Keturah New Covenant - Kingdom/Temple Dispensation
Eze 37:16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
Eze 37:17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
Eze 37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
Eze 37:22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
Eze 37:24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
Eze 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
Eze 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
Eze 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
"The division of the nation into two kingdoms had its roots, no doubt, in the ancient jealousy existing between the two tribes of Ephraim and Judah, but its was primarily brought to pass through the falling away of Solomon from the Lord. Consequently it could only be completely and for ever terminated through the righteous government of the second David, and the purification of the people from their sins" (C. F. Keil, Ezekiel-Daniel, KD, p.316).
Isa 11:13 Ephraim's jealousy will vanish, and Judah's enemies will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
"The union of the two sticks into one portrayed the reunion of the nations of Judah and Israel into a united kingdom in the land of promise in the Abrahamic covenant (vv.19, 22-25; Gen 12:1-3, 7; ... 17:17-18; 28:4, 13-15). Never again would the nation be divided. The Messiah, David's greater Son, would be the only King, Shepherd, and Prince that Israel would ever have in accord with the Davidic covenant (vv.22b, 24a, 25b; cf. 34:10b-31; 2 Sam 7:13,16). This united people of God would be cleansed from their former idolatry and transgressions through the complete forgiveness provided by the Messiah's death and the ministry of the Spirit promised in the new covenant and (v.23a; 36:16-32; Jer 31:31-34). By accepting the new covenant, Israel would be enabled through the Holy Spirit to follow the righteous stipulations of the Mosaic covenant and to live by them (v.24b). Then Israel would finally be the unique, choice people that God had created for himself; and he would be their God - finally fulfilling the ideal of the Mosaic covenant (vv.23b, 27; cf. Exod 19:5-6; Lev 26:12; Deut 7:6; 14;2, 21; 26:18-19; 27:9; Jer 30:22; 31:33; 32:38).
"The Lord would enact his peace covenant (cf. 34:25-29) with Israel at the time of her restoration to the land, when all her other covenants with God would be fulfilled (v.26). Under this peace covenant Israel would be established in her own land, her numbers would increase (cf. Gen 22:17-18), and the Lord would place his sanctuary - his dwelling place - among his people forever (vv.26-27; cf. 40:5-43:9). Then all nations would see that it was the Lord who made Israel holy. She would be set apart from all nations as God's special possession. No other nation would have the Lord dwelling in its sanctuary uniquely in its midst as would Israel (v.28; cf. chs. 40-48).
"When all Israel's covenants have been consummated, then the Lord will enact his peace covenant with Israel. She will dwell in peace forever under the rule of her king, the Messiah (34:25-29; 37:26; cf. 38:11)...
"Israel would return united with the Messiah as her singular ruler, with all God's covenants fulfilled" (Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, EBC, Vol.6, pp.927-28).
Ge 48:15 Then he [Jacob] blessed Joseph and said, "May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
Ge 48:16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm...
Jdg 11:27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the LORD, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites. (NIV).
Ezekiel declares that the descendants of Jacob, in the future, will have one Shepherd over them. This is the same Shepherd that had been with Jacob all his life.
The Angel/Messenger of God, who also was God, by implication, is God's Servant.
Mt 2:6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"
Heb 13:20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep.
Mt 12:18 "Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight;
Mt 12:21 In his name the nations will put their hope." (NIV).
That same Shepherd is leading/feeding God's Church - the Israel of God - today.
God is going to 'raise up' the Messiah, the 'true' David, as King and Shepherd of the New Covenant Kingdom of Israel.
Victory and then Rest
1Ki 5:3 ... because of the wars waged against ... David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet.
"God's priorities are that his own royal house, where his throne (the ark) can finally come to rest..., will wait until Israel is at rest and David's dynasty (in the person of his son) is secure" (Kenneth Barker, General Editor, The NIV Study Bible, Note on 2 Sam 7:13, p.433).
Eze 38:3 Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
Eze 38:4 ... I will turn thee back ... and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen...
Eze 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
Eze 38:6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
Eze 38:9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many people with you
Eze 39: 2 ...and I will ... bring you against the mountains of Israel
"Ezekiel describes an antichristian confederacy which is to assail the Holy Land before the Millennium..." (A.R. Fausset, Jeremiah - Malachi, Vol. 2, Pt.2, p.349).
Joshua, the son of Nun, in establishing the Old Covenant Kingdom of God in Canaan, provides the type for Joshua, Son of God, in establishing the New Covenant Kingdom of God in Canaan and through out the earth.
The campaign against the confederacy organize by Jabin king of Hazor (below) is a type of the confederacy organized by Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
"Only the northern cities remained to be conquered. The major battle for the hills of Galilee is fought and won against Hazor and the coalition of other northern city-states. A summary follows of all Joshua's victories in the southern and central regions as well" (Kenneth Barker, General Editor, The NIV Study Bible, Note on Joshua 11:1-23, p.306).
Jos 11:1 ... Jabin king of Hazor ... sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,
Jos 11:2 And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west
Jos 11:3 And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.
Jos 11:4 And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.
Jos 11:5 And when all these kings were met together, they came ... to fight against Israel.
Jos 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.
Jos 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
After the defeat of Gog, Ezekiel, in his last vision, is "shown the new temple and the new organization of the services of God, together with the new division of the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel" (C.F. Keil, Ezekiel-Daniel, KD, p.342).
"Temple building could only be the completion and crowning effect of Yahweh's creation of a kingdom" (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Towards an Old Testament Theology, p.150).
Vision of Transformation
"Human geography shows that every society is organized in space. Changing the spatial organization of the society changes the society. Ezekiel 40-48 is a vision of a new society with controlled access to sacred space, based on a spatial theology of holiness" (Kalinda Rose Stevenson, The Vision of Transformation - The Territorial Rhetoric of Ezekiel 40-48, p.xviii).
See also Human Geography - A spatial theology of holiness.
Eze 40:2 In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city.
Eze 40:4 The man said to me, "Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the house of Israel everything you see."
Eze 40:5 I saw a wall completely surrounding the temple area...
"... like the descriptions of the tabernacle (Exod. 25-31; 36-40) and the temple of Solomon (1 K. 6-8; 2 Chr. 2-3), the description is composite, focusing on various aspects of the complex. Except for the altar, however, Ezekiel seems unconcerned about the accoutrements and furniture of the temple. His interest is in the design of sacred space, not the objects that fill up that space" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.507).
"[Ezekiel] meets an angelic figure who conducts him around the temple area, measuring everything with a builder's measuring-rod. He begins with a close study of the gateways to the outer court (40:6-16) before entering the outer court to see the chambers which faced inwards on to the pavement around its outer wall. After looking at the two other gateways to the outer court (40:20-27), he is led to the gateway which leads from the outer court into the inner court, where only the priests are allowed to go, and once again there are three of these, on the north, east and south sides respectively (40:28-37). The temple itself stands on the western side, so there is no gateway there, either to the inner or to the outer court... A brief reference to the special sacrificial equipment and the rooms reserved for the sacrificing priests (40:38-47) prepares the way for a detailed description of the holy place (40:48 - 41:26), after which the prophet is led outside for a final survey of the temple area (42:1-20)" (John B. Taylor, Ezekiel, TOTC, pp.250-251).
"... the temple building itself, [is] in the middle of the inner court. Its special holiness is represented by its being elevated yet again above the surrounding levels of the inner and outer courts (40:49; 41:18)... The increasing holiness is also represented by the decreasing size of entrances; the further in you go, the narrower the entrances becomes: fourteen cubits at the main entrance (40:48), ten cubits at the entrance to the larger sanctuary (41:2), and only six cubits at the entrance to the Most Holy Place (41:3)" (Christopher J. H. Wright, The Message of Eekiel, BST, pp.331-32).
Glory of the Lord Returns to the Temple
Eze 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
Eze 43:4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
Eze 43:5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.
Eze 43:6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.
Eze 43:7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever...
Eze 44:2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
"Everything was now ready for His reception. As the Shechinah-glory was the peculiar distinction of the old temple, so it was to be in the new, in a degree as much more transcendent as the proportions of the new exceeded those of the old" (A.R. Fausset, Jeremiah - Malachi, Vol. 2, Pt.2, p.349).
"The present pattern - the description of the sanctuary followed by the entrance of the divine kabod ["glory"] into the building - follows the pattern of two previous biblical parallels, the construction of the tabernacle (Exod. 25-40) and Solomon's temple (1 K. 6-8). In both instances, the arrival of the glory served as a visible seal of Yaweh's approval on the construction project. God had taken up residence in his palace..." (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.576).
"As in the exodus, Sinai, and tabernacle narratives, the glory is the visible manifestation of the divine presence, a fact reinforced by Yahweh's own interpretative comment in 44:2..." (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.578).
"..."this is the place of my throne, the place for the soles of my feet." The language is obviously royal; Yahweh is hereby declaring that the temple is his palace and asserting his claims to kingship over Israel...
"The image of divine kingship is concretized with the description of the temple as "the place for the soles of my feet"...
"The austerity of this assertion of divine kingship is deliberately tempered by the ... reference to Yahweh's eternal ... residence in the midst of the descendants of Israel (vv. 7.9). The verb sakan alludes to the tabernacle/temple as the miskan, "dwelling place," of Yahweh... The vision of the return of the kabod offers optical reinforcement of verbal pronouncements in earlier salvation oracles (ch. 34-37) that Yahweh will come back and establish his residence among them, never again to leave. Ezekiel's temple represents a symbol of his recommitment" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, pp.580-582).
Eze 43:26 For seven days they are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; thus they will dedicate it.
Eze 43:27 At the end of these days, from the eighth day on, the priests are to present your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar. Then I will accept you, declares the Sovereign LORD. (NIV).
"After the altar of sacrifice was constructed, it would be necessary to cleanse and dedicate it (v.18). Cleansing was needed because everything associated with man partook of sin and therefore needed to be cleansed, especially if it was to be used in the worship of the Lord. A similar cleansing and dedication took place with the altar of sacrifice of the tabernacle (Exod 29:36-37; Lev 8:14-17) and the altar of Solomon's temple (2 Chron 7:9)" (Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, EBC, Vol.6, p.971).
Isa 4:5 Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy.
Isa 4:6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. (NIV).
"Create (bara) is used in the Old Testament only of acts of God, things which by their greatness or newness or both absolutely require a divine agent. This supreme new reality is the Lord's own presence, signalled by the ancient symbol of cloud ... by day ... fire by night (Ex. 13:21-22; 19:18). His presence is of the most intimate nature, for over all the glory will be a canopy. Canopy (huppa) is the 'marriage chamber' in Psalm 19:6 and Joel 2:16, the canopy providing privacy as bridegroom and bride come together in love and union. Glory is either the Messiah united in love with his bride-people, or the holy people of Zion joined in consummated love with the Lord under the overshadowing tokens of his presence...
"The overshadowing fiery cloud of divine presence, the bridal canopy, will be shelter ... shade ... refuge ... hiding place. The doubling of words is deliberate, conveying the idea of 'every possible protection'. Likewise the contrast of heat with storm and night with day implies 'in every circumstance and threat' and 'at all times'" (Alec Motyer, Isaiah, TOTC, p.60).
Restoration of the Pillars of the Kingdom
Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
Jer 33:17 For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
Jer 33:18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
Jer 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.
"The Davidic kingdom and the Levitical priesthood were the two pillars and bases of the Old Testament theocracy, on which its existence and continuance depended. The priesthood formed the medium of approach for the people into divine favour. The kingdom assured them of the divine guidance. Both of these pillars were broken with the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple; the theocracy appeared to have ceased to exist. At this time, when the kingdom ... was being dissolved, the Lord, in order to keep His people from despair, declares that these two institutions, in accordance with His people shall not fall to the ground, but shall stand for ever. By this, God own people received a pledge for the re-establishment and renovation of the kingdom of God" (C.F. Keil, Jeremiah, KD, p.303).
"In those days" refers to the time, yet future, when the Messiah will "execute judgment and righteousness in the land". This is the time when the 'renovated' Davidic monarchy and the Levitical priesthood will have been restored.
"The David and Solomon of the Chronicler ... must be seen not only as the David and Solomon of history, but also as typifying the Messianic king of the Chronicler's expectation" (Kenneth Barker, General Editor, The NIV Study Bible, Introduction to 1 Chronicles, p.580).
Solomon as king and Zadok as priest are the types for this Messianic Kingdom. There will be generations of Davidic kings ruling on the throne of the Lord and generations of the sons of Zadok serving as priests.
Jer 33:20 "This is what the LORD says: 'If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time,
Jer 33:21 then my covenant with David my servant - and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me - can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. (NIV).
"The enduring nature of Davidic rule and the levitical priesthood is expressed here by likening their permanence to the constant alternation of day and night, which are also secured by divine promise (Gen 8:22)" (Gerald L. Keown, Pamela J. Scalise, Thomas G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52, WBC, p.174).
While the regular succession of day and night implies "permanence" it may also imply a regular succession of Davidic kings siting on David's throne.
Jesus Christ, as the Word of God, ruled Old Covenant Israel through the Davidic monarchy; and in the future Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, will rule New Covenant Israel through the Davidic monarchy.
The Law of the Temple: Ezekiel 43:10-46:18
Ezek 43:12 "This is the law of the temple: All the surrounding area on top of the mountain will be most holy. Such is the law of the temple (NIV).
"At the center of Ezekiel 40-48 in its final form is a law code. It is the only body of law in the Hebrew Bible that is not ascribed to Moses... The law code itself deals broadly with access to the divine presence by right priesthood and right liturgy. These chapters also describe a secular leader (called the nasi, the term generally used in chs. 1-39 for the king), but only as his responsibilities relate to participation in, and funding of, the temple liturgy. As the title in 43:12 succinctly states, "This is the law of the temple."
"... in the Law of the Temple, the temple is "the heart of life, the center of the world, the one source of meaning and direction"... The temple, now understood as the actual shrine on the actual mountain, is the one place where the Lord's presence can be experienced. Through the intermediation of the Zadokite priesthood, by mean of the liturgy funded by the prince, worshippers can encounter God" (Steven Tuell, Ezekiel, NIBC, pp.301, 342).
Sons of Zadok
Eze 44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD
Eze 44:16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.
"The priestly service at the altar and in the sanctuary ... was to be performed by the sons of Zadok alone, because when the people went astray they kept the charge of the sanctuary, i.e., performed the duties of the priestly office with fidelity. Zadok was the son of Ahitub, of the line of Eleazar (1 Chron. 5:34; 6:37, 38), who remained faithful to King David at the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:24ff.), and also anointed Solomon as king in opposition of Adonijah the pretender (1Kings 1:32ff.); whereas the high priest Abiathar, of the line of Ithamar, took part with Adonijah (1 Kings 1:7, 25), and was deposed from his office by Solomon in consequence, so that the now the high-priesthood was in the sole possession of Zadok and his descendants (1 Kings 2:26, 27, and 35).... As he received the high-priesthood from Solomon in the place of Abiathar for this fidelity of his, so shall his descendants only be vested with the priestly office in the new temple" (C. F. Keil, Ezekiel - Daniel, KD, p.414).
1Ki 2:27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
"... the family of Aaron was specially chosen for the actual priestly service, with the Elide line eventually assuming ascendancy within officialdom. Because of corruption within the Elide house (1 Sam. 3:11-15), under David and Solomon the Elides had been replaced by the Zadokites, who maintained their superior position until the exile, and probably beyond (cf. 1 Chr. 6:1-15). Ezekiel himself was probably a Zadokite (cf. Ezek. 1:3), as was Ezra, the leader of the spiritual revival among the returned exiles (Ezra 7:1:1-7)" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.635).
The sons of Zadok served in Solomon's temple and they will serve in Ezekiel's temple. Joshua (Haggai 1:14) provides the type after the Babylonian captivity for the antitype after the end-time captivity.
Eze 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
"... cleanness is a state intermediate between holiness and uncleanness. Cleanness is the normal condition of most things and persons. Sanctification can elevate the clean into the holy, while pollution degrades the clean into the unclean. The unclean and the holy are two states which must never come in contact with each other" (Gordon J. Wenham, The Book of Leviticus, NICOT, pp.19-20).
Eze 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.
"... the focus shifts from the priests' cultic service before Yahweh to their function in Israelite society, referred to by Yahweh affectionately as "my people." Three dimensions of their public role are specified" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT p.642).
"They had a major role in the teaching and administration of the law. They are to teach my people... Verse 23 is based on Leviticus 10:10-11, which records this teaching function as part of the 'ordination' of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood. Specifically, the content of their teaching was to ensure that ordinary Israelites knew the fundamental differences between the holy and the common and between the unclean and the clean. These were foundational to Israel's religious worldview. They symbolized within the everyday world of Israelites the holiness of Yahweh and all that was closely associated with him, and the distinctions between themselves and the rest of the nations. These were not merely taboos. They were badges of an identity and a mission which called for holiness of life and behaviour as well. In teaching these distinctions, the priests would have taught the rest of the Torah also, with its clear demand for Israel to live out the ethical responsibilities of their election and redemption...
"Because of their familiarity with the law, the priests were also to be involved in its administration in the courts: 'in any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges' (24a). This role in public settling of disputes also rest on much earlier tradition found in Deuteronomy 17:8-13 and 19:15-21. Jehoshaphat, king in Judah in the ninth century BC, included Levite priests in his appeal court in Jerusalem, set up to judge difficult cases referred to them by local courts. Understandably, if the priests were to teach the law and administer it with integrity, they themselves must be models of obedient living: 'They are to keep my laws and my decrees' (24b).
"Putting these three duties together, then, in relation to the law of God, the priests were to be teachers, conflict resolvers and moral examples. Ezra provides an outstanding example of such leadership, with the added observation that he made the law a matter of personal study as well... Ezra's triple commitment to the law was to study it, to do it and to teach it" (Christopher J. H. Wright, The Message of Eekiel, BST, pp.350-351).
"Under the assumption "like people, like priest" (Hos. 4:9), the burden of resolving the earlier problems (cf. Ezek. 22:26) rests on the shoulders of the priestly class. The call for a holy people begins at the top" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.643).
Eze 44:10 And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.
Eze 44:11 Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them.
Eze 44:12 Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity.
Eze 44:13 And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed.
Eze 44:14 But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein.
"... Levites are to act as temple ministers and gatekeepers. Their duties are described (11) as (a) oversight of the temple gates, as part janitor and part policeman to control the crowds; (b) service in the temple, involving such tasks as slaying the animals brought in for sacrifice and assisting in the kitchens (46:24); and (c) ministering to the people and helping them in their ritual duties. They therefore stand before the people (11, AV), while the priests stand before the Lord. This was a down-grading of their position, brought about because of their idolatrous behaviour... Nevertheless, they were tasks which had to be done and the ordinary people were not to do them..." (John B. Taylor, Ezekiel, TOTC, p.271).
"The intention is to exclude the Levites from participating in the cultic rituals performed in the inner court of this temple... They may not function as priests, to be sure, but theirs is a privileged role... after experiencing the judgment of God for gross past failures, the Levites are hereby fully rehabilitated and repatriated" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, pp.631-32).
"So, although the whole tribe was set apart for the service of God, there was a recognition that some of the tasks involved in that service was focused on God himself, while other practical and menial tasks were necessary to preserve good order and to facilitate the people in their worship. The early church very quickly realized that a similar division of labour was needed in its own rapidly expanding organization. The people needed to be fed, physically and spiritually. But the same people could not cope with the demands of both tasks. So the apostles wisely commissioned another group pf people to take care of the practical needs while they devoted themselves to the ministry of the word. Luke is careful to emphasize that the former group needed to be just as much filled with the Spirit as the latter" (Christopher J. H. Wright, The Message of Ezekiel, BST, p.349).
(Map adapted from John B. Taylor, Ezekiel, TOTC, p.273). (Unit of measurement either 'cubits' or 'rods').
Eze 45:1 Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation [Heb: teruma] unto the LORD... the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds...
In 45:1 the unit of measure given for the length is in italics as there was no unit given in the text. This is an "Ellipsis; or Omission. When a gap is purposely left in a sentence through the omission of some word or words" (E.W. Bullinger, Companion Bible, "Appendix 6: Figures of Speech", p.9).
To fulfil the ellipsis the two candidates are "cubits" and "reeds". For some commentators, given the present topography of Israel, "cubits" would be too small and for others "reeds" would be too big. A "reed" or "rod", is six times larger than a "cubit". Proponents for "rods" posit that "an argument [for "cubits"] is not persuasive when Zechariah and other prophets demonstrate that the whole Palestinian topography will undergo geographical modification at the beginning of the Millennium" (Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, EBC, Vol.6, p.968).
Points of disagreement/difficulties with topography and text are beyond the scope of this booklet. The map above is a reflection of the conundrums, but it helps in grasping what is being explained.
The Reservation is introduced here in the section dealing with the Priests and Levites; a fuller description follows in Ezekiel 48:8-22.
Eze 48:8 Bordering the territory of Judah from east to west will be the portion you are to present as a special gift [Heb: teruma] It will be 25,000 cubits wide, and its length from east to west will equal one of the tribal portions; the sanctuary will be in the center of it. (NIV).
"The reservation is defined in fluctuating terms" (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.283).
In verse 8 the teruma refers to the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River/Dead Sea and between the tribal areas of Judah and Benjamin.
Eze 48:20a The entire portion [teruma] will be a square, 25,000 cubits on each side.
In verse 20a the teruma refers to the square formed by the Levites', Priests' and City/land areas combined.
Eze 48:20b ... As a special gift [ruml] you will set aside the sacred [qodes] portion [teruma], along with the property of the city.
Eze 48:15 The remaining area, 5,000 cubits wide and 25,000 cubits long, will be for the common [hol] use of the city, for houses and for pastureland. The city will be in the center of it. (NIV).
"But, most often, as the "the sacred reservation," it consists of the oblong made up by the priests and Levites' territories (vv.9, 10)" (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.283).
The square teruma of 25,000 by 25,000 is divided into two: the holy [qodes] portion is the Levites' and Priests' areas combined; and the common portion is the City and City lands.
The holy [qodes] portion is also divided into two: the "most holy" and "holy".
Eze 48:10 This will be the sacred [qodes] portion [teruma] for the priests. It will be 25,000 cubits long on the north side, 10,000 cubits wide on the west side, 10,000 cubits wide on the east side and 25,000 cubits long on the south side. In the center of it will be the sanctuary of the LORD.
Eze 48:11 This will be for the consecrated priests, the Zadokites, who were faithful in serving me and did not go astray as the Levites did when the Israelites went astray.
Eze 48:12 It will be a special gift [teruma] to them from the sacred portion [teruma] of the land, a most holy [qodes qodasim] portion, bordering the territory of the Levites. (NIV).
Eze 48:13 Alongside the territory of the priests, the Levites will have an allotment 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide. Its total length will be 25,000 cubits and its width 10,000 cubits.
Eze 48:14 They must not sell or exchange any of it. This is the best of the land and must not pass into other hands, because it is holy [qodes] to the LORD. (NIV).
"The priest's territory, which includes the sanctuary (v 10), is regarded as the most sacred area (v 12)... The two levels of holiness in the sacred reservation obviously extend the graduation that was a key feature of the sanctuary itself. As in their work, so in their living quarters the temple personal reflect their respective standing..." (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.283).
(That two territories can reflect the same division of the sanctuary will be met later in the Sarah New Covenant Temple Dispensation).
Eze 48:21 What remains on both sides of the area formed by the sacred portion and the city property will belong to the prince... and the sacred portion with the temple sanctuary will be in the center of them.
Eze 48:22 So the property of the Levites and the property of the city will lie in the center of the area that belongs to the prince. The area belonging to the prince will lie between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin (NIV).
"The inclusion of the city and of crown land in the reservation is a reflex of older traditions: king, capital and temple had been interconnected for centuries. Although these bonds are noticeably loosened - palace and temple no longer adjoin (43:7-8) and the city is kept a respectful distance from the temple - the influence of their unity is not allowed to fade into oblivion..." (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.283).
(Map adapted from John B. Taylor, Ezekiel, TOTC, p.273).
"Depending on where one locates the priestly teruma and the temple within it, the distance could be (1) under 2 mi., if the temple is located in the center of the priestly teruma, which in turn if between the Levitical allotment and the "common" remainder (Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, p.283); (2) about 2½ mi., if the temple is in the center of the reserve as a whole (Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2, p.535); (3) 4-5 mi., if (as I prefer) the temple is in the center of the priestly teruma, which is adjacent to the allotment of Judah" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.739).
Daniel Block prefers "cubits" to fulfil the ellipse so that the miles above need to be multiplied by six if "rods" are preferred.
Eze 44:1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary [G] which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.
Eze 44:2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
Eze 44:3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.
"From the inner court Ezekiel is taken to the outer court, near its east gateway. He is able to glimpse its closed doors at the far end of the long corridor of the gate house... The shut doors, defying their natural purpose, were to be commemorate the initial point of the divine re-entry into the temple area. Though in a public place, the east gate thus shared the special sanctity of the temple itself and was off limits to the people" (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.260).
"But there is more to this gate. The prophet is unexpectedly introduced to a new figure, the nasi'... in his first appearance in the Ezekiel Torah, he is a cultic figure, one signaled out and authorised to eat before Yahweh in the sacred gate..." (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.615).
"The term [nasi'] applied to any ruler of God's people (Ex 22:28), to the leaders of the congregation (Ex 16:22; Josh 9:15, 18; 22:30 etc.), and to Solomon (1 Kgs 11:34).
"Charles Feinberg believes that he is a "future scion of David's dynasty who will represent the Messiah governmentally in the affairs of the earth"" (Walter C. Kaiser, "nasi'" [prince], TWOT, Vol.2, p.601).
"The prince must mean the civil ruler under MESSIAH. His connection with the east gate (by which the Lord had returned to His temple) implies that, as ruling under God, he is to stand in a place of peculiar nearness to God. He represents Messiah, who entered heaven, the true sanctuary by a way that none could... he holding the place of God in political concerns, as the priests do in spiritual..." (A.R. Fausset, Jeremiah - Malachi, JFB, Vol.2, Pt.2, p.368).
The Prince, Atonement and the Passover
Lev 9:7 Moses said to Aaron, "Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people... (NIV).
Eze 45:13 This is the special gift you are to offer:..
Eze 45:16 All the people of the land will participate in this special gift for the use of the prince in Israel.
Eze 45:17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths - at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.
"Specific dues are to be paid over by the people of the land to the prince, and he will have responsibility of providing the offerings and sacrifices at all the festivals. As a regulation, this is unique to Ezekiel, and it illustrates the real (though limited) cultic responsibility allotted to the civil head of the people..." (John B. Taylor, Ezekiel, TOTC, p.275).
Nu 15:24 and if this is done unintentionally without the community being aware of it, then the whole community is to offer a young bull for a burnt offering as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, along with its prescribed grain offering and drink offering, and a male goat for a sin offering.
Nu 15:25 The priest is to make atonement for the whole Israelite community, and they will be forgiven, for it was not intentional and they have brought to the LORD for their wrong an offering made by fire and a sin offering. (NIV).
"... the burnt offering was the principle atoning sacrifice in ancient Israel. It was the sacrifice that reconciled the sinner with his creator... The purification offering dealt with the pollution caused by sin. If sin polluted the land, it defiled particularly the house where God dwelt. The seriousness of pollution depended on the seriousness of the sin, which in turn related to the status of the sinner. If a private citizen sinned, his action polluted the sanctuary only to a limited extent. Therefore the blood of the purification offering was only smeared on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. If, however, the whole nation sinned or the holiest member of the nation, the high priest, sinned, this was more serious. The blood had to be taken inside the tabernacle and sprinkled on the veil and the altar of incense. Finally over the period of a year the sins of the nation could accumulate to such an extent that they polluted even the holy of holies, where God dwelt. If he was to continue to dwell among his people, this too had to be cleansed in the annual day of atonement ceremony..." (Gordon J. Wenham, The Book of Leviticus, NICOT, p.96).
"It is evident from these lists in Ezekiel's new order sin will continue to be a problem for the nation. As he had done through Moses, however, through this prophet Yahweh reveals his magnanimous provision for forgiveness and fellowship with him. Under this constitution, the nazi' plays a critical part; he is guardian and patron of the cult. The size of the tracts of land allocated for him reflect the importance of his role. These territories provided him with land where flocks presented to him could graze and the grain and oil could be stored, until they were required for presentation in the sanctuary" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, pp.659-60).
Eze 45:22 And upon that day [the Passover] shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering.
"... the focus of the celebration has changed... This shift parallels the change in the nature of the sacrificial victims. Whereas the function of the original Passover was apotropaic, to ward off Yahweh's lethal actions, and subsequent celebrations provided annual reminders of the original event, in the Ezekielian ordinance the memorial purposes of the Passover are overshadowed by the purgative concern... its nature and significance have been changed" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.666).
