And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass, Revelation 21:21.
Like most men called to preach and having been trained at some point, I went through a phase of one-up-man-ship with other eager young preachers. We were particularly egregious at offending Isaiah 29:21, That make a man an offender for a word. Oh how we could seize upon an offender's casual slip! One of the particularly annoying phases that we went through was correcting preachers who talked about the streets of the New Jerusalem. We would smugly point out that street was always singular in the new Jerusalem. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations, Revelation 22:2. We were King James Bible believers, the New Jerusalem only had one street. The problem with that kind of thinking is that we didn't run it though the entire bible to see if our thinking on a singular street made sense. It didn't.
Shushan the palace only had one street by our reasoning. Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, Esther 6:11. How a major capital of a huge empire could have a city center with only one street was indeed a mystery. Could it be that we misunderstood how the word "street" was used in Revelation 21:21?
Enter the OED, Oxford English Dictionary. By the late 1500s, the word street had taken on a definition that we still use today. "Some particular street to which the merchants or financiers of a city resort for business intercourse". It has the same meaning that we sometimes use today. "What's the word on the street?" "The street doesn't think much of the stock offering." When Haman led Mordecai on his walk of honor, he led him through the street. He led him through the main business thoroughfare of Shushan the palace.
The reality of the New Jerusalem is that it will have a business section. God believes in capitalism and it will thrive in eternity. Unlike Wall Street there will be a river running through it and a tree of life with twelve manner of fruits. Our world's commerce could use a little of that today.