Ezekiel 48:1
Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goes to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.
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The closing chapter of Ezekiel is mainly occupied with the distribution of the land in detail. Beginning at the north, a portion is assigned to each of seven tribes (Ezekiel 48:1-7); then the “oblation” is described, with its parts for the Levites, the priests and Temple, the city and those that serve it, and for the prince (Ezekiel 48:8-22), and lastly portions for the remaining five tribes. The chapter and the book close with an account of the size and the twelve gates of the city, the whole ending with its name, “The Lord is there.”

The distribution of the land is entirely different from that made under Joshua, nor is it easy to trace any historical reasons for it, except that the central portion, containing the Temple, the land of the priests and the prince, is flanked by the two tribes of the southern kingdom, Judah and Benjamin. The chapter can best be understood by the aid of a small map, the outline of which is traced from Dr. Wm. Smith’s ancient atlas. This might be drawn with the lines between the tribes perpendicular either to the general course of the Jordan, or to the general coast-line of the Mediterranean. The latter would give a little more width for the oblation, but still not enough, and would leave no space at all on the west for the prince. The former arrangement is on the whole preferred. It will be seen that the tribes are not arranged either according to their seniority or their maternity. The territory falling to each tribe was much smaller than of old, partly because of the large space occupied by the “oblation” (fully one-fifth of the whole), and partly because the remainder was to be divided among the whole twelve tribes, instead of among only nine and a half. The portion thus given to each tribe was rather less than two-thirds that assigned, on the average, by Joshua.

(1) These are his sides east and west.Lit., The east side, the west side, shall be to him, meaning that the portion of Dan stretches across the country from the eastern to the western boundary. So of them all. The original portion of Dan was at the west of Benjamin, but a part of the tribe having conquered Laish, and settled at the extreme north, Dan is now made the most northern of the tribes. Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, and Ephraim are so far approximated to their old places as to be north of the sanctuary.

(8) In length as one of the other parts.—The oblation, which has been already spoken of in Ezekiel 45:1-7 in a different connection, is here (Ezekiel 48:8-22) more exactly described. Its whole width is again stated as 25,000 reeds, and its length from the eastern to the western boundaries of the laud “as one of the other parts,” no account being taken in this of the varying distance between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. It cannot, however, be so placed as not to exceed that distance.

(9) The oblation.—This is the same word as is translated offering in Ezekiel 48:8. It is used in this passage in three different senses:—(1) as including the whole strip from the Jordan to the Mediterranean and 25,000 reeds wide; (2) for that part of this set aside for the priests, and for the Levites; (3) for the most sacred part of this, appropriated to the priests and Temple, 25,000 reeds from east to west, and 10,000 from north to south. This last portion, although in the middle, is mentioned first on account of its especial sacredness.

(10) In the midst thereof.—The whole connection shows that this is to be understood strictly; the sanctuary was to be not merely within the priests’ portion, but in its centre.

(11) Sons of Zadok.—See Note on Ezekiel 40:46.

As the Levites went astray.—That the Levites were far more affected than the priests by the general apostasy, may be reasonably inferred from the fact that at the restoration less than 400 Levites, and as many Nethinims, returned (Ezra 2:40-58; Nehemiah 7:43-60), while there were 4,289 of the priests.


Showing the Divisions among the Tribes.

