And a portion shall be for the prince
Meaning not the civil magistrate; though he ought to be supported in his dignity and authority, and in such manner that he may be under no temptation to oppress his subjects; and who ought to be, and at this time will be, the protector of the Lord's people, both in their civil and church state; but the Prince Messiah, of whom see ( Ezekiel 44:3 ) , to whom God will divide a portion with the great; Jacob shall be his portion, the Heathen his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth his possession, ( Isaiah 53:12 ) ( Deuteronomy 32:9 ) ( Psalms 2:8 Psalms 2:9 ) : on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy
portion, and of the possession of the city;
on each side, both of the holy portion, in which are the sanctuary, the houses of the priests, and the chambers of the Levites, and also of the city for the house of Israel; so that his portion will lie, or he be placed, on each side both of the church state and civil state of the Lord's people, and so be the protector of both; he will be a wall of fire round about them, a covert and a hiding place for them; he will be near them, and they to him; he will be on every side of them, and preserve them from persecuting enemies, and false teachers; they shall enjoy his word, his ordinances, and Gospel ministers, and be kept in the utmost peace and prosperity of all kinds; he will protect and defend them, both in their civil and religious liberties, and none shall make them afraid. Before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of
or rather, "over against" them F23, as it is rendered, ( Ezekiel 41:15 ) so, as the possession of the city was over against the holy portion, the portion of the prince was to be over against them both: from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward;
which explains on which sides of them it lay: and the length shall be over against one of the portions;
that is, against everyone of the portions: from the west border unto the east border;
now as there is no measure given to the portion of the prince, but the whole space eastward and westward is left for it, it shows the large extent of Christ's kingdom; that his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth; his Gospel shall be preached everywhere; the Spirit shall be poured down upon all flesh to make it successful; multitudes shall be everywhere converted, and churches set up in all places; the kingdoms of the world will become Christ's, even all the Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan nations; Christ will be King over all the earth, and his name shall be one; there will be but one religion everywhere, ( Psalms 72:8 ) ( Zechariah 14:8 Zechariah 14:9 ) ( Revelation 11:15 ) . Some of the Jewish writers interpret this of the King Messiah, to whom they suppose is here allotted the thirteenth part of the land: so Kimchi says,
``to Israel belong twelve parts or portions, and to the prince the thirteenth part; the portion of the prince is as the portion of one of the tribes in length and in breadth, excepting that within the inheritance of the prince should be an oblation,''as in ( Ezekiel 45:13 ) , and Maimonides F24 says, ``the King Messiah takes out of all lands, subdued by the Israelites, one part out of thirteen; and this thing is a statute for him and his sons for ever;'' which seems plainly to refer to this passage in Ezekiel; though there are some who understand him of any anointed king of Israel, as being his right: but the learned Selden F25 is of opinion that he is speaking of the King Messiah, and has respect to this distribution; and rightly observes, from the same author F26, that all that was subdued by him was his own, and he could dispose of it at his pleasure to his servants and soldiers.
F23 (ynp la) "contra faciem", V. L.
F24 Hilchot Melachim, c. 4. sect, 8.
F25 De Jure Naturae & Gentium, l. 6. c. 16.
F26 Maimon Hilchot Melachim, c. 4. sect. 10.