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Ezekiel 45-48 Living Bible (TLB)

45 “When you divide the land among the tribes of Israel, you shall first give a section of it to the Lord as his holy portion. This piece shall be 8⅓ miles long and 6⅔ miles wide. It shall all be holy ground.

“A section of this land, 875 feet square, shall be designated for the Temple. An additional 87½-foot strip all around is to be left empty. The Temple shall be built within the area which is 8⅓ miles long and 3⅓ miles wide. All this section shall be holy land; it will be used by the priests, who minister in the sanctuary, for their homes and for my Temple.

“The strip next to it, 8⅓ miles long and 3⅓ miles wide, shall be the residence area for the Levites who work at the Temple. Adjacent to the holy lands will be a section 8⅓ miles by 1⅔ miles for a city open to everyone in Israel.

“Two special sections of land shall be set apart for the prince—one on each side of the holy lands and city; it is contiguous with them in length, and its eastern and western boundaries are the same as those of the tribal sections. This shall be his allotment. My princes shall no longer oppress and rob my people but shall assign all the remainder of the land to the people, giving a portion to each tribe.”

For the Sovereign Lord says to the rulers: “Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land and expelling them from their homes. Always be fair and honest. 10 You must use honest scales, honest bushels, honest gallons. 11 A homer (about five bushels) shall be your standard unit of measurement for both liquid and dry measure. Smaller units shall be the ephah (about a half bushel) for dry measure, and the bath (about seventeen quarts) for liquid. 12 The unit of weight shall be the silver shekel (about half an ounce); it must always be exchanged for twenty gerahs, no less; five shekels shall be valued at five shekels, no less; and ten shekels at ten shekels! Fifty shekels[a] shall always equal one mina.

13 “This is the tax you must give to the prince: a bushel of wheat or barley for every sixty you reap; 14 and one percent of your olive oil; 15 from each 200 sheep in all your flocks in Israel, give him one sheep. These are the meal offerings, burnt offerings, and thank offerings to make atonement for those who bring them,” says the Lord God. 16 “All the people of Israel shall bring their offerings to the prince.

17 “The prince shall be required to furnish the people with sacrifices for public worship—sin offerings, burnt offerings, meal offerings, drink offerings, and thank offerings—to make reconciliation for the people of Israel. This shall be done at the time of the religious feasts, the new moon ceremonies, the Sabbaths, and all other similar occasions.”

18 The Lord God says: “On each New Year’s Day[b] sacrifice a young bull with no blemishes, to purify the Temple. 19 The priest shall take some of the blood of this sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the Temple, upon the four corners of the base of the altar, and upon the walls at the entry of the inner court. 20 Do this also on the seventh day of that month for anyone who has sinned through error or ignorance, and so the Temple will be cleansed.

21 “On the fourteenth day of the same month, you shall celebrate the Passover. It will be a seven-day feast. Only bread without yeast shall be eaten during those days. 22 On the day of Passover the prince shall provide a young bull for a sin offering for himself and all the people of Israel. 23 On each of the seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the Lord. This daily offering will consist of seven young bulls and seven rams without blemish. A male goat shall also be given each day for a sin offering. 24 And the prince shall provide a half bushel of grain with each bullock and ram for a meal offering, and three quarts of olive oil.

25 “Early in October during each of the seven days of the annual festival of shelters, he shall provide these same sacrifices for the sin offering, burnt offering, meal offering, and oil offering.”

46 The Lord God says: “The inner wall’s eastern entrance shall be closed during the six work days but open on the Sabbath and on the days of the new moon celebrations. The prince shall enter the outside entry hall of the passageway and proceed to the inner wall at the other end while the priest offers his burnt offering and peace offering. He shall worship inside the passageway and then return back to the entrance, which shall not be closed until evening. The people shall worship the Lord in front of this passageway on the Sabbaths and on the days of the new moon celebrations.

“The burnt offering that the prince sacrifices to the Lord on the Sabbath days shall be six lambs and a ram, all unblemished. He shall present a meal offering of a half bushel of flour to go with the ram and whatever amount he is willing to give with each lamb. And he shall bring three quarts of olive oil for each half bushel of flour. At the new moon celebration, he shall bring one young bull in perfect condition, six lambs, and one ram, all without any blemish. With the young bull, he must bring a half bushel[c] of flour for a meal offering. With the ram he must bring a half bushel* of flour. With the lamb he is to bring whatever he is willing to give. With each half bushel of grain he is to bring three quarts of olive oil.

“The prince shall go in at the entry hall of the passageway and out the same way; but when the people come in through the north passageway to sacrifice during the religious feasts, they must go out through the south passageway. Those coming in from the south must go out by the north. They must never go out the same way they come in, but must always use the opposite passageway. 10 The prince shall enter and leave with the common people on these occasions.

11 “To summarize: At the special feasts and sacred festivals the meal offering shall be a half bushel with the young bull; a half bushel with the ram; as much as the prince is willing to give with each lamb; and three quarts of oil with each half bushel of grain. 12 Whenever the prince offers an extra burnt offering or peace offering to be sacrificed to the Lord, the inner eastern gate shall be opened up for him to enter, and he shall offer his sacrifices just as on the Sabbaths. Then he shall turn around and go out, and the passage shall be shut behind him.

13 “Each morning a yearling lamb must be sacrificed as a burnt offering to the Lord. 14-15 And there must be a meal offering each morning—five pounds of flour with one quart of oil with which to mix it. This is a permanent ordinance—the lamb, the grain offering, and the olive oil shall be provided every morning for the daily sacrifice.”

16 The Sovereign Lord says: “If the prince gives a gift of land to one of his sons, it will belong to him forever. 17 But if he gives a gift of land to one of his servants, the servant may keep it only until the Year of Release (every seventh year) when he is set free; then the land returns to the prince. Only gifts to his sons are permanent. 18 And the prince may never take anyone’s property by force. If he gives property to his sons, it must be from his own land, for I don’t want my people losing their property and having to move away.”

19-20 After that, using the door through the wall at the side of the main passageway, he led me through the entrance to the block of sacred chambers that faced north. There, at the extreme west end of these rooms, I saw a place where, my guide told me, the priests boil the meat of the trespass offering and sin offering and bake the flour of the flour offerings into bread. They do it here to avoid the necessity of carrying the sacrifices through the outer court, in case they harm the people.

21-22 Then he brought me out to the outer court again and led me to each of the four corners of the court. I saw that in each corner there was a room 70 feet long by 52½ feet wide, enclosed by walls. 23 Around the inside of these walls there ran a line of brick boiling vats with ovens underneath. 24 He said these rooms were where the Temple assistants—the Levites—boil the sacrifices the people offer.

47 Then he brought me back to the door of the Temple. I saw a stream flowing eastward from beneath the Temple and passing to the right of the altar, that is, on its south side. Then he brought me outside the wall through the north passageway[d] and around to the eastern entrance, where I saw the stream flowing along on the south side of the eastern passageway.* Measuring as he went, he took me 1,500 feet east along the stream and told me to go across. At that point the water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,500 feet and told me to cross again. This time the water was up to my knees. Fifteen hundred feet after that it was up to my waist. Another 1,500 feet and it had become a river so deep I wouldn’t be able to get across unless I were to swim. It was too deep to cross on foot.

He told me to keep in mind what I had seen, then led me back along the bank. And now, to my surprise,[e] many trees were growing on both sides of the river!

He told me: “This river flows east through the desert and the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea, where it will heal the salty waters and make them fresh and pure. Everything touching the water of this river shall live. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will be healed. Wherever this water flows, everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea, fishing all the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim. The shores will be filled with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea just as they do the Mediterranean! 11 But the marshes and swamps will not be healed; they will still be salty. 12 All kinds of fruit trees will grow along the riverbanks. The leaves will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit. There will be a new crop every month—without fail! For they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for medicine.”

13 The Lord God says: “Here are the instructions for dividing the land to the twelve tribes of Israel: The tribe of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh)[f] shall be given two sections. 14 Otherwise, each tribe will have an equal share. I promised with hand raised in oath of truth to give the land to your fathers, and you shall inherit it now.

15 “The northern boundary will run from the Mediterranean toward Hethlon, then on through Labweh[g] to Zedad; 16 then to Berothah and Sibraim, which are on the border between Damascus and Hamath, and finally to Hazer-hatticon, on the border of Hauran. 17 So the northern border will be from the Mediterranean to Hazar-enan, on the border with Hamath to the north and Damascus to the south.

18 “The eastern border will run south from Hazar-enan to Mount Hauran, where it will bend westward to the Jordan at the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee, and down along the Jordan River separating Israel from Gilead, past the Dead Sea to Tamar.

19 “The southern border will go west from Tamar to the springs at Meribath-kadesh and then follow the course of the brook of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish) to the Mediterranean.

20 “On the west side, the Mediterranean itself will be your boundary, from the southern boundary to the point where the northern boundary begins.

