The Shape of the New Jerusalem, Pyramid or Cube? (New Earth 7)

The length, width and height of the New Jerusalem are all the same, suggesting a perfect cube (Rev. 21:16). But there is another shape whose length, width and height are the same, and that is the pyramid. There is nothing in the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation that requires either a cube or a pyramid? So how should we decide? Should we envision the New Jerusalem as a cube or as a pyramid?

Most interpreters envision the New Jerusalem as a cube and, in my view this is probably correct. A cube has twelve edges, but a pyramid has only eight. The description of the New Jerusalem makes abundant use of the number twelve and never uses the number eight. The New Jerusalem has twelve gates, twelve foundations, walls 144 cubits high, and dimensions measuring 12,000 stadia (Rev. 21:12-21). This wide-spread use of twelve coheres with the major use of twelve elsewhere in Revelation and the New Testament. It is the number of God’s people and the city becomes the bride of Christ when it is filled with saved humanity. While the text does not specify the shape, a cube would be consistent with the symbolism of Revelation.

What is theologically significant about the cube is that the only other cube in the Bible is the Most Holy Place of the Old Testament temple (1 Kings 6:20). Its sides and height were completely equal. The New Jerusalem, then, is modeled on the Most Holy Place. What is forbidden to all but the High Priest in Old Testament times is now open to all the redeemed. Relationship with Christ elevates all to the roles of kings and priests. All have face to face engagement with God (Rev. 22:4) in the heavenly Most Holy Place, the New Jerusalem.

24 thoughts on “The Shape of the New Jerusalem, Pyramid or Cube? (New Earth 7)

  1. Robert Whiteman

    After reading this post, I would like to know how you interpret the actual height of the walls as given in Rev 21:17, as compared to their length, while leaning toward the idea that the city is a cube.

    Also, what does the number of edges of the geometrical shape have to do with this as far as meaning anything? However, are you familiar with the use of the number 8 in scripture, and what seems to be it’s significance?(e.g. Matt 5:3-12, 8 blessings that comprise the entire process of salvation in this life in both justification and sanctification. 2 Peter 1:5-7, 8 steps of sanctification. 1 Cor 13:4-8, 8 things that love is and 8 things love is not. Phil 4:8, 8 things those sanctified are to “think on”. Circumcision was on the 8th day. 8 souls saved from the flood. Ps 119, 22 groups of 8 verses each, describing the sinners need of the law of the Lord in order to become sanctified[Ps 19:7-9]. Etc.)

    One other question: why do you conclude there are only two possible shapes, being limited to either a cube or pyramid? Have you considered a tall mountain, with an elevation that equals the length of each wall? God does speak of “My holy mountain”(Isa 65:25, speaking of the new earth).

    I’m not suggesting that any of the above “proves” anything that would conclude the shape of the New Jerusalem, no more than the evidence presented in the original post does. With all that is contained in scripture, the actual 3 dimensional shape of the city remains speculative at this time, doesn’t it. (“probably correct” indicates speculation doesn’t it?)

    To your question; “How should we decide?”, my answer is; 1 Cor 2:9, or, “when we see it”.

    Reply
    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      Appreciated your list of eights. As noted earlier, I see the description of NJ as more figurative than literal. Most of the pictures of Rev don’t hang together in an artistic sense. They are images to be heard more than images to be seen. Note how crazy some of the artwork on Rev gets trying to portray it visually.

      Reply
      1. Robert Whiteman

        I actually cringe most of the time when coming across some artist’s idea of the Holy City, and usually protest out loud, even when alone. Who could hope to understand these things from our present position? We can’t begin to imagine.

        I’ve never really lingered on the city’s description since it is actually not very descriptive, but I easily accept the possibility of the city’s description being figurative.

        For now, it’s like a large, wrapped present under the tree waiting for Christmas day.

        Reply
      2. Sam Hencier

        Too bad you see the description of the new Jerusalem as figurative instead of what the description in scripture actually is … it’s literal. The New Jerusalem is shaped like a pyramid. (search the scriptures and see if what I’m saying is the correct interpret ion of the text). There are like 10 chapters in Ezekiel that describes the new Jerusalem also … which in all these posts I didn’t see anybody even mention that. All scripture is literal even when God breathed “figures of speech” … figures of speech all have a literal meaning which the reader can ascertain.
        Great subject in the first place … I never see this discussed much by anybody but me in my regular life with folk.

        Reply
        1. Eldie Jr. Villarente

          Hi, I’m a big fan of yours doctor Jon Pauliene.. I’m just curious about this comment ” Too bad you see the description of the new Jerusalem as figurative instead of what the description in scripture actually is … it’s literal. The New Jerusalem is shaped like a pyramid. (search the scriptures and see if what I’m saying is the correct interpret ion of the text). There are like 10 chapters in Ezekiel that describes the new Jerusalem also … which in all these posts I didn’t see anybody even mention that. All scripture is literal even when God breathed “figures of speech” … figures of speech all have a literal meaning which the reader can ascertain.
          Great subject in the first place … I never see this discussed much by anybody but me in my regular life with folk.” – May I know why the 10 chapters in Ezekiel he is saying not mentioned by you? or Is this true?

