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Revelation describes the height of the new Jerusalem to be equal to its base, which is 12,000 furlongs. Generally speaking one does not usually refer to the "height" of a city. I'm not sure what that means. I mean, as a type of the body of Christ I know it spans heaven and earth but in John's figure does it mean that its walls ascend that high?

[Rev 21:16 KJV] (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.

  • I am not clear as to what you are asking. John states that what he saw, in vision, was . . . as you quote. And that has spiritual meaning. What exactly is the question about that ? – Nigel J Aug 2 '19 at 15:00
  • I'm inquiring as to what John saw. Did he see a city with square borders and a wall ascending 12,000 furlongs into space? If not, how can a city have a height? For example, how tall would you say your city (or village, etc.) is? – Ruminator Aug 2 '19 at 15:04
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    Yes, that's what he saw : what he records. – Nigel J Aug 2 '19 at 15:05
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    The city John describes was in the shape of a cube with each side 12,000 furlongs in length. As the seat of the throne of God, it is a direct allusion to the Most Holy Place which was also a cube 20 cubits per side. – user25930 Aug 2 '19 at 19:31
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    @Mac'sMusings: Certainly not an impossible or implausible interpretation, to be sure; but, given that, for military and strategic purposes, ancient and medieval cities were build on heights, why assume that that the height in question refers to wall-height in the first place, as opposed to the city's altitude ? Or, even if, why a cube, specifically, and not, say, a pyramid, for instance ? Didn't Egyptians, Israel's neighbors, build them as well ? – Lucian Aug 5 '19 at 13:02
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I raised this question because I found the idea of high walls, be they amethyst or opal, to be a grim, prison-like arrangement. However, in the dimension given in Rev 21, though the city is a cube of 1500 miles, the wall of the city only goes up 72 yards:

[Rev 21:15-17 NASB] (15) The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. (16) The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. (17) And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements.

This answers my original concern which is the prison-like effect of living within walls. I think the walls in such a city are more adornment for her nuptials.

The other 1,499 miles of city would have no such visible structure. The true wall of protection for all 1500 miles is the LORD. This is reflected in this image:

New Jerusalem with walls of fire

Note: In this image the new Jerusalem is in the sky, before it descends. After it descends it is on earth and in the sky in that its base is on the earth while it extends into heaven. Inside are angels going up and down on ladders (or maybe steps?):

[Gen 28:12, 17 NASB] (12) He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. ... (17) He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

There are many such takes on prophecy in the NT that seems to contain a tweak but upon further reflection, contain a deeper truth for those inclined to go treasure seeking.

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In Revelation 21:16 do the walls of the new Jerusalem rise 12,000 furlongs?

There is a difference between walls and walls. There is a kind of wall that is built to protect from invaders: the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, etc. And then there is the kind of wall that protects a house from weather and wind.

What could the huge height of the Holy City be due to? One possibility is that the substance of the city's hight is of atmospheric nature, shining to produce light, because the Bible says that the Lord is the city's only source of light. Thus, the sun does not seem to exist anymore. And, with no sun the countryside would also need the light coming out from the walls of the city. In other words, the shining Holy City would act like a sun for much of the rest of the earth.

Rev 22:5 (NIV) There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Ps 84:11 (NASB) "the Lord God is a sun and shield"

  • The first image suggests that the city has walls all the way up, which isn't accurate but the second one, if you look closely, shows the tiny walls and the rest of the walls being of fire - so what I was describing. Thanks. I'm going to add this image to my answer. – Ruminator Aug 3 '19 at 10:15
  • Looking at the picture, what is most striking is the thickness of the upper part of the city. It is almost 5 times the thickness of the earth's atmosphere. Could this be an indication of how thick the atmosphere is on the new heavenly earth. – Constantthin Aug 3 '19 at 11:05
  • It is Christ, the meeting place between heaven and earth: [Gen 28:12, 17 NASB] (12)*He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. ... (17) He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."* – Ruminator Aug 3 '19 at 11:11

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