Revelation 21:13
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.On the east three gates ... - The city was square Revelation 21:16, and the same number of gates is assigned to each quarter. There does not appear to be any special significancy in this fact, unless it be to denote that there is access to this city from all quarters of the world, and that they who dwell there will have come from each of the great divisions of the earth - that is, from every land, 13. On the north … on the south—A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic read, "And on the north and on the south." In Ezekiel, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan (for which Manasseh is substituted in Re 7:6), are on the east (Eze 48:32); Reuben, Judah, Levi, are on the north (Eze 48:31); Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, on the south (Eze 48:33); Gad, Asher, Naphtali, on the west (Eze 48:34). In Numbers, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun are on the east (Nu 2:3, 5, 7). Reuben, Simeon, Gad, on the south (Nu 2:10, 12, 14). Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, on the west (Nu 2:18, 20, 22). Dan, Asher, Naphtali, on the north (Nu 2:25, 27, 29). To signify it was made up of persons from all parts of the world. This agreeth with Ezekiel’s vision, Ezekiel 48:31-34. The triumphant church will be a collection of believers, who from all nations have come into it. On the east three gates,.... On which were written the names of Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan:

on the north three gates; on which were written the names of Reuben, Judah, and Levi:

on the south three gates; on which were written the names of Simeon, Issachar, and Zabulon:

and on the west three gates; on which were written the names of Gad, Asher, and Naphtali; see Ezekiel 48:31. This denotes the collection of the saints from all parts of the world, who shall come from east, west, north, and south, and sit down in the kingdom of God; and therefore here are gates at every point to enter in at; see Isaiah 43:5.

On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. east … north … south … west] The order of enumeration in Numbers is E. S. W. N., in Ezekiel N. E. S. W. in Enoch N. W. S. E., as in each of them the surveyor goes round methodically in order: in this more ecstatic book, the whole is apprehended simultaneously, perhaps rather confusedly.Verse 13. - On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. The following are the dispositions of the tribes in the Old Testament: - Order in Numbers 2. East -

Judah.

Issachar.

Zebulun. North -

Dan.

Asher.

Naphtali. South -

Reuben.

Simeon.

Gad. West -

Ephraim.

Manasseh.

Benjamin.

Order in Ezekiel 49:30. East -

Joseph.

Benjamin.

Dan. North -

Reuben.

Judah.

Levi. South -

Simeon.

Issachar.

Zebulon. West -

Gad.

Asher.

Naphtali. East (ἀνατολῆς)

See on Matthew 2:2, and see on day-spring, Luke 1:78. See the tribes arranged by gates in Ezekiel 48:31-34.

West (δυσμῶν)

Lit., the goings down or settings.

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