The tribe of Dan (Ezek 48:1-48:1)

“These are the names

Of the tribes.

You will begin

At the northern border,

On the Hethlon road,

From Lebo-hamath,

As far as Hazar-enon,

The border

Of Damascus

With Hamath

To the north.

This will extend

From the east side

To the westside.

This shall be

One portion

Of Dan.”

According to Joshua, chapter 19, Dan had a small territory between Ephraim, Benjamin, and Judah. However, it was wiped out, so that they ended up with a small territory between Manasseh and Naphtali near the Syrian border. Thus, the tribe of Dan here gets this northern territory, close to Damascus. It was not clear how many from the tribe of Dan were still around.

The resident aliens as citizens of Israel (Ezek 47:22-47:23)

“You shall allot it

As an inheritance

For yourselves,

As well as for the aliens

Who reside among you.

They have begotten children

Among you.

They shall be

To you

As citizens of Israel.

With you,

They shall be allotted

An inheritance

Among the tribes of Israel.

In whatever tribe,

Aliens reside,

There you shall assign them

Their inheritance.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, seemed to favor the resident aliens who were living in Israel. They received the same inheritance as the sons of the tribes, especially if they have had children among the Israelites. There did not seem to be any code or legal restrictions on these resident aliens. This was a very strong open immigration policy. As long as they lived with an Israelite tribe, they became citizens. Thus, they could inherit the land. Perhaps this was a way of accepting the people who were living in these various tribal areas, without taking their land.

The punishment for the idol loving Levite ministers (Ezek 44:10-44:12)

“‘But the Levites,

Who went far from me,

Going astray

From me

After their idols,

When Israel went astray,

Shall bear

Their punishment.

They shall be ministers

In my sanctuary,

Having oversight

At the gates

Of the temple.

They shall serve

In the temple.

They shall slaughter

The burnt offerings.

They shall slaughter

The sacrifices

For the people.

They shall attend

On them.

They shall serve them.

Because they ministered

To them

Before their idols,

They made

The house of Israel

Stumble into iniquity.

Therefore,

I have sworn concerning them.

They shall bear their punishment.’

Says Yahweh God!”

In a diatribe against the Levitical priests who had served idols in the high places, Yahweh was upset. However, his punishment was merely lowly menial tasks in the Temple, not a drastic death sentence. These Levites had sinned because they had led Israel astray with their idol worshipping. They made Israel stumble into iniquity. Thus, they were to be punished. They would only have oversight at the gates to the Temple, not in the sanctuary. They also would slaughter the burnt offerings and other sacrifices. They would continue to minister to Yahweh and his people, but only in the more pedestrian roles. This seems like a mild form of punishment for idol worship and leading the Israelites astray.

No uncircumcised foreigners in the sanctuary (Ezek 44:9-44:9)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘No foreigner

Shall enter my sanctuary!

No uncircumcised in heart

Shall enter my sanctuary!

No uncircumcised in flesh

Shall enter my sanctuary!

None of all the foreigners,

Who are among

The people of Israel,

Shall enter my sanctuary.’”

There was no doubt about what Yahweh wanted. No foreigners were to be allowed to enter into his sanctuary. No one uncircumcised in heart or flesh would be allowed into the sanctuary of Yahweh. This even included the foreigners who were living among the Israelites. Only the circumcised, but more precisely, only the Zadok Levitical priests were allowed into his sanctuary.

Yahweh and his people (Ezek 39:22-39:24)

“The house of Israel

Shall know

That I am Yahweh,

Their God,

From that day forward.

The nations

Shall know

That the house of Israel

Went into captivity

For their iniquity.

They dealt

Treacherously

With me.

So,

I hid

My face

From them.

I gave them

Into the hand

Of their adversaries.

They all fell

By the sword.

I dealt with them

According to their uncleanness.

I dealt with them

According to their transgressions.

I hid my face

From them.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that the house of Israel would finally know that he was their God, from that day forward. The various countries knew that the house of Israel went into captivity, because of their iniquity in dealing treacherously with Yahweh. Thus, he hid his face from them. He gave them over to their adversaries, where they all died by the sword. Yahweh had dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions. He hid his face, until finally the Israelites recognized Yahweh as their God.

 

The Israelites will use Gog’s weapons for their fires (Ezek 39:9-39:10)

“‘Then those who live

In the towns

Of Israel

Will go out.

They will make fires

Of the weapons.

They will burn them,

Shields

Bucklers,

Bows

Arrows,

Hand pikes,

Spears.

They will make fires

Of them

For seven years.

They will not need

To take wood

Out of the field

Or cut down

Any tree

In the forests.

They will make

Their fires

Of the weapons.

They will despoil

Those who despoiled them.

They will plunder

Those who plundered them.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that the Israelites in the various towns would gather all the weapons from the army of Gog. They would use weapons in place of wood to keep their fires going for 7 years. They were going to burn all the equipment that they found, whether it was shields, hand bucklers, bows, arrows, pikes, or spears. Thus, they would not have to go out and collect wood for their fires. They would not have to cut down trees in the forest for their house fires. This was a form or recycling by saving the trees, since they used war weapons as fuel for your home. They would get the spoils and plunder of those who had tried to do the same to them.

The gathering into one nation (Ezek 37:20-37:22)

“When the sticks

On which

You write

Are in your hand,

Before their eyes,

Then say to them.

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will take

The people of Israel

From the nations

Among which

They have gone.

I will gather them

From every quarter.

I will bring them

To their own land.

I will make them

One nation

In the land,

On the mountains of Israel.

One king

Shall be king

Over them all.

Never again

Shall there be

Two nations.

Never again

Shall they be divided

Into two kingdoms.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to gather the two written sticks in his hand before the people. Then he was to tell them what Yahweh had said. Yahweh was going to gather all the Israelites from the various places where they were living. He was going to bring them back to their own land. Yahweh was going to make them one nation in the mountainous land of Israel. They would have one king over them. Never again would there be two nations, divided into two kingdoms. There would be one nation and one kingdom with one king.