Ezekiel 48:1-2. These are the names of the tribes: from the north end, &c. — As the description of the boundaries of the land began on the north, so the portion of that tribe to which the most northern lot fell is first named, which is Dan. For these are his sides east and west — These are the boundaries belonging to that tribe, from the east point, near mount Libanus and Gilead, to the west point, bounded by the Mediterranean sea. And by the border of Dan a portion for Asher — All along from thee south side of Dan, measuring from east to west, shall the share of Asher be.48:1-35 Here is a description of the several portions of the land belonging to each tribe. In gospel times, behold all things are become new. Much is wrapped up in emblems and numbers. This method God has used to state mysterious truths in his word, not to be more clearly revealed till the proper time and season. But into the church of Christ, both in its state of warfare and triumph, there is free access by faith, from every side. Christ has opened the kingdom of heaven for all believers. Whoever will, may come, and take of the water of life, of the tree of life, freely. The Lord is there, in his church, to be nigh unto them in all they call upon him for. This is true of every real Christian; whatever soul has in it a living principle of grace, it may truly be said, The Lord is there. May we be found citizens of this holy city, and act agreeably to that character; and have the benefit of the Lord's presence with us, in life, in death, and for evermore.The distribution of the holy land is seen in detail throughout Ezekiel 48. The order of the original occupation by the tribes under Joshua is partly, but only partly, followed. It is a new order of things - and its ideal character is evinced as elsewhere, by exact and equal measurements. From north to south seven tribes succeed each other. Then comes a portion, separated as an offering to the Lord, subdivided into:

(1) a northern portion for the Levites,

(2) a central portion for the priests and the temple,

(3) a southern portion for the city and those who serve it.

These three form a square, which does not occupy the whole breadth of the land, but is flanked on either side, east and west, by portions assigned to the prince. Then follow, south of the city, five portions for the five remaining tribes - similar to those assigned to the seven. Thus the Levites, the temple, and city, are guarded by Judah and Benjamin, the two tribes who had throughout preserved their allegiance to the true sovereignty of Yahweh, and thus the plan expresses the presence of Yahweh among His people, summed up in the name of the city, with which Ezekiel's prophecy closes, the Lord is there.

The breadth of the portions is not given, but since the exact breadth of the oblation was about 30 geog. miles (Ezekiel 45:1 note), and seven tribes were between the entrance of Hamath and the oblation, the "breadth of one portion" was about 17 geog. miles. The breadth of the Levites' portion and of the priests' portion was in each case about 15 geog. miles. Ain-el-Weibeh, if Kadesh, ( (?),see Numbers 13:26) would be very nearly the southern border.

The general lines of existing features are followed with considerable fidelity, but accommodation is made to give the required symbolic expression. "Dan" had originally an allotment west of Benjamin, but having colonized and given its name to Laish in the north, was regarded as the most northern occupant of Canaan Judges 18:29. "Zebulun and Issachar" are removed to the south to make room for the second half of "Manasseh" brought over from the east of Jordan. "Reuben," brought over from the east, is placed between "Ephraim and Judah." "Benjamin" comes immediately south of the city, and "Gad" is brought over from the east to the extreme south.

See map, The Land of Israel


Eze 48:1-35. Allotment of the Land to the Several Tribes.

1. 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 honor next the center on the north, Benjamin the corresponding place of honor 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-heathen (Jud 18:1-31), is to have the least honorable place, at the extreme north. For the same reason, St. John (Re 7:5-8) omits Dan altogether.The portions of the twelve tribes, Ezekiel 48:1-7,23-29, of the sanctuary, Ezekiel 48:8-14, of the city and suburbs, Ezekiel 48:15-20, and of the prince, Ezekiel 48:21,22. The dimensions and gates of the city, Ezekiel 48:30-35.

From the north end; as the measurer began to bound the land first on the north side, so he will first place the tribe to whom the most northern lot fell, or rather was assigned by a Divine direction. To the coast; along through the coast that leads from the west or great sea to Hethlon. Hethlon: see Ezekiel 47:15. Hamath; a frontier city of that name; see Ezekiel 47:16; anciently the royal city of Toi, who congratulated David in his victory over Hadadezer king of Syria Zobah, 2 Samuel 8:9,10. Hazar-enan: see Ezekiel 47:17, for I meet with no more concerning it. The border of Damascus; and so on by the border of Damascus, which lay further eastward than Enan, as geographers describe it. To the coast of Hamath: this is Syria, and perhaps might have been best so translated; along bordering on this coast the rest of the northern boundary did run. His sides; the land, or Dan, mentioned immediately after. East; that is, from the east point, where Mount Libanus joineth to Gilead, to the west point, which is supposed in the midland sea, near the hot baths or Sidon: see Ezekiel 47:20. For Dan; the tribe of Dan, and the strangers that sojourn with him.

