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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Ezekiel 48



1The portions of the twelve tribes;
8of the sanctuary;
15of the city and suburbs;
21and of the prince.
23The portions of the twelve tribes.
30The dimensions and gates of the city.

Verse 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.
the names
Exodus 1:1-5; Numbers 1:5-15; 13:4-15; Revelation 7:4-8
47:15-17; Numbers 34:7-9
a portion
Heb. one portion. Dan.
Genesis 30:3-6; Joshua 19:40-47; Judges 18:26-29; 2 Samuel 24:2; 1 Kings 12:28,29; Matthew 20:15,16

Verse 2
And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.
Genesis 30:12,13; Joshua 19:24-31

Verse 3
And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
Genesis 30:7,8; Joshua 19:32-39

Verse 4
And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh.
by the border
In this division of the Holy Land, a portion is laid out for each of the twelve tribes directly across the country, from east to west; and deducting the square of 25,000 reeds, or nearly fifty miles on each side, between Judah and Benjamin, for the priests, Levites, city, and temple, with the inheritance of the prince to the east and west, (see on ch. 45:1,) from 280 miles, the length of the country from north to south, there will remain for each tribe a portion of less than twenty miles in width, and 150 in length. This division of the land entirely differs from that which was made in the days of Joshua, in which the tribes were not only differently placed, but confused and inter-mixed; while here distinct lots are assigned to each of the twelve tribes, in a regular mathematical form. Literally such a division never took place: it seems to denote the equality of privileges which subsists among all the tribes of Believers, of whatever nation, and whatever their previous character may have been.
Genesis 30:22-24; 41:51; 48:5,14-20; Joshua 13:29-31; 17:1-11

Verse 5
And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim.
Joshua 16:1-10; 17:8-10,14-18

Verse 6
And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben.
Genesis 29:32; 49:3,4; Joshua 13:15-21

Verse 7
And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah.
Genesis 29:35; Joshua 15:1-63; 19:9

Verse 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.
the offering
the sanctuary
35; Isaiah 12:6; 33:20-22; Zechariah 2:11,12; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:20-22; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 21:3,22; 22:3

Verse 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.
for the priests
44:28; 45:4; Numbers 35:1-9; Joshua 21:1-45; Matthew 10:10; 1 Corinthians 9:13,14
and the sanctuary

Verse 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.
It shall be for the priests that are sanctified
or, The sanctified portion shall be for the priests. the sons
40:46; 43:19; 44:15,16
or, ward, or ordinance.
Matthew 24:45,45,46; 2 Timothy 4:7,8; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10
as the Levites

Verse 12
And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.
a thing
45:4; Leviticus 27:21

Verse 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.
five and twenty thousand in
45:3; Deuteronomy 12:19; Luke 10:7

Verse 14
And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.
they shall
Exodus 22:29; Leviticus 27:10,28,33
12; Leviticus 23:20; 27:9,32; Malachi 3:8-10

Verse 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.
a profane
22:26; 42:20; 44:23; 45:6
for the city
The holy oblation of 25,000 square reeds, or near fifty square miles, was divided into three parts from north to south (see on ch. 45:1): a portion on the north of 10,000 reeds in width, and 25,000 in length, for the priests, in the midst of which was the sanctuary or temple, surrounded by a wall 500 reeds square, (ver. 9, 10; see on ch. 42:15;) next to this another portion of the same dimensions for the Levites, (ver. 13, 14;) and on the south another portion of the same length, but only 5,000 reeds in breadth, for the city (ver. 15.) The city was situated in the midst of this portion, being 4,500 reeds, or about nine miles square, (see on ver. 30,) having a suburb of 250 reeds, or about half a mile, on each side, (ver. 17,) leaving 10,000 reeds or nearly ten miles, on the east side, and the same on the west side, for the profit of those who serve the city out of all the tribes, (ver. 18, 19.) On the east and west sides of this square of 25,000 reeds, is the portion of the prince; each of which, estimating the breadth of the land at 150 miles, would form a square of fifty miles. Thus the whole plan of the division of the country, laying out of the city, temple, and all its appendages, is perfectly regular and uniform; and would therefore convey to the minds of the Jews the most complete idea they were capable of conceiving of the most perfect church, commonwealth, city, temple, and conveniences, on the largest and grandest scale for the Divine worship; and it doubtless ultimately points out the land of Immanuel, the city of the New Jerusalem, and his temple, the Christian church, the house of the living God.
1 Timothy 3:15

Verse 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.
that serve
Joshua 9:27; Ezra 2:43-58; Nehemiah 7:46-62

Verse 19
And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.
shall serve
45:6; 1 Kings 4:7-23; Nehemiah 11:1-36

Verse 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.
Hebrews 12:17; Revelation 21:16

Verse 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.
the residue
22; 34:23,24; 37:24; 45:7,8; Hosea 1:11
and westward

Verse 23
As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion.
1-7; Genesis 35:16-19; Joshua 18:21-28
a portion
Heb. one portion.

Verse 24
And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion.
Genesis 29:33; 49:5-7; Joshua 19:1-9

Verse 25
And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion.
Genesis 30:14-18; Joshua 19:17-23

Verse 26
And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion.
Genesis 30:19,20; Joshua 19:10-16

Verse 27
And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.
Genesis 30:10,11; Joshua 13:24-28

Verse 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.
from Tamar
47:19; 2 Chronicles 20:2
strife in Kadesh
Heb. Meribah-kadesh.
Numbers 20:1,13; Psalms 106:32
the river
Genesis 15:18; Numbers 34:5; Joshua 13:3; Isaiah 27:12
the great sea

Verse 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.
47:13-22; Numbers 34:2,13; Joshua 13:1-21

Verse 30
And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.
the goings
16,32-35; Revelation 21:16
It is certainly most obvious to interpret these measures, not of cubits, but of the measuring reed which the prophet's conductor had in his hand; according to which, the city would be about thirty-six miles in circumference, and nine miles on each side of the square; which was nearly nine times larger than the greatest extent to which Jerusalem ever attained, (See on ver. 15; ch. 42:16.) The large dimensions of the city and land were perhaps intended to intimate the extensive and glorious propagation of the gospel in the times predicted; and the land was not called Canaan, nor the city Jerusalem, probably because they were figurative of spiritual blessings to the church and to Israel.

Verse 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.
Isaiah 26:1,2; 54:12; 60:11; Revelation 21:12,13,21,25

Verse 35
It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
and the name
Genesis 22:14; Jeremiah 33:16; Zechariah 14:21
The Lord
Heb. JEHOVAH shammah.
Exodus 15:26; 17:15; Judges 6:24; Psalms 46:5; 48:3,14; 68:18; 77:13; 132:14; Isaiah 12:6; 14:32; 24:23; Jeremiah 3:17; Joel 3:21; Zechariah 2:10; Revelation 21:3; 22:3


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ezekiel 48:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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