"The prince would provide a sin offering for himself and the people in commemoration of Christ's work" (Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, EBC, Vol.6, p.985).
But the "New Covenant" Passover may also have a future aspect.
1 Cor 5:7 ... Christ our passover is sacrificed for us
The Passover Lamb, the foundation sacrifice to the Old Covenant dispensation, also looked forward to the Passover Lamb, the foundation sacrifice to the New Covenant.
The sacrifices and festivals of the "Old" Covenant looked forward to God and Christ and a new dispensation. Therefore, the sacrifices and the festivals of the "New Covenant" may look forward to God and Christ and a new dispensation, of even better "things to come" (cp. Heb 10:1).
Eze 45:21 In the first month on the fourteenth day you are to observe the Passover...
Eze 45:25 During the seven days of the Feast, which begins in the seventh month on the fifteenth day (NIV).
"Hereafter there shall be a new Passover (v.21) and a new Feast of Tabernacles (v.25; Zech 14, 16-19) observed in Israel, with ceremonies vastly exceeding in glory those of the same feasts under the Old Testament. The anti-typical, perfect and external realities of Christ's manifested kingdom shall be set forth with observances ... which shall bring out all the heretofore hidden glories and excellencies of that law, viewed in its essential spirit..." (A.R. Fausset, Jeremiah - Malachi, JFB, Vol.2, Pt.2, p.373).
"It is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ to reveal God the Father (John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3) and to bring people to the Father (John 14:6). Ultimately, the Lord's work will be to apply the teaching He received from the Father (John 5:20). The Son revealed the Father in His first-advent incarnation (John 1:18; 17:4). Accordingly, it makes sense to understand that the Son will reveal the Father with His work that follows His second advent. Simply stated, the Lord Jesus Christ has been revealing the Father since creation. Why would He stop doing that in the Millennium?...
"Whereas Old Testament animal sacrifices were shadow-Christology, millennial animal sacrifices will be shadow-Paterology" (Bob Bolender, Memorials and Shadows Animal Sacrifices of the Millennium, chafer.edu/journal/back_issues/v8n2_2.pdf).
Excursus - The 'subjective' efficacy of animal sacrifices
Lev 5:10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.
Eze 45:15 Also one sheep is to be taken from every flock of two hundred from the well-watered pastures of Israel. These will be used for the grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the people, declares the Sovereign LORD.
"The majority of dispensationalists have argued that the sacrifices are memorials to the sacrifice of Christ, with no atoning character. However, the idea that these are memorial sacrifices is no where apparent in Ezekiel, and it is specifically claimed by Ezekiel that these offerings will make atonement (45:15, 17, 20)" (Ian M. Duguid, Ezekiel, NIVAC, p.521).
Eze 43:20 You are to take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the upper ledge and all around the rim, and so purify the altar and make atonement for it.
Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court.
Eze 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple. (NIV).
"In vv 15 and 17 [of chapter 45] the expiatory significance of the sacrifice is emphatically expressed. In 43:20 and 45:19f it can be seen that the expiatory power is especially attributed to the blood" (Walter Zimmerli, Ezekiel 2 - A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, p.479).
"... vv 18-20, announces an annual ritual of decontaminating the inner sanctuary area... it is a counterpart of P's great day of Atonement ceremony in Lev 16, but here the rite takes place in the spring, at the start of the year. As there, the blood of the sin offering has the function of bringing about the regular decontamination of the sanctuary from the accumulation of past sins that had a polluting effect upon it (cf. Lev 16:19 "... sanctify it from the impurities of the people of Israel").
"... it is significant that the holy of holies is not included in the places daubed with blood... V20b may want to relate this second ceremony to the whole temple area (Gese, Verfassungsentwurf79; Koch, Priesterschrift 107)" (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.266).
"Ezekiel's instructions regarding sacrificial procedure are quite detailed, but by no means comprehensive. They appear to supplement the instructions in the Pentateuch (especially Leviticus).
"If so, it would appear that Ezekiel's purgation of the temple in the spring is to supplement, rather than replace, the annual Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the 7th month (Lev 16)" (Roy Gane's answer to a hypothetical question asked of him by Future Watch; Roy Gane is the author of Cult and Character - Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy).
"It would be too much to contend that the OT offer of forgiveness repeated so often in the Levitical institution of the sacrifices were only symbolic and offered no actual cleansing from or removal of sin.
"The only solution is to take the OT and NT statements seriously. We conclude then, with Hobart Freeman, that the OT sacrifices were subjectively efficacious, in that the sinner did receive full relief based on the clear declaration of God's appointed servant. But it is also clear that the sacrifices of bulls and goats were not in themselves expiatory and efficacious. The most these sacrifices could do was to point to the need for a perfect, living substitute who would, in the timing of God, ransom and deliver all from the debt, guilt, and effects of their sin. Thus, the OT sacrifices were not objectively efficacious; but then neither did the OT ever claim that the blood of these bulls and goats was inherently effective...
"The efficacy of the OT sacrifices, then rested in the Word of God, who boldly announced that sacrifices done in this manner and with this heart attitude (Ps 50:8, 14; 51:16 [Heb 10:8]; Prov 15:8, 21:3; Isa 1:11-18; 66:3; Jer 7:21-23; Hos 6:6; Amos 5:21; Mic 6:6-8) would receive from God a genuine experience of full forgiveness. Of course, everything depended on the perfect payment for this release, payment that would occur sometime in the future. Therefore, not the blood of bulls and goats but the "blood" (i.e., the life rendered up in violent death) of a perfect sacrifice finally made possible all the forgiveness proleptically enjoyed in the OT and retrospectively appreciated in the NT. Only the lamb of God could have provided objective efficacy, even though the subjective efficacy that had preceded it was grounded on the authority and promised work of Christ.
"Until the death of Christ happened, the sins of the OT saints were both forgiven and "passed over" (paresis, Rom 3:25) in the merciful grace of God until the expiatory death of Christ provided what no animal ever could do and what no OT text ever claimed it could do" (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Towards Rediscovering The Old Testament, pp.133-35).
See also The Principle of "Relative Negation"
The Prince, the inner court gate and inheritance
Eze 46:1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east [G] shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
Eze 46:2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening.
"Closure and limited access to the head of state are predicated of both the outer (44:1-3) and inner east gates. Since the outer east gate could be approached via the other outer gates, it was kept permanently closed. However, in the case of the inner gate, it had to be opened, if the head of state was to have access, since there was no other point of entry, the inner court being off limits to all but priests (cf. v.8). The closure of both gates was to commemorate Yahweh's entry through them when he came to take up permanent residence in the new temple. The head of state had the privilege of passing through the porch at the outer end of the gatehouse (cf. 40:31, 34) and standing at the inner end, at the point to which 45:19b refers, in order to witness the priests sacrificing his offerings and to perform there a gesture of obeisance, kneeling with head pressed to the ground" (Leslie C. Allen, Ezekiel 20-48, WBC, p.267).
Eze 46:18 Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession.
"In verse 18 Ezekiel secures the possession of the commoners' land holdings by prohibiting the nasi' from exploitatively confiscating their divinely granted properties. If he wishes to grant his sons an inheritance (nahala), he may give them some of his own land, but he may not seize the property of his subjects. This prohibition affirms that while Yahweh assigns special roles to some (the nasi' and the priests), he is concerned about the welfare of all Israelites, here affectionately referred to as 'ammi, "my people." As patron of the entire nation and owner of the entire land of Israel, he has established inviolable links between families and specific lands. The aim of this regulation, as expressed in the final purpose clause, is to right past wrongs, warning the nasi' and his sons not to misbehave like the nesi'im described in Ezek. 34:5-6, 21, exploiting their subjects and scattering ... them from their lands..." (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.680).
The princes' heir/s may not only inherit gifts of land but the oldest sons will inherit the throne of David to fulfil God's promise, foretold by Jeremiah, that "in those days ... David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel" (Jer 33:16, 17). With the increase in life-span during the Millennium (Isaiah 65:20), there may not be that many successions to the throne.
The 'True' Prince
Eze 34:23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd.
Eze 34:24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken. (NIV).
Jacob in the blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh addressed his God as the God of Abraham and Isaac and also addressed Him as The Angel. This Angel was his "shepherd" all his days.
Jdg 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
This Angel, who also was God, also led the descendants of Jacob into the Promised Land. His presence was in the Tabernacle at Shiloh and He was also Judge in Israel (Jdg 11:27). But he "judged" Jacob through human judges.
God will be God in New Covenant Israel, through the Angel of God - the Messiah, the 'true' David - whose "presence" will dwell in the Temple. The Messiah will be The Nasi' in Israel but will rule through human nesi'im.
A NT Parallel
Jn 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Jn 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Thomas, a descendant of Jacob, also addressed the Messiah as God. Thomas understood that the Father was also his God as did Jacob.
Jn 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father...
God is with His people through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ's presence in the Temple is also God's presence in the Temple. Christ is God's delegated King; and the prince is Christ delegated prince.
Rev 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.
"The subject of the verb ... "he made known," is ambiguous; it could be either God or Jesus Christ; though the latter is logically more probable since the revelation was transmitted by God to Jesus Christ, and it must be Jesus Christ who then further communicates the revelation" (David E. Aune, Revelation 1-5, WBC, p.15).
But David Aune observes in his Notes that: "The subject of ... ["he made known"] ... is unclear, though it is logical to take God as the subject, since ... ["he made known"] is coordinated with ... ["gave"]" (Revelation 1-5, WBC, p.6).
It is suggest here that both God and Christ are the subject as in the similar case in Revelation 11:15.
God transmits the revelation through His Angel/Messenger Jesus Christ who then transmits by his angel/messenger.
Christ is the Messenger but delegates the role to the angel/messenger just as Christ is the Nasi' and delegates that role to the nasi'.
City of God
Eze 48:15 And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane ["Common" (NIV)] place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof. (AV).
Eze 45:6 the city ... will belong to the whole house of Israel. (NIV).
Ezek 48:35 ... and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. (AV).
(Map adapted from John B. Taylor, Ezekiel, TOTC, p.273).
"Characterizing the city as hol, "common" (v.15), and opening it to the masses of Israel's population, however, does not mean that it is perceived as secular, sterilized of theological and spiritual significance. On the contrary ... the city will bear a new name ... "Yahweh is there." Like Ezekiel's restoration oracles, this name announces the undoing of a past evil situation...
"But there is something remarkable about this city bearing this new name. The center of gravity in Ezekiel's cartography of power is obviously the temple, the place where Yahweh resides in the midst of the most sacred teruma several miles north of the city. In comparison the city is for human habitation; it is "profane, common" (hol)... Like the temple, however, the city is located in the center of the (civic) band; it is also square, and surrounded by open space (migras). But with this new name the implicit symbolism of the design is made explicit: the city reflects the presence of Yahweh!" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.739).
A NT Parallel
Rev 2:13 I know where you live - where Satan has his throne... your city - where Satan lives. (NIV).
Rev 2:13 I know ... where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is... where Satan dwelleth. (AV).
"The risen Christ knows where they live (katoikeis suggest permanent residence): it is "where Satan sits enthroned" (Moffat, The NT: A New Translation)... both the believers and their ultimate adversary live in the same locality..." (Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, NICNT, pp.78-80).
"The phrase "where Satan dwells" means either that someone representing Satan lives in Pergamon or that evil is present in a particular potent way in Pergamon" (David E. Aune, Revelation 1-5, WBC, p.185).
Satan wasn't personally in Pergamon but the rule and conduct of the city so reflected Satan that it could be said that Satan ruled and dwelt there.
In the future the "prince", a descendant of David, will represent God and Christ in Jerusalem, exercising godly rule; and "good" will be "present in a particular potent way", so reflecting God, that it may be said 'God is there'.
Eze 47:13 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "These are the boundaries by which you are to divide the land for an inheritance among the twelve tribes of Israel, with two portions for Joseph.
Eze 47:14 You are to divide it equally among them. Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your forefathers, this land will become your inheritance. (NIV).
"If Ezekiel considered himself somewhat in the role of a new Moses in the restoration of Israel's sacrificial worship at the altar (43:13-27), there is an even clearer echo of Moses in relation to the land. Just as Moses had described the boundaries of the land and allocated it in advance to the tribes of Israel before the original conquest, so Ezekiel now gives the boundaries of the land again and provides detailed tribal allocations in advance of the return from exile..." (Christopher J. H. Wright, The Message of Ezekiel, BST, pp. 359).
"... Ezekiel's understanding of Israel's tribal structure follows the traditional premonarchial order: (a) The land is divided into twelve tribal allotments (cf. Josh 13-19). (b) The tribe of Levi is excluded from the allocations. (c) The twelve-tribe system is maintained by elevating Joseph's sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to full tribal status and assigning a separate territory to each (cf. 47:13)..." (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.722).
Ezekiel's account follows a similar pattern to Joshua's account of the division of the land.
For Joshua the allotments to the tribes are divided into two by the setting up of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Five tribes had their allotments prior to this and seven after.
For Ezekiel the allotments are divided into two by the description of the holy district, which has the Temple. Seven tribal allotments are given before this and five after.
"Ezekiel's territorial allocations respect the traditional genealogical relationships among the tribes. Distinguishing between the descendants of Jacob's wives (Leah and Rachel) and their handmaidens (Bilhah and Zilpah... The tribes descended from Jacob's primary wives enjoy pride of place, nearest the sanctuary, the eight Leah and Rachel tribes distributed equally, four on each side of the teruma. The tribes descended from the handmaidens are placed at the extremities, farthest from the sacred reserve.
"...while Judah and Benjamin retain their historical positions near the sanctuary ... their positions are reversed... Although the dualities of the monarchic period remain in the north-south grouping, the disruptive regional loyalties are neutralized by assigning Judah's territory with the northern tribes and denying any tribe the religio-political centre" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, pp.723-24).
(Map/Diagram based on (1) Bob Pickle, Calculating the Circumference of the Earth, pickle-publishing.com/papers/ezekiels-city-circumference-of-the-earth.htm; and (2) Philip Peter Jenson, Graded Holiness - A Key to the Priestly Conception of the World, p.136).
"It should also be noted that the site of the temple itself seems to have migrated north in Ezekiel's vision. Given that the tribal strips are equal (47:14) and that there are seven to the north of the sacred reservation and five to the south, the site of the temple ought in strict geographical terms to be located somewhat close to Shiloh, thirty miles north of its old location. Although the vision (perhaps surprisingly) does not explicitly identify the location of the heart of the sacred portion within the renewed Israel, it would not be surprising to finds that Ezekiel envisaged a change in place for the sanctuary. Given his radical assessment of defilement of the temple's former home in Jerusalem, a location in the heartland of the old traditions, such as Shiloh, may well have proved attractive. Yet the shift in theological geography may also have been driven by a simple desire to locate the temple closer to the center of the land, in the midst of the people, while still (in deference to history) slightly south of center" (Iain M. Duguid, Ezekiel, NIVAC, pp.544-45).
With six tribes above Judah and four tribes below Benjamin, the former tribes of the Kingdom of Judah, while "slightly south of centre" of the nation, are, in a sense, 'over' the other tribes.
Greater than Solomon
Ps 72:7 In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more.
Ps 72:8 He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ps 72:9 The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust.
Ps 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him;
the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.
Ps 72:11 All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him.
Ps 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
Ps 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
Ps 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
"[Psalm 72 is a] prayer for the king, a son of David who rules on David's throne as God's earthly regent over his people. It may have been used at the time of the king's coronation... implicit prayers. They express the desire of the nation that the king's reign will, as a consequence of God's endowment of his servant, be characterized by justice and righteousness, the supreme virtues of kingship. The prayer reflects the ideal concept of the king and the glorious effects of his reign" (Kenneth Barker, General Editor, The NIV Study Bible, Note on Ps 72, p.859).
"The relations of Solomon's time form the groundwork of the psalm, delineating Messiah's antitypical reign" (A. R. Fausset, Job - Isaiah, JFB, Vol.2, Pt. 1, p.251).
"... Solomon in all his glory fades in comparison to the golden king of Psalm 72. In a subtle interweaving of the covenantal promises to David and Abraham, the nations are said to "be blessed through him" at the same time they "call him blessed" (72:18). This is clearly a reworking of the original statement of the covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3... the expectation begins to move here towards an eschatological restoration of God's original creation intention through the agency of the coming one.
"Using a creation image, the Psalmist describes the monarch as fulfilling the intended role of humanity: "he will rule" (72:8a). The verb for rule (rdb) is the same used in Genesis 1:26 to describe the role of all humanity in creation. Rather than autocratic rule, however, the term most often means to bring under the authority of another - in this case, God. The monarch is here envisioned as establishing the intended creation - order - God's kingdom - throughout the whole earth: "from seas to sea and from River to the ends of the earth"" (Gerald H. Wilson, Psalms Volume 1, NIVAC, pp.990, 987-988).
"Sea to sea... may be a reference to the promised boundaries in Exodus 23:31, 'from the Red Seas to the sea of the Philistines ... 'and from the wilderness to the River'. But if so, versus 10 and 11 make it the nucleus of an empire that is world-wide" (Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72, TOTC, p.256).
Zec 8:20 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come,
Zec 8:22 And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."