Revelation 21:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

New Living Translation
The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates.

English Standard Version
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—

New American Standard Bible
It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.

King James Bible
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The city had a massive high wall, with 12 gates. Twelve angels were at the gates; the names of the 12 tribes of Israel's sons were inscribed on the gates.

International Standard Version
It had a large, high wall with twelve gates. Twelve angels were at the gates, and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates.

NET Bible
It has a massive, high wall with twelve gates, with twelve angels at the gates, and the names of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel are written on the gates.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And it had a wall, great and high, and it had twelve gates, and at the gates, twelve Angels, and names written which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It had a large, high wall with 12 gates. Twelve angels were at the gates. The names of the 12 tribes of Israel were written on the gates.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it had a wall great and high, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel:

King James 2000 Bible
And having a wall great and high, and having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

American King James Version
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

American Standard Version
having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it had a wall great and high, having twelve gates, and in the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

Darby Bible Translation
having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are those of the twelve tribes of [the] sons of Israel.

English Revised Version
having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Webster's Bible Translation
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

Weymouth New Testament
It has a wall, massive and high, with twelve large gates, and in charge of the gates were twelve angels. And overhead, above the gates, names were inscribed which are those of the twelve tribes of the descendants of Israel.

World English Bible
having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

Young's Literal Translation
having also a wall great and high, having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve messengers, and names written thereon, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - And had a wall great and high; having a wall. Omit each introductory "and." The wall is a type of the absolute security of the heavenly city; not that any further assault is expected. In Ezekiel 38:11 Gog and Magog prey upon the unwalled villages. And had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel (cf. the description in Ezekiel 48.). Twelve; as signifying completeness (cf. Revelation 4:9; Revelation 7:4-8), and as being the number of the tribes of Israel, which are the type of the spiritual Israel of God. Gates; rather, portals. The picture of the angels placed at the portals, still fulfilling their mission as guardians of men, shows the absolute security of the city. The names are written thereon: as on the stones of the ephod (Exodus 28:9) and breastplate (Exodus 39:14). Contrast the names of blasphemy (Revelation 18:3).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And had a wall great and high,.... Not the Spirit of God, who separates, sanctifies, and preserves the saints, as Cocceius thinks, for this account respects not the church militant; nor the eternal decree of God, the unpassable gulf between heaven and hell, which everlastingly fixes the state of men; for this regards not the ultimate state of happiness: many interpreters understand it of the doctrine of the Gospel, which, as it secures the church now from heretics, and is like a wall very strong and well built, is durable and impregnable; and may be called "great", because of the great Author of it, and the great things contained in it; and "high", since it is not to be reached by carnal minds; so none but such who have embraced it shall enter into the new Jerusalem; for all liars, and forgers of doctrinal lies, and who embrace the antichristian lies, shall be without. Though rather the almighty power of God, which guards his church and people now, and will be their defence in this state, is meant; and which shows the state not to be that of the ultimate glory, which will need no wall, but this will; since an attempt will be made upon the saints in it, though it will be a foolish and fruitless one: and this wall of divine power is very great indeed, and is insuperable by men; God himself is a wall of fire about his people; though it may be best to interpret this of salvation itself, which is by Jesus Christ, if we compare with this text Isaiah 26:1 for those, and those only, who are interested in it, will dwell in the new Jerusalem; and salvation in this state will be enjoyed in its fulness; and this is very great in its author, objects, and matter, being wrought out by the great God, for great sinners, at a great expense, and including grace and glory, and not to be got over or enjoyed by those who have no interest in it.

And had twelve gates; though, strictly speaking, there is but one gate, and that a strait one, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, his person, blood, righteousness, regenerating and sanctifying grace; for as he is the only door into the sheepfold, the church, in its present state, or he only that has faith in him has a right to enter there, and is the only way to heaven and eternal happiness; so he is the only gate into the new Jerusalem, or such only will be admitted there, who are interested in him: but these gates are said to be twelve, in allusion to the twelve apostles, who pointed out to men the way of salvation by Christ; and to the twelve tribes of Israel, who represent all the elect of God, who enter in thereat; and to the twelve gates of Ezekiel's city, Ezekiel 48:31.

