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Revelation 21:16 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

16. he measured the city ] It is doubtful whether this is the measurement of the side of the square, or of the whole circumference. The twelve-fold measure is in favour of the former view: thus from each gate to the next would be 1000 furlongs; the outmost gate on each side being 500 from the angle.

with the reed ] He has not, as in the parallel passages of Ezekiel and Zechariah, a line for the long measurements (like our “chains” and “poles”).

twelve thousand furlongs ] The construction is peculiar, but the sense clear. The measure would be about 1378 English miles, making the City 344 miles square, according to the lower computation.

the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal ] It seems inconsistent with the pictorial vividness of this book, to imagine that the City is described as forming a cube of over 300 miles each way; and we are told in the next verse that the wall was of a great but not unimaginable or disproportionate height. Yet no other interpretation has been proposed that seems fairly reconcileable with the words; and passages are quoted from the Rabbis, that seem to prove that this notion, of Jerusalem being elevated to an enormous height, did commend itself to Jewish habits of thought. Would it be admissible to suppose that the City, which almost certainly lies on a mountain, forms not a cube but a pyramid? The height of it, equal to one side of the base, may then be conceived to be measured along the slope, either at the angle, or at the centre of one side: the conception of vertical height is rather too abstruse to be looked for, and it could not be measured with the reed. The vertical height would on one view be about 2121 stadia, or 243 miles: on the other, about 2598 stadia, or 298 miles.

Consult other comments:

Revelation 21:16 - Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Revelation 21:16 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Revelation 21:16 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Revelation 21:16 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Revelation 21:16 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Revelation 21:16 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

Revelation 21:16 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Revelation 21:16 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Revelation 21:16 - Geneva Bible Notes

Revelation 21:16 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Revelation 21:16 - Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 21:16 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Revelation 21:16 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Revelation 21:16 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Revelation 21:16 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 21:16 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Revelation 21:16 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Revelation 21:16 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

Revelation 21:16 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 21:16 - Combined Bible Commentary

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges