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Book of Ezekiel
This Chapter describes several portions of the land belonging to each tribe. In Gospel times in the latter days, all things shall become new. Much of this Chapter, as well as the entire Book of Ezekiel, is wrapped up in symbols and numbers. This process the Lord GOD has used to state mysterious Truths in His Word, which shall be more clearly revealed at the proper time. But into the Gospel church of JESUS CHRIST, there is free access by faith, for whosoever. The LORD has opened the Kingdom of Heaven for all TRUE believers. Whosoever will, may come, and take of the water of life, of the tree of life, freely. The LORD is there, in His Temple, His church, to be close to all them who call upon Him. This is true of every honest Christian who lives in the grace of GOD. May we all be found citizens of this Holy City, and act according to this character; so that we can have the benefit of the LORD'S awesome Presence with us, here in this life, in our death, and for eternity.
Ezekiel Chapter 48 gives us an account of the portions of the twelve tribes in the land of Israel; seven to the north of the sanctuary, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, and Judah (48:1), between which and Benjamin lay the Holy Portion of the land, for the sanctuary and the priests of it, and for the Levites, and for the city and its suburbs, and for the Prince (48:8). The portions of the other five tribes to the south of the sanctuary, Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad (48:23), after which the city is described by its outlets, north, east, south and west and by its twelve gates, three on each side; by its circumference and by its name (48:30).
Setting: Ezekiel Chapter 48 is the final chapter in this awesome and amazing Book. Its focus is on the division of the land of Israel among the 12 tribes of Israel and it ends with the renaming of Jerusalem. Division of the land in northern Israel among the tribes (48:1-7); the division of the land occurs at the very start of the Millennial reign of the Lord JESUS CHRIST. The land will be divided into two parts relative to the Sacred Portion. The location of each assigned parcel is east to west. The arrangement and distribution of the tribes are not like the portion and location of the tribes during the Old Testament times. Seven of the tribes will be north of the Sacred Portion. The positions of the portions, starting from the north, are: Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim (Ephraim and Manasseh were both the sons of Joseph, and therefore account for the double portion allotted to the tribe of Joseph), Reuben (he was Jacob’s firstborn and lost his birthright, but not his inheritance), Judah (his portion borders the sacred portion)
Verses 8-12 give the size of the Holy Portion, followed by the sizes for each of the parts of the Holy Portions, which are the same as described in Ezekiel 45:1-5. The places and their purposes for the priests from the family of Zadokites and of the Levites are described.
Verses 48:13-14 give the details on the portions for the Zadokites and Levites, which are permanent and cannot be sold or exchanged. The land is declared by the LORD to be the best of the land, and is holy to the LORD, so it will never be passed into other hands.
Verses 48:15-20 discuss the portion for the city. The common use for the city is south of the priests’ and Levites’ portions. The size of the city is 4,500 cubits square, with a 250 cubit buffer on all sides for pasture land. The total dimensions for the city is 5,000 cubits square. The farming area is 10,000 cubits east and west of the city, and its produce will supply food for the city workers. The workers from the city and who farm the land next to the city will come from all the tribes of Israel. Since the city and its farmland is part of the Holy Portion, the entire holy portion will be 25,000 cubits square.
Verses 48:21-22 tell of that the remnant of land that remains to the east and west of the Holy Portion is for the Prince. The border of His portions are bounded by either the Mediterranean Sea or the Dead Sea. The Prince’s portion will also be between Judah’s portion in the north and to the south, Benjamin’s portion.
Verses 48:23-29 tell of the remaining five tribes will be south of the sacred portion. First in this final progression of assigned areas for inheritance of land, is the tribe of Benjamin. Their lot will form the southern border of the Holy Portion. From there on will be: Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun and Gad.
Verses 48:30-34 are about the gates of the Holy City. The dimensions of the city are given again. There shall also be three gates on each side of the city, with each gate named after a tribe of Israel. It is interesting to see the distribution of the 12 tribes based on the birthmother for that tribe. The outer tribes were birthed by the maidservants. Closer in to the Holy Portion are the tribes birthed by or through Rachel. The tribes inhabiting the Holy Portion and north of that area were born by Leah, who was Jacob's first wife.
Verse 48:35 give the distance around the city, which is given as 18,000 cubits. This is the city where all nations will gather to honor the LORD (Jer.3:17-18; Isa.60:14). The city’s new name will be: The LORD is There. Zechariah says Jerusalem will also be called the City of Truth, the mountain of the LORD Almighty, and the Holy Mountain. In order to fully understand the Millennial reign of CHRIST, we must go back to the Old Testament prophecies about Israel, because all the covenants with Israel must be fulfilled, and only by Israel.
Zechariah 8:3 Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. (KJV)
Division of the Land in Northern Israel among the Tribes(48:1-7)
Ezekiel 48:1 Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. (KJV)
Now these are the names of the tribes . . . the names of the tribes that shall inherit the land . . . an account is given of each of the portions of it they shall have for an inheritance; by which are meant, not the twelve tribes of Israel literally, among whom the land was never so divided as here, either in Joshua's time, or after the captivity of Babylon, but in the latter days of the Christian church, or the people of CHRIST under the Gospel dispensation (Rev.7:4), built upon the doctrine of the twelve apostles of CHRIST. The stranger sojourners are not here mentioned, who, according to the preceding chapter, were equally to inherit with the children of Israel, but are included; they being Israelites and fellow heirs, and all one in CHRIST, be they of whatever nation.
From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath . . . the division of the land, and the distribution of the portions, begin at the north, and go on to the south, by the way of Hethlon and Hamath; (47:15).
By Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, northward to the coast of Hamath . . . (47:17).
For these are his sides east and west . . . the sides of the tribe of Dan next mentioned, and so of every other tribe; which was measured from east to west, and consisted of 25,000 reeds foursquare (48:8),
A portion for Dan . . . or, Dan one; either one tribe, or one portion. This tribe has its portion first assigned it, although it was provided for last in Joshua's time, and not sufficiently either (Josh18:40), and is left out in Revelation chapter seven, having fallen into idolatry; but here being provided for first, confirms what our LORD says, that the first shall be last, and the last first (Mat.19:30), and shows that the chief of sinners are received by CHRIST, and provided for by Him, with grace here, and glory hereafter, who come to Him, and believe in Him, love Him, and that their inheritance is of grace, and not of works (Eph.2:8-9).
Ezekiel 48:2 And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher. (KJV)
And by the border of Dan . . . next to and beside Dan’s portion, closely joining to it; for all these tribes and their inheritances are contiguous to each other; meaning the union of TRUE Christians, or believers in CHRIST with each other; they are members of one body, one bread, and all one in CHRIST. They shall have harmony, unity and friendship, their comfortable communion and fellowship with each other; especially as it will be in the latter day, when they shall no more grieve and vex each other, nor separate one from another, but be like the two sticks that shall be one in the Hand of the LORD (37:19).
From the east side unto the west side . . . being in the same position as the former tribe, and of the same size and amount.
A portion for Asher . . . an inheritance for the tribe of Asher, the blessed of the LORD (Gen.30:13), with all blessings, spiritual and eternal, it should be stated here that the portions of all the different tribes, are exactly alike. All TRUE believers have the same Covenant GOD and the same FATHER for their portion; the same LORD, the same Redeemer, the same Saviour, the same Head and Husband, JESUS CHRIST (Eph.5:23); they are members of the same body; partake of the same SPIRIT, and His graces; obtain the same precious faith; are called in one hope of their calling (Eph.4:4) have a right to the same privileges and ordinances, and will share in the same heavenly inheritance. Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (KJV) . . . GOD is SO good!
Ezekiel 48:3 And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali. (KJV)
And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali . . . close to the tribe of Asher and his inheritance, in the same direction from east to west, lay the portion assigned to the tribe of Naphtali: such Christians who are wrestlers with GOD in prayer, and against their spiritual enemies (Gen.30:8), and to strive and contend for the doctrines of the Gospel, may be meant.
*****Dan, Asher and Naphtali are the farthest north from the Temple, because they were sons of Jacob by his concubines; so it seems they receive a more remote position.
Ezekiel 48:4 And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh. (KJV)
And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh , , , in like manner, next to Naphtali lay the tribe of Manasseh, and the portion of land appointed for that tribe. This may mean Christians who forget the things that are behind and reach to those that are before (Phil.3:13), Forget their carnal lusts and pleasures and their own works of righteousness and follow after CHRIST and His righteousness.
*****The tribe of Manasseh would no longer be split in half, with the Jordan River dividing it.
Manasseh was one of the most wicked of Israel's forty-two kings. Yet his reign of 55 years was 14 years longer than any other except Uzziah, and was 3 years longer than his. This can only be explained by the mercy of Almighty GOD. It is not known how many years he was wicked. Manasseh did repent, and did serve God faithfully after his captivity to Babylon. The difference between Manasseh and others such as Saul, Solomon and Uzziah . . . Manasseh began his reign as a wicked king but ended it as a good one; they began as good kings and ended their rule as bad ones.
Ezekiel 48:5 And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim. (KJV)
And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim . . . close to the tribe of Manasseh, and their inheritance, which is no more considered a half tribe, but a whole tribe, and has an inheritance equal to the rest, lay the tribe of Ephraim, and the inheritance assigned to that tribe. Joseph is not mentioned, as in (47:13), the two portions there given him being here allotted to his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
*****The tribe of Ephraim was located south of Manasseh and north of Reuben; it no longer dominates the land as it did during the days of the judges and during the divided monarchy when the terms Ephraim and Israel were synonymous (Hos.5:5, 11-14).
Ezekiel 48:6 And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben. (KJV)
And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Reuben . . . who, through his sin, Ephraim lost his birthright (Gen.48:14), but now, his sin being forgiven and forgotten, has a portion assigned him upon the border of Ephraim, and next to the tribe of Judah; when in Moses and Joshua's time it lay on the other side Jordan: this points to such persons that shall have their lot and portion in spiritual things; that look to CHRIST alone for righteousness, peace, pardon and eternal life.
*****The tribe of Reuben was doomed by incest and instability (Gen.49:4). No distinguished priest, prophet or king ever came from Reuben; yet as Jacob's firstborn this tribe receives a position of significance beside Judah.
Ezekiel 48:7 And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah. (KJV)
And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah . . . who confesses the LORD before men. (Rom.10:9), and praise His Name for all blessings, temporal and spiritual (Heb.13:15), they receive from Him. These seven tribes already mentioned, lay contiguous to each other, and all had portions and inheritances the same, assigned to them; so they all were to the north of the Sanctuary and City afterward mentioned.
*****The Millennial division of the land is as follows. Besides the Holy Oblation between the Judah and Benjamin portions, the land will be divided into strips running east and west:
(1). Dan on the extreme north (48:1).
(2). Asher south of Dan (48:2).
(3). Naphtali south of Asher (48:3).
(4). Manasseh south of Naphtali (48:4).
(5). Ephraim south of Manasseh (48:5).
(6). Reuben south of Ephraim (48:6).
(7). Judah south of Reuben (48:7).
The section measures 10,000 by 25,000 reeds (about 20 by 50 miles) for the Levites (48:13-13).
The Holy Portion of the Land (48:8-22)
Ezekiel 48:8 And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. (KJV)
And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering . . .or the oblation of a holy portion of the land unto the LORD has been mentioned (45:1-7), this was near the tribe of Judah, and in the same direction with that and the rest of the tribes, proceeding in length from east to west, This takes in the whole allotment to the Sanctuary, the priests, the Levites, the city and the Prince.
Which they shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth . . . from north to south; which makes, as some say, 75 miles; some say 77 and others more.
And in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side . . . meaning equal to one of the portions allotted to any one of the tribes, which were all alike. What this measure was is not said, but must be the same with the breadth; since the whole oblation was five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand (48:20).
And the sanctuary shall be in the midst thereof . . . the Sanctuary shall be in the middle of the Holy Portion of land (45:3), not in the tribe of Judah or Benjamin; nor in the city of Jerusalem, as before; but many miles from there.
Ezekiel 48:9 The oblation that ye shall offer unto the LORD shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth. (KJV)
The oblation that ye shall offer to the LORD . . . that which belonged to the Sanctuary, and to the priests, which was taken and separated for that use; which here, and in the following verses, is mainly and separately considered.
Shall be of five and twenty thousand in length . . . meaning five and twenty thousand reeds from east to west.
And of ten thousand in breadth . . . ten thousand wide from north to south (45:3).
Ezekiel 48:10 And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation; toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five and twenty thousand in length: and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof. (KJV)
And for them, even the priests, shall be this holy oblation . . . the Holy Portion of land, except that which is for the Sanctuary, is to be for the use of the priests to build houses on to dwell in; indicating, that the ministers of the Gospel are to be taken care of, and sufficient provision made for them (45:4).
Toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five and twenty thousand in length . . . to the north and south five and twenty thousand reeds each; and to the east and west ten thousand each; all this belongs to the priests, all except the place for the Sanctuary, that stood in the middle of this portion, is repeated (48:8).
Ezekiel 48:11 It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. (KJV)
It shall be for the priests that are sanctified . . . that are set apart by the LORD; called by Him to this office, and sanctified with the gifts and graces of His SPIRIT; and so are well fitted and qualified for the work.
Of the sons of Zadok, which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray . . . ministers who are faithful to the LORD in the worst of times; and who are and will be taken notice of by Him, both now and hereafter (44:15-16; Mat.25:21).
Ezekiel 48:12 And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites. (KJV)
And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy . . . be exclusively theirs, and not converted to any other use; but be accounted most sacred, and not to be made use of by other persons, or to other purposes by the border of the Levites; it should be continued, and reach to their border; or where that should begin, and their part assigned them, which is next considered.
*****The section measures 10,000 by 25,000 reeds for the priests and the sanctuary (48:8-12).
Ezekiel 48:13 And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth: all the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand. (KJV)
And over against the border of the priests . . . next to their border, close to it, running parallel with it.
The Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth . . . for accommodations for them; for chambers to lodge in, and other uses; all concerned in the house and worship of GOD shall be provided for with everything necessary and convenient for them (45:5).
All the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand . . . all the length of the land, both for the priests and Levites, should be five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth of the land for both ten thousand reeds: this is repeated for the certainty of it, and to prevent any mistake about it.
Ezekiel 48:14 And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD. (KJV)
And they shall not sell of it . . . no part of it that is allotted to them was to be sold, neither by the priests nor the Levites. Simony was not to be practiced. Simony, is buying or selling anything spiritual or closely connected with what is spiritual. Any contract of this kind is forbidden by Law. The name Simony is taken from Simon Magus (Acts 8:18-19), who tried to buy from the apostles the power of conferring the gifts of the HOLY SPIRIT.
Neither exchange . . . nor were they allowed to exchange it for any other land.
Nor alienate the first fruits of the land . . . or appropriate them to any other use than that of the priests and Levites . . . whatever is appointed for religious uses must never be converted to any other use; neither should church privileges be parted with for any reason. Pastors and even private Christians, should NOT part with their Christian liberty, nor with any of the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST.
For it is holy unto the LORD . . . whatever is separated and devoted to religious uses is most sacred to the Lord GOD.
*****The Catholic Church has many heretical rituals and beliefs according to the Holy Word of GOD. Below are two that in my way of thinking, fall under the sin of Simony: (1). The last rites to get a person into purgatory. Dear one, Purgatory does NOT exist! NOWHERE in the Bible does this word appear, nor is its doctrine taught. Jesus alone made atonement for our sins possible on the cross (Heb.1:3; Rom.3:24-25; 5:11). (2). Indulgences (money) to get a person out of purgatory. Millions of sincere people truly believe that if they pay the priests, they can have less time in purgatory . . . which as I have already stated, does NOT exist!
Ezekiel 48:15 And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof. (KJV)
And the five thousand that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand . . . in the breadth over against or running along by the side. The five and twenty thousand . . .
belonged to the Levites, which was a square of twenty five thousand reeds by twenty five thousand; parallel to the twenty five thousand in length, ran twenty five thousand in breadth, two ten thousands, as in the portion of the priests (48:10) so in theirs (48:13), the residue of five thousand,
Shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs . . . a profane place, means not a sanctified place, in which the city would be built, a place for all services, as men shall need. The city, Jerusalem, a common place . . . and so in a sense, all Israel was profane, when compared to the priests and Levites, the consecrated (set apart) persons (Num.3:3; Heb.7:28). For dwelling, houses within the walls, for suburbs, streets, dwellings or gardens outside the walls. A city where the Israelites were to dwell, and suburbs to be populated by those that were not of the city; where the fields and gardens would supply the city with things needed and fitting.
And the city shall be in the midst thereof . . . in the middle of this common place, the area of five thousand reeds, at least 10 miles from the Temple. In the midst of this common place, which is called here profane; so that ten thousand are left at each end.
*****The land allotted for the city and its suburbs is called a profane place (48:15), or common; not that the city was a Holy City above other cities, for The LORD is there (48:35), but when compared with the Temple, it was a profane place. It is far too often true in the worst sense that great cities, even those which like this, have the Sanctuary near them, are profane places, and should be deeply grieved over. It was the ancient complaint, From Jerusalem has profaneness gone forth into all the land. Jeremiah 23:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. (KJV)
And the five thousand that are left . . . the territory of the Levites was twenty-five thousand square cubits (48:20), but their city was only four thousand five hundred square cubits (48:16), so there remained ten thousand cubits square to be divided, of which five thousand cubits in width, by twenty-five thousand in length, on the east and west sides, were reserved for a kind of second city; or for suburbs where laymen might dwell who were employed by those priests and Levites who lodged in the Temple and in the city (48:18). And another space of one thousand cubits in breadth, by twenty-five thousand in length, which extended only from north to south, was for fields and gardens appointed for the support of those lay servants. There seems there was no cultivated land between the portion of the Levites and that of the Prince, except on the east and west sides (45:6-7).
Ezekiel 48:16 And these shall be the measures thereof; the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred. (KJV)
And this shall be the measures thereof . . . of the city,
The north side four thousand and five hundred . . . that is measures or reeds.
The south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred . . . in all eighteen hundred measures or reeds (48:35) which means the size of the Gospel church, especially in the latter day; when Jews and Gentiles will be converted, and multitudes, east, west, north and south, will be gathered to it; and as it is an equal square, this shows the perfection, firmness, stability and duration of the Gospel Church of CHRIST . . . and so the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, is for the same reasons said to be foursquare (Rev.21:16).
Ezekiel 48:17 And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, and toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty. (KJV)
And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty . . . and the suburbs of the city, was much larger than the suburbs of the Temple (45:1-2), toward the south two hundred and fifty . . . which make five hundred; and these being added to four thousand five hundred, north and south, make five thousand.
And toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty . . . which added to four thousand five hundred, east and west, make five thousand; and so an equal square on each side, length and breadth.
*****The size of the suburbs, when added to the size of the city is, two hundred and fifty added to the four thousand five hundred on the north side, and two hundred and fifty added to the four thousand five hundred on the south side, make five thousand; so on the east add two hundred and fifty to four thousand five hundred, and then add two hundred and fifty to the four thousand five hundred on the west, it makes up a perfect square five thousand on each side. This city is made to be exactly square, with the suburbs extending themselves equally on all sides, as the Levites' cities did in the first division of the land (48:16-17), which have never been literally fulfilled in any city, suggests that it is to be understood spiritually of the beauty and stability of the Gospel church of JESUS CHRIST, that city of the living GOD, which is formed according to the wisdom and counsel of Almighty GOD, and is made secure and immovable by His Promise.
Ezekiel 48:18 And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city. (KJV)
And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward . . . what remained in length, ran parallel with the Holy Portion of the land, after five thousand reeds were taken out for the city and suburbs, were twenty thousand; ten thousand to the east, and ten thousand to the west.
And it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion . . . shall be over against the oblation, lie parallel and even with the south side of the Levites’ portion both on east and west.
That space not yet disposed of, the twenty thousand reeds, ten on the east, and ten on the west of the city, were close to, and ran even with, the oblation of the Holy Portion assigned to the priests and Levites.
And the increase thereof . . . the increase, the product, the proceeds of this land, or what these twenty thousand reeds of land would produce,
Shall be for food for them that serve the city . . . for food, for the maintenance, both salary and allowances of bread and wine, and for whom food or bread, both temporal and spiritual, is provided; both being to be had of the LORD, with whom there is enough with some to spare; CHRIST is the Bread of life (Jn.6:35, 48, 51), and His Word and ordinances are the provisions of Zion; which all that serve the city or church of GOD may partake of.
*****Care was taken that those who applied themselves to public business in the city, as well as in the Sanctuary, should have an honorable, comfortable maintenance. Lands are appointed for to raise food for those that serve the city, magistrates, that attend the service of the state, as well as ministers, that attend the service of the church, should have all due encouragement and support in so doing; and for this cause, we too should honor also.
Ezekiel 48:19 And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel. (KJV)
And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel . . . whether they be civil magistrates, or ministers of the Word, they shall be of Israel, and shall be taken out of several tribes; some out of one tribe, and some out of another; all shall have the honor, as well as the labor, of serving the Gospel church and interest of CHRIST. All true Israelites shall contribute as much as in them, to the service of it.
*****In the past, the inhabitants of Jerusalem were mainly from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, but in the latter days, those that shall serve the city, and bear office in it, shall be from out of all the tribes of Israel. The most well-known men must be picked out of all the tribes of Israel for the service of the city, because many eyes shall be upon it. Those that live in the city are said to serve the city, for wherever we are, we must be of service to the place in some way or another, according as our ability, given to us by GOD. They must not come out of the tribes of Israel to the city to take their ease, and enjoy their pleasures, but to SERVE the city, to do all the good they can there, and in so doing they would have a good influence upon the country too. WHY do you want to go to Heaven? Is it because you want to relax and enjoy life? Dear one, I have news for you, if this is what you think. If you make it to Heaven, you are going to serve the LORD, in some way! There shall be NO laziness in Heaven!
Ezekiel 48:20 All the oblation shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city. (KJV)
All the oblation shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand . . . or every one of the oblations that for the priests and the sanctuary; that for the Levites, and that for the city, its suburbs, and the maintenance of those that served the city; each were a square of five and twenty thousand reeds.
Ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city . . . taking in the possession of the city, or what it possessed, the oblation of land for that, and its suburbs, and for produce to support those that served it, should be a foursquare of the above dimensions.
*****The whole portion including the priests’ Most Holy Portion, the Levites’ Holy Portion, and the city and its suburbs and lands, are now described as making up the oblation (gift-offering), which is foursquare and holy. The city too has now been upgraded to being to some extent holy (48:21). The whole has been offered to the Lord GOD as a gift and offering.
Ezekiel 48:21 And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof. (KJV)
And the residue shall be for the prince . . . not the civil magistrate, but the Prince MESSIAH, the King, Governor, and Protector of His church and people: The residue of the land, is a big portion, for it is what remains of twelve and a half taken out of sixty; so that the remainder will be forty-seven and a half.
On the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city . . . the Prince’s portion lies on each side of the portion for the sanctuary, the priests and Levites, and for the city and its accessories; so that He will be the Guardian and Preserver of them all (45:7). On the one side there will be twenty-three and three quarters; and on the other side the exact same thing,twenty-three and three quarters. Of the possession of the city; the residue of that which is on each side, east and west of the five thousand square area.
Over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border . . . or before the face of the five and twenty thousand of the oblation, that is, next to the tribe of Judah, close by that, and just before the holy oblation of five and twenty thousand reeds, both eastward and westward, should be the portion of the Prince on one side.
Over against the portions for the prince . . . over against, next to these shall be that for the prince, parallel with the portions of the several tribes before described shall be that of the Prince, which belongs to Him.
And it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof . . . that is, the holy oblation of the land for the priests and Levites, and the sanctuary should be between that part of the Prince's portion which lay next to Judah, and that which lay next to Benjamin; of which in the next verse.
Over against the five and twenty thousand . . . which amounts out of the priests, Levites, and city portion.
Toward the east border of the land of Canaan . . . all from the east side of the twenty-five thousand to the utmost bounds eastward, shall be the Prince’s portion, and so likewise on the west side westward to the great sea.
Ezekiel 48:22 Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city, being in the midst of that which is the prince's, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince. (KJV)
Moreover, from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city . . . in addition to, or beyond these, or on the other side of them.
Being in the midst of that which is the prince's . . . between his two portions or,
Between the border of Judah, and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince . . . all that is beyond, except that which belonged to the priests and Levites, the Sanctuary and the city, was the Prince's, which lay between Judah and Benjamin. This seems to mean the nearness of CHRIST to His church and His people; His protection of them on all sides; and the size of His interest and His Kingdom (45:7).
*****The section measuring 5,000 by 25,000 reeds (about 10 by 50 miles) for the city of Jerusalem, its suburbs and the Prince's portion (48:5-22). That we may clearly understand this, we must remember that this portion of Judah was laid from west to east next to the Holy Portion, and the portion of Benjamin (48:23) laid the same, from west to east next to the possession of the city. So that on each side the extent of Judah and Benjamin ran out to 23 miles, three quarters further than the Holy Portion and possession of the city did; and all the land contained between the borders of Judah and Benjamin were the Prince’s right, both the twelve miles and half broad, twenty-three and three quarters long on the west, and the same proportion on the east; this seems to be the sum of verse 22.
Division of the Land in Southern Israel among the Tribes(48:23-29)
Ezekiel 48:23 As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion. (KJV)
As for the rest of the tribes . . . not yet mentioned, which lay to the south of the Sanctuary, and are as follow,
From the east side to the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion . . . Judah and Benjamin are the closest to the Holy Oblation, Sanctuary, city and Prince; the one to the north of them, the other to the south; these tribes being faithful to GOD, and with His saints, when others departed from Him. Dear one, the LORD takes special notice of His faithful ones, and honors them (Hos.11:12).
*****In Ezekiel 48:7 we left with the prophet speaking of the last assigned portion of land to Judah, on the north side of the Holy Portions . . . now the first portion of land on the south side of the possession of the city is Benjamin, whose portion, as all the rest, runs in length from east to west, and its width from north to south. Only Benjamin and Judah had been loyal throughout to the house of David (1 Ki. 12:21); so it has the favorable placement as the first tribe south of the Holy area around Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 48:24 And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion. (KJV)
And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion . . . near the border of Benjamin, running east and west, Simeon's part and inheritance in the land shall be; for even such true Israelites as hear understand and believe the Gospel, and practice what they hear. This tribe shall not in the latter days be divided and scattered in Israel, or to have its inheritance in Judah, as they formerly did (Gen.49:5), but they would be separate, and have a portion by itself.
*****In the past, the tribe was of Simeon was not included in the blessing by Moses (Deut.33), and was overshadowed by Judah to the north after the allotment of Joshua (Josh.19:1); but in the latter days, Simeon is placed just below Benjamin. Simeon was omitted in the blessing of Moses possibly because of the Simeonite prince, who at Baal-peor led the Israelites in their idolatrous whoredoms with Midian (Num.25:14).
Ezekiel 48:25 And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion. (KJV)
And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion . . . close by and joining Simeon's inheritance, and in the same direction, shall be Issachar's. Issachar’s ancient portion had been on the Plain of Esdraelon. He was compared to a strong ass crouching between two burdens (Gen. 49:14-15), which is a compliment and honor, never meddling with wars except in self-defense. This type of Christians shall have rewards of grace for their services and sufferings in times of tribulation.
Ezekiel 48:26 And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion. (KJV)
And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion . . . next to Issachar's inheritance, and bordering on it, shall be Zebulun's; who shall be no more a haven for ships, being in a different situation and allotment; and may describe such Christians that dwell in Christ, and He in them (Jn.17:21).
Ezekiel 48:27 And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion. (KJV)
And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion . . . the last of the tribes; a troop of overcomers, who are more than conquerors (Rom.8:37) over all their enemies through CHRIST: all Christians shall have their part and portion in the church below, and in all the privileges and protections of it; and in the church above, in all its blessedness, bliss, glories and joy.
*****Leah's maid Zilpah bore Gad for Jacob (Gen.30:10-12), and so his tribe is placed in the southernmost position.
Ezekiel 48:28 And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea. (KJV)
And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward . . . of the Sanctuary of the LORD, of the portion of the priests and Levites, of the city, and what belonged to that, and of the Prince's portion. The description of the land begins at the northern part of the land, and ends in the southern part.
The border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh; and to the river toward the great sea . . . (47:19), Tamar was on the south end of the Dead Sea; and Kadesh or Kadesh-Barnea was further south still, and at the far end of the portion of Gad, which was the most southern tribe, as Dan was the most northern one.