And at the gates twelve angels; meaning either the ministering spirits, in allusion to the cherubim in Genesis 3:24 who are watchers, and encamp about the saints now, and will, as it were, stand sentinels in this camp of the saints, as it is called, Revelation 20:8 and besides, will be made use of in gathering the saints from the several parts of the world, and introducing them into this state; or else the apostles and ministers of the word, often called angels in this book, who will shine with peculiar lustre now, and will appear at the head of the several companies they have been useful to, and bring them as their joy and crown of rejoicing into this glorious state: this clause is wanting in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Syriac version. The Jews speak of "princes", being appointed over the gates of heaven, east, west, north, and south, with the keys in their hands, whose names they give us (f).

And names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel; not literal, but mystical Israel, whom God has chosen to salvation, Christ has redeemed by his blood, and the Spirit calls by his grace; denoting that all, and each of these, have a right to enter into the new Jerusalem, and will be admitted there, and none but they. In like manner the Jews (g) make mention of a court of the Lord,

"which has twelve gates, according to the computation of the tribes of Israel; on one gate is written Reuben, on another is written Simeon; and so all the tribes of Israel are written on those gates; in the time they go up to appear before the Lord of the world, whoever goes up to this gate, (on which the tribe of Reuben is written,) if he is of the tribe of Reuben they open to him, (and receive him,) if not they cast him without; and so of all whom they do not receive; they open to none but to him who is of that tribe, or whose name is written on the gate.''

(f) Raziel, fol. 35. 2.((g) Zohar in Numb. fol. 70. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. And—A and B omit. Eze 48:30-35, has a similar description, which implies that the millennial Jerusalem shall have its exact antitype in the heavenly Jerusalem which shall descend on the finally regenerated earth.

wall great and high—setting forth the security of the Church. Also, the exclusion of the ungodly.

twelve angels—guards of the twelve gates: an additional emblem of perfect security, while the gates being never shut (Re 21:25) imply perfect liberty and peace. Also, angels shall be the brethren of the heavenly citizens.

names of … twelve tribes—The inscription of the names on the gates implies that none but the spiritual Israel, God's elect, shall enter the heavenly city. As the millennium wherein literal Israel in the flesh shall be the mother Church, is the antitype to the Old Testament earthly theocracy in the Holy Land, so the heavenly new Jerusalem is the consummation antitypical to the spiritual Israel, the elect Church of Jews and Gentiles being now gathered out: as the spiritual Israel now is an advance upon the previous literal and carnal Israel, so the heavenly Jerusalem shall be much in advance of the millennial Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The New Jerusalem
11having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west.…
Cross References
Exodus 28:21
There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.

Ezekiel 48:31
the gates of the city will be named after the tribes of Israel. The three gates on the north side will be the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah and the gate of Levi.

Revelation 21:13
There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.

Revelation 21:15
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls.

Revelation 21:21
The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

Revelation 21:25
On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

Revelation 22:14
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
Treasury of Scripture

And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

a wall.

Revelation 21:17-20 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, …

Ezra 9:9 For we were slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, …

Nehemiah 12:27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites …

Psalm 51:18 Do good in your good pleasure to Zion: build you the walls of Jerusalem.

Psalm 122:7 Peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.

twelve gates.

Revelation 21:21,25 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of …

Isaiah 54:12 And I will make your windows of agates, and your gates of carbuncles, …

Isaiah 60:18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, wasting nor destruction …

Ezekiel 48:31-34 And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes …

twelve angels.

Matthew 18:10 Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you…

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels …

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the …

Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for …

and names.

Revelation 7:4-8 And I heard the number of them which were sealed…

Numbers 2:2-32 Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, …

Acts 26:7 To which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and …

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