Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth 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.
Heb. one portion. Dan.
And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.
And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh.
by the border
In this division of the Holy Land, a portion is laid out for each of the twelve tribes directly across the country, from east to west; and deducting the square of 25,000 reeds, or nearly fifty miles on each side, between Judah and Benjamin, for the priests, Levites, city, and temple, with the inheritance of the prince to the east and west, (see on ch. 45:1,) from 280 miles, the length of the country from north to south, there will remain for each tribe a portion of less than twenty miles in width, and 150 in length. This division of the land entirely differs from that which was made in the days of Joshua, in which the tribes were not only differently placed, but confused and inter-mixed; while here distinct lots are assigned to each of the twelve tribes, in a regular mathematical form. Literally such a division never took place: it seems to denote the equality of privileges which subsists among all the tribes of Believers, of whatever nation, and whatever their previous character may have been.
And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim.
And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben.
And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah.
And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it.
And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation; toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five and twenty thousand in length: and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof.
for the priests
and the sanctuary
It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.
It shall be for the priests that are sanctified
or, The sanctified portion shall be for the priests. the sons
or, ward, or ordinance.
as the Levites
And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites.
And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth: all the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand.
five and twenty thousand in
And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.
And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof.
for the city
The holy oblation of 25,000 square reeds, or near fifty square miles, was divided into three parts from north to south (see on ch. 45:1): a portion on the north of 10,000 reeds in width, and 25,000 in length, for the priests, in the midst of which was the sanctuary or temple, surrounded by a wall 500 reeds square, (ver. 9, 10; see on ch. 42:15;) next to this another portion of the same dimensions for the Levites, (ver. 13, 14;) and on the south another portion of the same length, but only 5,000 reeds in breadth, for the city (ver. 15.) The city was situated in the midst of this portion, being 4,500 reeds, or about nine miles square, (see on ver. 30,) having a suburb of 250 reeds, or about half a mile, on each side, (ver. 17,) leaving 10,000 reeds or nearly ten miles, on the east side, and the same on the west side, for the profit of those who serve the city out of all the tribes, (ver. 18, 19.) On the east and west sides of this square of 25,000 reeds, is the portion of the prince; each of which, estimating the breadth of the land at 150 miles, would form a square of fifty miles. Thus the whole plan of the division of the country, laying out of the city, temple, and all its appendages, is perfectly regular and uniform; and would therefore convey to the minds of the Jews the most complete idea they were capable of conceiving of the most perfect church, commonwealth, city, temple, and conveniences, on the largest and grandest scale for the Divine worship; and it doubtless ultimately points out the land of Immanuel, the city of the New Jerusalem, and his temple, the Christian church, the house of the living God.
And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city.
And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.
All the oblation shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city.
And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof.
As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion.
Heb. one portion.
And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion.
And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion.
And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion.
And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.
And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea.
strife in Kadesh
the great sea
This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, saith the Lord GOD.
And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.
It is certainly most obvious to interpret these measures, not of cubits, but of the measuring reed which the prophet's conductor had in his hand; according to which, the city would be about thirty-six miles in circumference, and nine miles on each side of the square; which was nearly nine times larger than the greatest extent to which Jerusalem ever attained, (See on ver. 15; ch. 42:16.) The large dimensions of the city and land were perhaps intended to intimate the extensive and glorious propagation of the gospel in the times predicted; and the land was not called Canaan, nor the city Jerusalem, probably because they were figurative of spiritual blessings to the church and to Israel.
And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi.
It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
and the name
Heb. JEHOVAH shammah.