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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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A NEW BEGINNING
November 23, 2014
SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 47:13-23
KEY VERSE: 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:15)
INTRODUCTION: Ezekiel’s vision of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40:1–48:35)
· The Restored Temple (Ezekiel 40:1-42:20).
· The Return of God’s Glory (Ezekiel 43:1-27).
· The New Priesthood ((Ezekiel 44:1-31).
· The New Rules for the New Temple (Ezekiel 45:1-46:24).
· The New Life from the New Temple (Ezekiel 47:1-12).
· The New Boundaries for the New Land (Ezekiel 47:13-48:29).
· The New Name for the New Jerusalem (Ezekiel 48:30-35).
In his final vision, dated April 28, 573 B.C., Ezekiel received the divine plan for the restoration of the temple, the priesthood, and the Holy City, Jerusalem. While the modern reader may have difficulty with the tedious details Ezekiel gives for the restored temple and priesthood, all of this was of utmost importance for him and the returning exiles. For them, the restored temple and Jews was a sign, a means to something much greater, and that was the return of the presence and glory of Jehovah to Jerusalem and to His people.
In the vision of Ezekiel chapters 8-11, Ezekiel had to face the fact that the gross sin of Israel would result in God's departure from the temple and the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. We noted the tragic words in Ezekiel 10:18, “The glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple.” This resulted in its destruction. However, the temple would be rebuilt, and God would again dwell in the midst of his people (Ezekiel 37:27-28)!
I. GOD’S PROMISE OF INHERITANCE. (Ezekiel 47:13-14)
Note: New boundaries for the New Land (Ezekiel 47:13–48:29):
In this section Ezekiel described the ideal boundaries of the new land. This idealization obviously ignored the division of the land into the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom in 922 B.C. under Rehoboam (1 Kings 12). This division had ended in the destruction of both kingdoms and the virtual dissolution of tribal lines and distinctions. Thus references to “the tribes [of Israel]” are found in the text of the postexilic prophets only three times (Isaiah 49:6; 63:17; Zechariah 9:1).
Here, however, Ezekiel looks toward an equal redivision of the land along traditional tribal lines, including the double tribe of Joseph. In fact, all the tribes are mentioned along with their territorial boundaries in in Ezekiel 48:1-7, 23-28. It is not clear how or why both the northern and southern boundaries of the new land far exceed the widest extent of the kingdom under David. A new note of universalism is struck by the provision that even resident aliens would be granted property rights and citizenship in the new era (Ezekiel 47:21-23).
The central place which the temple and Jerusalem held in the theology of Ezekiel is emphasized again in Ezekiel 48:8-22 (which is an expansion of the provisions in Ezekiel 45:1-8)). A special block of territory in the center was to be reserved for the temple and the King. The central focus for the life of the new Israel would be the temple and the worship of God who lived in the midst of his people.
A. Joseph’s tribe will receive two portions.
(Ezekiel 47:13) 13 Thus 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.
The priestly tribe of Levi had already received a special area (Ezekiel 45:1–8; 48:8–14). The tribe of Joseph was divided into two tribes (named Manasseh and Ephraim -- Joseph’s children) to replace Levi and thus maintain twelve tribes.
B. Jehovah’s free gift of grace to Israel.
(Ezekiel 47:14) 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.
Equality of inheritance is stressed. God says I “Raised My hand in an oath:” This phrase recalls Ezekiel 20:5; 36:28 (Genesis 12:7; 15:7, 18–21; 17:8). The unilateral and unconditional nature of the Abrahamic covenant is suggested; this inheritance is a free gift of God’s grace which God’s people (1) did nothing and (2) could do nothing to deserve.
What is the greatest proof that the
Bible is the Word of God?
By Vernon McGee
[The Bible says that] Moses turned aside to see why the bush was burning but was not consumed. One of the greatest proofs of the accuracy of Scripture is the existence of the nation Israel.
Years ago an emperor of Germany asked his chaplain the question, “What is the greatest proof that the Bible is the Word of God?” That proof is somewhere in my kingdom.” Without hesitation the chaplain said, “The Jew, sir. He is the proof.” He is the burning bush that ought to cause the unbeliever to turn aside and take a look today. It is amazing that he has existed down through the centuries. From the days of Moses to the present hour he has been in existence.
Other nations have come and gone, and he has attended the funeral of all of them. He is still around. Israel has been in the fire of persecution from the bondage in Egypt through the centuries to the present hour. But like the burning bush Israel has not been consumed. – Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee
II. THE BOUNDARIES OF THE INHERITANCE. (Ezekiel 47:15-20)
A. The northern border.
(Ezekiel 47:15-17) 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.
The northern boundary of the land extends from the Mediterranean Sea – “the Great Sea” -- to a border north of Damascus. The other place names are not certainly known. Damascus is the capital of Aram (modern Syria). Hamath is thought to have been north of Damascus, about half the distance to Carchemish. Zedad: This is believed to have been east of Hamath and Hazar Enan (the eastern point of this border). Hauran appears to be an Israelite region east of the Jordan River and north of Gilead.
B. The eastern border.
(Ezekiel 47:18) 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.
The eastern border runs from the Damascus region southwest through Hauran to and along the Jordan River (Numbers 34:10–12). “east sea:” The Dead Sea.
C. The southern border.
(Ezekiel 47:19) 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.
The southern border goes from the eastern side of the Dead Sea to Tamar (a town to the southwest) to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh (Numbers 20:13, 24; 27:14) along the brook (of Egypt; the Wadi el-Arish) and on to the Mediterranean Sea (Numbers 34:3–5; 1 Kings 8:65). This line runs from the Dead Sea southwest across the Negev to the Brook of Egypt, a river bed in west Sinai.
D. The western border.
(Ezekiel 47:20) 20 The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side.
The western border runs along the coastline of the Great Sea (the Mediterranean Sea) north to a point directly west of Hamath (Numbers 34:6; Revelation 21:1).
III. THE INHERITANCE OF GOD’S PEOPLE. (Ezekiel 47:21-23)
Note: During the millennial kingdom this land is to be divided among the Jews according to their tribes. With this remark, which points back to Ezekiel 47:13, the definition of the boundaries is brought to a close. There is simply added in Ezekiel 47:21-23 a further regulation concerning the foreigners living in Israel.
A. Moses’ law gave Jews alone the right of citizenship.
(Ezekiel 47:21) 21 So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel.
The law of Moses had already repeatedly insisted upon the Jewish people to show kind treatment to foreigners, and in Leviticus 19:34 the command is given to treat them like natives in this respect, and to love them.
According to Moses’ Law, the full right of citizenship was not conceded to them (i.e., so that they could acquire property in land). The land was given to the Jews alone for a hereditary possession. Foreigners could only be incorporated into the congregation of Israel under the limitations laid down in Deuteronomy 23:2-9, by the reception of circumcision.
B. Ezekiel’s prophecy gave land to foreigners permanently living in Israel.
(Ezekiel 47:22-23) 22 And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord God.
Ezekiel said that in the future distribution of the land the foreigners were to receive hereditary property like native-born Jews. In this respect no difference was to exist between the members of the people of God born of Abraham's seed and those born of the Gentiles.
Ezekiel said that non-Jews (Gentiles) who married and settled within the Jewish communities were to be accepted as native Jews, qualified to share in the territorial inheritance of whatever tribe they joined (Leviticus 19:34; Isaiah 56:1–8).
C. Ezekiel’s prophecy did not give land to foreigners temporarily living in Israel.
This right of land ownership was not to be conferred upon every foreigner who might be only temporarily living in Israel, but to those alone who should beget children in the midst of Israel (i.e., settle permanently in the Holy Land).
Note: The time was coming when Jehovah would bring His people back to the land, settle them securely in it, and be with them forever, never to depart again. Such a tremendous promise can bring great security to a wavering human heart. As the Bible reminds us: "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5-6).
A young paratrooper admitted that he had been frightened the first time he jumped. There was nothing but a big piece of fabric between him and death. What if that fabric accidentally tore apart? What if his ripcord didn’t work and the parachute failed to open?
But when he jumped, everything functioned perfectly. Supported by that life-preserving umbrella over his head, the man floated earthward. He said, “I had a release from fear and a marvelous feeling of exhilaration.”
What about the promises God makes in the Bible? Will they uphold us in times of crisis? It all depends on whether we believe them to be God’s promises -- not merely printed words, black marks on white paper, nor simply the guesses of fallible human beings like ourselves. Because they are the promises of God, we can cling to them with assurance. This will bring relief from fear and impart a deep inner peace.
Throughout the ages, our God has been trusted millions upon millions of times. And He has never been proven untrustworthy. So let’s trust Him today and add our personal testimony to that of the countless host of fellow believers who have found that our promise-keeping God is unfailingly faithful.
on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. — Carter
-- Our Daily Bread, January 14, 1994
CONCLUSION: These millennial provisions will be replaced by ever greater blessings after the new heavens and earth have been created. The believer's eternal home, a spectacular city, the New Jerusalem, will descend to earth (Revelation 21). A prominent feature of that city is “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Revelation 22:1).
The Lord has a tremendous inheritance in store for God’s people, an inheritance that God wants everyone to share in. Unfortunately, not everyone is now an heir to that inheritance because they have not placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. While Christians today thank the Lord for this wonderful gift, we recognize that we need to share the news of this wonderful gift with others so that they too may share in God’s riches in eternity. Thank God, this salvation is for both Jews and Gentiles, males and females.
THOUGHT TO REMBER: “Trusting God’s faithfulness dispels our fearfulness.”
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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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