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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 48

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-9



Verses 1-9:


The order of the original division of the Holy Land under Joshua is only partly followed here. Seven tribes succeed each other in the northern part, from the north to south: 1. Daniel , 2. Asher, 3. Naphtali, 4. Manasseh, 5. Ephraim, 6. Reuben, and 7. Judah. Each occupies the land in full breadth, from east to west.

Then follows a three part separation of a portion to the Lord: 1) A northern portion for the Levites, 2) A central portion for the priests and the temple, and 3) a southern portion was for the city and those who served it. These three occupied a square which did not cover the full breadth of the land, but were flanked on the east and on the west by portions (property) assigned for the prince or ruler of the land.

There then followed south of Jerusalem five portions for the remaining five tribes: 1) Benjamin, 2) Simeon, 3) Issachar, 4) Zebulun, and 5) Gad.

The city of Jerusalem, where the Lord dwelt, was flanked or guarded by Judah and Benjamin, the two tribes that had continually held the greatest allegiance to Jehovah.

Verse 1 describes the portion given to Dan, in the north. He, as morally semi-heathen, was given the least honorable place in the extreme north part of the land, Numbers 34:7-9.

Verse 2 adds that bordering Dan from the east side to the west side of the land was one portion for Asher. No person of note in this tribe is ever mentioned in the Old Testament, but one notable one--­Anna the prophetess is in the New Testament, Luke 2:36.

Verse 3 then assigns a portion for Naphtali by the border of Asher from the east to the west of the land. This is one of the regions of the Gentiles, to which our Lord appeared in His early ministry in Galilee, Matthew 4:13-14; Luke 4:12.

Verse 4 adds that by the border of Naphtali, on the south, froni east to west was a property portion for Manasseh. Formerly the tribe of Manasseh had been split up between two and a half tribes, some on either side or Jordan, causing continual visits of kinsmen from one side to the other, a thing no more required hereafter in the new order of territory possessions.

Verse 5 further adds that from the border of Manasseh, from east to west, was a portion from Ephraim. This tribe with its two dependent tribes of Manasseh and Benjamin for near 400 years, formerly under the judges, held the pre-eminence in the land.

Verse 6 states that along the southern border of Ephraim, from east to west, was given portion for Reuben’s -possession. This tribe, because of Reuben’s incest, was formerly doomed not to excel, by mandate from the Lord, Genesis 49:4. No distinguished prophet, priest, or king ever came from this tribe, Galatians 6:7-8; Numbers 32:23; Exodus 20:4-5. From this tribe came the mutinous Dothan and Abiram, Numbers 16:12; Numbers 16:25; Deuteronomy 11:6. A pastoral and Bedouin character marked both it and Gad, Judges 5:16.

Verse 7 adds that from the east to the west along the south border of Reuben should be a portion for Judah, the sceptre ­bearing tribe, Genesis 49:10; Micah 5:2.

Verse 8 sets out that along Judah’s southern border, from the east to the west, should be made an offering of the land with 25,000 reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from east to west. And the sanctuary (the temple) was to be located in the midst of it, or in the central portion of the allotment area, Numbers 34:13; Joshua 13:6; Joshua 14:2; Psalms 16:5-6; Ezekiel 45:1.

Verse 9 concludes that the oblation land offering should be 25,000 reeds in length and 10,000 reeds in breadth, from east to west, forming a rectangle, south of Judah’s land of inheritance portion. See Joshua 13:1-19. God was to dwell in His temple, in the midst of His city, in His land, as in the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:3.

Verses 10-20


Verses 10-20:

Verse 16 directs that there shall be apportioned an holy oblation of the Land of Israel for the priests, with the sanctuary of the Lord, (the temple) to be located in the central area of it. The dimensions of v. 9 are then restated as 10,000 reeds in breadth on the north and south ends and 25,000 reeds in length on the east and west sides, with the greater length north and south and the lesser east and west.

Verse 11 certifies that the sanctuary area of the oblation shall be for the custody of the sanctified priests of the family of Zadok; Who had held the priestly charges as sacred, who did not go astray, as the other Levites and Israelites, in the pre-captivity apostacy, Nehemiah 9:34; Jeremiah 23:11; Ezekiel 22:26; Ezekiel 44:10; Zephaniah 3:4; Matthew 2:8-9.

Verse 12 adds that this oblation land of their custody (the sanctified priests of the family of Zadok) should be to them an area most holy, by, alongside, or adjoining the Levites; Whether on the north or south, it is not clear, v. 22.

