“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;”
John now describes the foundations of the walls of New Jerusalem as being “garnished with all manner of precious stones.” He then gives a listing of all the differing stones that decorate the foundation.
When we study the stones in detail we see two main teachings:
- The faithfulness of the Lord to keep His promises to His people…
The colors of the stones vary greatly reminding us of a rainbow. The rainbow, was God’s gift to Noah and all mankind as a type of assurance that He would keep His promise to never destroy the world by water again.
Genesis 9:13-16 – “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”
- This glorious city has its foundations in the intercessory work of Christ and is the place of communion and fellowship with Him…
These stones are the same as found in the breastplate worn by the OT priests. The role of the OT priesthood was intercessory in nature, standing between God and sinful man offering sacrifices that typified the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of His people. The typical result of the ministry of the priesthood was to bring peace and communion between God and His people.
Hebrews 7:24-27 – “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”
Hebrews 9:24 – “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”
As John describes the beautiful symbolism of the precious stones that decorate the foundation of the eternal city of God, may we all understand a far beautiful truth… our eternal dwelling place is given to His people based upon Christ’s faithfulness to His promises and His never-ending intercession for His people.
May we all praise and honor Christ with our lives as we remember his faithfulness to us and the wonderful eternity that awaits us.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: