Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 21:15

The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Jerusalem;   Readings, Select;   Reed;   Thompson Chain Reference - Future, the;   Heaven;   Heavenly;   Home;   The Topic Concordance - Jerusalem;   Newness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jerusalem;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Church, the;   Create, Creation;   Dead Sea Scrolls;   Jesus Christ;   New Jerusalem;   Touch;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Wall;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Noah;   Reed;   Revelation of John, the;   Thousand Years;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Art and Aesthetics;   Heaven;   Heavenly City, the;   Measuring Reed;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Gate;   Gold ;   New Jerusalem;   Reed ;   Reed (2);   Wall;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Gate;   Lamb;   Numbers as Symbols;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Gareb;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Old - golden;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Architecture;   Measuring Reed;   Reed;   Reed, Measuring;   Revelation of John:;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Eschatology;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Had a golden reed - Several excellent MSS. add μετρον, a measure; he had a measuring rod made of gold. This account of measuring the city seems to be copied, with variations, from Ezekiel 40:3, etc.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And he that talked with me - The angel, Revelation 21:9.

Had a golden reed to measure the city - See the notes on Revelation 11:1. The reed, or measuring rod, here, is of gold, because all about the city is of the most rich and costly materials. The rod is thus suited to the personage who uses it, and to the occasion. Compare a similar description in Ezekiel 40:3-5; Ezekiel 43:16. The object of this measuring is to show that the city has proper architectural proportions.

And the gates thereof, … - To measure every part of the city, and to ascertain its exact dimensions.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he that talked with me,.... One of the seven angels, Revelation 21:9 for not a man is the measurer of this city, as in Ezekiel 40:3 nor John, as of the temple, Revelation 11:1 but an angel, the same that showed to John this great sight:

had a golden reed; not a common measuring reed, or rod, as in Ezekiel 40:4 but one covered with gold, denoting the present glorious state of the church, being without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing:

to measure the city; the new Jerusalem, its length and breadth; see Zechariah 2:1 to show how exactly conformable this church state will be to the rule of God's word, even to perfection: and the gates thereof; to signify who had a right to enter into it, and who not:

and the wall thereof; its height, it being exceeding high.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

13 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

(13) A transition to a more exquisite description of the parts of the Church, by finding out its size, by the angel that measured them.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

had a golden reed — so Coptic. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac read, “had (as) a measure, a golden reed.” In Revelation 11:2 the non-measuring of the outer courts of the temple implied its being given up to secular and heathen desecration. So here, on the contrary, the city being measured implies the entire consecration of every part, all things being brought up to the most exact standard of God‘s holy requirements, and also God‘s accurate guardianship henceforth of even the most minute parts of His holy city from all evil.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-21.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Had (ειχενeichen). Regular imperfect here, no longer εχωνechōn a measure a golden reed (μετρον καλαμον χρυσουνmetron kalamon chrusoun). See Revelation 11:1 for καλαμοςkalamos (reed). ΜετρονMetron is an old word, kin to μητηρmētēr (mother, moulder, manager), an instrument for measuring (μετρεωmetreō) as in Matthew 7:2, here in the predicate accusative.

To measure (ινα μετρησηιhina metrēsēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the first aorist active subjunctive of μετρεωmetreō The rod of gold was in keeping with the dignity of the service of God (Revelation 1:12; Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3; Revelation 9:13; Revelation 15:7).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-21.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

A golden reed

Add μέτρον as a measure. See Revelation 11:1. Compare Ezekiel 40:5.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

And he measured the city, twelve thousand furlongs — Not in circumference, but on each of the four sides. Jerusalem was thirtythree furlongs in circumference; Alexandria thirty in length, ten in breadth. Nineveh is reported to have been four hundred furlongs round; Babylon four hundred and eighty. But what inconsiderable villages were all these compared to the new Jerusalem! By this measure is understood the greatness of the city, with the exact order and just proportion of every part of it; to show, figuratively, that this city was prepared for a great number of inhabitants, how small soever the number of real Christians may sometimes appear to be; and that everything relating to the happiness of that state was prepared with the greatest order and exactness. The city is twelve thousand furlongs high; the wall, an hundred and forty-four reeds. This is exactly the same height, only expressed in a different manner. The twelve thousand furlongs, being spoken absolutely, without any explanation, are common, human furlongs: the hundred forty-four reeds are not of common human length, but of angelic, abundantly larger than human. It is said, the measure of a man that is, of an angel because St. John saw the measuring angel in an human shape. The reed therefore was as great as was the stature of that human form in which the angel appeared. In treating of all these things a deep reverence is necessary; and so is a measure of spiritual wisdom; that we may neither understand them too literally and grossly, nor go too far from the natural force of the words. The gold, the pearls, the precious stones, the walls, foundations, gates, are undoubtedly figurative expressions; seeing the city itself is in glory, and the inhabitants of it have spiritual bodies: yet these spiritual bodies are also real bodies, and the city is an abode distinct from its inhabitants, and proportioned to them who take up a finite and a determinate space. The measures, therefore, above mentioned are real and determinate.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-21.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

Ver. 15. Had a golden reed] Not those twelve Trent articles, or any human invention, but the word, as Revelation 11:1, wherewith is measured not the temple only, as there, but the city, gates, and wall, as Ezekiel 40:1-49.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-21.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Still St. John proceeds in the description of the heavenly state, and the church triumphant in it; this is called a city, in respect of its magnificent building, comely order, and invincible strength; a great city, in regard of its largeness and capaciousness, being full of glorified saints and angels; and Jerusalem, because of that everlasting peace which is there enjoyed, as the Hebrew word signifies; and here an account is given of the measuring of this great city: we read of its measuring before, chap 9, but differently from its measuring now; then it was measured by a man, now by an angel; then by an ordinary reed, now by a golden reed; intimating the transcendency of the state of the church now to what it was before, and representing the firmness, perfection, and greatness, of the new Jerusalem.

