The River From the Temple
The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits47:3 That is, about 1,700 feet or about 530 meters and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,47:8 Or the Jordan Valley where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
The Boundaries of the Land
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “These are the boundaries of the land that you will divide among the twelve tribes of Israel as their inheritance, with two portions for Joseph. You are to divide it equally among them. Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your ancestors, this land will become your inheritance.
“This is to be the boundary of the land:
“On the north side it will run from the Mediterranean Sea by the Hethlon road past Lebo Hamath to Zedad, Berothah47:15,16 See Septuagint and 48:1; Hebrew road to go into Zedad, 16 Hamath, Berothah. and Sibraim (which lies on the border between Damascus and Hamath), as far as Hazer Hattikon, which is on the border of Hauran. The boundary will extend from the sea to Hazar Enan,47:17 Hebrew Enon, a variant of Enan along the northern border of Damascus, with the border of Hamath to the north. This will be the northern boundary.
“On the east side the boundary will run between Hauran and Damascus, along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel, to the Dead Sea and as far as Tamar.47:18 See Syriac; Hebrew Israel. You will measure to the Dead Sea. This will be the eastern boundary.
“On the south side it will run from Tamar as far as the waters of Meribah Kadesh, then along the Wadi of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. This will be the southern boundary.
“On the west side, the Mediterranean Sea will be the boundary to a point opposite Lebo Hamath. This will be the western boundary.
“You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance,” declares the Sovereign Lord.
The Division of the Land
“These are the tribes, listed by name: At the northern frontier, Dan will have one portion; it will follow the Hethlon road to Lebo Hamath; Hazar Enan and the northern border of Damascus next to Hamath will be part of its border from the east side to the west side.
“Asher will have one portion; it will border the territory of Dan from east to west.
“Naphtali will have one portion; it will border the territory of Asher from east to west.
“Manasseh will have one portion; it will border the territory of Naphtali from east to west.
“Ephraim will have one portion; it will border the territory of Manasseh from east to west.
“Reuben will have one portion; it will border the territory of Ephraim from east to west.
“Judah will have one portion; it will border the territory of Reuben from east to west.
“Bordering the territory of Judah from east to west will be the portion you are to present as a special gift. It will be 25,000 cubits48:8 That is, about 8 miles or about 13 kilometers; also in verses 9, 10, 13, 15, 20 and 21 wide, and its length from east to west will equal one of the tribal portions; the sanctuary will be in the center of it.
“The special portion you are to offer to the Lord will be 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits48:9 That is, about 3 1/3 miles or about 5.3 kilometers; also in verses 10, 13 and 18 wide. This will be the sacred portion for the priests. It will be 25,000 cubits long on the north side, 10,000 cubits wide on the west side, 10,000 cubits wide on the east side and 25,000 cubits long on the south side. In the center of it will be the sanctuary of the Lord. This will be for the consecrated priests, the Zadokites, who were faithful in serving me and did not go astray as the Levites did when the Israelites went astray. It will be a special gift to them from the sacred portion of the land, a most holy portion, bordering the territory of the Levites.
“Alongside the territory of the priests, the Levites will have an allotment 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide. Its total length will be 25,000 cubits and its width 10,000 cubits. They must not sell or exchange any of it. This is the best of the land and must not pass into other hands, because it is holy to the Lord.
“The remaining area, 5,000 cubits48:15 That is, about 1 2/3 miles or about 2.7 kilometers wide and 25,000 cubits long, will be for the common use of the city, for houses and for pastureland. The city will be in the center of it and will have these measurements: the north side 4,500 cubits,48:16 That is, about 1 1/2 miles or about 2.4 kilometers; also in verses 30, 32, 33 and 34 the south side 4,500 cubits, the east side 4,500 cubits, and the west side 4,500 cubits. The pastureland for the city will be 250 cubits48:17 That is, about 440 feet or about 135 meters on the north, 250 cubits on the south, 250 cubits on the east, and 250 cubits on the west. What remains of the area, bordering on the sacred portion and running the length of it, will be 10,000 cubits on the east side and 10,000 cubits on the west side. Its produce will supply food for the workers of the city. The workers from the city who farm it will come from all the tribes of Israel. The entire portion will be a square, 25,000 cubits on each side. As a special gift you will set aside the sacred portion, along with the property of the city.
“What remains on both sides of the area formed by the sacred portion and the property of the city will belong to the prince. It will extend eastward from the 25,000 cubits of the sacred portion to the eastern border, and westward from the 25,000 cubits to the western border. Both these areas running the length of the tribal portions will belong to the prince, and the sacred portion with the temple sanctuary will be in the center of them. So the property of the Levites and the property of the city will lie in the center of the area that belongs to the prince. The area belonging to the prince will lie between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin.
“As for the rest of the tribes: Benjamin will have one portion; it will extend from the east side to the west side.
“Simeon will have one portion; it will border the territory of Benjamin from east to west.
“Issachar will have one portion; it will border the territory of Simeon from east to west.
“Zebulun will have one portion; it will border the territory of Issachar from east to west.
“Gad will have one portion; it will border the territory of Zebulun from east to west.
“The southern boundary of Gad will run south from Tamar to the waters of Meribah Kadesh, then along the Wadi of Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.
“This is the land you are to allot as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel, and these will be their portions,” declares the Sovereign Lord.
The Gates of the New City
“These will be the exits of the city: Beginning on the north side, which is 4,500 cubits long, the gates of the city will be named after the tribes of Israel. The three gates on the north side will be the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah and the gate of Levi.
“On the east side, which is 4,500 cubits long, will be three gates: the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin and the gate of Dan.
“On the south side, which measures 4,500 cubits, will be three gates: the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar and the gate of Zebulun.
“On the west side, which is 4,500 cubits long, will be three gates: the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher and the gate of Naphtali.
“The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits.48:35 That is, about 6 miles or about 9.5 kilometers
“And the name of the city from that time on will be:
the Lord is there.”