What does Revelation 21:11-21 really mean?

Revelation 21:11-21 is about the heavenly city of New Jerusalem, symbolizing the ultimate union between God and His people, where the gates made of pearls and walls of precious stones represent the beauty, purity, and eternal grandeur of the divine dwelling place.

11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed—
13 On the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.
16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.
17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement.
18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.


Setting the Scene for Revelation 21:11-21

The scene described in Revelation 21:11-21 is a vision of the New Jerusalem, the holy city that descends from heaven. In this magnificent vision, the apostle John sees the city coming down adorned like a bride for her husband, shining with the glory of God. The city is described as having great walls, made of jasper, and twelve gates made of pearls. The foundations of the walls are adorned with precious stones, and the streets are made of pure gold, like transparent glass.

In this scene, John is witnessing this breathtaking sight as part of his vision of the future. He sees the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on the gates of the city and the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb on the foundations of the walls. The city is a symbol of the new heaven and the new earth, where God will dwell with His people, and there will be no more sorrow, pain, or death.

Surrounded by the radiant glory of the New Jerusalem, John is in awe of the beauty and majesty of this heavenly city. The scene is filled with a sense of wonder and awe as John beholds the fulfillment of God’s promise to dwell among His people and make all things new.

What is Revelation 21:11-21 about?

Oh, the stunning imagery painted by John in this verse! Can you visualize the grandeur and majesty of the New Jerusalem as he describes it? The golden streets, sparkling like the purest glass under the radiant light of God. The towering walls with their twelve gates, each gate made of a single pearl. What a breathtaking sight that must be!

John’s detailed description of the New Jerusalem serves to emphasize the splendor and glory of this heavenly city. It conveys a sense of wonder and awe at the magnificence of God’s kingdom and the eternal home He has prepared for His people. The vibrant imagery in this verse invites us to reflect on the beauty and perfection of the New Jerusalem and inspires us to long for the day when we will finally enter into its gates and dwell in God’s presence for all eternity.

Understanding what Revelation 21:11-21 really means

In Revelation 21:11-21, we are given a vivid description of the New Jerusalem, the holy city descending from heaven. This passage paints a picture of a city filled with the glory of God, radiating like a rare jewel, clear as crystal. The imagery used here is rich with symbolism, conveying purity, beauty, and the preciousness of this divine city. It is a place where God’s presence is fully manifested, a city of unparalleled beauty and value.

The high wall surrounding the city with its twelve gates symbolizes security, protection, inclusivity, and completeness. The twelve gates named after the tribes of Israel signify that the city is open to all of God’s people. The twelve foundations with the names of the apostles of the Lamb represent stability, permanence, and the foundational role of the apostles in the church. This city is built on the teachings and witness of those who laid the groundwork for the faith we hold today.

The perfect symmetry of the city, its construction with jasper and pure gold, and its adorned foundations with every kind of jewel all point to the perfection, holiness, and diversity of God’s creation. The pearl gates and golden streets emphasize the immense value and purity of the city, signifying the worth of entering God’s kingdom. This vision of the New Jerusalem is not just a physical description but a spiritual representation of a place where God’s presence reigns supreme.

For believers today, the description of the New Jerusalem offers hope and assurance of a future where we will dwell in the fullness of God’s glory. It challenges us to live in anticipation of this reality, striving for purity and holiness in our lives. Just as the vision of the New Jerusalem inspired the early Christians, it can also uplift and encourage us in our faith journey today.

Reflecting on the beauty and holiness of the New Jerusalem should lead us to live in a way that aligns with the values of God’s kingdom. Let us strive for purity, inclusivity, stability, and the foundational truths of our faith as we look forward to the day when we will dwell in the presence of God in the New Jerusalem.

What does the New Jerusalem signify for believers?

The New Jerusalem in Revelation signifies the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to believers. It serves as a symbol of hope and redemption, representing the eternal dwelling place for those who have faithfully followed Him. The description of the city with its gates of pearls and streets of gold conveys a sense of beauty and perfection that awaits believers in the presence of God.

For believers, the New Jerusalem represents the culmination of their faith journey, where they will finally be in the presence of God in a place of everlasting peace and joy. It signifies the restoration of all things, where there will be no more sorrow, pain, or death. The image of the New Jerusalem offers comfort and reassurance to believers, reminding them of the promise of eternal life and the ultimate victory over sin and darkness in the presence of God.


Visualize the magnificent New Jerusalem described in Revelation 21:11-21. Let’s embody its splendor in our daily lives by radiating love and righteousness. Just like a prized possession, let’s reflect the beauty of God’s kingdom to those around us. Will you join in creating a piece of heaven on earth?