New Jerusalem: What is it like?

The New Jerusalem is the city of God. It is not like anything humans have seen before. The Biblical description of the New Jerusalem found in Revelation chapters 21 and 22 is even hard to believe.
>> Get your free Bible guide: What is heaven REALLY like?

What is the New Jerusalem like?

The following points describe the New Jerusalem and who will be able to enter the city.

1. The New Jerusalem is massive

Depiction of the space the New Jerusalem would take up on the earth.The New Jerusalem is laid out in the form of a massive cube–it’s length, width and height are all equal distance. New Jerusalem is at least 1,500 miles around at its base, while some believe that each side of the city is 1,500 miles in length. (See Revelation 21:16).

Depiction of the space the New Jerusalem would take up overlaid on North America.The size of New Jerusalem means there is plenty of room for everyone who wants to live in the city. The city is so large that there is enough room for those alive today and all those who have lived in the past.

2. The gates

Depiction of Jesus in front of the pearly gates.The city has twelve gates, three per side. Each gate is fashioned from a single pearl with an angel next to it. The pearls have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written upon them. Best of all, these gates will never be shut–day or night. (See Revelation 21:12, 25).

3. A transparent city

Picture of Zion.The New Jerusalem is brilliant, shining with the glory of God. The city’s light is like that of precious jasper as clear as crystal. New Jerusalem itself is likened to pure gold, as clear as glass. John also writes that the streets are made of pure and transparent gold. (See Revelation 21:11, 18, 21).

4. The foundations

New Jerusalem has twelve foundations made of precious stones with the names of the twelve apostles written on them. (See Revelation 21:14).

Click to view the 12 foundations infographic


Foundations of the New Jerusalem (top to bottom)
# Image Gemstone Description
12 Amethyst A variety of quartz, ranging from light pink-violet to a deep purple color.
11 Jacinth Jacinth or hyacinth is a precious stone of the same color as the hyacinth flower–a dark blue verging on black
10 Chrysoprasus The word chrysoprase comes from the Greek word (χρυσός) chrysos meaning 'gold' and (πράσινον) prasinon, meaning 'green'.
9 Topaz The ancient topaz (topazion) stone is probably our modern-day peridot and is most likely golden-green in color.
8 Beryl According to Bible commentaries, beryl was a pale-green precious stone. It is of the same species as the emerald.
7 Chrysolyte The chrysolite of Bible times is the equivalent of modern-day topaz and is a precious stone of golden color.
6 Sardius Related to the chalcedony with two possible varieties: carnelian and sard.
5 Sardonyx Sardonyx is a combination of onyx and sard in alternating layers. Sardonyx is also related to chalcedony.
4 Emerald The name emerald comes from the Greek word smaragdos, which means green gem. Emeralds are a variety of beryl.
3 Chalcedony Chalcedony is a precious stone primarily having a blue grey color. It can also have yellow, blue or purple pigments.
2 Sapphire The sapphire is a blue and translucent variety of corundum. Commentaries also note that the sapphire of the Bible may be the modern-day lapis lazuli.
1 Jasper The jasper mentioned as the first foundation may have been clear and almost transparent. Revelation 21:11, states that the city would be like jasper, as clear as crystal.


5. The walls

The city has a great and high wall of pure jasper (Revelation 21:12, 18). Revelation 21:17 adds, “Then he [an angel] measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.” So the wall was measured at 216 feet or 144 cubits, which many assume to be the wall’s width.

6. The temple

A picture of the crown of thorns besides a heavenly crown full of jewels.Revelation 21:22, says that God and the Lamb are New Jerusalem’s temple. There is no need for an actual temple to house God and veil His glory from sinful mankind because the saved people in New Jerusalem will be able to see God face-to-face.

7. No sun or moon

New Jerusalem is fully illuminated by the glory of God and the light of the Lamb brightens the city (Revelation 21:23). There is no need for the Sun or Moon. Revelation 21:25, even says “there shall be no night there.”

8. The River & Tree of Life

Picture of the tree of life.Revelation 22:1, speaks of a river flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. This pure river of water of life is clear as crystal and the tree of life is on each side of the river. This tree produces fruit every month and its leaves are for the “healing of the nations.” Ezekiel 47:12, adds that the trees “will bear fruit every month because their water flows from the sanctuary.”

9. All are invited

Depiction of Jesus inviting us to Heaven.The New Jerusalem’s gates are never shut, there is no night there, all are welcome to enter the city. Revelation 22:7 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirst come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

10. Who can enter?

Revelation 21:27 adds, that only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter the city and that anything that defiles or causes an abomination will by no means enter the city. Additionally, Revelation 22:14 states that those who do God’s commandments have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city.

11. The New Jerusalem is real

John didn’t make up the facts about New Jerusalem. In Revelation 21:6, God sends an angel to show John what was to come. “Then he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true.’ And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.”

12. (Bonus) No more suffering or pain

Picture of a man that has been healed, leaping for joy.New Jerusalem will be very beautiful. However, the city’s beauty will not even begin to compare to the joy of the saved as they experience no more aches and pains, suffering or death. Revelation 21:4 explains that, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

The New Jerusalem and you

As you ponder New Jerusalem and the beauty of the city, what thoughts come to your mind? Imagine meeting Jesus face-to-face and inviting you to enjoy the city. Imagine Him telling you about the mansion He has prepared just for you.

The Bible says that heaven will be more incredible than we can imagine. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

What would prevent you from putting Jesus #1 in your life and from keeping His commandments and entering New Jerusalem in the very near future?