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City of RefugeSeparatists and Utopian Town Planning$
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Michael J. Lewis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171814

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171814.001.0001

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The Sacred Squareness of Cities

The Sacred Squareness of Cities

(p.19) 2 The Sacred Squareness of Cities
City of Refuge

Michael J. Lewis

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the squareness of the ideal city in the Bible. The Bible describes a model city or settlement on four separate occasions, and in each instance it has the form of a square. The ultimate square city is the New Jerusalem, described by both John of Patmos and the prophet Ezekiel as a twelve-gated, walled square The forty-eight Levitical cities described in Numbers 35 were likewise square. And even that archetypal of all biblical settlements, the encampment of the twelve tribes of Israel during their wanderings, was itself arranged as a square. Thus, anyone looking to the Bible for guidance on how to build a community must come to the conclusion that a godly city should be square.

Keywords:   squareness, Bible, model city, town planning, New Jerusalem

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