Now these are the names of the tribes,.... That shall inherit the land; and an account is given of each of the portions of it they shall have for an inheritance; by which are meant, not the twelve tribes of Israel literally, among whom the land was never so divided as here, either in Joshua's time, or after the captivity of Babylon, but the Christian church, or the people of Christ under the Gospel dispensation, as in Revelation 7:4, built upon the doctrine of the twelve apostles of Christ: the stranger sojourners are not here mentioned, who, according to the preceding chapter, were equally to inherit with the children of Israel, but are included; they being Israelites indeed, and fellowheirs, and all one in Christ, be they of whatsoever nation.

From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath: the division of the land, and the distribution of the portions, begin at the north, and so go on to the south, by the way of Hethlon and Hamath; of which see Ezekiel 47:15 and along

by Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, northward to the coast of Hamath; see Ezekiel 47:17,

for these are his sides east and west; the sides of the tribe of Dan next mentioned, and so of every other tribe; which was measured from east to west, and consisted of 25,000 reeds foursquare, as appears from Ezekiel 48:8,

a portion for Dan; or, "Dan one" (t); either one tribe, or one portion. This tribe has its portion first assigned it, though it was provided for last in Joshua's time, and not sufficiently neither, Joshua 19:40, and is left out in Revelation chapter seven, having fallen into idolatry; but here being provided for first, confirms what our Lord says, that the first shall be last, and the last first, Matthew 19:30, and shows that the chief of sinners are received by Christ, and provided for by him, with grace here, and glory hereafter, who come to him, and believe in him; and that their inheritance is of grace, and not of works.

(t) "Dan una", Cocceius, Starckius; "Danis tribus una", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "pro Dane portio una", Munster, Tigurine version, Piscator.

Now these are the names of the {a} tribes. From the north end to the border of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the border of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.

(a) The tribes after they entered into the land under Joshua divided the land somewhat otherwise then is here set forth by this vision.

1. Dan on the furthest north. The verse as it stands has probably some confusion of text. It may read: “now these are the names of the tribes: on the furthest north, along side of the way to Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, as far as Hazar Enan on the border of Damascus, even on the north along side of (the land of) Hamath—he shall have the east side (and) the west side: Dan one (portion).” First the boundary line W. to E. is specified from the sea to Hazar Enan (Ezekiel 42:16-17), and then is mentioned the country bounding the portion on the north, viz. Hamath. The he in “he shall have” is Dan, already in the writer’s mind. We might have expected “he shall have the east side even unto the west side,” or from the east side, &c., as in the following verses. The former in LXX.

1–7. The tribes to the north of the sacred oblation.Verses 1-29. - The distribution of the land among the several tribes. First, the portions north of the terumah (vers. 1-7); secondly, the terumah (vers. 8-22), embracing the portions of the priests and Levites (vers. 8-14), with the portions for the city (vers. 15-20) and the prince (vers. 21, 22); and thirdly, the portions south of the city (vers. 23-30). Verses 1-7. - The portions north of the terumah. These should be seven, lie in parallel strips from the Mediterranean to the east border, and be allocated to the tribes of Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, and. Judah. The divergences between this and the earlier division under Joshua (14-19.) are apparent.

(1) In that Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh received portions on the east of Jordan; in this no tribe obtains a lot outside of the boundary of the Holy Land.

(2) In that the allocation commenced in the south with Judah; in this it begins in the north with Dan (for the reason, see Exposition).

(3) In that the most northern portions, those of Asher and Naphtali, started from a point a little above Tyre; in this the most northern portion, that of Dan, proceeds from the entering in or the south border of Hamath, some fifty or sixty miles north of Damascus.

(4) In that the portions were scarcely ever parallel; in this they always are.

(5) In that the portions of Judah and Reuben lay south, and that of Dan west of Jerusalem; in this all three are situated north of the city. Verses 1, 2. - The names of the tribes. The tribe of Levi Being excepted, the number twelve should in the future as in the past division of the holy soil be preserved by assigning to Joseph portions (Ezekiel 47:13), one for Ephraim and one for Manasseh. From the north end. On the former occasion the allotment had begun in the south of the land and proceeded northwards; on this it should commence in the north and move regularly southward. The alteration is sufficiently explained by remembering that, after the conquest, the people were viewed as having come from the south, whereas at the restoration they should appear as entering in from the north. To the coast of (better, beside) the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to (literally, to the entering in of) Hamath, Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus. This was the north boundary of the land from west to east, as already defined (Ezekiel 47:16, 17); and with this line the portion of Dan should begin. The portion should then, as to situation, be one lying northwards, to the coast of (or rather, beside) Hamath. That is to say, beginning with the border of Hamath, it should extend southwards. For these are his sides, east and west should be, And there shall be to him sides east, west, meaning "the tract between both eastern and western boundaries," rather than as Hitzig translates, "And there shall be to him the east side of the sea," signifying that his territory should embrace the land east of the Mediterranean;" or as Hengstenberg renders, And they shall be to him the east side the sea," equal to "the tract in question should have the sea for its east border." Then, as this applies equally to all the tribe-portions, Hengstenberg regards "to him" (לו) as pointing to "the whole of the tribes combined into an ideal unity," but expositors generally agree that "to him" should be referred to Dan, whom the prophet had in mind and was about to mention. A portion for Dan should be Dan one "portion," חֶבֶל (Ezekiel 47:13), rather than "tribe," שֵׁבֶט, as Smend proposes. To take אֶחָד as alluding to the enumeration of the tribes is indeed countenanced by Ezekiel's mode of numbering the gates (vers. 30-35); but Ezekiel's style in vers. 30-35 will be preserved here also if חֶבֶל precede "Judah," thus: "the portion of Danone." "The presupposition that one tribe should receive exactly as much as another led to the individual tribe's portion being considered as a monas" (Kliefoth). In the first division of the land, Dan's portion was small, and situated west of the territories of Ephraim and Benjamin. Entrance of the Glory of the Lord into the New Temple

Ezekiel 43:1. And he led me to the gate, the gate which looked toward the east: Ezekiel 43:2. And behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the east, and its sound was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with His glory. Ezekiel 43:3. And the appearance which I saw, was to look at like the appearance which I saw when I came to destroy the city; and (there were) appearances like the appearance which I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell down upon my face. Ezekiel 43:4. And the glory of Jehovah came into the house by the way of the gate, the direction of which is toward the east. Ezekiel 43:5. And wind lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of Jehovah filled the house. Ezekiel 43:6. And I heard one speaking to me from the house, and there was a man standing by me. Ezekiel 43:7. And he said to me, Son of man, the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I shall dwell in the midst of the sons of Israel for ever; and the house of Israel will no more defile my holy name, they and their kings, through their whoredom and through the corpses of their kings, their high places, Ezekiel 43:8. When they set their threshold by my threshold, and their door-posts by my door-posts, and there was only the wall between me and them, and they defiled my holy name by their abominations which they did, so that I destroyed them in my wrath. Ezekiel 43:9. Now will they remove their whoredom and the corpses of their kings from me, and I shall dwell in the midst of them for ever. Ezekiel 43:10. Thou, son of man, show to the house of Israel this house, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities, and may measure the well-measured building. Ezekiel 43:11. And when they are ashamed of all that they have done, show them the picture of the house and its arrangement, and its goings out and in, and all its forms and all its statutes, and all its forms and all its laws; and write it before their eyes, that they may keep all its form and all its statutes and do them. Ezekiel 43:12. This is the law of the house: Upon the top of the mountain all its territory round about is most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house. - The angel had shown the prophet the new sanctuary as already completed, and had measured it in his presence according to its several parts. But this building only became the house of God when Jehovah as the God of Israel consecrated it, to be the dwelling-place of His divine and gracious presence in the midst of His people, by the entrance of His divine glory into the house.

(Note: "The Lord appears, and fills the house with His own glory; showing that the house will not only be built, but will be filled with the power of God" (Theodoret).)

The description of the new temple closes, therefore, with this act of consecration. That the prophet might see this act of divine grace with his own eyes, the measuring man led him from the ground surrounding the temple (Ezekiel 42:15-20) back again to the east gate (Ezekiel 43:1). The allusion is to the eastern gate of the outer court; for it is not till Ezekiel 43:5 that Ezekiel is taken into the inner court, and, according to Ezekiel 44:1, he was brought back to the east gate of the outer court. Standing in front of this gate, he sees the glory of the God of Israel come by the way from the east with a great noise, and lighting up the earth with its splendour. The coming of the theophany from the east points back to Ezekiel 10:19; Ezekiel 11:1 and Ezekiel 11:23, where the Shechinah, when leaving the ancient temple, went out at the east gate and ascended to the summit of the mountain, which was situated on the east of Jerusalem. It was from the east, therefore, that it returned to enter the new temple. This fact is sufficient of itself to show that the present entrance of the divine glory into the new temple did not lay the foundation for a new and more exalted bond of grace, but was simply intended to restore the relation which had existed before the removal of Israel into captivity. The tabernacle and Solomon's temple had both been consecrated by Jehovah in the same manner as the seat of His throne of grace in Israel (compare Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-11; and 2 Chronicles 5:13-14, and 2 Chronicles 7:1-3, from which the expression את־בּית in Ezekiel 43:5 has been borrowed). It is true that Hvernick, Kliefoth, and others find, along with this agreement, a difference in the fact that the glory of Jehovah appeared in the cloud in both the tabernacle and Solomon's temple; whereas here, on the contrary, it appeared in that peculiar form which Ezekiel had already repeatedly seen. But it does not follow that there was really a difference, because the cloud is not mentioned in the verses before us; for it is evident that the cloud was not wanting, even in the manifestation of the glory of God seen by Ezekiel, from the words found in Ezekiel 10:3 : "The cloud filled the inner court, and the glory of Jehovah had risen up from the cherubim to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the splendour of the glory of Jehovah." If, therefore, it is expressly attested in Ezekiel 43:3, as even Kliefoth admits, that the appearance of God which entered the temple as like the appearance which Ezekiel saw by the Chaboras and before the destruction of the temple, and in connection with the last-mentioned appearance the cloud was visible along with the brilliant splendour of the divine doxa, the cloud will certainly not have been wanting when it entered the new temple; and the only reason why it is not expressly mentioned must be, that it did not present a contrast to the brilliant splendour, or tend to obscure the light of the glory of God, but as a shining cloud was simply the atmospheric clothing of the theophany.

If, then, the cloud did not present a contrast to the brilliancy of the divine glory, it cannot be inferred from the words, "and the earth shone with His glory," that there was any difference between this and the earlier manifestations of the divine glory at the consecration of the tabernacle and Solomon's temple; more especially as these words to not affirm that it became light on earth, but simply that the earth shone with the glory God, - that is to say, that it threw a bright light upon the earth as it passed along, - so that this remark simply serves to indicate the intensity of the brightness of this theophany. The words 'קולו כקול are not to be understood, as we may learn from Ezekiel 1:24, as referring to a voice of the coming God, but describe the loud noise made by the moving of the theophany on account of the rustling of the wings of the cherubim. This resembled the roaring of mighty waves. In Ezekiel 43:3, the expression וּכּמראה המּראה ...כּמּראה is somewhat heavy in style, but is correct Hebrew; and the remark with which Hitzig seeks to justify his alteration of וכמראה into ומראה, - namely, that כמראה "would signify 'so the appearance,' whereas Ezekiel intends to explain the present appearance from the well-known earlier one," - is false so far as the usage of the language is concerned. When the Hebrew uses two כּ in cases of comparison, which we are accustomed to express in German by so...wie (so...as), he always commences with the thing to which he compares another, and lets the thing which is to be compared follow afterwards. Thus, for example, in Genesis 18:25, והיה does not affirm that it happens as to the righteous so to the wicked, but vice versג, that it happens to the righteous as to the wicked; and in Genesis 44:18, כּי כמוך does not mean, for like thee so is Pharaoh, but "for thou art like Pharaoh." According to this genuine Hebrew expression, the present appearance of the divine glory is mentioned first in the verse before us, and then in the earlier one which the present resembled. And even the apparent pleonasm מראה המּראה vanishes if we render מראה by "look," - the look of the apparition which I saw was just like the apparition, etc. 'כּבאי לשׁחת וגו refers to the ecstatic transportation of the prophet to Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8-11), to witness the destruction of the city (see more particularly Ezekiel 8:4; Ezekiel 9:1.). "The prophet destroyed the city ideally by his prophecy, of which the fulfilment simply forms the objective reverse side" (Hitzig). וּמראות is appended in loose apposition, - there were appearances, visions, - and the plural is to be taken as in מראות אלהים in Ezekiel 1:1; Ezekiel 40:2. For what follows, compare Ezekiel 3:23; Ezekiel 10:15. For Ezekiel 43:5, compare Ezekiel 3:14; Ezekiel 11:24.

In Ezekiel 43:6 and Ezekiel 43:7 the question arises, who it is who is speaking to the prophet; whether it is Jehovah, who has entered the temple, or the man who is standing by Ezekiel in the inner court? There can be no doubt that מדּבּר is Jehovah here, as in Ezekiel 2:2; though the commentators are divided in opinion whether Jehovah spoke directly to the prophet, or through the medium of the man who stood by his side. Hvernick presses the Hithpael מדּבּר, and imagines that Ezekiel heard God conversing within the sanctuary, in consequence of which the angel stood by his side; so that the words of God consisted chiefly in the command to communicate to Ezekiel the divine revelation which follows in Ezekiel 43:7. But this view is proved to be erroneous by the expression אלי which follows מדּבּר, and which Hvernick has overlooked. Kliefoth, on the other hand, is of opinion that the words contained in Ezekiel 43:7, which proceeded from the מדּבּר, were addressed to the prophet directly by God Himself; for he heard them before anything was said by the man, and neither here nor in what follows is the man said to have spoken. On the contrary, both here and in what follows, even in Ezekiel 46:20,Ezekiel 46:24; Ezekiel 47:6-7, it is always God Himself who appears as the speaker, and the man simply as the prophet's guide. But this is also not correct. Such passages as Ezekiel 46:20 and Ezekiel 46:24 compared with Ezekiel 43:19 and Ezekiel 43:21, and Ezekiel 47:6, Ezekiel 47:8, compared with Ezekiel 43:1 and Ezekiel 43:4, show undeniably that the man who conducted the prophet also talked with him. Consequently, in the case referred to in the verse before us, we must also conclude that he who spoke to the prophet from the temple addressed him through the medium of the man who stood by his side, and that אישׁ is the subject to ויּאמר in Ezekiel 43:7; from which, however, it by no means follows that the מדּבּר was also an angel, who spoke to the prophet, not from the most holy place, but simply from within the house, as Hitzig explains the matter. The meaning is rather, that Ezekiel heard God conversing with him from the sanctuary, whilst a man, i.e., an angel, stood by his side and spoke to him as follows. אישׁ is in that case not some angel merely who spoke in the name of Jehovah, but the angel of Jehovah, God's own speaker, ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ (John 1:1.). But according to his outward habitus, this angel of the Lord, who is designated as אישׁ, is identical with the angel who showed the prophet the temple, and measured it (Ezekiel 40:3 onwards). For according to Ezekiel 47:1. this אישׁ had also a measuring rod, and measured. The absence of the article from אישׁ in Ezekiel 43:6, which prevents Kliefoth from admitting this identity, does not indicate decidedly that a different man from the one mentioned before is introduced here as the prophet's attendant, but simply leaves the identity of this אישׁ with the former indefinite, so that it can only be inferred from the further course of events; because the point of importance here was neither to establish this identity by employing the article, nor to define the medium of the word of God more precisely, but simply to introduce the words which follow as the words of God Himself. The address commences with an explanation on the part of God that the temple into which the glory of the Lord had entered was the place of His throne, where He would dwell for ever among the sons of Israel. The את־מקום is a concise expression, in which את is nota accus., and we have to supply in thought either ראה or הנּה: "behold the place." מקום כּפּות רגלי, the place of the soles of my feet (cf. Isaiah 60:13), is equivalent to the footstool of my feet in Isaiah 66:1. The ark of the covenant is called the footstool of God in 1 Chronicles 28:2 and Psalm 132:7; compare Psalm 99:5 and Lamentations 2:1, where this epithet may possibly be used to designate the temple. This also applies to the throne of Jehovah, since God was enthroned above the cherubim of the ark in the holy of holies (cf. Exodus 25:22; 1 Samuel 4:4, etc.). In the sanctuary which Ezekiel saw, no reference is made to the ark of the covenant, and the silence with regard to this is hardly to be regarded as a mere omission to mention it, inasmuch as none of the things contained in the temple are mentioned with the exception of the altars, not even the table of shew-bread or the candlestick. The ark of the covenant is not mentioned, because, as is stated in Jeremiah 3:16, in the Messianic times the ark of the covenant will not be remembered, neither will it be missed.

לעולם, as in Ezekiel 37:26 and Ezekiel 37:28. The promise culminates in this. לעולם does not apply either to the tabernacle or to Solomon's temple, in which Jehovah also had His dwelling-place, though not for ever. These sanctuaries He left, and gave them up to destruction, because the Israelites had profaned His holy name by their idolatry. This will not take place any more after the erection of the new sanctuary. לא יטמּאוּ is not imperative, but a simple future: "they will no more defiled," because they come to a knowledge of their sins through the punitive judgment of exile, so that they become ashamed of them, and because the Lord will have poured out His Spirit upon them (cf. Ezekiel 37:23., Ezekiel 39:29). - Formerly, however (Ezekiel 43:7), they profaned the holy name of God by their spiritual whoredom (cf. Ezekiel 16) and by dead idols, for which they erected high places in the immediate neighbourhood of the dwelling-place of Jehovah, that is to say, even in the temple courts, so that Jehovah was only separated from the idols by a wall. This is the general meaning of Ezekiel 43:7 and Ezekiel 43:8, in which the exposition of פּגרי is difficulty. Rosenm׬ller, Hהvernick, and others understand by the "corpses of their kings," the dead idols. Ewald, Hitzig, and Kliefoth, on the other hand, take the expression in a literal sense, as referring to the corpses of kings which had been buried near to the temple, so that the temple had been defiled by the proximity of these graves. But the latter view is precluded by the fact that not a single instance can be adduced of the burial of a king in the vicinity of the temple, since Nehemiah 3:15 contains no allusion to anything of the kind, and the tombs of the kings upon Zion were not so near to the temple that it could possibly be defiled in consequence. Moreover, בּמותם cannot be reconciled with this view; and for that reason Ewald and Hitzig propose to read בּמותם, "in their death." The attempt of Kliefoth, however, to defend the reading בּמותם, by taking it as in apposition to בּזנוּתם and not to וּבפּגרי מלכיהם, is a desperate remedy, which clearly shows the impossibility of connecting בּמותם with the "corpses of the kings." We therefore understand by פּגרי the dead idols, in accordance with Leviticus 26:30 (cf. Jeremiah 16:18); but by מלכיהם we understand, not the idols, but the Israelitish kings, as in the case of the preceding מלכיהם; partly because it cannot be shown that the plural מלכים is ever used in the sense of idols (though the singular מלכּם is used of Baal in Zephaniah 1:5 and Amos 5:26), and partly on account of the harshness involved in interpreting the two מלכיהם when standing so close together, in the first instance of the kings, and in the second of the idols of Israel. The corpses of the kings are therefore the dead idols, for which the kings (for example, Manasseh) had built altars or high places (בּמות) in the sanctuary, i.e., in the courts of the temple (2 Kings 21:4-7). The objection that פּגרים without anything further, such, for instance, as גּלּוּלים sa ,ecnatsni rof ,hcus in Leviticus 26:30, cannot signify the dead idols, will not bear examination, as the more precise definition which is wanting is supplied by the context, where idolatry is the point in question. בּמותם without the preposition ב is a loosely attached apposition to בּפּגרי מלכיהם and בּזנוּתם, which defines more precisely in what way the whoredom of the nation and the dead idols of the kings had amounted to a defiling of the house of the Lord, namely, from the fact that the people and the kings had erected temples of high places (bâmoth) for dead idols by the side of the temple of the living God, and had placed them so close that the threshold and door-posts of these idol-temples touched the threshold and door-posts of the temple of Jehovah, and there was nothing but the wall of the temple (הקיר) between Jehovah and the carcase-gods. בּמותם is explained in this way in Ezekiel 43:8, and then the defiling of the holy name of the Lord is mentioned again for the purpose of appending, by means of ואכל (imperf. Piel of כלה), the allusion to the penal judgment which they had thereby brought upon themselves. Ezekiel 43:9. Such profanation as this will not take place any more in time to come, and Jehovah will dwell for ever in the midst of Israel.

