0

In Revelation 21:19-20, would the foundation stones be visible?:

Rev 21:19 The foundations of the city wall were decorated with all kinds of gems: The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, Rev 21:20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth and the twelfth amethyst.

My understanding is that foundation stones would be buried, hence the reference here to the foundation stones being "unearthed":

Mic 1:6 "So I will turn Samaria into a mound of dirt in a field, a place to plant vineyards. And I will dump her building stones into the valley, uncovering her foundation.

I notice a reference to "costly stones" in the laying of the foundation for Solomon's temple but in context it appears to just refer to how huge they were:

ISV
1Ki 5:17 The king specified that large, expensive stones be quarried so the foundation of the Temple could be laid with cut stones.

That verse is absent from the LXX!

Questions:

  • Is 1 Kings 5:17 spurious?

  • Were the stones of the foundation of Solomon's temple made of gems?

  • Are the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem to be exposed? or buried?

  • Why was it important to Abraham (whether or not he was consciously anticipating) that the city have foundations?:

Heb_11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

  • When Herod's temple was burned in 70CE, were there foundation stones and if so, were they left in place? Do they remain to this day? I would think that if they were made of gems then they would have been taken.

  • Is this passage suggesting that Jerusalem would be reduced to ruins? Is it about 70CE? Would the foundations of the city be destroyed, misplaced or simply made devoid of structures? When will the Jews be called "repairers" and "restorers"?:

Isa 58:12 And your people will rebuild the ancient ruins; You'll raise up the age-old foundations, and people will call you 'Repairer of Broken Walls,' 'Restorer of Streets to Live In.'

  • 3
    For an interest in "Revelation 21:19-20" ... that's a shedload of questions about other texts! – Dɑvïd Jul 30 '16 at 19:30
1
  • Is 1 Kings 5:17 spurious?
    Yes. 1 Kings 5 is talking about the temple in Jerusalem built by man, while Revelation 21 is talking about the New Jerusalem built by God.

  • Were the stones of the foundation of Solomon's temple made of gems?
    No. They were made of common stone taken from a quarry:

    And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. -1 Kings 6:7 (NKJV)

    The stones were probably marble or porphyry1 or something similar.

  • Are the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem to be exposed? or buried?
    They are exposed so that all can see, which is why John is able to see and describe each foundation.

  • Why was it important to Abraham (whether or not he was consciously anticipating) that the city have foundations?
    Abraham lived in tents which do not have foundations like a city would:

    9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. -Hebrews 11:9-10 (NKJV)

  • When Herod's temple was burned in 70CE, were there foundation stones and if so, were they left in place? Do they remain to this day? I would think that if they were made of gems then they would have been taken.
    Yes, Herod's temple had foundation stones. This article states that limestone was used to build Herod's temple, and that "some of this limestone can still be seen uphill from the Herodian Temple in modern Jerusalem."

  • Is this passage suggesting that Jerusalem would be reduced to ruins? Is it about 70CE? Would the foundations of the city be destroyed, misplaced or simply made devoid of structures? When will the Jews be called "repairers" and "restorers"? [Isaiah 58:12 quoted]
    Jerusalem was reduced mostly to ruins by the Babylonians (with any remaining structures suffering 70 years of decay {Jeremiah 25:11}):

    8 ...Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 He burned the house of the Lord and the king’s house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire. 10 And all the army of the Chaldeans [Babylonians] who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls of Jerusalem all around. -2 Kings 25:8-10 (NKJV)

    Isaiah 58:12 references the restoration of Jerusalem's walls and streets after the Babylonian exile in the days of Nehemiah. Nehemiah 3 mentions the participation of many individuals in rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem, with Nehemiah 6:1 saying that the wall was repaired so that there were no more breaks (or breaches) in it. Nehemiah 6:15-16 tells how the restoration of the wall was completed in just 52 days--so quickly that all the surrounding nations "perceived that this work was done by our God" (NKJV). They would have definitely been known as 'Repairers of the Breach.'

