names, the holy city, and new Jerusalem; by its descent, from heaven; and by its state and ornament, being prepared and adorned as a bride for her husband, Re 21:2 and her happiness is expressed by the presence of God with her, and communion with him enjoyed by her, and by a freedom from all evils endured in the present state of things, Re 21:3,4 after which John hears the voice of him that sat on the throne, declaring himself to be the author of the new heaven and earth; ordering him to write, that what had been said was true and faithful; affirming that things were now done and finished; calling himself the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end: promising grace to the thirsty soul, the inheritance of all things to the overcomer, and also divine sonship; and threatening the second death to sinners, whose characters are given, Re 21:5-8 next John has a vision of the bride before spoken of; the preface to it is in Re 21:9,10 in which is signified that one of the seven angels that had the seven vials talked to him in a very free and familiar manner, and proposed to show him the Lamb's wife; and in order to it carried him to an exceeding high mountain, and showed him the city before mentioned, said to be great, holy, and heavenly; and which is described by the glory of God upon it, and the light that was in it, comparable to a crystal jasper stone, Re 21:11 by its wall, which is great and high; and by its, gates and foundations; its gates are in number twelve, twelve angels at them, and on them written the twelve names of the children of Israel, and these situated three at each point, east, west, north, and south; and its foundations are also twelve, having the names of the twelve apostles on them, Re 21:12-14 by the measure of it, which the angel took with his golden read; of the city, which was twelve thousand furlongs, it being four square, and its length, breadth, and height equal; and of the wall, which was a hundred forty and four cubits, Re 21:15-17 and next the city is described by the matter of which it was built; the wall of jasper the city of pure gold, like to clear glass; the foundations of precious stone, each foundation being of one stone; the gates of pearls, each gate being of one pearl; the street of the city of pure gold, like transparent glass, Re 21:18-21 and then by the temple in it, which is no other than the Lord God and the Lamb; and by the light, which is the same, it having no need of sun or moon, Re 21:22,23 and next by its inhabitants, the nations of the saved ones, who walk in its light, and the kings of the earth, that bring their honour and glory to it; by its safety and security, and by the purity of it, none but undefiled persons, and such who are written in the Lamb's book of life, being admitted into it, Re 21:24-27.

Revelation 21:16-26 In-Context

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.
16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.
17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel's measurement.
18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass.
19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,
25 and its gates will never be shut by day--and there will be no night there.
26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Cross References 13

  • 1. Deuteronomy 3:11; [Revelation 13:18]
  • 2. ver. 9
  • 3. ver. 11
  • 4. ver. 11
  • 5. [Isaiah 54:11, 12]
  • 6. Revelation 22:2
  • 7. [John 4:23]
  • 8. Revelation 22:5; Isaiah 60:19, 20; [ver. 25]
  • 9. ver. 11
  • 10. Isaiah 60:3; [Revelation 22:2]
  • 11. ver. 26; [Isaiah 60:5, 16]
  • 12. Isaiah 60:11
  • 13. See ver. 23

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. About 1,380 miles; a stadion was about 607 feet or 185 meters
  • [b]. A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters