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Revelation 21:16

    Revelation 21:16 Translations

    King James Version (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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the city lies 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.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the town is square, as wide as it is long; and he took the measure of the town with the rod, one thousand and five hundred miles: it is equally long and wide and high.

    Webster's Revision

    And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

    World English Bible

    The city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. He measured the city with the reed, Twelve thousand twelve stadia. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

    Definitions for Revelation 21:16

    Foursquare - Squared; four cornered.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 21:16

    The city lieth foursquare - Each side was equal, consequently the length and breadth were equal; and its height is here said to be equal to its length. It is hard to say how this should be understood. It cannot mean the height of the buildings, nor of the walls, for neither houses nor walls could be twelve thousand furlongs in height; some think this means the distance from the plain country to the place where the city stood. But what need is there of attempting to determine such measures in such a visionary representation? The quadrangular form intimates its perfection and stability, for the square figure was a figure of perfection among the Greeks; αντρ τετραγωνος, the square or cubical man, was, with them, a man of unsullied integrity, perfect in all things.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 21:16

    And the city lieth four-square - It was an exact square. That is, there was nothing irregular about it; there were no crooked walls; there was no jutting out, and no indentation in the walls, as if the city had been built at different times without a plan, and had been accommodated to circumstances. Most cities have been determined in their outline by the character of the ground - by hills, streams, or ravines; or have grown up by accretions, where one part has been joined to another, so that there is no regularity, and so that the original plan, if there was any, has been lost sight of. The New Jerusalem, on the contrary, had been built according to a plan of the utmost regularity, which had not been modified by the circumstances, or varied as the city grew. The idea here may be, that the church, as it will appear in its state of glory, will be in accordance with an eternal plan, and that the great original design will have been fully carried out.

    And the length is as large as the breadth - The height also of the city was the same - so that it was an exact square.

    And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs - As eight furlongs make a mile, the extent of the walls, therefore, must have been three hundred and seventy-five miles. Of course, this must preclude all idea of there being such a city literally in Palestine. This is clearly a figurative or symbolical representation; and the idea is, that the city was on the most magnificent scale, and with the largest proportions, and the description here is adopted merely to indicate this vastness, without any idea that it would be understood "literally."

    The length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal - According to this representation, the height of the city, not of the walls (compare Revelation 21:17), would be three hundred and seventy-five miles. Of course, this cannot be understood literally, and the very idea of a literal fulfillment of this shows the absurdity of that method of interpretation. The idea intended to be conveyed by this immense height would seem to be that it would contain countless numbers of inhabitants. It is true that such a structure has not existed, and that a city of such a height may seem to be out of all proportion; but we are to remember:

    (a) that this is a "symbol"; and,

    (b) that, considered as one mass or pile of buildings, it may not seem to be out of proportion. It is no uncommon thing that a house should be as high as it is long or broad.

    The idea of vastness and of capacity is the main idea designed to be represented. The image before the mind is, that the numbers of the redeemed will be immense.