We are all justly proud of our grand old authorised version of the Bible. But good as it is, it is only a version or translation, and it is not the original Bible given by the Prophets and Apostles. The original Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek. The A.V. was not the first Bible in English, but is a revised version of an older Bible. In many cases, to make sense in English, the translators had to add words of their own. These words were printed in Italic type to indicate to the English reader that these words do not belong to the original word of God. Naturally, in some cases, the translators inserted the wrong words.

This article is written to show a very distressing case of a wrongly supplied word. In this case, the insertion of the wrong word has caused an alarming state of chaos and confusion. Many of God’s dear children have been led astray on this particular point.

Therefore, to build a huge towering structure on a word that is not in the original word of God, is surely a very risky business ?

In this article we want to give, at least, six very weighty and impressive reasons for rejecting this wrongly supplied word.

Reason 1.

The passage of Scripture with the wrongly supplied word in it is found in Ezekiel 45: 1, the text reads as follows:- Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the Lord, a holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand, (?) and the breadth shall be ten thousand, (?) This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about.

Now, where we have inserted the question mark in brackets, the A.V. has inserted Reeds. We profoundly believe that the translators of the A.V. have made a grave and serious mistake by inserting Reeds. The word they should have inserted is “Cubits,” and not Reeds. *


[* See N.I.V. translation, - Ed.]

The length of the cubit in Egypt and Palestine was about 22 inches, the great cubit over 24 inches. The great cubit had a hand breadth added to the ordinary cubit, see Ezekiel 40: 5, so that the great cubit was at least 24 inches. The Temples and all the King's Palaces were built with the great or royal cubit.

Now, if we insert Reeds in Ezek. 45: 1, this makes the holy oblation 60 miles square, if, on the other hand, we insert Cubits, this makes the holy oblation 10 miles square.

Now we believe that Cubits is the right word. In the original Hebrew the word Reeds is not even mentioned once in Ezek. 45., nor yet in chapter 46. But the word Cubits is mentioned in verse 2 of chapter 45. The verse reads thus:- Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, and five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty Cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. And of This Measure (i.e., The Cubit Measure just mentioned) shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place.

In another article we hope to prove conclusively that the sanctuary was only 500 cubits square. But note - we must distinguish between the court of the Gentiles, (for this court was 500 Reeds square) and the sanctuary; the sanctuary was only 500 Cubits square.

Dr. A. B. Davidson, in his commentary on Ezekiel, (Cambridge School and College series) on page 355, gives us, a plan of the Holv Land, in it he makes the Holy Oblation 25,000 Cubits by 25,000 Cubits. This plan fits in easily with the geography of the Holy Land, and with the rest of the Holy Scriptures; the Oblation being only 10 miles square. But if we insert Reeds, all is hopeless confusion!

Reason 2


If we insert Reeds instead of Cubits we get a square of 60 miles each way. In Ezekiel 47: 18 18, we get the Eastern boundary defined as Jordan and The East Sea (i.e., the Dead Sea). Therefore, if we give the more earnest heed to the word of God, we have no right to alter this God-given boundary.

From the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea is over 40 miles, therefore an oblation of 60 miles cannot possibly go into a space of just over 40 miles! By this measurement the Holy Oblation would run right out into the Mediterranean Sea nearly 20 miles! If, on the other hand, we insert Cubits, the Holy Oblation would be only 10 miles square, thus leaving about 15 miles on either side of the Holy Oblation.

Those writers that adopt the Reeds theory, are up against insuperable difficulties, they have the choice of running one end of the Holy Oblation away past the Dead Sea about 20 miles, or running away into the Mediterranean Sea about 20 miles. That very fine writer, A. J. Pollock, in his book, “Things which must shortly come to pass,” on page 287, makes the Western boundary the Mediterranean Sea, but he ignores the express declaration of the word of God that The Jordan and The East Sea, (see Ezekiel 47: 18) were to be the Eastern boundary, and he runs the Eastern boundary away past the Dead Sea.

Another very able writer who adopts the Reeds theory is James Dunbar. In his excellent book, “The Coming Glories of the Jewish Nation,” he makes the Eastern boundary of the Holy Oblation at the Jordan and Dead Sea, but the Western end runs out about 20 miles into the Mediterranean Sea. and he hopefully suggests, that the bed of the Mediterranean Sea will be lifted up here! Scripture nowhere says that the Mediterranean Sea will be lifted up, therefore this is a guess to solve the difficulty of adopting the, Reeds theory.

Reason 3.


Another grievous error is caused by adopting the Reeds theory. There is no portion for the Prince, either East or West of the Holy Oblation. The word of God expressly says that the Prince will have a portion both East and West of the Oblation, see Ezek. 45: 7. But if we insert Cubits into the text, the Prince has a portion on the East side of 15 miles, the same on the West side. Again, if we insert Reeds in the text we have the strange dilemma of having no roads of communications between the North of Palestine and the South, except through the Holy Oblation, and this would be improper. But if we insert Cubits into the text there is no need for all this nonsense. You would have 15 miles on each side of the Oblation. Therefore plenty of room for roads for traffic.

Reason 4.


Perhaps the most distressing blunder of inserting Reeds instead of Cubits is that The Temple is shifted away from Jerusalem, to, Samaria. The Scriptures, with one unanimous voice, say that Jerusalem is the place where God has placed his name and where, his house would be. If the temple is to be shifted to Samaria, then the Woman of Samaria was right in her contention that Samaria was the right place for God’s temple, see John 4: 20. If we insert Cubits, then the temple will be at Jerusalem where all temples were. We could overcrowd this article with texts proving that the coming temple will be at Jerusalem. Christ clearly taught that the Abomination of Desolation, spoken by Daniel, the Prophet, would stand in a temple at Jerusalem at the end of the age. See Matt. 24: 15.

Reason 5.

Another senseless result of inserting Reeds instead of Cubits is, that Judah is shifted away into far off Samaria in an attempt to reconcile Scripture with the Oblation of 60 square miles instead of 10 square miles of Cubits. This has the absurd effect of making Bethlehem no more in Judah, unless Bethlehem is shifted into Samaria also. What a harvest of error and confusion this inserting of Reeds has caused.

(1) The Oblation of 60 miles square won’t go into the space of just over 40 miles between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.

(2) No portion is left East or West for the Prince. No traffic roads between North and South of the Holy Land.

(3) The Temple is shifted away to Samaria.

(4) Judah is shifted away into Samaria, and Bethlehem is no longer in Judah.

Reason 6.


Yet another disastrous result of inserting Reeds instead of Cubits is that we are left with the ridiculous choice of either shifting the Mount of Olives into Samaria, or inventing an imaginary river flowing from Samaria down to the Mount of Olives before Jerusalem, for Zechariah 16: 1-12, tells us that the river flows out of the temple right through the Mount of Olives. Strange as it may sound, that gifted writer, A. J. Pollock, in his book, “Things which must shortly come to pass,” page 288, adopts this strange device of inventing an imaginary river flowing down from Samaria so that the river would flow through the Mount of Olives. Now, it is one thing to be grandly loyal to the word of God; but quite another thing to be loyal to the words of men; especially if these words of men are to spread chaos and confusion among the people of God.

To Sum Up.


With the word Cubits in the text everything fits into its place like a hand into a glove. Everything is right with Cubits. Everything is wrong with Reeds in the text. Palestine is too small for the Oblation; the Temple is shifted to Samaria; the Prince has no portion either East or West; the North of Palsetine is cut off from the South and there are no roads for traffic; Judah is shifted to Samaria; Bethlehem is no longer in Judah; The Mount of Olives has to be shifted into Samaria, or an imanginary river has to be invented to bring the river to the Mount of Olives.

With Cubits in the text Palestine is big enough to hold the Holy Oblation. The Prince has a portion East and West. There is plenty of room for traffic roads North and South. The Temple is at Jerusalem where it always has been. Judah is in Judah and not Samaria. The river flows from the Temple straight through the Mount of Olives. Bethlehem is still in Judah. Surely there is a crying need for revision here, that Cubits should be inserted in the text instead of Reeds!