To lead Israel to this goal, Ezekiel is to show them the house (i.e., the temple). In this way are the further words of God in Ezekiel 43:10-12 attached to what goes before. הגּיד את־הבּית, show or make known the house, is equivalent to proclaim to the people the revelation concerning the new temple. In this were the Israelites to discern the magnitude of the grace of God, that they might blush at their evil deeds, and measure the well-measured building (תּכנית, as in Ezekiel 28:12), i.e., carefully consider and ponder what the Lord had bestowed upon His people through this sanctuary, so that they might suffer themselves to be brought to repentance by means of its glory. And if they felt shame and repentance on account of their transgressions, Ezekiel was to show them the shape and arrangement of the sanctuary, with all its forms and ordinances, an write them out before their eyes, that they might have the picture of it impressed upon their minds, and keep the statutes thereof. In Ezekiel 43:11 the words are crowded together, to indicate that all the several parts and arrangements of the new temple are significant and worthy of being pondered and laid to heart. צוּרה is the shape of the temple generally, its external form; תּכוּנה, the internal arrangement as a whole. Both of these are noticed specifically by the allusion to the goings out and in, as well as to the forms (צוּרות) of the separate parts, and their statutes and laws. חקּות are the precepts concerning the things to be observed by Israel when appearing before the Lord in the temple, the regulations for divine worship. תּורות, the instructions contained in these statutes for sanctification of life. The second וכל־צוּרתו is omitted in the lxx and some of the Hebrew Codd., and has therefore been expunged as a gloss by Dathe, Hitzig, and other critics; but it is undoubtedly genuine, and in conformity with the intentional crowding together of words. - The admonition to keep and to observe everything carefully is closed in Ezekiel 43:12 with a statement of the fundamental law of the temple; that upon the lofty mountain the whole of its domain round about is to be most holy. על־ראשׁ ההר does not belong to הבּית ot g in the sense of the house which is to be built upon the top of the mountain, but to the contents of the thorâh of this house. It is to stand upon the top of the mountain, and to be most holy in all its domain. ראשׁ ההר is to be understood in accordance with Ezekiel 40:2; and גּבלו points back to הבּית. Both by its situation upon a very high mountain, and also by the fact that not merely the inner sanctuary, and not merely the whole of the temple house, but also the whole of its surroundings (all its courts), are to be most holy, the new sanctuary is to be distinguished from the earlier one. What has been already stated - namely, that the temple shall not be profaned any more - is compressed into this clause; and by the repetition of the words, "this is the law of the house,"' the first section of this vision, viz., the description of the temple, is rounded off; whilst the command given to the prophet in Ezekiel 43:10 and Ezekiel 43:11, to make known all the statutes and laws of this temple to the house of Israel, forms at the same time the transition to the section which follows.

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