21 “Divide the land within these boundaries among the tribes of Israel. 22 Distribute the land as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners who live among you with their families. All children born in the land—whether or not their parents are foreigners—are to be considered citizens and have the same rights your own children have. 23 All these immigrants are to be given land according to the tribe where they now live.

48 “Here is the list of the tribes and the territory each is to get. For Dan: From the northwest boundary at the Mediterranean, across to Hethlon, then to Labweh, and then on to Hazar-enan on the border between Damascus to the south and Hamath to the north. Those are the eastern and western limits of the land. Asher’s territory lies south of Dan’s and has the same east and west boundaries. Naphtali’s land lies south of Asher’s, with the same boundary lines on the east and the west. Then comes Manasseh, south of Naphtali, with the same eastern and western boundary lines. 5-7 Next, to the south, is Ephraim, and then Reuben and then Judah, all with the same boundaries on the east and the west.

“South of Judah is the land set aside for the Temple. It has the same eastern and western boundaries as the tribal units, with the Temple in the center. This Temple area will be 8⅓ miles long and 6⅔ miles wide.

10 “A strip of land measuring 8⅓ miles long by 3⅓ miles wide, north to south, surrounds the Temple. 11 It is for the priests, that is, the sons of Zadok who obeyed me and didn’t go into sin when the people of Israel and the rest of their tribe of Levi did. 12 It is their special portion when the land is distributed, the most sacred land of all. Next to it lies the area where the other Levites will live. 13 It will be of the same size and shape as the first. Together they measure 8⅓ miles by 6⅔ miles. 14 None of this special land shall ever be sold or traded or used by others, for it belongs to the Lord; it is holy.

15 “The strip of land 8⅓ miles long by 1⅔ miles wide, south of the Temple section, is for public use—homes, pasture, and parks, with a city in the center. 16 The city itself is to be 1½ miles square. 17 Open land for pastures shall surround the city for approximately a tenth of a mile.[h] 18 Outside the city, stretching east and west for three miles alongside the holy grounds, is garden area belonging to the city, for public use. 19 It is open to anyone working in the city, no matter where he comes from in Israel.

20 “The entire area—including sacred lands and city lands—is 8⅓ miles square.

21-22 “The land on both sides of this area, extending clear out to the eastern and western boundaries of Israel, shall belong to the prince. This land, lying between the sections allotted to Judah and Benjamin, is 8⅓ miles square on each side of the sacred and city lands.

23 “The sections given to the remaining tribes are as follows: Benjamin’s section extends across the entire country of Israel, from its eastern border clear across to the western border. 24 South of Benjamin’s area lies that of Simeon, also extending out to these same eastern and western borders. 25 Next is Issachar, with the same boundaries. 26 Then comes Zebulun, also extending all the way across. 27-28 Then Gad, with the same borders on east and west, while its south border runs from Tamar to the springs at Meribath-kadesh, and then follows the brook of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish) to the Mediterranean. 29 These are the allotments to be made to each tribe,” says the Lord God.

30-31 “Each city gate will be named in honor of one of the tribes of Israel. On the north side, with its 1½-mile wall, there will be three gates, one named for Reuben, one for Judah, and one for Levi. 32 On the east side, with its 1½-mile wall, the gates will be named for Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan. 33 The south wall, also the same length, will have the gates of Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun; 34 on the 1½ miles of the west side, they will be named for Gad, Asher, and Naphtali.

35 “The entire circumference of the city is six miles. And the name of the city will be ‘The City of God.’”[i]

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 45:12 Fifty shekels, or “Sixty shekels,” the manuscripts are unclear.
  2. Ezekiel 45:18 On each New Year’s Day, literally, “On the first day of the first month.” The first month of the Hebrew year corresponded approximately to March 15–April 15 of our calendar.
  3. Ezekiel 46:7 a half bushel, literally, “one ephah.”
  4. Ezekiel 47:2 through the north passageway. The eastern passageway was closed. of the eastern passageway, implied.
  5. Ezekiel 47:7 to my surprise, implied.
  6. Ezekiel 47:13 (Ephraim and Manasseh), implied.
  7. Ezekiel 47:15 Labweh. The present village on this site is so named. It was originally called Lebo-hamath.
  8. Ezekiel 48:17 for approximately a tenth of a mile, literally, “for 437½ feet in every direction.”
  9. Ezekiel 48:35 The City of God, literally, “Jehovah-Shammah,” which means “The Lord is there.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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