Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
By lot. Manuscript 2 reads bogurl; (printed benachala) so the Vulgate sortito. (Kennicott) --- Hebrew, "when you shall make the land fall," which usually implies by lot: yet the partition was not made thus, (chap. xlviii. 1.) nor at all, (Calmet) otherwise the prophet might mention how the lots would have fallen to Dan, in the north, &c. (Haydock) --- The Jews either could not comply, or did not take this to be a command. If they had returned all together, they might probably have put it in execution. But many of them preferred staying where they had gotten a settlement, and the rest only returned in small parties, some not before the reign of Alexander [the Great]. Those who arrived first, occupied as much as possible their ancient limits, 1 Esdras iii. 1., and 2 Esdras viii., and xi. (Calmet) --- Thousand: reeds, or cubits. (Challoner) --- Many prefer the latter, which is specified [in] ver. 2., (Haydock) as it agrees with the dimensions of the temple, chap. xlii. 16. If reeds or toises were meant, the city would be disproportionate with the rest of the divisions: 50,000 would make 25 leagues, of 2,500 paces each; and if each tribe had as much, the country must have comprised 325 leagues, whereas from Emath to Cadesbarne (chap. xlvii. 17.) there at[are?] not above 150. (Calmet) --- To form an idea of the proposed partition, we must suppose the country reached from a little north of Emesa, on the Orontes, to Cadesbarne south, and from the Mediterranean to Damascus, or a little farther east, and beyond the sources of Jazer. 1. Dan, 2. Aser, 3. Nephthali, 4. Manasses, 5. Ephraim, 6. Ruben, 7. Juda, had about equal portions with that designed for 8. the temple, the Levites, and prince, whose southern limits reached almost to Accaron and the Dead Sea. 9. Benjamin, 10. Simeon, 11. Issachar, 12. Zabulon, and 13. Gad, had each about half the quantity of the others, though the tribes occupied the whole extent from east to west, their lots being marked out by parallel lines. Between Juda and Benjamin, a square of 500 cubits was assigned for the temple; another square of 4,500, or 18,000 in circuit, lay round the former for the city of the Levites: round this were suburbs 250 cubits broad, walled about, and having three gates on each side. Next them dwelt their lay servants, in a space 5,000 cubits broad, and 25,000 long, from east to west. A plot of ground on the north and south, sufficient to complete this square was to support them with provisions. On the east side of the Jordan, and on the west of this square for the priests and their servants, two portions almost of equal dimensions with it, were appropriated to the prince. His lot was 25,000 cubits long, and 12,500 broad, chap. xlviii. 21. See Calmet's plan. (Haydock) --- About. It couldn ot be alienated to private men, or for any other purpose. (Worthington)
Suburbs. Hebrew also, "vacant spaces."
Measure, from the centre of the temple; so that the dimensions given must be doubled, (chap. xlviii. 10.) as also ver. 5.
Place. There the priests shall dwell.
Chambers for the Levites on duty. Septuagint read, "towns." But only one seems to be specified, 18,000 cubits in circumference.
According. Hebrew, "along or (Calmet) over-against the oblation of the holy portion." (Protestants) --- Israel, destined to serve the priests. (Haydock)
Border. Two equal lots, one on the east and the other on the west, were assigned the prince, each 20,000 cubits broad, and 12,500 long, chap. xlviii. 21. (Calmet) --- He dwelt near the priests, for their protection; as the people were on both sides of him, that he might sustain no injury. (Worthington)
Rob. Instead of their right, (1 Kings viii. 11.) the source of continual vexations, a certain revenue is specified, ver. 13.
Confines: encroach not. (Calmet) --- Hebrew and Septuagint, "take away your oppressions;" (Haydock) Chaldean, "scandals." (Calmet)
The ephi and the bate. These measures were of equal capacity; but the bate served for liquids, and the ephi for dry things, (Challoner) ver. 13, 14. (Worthington) --- Ezechiel specifies the measures, that the people might not use those of Babylon, after their return.
Sicles. It would be shorter to say, "sixty sicles make a mna."
Take, for the prince's revenue. He had the sixtieth part of corn and of oil; or rather (Calmet) he had an exact tithe of the latter, ver. 14. (Chaldean) (Menochius)
One ram. He shall receive the tithe of sheep, &c., and take one out of two hundred, on condition that he furnish victims, ver. 17. (Calmet) --- The obligation was mutual. St. Jerome explains it of the high priest and people. (Worthington)
Holocaust. This was given before perhaps gratis, 2 Paralipomenon xxxi. 3. Solomon and Ezechias shewed great magnificence. After the captivity the people laid on the third of a sicle per head, as this order was not observed, 2 Esdras x. 32.
Take, or order the priests to do this annually, to prepare for the Passover, ver. 21. Moses mentions nothing of this, and it does not appear to have been put in execution. (Calmet) --- Yet it might be the first year after the dedication of the temple. The prophet does not say it was to be done every year. (Haydock)
Seventh, or so many days before the solemn feast. Septuagint, "on the first of the seventh month," the feast of trumpets, Numbers xxix. 1. (Calmet)
Sacrifice. Hebrew mincha, flour. Protestants, "meat offering." (Haydock)
Day: the feast of tabernacles, to be observed like the Pasch, Numbers xxix. 12. (Calmet)