Ezekiel 47:13–23

Read the passage.

The perspective of the vision zooms out even further now. (Well, we don’t know what Ezekiel was seeing here, just what was described to him.) The borders of the whole land promised to the house of Israel are listed. Within these borders, the twelve tribes will be allotted equal portions of it. However, Levi gets a separate portion in the holy precinct, and therefore Joseph ends up with two portions given to his line through Ephraim and Manasseh.

The borders as given are not easy to identify with modern places, but I can still imagine the consternation they would cause to modern Israel’s neighbors. God promises to give everything between the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River and Dead Sea, which would include the disputed West Bank and Gaza Strip, but in the north may extend up as far as the area west of Damascus. For the south, I don’t really have a clue. The Reformation Study Bible notes for this section mention the Wadi el-Arish as a landmark, which is apparently in the middle of the Sinai Peninsula.

As the borders of Israel have been a contentious subject for about a hundred years at this point, I will say that I don’t think the commands given in this chapter or the next are meant for anyone in our time. Since these boundaries are given after the vision of the river flowing out of the temple, I think it’s fair to assume that those things need to happen first. While is possible for people to build a temple to the Lord according to the specifications given in previous chapters, the life-giving water is clearly the Lord’s doing. Most likely He won’t do that until Jesus Christ returns to the earth to establish His kingdom, and by then old political boundaries are not going to matter at all.

Your sovereignty extends throughout the ages unto eternity.

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