Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 48

Verses 1-35


The New Israel (Ezekiel 33-48)

So long as the Jewish kingdom remained in existence Ezekiel’s prophecies (those in Ezekiel 1-24) dealt almost exclusively with the nation’s sin, and with the certainty of its overthrow. But when these prophecies were fulfilled by the fall of Jerusalem his message assumed a new and hopeful character. God’s punishment of Israel’s sin was not the end of His dealings with His people. The destruction of the old sinful Israel would be followed by the establishment of a perfect kingdom of God. The humiliation of the foreign nations (described in Ezekiel 25-32) would prepare the way for this, and would be succeeded by the restoration of the exiles. The new kingdom would be set up under new conditions of worship and fellowship with God. This concluding part of the book falls into two sections, the first dealing with the restoration from captivity (Ezekiel 33-39), and the second with the new arrangements and laws of the future kingdom (Ezekiel 40-48).

Verses 1-35


§ 2. The Ordinances of the New Israel (Ezekiel 40-48)

This concluding section of the book is dated in the twenty-fifth year of Ezekiel’s captivity, i.e. the fourteenth year after the fall of Jerusalem (572 b.c.). It is therefore thirteen years later than the previous section (Ezekiel 33-39), and, with the exception of Ezekiel 29:17-21, forms the latest part of the book. It is in the form of a vision, which is the counterpart of that in Ezekiel 8-11. There God forsook the old Temple which had been polluted by idolatry. Here we have a description of the Temple of the restored kingdom, of God’s return to it, and of the various religious arrangements and institutions of the future. The vision is marked by great minuteness of detail, and no doubt Ezekiel had brooded long and deeply over the particulars of the Temple and its ritual. Yet, as in former cases, there is no reason to doubt that this vision was an actual experience, in which the subjects of previous reflection stood out vividly before the prophet’s mind. While the material details are so minute, some features of the vision are supernatural and miraculous. The whole forms an ideal picture, which was never actually to be realised, but which strikingly embodied the conception of the abiding presence of God with His people, and of their perfect fellowship with Him.

The Plans of Ezekiel’s Temple, on p. 518, are by permission of the Cambridge University Press.

Verses 1-35


The Division of the Land and the Plan of the City

(a) The Tribes (Ezekiel 48:1-7; Ezekiel 48:23-29)

These were twelve in number, as the two tribes descended from Joseph (Ezekiel 47:13) made up for the exclusion of Levi. From the N. border (Ezekiel 48:1) to the S. border (Ezekiel 48:28) the country was divided into 13 parallel zones, running across it from the E. to the W. boundary. Starting from the N., seven of these were assigned in order to the tribes of Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, and Judah. Passing over the eighth portion, the remaining five were allotted to the tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad respectively (see Fig. 8).

1. To the coast of] RV ’beside’, As one goeth to] RV ’to the entering in of’, For these are his sides] RV ’and they shall have their sides’,

28. See on Ezekiel 47:19.

(b) The Sacred Territory (Ezekiel 48:8-22)

This has already been partly described in Ezekiel 45:1-8. It formed a zone extending from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, between the portion of Judah on the N. and that of Benjamin on the S. (see Fig. 8). Its breadth was 25,000 cubits from N. to S. (Ezekiel 48:8). The central portion formed a square of 25,000 cubits each way, and included the domains of the Lévites, priests, and city, as described in Ezekiel 45:8-15 (see Fig. 7). The strip of 25,000 cubits by 5,000 (Fig. 7, g h c d), assigned to the city, consisted of a central square 5,000 cubits each way (i k I m), which contained the city proper, a square of 4,500 cubits each way (Ezekiel 48:16), surrounded on all sides by a border (suburbs) 250 cubits across (Ezekiel 48:17). E. and W. of this square were two rectangles (g i c l, k h m d), each 10,000 cubits by 5,000, to be cultivated by the citizens for food (Ezekiel 48:18-19). On the E. and W. of the great square formed by the lands of the Lévites, priests, and city, lay the possessions of the prince (Fig. 7, PP), extending to the Mediterranean on the W. and the Jordan on the E., as described in Ezekiel 45:7 (Ezekiel 48:21-22).

Click image for full-size version

8. Offering] RV ’oblation’. See Ezekiel 48:9-10, Ezekiel 48:20, Ezekiel 48:21. Reeds] should be ’cubits’, and so throughout.

9. Ten thousand] RM ’twenty thousand’, as in Ezekiel 45:1.

13. Over against] RV ’answerable unto’: so in Ezekiel 48:18, Ezekiel 48:21.

15. A profane place] RV ’for common use.’

18. Serve] RV ’labour in’: so in Ezekiel 48:19.

19. Shall serve it] RV ’shall till it.’

21. The portions] The territories of Judah and Benjamin.

(c) The Gates of the City (Ezekiel 48:30-35)

The city, excluding the suburbs, was a square of 4,500 cubits each way, or 18,000 cubits in circuit. It had twelve gates, three on each side, and called after the twelve tribes, Joseph being here one tribe. The name of the city, Jehovah-Shammah, expressed the abiding presence of God with His people. This passage is the basis of Revelation 22:12-13, Revelation 22:16.

30. Measures] means ’cubits’: so in Ezekiel 48:33, Ezekiel 48:35. In Ezekiel 48:32, Ezekiel 48:34 for reeds (RT) read ’cubits.’

Verses 1-35


The Division of the Land and the Plan of the City

(a) The Tribes (Ezekiel 48:1-7; Ezekiel 48:23-29)

These were twelve in number, as the two tribes descended from Joseph (Ezekiel 47:13) made up for the exclusion of Levi. From the N. border (Ezekiel 48:1) to the S. border (Ezekiel 48:28) the country was divided into 13 parallel zones, running across it from the E. to the W. boundary. Starting from the N., seven of these were assigned in order to the tribes of Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, and Judah. Passing over the eighth portion, the remaining five were allotted to the tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad respectively (see Fig. 8).

1. To the coast of] RV ’beside’, As one goeth to] RV ’to the entering in of’, For these are his sides] RV ’and they shall have their sides’,

28. See on Ezekiel 47:19.

(b) The Sacred Territory (Ezekiel 48:8-22)

This has already been partly described in Ezekiel 45:1-8. It formed a zone extending from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, between the portion of Judah on the N. and that of Benjamin on the S. (see Fig. 8). Its breadth was 25,000 cubits from N. to S. (Ezekiel 48:8). The central portion formed a square of 25,000 cubits each way, and included the domains of the Lévites, priests, and city, as described in Ezekiel 45:8-15 (see Fig. 7). The strip of 25,000 cubits by 5,000 (Fig. 7, g h c d), assigned to the city, consisted of a central square 5,000 cubits each way (i k I m), which contained the city proper, a square of 4,500 cubits each way (Ezekiel 48:16), surrounded on all sides by a border (suburbs) 250 cubits across (Ezekiel 48:17). E. and W. of this square were two rectangles (g i c l, k h m d), each 10,000 cubits by 5,000, to be cultivated by the citizens for food (Ezekiel 48:18-19). On the E. and W. of the great square formed by the lands of the Lévites, priests, and city, lay the possessions of the prince (Fig. 7, PP), extending to the Mediterranean on the W. and the Jordan on the E., as described in Ezekiel 45:7 (Ezekiel 48:21-22).

Click image for full-size version

8. Offering] RV ’oblation’. See Ezekiel 48:9-10, Ezekiel 48:20, Ezekiel 48:21. Reeds] should be ’cubits’, and so throughout.

9. Ten thousand] RM ’twenty thousand’, as in Ezekiel 45:1.

13. Over against] RV ’answerable unto’: so in Ezekiel 48:18, Ezekiel 48:21.

15. A profane place] RV ’for common use.’

18. Serve] RV ’labour in’: so in Ezekiel 48:19.

19. Shall serve it] RV ’shall till it.’

21. The portions] The territories of Judah and Benjamin.

(c) The Gates of the City (Ezekiel 48:30-35)

The city, excluding the suburbs, was a square of 4,500 cubits each way, or 18,000 cubits in circuit. It had twelve gates, three on each side, and called after the twelve tribes, Joseph being here one tribe. The name of the city, Jehovah-Shammah, expressed the abiding presence of God with His people. This passage is the basis of Revelation 22:12-13, Revelation 22:16.

30. Measures] means ’cubits’: so in Ezekiel 48:33, Ezekiel 48:35. In Ezekiel 48:32, Ezekiel 48:34 for reeds (RT) read ’cubits.’

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 48". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/ezekiel-48.html. 1909.