September 24, 2021
"These are the exits of the city: On the north side, which measures 1½ miles, there will be three gates facing north, the gates of the city being named for the tribes of Israel..."
“These are the exits of the city: On the north side, which measures 1½ miles, there will be three gates facing north, the gates of the city being named for the tribes of Israel: one, the gate of Reuben; one, the gate of Judah; and one, the gate of Levi. On the east side, which is 1½ miles, there will be three gates: one, the gate of Joseph; one, the gate of Benjamin; and one, the gate of Dan. On the south side, which measures 1½ miles, there will be three gates: one, the gate of Simeon; one, the gate of Issachar; and one, the gate of Zebulun. On the west side, which is 1½ miles, there will be three gates: one, the gate of Gad; one, the gate of Asher; and one, the gate of Naphtali. The perimeter of the city will be six miles, and the name of the city from that day on will be: Yahweh Is There.” Ezekiel 48:30-35
In Yesterday’s chapter, the chapter that began today’s chapter’s dividing the land of Israel after the exiles return, we are (again) enlightened to God’s love of Gentiles who choose to follow Him. Not only are Gentiles to be tolerated, living among the faithful of Israel, but they are also gracefully granted land as an inheritance among the faithful of Jewish descent!
“‘You are to divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You will allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners living among you, who have fathered children among you. You will treat them as native-born Israelites; along with you, they will be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the foreigner lives, you will assign his inheritance there.’ This is the declaration of the Lord God.” Ezekiel 47:21-23
Before Gentile Christians rush to modern-day Israel to claim their “birthright in Messiah” property, let us consider that Ezekiel’s vision closer mirrors the New Jerusalem of the Revelation than the old one we visit on our yearly pilgrimage tours.
“Then one of the seven angels, who had held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me: ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ He then carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed with God’s glory. Her radiance was like a very precious stone, like a jasper stone, bright as crystal. The city had a massive high wall, with 12 gates. Twelve angels were at the gates; the names of the 12 tribes of Israel’s sons were inscribed on the gates. There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.” Revelation 21:9-13
Given that today’s Ezekiel passage says the names of the patriarchs are written on the EXITS of the prophetic city, we can conclude that people will live outside of the walls of the New Jerusalem, coming in and going out.
“Each day its gates will never close because it will never be night there. They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. Nothing profane will ever enter it: no one who does what is vile or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:25-27