    Nehemiah 7:4 mentions that while the city was large and spacious, only a few people were in it, and the houses had not been rebuilt. Nehemiah 11:1-2 tells how this situation was remedied: while the leaders already lived in the city, the rest of the people cast lots so that 1 out of every 10 would live in Jerusalem, with some even volunteering to live there, while the others would live in other cities. This restored the streets for people to dwell in, and as such the title of 'Restorer of Streets to Dwell In' is quite fitting.


1John Gill: And the king commanded, and they brought great stones Not in quality, but in quantity, large stones, fit to lay in the foundation; strong, and durable against all the injuries of time, as Josephus says F9:

costly stones; not what are commonly called precious stones, as gems, pearls but stones of value, as marble, porphyry, &c.

[and] hewed stones; not rough as they were taken out of the quarry, but hewed, and made smooth

F9Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2.

|improve this answer|||||
  • (+1) way up for addressing the myriad aspects of this with great info. Accepted as the answer, with my thanks. The only thing I would want to clarify was whether the foundations of the New Jerusalem would be below ground when the city descends to earth. – user10231 Aug 2 '16 at 10:54
  • That's what I was thinking, that when in place the foundation would be below ground. – user10231 Aug 2 '16 at 15:01
  • Any further documentation on the spuriousness of 1 Kings 5:17? – user10231 Aug 2 '16 at 15:02
  • 1
    @WoundedEgo - My apologies, when you said 'spurious' I took that as 'similar but different,' as in they were costly stones but not actual gemstones like the New Jerusalem, instead of 'inauthentic,' as in the verse itself was fabricated. – Bʀɪᴀɴ Aug 2 '16 at 15:54
  • @WoundedEgo - Also concerning the foundations, Rev 21:14 says that the names of the 12 apostles are written on them. This is another reason why I don't think the any of the foundations will be below ground, since no one would be able to read the names on whichever foundations were buried. (You are of course free to disagree with me on this.) – Bʀɪᴀɴ Aug 2 '16 at 17:03
0

A constant observation I have made is that few people recognise most writings in the bible, even in the new testament, were given in allegories.

Revelation is a signification, as Rev 1:1 says, of events that have happened and are yet to happen. So the foundations and all elements of the building are represented as being in full view because they symbolise all kinds of servants of GOD, with foundations typifying leaders among that category of people, Ref; Isaiah 28:16 signifies a leader by a foundation . Also a city denotes a society of people in respect with a higher spirit of worship, or idolatry among them. Famous 'cities' being Zion or Babylon. Ref; Leviticus 14:40; this signifies Israel the nation after generations regarding their walk, and its people as the stones--also a generic for spirits...Psalm 91:12. The stones to be scraped and removed from the city are the rebellious generation to go to captivity.

A wall and a city are often synonymous significations. In Gen 49:2 the Shechemites slaughtered by the sons of Jacob were the 'wall digged down, also in Ezek 13:10-11, Amos 7:7 etc, all signify people in light of a spirit at work in them that the Most High desires to sort out.

Note that in Rev 21 the 1st foundation being Jasper pointed to the Lamb, and as it can be noted that its same appearance/likeness of the one that sits on the throne,Ref; Rev 4:2-3. It's a similar figure of a principal foundation that Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians 3:11. Colors denote nature, holy or evil, famous ones being white and Red, to signify a basic righteousness and an evil nature respectively. But the feature of an appearance as that of costly stones takes these characteristics a notch higher than that of a normal saint..Ref: Rev 2:17

I also noted that you cited 'uncovering of foundations' in Mic 1:6. To uncover signifies the same as that of 'filthy rugs, i.e it denotes unrighteous deeds for which Israel was to suffer being removed from their land. Mic 1:6 was a decree against the 'northern' leaders of being deposed along with their subjects( the stones- 1 Peter 2:5 & Psalm 102:13-14) into Assyria, while Assyria is depicted as a valley signifying the wicked and profane, ref Joel 3:13-14 So in both cases of Rev 21 and Mic 6, both 'foundations' are seen, but those in Micah 6 are 'uncovered' for reasons that the term 'uncover' signifies.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Thanks for this detailed response. I agree that there are a good many allegorical aspects to these physical structures. It wasn't quite the direction that my questions were going though. – user10231 Aug 2 '16 at 11:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy