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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Ezekiel 48

 

 

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, Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.

From the north end to the coast of ... Hamath ... a portion for Dan. The lands are divided into portions of ideal exactness, running alongside of each other, the whole breadth from west to east, standing in a common relation to the temple in the center-seven tribes' portions on the north, five in the smaller division in the south. The portions of the city, the temple, the prince, and the priesthood, are in the middle, not within the boundaries of any tribe, all alike having a common interest in them. Judah has the place of honour next the center on the north, Benjamin the corresponding place of honour next the center on the south, because of the adherence of these two to the temple ordinances and to the house of David for so long, when the others deserted them. Dan, on the contrary, so long locally and morally semi-pagan (Judges 17:1-13), is to have the least honourable place, at the extreme north. For the same reason, John (Revelation 7:5-8) omits Dan altogether.


Verse 2

And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.

A portion for Asher - a tribe of which no one of note is mentioned in the Old Testament. In the New Testament one is singled out of it, the prophetess Anna, in Luke 2:1-52.


Verse 3

And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 4

And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh.

A portion for Manasseh. The contact and unity between the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan, and the nine and a half west of it, had been much kept up by the splitting of Manasseh, causing the visits of kinsmen one to the other from both sides of the Jordan. There shall be no need for this in the new order of things.


Verse 5

And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim.

A portion for Ephraim. This tribe with its two dependent tribes, Manasseh and Benjamin, for upwards of 400 years under the Judges held the preeminence.


Verse 6

And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben.

A portion for Reuben - doomed formerly, for incest and instability, "not to excel" (Genesis 49:4). So no distinguished prophet, priest, or king had come from it. Of it were the notorious Dathan and Abiram, the mutineers. A pastoral and Bedouin character marked it and Gad (Judges 5:16).


Verses 7-14

And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah. No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verses 15-17

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.

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 ... for suburbs ... the north side four thousand and five hundred ... And the suburbs ... shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty ... The 5,000 rods apportioned to the city out of the 25,000 square, are to be laid off in a square of 4,500, with the 250 all round for suburbs.

Profane - i:e., not strictly sacred, as the sacerdotal portions, but applied to secular uses.


Verses 18-23

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 24

And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion.

By the border of Benjamin - cf. Jacob's prophecy ( Genesis 49:27 ; Deuteronomy 33:12), It alone with Judah had been throughout loyal to the house of David, so its prowess at the "night" of the national history was celebrated as well as "in the morning."


Verse 25

And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion.

Simeon - omitted in the blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy 33:1-29, perhaps because of the Simeonite "prince" who at Baalpeor led the Israelites in their idolatrous whoredoms with Midian (Numbers 25:14). Ezekiel 48:26

And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion.

Issachar - its ancient portion had been on the plain of Esdraelon. Compared (Genesis 49:14) to "a strong donkey crouching between two burdens" - i:e., tribute and tillage; never meddling with wars except in self-defense.


Verse 27-28

And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


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.

This is the land which ye shall divide. Thus the order of allotments is:

In the middle of A was the temple, and this whole portion was given to the priests of Zadok's line. B was given to the Levites. C is the secular portion, in the center of which stands the city. Thus the holy portion of the land does not stand midway between the two divisions of tribes, but has seven north of it and five south of it.


Verse 30

And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


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.

The gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel - (Revelation 21:12 , the city "had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel," etc.) The twelve gates bear the names of the twelve tribes, to imply that all are regarded as having an interest in it.


Verses 32-34

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 35

It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city

The name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there - Yahweh-shammah. Not that the city will be called so in mere name, but that the reality will be best expressed by this descriptive title ( Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 33:16; Zechariah 2:10 ; Revelation 21:3; Revelation 22:3).

Remarks:

(1) In this chapter is set forth the allotment of the land to the several tribes. It is to be noticed that the places of more or less honour assigned to each tribe are regulated by the degree of faithfulness to the Lord and His ordinances by which the tribes severally were characterized. Thus Judah and Benjamin, the tribes which adhered longest to the ordinances of the temple and to the house of David, when the rest apostatized, shall hold the most honourable positions-Judah the place next the center on the north, Benjamin the corresponding place of honour next the center on the south. Dan, on the contrary, is to have the least honourable place at the extreme north, as having been so early as the time of the Judges in a great degree demoralized and paganized. So in respect to the degrees of glory which await all the saints in the coming kingdom of God, the measure of honour will be regulated by the measure of faithfulness. He who lays out his one pound now so as to gain ten pounds for the Master's glory, shall then receive the government of ten cities: he who with his one pound gains five pounds shall have rule over five cities (Luke 19:15-19). Herein believers have the strongest incentive, not merely to work for the Lord, but to abound in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know our labour is not in vain in the Lord ( 1 Corinthians 15:58).

(2) The names of the twelve tribes are to be severally connected with the twelve gates of the city, because all alike shall have an interest in it in their respective places and stations. So the very humblest believer has his due place appointed to him in the heavenly city that is to come. That shall be a blessed change from the present scene of disorder and confusion, to a world wherein all beneath God, from the highest to the lowest, know and keep their place in the most perfect harmony, love, and blessedness.

(3) The name of the city from that day, in which this beautiful and holy order shall have been established, is to be "Yahweh-shammah," THE LORD IS THERE ( Ezekiel 48:35 ). The glory and joy of heaven shall not be so much the absence of all present woes, and the presence of all the other good things which God shall bestow, as it shall consist in this, the Lord Himself shall be there, as the everlasting portion, joy, and light of His people. "God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:3 ). May he who writes this commentary, and his readers, so know the Lord now by faith that hereafter he and they may have the full fruition of the presence of His glorious Godhead!

 


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

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezekiel 48:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ezekiel-48.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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