Ezekiel 48:29 This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance . . . this is the land, as so described; and these the tribes of Israel, who shall have their personal shares in it, as thus allotted to them for their inheritance. This inheritance is not a worldly one, but a spiritual one in nature; and a sizeable heritage it is, and a right to enjoy all the decrees of it.
And these are their portions, saith the Lord GOD . . . which He has appointed to them, and by His grace He bestows upon them, and of which they may be confident, because He has said it. No mention is made of any cities of refuge in this division of the land, as there were in Joshua's time (Josh.20:2; 21:27, 32), because in the latter days, the MESSIAH shall be there, to whom all wise sinners are directed to flee; for there is no other refuge for them, nor salvation in any other but in Him (Jn.14:6; Acts 4;12); and in addition, in this period of time, there will be none that will hurt and destroy in all the Holy Mountain; and so there shall be NO need of cities of refuge (Isa.11:9).
*****The last of the remaining tribes, as continued from (48:7):
(8). Benjamin south of the Holy Oblation (48:23).
(9). Simeon south of Benjamin (48:24).
(10). Issachar south of Simeon (48:25).
(11). Zebulun south of Issachar (48:26).
(12). Gad south of Zebulun (48:27-29).
The Gates of the Holy City (48:30-34)
Ezekiel 48:30 And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures. (KJV)
And these are the goings out of the city . . . the gates of the city, by which they went in and out of, and also on the sides of it. The LORD here returns to the city again, to give an account of its circumference and name.
On the north side four thousand and five hundred measures . . . the north side of the city measured so many measures; that is, reeds, as some explain it. Each of the four sides of the city was four thousand five hundred cubits long. There were three gates on each side, as mentioned below; and the whole circumference of the city was eighteen thousand cubits.
Ezekiel 48:31 And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. (KJV)
And the gates of the city shall be after names of the tribes of Israel . . . according to the number of the 12 tribes, and called by their names. The names of the tribes being written on them (Rev.21:12), showing that this is TRUE Israelites (Gal.3:26-29), Israel not after the flesh, but after the SPIRIT (Rom.8:1, 4, 12), and have a right to enter into, and fellowship with the Gospel church of JESUS CHRIST . . . this means the whole Israel of GOD, Whom He has chosen for Himself; CHRIST has redeemed by His Blood, and the SPIRIT calls by His grace, and sanctifies . . . these all, be they Jews or Gentiles, fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of GOD.
Three gates northward . . . for those that live on the north side to use;
One gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, and one gate of Levi . . . these tribes, as well as the rest, were not placed according to their encampment around the Tabernacle in the wilderness, or as they were placed by Joshua in the land of Canaan; which shows that the tribes literally considered are not intended. Levi had a gate, although it did not have a portion in the way the other tribes had.
Ezekiel 48:32 And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. (KJV)
And at the east side four thousand and five hundred . . . measures or reeds: the east side was equal distance to the north, as were the west and the south sides . . . the whole of the city in its circumference making a perfect square.
And three gates; which were as follow:
One gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan . . . Joseph is said here as having a gate, although he is not mentioned as having a portion; but his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who are here omitted; which made room for Levi's name to be inserted; and Dan, who had his portion first, is here placed in the middle . . . no order being seen . . . the whole of this being supernatural and spiritual. Romans 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (KJV) . . . NO one! Not now, not ever!
Ezekiel 48:33 And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. (KJV)
And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures . . . the south side of the city measured exactly the same as the north and east sides did.
And three gates . . . three gates were on each side, the same as on the others.
One gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun . . . at which these tribes entered, or those they represent.
Ezekiel 48:34 At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali. (KJV)
At the west side four thousand and five hundred . . . four thousand and five hundred measures or reeds was the length of the west side; the same as the north, south and east, making a perfect square; as was New Jerusalem is said to be (Rev.21:16).
With their three gates: one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali . . . the situation of these gates on all sides, east, west, north and south, show that in the latter day people will flock from all quarters to the Gospel church of JESUS CHRIST, and that there shall be open and free access to all persons into it (Isa.2:2).
*****In (48:31-34), gates are mentioned . . . surrounding the city of Jerusalem, although the city is not named, there is a wall with three gates on each side; these gates are named for the twelve tribes which have just received their territories. This also follows the unmistakable pattern of the heavenly Jerusalem described (Rev.21:12).
