Revelations 21:15-16


** Revelation 21:15-16New International Version (NIV)

15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia[a] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. **

I watched a show about this topic last night and am curious about this, I know many people believe Revelations are not literal, but its strange such specific dimensions would be given. Plus, I can understand length and width of the city, but height…how could this city be 1400 miles high? another thing is the gates…why would this city need gates of any kind, what will the rest of the earth look like I wonder, just wasteland (unused)?

The picture below depicts what this 1400 mile ‘cube’/ New heaven, would look like, as its said the city will DESCEND unto the current city.

I also cannot understand why God said there would be no more sea, and no one would remember or think about the old city


The city could be 1500 miles high. What’s wrong with 1400 that is in Revelation?


I think it’s a big version of the cube-shaped Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple that everyone will live in.


hee hee :smiley:
The cube is on Saudi Arabia.


From the notes regarding Rev. 21 per the United Conference of Catholic Bishops:

  • [21:15–17] The city is shaped like a gigantic cube, a symbol of perfection (cf. 1 Kgs 6:19–20). The measurements of the city and its wall are multiples of the symbolic number twelve; see note on Rev 7:4–9.

  • [21:16] Fifteen hundred miles: literally, twelve thousand stades, about 12,000 furlongs (see note on Rev 14:20); the number is symbolic: twelve (the apostles as leaders of the new Israel) multiplied by 1,000 (the immensity of Christians); cf. Introduction. In length and width and height: literally, “its length and width and height are the same.”

Numbers in Scripture are not always literal. Often they are symbolic. In this case it means that the New Jerusalem will be the perfect city of God’s people. Really, that’s all there is to it. :slight_smile: Now, breath. :wink:


The first thing you would have asked, if you were an early Christian, is why the angel had a measuring rod.

Ezekiel 40:2-4 –

"In the visions of God, He brought me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain: upon which there was as the building of a city, bending towards the south. And he brought me into there.

"And behold! a man whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed in his hand, and he stood in the gate.

"And this man said to me, “Son of man, see with your eyes and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you. For you are brought hither that these things may be shown to you. Declare all that you see, to the house of Israel.”

Obviously this isn’t a man; he’s an angel. It’s the same angel whom we meet in the Book of Revelation (which is of course full of Ezekiel references).

The angel uses his “measuring reed” or “measuring rod” (translations differ) to measure the Temple. After he has measured the whole Temple, this is what happens:

Ezekiel 43:1-12 –

"And he brought me to the gate that looked towards the east.

“And behold the glory of the God of Israel came in by the way of the east.”

  • The East is the Biblical direction of the Messiah’s coming to Jerusalem as well as God’s, and it is the direction of the Second Coming, according to the angels present at Jesus’ Ascension. [In accordance with a lot of psalms, too.]

“And his voice was like the noise of many waters, and the earth shone with his majesty. And I saw the vision according to the appearance which I had seen when he came to destroy the city; and the appearance was according to the vision which I had seen by the river Chobar. And I fell upon my face.”

That probably sounds familiar… from the Book of Revelation…

"And the majesty of the Lord went into the temple by the way of the gate that looked to the east. And the spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court: and behold the house was filled with the glory of the Lord.

"And I heard one speaking to me out of the house, and the man that stood by me said to me, "Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever.

"And the house of Israel shall no more profane my holy name, they and their kings by their fornications, and by the carcasses of their kings, and by the high places. They who have set their threshold by my threshold, and their posts by my posts.

“And there was but a wall between me and them: and they profaned my holy name by the abominations which they committed: for which reason I consumed them in my wrath. Now therefore let them put away their fornications, and the carcasses of their kings far from me; and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.”"

Like, say, in the New Jerusalem! See, it all ties together!

“But son of man, you show the temple to the house of Israel, and let them be ashamed of their iniquities, and let them measure the building and be ashamed of all that they have done. Show them the form of the house… and all its ordinances, and all its order, and all its laws. And you shall write it in their sight: that they may keep the whole form of it and its ordinances, and do them. This is the law of the house upon the top of the mountain. All its border round about is most holy. This then is the law of the house.”

So that’s why John is being shown the angel measuring the Temple. So that he can tell the Christians the same thing Ezekiel told Israel - to mend their ways and follow God’s laws and the Gospel. Just as the New Jerusalem is perfect, so God’s law is perfect. We’re supposed to try to be perfect too. And if we’re not perfect, we look to Jesus as the perfect offering for sins, just as Ezekiel directs Israel to make sin offerings.

The Book of Revelation says this stuff in a very compressed way, because it expects its hearers to be familiar with all the important prophecies and Biblical books.


Re: no more sea –

Well, for one thing, the “glassy sea” or “sea of glass” is still going to be there before God’s throne, and the real sea is just a sort of cut rate version of that.

But the symbolic reason is that, in many places in the Bible, the sea represents chaos and evil, or at least the sort of place where chaos and evil live. Hence the Biblical references to Leviathan, Rahab the dragon, and other demonic sea monsters. Part of the Jewish Messianic traditions was that God, or the Messiah, would destroy all the demonic sea monsters and serve them up for dinner (as the main course of the “Messianic banquet”, in fact).

So basically, “no more sea” means that the new heaven and the new earth won’t have any place for evil beings to live (and they’d all be in the lake of fire instead).

However, we read in Rev. 22:1 that there will be a river of the water of life (which also shows up in Ezekiel).


Large bodies of water can be quite peaceful and beautiful too, plus all the OT sea serpents/ dragons do not exist anymore. ( I believe the last account of a real dragon, like the bible mentions-fire breathing, flying type) was early 1200s. All the aquatic life in the seas now are similar to land animals, they do their thing and thats it, not really evil though.

It will be nice to see that sea of glass first hand though!


There has never been such a creature as a flying fire breathing dragon.


While I am doubtful that such a creature existed, we cannot claim with certainty that it did not or does not. You can’t prove a negative. It’s a mighty big universe and with God all things are possible.


I think we can claim that with certainty. People who believe such creatures existed are living in fantasy land.


The bible speaks of a scaly creature breathes fire and smoke. It describes it pretty clear. Plus there is numerous real historical accounts of what we call a ‘dragon’.

I had a thread a long time ago that mentioned all these historical references to such a creature, trying to find it, but not sure how, I cant remember what month I posted, it was a fairly long time ago. I will look after I get off work.

I do remember though, they all described the same type of creature, it was around 50-80ft long, scaly, plate like skin, ability to breathe fire (certain combinations of naturally occurring bodily chemicals can produce fire). The description given, its pretty clear they are talking about something we do not have today (alligators, Komodo dragons, etc)

Its not that much of a stretch anyway, we know similar creatures once existed (dinosaurs),


The Bible does not mention a fire breathing flying dragon. That isn’t in the Bible. There is a dragon with seven heads and ten horns but there is no fire breathing flying dragon in the Bible.

The word dragon comes from the Old English and French words that meant large serpent or large sea fish. That’s all.



This link talks about all the historical accounts.

Daniel 14:23-27?
“And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped. And the king said unto Daniel, Wilt thou also say that this is of brass? lo, he liveth, he eateth and drinketh; thou canst not say that he is no living god: therefore worship him. Then said Daniel unto the king, I will worship the LORD my God: for he is the living God. But give me leave, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff. The king said, I give thee leave. Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon’s mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder: and Daniel said, Lo, these are the gods ye worship.” — Daniel 14:23-27

“By his neesings (blowing air out of his nose) a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.” (Job 41:19-21)

Marco Polo wrote:
“ Here are found snakes and huge serpents, ten paces in length and ten spans in girth (meaning 50 ft. long and 100 inch circumference). At the fore part, near the head, they have two short legs, each with three claws, as well as eyes larger than a loaf and very glaring. The jaws are wide enough to swallow a man, the teeth are large and sharp, and their whole appearance is so formidable that neither man, nor any kind of animal can approach them without terror. Others are of smaller size, being eight, six, or five paces long. [15]


No such thing as a flying fire breathing dragon. It has never existed.

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 22. Dragon. The devil had seduced our first parents in the form of a serpent, and caused most nations to adore it. (Calmet) — They expected benefit, or to be preserved from harm. (Valer. i. 8.; St. Augustine, de Civ. Dei. xiv. 11.; Worthington)

As for Job 41 please read the Commentary:


You seem to be hung up on aliens, angels mating with humans and dragons!!


I have read the book of revelation many times and also its verse by verse commentaries which are now available in plenty in the net. There are several organisations and sites exclusively devoted on the subject including on rapture,tribulation etc. Most of these are non Catholic and there are even suggestions that that Pope could be the Antichrist based on the hints given in the book !
Frankly I do not understand (may be that the grace for it has not been given to me) why so much importance is given to what is said in the book when we have the words and teachings directly from our Redeemer in the four gospels. Once we get the most important, glorious and historic revelation in the gospel which has been confirmed by Jesus namely "You are Christ ,the son of the living God "(M:16-16) and also what Jesus has said and taught including that on end times ,the contents in the book are of little significance and use. The only message in the book is that we should live as God wants,otherwise extreme suffering and punishment will follow. But was this not already told to us directly by our saviour in plain words understandable to ordinary people when he lived here in normal human form ? Then why to frighten picturizing god as having horns,tails ,sword like tongue spitting fire etc or making him a gigantic figure with one leg on a mountain etc ? What is the use in telling us that the second coming itself consists of two or more parts such as first taking the blessed to heaven,tribulation,coming of Antichrist ,destruction,chaining Satan for 1000 years his rule for 7 years ,Lord coming with all in heaven ,final destruction etc? Why we should be bothered whether it is 1000 years or 1000 million years ? In this regard one thing amuses me.While all the commentaries say that most of the words and description in the book are symbolic (for obvious reasons ) ,the time period mentioned is taken as the exact period ! This reminds me the issue about the “day” mentioned in the early part of Genesis as we are now told that its duration can be a million year.
In short ,my advice is that do not bother much about what is said in the book of revelation unless you don’t have anything else to do.Other books of the bible are sufficient to know about our God, his commandments and the means of salvation enabling us to glorify and adore him and to finally meet him for eaternal life which only is the purposes of our creation.

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