880. Jerusalem in the Word means the church because the Temple and altar were there in the land of Canaan and nowhere else, and sacrifices were made there. Thus it was the focus of Divine worship. The three annual feasts were accordingly also celebrated there, and every male throughout the land was commanded to attend them. For that reason Jerusalem symbolizes the church with respect to worship, and so also the church with respect to doctrine, inasmuch as worship is prescribed by doctrine and is conducted in accordance with it.
Jerusalem means the church, too, because the Lord was there and taught in its temple, and later glorified His humanity there.
That Jerusalem means the church with respect to its doctrine and consequent worship is apparent from many passages in the Word. As for example, from these verses in Isaiah:
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as a radiance, and her salvation as a burning lamp. Then gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall also be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will proclaim. And you shall be a crown of glory in the hand of Jehovah, and a royal jewel 1 in the hand of your God... ...Jehovah will delight in you, and your land shall be married.
Behold, your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him... And they shall call them a holy people, the redeemed of Jehovah; and you shall be called a city sought out, not forsaken. (Isaiah 62:1-4, 11-12)
 The subject in that chapter is the Lord's advent and a new church to be established by Him. This new church is the church meant by Jerusalem, which shall be called by a new name that the mouth of Jehovah will proclaim; which will be a crown of glory in the hand of Jehovah and a royal jewel 1
in the hand of God; in which Jehovah will delight; and which shall be called a city sought out and not forsaken. This does not mean the Jerusalem inhabited by Jews when the Lord came into the world, for that Jerusalem was of a totally opposite character. It was rather to be called Sodom, as it also is called in Revelation 11:8, Isaiah 3:9, Jeremiah 23:14, and Ezekiel 16:46, 48.
 Elsewhere in Isaiah:
...behold, I am creating a new heaven and a new earth; the former shall not be remembered... Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating. ...behold, I am creating Jerusalem to be an exultation, and her people a joy, that I may exult over Jerusalem and rejoice over My people... Then the wolf and the lamb shall feed together... They shall not do evil... in all My holy mountain... (Isaiah 65:17-19, 25)
In this chapter, too, the subject is the Lord's advent and a church to be established by Him, one that was not established among the people in Jerusalem but among people elsewhere. Consequently that church is the one meant here by Jerusalem, which will be an exultation to the Lord and whose people will be a joy to Him, where the wolf and lamb will feed together, and the people will not do evil.
As in the book of Revelation, we are told here also that the Lord will create a new heaven and a new earth, and that He will create Jerusalem, which have similar symbolic meanings.
 Elsewhere in Isaiah:
Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; sit down, O Jerusalem! ...Therefore My people shall know My name... in that day; for it is I who speaks: behold, it is I. ...Jehovah has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. (Isaiah 52:1-2, 6, 9)
The subject in this chapter is also the Lord's advent and the church to be established by Him. Therefore the Jerusalem into which the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come, and which the Lord will redeem, means the church, and Jerusalem, the holy city, means the church with respect to doctrine from the Lord and concerning the Lord.
 In Zephaniah:
Shout, O daughter of Zion! Be glad... with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! ...The King of Israel... is in your midst; fear evil no longer! ...He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will rest in your love, He will exult over you with exultation... ...I will give you a name and praise among all the peoples of the earth... (Zephaniah 3:14-17, 20)
Here likewise the subject is the Lord and a church established by Him, over which the King of Israel, namely the Lord, will rejoice with gladness and exult with exultation, and in whose love He will rest, who will give them a name and praise among all the peoples of the earth.
 In Isaiah:
Thus said Jehovah, your Redeemer and your Former..., who says to Jerusalem, "You shall be inhabited," and to the cities of Judah, "You shall be rebuilt."... (Isaiah 44:24, 26)
And in Daniel:
Know and perceive: from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks... (Daniel 9:25)
It is apparent that Jerusalem here also means the church, since it was the church that the Lord restored and rebuilt, and not Jerusalem, the Jewish capital.
 Jerusalem means a church established by the Lord also in the following passages. In Zechariah:
Thus said Jehovah, "I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of Jehovah Zebaoth a holy mountain." (Zechariah 8:3, cf. 8:20-23)
Then you shall know that I am Jehovah your God, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy... And it will come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drip with new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk..., and Jerusalem (shall abide) from generation to generation. (Joel 3:17-21)
In that day the offshoot of Jehovah shall be beautiful and glorious... And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy - everyone recorded among the living in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 4:2-3)
...in the latter days the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on top of the mountains... For out of Zion doctrine shall go forth, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem... ...to you... the former kingdom shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1-2, 8)
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah, and all the nations shall be gathered..., because of the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem. No more shall they go after the justification of their evil hearts. (Jeremiah 3:17)
Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; let your eyes see Jerusalem, a tranquil habitation, a tabernacle that will not vanish; its stakes will never be removed, nor any of its cords be broken. (Isaiah 33:20)
And so on elsewhere, as in Isaiah 24:23; 37:32; 66:10-14; Zechariah 12:3, 6, 8-10; 14:8, 11-12, 21; Malachi 3:2, 4; Psalms 122:1-7; 137:4-6.
 Jerusalem in these places means a church which the Lord would establish, and not Jerusalem in the land of Canaan inhabited by Jews. This can be seen from passages in the Word which say that Jerusalem was completely ruined and would be destroyed, as in Jeremiah 5:1; 6:6-7; 7:17-18; Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-22; 23:28-30; and in many other places.
1. The word translated as "jewel" here means a diadem or crown in the original Greek and Latin, but the writer's definitions of the term elsewhere make plain that he regularly and consistently interpreted it to mean a jewel or gem.
(References: Ezekiel 4, 5:9-17, 12:18-19, 15:6-8, 16, 23; Isaiah 44:24-26; Jeremiah 8:6-8, 9:10-11, 9:11-12, 9:13, Jeremiah 13:9-10, 13:14, 14:16; Lamentations 1:8-9, 1:17; Matthew 23:37-38; Revelation 21:2)