The New Name for the City (48:35)
Ezekiel 48:35 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. (KJV)
It was round about eighteen thousand measures . . . adding the numbers of each side together, the circumference of the city was eighteen thousand measures; which, according to some is 32,000 miles; which shows that no literal city can be here meant, but is spiritually meant. The Gospel church of JESUS CHRIST will be of great extent in the latter days; and a large one, for it shall need to hold all nations that will flow into it. I think that it will be spread all over the world . . . the world becoming the church, and the kingdoms of it will become CHRIST'S, the little stone will become a great mountain and fill the whole earth (Dan.2:35). The Kingdom and interest of CHRIST, which is His church, will be from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the Earth; even from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same. Psalm 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (KJV)
And the name of the city from that day shall be, the LORD is there . . . the Gospel church has other names, such as Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the LORD our righteousness, Hephzibah and Beulah, a city not forsaken, but here it is called, the LORD is there, meaning that He lives there; which is to be understood of His Presence in it; not in a general way, as GOD is in all places, and with all His creatures, continually, constantly, and everywhere working in a wise manner; but of His gracious Presence in a special way . . . in this sense GOD the FATHER, JESUS the SON and the HOLY SPIRIT are in the Gospel church, and will be much more clearly in the latter days. GOD the FATHER, as the FATHER of CHRIST JESUS, shall bless them with all spiritual blessings within Him; granting them His Presence in Him, and spiritual union with Him, through CHRIST. As their FATHER (1 Jn.3:1-2), providing all good things for them, for He is the GOD of all grace unto them. GOD the SON, as the Master of the family, takes special care of it, and as a SON in His own house, and the first born among his brethren (Rom.8:29); as the prophet in the midst of his church, teaching and instructing (Jn.7:40; 9:17; Acts 7:37); as the high priest in the midst of the golden candlesticks, lighting and trimming them (Rev:1:12-13), as the King in Zion (Rev.19:16), to rule and govern, protect and defend it; showing Himself in all the glories of His Person, and the riches of His grace, according to His Promise (Mat.28:18-20). GOD the SPIRIT is here to qualify men with gifts for the ministry (1 Cor.12:7-13), to apply the Word, and make it useful; as a spirit of grace and supplication, and to help the LORD'S people in the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty; and to be their Comforter and the One Who helps us remember things. The Lord GOD here does and will display His glorious perfections; His power in preserving His saints; His wisdom in the guidance and direction of them; His Truth and faithfulness in His performing His Promises to them; His purity and Holiness in His sanctifying them; His awesome love, His amazing grace, and His kindhearted mercy. The LORD will be the glory in the midst of them (Ps.46:5; Hos.11:9; Joel 2:27; Zep.3:15; Zec.2:5; 8:3). The date when this will begin is that day, which I think is the latter days.
*****The LORD is there . . . this will not only be true just in the Name, but in reality (Jer.3:17; 33:16; Zec.2:10). There is a relationship between the Lord GOD and His people pictured here, that can never be severed, and expects that the heavenly realm that will also be called The Lord is there (Rev.21:3; 22:3).
The LORD is there is just one of many new names for the eternal earthly Jerusalem. The LORD is there literally means what it says, for the MESSIAH will be there, reigning visibly and eternally in Israel.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (KJV)
Luke 1:32-33 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (KJV)
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (KJV)
Revelation 20:4-10 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (KJV)
Fourteen Future Names for Jerusalem:
(1). The city of righteousness (Isa.1:26).
(2). The faithful city (Isa.1:26).
(3). The city of the LORD (Isa.60:14).
(4). The Zion of the Holy One of Israel (Isa.60:14).
(5). Hephzibah, My delight is in her (Isa.62:4).
(6). Sought out (Isa.62:12).
(7). A city not forsaken (Isa.62:12).
(8). The throne of the LORD (Jer.3:17).
(9). A green olive tree (Jer.1:16).
(10). The LORD our righteousness (Jer.33:16).
(11). The LORD is there (Eze.48:35).
(12). A city of truth (Zec.8:3).
(13). The mountain of the LORD of hosts (Zec.8:3).
(14). The holy mountain (Zec.8:3).
Not one of these can apply to Jerusalem now or in the past, but when CHRIST JESUS reigns in Jerusalem forever, ALL the above shall literally apply.
Book of Ezekiel
Eze.Ch.1 . . Eze.Ch.2 . . Eze.Ch.3. . Eze.Ch.4 . . Eze.Ch.5 . . . Eze.Ch.6 . . Eze.Ch.7 . . Eze.Ch.8 . . Eze.Ch.9 . . Eze.Ch.10 . . Eze.Ch.11 . . Eze.Ch.12 . . Eze.Ch.13 . . Eze.Ch.14. . Eze.Ch.15 . . Eze.Ch.16 . . Eze.Ch.17 . . Eze.Ch.18 . . Eze.Ch.19 . . Eze.Ch.20 . . Eze.Ch.21 . . Eze.Ch.22 . . Eze.Ch.23 . . Eze.Ch.24 . . Eze.Ch.25 . . Eze.Ch.26 . . Eze.27 . . Eze.28 . . Eze.29 . . Eze.30 . . Eze.31 . . Eze.32 . . Eze.33 . . Eze.34 . . Eze.35 . . Eze.36 . . Eze.37 . . Eze.38 . . Eze.39 . . Eze.40 . . Eze.41 . . Eze.42 . . Eze.43 . . Eze.44 . . Eze.45 . . . Eze.46 . . . Eze.47 . . . Eze.48 . . . Eze. Millennial Temple . . . Eze.Special Comments . . . Eze.What is Shekinah Glory? . . . Home Page