Ezekiel – Chapter 48

"G-d is There."

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

The new portions of the Tribes are then described, from Dan in the north, to Asher, then Naftali, Menashe, Ephraim and Reuben. Then came the territory of Judah, with the Temple in its midst, including the land set aside around the Temple in chapter 45. (The land in this portion designated for Kohanim – priests – and Levites could not be sold or exchanged for other land.) There was an open space of less holiness around this where Israelites might live. Grain grown in this territory would be used to feed those who serve the city, such as the Gibeonites who cut wood and drew water (see Joshua chapter 9). On either side, east and west, was land belonging to the ruler.

After the territory of the Temple came the portions of Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun, and Gad, in the south. (Unlike the original division of the land in Joshua, here each Tribe received an equal portion in strips from north to south.)

There were twelve gates to the city of Jerusalem, each named after a Tribe, in order to show that each Tribe had a share in the Holy City. (North: Reuben, Judah and Levi. East: Joseph, Benjamin, Dan. South: Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun. West: Gad, Asher, Naftali. You’ll note that here Levi is included and Joseph is one Tribe.) The city of Jerusalem from that day forward would be called “G-d is There.”

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