In the last chapter of Ezekiel, God provides Ezekiel final directions on how the land of Israel will be divided and some features of the new city which will replace the holy city of Jerusalem. The boundaries of the land is somewhat different than what we find in Numbers chapter 34 as described by God to Moses. The north and south boundaries are similar but there is no land east of the Jordan except north of the Sea of Galilee. The land assigned to the 12 tribes is markedly different. The 12 tribes are assigned parallel tracks of land that run east and west, giving each tribe access to the Mediterranean Sea. A separate parallel section includes the Holy District described in Chapter 45 with land assigned to the Temple, the Levites, and the Zadokite priests, and the city district. Land east (to the Jordan) and west (to the Mediterranean) of the Holy District belongs to the prince. The land is a gift from God to be passed down to the assigned tribes as an inheritance. The Holy District is outside the areas assigned to the tribes. The prince is assigned his own land. The Temple area is outside the new city. The city’s new name is “Jehovah Shammah,” which means “the Lord is there.” It will have twelve gates, three on each side, named for the twelve tribes…Joseph and Levi included. God will be in the temple among the people, and there will be a close relationship between God and His chosen people.
Here are the Bible references used for this lesson:
Ezekiel 48:1-7 God tells Ezekiel to assign land to the twelve tribes in parallel sections running east and west from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan. He names the order of the tribes starting in the far north with Dan, naming 7 tribes moving south and ending with Judah.
Ezekiel 48:8-20 Judah’s area is next to sacred ground described in chapter 45. This 8-mile-wide area to the south of Judah’s area contains the Holy District, an 8 mile square that has land assigned to the Levites, the Temple and land assigned to the Zadokite priests, and land set aside for the new city and farm land used by anyone. The land east and west of the Holy District, 8 miles wide and running east to the Jordan and west to the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the prince. As is all the land, it is a gift from God to His people and is an inheritance, to remain in the family of each tribe, passed done from generation to generation.
Ezekiel 48:21-29 The area south of the Holy District is assigned to the remaining 5 tribes in parallel sections like the area north, ending with Gad in the South next to Egypt.
Ezekiel 48:30-35 God describes the new city, named Jehovah Shammon, which means “God is there.” It is approximately 1.5 miles square with three gates in each side, named for each of the twelve tribes. Its name is a symbol of the new and close relationship that exists between God and His people.