What does the word furlong mean in the Bible?

BibleAsk Team

Furlong in the Bible

The word furlong in the Bible is mentioned in the following passage where John the Revelator recorded the dimensions of the amazing city of Jerusalem: “The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal” (Revelation 21:16).

A furlong (stadion) is about 606 ft. 6 in., or 185 m. Thus, 12,000 furlongs would be about 1,378.4 mi. (2,218 km.). The text does not tell us whether this is a measure of the circumference or of one side of the city. If the former is intended, the city would measure about 344.6 mi. (551.4 km.) to a side. The city is perfectly a square. Such measurements make this city humongous. Some have tried to explain the dimensions of the city because it is hard to imagine a city reaching upward 12,000 (or 3,000) furlongs.

Whatever uncertainty there may be as to the precise size of the city, it is without a doubt that the glories of that celestial city will far exceed the human imagination. “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). This verse expresses the unimaginable wonder, beauty and joy of God’s kingdom of glory. All such knowledge is far beyond anything that humans may know today (Isaiah 64:4).

But the good news is that no one should be worried about the size of the city, for there will be room enough for all the redeemed. Jesus declared, “In My Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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