The “borders” of the land, of national Israel … during the Millennium. That’s what today’s divinely inspired paragraph reveals, Ezekiel 47:13-21.
It reads like a geography text, too.
“13Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have TWO PORTIONS. 14 And ye shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning the which I lifted up mine hand to give it unto your fathers: and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance. 15 And this shall be the border of the land toward the NORTH SIDE, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad; 16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran. 17 And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side. 18 And the EAST SIDE ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel by JORDAN, from the border unto the east sea. And this is the EAST SIDE. 19 And the SOUTH SIDE southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward. 20 The WEST SIDE shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side. 21 So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel.”
Essentially, the scholars tell us this is basically the same expanse of land God promised Israel long ago … with one notable exception. (Read with me Genesis 15:18-21 for the background, the initial “land grant” promise. “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
(We will learn more about Jacob’s “two portions” when we discuss Ezekiel chapter 48, in a few days.) Meanwhile, the “exception” I earlier noted deals with the “EAST SIDE” of Israel’s property. In the Millennium it seems to extend only to the Jordan River!
Whereas originally God it was said to reach the “great river,” the Euphrates!
A lot less land, if I am understanding this correctly. And I have consulted a few of the “experts” on the issue. Any Bible map will show you the difference, somewhere around 10,000 square miles less territory, one encyclopedia calculates.
But the question is, WHY?
As I’ve prayed and thought … the only answer I can derive is that in the Millennium Israel as a Nation will be a lot smaller that her original potential during the days of Abraham.
Only a “remnant” of her will have survived the Tribulation!
And a small fraction of Jewish people will not NEED that much land, all the way to the Euphrates.
Talk about a lesson on the “costs” of sin!
Still, and let me be clear about this, God KEEPS His Promises to Israel, all of them. The Nation will in no way be “crowded!”
And in that coming glorious Day … Isaiah 11:9 will also be a reality. “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” The “whole” earth, I might add … including trans-Jordan!
Praise the Lord.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell