Scriptures

Ezekiel 45

Introduction

Sacred land. Ezekiel 45:1-5.

Land for city. Ezekiel 45:6.

Prince’s land. Ezekiel 45:7-8.

Justice of princes. Ezekiel 45:8-12.

Sacrifices and sacred days. Ezekiel 45:13-46:15.

Offerings from the people. Ezekiel 45:13-16.

Prince’s role in offerings. Ezekiel 45:17.

Sin offerings. Ezekiel 45:18-20.

Passover. Ezekiel 45:21-25.

‘When you allot the land as an inheritance, you are to present to the LORD a portion of the land as a sacred district, 25,000 cubits long and 20,000 cubits wide; the entire area will be holy. Of this, a section 500 cubits square is to be for the sanctuary, with 50 cubits around it for open land. In the sacred district, measure off a section 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide. In it will be the sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. It will be the sacred portion of the land for the priests, who minister in the sanctuary and who draw near to minister before the LORD. It will be a place for their houses as well as a holy place for the sanctuary. An area 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits wide will belong to the Levites, who serve in the temple, as their possession for towns to live in.’ Ezekiel 45:1-5

Sacred land

When the Jews are restored to the land, there was to be an allotment of land for the sanctuary, to the priests, the prince and for the city. The land was to be divided by allotment, thus assuring that there would be a fair division of the land. We would assume that the original records of the borders and inheritances of the land were destroyed when Jerusalem was burned by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.

The instructions in this context, therefore, were a new beginning for the allotment of the land. The allotment for the Lord was first, Matthew 6:33. In order to maintain reverence for the allotment dedicated to the Lord, a space was given in order that no one build or go into this space. The Levites would be given a specific area for their dwelling that would facilitate their ministry at the temple.

‘You are to give the city as its property an area 5,000 cubits wide and 25,000 cubits long, adjoining the sacred portion; it will belong to all Israel. ‘The prince will have the land bordering each side of the area formed by the sacred district and the property of the city. It will extend westward from the west side and eastward from the east side, running lengthwise from the western to the eastern border parallel to one of the tribal portions. This land will be his possession in Israel. And my princes will no longer oppress my people but will allow the people of Israel to possess the land according to their tribes. ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You have gone far enough, princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. You are to use accurate scales, an accurate ephah and an accurate bath. The ephah and the bath are to be the same size, the bath containing a tenth of a homer and the ephah a tenth of a homer; the homer is to be the standard measure for both. The shekel is to consist of twenty gerahs. Twenty shekels plus twenty-five shekels plus fifteen shekels equal one mina.’ Ezekiel 45:6-12

Land ownership was a right throughout the history of Israel. Land ownership prevented dominant individuals from taking control of the land, and subsequently developing a totalitarian state and oppressing the poor. There were very few poor people in Israel for its first five hundred years of history in the land. Only when dominant individuals started ignoring the agricultural land laws of the individual did poverty become a problem.

In order to guarantee a fair treatment of the poor, and to guarantee land ownership, the people were to use fair scales and specific measurements in order to protect the individual citizen from the oppression of the greedy.

The leaders were to deal fairly with the people, and not use their positions as an opportunity to oppress the people, Ezekiel 34:131. Civil leaders who use their positions in order to oppress the people will suffer the judgment of God. The exact amounts of these measures are generally not known today.

‘This is the special gift you are to offer: a sixth of an ephah from each homer of wheat and a sixth of an ephah from each homer of barley. The prescribed portion of olive oil, measured by the bath, is a tenth of a bath from each cor (which consists of ten baths or one homer, for ten baths are equivalent to a homer). Also, one sheep is to be taken from every flock of two hundred from the well-watered pastures of Israel. These will be used for the grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the people, declares the Sovereign LORD. All the people of the land will be required to give this special offering to the prince in Israel. It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths—at all the appointed festivals of Israel. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the Israelites. ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In the first month on the first day you are to take a young bull without defect and purify the sanctuary. The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court. You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so, you are to make atonement for the temple.’ Ezekiel 45:13-20

The instructions concerning the restoration of the sacrificial ceremonies in reference to the leadership of the prince is the focus of this context. In the reestablishment of the ceremonies of the law, we must keep in mind that God was seeking to consolidate the faith of Israel in the land in preparation for the coming Messiah.

Since the tabernacle was not reinstituted as the point of assembly for the annual sacrifices, the temple was rebuilt in order to be the point of reference for the sacrifices that pertained to all the people.

The sanctuary was to be ceremonially cleansed twice a year, on the first and seventh month of the year. The giving of life, thus the offering of blood, was to be used to symbolize purification, Hebrews 10:1-4.

‘In the first month on the fourteenth day you are to observe the Passover, a festival lasting seven days, during which you shall eat bread made without yeast. On that day the prince is to provide a bull as a sin offering for himself and for all the people of the land. Every day during the seven days of the festival he is to provide seven bulls and seven rams without defect as a burnt offering to the LORD, and a male goat for a sin offering. He is to provide as a grain offering an ephah for each bull and an ephah for each ram, along with a hin of olive oil for each ephah. ‘During the seven days of the festival, which begins in the seventh month on the fifteenth day, he is to make the same provision for sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings and oil.’ Ezekiel 45:21-25

There are differences between what God reveals in this context concerning the Passover and what was revealed in the law as stated in Deuteronomy 16. The feast of Weeks is not mentioned here, but this does not mean that it was not kept. The purpose of Deuteronomy was to restate principles and statutes of the law. However, this was not the purpose for the revelation here.

The focus of Ezekiel was on the sin of the people and their forgiveness. Because the Jews were in a process of restoration from a total apostasy to idolatry, what Ezekiel reveals is meant to continue and maintain this process of restoration until the coming of the Messiah.

At that time Israel would be assimilated into the worldwide family of God, the church, Galatians 3:26-29. They had the complete directions concerning what God wanted as it was revealed in the law.

Go To Ezekiel 46

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 6:23

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