Here note, An observable difference in the measuring of the church militant and of the church triumphant: the church militant, upon a just measure by the reed of the word is found unequal in its parts, some parts of it are purer and better than others, but in the New Jerusalem all parts are equal in perfection and purity; the length is as large as the breadth, and the height equal to either: the church of Christ in heaven shall be exceeding large and great, perfect and complete, nothing shall be found irregular in it, all things can there endure the measuring reed, and abide the exactest trial.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-21.html. 1700-1703.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This seemeth to signify the transcendency of the state of the church now, to what it was before; it was then measured by a man, Revelation 11:1-19, now by an angel; then by an ordinary reed, now by a golden reed.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-21.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

золотую трость См. пояснение к Иез. 40:3. Трость была около 10 футов (3 м) длиной и служила стандартом для измерения города. Это действие подчеркивает, что столица небес принадлежит Богу и Он измеряет Свои владения (ср. 11:1; Иез. 40:3).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-21.html.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

A golden reed to measure the city ... "The intent of the measuring would seem to be to heighten the enormity, the symmetry and beauty of the holy city."[38] It is interesting that although the gates are mentioned as going to be measured, their dimensions are never given. Only a "golden reed" was used here, whereas, a "reed like unto a rod" (Revelation 11:1) was used to measure the world city. That reed seems to have been an ordinary stick!

ENDNOTE:

[38] J. W. Roberts, op. cit., p. 188.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The fact that the angel"s measuring rod was gold reflects the dignity of the task of measuring this city"s gate-towers and walls (cf. Ezekiel 40:3). Again, the temple that Ezekiel described being measured in Ezekiel 40-43is the millennial temple, which seems clear from the contexts and the differing measurements. Only the utensils used in the holy of holies were gold in the tabernacle and temple, but even this measuring rod is gold, suggesting the high value of the city.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-21.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 21:15. The city is to be measured, in order that its noble and fair proportions may be seen. The angel measures it with a golden reed, the metal of the reed corresponding in dignity and value to the city itself, which is of ‘pure gold’ (Revelation 21:18). A measuring reed, though not of gold, is used in Ezekiel 40:3.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-21.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

golden reed, &c. The texts add metron here, as Revelation 21:17, and read "for a measure".

to = in order that. Greek. hina.

measure = he might measure.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

Had a golden reed. So Coptic; but 'Aleph (') A B, Vulgate, Syriac, read, 'had (as) a measure a golden reed.' In Revelation 11:2, the non-measuring of the outer courts of the temple implied its being given up to secular desecration. Here, the city being measured implies the entire consecration of every part, brought up to the exact standard of God's requirements; also God's guardianship henceforth of even the most minute parts of His Holy City from evil.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

THE MEASUREMENT OF THE CITY.

(15) And he that talked with me . . .—Or, better, And he who was talking with me had a golden reed . . . The allusion here is to the angel mentioned in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 15:3); the reed, or measuring rod, is of gold, that used in Revelation 11:1 was not said to be of gold; the measurement there was the symbol of preservation amid impending danger; the measuring here is more glorious—it is measuring which exhibits the beauty and proportion of the city which is now dwelling at peace. Gold is one of the features of the city; the street is gold (Revelation 21:18; Revelation 21:21); it may stand, as a token of the wealth (Psalms 72:15; 1 Kings 10:14-21) of the royal city; but the wealth of that city is love. (Comp. Note on Revelation 3:18.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-21.html. 1905.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

5. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof--21:15.

The measuring rod in the hand of the angel was a reed of gold, which was symbolic of the divinity of that which was to be measured--the city was divine. The city had perfect quadrangular dimensions--it was foursquare.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-21.html. 1966.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
a golden
11:1,2; Exodus 40:3-5; Ezekiel 41:1-5; Zechariah 2:1
Reciprocal: Ezekiel 40:3 - with;  Ezekiel 47:3 - the man;  Amos 7:7 - a wall;  Zechariah 2:2 - unto;  Revelation 17:1 - talked

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-21.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

He that talked with me: means the angel who had been sent to give John the vision. This angel had the measuring reed and he did the measuring. A reed in nature is produced on the banks or near the edge of bodies of water and the stems are used for various purposes. The one the angel had was an artificial one and was made of bright and precious metal. Such an instrument was proper for the important matter of measuring divine things, We are not told the capacity of this measuring rule as we might do in the case of a literal measuring stick, such as a yardstick or foot measure. We have only the computation after the angel did the measuring.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-21.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 21:15

Revelation 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

By this

golden reed

we are to understand the written Word of God, the holy scripture of truth, the rule of every believers faith, worship, and life. { Galatians 6:15} See KNOLLYS: Revelation 11:1. And hereby we may understand, that in the latter days, the Church of God, his worship, ordinances, and worshippers, will all be according unto the golden rule of the written Word of God.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-21.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 21:15. And he that spake with me had as a measure a golden reed, that he might measure the city, and its gates and its walls. Bengel: "The angel continues to show the city by measuring it." Allusion is made to the angel with the measuring-rod in his hand, in Ezekiel 40:3. The reed is of gold on account of the glory of what was to be measured. The measure of the gates is not expressly given afterwards. They must be understood to be of the same height with the walls.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-21.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

15.The measurement.

He that talked with me—The one of the seven angels of Revelation 21:9.

A golden reed—Compare Revelation 11:1.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 21:15". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-21.html. 1874-1909.