Reading Through the Bible, September 16. Ezekiel 45-47

    Take a look at the provided graphic (from John B.  Taylor, Ezekiel (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1969).

    When Israel returned to the Promised Land from Egypt, over a thousand years before, there was a somewhat different allotment of land.  In the first place, there was no allotment for the King (Prince in this text).  A special section of land seven miles (25,000 cubits) square surrounds the temple.  This square is divided into three parts.  The top part is 10,000 cubits (3 miles) wide and is for the Levites.  The next 3 mile wide section is for the priests.  The bottom is a mile wide and is for the city and the people of the city.

    The prince (or King) has the territory to the east and west of the sacred city.  His land boundary is fixed.  It belongs to His house forever and he cannot dispose of it permanently.  It is all the property he gets.  Furthermore, at the sacred festivals, the prince must supply the sacrifices for the people.

    So what’s the point, since obviously none of this ever occurred?

    God occupies a most holy and central position in all of Israel.  The king is to lead in allegiance to God and service to Him.  The Priests receive no portion in the land, and the king’s portion is limited.  Materialism and all the sins connected with it cannot be a part of the lives of these leaders.  There would be no point since they are not allowed to accumulate anything of lasting value (the land).

    Rather than look for some specific fulfillment of this in terms of land and building, we should think of it as what God wants of His people.  He wants to be the focus of their lives, and that focus is to be maintained by their leaders.  This lesson is applicable in every age.  When Israel returned to the promised land, she needed to carry this lesson with her.