The open land use in the city (Ezek 48:17-48:20)

“The city shall have

Open land.

It shall be

On the north side,

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the south side,

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the east side

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the west side

Two hundred fifty cubits.

The remainder of the length

Alongside the holy portion

Shall be

Ten thousand cubits

To the east,

Ten thousand cubits

To the west.

It shall be alongside

The holy portion.

Its produce shall be

Food for the workers

Of the city.

The workers of the city,

From all the tribes of Israel,

Shall cultivate it.

The whole portion

That you shall set apart

Shall be

Twenty-five thousand cubits square.

That is

The holy portion together

With the property of the city.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, had plans for the area around the holy land with the Temple in it. The city would have 250 cubits of open space land on each side of the property, about 400 feet on the east, west, north, and south sides. The remainder of the land alongside the holy portion would be 10,000 cubits or about 16,000 feet on both the east and west side for producing food for the city workers. These city workers, from all the different tribes of Israel, would cultivate and farm this land. The total amount of land set aside for the holy portion and the city land around it would be 25,000 cubits square or about 40,000 square feet.

The Levitical priests (Ezek 48:13-48:14)

“Alongside the territory

Of the priests,

The Levites shall have

An allotment.

It shall be

Twenty-five thousand cubits

In length,

Ten thousand cubits

In width.

The whole length

Shall be

Twenty-five thousand cubits.

The whole width

Shall be

Twenty thousand cubits.

They shall not sell

Any of it.

They shall not exchange

Any of it.

They shall not transfer

This choice portion

Of the land.

It is holy

To Yahweh.”

Just like in chapter 44, Ezekiel separated the Levites from the priests of Zadok, yet they had an equal amount of living quarters. The Levites would have the opposite side of the sanctuary, next to the descendants of Zadok, with the same size of a portion, 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide. Thus, the whole holy portion with the living quarters for the priests and the Levites would be 25,000 by 20,000 cubits, including the sanctuary portion also. These priests and Levites were not allowed to sell, exchange, or transfer any of this choice portion of the land, because it was the holy land of Yahweh.

The Levite territory (Ezek 45:5-45:5)

“Another section,

Twenty-five thousand cubits long,

Ten thousand cubits wide,

Shall be

For the Levites

Who minister

At the temple,

As their possession,

For cities to live in.”

The other half of this large holy land space was for the Levites who were not Zadok priests. They would do the menial tasks around the Temple. Thus, they had the other half of the 25,000 by 10,000-cubit area. They would minister at the Temple, but they also had their homes in little cities in this sacred portion of the holy land.

The response of Yahweh (Isa 6:11-6:13)

“Then I said.

‘How long?

O Lord!’

Yahweh said.

‘Until cities lie waste

Without inhabitants.

Until houses are

Without people.

Until the land is

Utterly desolate.

Until Yahweh sends

Everyone far away.

Until vast is

The emptiness

In the midst of the land.

Even if a tenth part remains in it,

It will be burned again.

It will be like a terebinth.

It will be like an oak

Whose stump remains standing

When it is felled.’

The holy seed is its stump.”

Isaiah wanted to know how long his prophetic work would have to be. Yahweh responded with an indication that the holy land would be destroyed. He would continue until the cities had nobody living in them, until there were houses abandoned, left empty. The land would be desolate. Everybody would be sent away, so that the land itself would be left bare. Probably a tenth of those would remain. Just like when an oak tree or a terebinth bush is burned, the stump still remained until someone came along to dig it up and chop it into pieces. Likewise, the holy seed of Israel is like a stump.

God leads them to the holy land (Ps 78:52-78:55)

“Then he led out his people like sheep.

He guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

He led them to safety.

They were not afraid.

However the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

He brought them to his holy hill.

He brought them to the mountain

That his right hand had won.

He drove out nations before them.

He apportioned them for a possession.

He settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.”

God led his people like sheep. Thus the image of the good shepherd goes back to the Exodus itself. He guided his flock of sheep through the wilderness as he led them to safety. Thus they were not afraid. After all he had led them through the waters that never touched them. He brought them to his holy hill or mountain, Mount Sinai. He drove out nations before them as they entered the holy land. The apportionment of this holy land among the Israelite tribes can be found in Joshua, chapters 14-19.

Follow Yahweh (Ps 37:34-37:34)

Qoph

“Wait for Yahweh!

Keep to his way!

He will exalt you to inherit the land.

You will look on the destruction of the wicked.”

If you wait and follow Yahweh, you will inherit the holy land. If you keep his ways, you will see the destruction of the wicked ones. Just follow Yahweh and everything will be all right for you.

The safe righteous ones (Ps 37:28-37:29)

Ain

“The righteous shall be kept safe forever.

But the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

The righteous shall inherit the land.

They shall live in it forever.”

The righteous will be safe forever. They and their children shall inherit the holy land. However, the children of the wicked will be cut off from the land. The children of the righteous will live forever in the holy land.