A portion of land in Ezekiel’s vision of the division of the Promised Land.
Each of the 12 tribes, with the exception of Levi (Ephraim and Manasseh standing for Joseph, thus making up the 12), was given an allotment running E and W across the land. South of the portion for Judah, which was the seventh allotment from the northern extremity, was an administrative strip of land. (Eze 48:1-8) The northern border of this strip ran along the southern border of Judah’s allotment; it was bounded on the S by Benjamin’s portion, which was the fifth allotment from the southern extremity. (Eze 48:23-28) This administrative strip was 25,000 cubits (13 km; 8 mi) wide from N to S. It was to be given by the people for governmental use.—Eze 48:8.
The sanctuary of Jehovah was located in the midst of a 25,000-cubit-square “contribution” within the administrative strip. The remainder of the strip to the E and W of this “contribution” consisted of two portions for the chieftain. (Eze 48:20-22; see CHIEFTAIN.) The square “contribution” was divided as follows: a strip along the northern boundary, 10,000 cubits (5.2 km; 3.2 mi) wide, for the nonpriestly Levites. None of this assignment of land was to be sold or exchanged, “for it is something holy to Jehovah.” (Eze 48:13, 14) Bordering the Levite portion on the S was a 10,000-cubit strip, a “holy contribution for the priests.” This priestly section contained Jehovah’s sanctuary, or temple. (Eze 48:9-12) This left a strip 5,000 cubits (2.6 km; 1.6 mi) wide on the south. This section was “something profane for the city, for a dwelling place and for pasture ground.” (Eze 48:15) In the center of this section was to be the city called “Jehovah Himself Is There.” The city was 4,500 cubits (2.3 km; 1.4 mi) square, having 12 gates, with a pasture ground 250 cubits (130 m; 425 ft) wide all around it. The remaining portion of the 25,000-cubit square, namely 10,000 cubits to the E of the city and 10,000 cubits to the W (5,000 cubits wide), was also considered profane and was to be cultivated by the tribes of Israel to provide food for the city.—Eze 48:15-19, 30-35.
Thus, “the holy contribution” was actually 25,000 cubits E to W and 20,000 cubits N to S. It consisted of two 10,000-cubit-wide strips, one assigned to the priests and the other to the Levites. The remainder of the 25,000-cubit-square contribution was “something profane,” being used “for the city, for a dwelling place and for pasture ground.”—Eze 48:10, 13-15, 18, 20, 21.