September 10, Ezekiel 46-48

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46 “This is what the Lord God says: The gate of the inner court that faces east is to be closed during the six days of work, but it will be opened on the Sabbath day and opened on the day of the New Moon. The prince should enter from the outside by way of the gate’s portico and stand at the gate’s doorpost while the priests sacrifice his burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He will bow in worship at the gate’s threshold and then depart, but the gate is not to be closed until evening. The people of the land will also bow in worship before the Lord at the entrance of that gate on the Sabbaths and New Moons.

“The burnt offering that the prince presents to the Lord on the Sabbath day is to be six unblemished lambs and an unblemished ram. The grain offering will be half a bushel[a] with the ram, and the grain offering with the lambs will be whatever he wants to give, as well as a gallon[b] of oil for every half bushel. On the day of the New Moon, the burnt offering is to be a young, unblemished bull, as well as six lambs and a ram without blemish. He will provide a grain offering of half a bushel with the bull, half a bushel with the ram, and whatever he can afford with the lambs, together with a gallon of oil for every half bushel. When the prince enters, he is to go in by way of the gate’s portico and go out the same way.

“When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed times,[c] whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship is to go out by way of the south gate, and whoever enters by way of the south gate is to go out by way of the north gate. No one may return through the gate by which he entered, but is to go out by the opposite gate. 10 When the people enter, the prince will enter with them, and when they leave, he will leave. 11 At the festivals and appointed times, the grain offering will be half a bushel with the bull, half a bushel with the ram, and whatever he wants to give with the lambs, along with a gallon of oil for every half bushel.

12 “When the prince makes a freewill offering, whether a burnt offering or a fellowship offering as a freewill offering to the Lord, the gate that faces east is to be opened for him. He is to offer his burnt offering or fellowship offering just as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he will go out, and the gate is to be closed after he leaves.

13 “You are to offer an unblemished year-old male lamb as a daily burnt offering to the Lord; you will offer it every morning. 14 You are also to prepare a grain offering every morning along with it: three quarts,[d] with one-third of a gallon[e] of oil to moisten the fine flour—a grain offering to the Lord. This is a permanent statute to be observed regularly. 15 They will offer the lamb, the grain offering, and the oil every morning as a regular burnt offering.

Transfer of Royal Lands

16 “This is what the Lord God says: If the prince gives a gift to each of his sons as their inheritance, it will belong to his sons. It will become their property by inheritance. 17 But if he gives a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, it will belong to that servant until the year of freedom, when it will revert to the prince. His inheritance belongs only to his sons; it is theirs. 18 The prince must not take any of the people’s inheritance, evicting them from their property. He is to provide an inheritance for his sons from his own property, so that none of my people will be displaced from his own property.”

The Temple Kitchens

19 Then he brought me through the entrance that was at the side of the gate, into the priests’ holy chambers, which faced north. I saw a place there at the far western end. 20 He said to me, “This is the place where the priests will boil the guilt offering and the sin offering, and where they will bake the grain offering, so that they do not bring them into the outer court and transmit holiness to the people.” 21 Next he brought me into the outer court and led me past its four corners. There was a separate court in each of its corners. 22 In the four corners of the outer court there were enclosed[f] courts, 70 feet[g] long by 52½ feet[h] wide. All four corner areas had the same dimensions. 23 There was a stone wall[i] around the inside of them, around the four of them, with ovens built at the base of the walls on all sides. 24 He said to me, “These are the kitchens where those who minister at the temple will cook the people’s sacrifices.”

The Life-Giving River

47 Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple and there was water flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the temple faced east. The water was coming down from under the south side of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Next he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate that faced east; there the water was trickling from the south side. As the man went out east with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a third of a mile[j] and led me through the water. It came up to my ankles. Then he measured off a third of a mile and led me through the water. It came up to my knees. He measured off another third of a mile and led me through the water. It came up to my waist. Again he measured off a third of a mile, and it was a river that I could not cross on foot. For the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed on foot.

He asked me, “Do you see this, son of man?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I had returned, I saw a very large number of trees along both sides of the riverbank. He said to me, “This water flows out to the eastern region and goes down to the Arabah. When it enters the sea, the sea of foul water,[k][l] the water of the sea becomes fresh. Every kind of living creature that swarms will live wherever the river flows,[m] and there will be a huge number of fish because this water goes there. Since the water will become fresh, there will be life everywhere the river goes. 10 Fishermen will stand beside it from En-gedi to En-eglaim.[n] These will become places where nets are spread out to dry. Their fish will consist of many different kinds, like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 Yet its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be left for salt. 12 All kinds of trees providing food will grow along both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. Each month they will bear fresh fruit because the water comes from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be used for eating and their leaves for healing.”

The Borders of the Land

13 This is what the Lord God says: “This is[o] the border you will use to divide the land as an inheritance for the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph will receive two shares. 14 You will inherit it in equal portions, since I swore[p] to give it to your ancestors. So this land will fall to you as an inheritance.

15 This is to be the border of the land:

On the north side it will extend from the Mediterranean Sea by way of Hethlon and Lebo-hamath to Zedad,[q] 16 Berothah, and Sibraim (which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath), as far as Hazer-hatticon, which is on the border of Hauran. 17 So the border will run from the sea to Hazar-enon at the border of Damascus, with the territory of Hamath to the north. This will be the northern side.

18 On the east side it will run between Hauran and Damascus, along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel; you will measure from the northern border to the eastern sea.[r] This will be the eastern side.

