I remember when I was very young, thinking that the bedroom my brother and I shared was huge! It had two beds for us and a big window. Our closet was also huge and there was even a “secret” passageway to our parent’s closet! Wow! But, I’d be the first to admit that perceptions of my boyhood when it came to size of rooms are not the same today as a grown man.
John 14:2 “There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” (ERV)
I was curious about the number of rooms for the Father’s house, a.k.a. New Jerusalem or City of God. Why? Jesus promised many rooms would be prepared. I wondered how many believers/rooms would fit? So I converted the Bible’s measurements to modern day’s measurements and then calculated the cubic volume and used New York City as an example for population density. Although I am only speculating, the number I came up with was astounding.
Revelation 21:16-17 “The city was built in a square. Its length was equal to its width. The angel measured the city with the rod. The city was 12,000 stadia long, 12,000 stadia wide, and 12,000 stadia high. The angel also measured the wall. It was 144 cubits high. (The angel was using the same measurement that people use.)” (ERV)
Fact: One Greek stadia was 60 feet, or about 185 meters
Fact: New York has the highest population density of any major city in the United States, with over 27,000 people per square mile.
- 12,000 stadia X 60 feet = 720,000 feet cube
- 720,000 feet / 5,280 feet per mile = 136 miles cube
- 136 miles X 136 miles X 6 cubic sides = 110,976 surface square miles
- 136 miles X 136 miles X 136 miles = 2,515,456 cubic miles.
The number of rooms for New Jerusalem = 110,976 surface square miles X 27,000 per square mile density = 2,996,352,000 billion rooms, or almost 3 billion rooms (or people)
However, even though NYC has skyscrapers, it is really only two-dimensional whereas New Jerusalem, as a cube is fully three-dimensional, thus we have the formula:
The number of rooms for New Jerusalem = 2,515,456 cubic miles X 27,000 per square mile density = 67,917,312,000 people, or almost 68 billion rooms (or people).
Am I even within a universal-sized ballpark? Does my calculation allow for all the interior space of a cube? Maybe the City of God is not only large, but also spacious. Maybe a room is more equivalent to a mansion with acres of ground? What would be the population density of New Jerusalem? We won’t know until we get there.
Many current estimates for total number of people who ever lived on earth is around 100-110 billion. How many of them were believers? Would it make any sense that Jesus would return when there are enough believers to fill New Jerusalem? I confess this calculation is based only on my imaginative interpretation. It was an interesting exercise in math, but only God knows how many believers there ever will be when Jesus returns. My advice is that if you want a room, be a believer of Jesus Christ as Lord, and be ready to move!