Heavenly Jerusalem?

Bill Ross wross at farmerstel.com
Mon Dec 30 16:31:04 EST 2002

I am trying to find the source of the 1st century idea of a heavenly
Jerusalsem. I am wondering if it might not be Zech 14:10. It seems to
describe Zion/Jerusalem being lifted into the sky, leaving a plain

Zech 14
10  All the land shall be **turned as a plain** from Geba to Rimmon south of
Jerusalem: and it shall be **lifted up**, and inhabited in her place, from
Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and
from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. {turned: or,
compassed} {inhabited: or, shall abide}

The 1st century tradition also indicates that the city will be "prepared as
a bride" and I notice a footnote in verse 2 of Isaiah 2 about being

Isaiah 2:
1 ¶ The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the
LORD’S house **shall be established in the top of the mountains**, and shall
be **exalted above the hills**; and all nations [gentiles] shall flow unto
it. {established: or, prepared} 3  And many people shall go and say, Come
ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of
Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for
out of Zion [as opposed to Sinai/Hebron] shall go forth the law, and the
word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4  And he shall judge among the nations
[gentiles], and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords
into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift
up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
{pruninghooks: or, scythes} 5  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in
the light of the LORD.

Here are the 1st century references:

Galatians 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of
us all.

Revelation 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of
my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of
my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which
cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new

Revelation 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down
from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Do the Zech and Isaiah texts have any indicators in them not obvious in the
English that would make them likely or unlikely sources of the traditions?

Is there any reference to such a "heavenly Jerusalem" in rabbinic or other
early literature?

Many thanks,

Bill Ross
No Risk Software Inc
BillRoss at norisksoftware.com

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