1. Revelation 21:19 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

How are we to understand the words “were adorned with every kind of jewel”?

Revelation 21:19 (ESV)

19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

The word translated as “adorned” had earlier appeared in Revelation 21:2 in relation to the bride being “adorned”—beautified—for her husband. In the present verse it is the city’s foundations that are beautified, be it now with precious stones. To be more precise, the Greek requires us to understand that each foundation was a complete precious stone (in contrast to the notion of embedment in Revelation 21:18): “the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire…” The enormity of these precious stones speaks to the glory of the city’s holy Inhabitant (as well as the glory granted to the redeemed who may co-inhabit this city, Revelation 21:3). So they also speak to the value the Lord God attributes to his church, his Bride.