Apocalypse Revealed (Coulsons) n. 905

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905. [verse 16] 'And the city lies foursquare' signifies justice in that [Church]. The reason why the city was seen 'foursquare' is because 'a quadrangle' or 'a square' signifies what is just, for 'a triangle' signifies what is right, all these in the ultimate degree, which is the natural. 'A quadrangle' or 'a square' signifies what is just because it has four sides, and the four sides look to the four quarters, and to look equally to the four quarters is to regard all things from what is just; for which reason there were three gates opening into the city from each quarter, and it is said in Isaiah:-

Open up the gates, that the just nation keeping fidelities may enter in Isa. xxvi 2.

The city lay foursquare, so that its length and breadth were equal, and by 'length' is signified the good of that city, and by 'breadth' its truth, and when good and truth are equal then there is what is just. It is from this signification of 'a square' that in common parlance one is termed a 'square man', who does not deviate to one side or another from an unjust motive. Because 'square' signifies what is just, therefore 'the altar of burnt-offering', by which was signified worship derived from good and heavenly truth therefrom, was 'square' (Exod. xxvii 1). Again, 'the altar of incense', by which was signified worship derived from good and thence from spiritual truth, also was 'square' (Exod. xxx 1, 2). So also 'the breastplate of judgment', in which was the Urim and Thummim, was a 'doubled square' (Exod. xxviii 15, 16; xxxix 9); besides other instances.

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