Vv 1-8: The sacred district in the Promised Land: Yahweh next
gave Ezekiel directions for the division of some of the Promised Land.
(Instructions about apportioning the rest of the land follow later: Eze
V 1: The Israelites were to set aside one part of the
LORD's land for His use, for specially holy purposes. It was to be 25,000 cubits
long and 10,000 cubits wide (about 8.3 miles by 3.3 miles). It was to be
considered holy within all its boundaries.
Vv 2-4: Within this area of v 1 there was to be a space 500
cubits by 500 cubits. This was the size of the temple complex (Eze 42:20).
Surrounding this complex there would be an open space of an additional 50
cubits, a kind of green belt. This space would illustrate and emphasize the
holiness of the sanctuary area. The temple sanctuary would stand within this
25,000 by 10,000 cubits area and constitute the most holy part of the land. The
Zadokite priests would live in the land outside the open space around the temple
complex within this larger area (Eze 48:10-12).
The other Levites would occupy another 25,000 by 10,000 cubits
area beside the one just described (Eze 48:13). It would evidently be
immediately to the north. (Under the Mosaic system the priests and Levites lived
scattered throughout Israel, not all in very close proximity to the temple as
Another parcel of land 25,000 by 5,000 cubits (about 8.3 miles
by 1.7 miles), apparently immediately to the south, would contain the city of
Jerusalem, and all the Israelites would have access to it. Later Ezekiel
clarified that the city itself would occupy the center of this portion of land,
and suburbs, or city lands, would flank it on the east and the west (Eze
Eze 45:7--46:18: "Who is the Prince of Ezekiel 45; 46? Most
assume that he is the Messiah. Others suggest that he is David. But what is
stated concerning him rules out both of these possibilities. He is not a priest,
certainly not a High Priest (Eze 46:2). He is to enter the Sanctuary no further
than the gate of the court of the priests (Eze 46:2). He offers sacrifices for
himself and for his sins (Eze 45:22; 46:10-12). He is subject to death (Eze
46:17,18; note the word 'inheritance'). He has a wife and sons (Eze 46:16). He
is allowed to bestow gifts only from his own inheritance (Eze 46:17,18). He is
warned against exercising oppression (Eze 45:8; 46:18). A succession of princes
seems to be implied (Eze 45:8). Such details require reference to a mortal
prince of Israel" (FLET). Perhaps to Zerubbabel, the Judahite prince of the time
of the Return.
This suggests that the temple was not intended for the
millennium but for the time when the Jews would return to the Land of their
fathers from captivity in Babylon.
V 7: The prince (cf Eze 44:3) would also receive a
special land allotment to the west and to the east of the city portions and the
holy areas occupied by the Zadokites and the Levites (cp Eze 48:21,22). There
was no specially designated area in which the kings of Israel lived in former
times except the royal palaces, which were much smaller.
THE PRINCE WILL HAVE THE LAND BORDERING EACH SIDE OF THE
AREA FORMED BY THE SACRED DISTRICT AND THE PROPERTY OF THE CITY: A summary
of the previous verses.
AND MY PRINCES: Or "they", as in AV: this indicates a
succession of princes -- who must therefore be MORTAL, not immortal.
BUT WILL ALLOW THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL TO POSSESS THE LAND
ACCORDING TO THEIR TRIBES: The rest of the Promised Land would be the
portion of the other Israelites (Eze 48). The whole arrangement would contribute
to the equitable governing of the Israelites and would discourage rulers from
oppressing the people (cf. 11:1-13; 14:1-11; 20:1 -- 23:49; 34:1-10).
Eze 45:9--46:24: Regulations for offerings and feast
Vv 9-12: An exhortation to Israel's leaders.
V 9: Yahweh next commanded the leaders of the
Israelites to stop destroying the people, treating them violently, and
appropriating their possessions for themselves. This is a common cry in the
Bible (Lev 19; 35; Deu 25:13-16; Pro 11:1; Amos 8:5; Mic 6:10-12; Mat 5:23,24).
Rather, they should treat them fairly and do what was right.
Vv 10-12: They should also be fair in their commercial
dealings. Their basic dry and liquid measures, an ephah (about one-half bushel)
and a bath (about six gallons), were to be standard and equal. An ephah should
always be a tenth of an homer (five to six bushels), and a bath should always be
a tenth of an homer. Likewise weights should be the same.
Vv 13-17: Offerings for the prince: Unlike the unfair leaders
in Israel's past, the prince would be faithful to the LORD and upright in his
dealings with the Israelites.
Vv 13-15: The Israelites would bring offerings to the temple
periodically -- how often is not clear. The amounts probably represent what they
would bring for the service of the temple (cp Exo 30:11-16). As the following
verses show, the prince would take the lead in presenting these offerings to the
LORD, with the assistance of the Zadokite and other Levitical priests, at
various times during the year.
Vv 16,17: The people should bring these offerings to the
prince for him to offer on their behalf on special occasions: feasts, new month
celebrations, and Sabbaths.
Vv 18-25: Regulations for the feasts.
Vv 18,19:         On the first day of each year the people should
offer a young bull without blemish to cleanse the accumulated sinful defilement
of the sanctuary. The priest in charge was to apply some of the blood of a sin
offering to the door frames of the temple proper, the four corners of the altar
of sacrifice, and the door frames of the inner court of the temple.
Another offering was to occur on the seventh day of the new
year, and it would cover the guilt of sins committed ignorantly. It too would
result in the cleansing of the temple for another year.
Vv 21-24: On the fourteenth day of the first month of the year
the Israelites were to celebrate the Passover and then a seven-day feast using
unleavened bread (cp Exo 12:1-14; Lev 23:5-8; Num 28:16-25). On the day of the
Passover the prince would offer a bull as a sin offering for himself and the
people. During the seven days of this Passover festival the prince would also
offer each day seven bulls and seven rams without blemish as a burnt offering of
worship and one ram for a sin offering. He would offer with each bull and each
ram one ephah (about one-half bushel) of grain as a grain offering plus a hin
(about one gallon) of oil with the grain.
THE PRINCE IS TO PROVIDE A BULL AS A SIN OFFERING FOR
HIMSELF: Thus proving that this "prince" is a mortal man, and not the
glorified Lord Jesus Christ.
On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, at the feast on
that day, the prince would repeat the cycle of offerings he made during the
Passover. This feast corresponds to the seven-day feast of Tabernacles under the
Mosaic system (Lev 23:39-43; Num 29:12-38).