Revelation 21:19-20 tells us that, “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone: the first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.”
The wall of New Jerusalem has twelve foundations (v. 21:14), declaring the eternal perfection and fullness of the wall. The names of the apostles are on the foundations because they take the lead, and all believers participate, in the New Testament building up in life. Because the wall is built in and with eternal life, the wall expresses the Triune God who is life to us.
The foundations of the wall of New Jerusalem are adorned with twelve precious stones. Each foundation is associated with a different type of precious stone. People have written much about the colors of these stones. Although there are different views about the colors, many agree that the overall appearance is like a rainbow. This corresponds with Revelation 4:2-3, “there was a throne set in heaven, and upon the throne there was One sitting; and He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne like an emerald in appearance.” In chapter 4 the city had not yet been revealed to John but in chapters 21-22 the city is revealed with throne in it (v. 22:1-3) surrounded by the rainbow composed of the precious stones on the foundations of the wall. These stones do not have light in themselves but they shine with the glory of God and of the Lamb on the throne. This is a picture of our shining with the God who lives in us; more on this in the next post.
Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.