Bible Symbolism

Revelation 21:11.  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

      The word "glory" has fallen into a little disuse sometime during the last century. An unfortunate result of this circumstance is that when people come into personal contact with the divine and begin to study the scripture; many place specific  meanings on the word when it comes to God outside of its common usages. This due to the fact that the scripture quite often uses the word glory to describe aspects of Gods power and presence; this is especially true of Pentecostals. They often use the  word glory when it comes to supernatural manifestations of the power and presence of God. Although scriptural, it is not scriptural to not recognize the Bible also employs the common usages. The Greek word for Glory here means "glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literal or figurative, objective or subjective.) Mickelson" Some examples in common usage would be: Something that someone built or their accomplishments could be called their glory. Someone's character could be called their glory. Someone's state of existence could be called their glory.  So when a physical attribute of God is called his "glory" like Rev. 21:11 that matches Rev. 4:3. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone:...... This physical attribute of the almighty would be just one aspect of "his glory;" just like his character or his creation would be another aspect. In Rev 21:11 however John is not seeing a physical aspect of a coming physical city but a pictorial illustration using a city lighted with the same coloring of the physical appearance of God he saw earlier to convey the glory of God in and with his people. Some scriptural examples of this will be listed in the next paragraphs. First though some reminders of this illustrative usage of a physical city called the New Jerusalem to describe Gods saints.

    This prophecy about the New Jerusalem is quoted over and over again in Revelations New Jerusalem.  Isaiah 60  1 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 Lift up your eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to you: your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5 Then you shall see, and flow together, and your heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. ........, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the LORD your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you. 10 And the sons of strangers shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you: for in my wrath I smote you, but in my favor have I had mercy on you. 11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. 12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 13 The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. 14 The sons also of them that afflicted you shall come bending to you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (verse 14 is a direct interpretation of the city of the Lord, on mount Zion being the people of the Lord) 15 Whereas you has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. ...... 19 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light to you: but the LORD shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. 20 Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. 21 Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. 22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time. AKJV

     Isaiah 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns. 2 And the Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory: and you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. 3 You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.......12 And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and you shall be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. Here, once more, the people of the Lord, the people of faith of all nations are called a city; a city with a new name, which is the New Jerusalem.


These are examples of ways the scripture employs the word glory according to its standard usages.


     2 Corinthians 3:18. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. Here the word glory is used to describe differing states of existence, character or the way Christians mature.

    1st Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away. Luke 4: 5 And the devil, taking him (Jesus) up into a high mountain, showed  him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to him, All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to who ever I will I give it.  In these two glory is being used to describe mankind's state of existence, or what he has built and accomplished.

     1st Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. Here the word glory is in reference to the of state of existence woman in the world being directly correlated to  the state of men's relationship to and knowledge from God.  This is easily seen in the world by the way men treat woman and the effect it has on women. It is no coincidence that wherever the Gospel has been preached in power for centuries and the general population has had access to Bibles that woman are equal and free. Conversely, and  generally,  woman have been subjugated physically, emotionally, intellectually through out the history of the world by men where the knowledge of God was non existent or limited.

      2nd Peter 1:17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. The first word glory here is used to denote praise worthy. The second more of descriptive word of a physical attribute of God or heaven. 

     Isaiah 6 3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  Isaiah is hearing what to him, might be called prophetic declaration of the transformation of the whole earth being filled with the knowledge of God. Something seen but yet un-fulfilled.  Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

     2nd Thessalonians 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Here mankind is told what they are called, invited to. Not only the glory of God on this earth and to work with him in its transformation but to his glory in heaven.

    1st Peter 4: 14 If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  The first usage here could denote many different aspects of the Glory of God resting upon his people just as the Revelation 21:11 signifies.  The second usage would be God is praised , honored, found worthy, justified in a very evident fashion by this.

     This next paragraph is heavy in the symbolism of Bible prophecy.  Many who quite erroneously believe that the modern nation of Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy like this will have a very difficult time comprehending that this is speaking of the Messiah, the New Jerusalem and is for all nations including the modern nation of Israel. 
Zechariah 2:1 I lifted up my eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 Then said I, Where go you? And he said to me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. 3 And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, 4 And said to him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: 5 For I, said the LORD, will be to her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the middle of her. 6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, said the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, said the LORD. 7 Deliver yourself, O Zion, that dwell with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For thus said the LORD of hosts; After the glory has he sent me to the nations which spoiled you: for he that touches you touches the apple of his eye. 9 For, behold, I will shake my hand on them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, see, I come, and I will dwell in the middle of you, said the LORD. 11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the middle of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. 13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation. AKJV

© Daniel Martinovich 2002-2017