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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 46

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-15

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).

Verses 16-24

More about the land and the temple (46:16-24)

If the king marked off a piece of his land and gave it to one of his sons, it remained the permanent property of the son. But if he made a similar gift to one of his servants, the land returned to the king at the year of jubilee. (Concerning the year of jubilee see Leviticus 25:8-34.) This ensured that the royal family retained possession of its land, and that the king was not tempted to seize other people’s land to compensate for what he gave away (16-18).

Returning to the details of the temple, Ezekiel adds that there were kitchens inside the enclosure of the inner court. These were provided so that the priests who offered the sacrifices (i.e. the Zadokite priests; see 44:15-16) could cook their portions of food from the holy offerings, without having to go outside the holy enclosure (19-20). There were also kitchens in the four corners of the outer court, where other temple officials (i.e. the Levites and non-Zadokite priests; see 44:10-14) cooked those portions of the sacrificial food that belonged to the common people (21-24).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 46". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/ezekiel-46.html. 2005.
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