The walls of a city were for its protection. The gates were some of the most important places where people met. They talked and they carried on business there.
Isaiah 60:18 says that people will call the walls of Jerusalem by the name ĎSalvationí. Salvation means safety; especially the safety that God gives. It also says that people will call the gates ĎPraiseí. Even as the people carry on business, and in their daily conversation, they will praise God. Zechariah 14:20-21 says that even the common objects in Jerusalem will be holy.
God has made a covenant with (promises to) Israelís people that will never end (Jeremiah 31:35-37). These promises will even continue after God creates the new heaven and earth. The evidence appears at every entrance to Godís city, the New Jerusalem. The names of Israelís tribes are on the gates of the city. They are there permanently, in a position that gives great honour to them. Whenever anyone enters the city, they will see the name of one of those tribes.
The 12 tribes of Israel are the people who came from the families of Jacobís 12 sons. Those sons, their families and their tribes have often quarrelled with each other in the past. Those troubles will not continue in the New Jerusalem. All Godís people will be there, and they will all be at peace. The perfect arrangement of the cityís gates is evidence of that. Each tribe has its proper place, and they are all places of great honour.
The Christians are there too, of course, because they are also Godís people (Ephesians 2:11-22). They too have a place of great honour there. The names of the 12 apostles (first Christian leaders) appear on the precious stones at the base of the walls (21:19-21). That is evidence of how precious all Godís people are to him. He loves each one of them and he has prepared the New Jerusalem as a wonderful home for them all. The Christians will not be separate from Israelís people there, because God is joining them together as his holy nation (Ephesians 2:14-16). They all will know Christ (Romans 11:26); they all will have a special relationship with him (Hebrews 8:8-12).
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© 2016, Keith Simons.