Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land, for
This is not to be understood literally of the division of the land of Israel; which agrees not with the division of it begun by Moses, and finished by Joshua, upon his conquest of it, and the introduction of the people of Israel into it; nor was such a division as this made when the Jews returned from Babylon; nor is there any reason to expect the like when they shall be converted in the latter day; nor is it meant typically of the heavenly inheritance, which saints obtain in Christ by lot, ( Ephesians 1:11 ) , of which the earthly Canaan was a type; though some in this way interpret it: but since the whole vision respects the church of Christ on earth, it must be meant mystically and spiritually of the kingdom of Christ, and the settlement and establishment of it throughout the whole world, according to the allotment and determination of God; and they are a distinct and special people that are admitted into this state; it is by the distinguishing grace of God that they are taken into the Gospel church, and have a part and share in all the privileges and immunities of it. Ye shall offer an oblation unto the Lord, an holy portion of the land;
which should be lifted up as the heave offering was, and dedicated to the Lord: this designs such persons who are separated from the world, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, who shall be brought by the ministers of the word to the Lord, as trophies of his efficacious and victorious grace, ascribing the whole glory of their conversion to him; and these shall present themselves, souls and bodies, a holy, living, and acceptable sacrifice to him; see ( Isaiah 66:20 ) ( Romans 15:16 ) ( 12:1 ) . The length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and
the breadth shall be ten thousand;
the kind of measure is not expressed in the original, so that it is a question whether reeds or cubits are meant; some think the latter, and the rather, because mention is made of them, ( Ezekiel 45:2 ) , and it is added, and of this measure shall thou measure the length of five and twenty
which, if understood of cubits, will greatly reduce the length and breadth of this holy portion of the land; wherefore it is best to take the largest measure, since that seems better to answer the design of the Holy Ghost in this passage; and the rather, since this measure is more proper to measure land with, and is that which the measurer is said to have in his hand, ( Ezekiel 40:5 ) , and besides, the measure of the sanctuary, said to be five hundred square, ( Ezekiel 45:2 ) was measured with the measuring reed, and not the cubit, ( Ezekiel 42:16-20 ) , and which therefore must be supplied here; and a measuring reed being six cubits, by a cubit and a hand's breath, ( Ezekiel 40:5 ) , makes this portion of land to be more than six times larger than if it was supposed to be measured by the cubit; and twenty five thousand of this measure, according to Cornelius Lapide, made five hundred miles, which was three times as large as the land of Canaan; that being, as Jerom F21 says, a hundred and sixty miles long, and forty six broad; and is a proof, that the land of Canaan literally taken is not here meant; but the whole is designed to set forth the amplitude and large extent of the church of Christ in the world, in the times the vision refers to. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about;
that is, this portion of land measured out, and distinguished from the rest: holiness of heart and life shall appear in all the subjects of Christ's kingdom, and members of his church, which becomes his house for ever.
F21 Ad Dardanum, tom. 3. fol. 21. I. K.