Ver. 1. Dan. This division is very different from that of Josue, and was never literally executed, being rather of a mystical nature. The limits are not marked out, as each lot was equal. C. See C. xlv. 1. and xlvii. 14. H.
--- By the twelve tribes all the glorified saints are meant. No cities of refuge occur, because in heaven all are perfect, all secure. S. Jer. W.
Ver. 8. Apart, for the Levitical tribe and the prince. C.
--- As the first-born and things which spring first, so also the land consecrated to the Lord is called first-fruits. W.
--- Thousand cubits (C. xlv. 1.) or 12,500 paces, (H.) allowing two cubits for each. This would not reach to the Jordan River. But thrice that space must be reckoned, the king having two of them (C.) on each side of the temple, namely, towards the sea, and on the other side of the Jordan. H.
Ver. 11. Astray, &c. By this we see, that in the worst of times God always preserves some of the priests from going astray; an that the synagogue never fell so universally into idolatry, but that a remnant was still left free from this corruption. Ch.
Ver. 13. Ten. Their city was only 18,000 cubits in circumference. v. 16.
Ver. 15. Profane, where servants of the priests may reside. C.
--- On the north and south, (H.) 1000 cubits broad and 25,000 long were left for fields, gardens, &c. C.
Ver. 16. Five. Heb. has, "five five hundred:" but one five is properly omitted in several MSS. and in all the ancient versions. Kennicott.
--- Four thousand five hundred cubits was the length and breadth of the town and temple, which were 18,000 cubits round, (C.) or so many reeds, which would make 36 miles of 1000 paces each. As the earthly Jerusalem was certainly never so large, the modern rabbins assert that the Messias will build it to that extent; but Catholic doctors understand it mystically of the Church. Thus S. John saw the New Jerusalem or Church triumphant. Apoc. xxi. and xxii. W.
Ver. 17. Suburbs, separating the Levites from laics, different from what is mentioned v. 15.
Ver. 18. As the, &c. They shall not be alienated, as some might infer from its being said to be profane, which term is used because it was the habitation of laymen.
Ver. 19. Israel. People from all parts might serve the Levites. This tribe was not to engage in labourious or sordid employments, being attached to the service of the Lord, and bound to instruct others. But this was more perfectly fulfilled in the Christian Church, where the clergy enjoy great immunities, and are forbidden to exercise any trade or employment which may take them off from their more important spiritual concerns, or render their ministry contemptible. See Ex. xix. 6.
Ver. 20. City, where the Levites and their servants, artisans, &c. dwelt. C.
Ver. 21. Thereof. The domains of the prince touched the limits of Juda on the north, and of Benjamin on the south, as the portion of Levi did also. The prince occupied the east and west square of this division. H.
Ver. 28. Inheritance. Heb. nachal, signifies also "torrent;" and S. Jerom seems to prefer this meaning, as he explains it of the torrent which goes by Rhinocorura, and is commonly supposed to be the southern boundary. C.
CadesCades, not far from Mount Hor, on the confines of Idumea, v. 22. and Jud. xi. 16. C. --- Misphat, or of judgment and contradiction, because there the Hebrews contended with Moses and Aaron: it was afterwards called Cadez. Num. xx. 11. --- Cades. The desert of Pharan, or of Cades, is the same. H. --- Sin, or Tsin. Cades is another name of the same desert. Near the city of Cades-barne, the Hebrews encamped a long while, and had plenty of water; but here they murmured for want of it, and Mary departed this life. C. xx. C.
Ver. 30. Out, or gates. H.
--- There were three on each of the four sides. C.
Ver. 35. The Lord is there. This name is here given to the city; that is, the Church of Christ; because the Lord is always with her till the end of the world. Mat. xxviii. 20. Ch.
--- He always adorns the Church triumphant; (Apoc. xxii.) but has deserted the synagogue. Mat. xxiii. 38. W.
--- Jerusalem certainly never bore this name, nor is it requisite that she should, if the prophecy had been literally understood. It would suffice, if she could justly claim such a prerogative. See Is. vii. 14. and 2 K. xii. 25. The Church of Christ possesses God for ever. C.