Ezekiel 48

The Word Made Fresh

1The tribes are: Dan, who will have one portion beginning at the northern border on the road through Hethlon, from Lebo-Hamath as far as Hazar-Enon on the border of Damascus south of Hamath, and then going on from the eastern to the western border. 2Next to Dan, from the east side to the west, Asher will also have one portion. 3Next to Asher, from east to west, Naphtali will have their portion. 4Next to Naphtali, east to west, Manasseh will have their portion. 5Next to Manasseh, Ephraim will have their portion. 6Next to Ephraim, Reuben will have their portion. 7Next to Reuben, Judah will have their portion.

8Next to Judah’s territory, you will set apart from east to west a portion twenty-five thousand cubits wide, and the sanctuary will be centered in it. 9The portion you will set apart for the LORD will be twenty-five thousand cubits long by ten thousand cubits wide. 10In this portion the priests will be given a tract twenty-five thousand cubits on the north side and twenty-five thousand on the south side, with ten thousand cubits in width on the east and west sides; the LORD’s sanctuary will be at the center of it. 11This portion will be for the priests, descended from Zadok, who were true to my instructions and did not stray when the people went astray along with the Levites. 12It will be their possession in the sacred part of the land. It will be a most holy place next to the territory of the Levites.

13Next to the territory of the priests, the Levites will have a section twenty-five thousand cubits long and ten thousand cubits wide. 14They will not be permitted to sell or trade any part of it. They may not transfer this chosen portion of the land, because it is sacred to the LORD.

15The rest of the area, five thousand cubits wide and twenty-five thousand cubits long, will be for ordinary activities for the city; for houses and for open countryside. The city will be in the center of this portion. 16It will be four thousand five hundred cubits square. 17Around it will be open land, two hundred fifty cubits wide on each side. 18Also around the sacred portion will be ten thousand cubits on the east and on the west. The food that comes from this portion will be for the workers in the city, 19who will be from every tribe in Israel. They will farm the land. 20The section you will set apart will be twenty-five thousand cubits square, and it will contain the sacred portion and the city property.

21What is left on both sides of the sacred portion and the city property will belong to the prince. His holding will extend east and west from the twenty-five thousand cubits of the sacred portion and parallel to the tribal portions. So, the sacred portion which includes the temple in its middle, 22and the property belonging to the Levites and the city, will be in the middle of the part that belongs to the prince. The prince’s land will lie between the territories of Benjamin and Judah.

23Benjamin will have their portion from the east side to the west; 24adjoining Benjamin’s portion will be Simeon, from the east side to the west. 25Next to Simeon will be Issachar; 26and next to Issachar will be Zebulun. 27Next to Zebulun will be Gad’s portion, 18and next to Gad the boundary will run from Tamar to the Meribath-Kadesh lakes; then from there along the wadi to the Great Sea. 29“This is the land for you to assign, portion by portion, for the inheritance of the tribes of Israel,” says the LORD God.

30The city will have these exits: On the north side, which will be four thousand five hundred cubits long, 31there will be three gates – the gates of Reuben, Judah, and Levi (each gate will be named after one of the tribes of Israel). 32On the east side, also four thousand five hundred cubits long, will be the gates of Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan. 33On the south side, also four thousand five hundred cubits, will be the gates of Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun. 34And on the west side’s forty-five hundred cubits will be the gates of Gad, Asher, and Naphtali. 35The total distance around the city will be eighteen thousand cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be “THE LORD IS THERE.”


1-14: The roll call of the tribes begins, with each tribe receiving its allotment of land: Dan, Asher, Naphtali Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, and Judah. Judah is to include the holy precinct described in chapter 45. The temple area, and all the priests and all the Levites live within this special district.

15-22: The city (Jerusalem) is laid out, to include the holy precinct within its walls. The prince’s territory is defined as being between Judah and Benjamin.

23-29: The allotment of the land concludes with Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad.

30-35: Ezekiel’s vision (and his book) ends with a quick look at the city (Jerusalem). The city is to be 4500 cubits on each side, a square about 2.5 x 2.5 miles. Three gates are to be placed facing in each of the cardinal directions of the compass, the twelve gates representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Note that now there is a gate for the Levites, and to preserve the number of tribes at 12 Joseph is given one gate instead of being divided between Ephraim and Manasseh.

Finally, the length of the four walls is added together to get a circumference of 18,000 cubits, or about five miles — not a very large area for the most important city in the world!


Perhaps you have noticed that, although it is obvious that we are in Jerusalem, the name of the city is not mentioned in Ezekiel’s final vision which began at 40:1. In dramatic fashion he saves the mention of its name to the last line. The city is called “God is there.”

So, Jerusalem has a new name, and with that the book abruptly ends.