Revelation 21:17
(17) And he measured the wall thereof . . .--Better. And he measured its wall by an hundred and forty-four cubits (i.e., in height), man's measure, which is angel's. The measurement is in man's measure, but the reed was handled by an angel; the measure is true for men and true for angels; it may mean that the angel used the ordinary human measure, but may it not imply that the vision is true for all, for the earthly and for the heavenly? it is man's measure, it is angel's measure; the human will not find the picture untrue, though the city is not literal: it is figurative, but not mere figure. The recurrence of the number hundred and forty-four recalls us to the figurative character of the description. (Comp. Note on Revelation 7:4.)

Verse 17. - And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits. (For the signification of the number, see on Revelation 7:4.) The parallel between the shape of the city as just related and the holy of holies (vide supra) almost seems to have insensibly suggested the transition from stadia to cubits. The discrepancy between the height of the city, which is twelve thousand furlongs (ver. 16), and the height of the wall, which is a hundred and forty-four cubits, has led to the suggestion that in the height of the city is included the hill on which it stands (Alford). Others understand that the wall is purposely described as of small height, because the writer wishes to indicate that "the most inconsiderable wall is sufficient to exclude all that is impure" (Dusterdieck). According to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel; of an angel. That is, the measure here used by the angel is that used by men (cf. "the number of a man," Revelation 13:18).

21:9-21 God has various employments for his holy angels. Sometimes they sound the trumpet of Divine Providence, and warn a careless world; sometimes they discover things of a heavenly nature of the heirs of salvation. Those who would have clear views of heaven, must get as near to heaven as they can, on the mount of meditation and faith. The subject of the vision is the church of God in a perfect, triumphant state, shining in its lustre; glorious in relation to Christ; which shows that the happiness of heaven consists in intercourse with God, and in conformity to him. The change of emblems from a bride to a city, shows that we are only to take general ideas from this description. The wall is for security. Heaven is a safe state; those who are there, are separated and secured from all evils and enemies. This city is vast; here is room for all the people of God. The foundation of the wall; the promise and power of God, and the purchase of Christ, are the strong foundations of the safety and happiness of the church. These foundations are set forth by twelve sorts of precious stones, denoting the variety and excellence of the doctrines of the gospel, or of the graces of the Holy Spirit, or the personal excellences of the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven has gates; there is a free admission to all that are sanctified; they shall not find themselves shut out. These gates were all of pearls. Christ is the Pearl of great price, and he is our Way to God. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. The saints in heaven tread gold under foot. The saints are there at rest, yet it is not a state of sleep and idleness; they have communion, not only with God, but with one another. All these glories but faintly represent heaven.And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits,.... The root of which is twelve, for twelve times twelve is a hundred and forty four; which number is mystical and apostolical, and suited to the perfect state of this church: hence twelve gates, and twelve angels at them, and the names of the twelve tribes on them, and twelve foundations of the wall, and twelve thousand furlongs, the measure of the city.

According to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel; who talked with John, and measured the city, gates, and wall, and who appeared in the form of a man; and his reed might be, as some have supposed, the length of a man, six cubits, or six feet, as in Ezekiel 40:5 and may denote that this business requires the utmost wisdom and understanding of a man, and even of an angel, to look into, and find out; see Revelation 13:18 and also may signify the angelic state of the saints at this time, when the children of the resurrection will be like the angels of God, for immortality and glory.

Revelation 21:16
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