THE EARTHLY INHERITANCE SERIES of BIBLE SUBJECTS
Various Bible study guides in subjects pertaining to
New Earth prophecy, as taught by Paul Phelps
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth. Psalm 37:9
The SIZE of NEW JERUSALEM
John’s Rev. 21:16 vision of New Jerusalem should be seen in comparison with
other Bible descriptions. Ezekiel 48:15-19 says the size of the future city is 4500
cubits on each side. There is an extra 250 cubit width land area around the city,
making the overall land portion 5000 cubits on each side.
All Bible translations based on the Greek text say there are twelve thousand
stadia on each side of New Jerusalem, but the original Peshitta Aramaic text has
“about twelve stadia, twelve thousand…” Lamsa translates this verse as saying
“about twelve stadia, twelve thousand paces.”
A Greek Stadia is 185 metres; but when Roman writers talk about stadia, they
usually mean an artabic stadia. Sea distances were calculated in artabic stadia.
Roman artabic stadias average 187.5 metres. This serves our calculations well.
The twelve stadia dimension of each side is 2250 metres—so the parameter is
9000 metres. There is also reference to twelve thousand paces, which is correct
for the 9000 metre parameter of all four sides; (one pace is 75 cm). The 9000
metre parameter of the city-wall's four sides is easily paced in twelve thousand
of these paces, the normal pace of a man walking.
Ezekiel was a priest in the First Temple. Solomon built the Temple using the
first cubit of 2 Chron. 3:3, Israel's original cubit before the Babylonian captivity;
(see the essay entitled “Discovering Israel’s Cubits"). Measures taken of sockets
at the Temple Mount prove this cubit was 42.857142 cm, (1/7th of three metres).
The angel of Ezekiel's vision used a longer cubit, “a cubit and an handbreadth;”
(Ezek. 40:5). Human cubits have six handbreadths but angel cubits have seven.
Thus the angels use a seven-handbreadth cubit measure, 50 cm, (an half metre).
The measuring rod of the angel was six of the longer cubits—a three-metre rod.
In Ezekiel's vision the city has a surrounding parkland that extends 250 cubits
(125 metres)—making the parkland measure on each side of the city 5000 cubits
(2500 metres). So the outer parkland parameter around the city is 20 000 cubits
(10 kilometres). A walk through the parkland around the city is a six mile walk.
The wall enclosing the city is 144 cubits tall (72 metres). The towering wall is
magnificent because of the jade-green colour and because the twelve gates are
stunning. We know this city is built in space because it is coming from heaven.
It is for earth though and will be the centre of God’s kingdom on earth. This city
is very high tech but is nonetheless material and physical. It will be home to the
glorified saints coming or going in their earthly activities. The righteous people
of Earth will be permitted to enter the city and have access to the Tree of Life;
(Rev. 21:24-27; 22:2,14).
We are sure that John’s and Ezekiel’s visions of New Jerusalem are the same.
They are not different cities, and John’s vision does not replace Ezekiel’s vision;
both visions add together. This future city although large, is still small enough to
sit on earth without causing an earthquake. The height is more than a mile—but
the mass will not exceed the mass of mountains that now exist all over the world.
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