19 On the south side it will run from Tamar to the Waters of Meribath-kadesh,[s] and on to the Brook of Egypt as far as the Mediterranean Sea. This will be the southern side.

20 On the west side the Mediterranean Sea will be the border, from the southern border up to a point opposite Lebo-hamath. This will be the western side.

21 “You are to divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 You will allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens residing among you, who have fathered children among you. You will treat them[t] like native-born Israelites; along with you, they will be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. 23 In whatever tribe the alien resides, you will assign his inheritance there.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

The Tribal Allotments

48 “Now these are the names of the tribes:

From the northern end, along the road of Hethlon, to Lebo-hamath as far as Hazar-enon, at the northern border of Damascus, alongside Hamath and extending from the eastern side to the sea, will be Dan—one portion.

Next to the territory of Dan, from the east side to the west, will be Asher—one portion.

Next to the territory of Asher, from the east side to the west, will be Naphtali—one portion.

Next to the territory of Naphtali, from the east side to the west, will be Manasseh—one portion.

Next to the territory of Manasseh, from the east side to the west, will be Ephraim—one portion.

Next to the territory of Ephraim, from the east side to the west, will be Reuben—one portion.

Next to the territory of Reuben, from the east side to the west, will be Judah—one portion.

“Next to the territory of Judah, from the east side to the west, will be the portion you donate to the Lord, 8⅓ miles[u] wide, and as long as one of the tribal portions from the east side to the west. The sanctuary will be in the middle of it.

“The special portion you donate to the Lord will be 8⅓ miles long and 3⅓ miles[v] wide. 10 This holy donation will be set apart for the priests alone. It will be 8⅓ miles long on the northern side, 3⅓ miles wide on the western side, 3⅓ miles wide on the eastern side, and 8⅓ miles long on the southern side. The Lord’s sanctuary will be in the middle of it. 11 It is for the consecrated priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept my charge and did not go astray as the Levites did when the Israelites went astray. 12 It will be a special donation for them out of the holy donation of the land, a most holy place adjacent to the territory of the Levites.

13 “Next to the territory of the priests, the Levites will have an area 8⅓ miles long and 3⅓ miles wide. The total length will be 8⅓ miles and the width 3⅓ miles. 14 They must not sell or exchange any of it, and they must not transfer this choice part of the land, for it is holy to the Lord.

15 “The remaining area, 1⅔ miles[w] wide and 8⅓ miles long, will be for common use by the city, for both residential and open space. The city will be in the middle of it. 16 These are the city’s measurements:

1½ miles[x] on the north side;

1½ miles on the south side;

1½ miles on the east side;

and 1½ miles on the west side.

17 The city’s open space will extend:

425 feet[y] to the north,

425 feet to the south,

425 feet to the east,

and 425 feet to the west.

18 “The remainder of the length alongside the holy donation will be 3⅓ miles to the east and 3⅓ miles to the west. It will run alongside the holy donation. Its produce will be food for the workers of the city. 19 The city’s workers from all the tribes of Israel will cultivate it. 20 The entire donation will be 8⅓ miles by 8⅓ miles; you are to set apart the holy donation along with the city property as a square area.

21 “The remaining area on both sides of the holy donation and the city property will belong to the prince. He will own the land adjacent to the tribal portions, next to the 8⅓ miles of the donation as far as the eastern border and[z] next to the 8⅓ miles of the donation as far as the western border. The holy donation and the sanctuary of the temple will be in the middle of it. 22 Except for the Levitical property and the city property in the middle of the area belonging to the prince, the area between the territory of Judah and that of Benjamin will belong to the prince.

23 “As for the rest of the tribes:

From the east side to the west, will be Benjamin—one portion.

24 Next to the territory of Benjamin, from the east side to the west, will be Simeon—one portion.

25 Next to the territory of Simeon, from the east side to the west, will be Issachar—one portion.

26 Next to the territory of Issachar, from the east side to the west, will be Zebulun—one portion.

27 Next to the territory of Zebulun, from the east side to the west, will be Gad—one portion.

28 Next to the territory of Gad toward the south side, the border will run from Tamar to the Waters of Meribath-kadesh, to the Brook of Egypt, and out to the Mediterranean Sea. 29 This is the land you are to allot as an inheritance to Israel’s tribes, and these will be their portions.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

The New City

30 “These are the exits of the city:

On the north side, which measures 1½ miles, 31 there will be three gates facing north, the gates of the city being named for the tribes of Israel: one, the gate of Reuben; one, the gate of Judah; and one, the gate of Levi.

32 On the east side, which is 1½ miles, there will be three gates: one, the gate of Joseph; one, the gate of Benjamin; and one, the gate of Dan.

33 On the south side, which measures 1½ miles, there will be three gates: one, the gate of Simeon; one, the gate of Issachar; and one, the gate of Zebulun.

34 On the west side, which is 1½ miles, there will be three gates: one, the gate of Gad; one, the gate of Asher; and one, the gate of Naphtali.

35 The perimeter of the city will be six miles,[aa] and the name of the city from that day on will be The Lord Is There.”

“There will be life everywhere the river goes.”(47:9) What an amazing picture! Jesus is the  ‘living water’(John 4:10). Whatever that ‘living water’ touches becomes full of life. The poor become rich. The weak become strong. The chained become free. The sick become whole. The fullness of life that Jesus brings is not an earthly fullness that is here one moment and gone the next. Rather is a fullness to an eternal life spent with Him. The tree planted beside that river, not only produces fruit, but also never withers or dies. What joy comes to those who are planted beside the river!

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