Gems in New Jerusalem

More Gems!   -   Our Newsletter
This article in our series will discuss the gems God will use to construct the walls of New Jerusalem and their relationship to the twelve apostles. This gleaming city, "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2, HBFV), will be created and brought (from heaven!) to a new earth only after all evil has been purged from the entire universe (see Revelation 20).

Gems God uses for New Jerusalem

Each of the twelve gems in the High Priest's breastplate had engraved on it, and represented, one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Exodus 28:21, 39:14). In the New Jerusalem, each of the tribes will also have their names inscribed, for all eternity, on one of the city's twelve gates which are each made from a single pearl gem (Revelation 21:12 - 13, 21).

Jerusalem's seven hills map
What is man's glorious future?
Why does God make a New Jerusalem?

God's hand will also engrave, on each of the gems he uses for Jerusalem, the name of one of Jesus' twelve apostles as an everlasting memorial.

And he (an angel) carried me (the apostle John) away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God . . .

And the wall of the city (Jerusalem) had twelve foundations, and written on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:10, 14, HBFV).

In the Bible, the number twelve symbolizes the Eternal's power and his establishing of a perfect governing structure.

Based on the findings in this series, the gems that will be used for the foundations of New Jerusalem's wall (in order) are jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth and amethyst. Does Scripture tell us, however, which apostle's name will go on each of the gems?

The greatest memorial

In our article on the High Priest's breastplate, we noted that evidence exists that the gems embedded within it were engraved in the birth order of Jacob's (Israel's) twelve sons. Scripture does not directly state, however, in what sequence the apostle's names will be placed on Jerusalem's foundation stones.

Using the concept of birth order, however, one plausible possibility for matching an apostle to one of the gems would be to list them in the order they were personally called by Jesus. This can be thought of as the order in which they were offered a "new birth" by God or a chance to become a true Christian and bear record of all that Christ said and did.

The Bible clearly records the order of the first seven disciples called by Christ. They were, in order, John and Andrew (John 1:35 - 39), then Peter (verses 40 to 42), Philip (verses 43 to 44), Nathanael (Bartholomew - verse 45), James (the brother of John - Matthew 4:21 - 22) and Matthew (Matthew 9:9).

The five remaining disciples, who were likely called close together in time sequence, are Thomas, James (James the Less), Judas (brother of James the Less), Simon the Canaanite (Simon the Zealot) and Judas Iscariot.

Since James the Less, Judas (brother of James) and Simon the Canaanite were brothers, their calling may have occurred very close to one another. Because of his suicide after betraying Jesus, Judas was eventually replaced in his position as one of the apostles by Matthias (Acts 1:15 - 26).

Foundation Gems
John or Andrew
John or Andrew
James the Less
Judas or
Simon the Zealot
Judas or
Simon the Zealot

Additional Study Materials
Who sits on God's left hand?
Who were the twelve apostles?
The New Testament's greatest events!
How are the gospels different?

Gemstones in the Bible

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