Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 48:2 And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.
Ezek. 48:3 And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
Ezek. 48:4 And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh.
Ezek. 48:5 And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim.
Ezek. 48:6 And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben.
Ezek. 48:7 And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah.
Seven tribes will be given land allotments in the part of Israel north of the temple and its surrounding properties. Beginning from the north moving south there will be allotments for Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben and Judah.
Of significant note in this list is the inclusion of Dan. This tribe had been obviously excluded from those privileged to have representatives in the group of 144,000 witnesses specially chosen to serve God and spread His message during the tribulation period. (See notes on Revelation 7.)
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Continuing south from Judah, the next allotment of land includes the following:
It is significant to note how the Lord again references the faithfulness of the son of Zadok when the rest of the Levites were unfaithful. I am reminded of the verse in Hebrews.
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
I think this needs to be emphasized more in the church today. Our actions impact our family. Our faithfulness has direct impact on future blessings for us and our family—not just our immediate family, but future generations. A godly heritage is a wonderful gift to leave our children and grandchildren.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 48:19 And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.
Ezek. 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.
This section gives the specifics regarding the environs of the city of Jerusalem. There is a section in the center of the allotment for the city proper, and land on either side designated for farming and growing food for those that love and serve in the city. Verse 19 indicates that those that serve the city will come from all twelve tribes.
Verse 17 indicates that there will be an open area some 150 yards wide (according to the NLT) all around the city.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
These verses are specifying that the land allotment for the prince borders the allotment of that assigned to the Levites, the temple complex and the sons of Zadok, and the city of Jerusalem and its environs. His land extends to the western and eastern borders.
Ezek. 48:23 As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion.
Ezek. 48:24 And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion.
Ezek. 48:25 And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion.
Ezek. 48:26 And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion.
Ezek. 48:27 And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Continuing south from Jerusalem allotments are given to Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad.
Ezek. 48:30 And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
Ezek. 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.
These verses specify the positioning and naming of the gates of Jerusalem.
Ezek. 48:35 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
According to the NLT, the distance around the city will be six miles. In contrast to most of Israel’s existence as a nation, Jerusalem will be known as “The LORD is there.” I liked this quote from the NIV Commentary:
“This name would characterize God’s city just as in Hebrew thought any new name gave a new character to its recipient.”
I just don’t understand how anyone can think that the Lord would be so specific in all these measurements and instructions about a building, priesthood, city, and land and not think He meant us to understand it literally.