Ezekiel 48:35
It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(35) Round about eighteen thousand.—The circuit of the city, not including its “suburbs,” or open space, was 4 x 4,500 = 18,000 reeds, or something over thirty-four miles. Josephus reckoned the circuit of Jerusalem in his day at four miles.

Measures.—This word is rightly supplied from Ezekiel 48:30; Ezekiel 48:33. On the symmetry of the city and its gates and the names of the gates, comp. Revelation 21:12; Revelation 13:16.

The Lord is there.—With this name of the city Ezekiel closes his vision and his book. It is a most fitting close; for the object has been to depict, under the figures of the Jewish dispensation, the glories of the Church of the future. The culmination of this glory must ever be that the Lord, according to His promise (John 6:56), will dwell in the believer, and the believer in Him. Imperfectly as this may be carried out here on earth, the effect of the Gospel is to bring about ever more and more fully its realisation; and the closing book of the volume of Revelation, catching the echoes of Ezekiel’s prophecy, looks forward to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem “coming down from God out of heaven,” and declares, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:2-3).

Ezekiel 48:35. The name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there — It is very frequently said in Scripture, that a person or thing should be called by a certain name, when it was to be invested with qualities which might entitle it to that denomination. Thus Isaiah, foretelling the coming of the Messiah, says, His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, because he was to possess the qualities which should serve as a foundation for all those titles. In like manner, 2 Samuel 12:25, it is said, that Solomon should be called Jedidiah, or, the Beloved of the Lord; and, Isaiah 1:26; Isaiah 62:4; Isaiah 62:12, that Jerusalem should be called The City of Righteousness, The Faithful City, Hephzibah, or the Lord’s Delight, Sought Out, A City not forsaken. Not that it was to quit its ancient name, and assume all these; but it was to be crowned with the favours of heaven in such a manner as to draw upon itself all these honourable titles. Here the prophetic declaration, that the name of the city should be THE LORD IS THERE, might be intended to signify, 1st, That the captives, after their return, should have manifest tokens of God’s presence with them, and of his residence among them, both in his ordinances and in his providences; so that they should have no occasion to ask, as their fathers did, Is the Lord among us or not? for they should see and acknowledge that he was among them of a truth. And then, though their troubles should be many and threatening, they would be like the bush which burned, but was not consumed, because the Lord was there. More especially it was meant to signify, 2d, That the gospel church should have the presence of God in it; though not in the Shechinah, or cloud of glory, as of old, yet in a token no less sure, namely, that of the Holy Spirit in his gifts and graces. Where the gospel is faithfully preached, gospel ordinances duly administered, and God worshipped in the name of Jesus Christ only, it may be truly said, The Lord is there; for, faithful is he that hath promised, and will fulfil his word, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. The Lord is in his church, to rule and govern it, to protect and defend it, and graciously to own, accept, and bless his sincere worshippers, and to show himself nigh unto them in all that they call upon him for. This should engage us to keep close to the communion of saints, and not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together; for where two or three are met in the name of Jesus, he is there. Nay, the Lord is present with and in every true and genuine Christian: God dwells in him, and he in God. It may be truly said of every one who has a living principle of grace in his soul, The Lord is there. And, as this is the chief privilege, glory, and happiness of the church militant, that the Lord is present with and in her; Song of Solomon , 3 d, It is the principal blessing of the church triumphant. That the pure in heart shall there see God; shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads; that God himself, who sits on the throne, shall be with them, and dwell among them, (Revelation 7:2, and Revelation 21:3,) is the crowning blessing of the heavenly city, and the consummation of the felicity of all its inhabitants. For in his presence is fulness of joy, and at his right hand are pleasures for evermore. Let us therefore give all diligence to secure to ourselves a place in that city, that we may be for ever with the Lord. 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 circuit of the city walls, a square of 4500 reeds, was 18,000 reeds, not quite 37 English miles. The circuit of Jerusalem in the time of Josephus was reckoned by him to be about four miles.

The name ... - The manner of expressing a spiritual meaning by giving a name to a city, a people, or the like, is familiar to the prophets (see Ezekiel 43:15 note). Jerome explains it: "The name of the city shall be no longer Jerusalem ("the vision of peace"), but Adonai-shama ("the Lord is there") (rather, Jehovah-shammah, "Jehovah is there"), because Yahweh will never again withdraw from it, as He once withdrew, but will hold it as His everlasting possession." The visible presence of God's glory, once represented in the tabernacle and in the temple, had departed, and should not return in the same form. Yet Ezekiel in "visions of God" sees a temple reconstructed to receive the glory of the divine presence, a prophetic vision fulfilled in Emmanuel ("God with us"), who tabernacled among men John 1:14. Compare Romans 9:25; Revelation 21:2-3.

35. Lord is there—Jehovah-Shammah. Not that the city will be called so in mere name, but that the reality will be best expressed by this descriptive title (Jer 3:17; 33:16; Zec 2:10; Re 21:3; 22:3). Round measuring all four squares.

Eighteen thousand measures, or cubits, at which proportioned measures it was about five miles in compass; if the measures were reeds, it would be thirty miles and three hundred and twenty-five yards in compass of the walls, which cannot be conceived credible; whereas the other is the proportion the city might have been built to, if the sins of the Jews had not prevented.

The name, by which it shall be called, known, and which shall be the honour of it and its glory. From that day; from the day of the Lord’s restoring this people, and rebuilding their city, and re-establishing his worship, and their thankful, holy, and pure worshipping of God there, from the day that such unmatched mercy produceth a suitable return unto God, from that day it shall be said of Jerusalem,

The Lord is there; the Lord, who, as his name alone is Jehovah, so is the only true God, faithful to promise, rich in mercy, glorious in majesty, righteous in his judgments, wise and holy in his government, whose presence makes us happy, whose withdrawing from us leaves us to misery. This God will, by his favour and presence, repel enemies and protect his people, bring with him the confluence of all good to persons, families, and cities; this God will be there to dwell, govern, defend, prosper, and crown. The people is blessed that is in such case, for their God is the Lord, Psalm 144:15. Such was the case of typical, earthly Jerusalem, though not long; such is and shall be for ever the case of the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God, the true church and temple of God. Such is the case of every true sincere believer, who may, wherever he is in his way of duty, still write, Jehovah-shammah, My God is here; and it is best to be where he is, till he bring me within the gates of the glorious city, where inconceivable light and love from the immediate presence of God give every one an eternal demonstration that hmv hnh To him be glory for ever. It was round about eighteen thousand measures,.... Putting the numbers together which each side made, the circumference of the city was eighteen thousand measures; which, according to Cornelius a Lapide, were thirty two thousand miles; which shows that no city literally taken can be here meant, but mystically and spiritually the church of Christ, which will be of great extent in the latter day; and a large one it had need to be, to hold all nations that will flow into it; it will be spread all over the world; the world will become the church; the kingdoms of it will become Christ's; the little stone will become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth; the kingdom and interest of Christ, which is his church, will be from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth; even from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same. Some Jewish writers (a), not knowing what to make of these large measures, say that they have respect to the eighteen thousand worlds God is said (b) to make, which these were a similitude, figure, or exemplar of; but those Jews are nearer the true sense of them, who say (c) that this is to be understood of Jerusalem above, or as it will be in future time, in the world to come, the dispensation of the Messiah, Galatians 4:26,

and the name of the city from that day shall be, the Lord is there; the Gospel church has other names, as Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the Lord our righteousness, Hephzibah and Beulah, a city not forsaken, Hebrews 12:22, but here it is called "Jehovah Shammah", the Lord is there, or dwells there; which is to be understood of his presence in it; not in a general way, as he is in all places, and with all his creatures, continually, constantly, and everywhere working in a providential manner; but of his gracious presence in a special way and manner: in this sense Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, are in the Gospel church, and will be more manifestly in the latter day; Jehovah the Father, as the Father of Christ, blessing them with all spiritual blessings in him; granting them his presence in him, and communion with him, through him; as their Father providing all good things for them, and as the God of all grace unto them: Jehovah the Son, as the master of the family taking care of it, as a son in his own house, and the first born among his brethren; as the prophet in the midst of his church, teaching and instructing; as the high priest in the midst of the golden candlesticks, lighting and trimming them; as the King in Zion, to rule and govern, protect and defend it; showing himself in all the glories of his person, and the riches of his grace, according to his promise, Matthew 28:20. Jehovah the Spirit is here to qualify men with gifts for the ministry, to apply the word, and make it useful; as a Spirit of grace and supplication, and to help the Lord's people in the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty; and to be their comforter and remembrancer. Jehovah here does and will display his glorious perfections; his power in the preservation of his saints; his wisdom in the guidance and direction of them; his truth and faithfulness in the performance of promises to them; his purity and holiness in the sanctification of them; his love, grace, and mercy, in the large discoveries made unto them; in short, he will appear all glorious to them, and will be the glory in the midst of them, Psalm 46:5, Zechariah 2:5 the date from whence this will commence is "that day"; either from the beginning of the Gospel dispensation, that famous day made by the rising of the sun of righteousness; or from the day and date of Christ's promise of his presence, Matthew 28:20 or from the time the Gospel church state was set up; or from the day this city will be rebuilt and restored, the Lord will more visibly and manifestly grant his presence to the inhabitants of it, and never more depart from them; see Isaiah 42:12, The Targum is,

"the name of the city which is separated from the day, the Lord will cause his Shechaniah to dwell there.''

The Jews (d) produce this place to show that Jerusalem is called Jehovah, and say, do not read Shammah, "there", but Shemah, "its name"; and the Socinians from hence would disprove the incommunicableness of the name Jehovah to a creature, but without effect; since this city is not called simply Jehovah, but with an additional epithet; and this is to be understood, not in a divided, but compound sense, as the altar in Exodus 17:15, and the mount in Genesis 22:14.

(a) Lipman. Tzurath Beth Hamikdash, sect. 79. (b) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 3. 2. (c) Gloss. in T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 97. 2. & Succah, fol, 45. 8. (d) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 2.

It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
35. The whole circumference of the city was 18,000 cubits, or some-what under six miles. Josephus (Bell. Jud. Ezekiel 48:4; Ezekiel 48:3) reckoned the bounds of Jerusalem in his day at 33 stadia, or about four miles. For measures, cubits.

The Lord is there] Cf. Revelation 21:3, “And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God.” The prophet beheld the Lord forsake his temple (11), and he beheld him again enter it (43); now he abides in it among his people for ever. The covenant ran that he should be their God and they his people; this is perfectly fulfilled in his presence among them. The end in view from the beginning has been reached.Verse 35. - The entire circuit of the city should, according to the above measurement of the walls, be eighteen thousand reeds, i.e. 18,000 × 6 (cubits) × 1.5 (feet) = 162,000 feet = 3Requisites for the Administration of the Priests' Office, and the Obligations and Privileges of that Office. - Ezekiel 44:17. And it shall come to pass, when they go to the gates of the inner court, they shall put on linen clothes, and no wool shall lie upon them, when they serve in the gates of the inner court and serve toward the house. Ezekiel 44:18. Linen turbans shall be upon their head, and linen drawers upon their hips; they shall not gird themselves in sweat. Ezekiel 44:19. And when they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall take off their clothes in which they have ministered, and put them in the holy cells, and put on other clothes, that they may not sanctify the people with their clothes. Ezekiel 44:20. And they shall not shave their head bald, nor let their hair grow freely; they shall cut the hair of their head. Ezekiel 44:21. And they shall not drink wine, no priest, when they go into the inner court. Ezekiel 44:22. And a window and a divorced woman they shall not take as wives, but virgins of the seed of the house of Israel, and the widow who has become the widow of a priest they may take. Ezekiel 44:23. And they shall teach my people, make known to them the difference between holy and common, and between unclean and clean. Ezekiel 44:24. And they shall stand to judge concerning disputes; and they shall observe my laws and my statutes at all my feasts, and sanctify my Sabbaths. Ezekiel 44:25. And one shall not go to any corpse of a man to defile himself; only for father and mother, for son and daughter, for brother, for sister who had no husband, may they defile themselves. Ezekiel 44:26. And after his purification shall they reckon seven days more to him; Ezekiel 44:27. And on the day when he comes to the holy place, into the inner court, to serve in the holy place, he shall offer his sin-offering, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - Ezekiel 44:28. And so shall it be with their inheritance, that I am their inheritance, ye shall not give them a possession in Israel: I am their possession. Ezekiel 44:29. The meat-offering, and the sin-offering, and the trespass-offering, these shall they eat, and everything banned in Israel shall belong to them. Ezekiel 44:30. And the firstlings of all the first-fruits of everything, and every heave-offering of everything, of all your heave-offerings, shall belong to the priests; and the firstlings of all your ground meal shall ye give to the priest, that a blessing may come down upon thy house. Ezekiel 44:31. No carrion nor anything torn in pieces of fowl and of beast shall the priests eat. - To the directions, who are to perform the service in the new temple, there are appended corresponding instructions concerning the bodily condition in which this service is to be performed, as the bodily condition shadows forth the state of the soul, or the spiritual constitution of the servants of God. The dress prescribed in Exodus 28 for the priests to wear during the holy service had this signification. The same rule is here presupposed as still in force; and it is simply renewed and partially emphasized by the enumeration of some of the leading points. At the service at the altar and in the holy place the priests are to wear linen clothes, and, after the performance of the service, they are to take them off again when they go into the outer court (Ezekiel 44:17-19). In the Mosaic law, שׁשׁ, white byssus, or בּד, white linen, is mentioned as the material used for the priests' clothing (Exodus 28:39, Exodus 28:42); here the material is more distinctly designated as פּשׁתּים, flax linen; and צמר, animal wool, is expressly forbidden, the motive being assigned for this regulation, namely, that the priest is not to cause himself to sweat by wearing woollen clothing. Sweat produces uncleanness; and the priest, by keeping his body clean, is to show even outwardly that he is clean and blameless. With regard to the putting on and off of the official clothes, the new thorah accords with the Mosaic. For we cannot agree with Kliefoth, who detects a deviation in the fact that, according to Exodus 28:43, the priests were to wear the official clothes only when they entered the tabernacle and when approaching the altar, and, according to Leviticus 6:4; Leviticus 16:23, were to take them off when the service was ended; whereas, according to Ezekiel 44:17 of the chapter before us, they were to put them on as soon as they entered the inner court, and were never to come before the people in the official costume. If, according to the Mosaic law, the priests were to go before the altar of burnt-offering in the court in their holy official dress, and not otherwise, they must have put on this dress on entering the court; for they could not wait till they were in front of the altar before they changed their clothes. For the expression צאת אל העם does not imply that, according to Ezekiel, they were never to appear in the presence of the people in their official costume, as it does not mean "come before the people," but "go out to the people," or "walk among the people;" nor is this involved in the words 'ולא יקדּשׁוּ , they shall not sanctify the people in their clothes (by their clothes). The latter by no means affirms that they are to sanctify the people by intercourse with them, but are not to do this in official costume; the meaning is simply that they are not to move among the people in the outer court while wearing their official clothes, that they may not sanctify them by their holy clothes.

This sanctification cannot be understood in any other way than as analogous to the rule laid down in the law, that touching most holy sacrificial flesh would sanctify (Leviticus 6:11, Leviticus 6:20), which Ezekiel repeats in Ezekiel 46:20, and which does not stand in anything like an isolated position in the law, but is also affirmed in Exodus 29:37 and Exodus 30:29 of the altar of burnt-offering and the vessels of the sanctuary. The same thing which applied to these vessels - namely, that their holiness passed from them to any one who touched them - is here predicated of the holy dresses of the priests; and the moving of the priests among the people in their holy clothes is forbidden, because such holiness, acquired by contact with holy objects, imposed upon the person to whom it had passed the obligation to guard against all defilement (Leviticus 21:1-8), which the people could not avoid in the ordinary relations of life, and thus a weakening or abolition of the distinction between things holy and common would inevitably have ensued. לשׁכות הקּדשׁ are the holy cell-buildings described in Ezekiel 42:1-14. - To the clothing there is simply appended in Ezekiel 44:20 the direction concerning the hair of the head, the natural covering of the head, in relation to which excess on either side is prohibited, either shaving the head bald or wearing the hair uncut. Both of these were forbidden to the priests in the law: shaving in Leviticus 21:5, and letting the hair grow freely in Leviticus 10:6; and the latter was simply imposed upon the Nazarites for the period of their vow (Numbers 6:5). כּסם only occurs here; but its meaning, to cut the hair, is obvious from the context. - Ezekiel 44:21. The prohibition of the drinking of wine when performing service agrees with Leviticus 10:9; on the other hand, the instructions concerning the choice of wives are sharpened in Ezekiel 44:22, as that which only applied to the high priest in the law is here extended to all the priests. In fact, Ezekiel throughout makes no distinction between the high priest and the common priests. In Leviticus 21:14, marrying a widow is only forbidden to the high priest, who was to marry a virgin of his own people, whereas no such restriction is laid down for the ordinary priests. Here, on the other hand, marrying a widow is forbidden to all the priests, marriage with the widow of a priest being the only one allowed. מכּהן belongs to תּהיה, who has become the widow of a priest.

(Note: The Rabbins (Targ. Talm. and Masor. according to their accentuation) have endeavoured to obliterate this distinction, by applying the first hemistich to the high priest alone, and explaining the second thus: "The widow, who is really a widow, the priest may take," interpreting מכּהן by quidam sacerdotum, or aliqui ex ordine sacerdotali, or ceteri sacerdotes. But this is contrary to the usage of the language, as מכּהן cannot possibly be understood in a partitive sense in this passage, where the priests generally are spoken of, and the plural יקּחוּ follows.)

In Ezekiel 44:23 and Ezekiel 44:24 the general official duties of the priests are mentioned, viz., to teach the people, and to instruct them concerning the difference between the holy and the unholy, the clean and the unclean, as in Leviticus 10:10 (cf. Deuteronomy 33:10 and Ezekiel 22:26); also to administer justice in questions in dispute according to the rights of God-a duty which had already been committed to the priests in its highest form in Deuteronomy 17:8., Deuteronomy 19:17, and Deuteronomy 21:5. על ריב, concerning, in the case of, matters in dispute. עמד , to stand to judge, i.e., to appear or act as judge (compare העמיד שׁפטים, to appoint or institute judges, in 2 Chronicles 19:5). The Keri למשׁפּט is a needless emendation after 2 Chronicles 19:8. The Chetib ושׁפטהוּ, on the other hand, is a copyist's error for ישׁפטהוּ. Lastly, at all the feasts they are to observe the laws and statutes of Jehovah, that is to say, to perform all the priestly duties binding upon them at the feasts, and to sanctify the Sabbaths, not merely by offering the Sabbath sacrifices, but also by maintaining the Sabbath rest (cf. Leviticus 23:3). - In Ezekiel 44:25-27 there follow regulations concerning defilement from the dead, and its removal. Ezekiel 44:25 is a simple repetition of Leviticus 21:1-3. But the instructions concerning the purification from defilement from the dead are sharpened, inasmuch as not only is the purification prescribed by the law (Numbers 19:1.), and which lasted seven days, required (this is meant by טהרתו), but a further period of seven days is appointed after these, at the expiration of which the presentation of a sin-offering is demanded before the service in the sanctuary can be resumed. By this demand for a heightened purification, the approach to a corpse permitted to the priests, which was prohibited to the high priest in the Mosaic law, even in the case of father and mother (Leviticus 21:11), is tolerably equalized.

For these duties and obligations of service the priests are to receive corresponding emoluments. These are treated of in Ezekiel 44:28-31. They are not, indeed, to receive any share of the land as their property in time to come any more than in former times; but in the place of this Jehovah will be their property and possession, and give them the necessary room for their dwellings from His own property in the land (Ezekiel 45:4), and let them draw their maintenance from His altar (Ezekiel 44:29 and Ezekiel 44:30). The promise that Jehovah will be the נחלה and אחזּה of the priests is a simple repetition of the regulation in the law (Numbers 18:20; Deuteronomy 18:1; Deuteronomy 10:9). So far as the construction in Ezekiel 44:28 is concerned, the words אני נחלתם are really the subject to 'והיתה להם לן, which we are obliged to render obliquely, "the inheritance for them shall be, I am their inheritance." For the proposal of Hitzig to take the words from אני נחלתם to the close of the verse as a parenthesis, and to regard 'המּנחה וגו in Ezekiel 44:29 as the subject to 'והיתה, is untenable, not only on account of the great harshness which such a parenthesis would involve, but principally because these portions of the sacrifices and heave-offerings which belonged to the priest were not a נחלה, and are never designated as נחלה, inheritance, i.e., property in land. Ezekiel 44:28 treats of the property in land, which God assigned to the Levites and priests under the Mosaic economy, by appointing them towns to dwell in, with meadows for the feeding of their cattle, within the territory of the other tribes, but would assign to them in future from the heave-offering set apart from the land for the sanctuary (Ezekiel 45:4). It is not till Ezekiel 44:29 and Ezekiel 44:30 that the means of support for the priests are spoken of. They are to be supported from the sacrifices and the tithes and first-fruits which Israel has to pay to Jehovah as the lord of the land, and which He transfers to His servants the priests. For the priests' share of the meat-offering, sin-offering, and trespass-offering, see Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 6:9, Leviticus 6:11, Leviticus 6:19; Leviticus 7:6-7; for that which is put under the ban, Leviticus 27:21; for the first-fruits, Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26; Deuteronomy 18:4; Numbers 18:13; for the תּרוּמות, Numbers 15:19; Numbers 18:19; for the ראשׁית עריסות, Numbers 15:20-21. In 'להניח, "to cause a blessing to rest upon thy house," the individual Israelite is addressed. For the fact itself, see Malachi 3:10. - To the enumeration of the means of support there is appended in Ezekiel 44:31 an emphatic repetition of the command in Leviticus 22:8, not to eat of any dead thing (i.e., anything that has died a natural death), or anything torn to pieces, either of birds or beasts, on account of its defiling (Leviticus 17:15).

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