The Threefold Inheritance
Ezekiel 47:13, 14
Thus said the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby you shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel…

Ye shall divide the land for inheritance; "Ye shall inherit it, one as well as another;" "I am their Inheritance... I am their Possession." These passages speak of two kinds of inheritance, and there is a third which remained to be revealed, and still remains to be possessed.

I. THE MATERIAL INHERITANCE. According to the prophetic vision the land of Israel was to be fairly divided among the different tribes. The prospect here held out is the possession of the soil - that soil which has within it the power of great material enrichment. Land we call "real property," as distinguished from that about which there is a measure of insecurity or fluctuation. Those who own the soil own that which cannot be taken away, and which, though its market value may rise and fall, and though it may be greatly enriched by diligence or impoverished by recklessness, still has the possibility and the promise of produce and provision. Land, therefore, may well stand as the representation and type of all material inheritance. God gives to us here a certain heritage of this order; not, indeed, "one as another" in the sense of equality, for there is very great inequality. The inequality cannot be said to be due to Divine arrangement; it is rather the bitter consequence of all forms of sin and folly. God has given us a large, ample, fruitful, beautiful world for our earthly home. And if we were but actuated by the spirit of justice and of kindness, though there might not be anything like the absolute equality of which some men dream, yet would there be a goodly heritage for every child of man - enough for the comfort of every home, for the training of every mind; enough to satisfy, to beautify, to gladden. But there is a better heritage than this.

II. THE SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE. The Levites were not to have any land for their share; God himself and his service - this was to be their "Inheritance," this their "Possession" (Ezekiel 44:28). What was true in their case is surely far more true in ours. To us to whom God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ a spiritual well-being is offered which does indeed constitute a noble heritage. "God has provided some better thing for us" (Hebrews 11:40). For us there is not the tangible mountain, the visible fire, the audible trumpet, but an inheritance which eye cannot see, nor car hear, nor could the heart of man conceive (see Hebrews 12:18 with 1 Corinthians 2:9); for us there is a redeeming God, an Almighty Savior, a Divine Comforter, a holy and elevating service, a heavenly home. In this last particular we have a third heritage, compared with which any partition of the soil was small indeed.

III. THE HEAVENLY INHERITANCE. There are those who pass through so great "a fight of afflictions" that even with all the boundless blessings and invaluable treasures which are "in Christ Jesus," life may seem of little worth; for these, as indeed for us all, there is the fair prospect of "an exceeding and eternal weight of glory" - of such glories that the sufferings of time are "not worthy to be compared" with them; the near presence of Christ; a home of perfect love and rest; reunion with the holy and the true; a sphere of untiring, elevating service; a life of growing blessedness. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.

WEB: Thus says the Lord Yahweh: This shall be the border, by which you shall divide the land for inheritance according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph [shall have two] portions.

The Inheritance of the Children
Top of Page
Top of Page