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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Ezekiel 45

 

 

Verses 1-12

Land for priests, Levites and king (45:1-12)

Clearly the division of the land described here was symbolic and stylized. Straight lines can easily be drawn on a flat sheet of paper, but a land of hills, valleys and streams, such as Palestine, could not be divided in this way. Ezekiel's division emphasized the important issues to be considered in the ideal division of the land.

Following the principle that operated in the offering of tithes and firstfruits to God, a section of the land was first set apart as God's portion. This was an acknowledgment that all the land was really his. Within this portion was the temple, surrounded by an open space to emphasize the separation of the holy things of God from the unclean things of everyday life outside. Priests and Levites were given first consideration in the resettlement arrangements, so that they could be near the temple. The portion of land in which the temple was situated was given to the priests, and a portion of the same size adjoining it given to the Levites (45:1-5). On the other side of the priests' land was land for the city (6).

Extending out to the Mediterranean Sea in the west and to the Jordan River in the east was land for the king. The king was to be satisfied with this generous allotment and was not to seize land that belonged to common people in other parts of the country (7-8).

While on the subject of taking advantage of others, Ezekiel adds further warnings. Rulers were not to use their positions of power for their own benefit, and merchants were not to cheat their customers. All weights and measures had to be exact (9-12).


Verses 13-15

Offerings and festivals (45:13-46:15)

All the people had a part in providing the offerings for national religious festivals. The offerings were collected by the king, who then offered them in sacrifice on behalf of his people (13-17). At the beginning and end of the first week of the new year, sacrifices were offered for the cleansing of the temple (18-20). The two main annual festivals to be celebrated at the temple were the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread at the beginning of the year (21-24; cf. Leviticus 23:4-8), and the Feast of Tabernacles (GNB: Festival of Shelters) half way through the year (25; cf. Leviticus 23:34-36).

The east gate leading from the outer court to the inner court was closed every day except the weekly Sabbath and the monthly day of the new moon, when the king presented sacrifices on behalf of the nation. On these days the king, and he alone, could enter the vestibule of the gate and watch the priests carry out the sacrificial rituals inside, but he could not pass through the gate (46:1-2; see also v. 8. Only priests and Levites were allowed into the inner court). The people were to gather in the outer court in front of the gate (3). The weekly and monthly sacrifices were to be according to the laws laid down (4-8).

Certain rules aimed at maintaining order when people crowded the outer court during the annual festivals. Upon entering the gate, people were to keep moving in one direction and exit through the gate on the opposite side (9-10). If the king offered a voluntary offering, he could watch the ritual connected with it by standing in the east gate as mentioned previously (11-12). In addition to the nation's weekly, monthly and annual sacrifices, there was a daily sacrifice (13-15).

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 45:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/ezekiel-45.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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