There is a prophesy at the end of the book of the prophet Ezekiel which gives a guide regarding the re-division of land between the 12 tribes of Israel. It is different to the way that Joshua was told to do it. Is this prophesy still one that is outstanding to be fulfilled or was there any attempt to make this re-division after the Babylonian exile at the same time as the rebuilding of the Temple?

  • Hi Shona - I'm far from an expert, but, like Ezekiel's description of the detailed measurements of the Temple, the description of the division of the Land of Israel is prophesy for the time of the "End of Days/Messianic Era", not of the Second Temple era. Other folks here can supply the proof texts, I'm sure.
    – Gary
    Nov 29, 2015 at 20:54
  • After the Babylonian exile they didn't have sovereignty over most of the land. They also didn't have the 12 tribes. So there was no point in trying to implement Ezekiel's division. Nov 30, 2015 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


RaDa”Q (R’ Dawidh Qimhi), commenting on Yehezqel 47:23, writes (my translation):

והיה בשבט אשר גר הגר אתו - כי לעתיד בצאת ישראל מהגלות יודעו השבטים, אף על פי שהם מעורבים עתה ולא ידעו איש את שבטו, יבוא אליהו וייחס כל איש אל שבטו

And, so it will be, in the tribe in which a convert lives with him - Because, in the future, when [the Nation of] Israel will leave the exile, they will know their tribes. Even though they are currently mixed, and no man knows his tribe, Eliyahu [Hanavi] will come and associate each man to his tribe.

According to RaDa”Q, Yehezqel’s prophecy refers to the final redemption and not the Babylonian one.

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