And the residue in length over against the oblation of the
holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward,
&c.] What remained in length, which ran parallel with the holy portion of the land, after five thousand reeds were taken out for the city and suburbs, were twenty thousand; ten thousand to the east, and ten thousand to the west: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion;
that is, that space as yet undisposed of, the twenty thousand reeds, ten on the east, and ten on the west of the city, were close to, and ran even with, the oblation of the holy portion assigned to the priests and Levites: and the increase thereof;
or what these twenty thousand reeds of land should produce, or could be made of them: shall be for food for them that serve the city;
not the Gibeonites given to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, as Jarchi interprets it; which sense is justly rejected by Kimchi; since, as he observes, the Gibeonites shall not dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, nor minister in time to come: but either civil magistrates, who serve the church of Christ, when they secure the peace of it, protect and defend it; as they will, especially in the latter day, when these officers will be peace, and these exactors righteousness do all things justly and equitably; and when kings shall be nursing fathers and queens nursing mothers to the church; and it is but right they shall be provided for suitably to their rank, dignity, and office, and tribute be given to whom tribute is due: or ministers of the word, who are the church's servants, and serve it in preaching the Gospel, and administering the ordinances of it; and go by various names, as husbandmen concerned in ploughing, sowing, reaping, and gathering in the harvest; as labourers in the vineyard, and employed in planting, watering, pruning, and propping the vines; and as stewards of the mysteries and manifold grace of God, to give to everyone in the city and family his portion of meat in due season; and as guides and governors, engaged in taking care of the good order and discipline of it; as watchmen, that go about it, or are set on the walls of it: and it is the will of God they should be comfortably provided for, and eat of the fruit of the field and vineyard they labour in; and of the milk of the flock they take care of; and reap carnal things where they have sowed spiritual, things: or else private believers, who serve the interest of Christ and one another by love; praying with and for one another; bearing one another's burdens, and building up each other on their most holy faith: and for whom "food", or "bread" F21, as in the original, both temporal and spiritual, is provided; both being to be had of the Lord, with whom there is enough, and to spare; Christ is the bread of life, and his word and ordinances are the provisions of Zion; which all that serve the city or church of God may partake of.
F21 (Mxll) "in panem", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator.