|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.
Verse 15. - And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof; had for a measure a golden reed to measure, etc. "He that spake" is the angel of ver. 9 (cf. the action of Revelation 11:1; and Ezekiel 40:3, 5; Ezekiel 42:15, et seq.). Here the measuring is evidently to indicate the large extent of the city (see on Revelation 11:1). The reed is golden, as being the typical heavenly material.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire 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.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. had a golden reed—so Coptic. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac read, "had (as) a measure, a golden reed." In Re 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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