Scriptures

Ezekiel 48

Introduction

Seven tribes land. (Northern) Ezekiel 48:1-7.

The sacred lands. Ezekiel 48:8-14.

Common land. Ezekiel 48:15-20.

The princes land. Ezekiel 48:21-22.

Five tribes land. (Southern) Ezekiel 48:23-29.

City gates. Ezekiel 48:30-34.

Total circumference. Ezekiel 48:35b.

The city’s name. Ezekiel 48:35b.

One more blessing, the name of the city. This city which Jehovah had disowned because of the ungodliness of its inhabitants was to be once again the city of God. So, it is called,

‘THE LORD IS THERE’

‘These are the tribes, listed by name: At the northern frontier, Dan will have one portion; it will follow the Hethlon road to Lebo Hamath; Hazar Enan and the northern border of Damascus next to Hamath will be part of its border from the east side to the west side. ‘Asher will have one portion; it will border the territory of Dan from east to west. ‘Naphtali will have one portion; it will border the territory of Asher from east to west. ‘Manasseh will have one portion; it will border the territory of Naphtali from east to west. ‘Ephraim will have one portion; it will border the territory of Manasseh from east to west. ‘Reuben will have one portion; it will border the territory of Ephraim from east to west. ‘Judah will have one portion; it will border the territory of Reuben from east to west.’ Ezekiel 48:1-7

Seven tribes land (Northern)

In this chapter, verses 1-7 and verses 23-27 refer to tribal allotments of the land that were comparable to the allotments that were given when Israel first came into the land. Dan is situated in the far north of Palestine, with Issachar, Zebulun and Gad located in the south. These allotments clearly identify the restoration of the remnant of all twelve tribes to the land after the Babylonian captivity.

‘Bordering the territory of Judah from east to west will be the portion you are to present as a special gift. It will be 25,000 cubits wide, and its length from east to west will equal one of the tribal portions; the sanctuary will be in the centre of it. ‘The special portion you are to offer to the LORD will be 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide. This will be the sacred portion for the priests. It will be 25,000 cubits long on the north side, 10,000 cubits wide on the west side, 10,000 cubits wide on the east side and 25,000 cubits long on the south side. In the centre of it will be the sanctuary of the LORD. This will be for the consecrated priests, the Zadokites, who were faithful in serving me and did not go astray as the Levites did when the Israelites went astray. It will be a special gift to them from the sacred portion of the land, a most holy portion, bordering the territory of the Levites. ‘Alongside the territory of the priests, the Levites will have an allotment 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide. Its total length will be 25,000 cubits and its width 10,000 cubits. They must not sell or exchange any of it. This is the best of the land and must not pass into other hands, because it is holy to the LORD. ‘The remaining area, 5,000 cubits wide and 25,000 cubits long, will be for the common use of the city, for houses and for pastureland. The city will be in the centre of it and will have these measurements: the north side 4,500 cubits, the south side 4,500 cubits, the east side 4,500 cubits, and the west side 4,500 cubits. The pastureland for the city will be 250 cubits on the north, 250 cubits on the south, 250 cubits on the east, and 250 cubits on the west. What remains of the area, bordering on the sacred portion and running the length of it, will be 10,000 cubits on the east side and 10,000 cubits on the west side. Its produce will supply food for the workers of the city. The workers from the city who farm it will come from all the tribes of Israel. The entire portion will be a square, 25,000 cubits on each side. As a special gift you will set aside the sacred portion, along with the property of the city. ‘What remains on both sides of the area formed by the sacred portion and the property of the city will belong to the prince. It will extend eastward from the 25,000 cubits of the sacred portion to the eastern border, and westward from the 25,000 cubits to the western border. Both these areas running the length of the tribal portions will belong to the prince, and the sacred portion with the temple sanctuary will be in the centre of them. So, the property of the Levites and the property of the city will lie in the centre of the area that belongs to the prince. The area belonging to the prince will lie between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin. ‘As for the rest of the tribes: Benjamin will have one portion; it will extend from the east side to the west side. ‘Simeon will have one portion; it will border the territory of Benjamin from east to west. ‘Issachar will have one portion; it will border the territory of Simeon from east to west. ‘Zebulun will have one portion; it will border the territory of Issachar from east to west. ‘Gad will have one portion; it will border the territory of Zebulun from east to west. ‘The southern boundary of Gad will run south from Tamar to the waters of Meribah Kadesh, then along the Wadi of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. ‘This is the land you are to allot as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel, and these will be their portions,’ declares the Sovereign LORD.’ Ezekiel 48:8-29

An interesting point in this text was that the portion given to the Levites was not to be sold or traded, for the allotment was given to the Levites for a perpetual service to the Lord. The location of the temple was about four kilometres south of the original location.

The priests were given the area where the original temple was situated. The city was to be located in the middle of a triangle of land and surrounded by gardens. The city itself was to be built as a square.

Since the measurements of the city would make it about two kilometres long on each side, the size was beyond the actual construction of the city that was accomplished when they returned. It is possible that Ezekiel uses these measurements to picture the spiritual city of God that was yet to come in the Messianic age. The city, and its gates, was a symbol of all of God’s people.

‘These will be the exits of the city: Beginning on the north side, which is 4,500 cubits long, the gates of the city will be named after the tribes of Israel. The three gates on the north side will be the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah and the gate of Levi. ‘On the east side, which is 4,500 cubits long, will be three gates: the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin and the gate of Dan. ‘On the south side, which measures 4,500 cubits, will be three gates: the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar and the gate of Zebulun. ‘On the west side, which is 4,500 cubits long, will be three gates: the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher and the gate of Naphtali. ‘The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. ‘And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.’ Ezekiel 48:30-35

The city’s name

The name of the city, ‘the Lord is there,’ is symbolic of a repentant nation. When Israel went into the apostasy of idolatry, the Lord was removed from their hearts. When they repented of their idolatry, the Lord was restored to their hearts. He once again lived in their hearts, Luke 17:20-21.

Conclusion

All the way through this book, Ezekiel had to understand the consequences of Judah’s infidelity. In Ezekiel 10:4 he sees the ‘Shekinah’, the ‘Glory of YHVH’, which had demonstrated the Presence of God with His people, throughout the wilderness Journey, and which, thereafter, rested between the Cherubim in the Most Holy Place in both Tabernacle and Temple, rise from its place and move to the entrance of the Temple, filling it with smoke.

In Ezekiel 10:18-19, Ezekiel sees the ‘Glory of YHVH’ move again. This time it stands over the Cherubim, ‘the burning Ones’ who are always associated with the holiness of God, and in Ezekiel 10:19, the Cherubim, with the Glory of God over them ‘lift up their wings’, mount into the air, and fly to the door of the East Gate.

In Ezekiel 10:23, finally, the prophet sees the Glory of God, leave both the Temple and the City and fly to rest on the mountain on the East side of Jerusalem, and the Spirit returns Ezekiel to the exiles in Babylon. ‘Ichabod’ which means

‘the Glory has departed’!

But the final chapter brings everything to a grand climax. There is a new temple and a penitent and chastened people restored to their own land and city.

And the most wonderful message of all, Ezekiel 48:35,

‘and from that day, the name of the City shall be, ‘YHVH is there!’,

because the

‘GLORY of YHVH’

has returned!

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

John 16:33

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