          Reply
          1. Jon Paulien Post author

            That they are not mentioned in this particular blog is purely accidental. I had a different purpose than to build out the OT background to NJ in this blog. See my recent answer to Sam. When my commentary on Rev 21 comes out you will see much examination of such backgrounds, probably more than you want to know. 🙂

        2. Jon Paulien Post author

          Sam, one reason scholars don’t take this as a literal description is because the Greek of Rev 1:1 explicitly tells us not to with regard to the whole book. It is a different genre of literature from literal narrative. The NJ not only builds on Ezekiel 40-48, but on Eden, the sanctuary/temple, old Jerusalem and the seven churches. How do you accommodate all those images into a literal description?

          Reply
  2. Emily Fraser

    I’m wrong, it has 8 but this stupid site won’t let me remove my comment. Please someone remove…ffs

    Reply
  3. renovasi otak

    excellent submit, very informative. I wonder
    why the opposite experts of this sector do not understand
    this. You must proceed your writing. I am confident,
    you have a huge readers’ base already!

    Reply
  4. Benjamin Zarkovich

    I believe it will be a pyramid shape because a pyramid (In my opinion) resembles a mountain more than a cube does, and the Heavenly City is called Mount Zion.

    Hebrews 12:22 “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,”

    Reply
    1. Benjamin Zarkovich

      I think the New Jerusalem in the last 2 chapters of Revelation is in fact Eden, and I believe Christ restores us back to are perfect selves (that we once were prior to the fall) so we can go back to the garden.

      Eden (now New Jerusalem) is a city because it is populated with the saints of history.

      Eden is located on/or in fact is The Mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:13-14) which is also Mount Zion/The Heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22) which we know Mt Zion descends (Rev 21:1-2)

      How literal and how symbolic all this is, I don’t know, but this is just how I interpret it.

      I could be wrong. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time and won’t be the last.

      Reply
    2. Pamela Norris

      My first gut reaction is that the NJ can’t possibly be a pyramid because pyramids are sort of representations of pagan religions.

      Reply
  5. Judith Pruss

    Perhaps a cubic pyramid which is a cube containing six pyramids. Twelve edges (gates of pearl) and twelve foundations (the sides of the six inside pyramids).

    Reply
      1. Tim

        He’s saying that inside any regular cube will fit six pyramids… one upright, one upside down, the other four on their sides; all six tips (captones) will be touching at the center of the cube.

        BTW, have you ever seen the ministry of Ken Klein? He has videos on Pureflix (The Great Pyramids), and on You Tube (Cracking the Prophetic Code), and also some on Tubi TV (which is free). I think he is fascinating. I’m not sure if I agree with everything he says, but he’s definitely on to a completely new set of research into Biblical History.

        Reply
  6. Soldier of Christ

    The shape could also be an 8 sided pyramid. This could mean that there would be 12 edges, consistent with the numerical motifs found in the book of Revs.

    The great pyramid of Giza is actually 8 sided and as we know, Satan’s hobby is to copy and defile God’s creation. There are pyramids all over the world, built in a similar fashion, on all the continents and their construction could have been orchestrated by a single idea or authority. The Holy City could be in the shape of an 8 sided pyramid, as Satan would probably have known this about the Holy City when he was in Heaven. This is why the largest and most impressive of these is built as an 8 sided pyramid, to mimic and defile God’s creative motifs. Food for thought

    Reply
    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      How is the Great Pyramid eight-sided? I am aware of the possibility but believe the cube is more natural as the model for the city’s radiance is the Most Holy Place, which was a cube.

      Reply
  7. Greg Alston

    I don’t see anything in Rev. 1:1 demanding figurative interpretation. Rather, it is clear and literal. Jesus Christ, via His angel, gave a revelation to John about the things to come – it is not a revelation about the person of Jesus Christ. When those events begin, they will transpire quickly (Gk.Tachos). “If the plain sense makes sense, I would look for no other sense, lest I end up with nonsense.”
    I personally vote for pyramid shape. It meets the basic criteria and was used by Enoch in the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza (the nearby pyramids are copies/fakes). The late Dr. Noah Hutchings did an in-depth study of this. His work can be found with the Southwest Radio Church ministry. Full of 8’s and shaped like Mt. Zion. 👍

    Reply
  8. GHansen

    Nearly 50 years ago, I heard a farmer from Cornville, Arizona advance the idea that NJ was a pyramid. He was speaking from the pulpit of the Cottonwood church. He grew the best watermelons I’ve ever tasted!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.