Verses 13, 14 direct that by the border of the priests the Levites are to have for a possession a property 25,000 reeds long and 10,000 reeds wide. They were forbidden to sell it, exchange it, or dispose of the firstfruits by selling or trading them, because the land and all that pertained to it was sanctified for use of the Levites in Divine Service to the Lord, Exodus 22:29; Leviticus 27:10; Leviticus 27:28; Leviticus 27:33.

Verse 15 prescribes that the remaining 5,000 reeds of the oblation land that remain over against the 25,000 reeds shall be used as a profane or common place use for the city of Jerusalem. On it were to be: 1) residences, and 2) general suburb buildings. The city however was to be in the midst of the greater oblation area, Ezekiel 42:20; Ezekiel 45:6; Leviticus 10:10-11; Deuteronomy 20:5; Haggai 2:11; Haggai 2:13.

Verses 16, 17 lay out dimensions of the city as four thousand (4,000) reeds on each of the four sides, forming a square.

Verses 18, 19 apportion two strips of land on either side of the holy area to be 10,000 by 5,000 reeds. The produce of this land area was designated for food to those who "served the city," other than those of the priests who served the altar, and the Levites who served the tabernacle, Numbers 4:24; Numbers 4:26; Numbers 18:6-7; Joshua 9:27; 1 Kings 4:7-23; Ezra 2:48; Ezra 2:58; Revelation 7:5. To avoid jealousy, the service of the city should be out of all the tribes of Israel, not of the Levites only, Ezekiel 45:6; Previously the employees had been of Judah and Benjamin, 2 Samuel 19:43.

Verse 20 restates the complete dimensions of the oblation lands as 25,000 reeds, foursquare, including the possession of the city. See Numbers 24:5; Isaiah 33:20; Hebrews 12:27; Revelation 21:16.

Verses 21-29


Verses 21-29:

Verses 21, 22 set forth the prince or ruler’s portion of property for him and his sons, to be on the east and on the west and it shall be the holy or sanctified oblation belonging to the princes, in perpetuity. The sanctuary of the house was to be in the midst of it. Then from or excluding the possession of the Levites and the possession of the city, between the border of Judah to the north and Benjamin to the south was for the prince, Ezekiel 34:23-24; Ezekiel 37:24; Ezekiel 45:7-8; Hosea 1:11.

Verse 23 begins a description of the land possession territories to the other five tribes to the south of Jerusalem. Benjamin’s portion was from the east to the west of the land, bordering the holy oblation across the north of her border.

Verse 24 assigns Simeon a portion, from the east to the west along the border of Benjamin.

Verse 25 describes the portion of Issachar as extending from the east to the west along Simeon’s border.

Verse 26 further certifies a portion to Zebulon, extending east to west along Issachar’s southern border.

Verse 27 then assigns a portion to Gad along the south border of Zebulon, east to west.

Verse 28 lays out a territorial portion for Tamar at the southern border of Gad southward, from Tamar to the waters of strife in Kadesh and by the river of Egypt westward to the Mediterranean Sea, 2 Chronicles 20:2; Numbers 20:1; Numbers 20:13; Psalms 106:32.

Verse 29 concludes that "this is (exists as) "the land Israel was to divide, as Divinely prescribed, by lot to the tribes of Israel for an inheritance, with the portions as directed by the Lord, through the mouth and pen of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 47:14; Ezekiel 47:21-22.


Verses 30-35


Verses 30-35:

Verses 30, 31 describe those going out or passing through the gates of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures, the distance of the outer wall about the city. The gates of outer entrances to the city northward should be three--one for Reuben, one for Judah, and one for Levi, Isaiah 60:18; Revelation 21:12.

Verse 32 states that the southern wall of the 4,500 measures should also have three gates--one for Joseph, one for Benjamin, and one for Daniel.

Verse 33 directs that the southern city wall should also be 4,500 measures, with three gates--one for Simeon, one for Issachar, and one for Zebulun.

Verse 34 adds that the western wall should also be 4,500 measures with three gate-entrances--one for Gad, one for Asher, and one for Naphtali. The outer wall measurements were 18,000 measures. And the name of the city, from "that day" when first constructed, and thereafter when perfected, made perfectly sanctified, should be the Lord (Jehovah-shammah) is or exists there, Exodus 17:15; Judges 6:24; Psalms 132:14; Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 33:16; Joel 3:21; Zechariah 2:10; Revelation 21:3; Revelation 22:3. This prophetic vision will ultimately be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, upon His return, even as He "tabernacled with us," for a time, when He became flesh among men, John 1:14; Galatians 4:4-5. O Glorious and Victorious Day! 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.


Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 48". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-48.html. 1985.
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