I realize a number of these verses (Revelation 21 having a total of 27 of them) can be discussed in groups. Yet basically I have chosen to present them singly, individually. This is in part because of the nature of a daily Website Lesson, space and time are (for practical reasons) somewhat limited.
So, we shall focus on one aspect of the City’s WALL today. Towns today, for the most part, do not even have walls! But in Biblical times they did, for some very good reasons!
Our verse now: “And he (the angel) measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.” Revelation 21:17
First, a “cubit” (in Greek “pechus,” a word about which its etymology is too opaque to ascertain) is a linear unit of measurement, thought to be about a foot and a half, eighteen inches.
According the “measure of a man” just means the standard “yardstick” of that day was being used. The “angel” has adapted and employed the “metric system” to which John was most accustomed. (God can and does often speak our language! Acts 2, the Day of Pentecost, all those languages come to mind!)
Then the noun “wall.” Spelled “teichos” in Greek, it is derived from a root verb (“tikto”) meaning “to bear, to bring forth, to give birth!” This is strange. Does the wall afford enough “protection” (the major reason walls were built in those days) that life can “reproduce, develop, mature” within its confines? Is the wall that necessary, that “vital?” Perhaps so.
Anyway, the stats on the wall are “an hundred and forty and four cubits.” That’s 216 feet! Pretty big!
But, the Text does NOT tell us if this is the height or the width of the wall! Purposely so, I imagine. God never makes a mistake!
If it is the width (as at least one of the newer translations “inserts” into the passage) … then this thing is virtually impenetrable! By any weaponry of that day, first century Greek-Roman culture.
And if it is the height (probably the normal understanding) … its statue would be vastly out of proportion to the city’s size. (Around 1,500 miles high, and 1,500 miles square as well!)
Then the wall would have been (would yet be) merely a “symbol!”
I learned a long time ago, “When the Bible is silent, I should be silent too!”
Either way, the wall is impressive, beautiful, and serviceable … and most importantly, literal! “And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.”
By the way, no need for “protection” exists in New Jerusalem!
God lives there!
All enemies have been vanquished!
Eternal Safety, Security!
Tomorrow we shall learn the appearance of the wall.
Maybe even its color!
Aren’t you glad that today … JESUS IS OUR WALL. HE IS THE DOOR TOO. AND THE GATE TO THE SHEEPFOLD!
Listen to Him a minute, our Lord. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold (which has a wall surrounding it), but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:1-7
I know the Door!
I know the Wall!
I know the Son of God!
He, through His Spirit, lives in my heart this morning!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell