Scriptures

Ezekiel 46

Introduction

Sabbath’s and new moon. Ezekiel 46:1-8.

Entry and exit. Ezekiel 46:9-10.

Grain and free will offerings. Ezekiel 46:11-12.

Grain and burnt offerings. Ezekiel 46:11-12.

Inheritance of prince’s sons. Ezekiel 46:16-18.

Sacrificial kitchens for the priests and for the people. Ezekiel 46:19-24.

Preparation of offerings. Ezekiel 46:19-20.

The kitchens. Ezekiel 46:21-24.

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The gate of the inner court facing east is to be shut on the six working days, but on the Sabbath day and on the day of the New Moon it is to be opened. The prince is to enter from the outside through the portico of the gateway and stand by the gatepost. The priests are to sacrifice his burnt offering and his fellowship offerings. He is to bow down in worship at the threshold of the gateway and then go out, but the gate will not be shut until evening. On the Sabbaths and New Moons, the people of the land are to worship in the presence of the LORD at the entrance of that gateway. The burnt offering the prince brings to the LORD on the Sabbath day is to be six male lambs and a ram, all without defect. The grain offering given with the ram is to be an ephah, and the grain offering with the lambs is to be as much as he pleases, along with a hin of olive oil for each ephah. On the day of the New Moon he is to offer a young bull, six lambs and a ram, all without defect. He is to provide as a grain offering one ephah with the bull, one ephah with the ram, and with the lambs as much as he wants to give, along with a hin of oil for each ephah. When the prince enters, he is to go in through the portico of the gateway, and he is to come out the same way. ‘When the people of the land come before the LORD at the appointed festivals, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which they entered, but each is to go out the opposite gate. The prince is to be among them, going in when they go in and going out when they go out. At the feasts and the appointed festivals, the grain offering is to be an ephah with a bull, an ephah with a ram, and with the lambs as much as he pleases, along with a hin of oil for each ephah.’ Ezekiel 46:1-11

The restored Israel never again had a God-anointed king to reign over them on earth. In the restored order of ceremonial practices, the ‘prince’, leader, in this context seems to be a reference to the high priest. At least in the context he is given the responsibilities that were associated with the high priest under the law.

The prince was to provide the sacrifice from that which was given to him by the people. He was also to provide from his own sources. In making these provisions, he was considered the representative for the people in fulfilling the requirements of the sacrifices.

In reference to the people passing through the temple courtyard, they were to enter one gate and pass through without returning to the gate of entrance. This was a practical rule for the regulation of the traffic of the crowd of people.

Every day a lamb of no more than one year old was to be offered. It was to be without blemish, thus symbolizing that purity only can be offered for sin. We must keep in mind that all the blood sacrifices were given in view of the sinless Lamb of God who would give Himself for the sins of man.

In reference to the offerings, we must keep in mind that the sacrifices were eaten by the priests and people. Only a small portion was totally consumed as a burnt offering to the Lord. There was room made for one to give according to his ability. He could give voluntarily according to his ability.

‘When the prince provides a freewill offering to the LORD—whether a burnt offering or fellowship offerings—the gate facing east is to be opened for him. He shall offer his burnt offering or his fellowship offerings as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he has gone out, the gate will be shut. ‘Every day you are to provide a year-old lamb without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD; morning by morning you shall provide it. You are also to provide with it morning by morning a grain offering, consisting of a sixth of an ephah with a third of a hin of oil to moisten the flour. The presenting of this grain offering to the LORD is a lasting ordinance. So, the lamb and the grain offering, and the oil shall be provided morning by morning for a regular burnt offering. Ezekiel 46:12-15

It was not possible that any blood offering of an animal would take away sins, Hebrews 10:1-4. However, the continual offerings continually brought to their minds their sin. When Jesus came, He offered His blood once and for all. And thus, the drudgery of making daily animal sacrifices was done away.

Jesus’ sacrifice was complete and sufficient for all time, Hebrews 7:26-28. Christians today have the great blessing of being completely forgiven of sins, as well as not being under the law of ceremonial sacrifices that are outlined in this text, Romans 7:1-4.

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: If the prince makes a gift from his inheritance to one of his sons, it will also belong to his descendants; it is to be their property by inheritance. If, however, he makes a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, the servant may keep it until the year of freedom; then it will revert to the prince. His inheritance belongs to his sons only; it is theirs. The prince must not take any of the inheritance of the people, driving them off their property. He is to give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that not one of my people will be separated from their property.’ Ezekiel 46:16-18

The prince had full ownership of his estate. He had the right to give it to anyone he chose. However, any part of the estate that was given to his servants was to revert back to the original estate during the year of liberty, Leviticus 25:10.

The priestly family was provided for by the people, and thus there was no reason why he should evict people from their land. This unjust practice occurred during the apostasy of God’s people, and it was never to happen again in their history, 1 Kings 21:1-16 / Micah 2:9.

‘Then the man brought me through the entrance at the side of the gate to the sacred rooms facing north, which belonged to the priests, and showed me a place at the western end. He said to me, ‘This is the place where the priests are to cook the guilt offering and the sin offering and bake the grain offering, to avoid bringing them into the outer court and consecrating the people.’ He then brought me to the outer court and led me around to its four corners, and I saw in each corner another court. In the four corners of the outer court were enclosed courts, forty cubits long and thirty cubits wide; each of the courts in the four corners was the same size. Around the inside of each of the four courts was a ledge of stone, with places for fire built all around under the ledge. He said to me, ‘These are the kitchens where those who minister at the temple are to cook the sacrifices of the people.’ Ezekiel 46:19-24

The priests were to prepare food for themselves from the offerings of the people. They would eat it alone. In another place separate from where the priests prepared and ate their food, the Levites prepared the sacrificial meals for the people. This area was built with homes where the Levites could cook the food, and then distribute it to the people.

The sacrificial meals brought the people together with the Levites, whose work it was to teach the people. The sacrifices, therefore, accomplished the purpose of continually bringing the people to the teachers of the law of God.

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DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

Proverbs 3:5

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