Ezekiel Chapter 48
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, Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east [and] west; a [portion for] Dan.”
Each one of the tribes is mentioned who inherited land. We will take note that no tribe receives land outside the boundaries of the Promised Land. Dan gets one portion in the northern area.
Ezekiel 48:2-7 “And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a [portion for] Asher.” “And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a [portion for] Naphtali.” “And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a [portion for] Manasseh.” And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a [portion for] Ephraim.” And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a [portion for] Reuben.” “And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a [portion for] Judah.”
All of these are north of the land allotted to the Levites. Each had joined on the others borders with no space between. The next we will give, will be speaking of the priest’s portion.
Beginning (in verse 8 going to verse 22), we see the offering or district. This is the area already described (in 45:1-8), which this unique area includes land allotment for the sentry and the Zadokian priests (8-12); the Levites (verses13-14); the city (verse 15-20); and the prince (verse 21-22).
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.”
This is that area that was holy unto the Lord. This portion contained the sanctuary.
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.”
We discussed this in a previous lesson.
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.”
The main thing to note in this is that it is for the priests.
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.”
These are the priests that did not commit spiritual adultery by worshipping false gods. They had stayed faithful to God. These are descended from Zadok. Zadok was descended from Eleazer. It appears, the Levite priests had sinned. You remember in a previous lesson, the priests of Zadok were promoted, and the other priests were demoted.
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.”
This was not the same land the Levites had been given. They had their own land.
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.”
We remember from an earlier lesson, that this was an area (42-1/2 miles by approximately 17 miles).
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.”
This land was in the hands of the people, but it was not theirs to sell. It really belonged to God. This land was holy unto the LORD, because it was an oblation, and the presence of God was here.
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.”
This was not considered a holy place. It was used for the city, and for the common people. This was an area, for those who lived in and around the city, to build their houses.
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.”
This land, that had been set aside, was a square. Each side was 4500 reeds.
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.”
We see that this too, is a square.
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.”
The land, which was not in use in holy things, was planted, and the people ate from the vegetables of the gardens.
Ezekiel 48:19 “And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.”
This is just speaking of those involved in running the city are some from every tribe. We might say they were gainfully employed.
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.”
We can see from this, that all of these divisions added together made a square. This square was approximately 42 1/2 miles each direction.
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.”
This residue took up two strips of land on either side of the oblation. This is the prince’s portion.
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.
This is just expressing a little more fully, that this land is bordered by the Levites. It appears that this land was on the outside of each of the areas.
Ezekiel 48:23 “As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin [shall have] a [portion].”
It appears, these were on the south side of the city, and these, and the other property allotments, were side by side.
Ezekiel 48:24-29 “And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon [shall have] a [portion].” “And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a [portion].” “And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a [portion].” “And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a [portion].” “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.” “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.”
It appears; they cast lots for the piece of land they would inherit. These above had all received their lot in the southern area. They each got a strip of land, and all of them were side by side making up this lot. They were bordered on the one side by the Mediterranean Sea and on the other by Tamar. Each got a portion, because it was their inheritance from God.
Verses 30-35: Speak of the gates or exits. Twelve city gates, 3 in each cardinal direction, bear the names of Israel’s tribes, one on each gate.
Ezekiel 48:30 “And these [are] the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.”
Everything north of the city together made up these 4500 measures.
All four sides when added together equal 18,000 cubits, which is nearly 6 miles around. Josephus, a Jewish historian, reported in the first century A.D. that Jerusalem was approximately 4 miles in perimeter.
Ezekiel 48:31-34 “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.” “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.” “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.” “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.”
There were twelve tribes of Israel, and there were twelve gates. Each gate named after one. I am not sure this has anything to do with this in the book of Revelation, but this speaks of the twelve gates with the names of the 12 tribes.
Revelation 21:12 “And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:”
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.”
The measures mentioned are reeds.
The name: The city is called YHWH Shammah, “the Lord is There.” The departed glory of God, (chapters 8-11), has returned (44:1-2), and His dwelling, the temple, is in the very center of the district given over to the Lord. With this final note, all of the unconditional promises which God had made to Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant, the Priestly Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant have been fulfilled. So this final verse provides the consummation of Israel’s history, the returned presence of God!
Ezekiel Chapter 48 Questions
1. What is this chapter about?
2. What tribes were allotted land in the north?
3. How were they arranged?
4. What portion contained the sanctuary?
5. What is the main thing to take note of in verse 10?
6. Why are the descendants of Zadok allotted different land from the Levite priests?
7. How large was the land of the oblation all together?
8. What was the profane place used for?
9. What did they use the land that was not used for holy service, for?
10. Who ran the city?
11. The oblation was a _________ of approximately 42 1/2 miles.
12. Where was the residue located?
13. Who did the residue belong to?
14. What tribes’ lands were on the south side?
15. The measure in verse 35 is what?
16. What does the author believe about this vision?
17. The lessons from chapter 40 to chapter 48 are full of ________ and _________.
18. Abraham looked for a city whose maker was ________.
19. From what standpoint were these lessons written?