The holy portions for the sanctuary priests (Ezek 48:9-48:10)

“The portion

That you shall set apart

For Yahweh

Shall be

Twenty-five thousand cubits

In length.

It shall be

Twenty thousand cubits

In width.

These shall be

The allotments

Of the holy portion.

The priests shall have

An allotment measuring

Twenty-five thousand cubits

On the northern side.

It shall be

Ten thousand cubits

In width

On the western side.

It shall be

Ten thousand cubits

In width

On the eastern side.

It shall be

Twenty-five thousand cubits

In length

On the southern side.

The sanctuary

Of Yahweh

Shall be

In the middle of it.”

Ezekiel clearly delineated this sacred territory that was set apart for Yahweh. This section was to be 25,000 cubits or about a mile long and 20.000 cubits wide or about ¾ of a mile wide. The priests shall have a section 25,000 by 10,000 cubits on the northern and western side. Then there would be another 25,000 by 10,000 cubits section on the southern and eastern side. Right in the middle of these two sections would be the sanctuary of Yahweh.

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The inner court by the south gate (Ezek 40:28-40:28)

“Then he brought me

To the inner court

By the south gate.

He measured

The south gate.

It was the same dimensions

As the others.”

There were 3 gates to the Temple, one each on the north, south, and east, but there was no western gate. The bronze man brought Ezekiel into the inner court by the south gate that was the same size as the northern and eastern gates. Up until now, this was all about the outer gates and the outer vestibules.

The destruction of Bozrah (Jer 49:13-49:13)

“Says Yahweh.

‘I have sworn

By myself

That Bozrah

Shall become

An object

Of horror,

Of ridicule,

Of a waste,

Of cursing.

All her towns

Shall be

Perpetual wastes.’”

Bozrah was the capital city of Edom in northern Edom, modern day Jordan.   Yahweh swore to himself that this capital of the Edomites would become an object of horror, a place of ridicule and a waste, as well as a cursed place. All its surrounding towns would become perpetual waste sites.

The drinking priests and prophets (Isa 28:7-28:8)

“They also reel with wine.

They stagger with strong drink.

The priests reel with strong drink.

The prophets reel with strong drink.

They are confused with wine.

They stagger with strong drink.

They err in vision.

They stumble in giving judgment.

All tables are covered

With vomit.

No place is clean.”

Isaiah does not paint a pretty picture of these northern priests and prophets. They reel and stagger around because of strong drink. They are confused and wobble around because of their drinking habits. They have false visions and stumble when giving judgment. In colorful descriptive language, Isaiah says that their tables were so covered with vomit from drinking that there was no clean place on them.

 

The languishing vines of Moab (Isa 16:8-16:11)

“The fields of Heshbon languish.

The vine of Sibmah languishes.

Those clusters once made drunk

The lords of the nations.

They reached to Jazer.

They strayed to the desert.

Their shoots once spread abroad.

They crossed over the sea.

Therefore I weep

With the weeping of Jazer

For the vines of Sibmah.

I drench you

With my tears.

O Heshbon!

O Elealeh!

The shout over your fruit harvest

Has ceased.

The shout over your grain harvest

Has ceased.

Joy is taken away,

Gladness is taken away

From the fruitful field.

In the vineyards,

No songs are sung.

No shouts are raised.

No one treads out wine

In the presses.

The vintage shout is hushed.

Therefore my soul throbs

Like a lyre for Moab.

My very soul throbs

For Kir-heres.”

Heshbon was in the northern part of Reuben or the northern part of Moab. The vines of Sibmah were about 5 miles east of Heshbon, also part of Moab and Reuben. Elealeh was a town about a mile outside of Heshbon, also part of Reuben and Moab. The grapes from this vine at Sibmah made many various great leaders drunk. There is a special mention of Jazer, a Levitical city near Gilead that was given to Gad in Joshua, chapter 21. The wonderful vine shoots that had strayed into the desert and even across waters were now languishing. Now Isaiah was also crying, because there would no longer be any shouting in the fields at the grape or grain harvest time. There would be no joy, gladness, shouting, or singing at harvest time, because there was no harvest. There was no one to tread the wine presses because there were no grapes. Therefore Isaiah was like a lyre or harp throbbing for Moab and the folks at Kir, on the main road, about 10 miles from the Dead Sea, as mentioned earlier.

The first defeat (Isa 9:1-9:1)

“There will be no gloom

For those who are in anguish.

In the former time,

He brought into contempt

The land of Zebulun

With the land of Naphtali.

But in the latter time

He will make glorious

The way of the sea,

The land beyond the Jordan,

Galilee of the nations.”

Isaiah indicates that the first defeat was to be in the northern tribe territories of Zebulun and Naphtali, which were closer to Syria around the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps, this is the invasion of the Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III (745-727 BCE) when King Pekah (737-732 BCE) was the king of Israel. King Tiglath-pileser III captured the northern territory of Israel, including all of Naphtali, as in 2 Kings, chapter 15. He was the first to displace the Israelites since he took captives from these northern cities and brought them to Assyria, probably around 732 BCE. Isaiah speaks of it as a former time. As for the latter time, “The Way of the Sea” was the name of Assyria province set up in what later will be called Galilee in Naphtali. The land on the other side of the Jordan River will also be taken.