Follow Question


← Back

What are the tribes/names for each gate of the New Jerusalem in Rev. 21:12?

Are these the tribes listed in Rev 7:5-8? If so, why does this list disagree with the names in Eze 48:31-34? 

Revelation 21:12

ESV - 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed -

Clarify Share Report Asked January 27 2016 Mini Kenneth Heck

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The discrepancies between the two accounts center on the omission of the half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh from Ezekiel 48:31-34, and the omission of Ephraim and Dan, but the inclusion of Manasseh, in Revelation 7:5-8.

In my opinion, the omission of Ephraim and Manasseh in Ezekiel is explained by the inclusion of Joseph, who was the father of both Ephraim and Manasseh. This account merely represents the names of the founders of all of the twelve tribes (that is, the sons of Jacob (or Israel)).

Ephraim and Dan are omitted from the listing in Revelation as a judgment against the idolatry into which Jeroboam (who was of the half-tribe of Ephraim) led the northern kingdom of Israel after Israel separated from Judah following the death of Solomon; and the leading participation of Dan in that idolatry, since Dan was one of the two locations (along with Bethel) where Jeroboam set up golden calf idols, which he proclaimed to be Israel's gods, in order to prevent the possibility of the people of Israel going back down to the temple in Jerusalem (in the southern kingdom of Judah) to worship, and thus being drawn to leave Jeroboam's rule and reunite with Judah and Benjamin (1 Kings 12:26-30).

The fact that both Joseph and Manasseh are mentioned in Revelation 7 is a fulfillment of the blessing given by Jacob (Israel) in Genesis 48:5, where he granted each of Joseph's two sons a status equal to that of Jacob's other sons (Joseph's brothers and half-brothers) -- although Ephraim is omitted, for the reason I suggested above.

Although the names of the gates are not specifically mentioned in Revelation 21:12, I would take them to be the same as those in Revelation 7:5-8.

January 28 2016 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Jonathan Loflin
I know this question is a bit old, but I’ve only just stumbled on it because my dad linked me to it, so obviously it still has some degree of relevancy and reach.

It seems to me that this is a perfect candidate for Occam’s Razor. (I would like to note that I think Occam’s Razor is often overrated and is by no means any end-all-be-all of logic or critical thinking by any means, but it is an often useful tool to keep in mind.) That being said, isn’t the simplest answer with the most explanatory power that the gates of the New Jerusalem are indeed as the prophet Ezekiel saw? I see no contradiction whatsoever.

Consider: as pointed out, the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 seems to be in reference to the people on the Earth in those days, and no mention is made of the gates of the New Jerusalem. Because of this I see no conflict whatsoever. And beyond that, the Tribes of Israel from the very beginning were the sons of Israel (Jacob), as recorded in Genesis 49. If the 12 tribes are taken as such, that would also mean that it includes all of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, including those of Reuben and of Manasseh and Ephraim and of Dan. The original 12.

I fail to see any contradiction in the Holy Scriptures on this point unless we fail to take Daniel at his word? Don’t we believe the Holy Bible to be the inerrant Word of God? So, short of a massive mistake or deliberate corruption of the text which we lack any evidence for, this all makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? It seems that, while the 12 do change a bit throughout history, in the end they will be restored to the original 12, and that seems to be exactly what the LORD explicitly told Daniel, and through him all of us.

So, in short, the 12 gates of the city are what the LORD already explicitly told us they are. On top of that, Revelation apparently does tell us who the 12 are, since it says “the sons of Israel (Jacob)”. Those are his 12 birth sons.

July 02 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining