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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 45

Verses 1-8


The Lands for the Priests, Levites, Prince, and City

The division of the whole country is described in ch. 48, which includes the substance of the present passage, and shows the position of these lands in relation to those of the tribes. The holy portion (Fig. 7, a b g h) was to be 25,000 cubits long (a b, g h) and 20,000 cubits broad (a g, b h). The sanctuary (s) was to occupy a square of 500 cubits each way, with a border on every side of 50 cubits more. The holy portion was to be subdivided into a portion (e f g h) 25,000 by 10,000 cubits, containing the sanctuary, and allotted to the priests; and a portion (a b e f) of the same size, allotted to the Levites. Alongside the priests, portion was to be a strip (g h c d) 25,000 by 5,000 cubits, for the city and the people. These three portions would form a square of 25,000 cubits each way, and E. and W. of this the possessions of the prince (P, P) were to extend to the boundaries of the land.

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1. Ten thousand] RM ’twenty thousand.’ Reeds] should be ’cubits’.

3. And the most holy place] RV ’which is most holy.’

5. The five and twenty.. the ten] omit the with RV. For twenty chambers] read with LXX, ’for cities to dwell in,

6. For details of this portion see Ezekiel 48:16-19.

7. The length.. portions] RV ’in length answerable unto one of the portions, i.e. the tribal portions on the N. and S. See Fig. 8 and Ezekiel 48:22.

Verses 1-25

§ 2. The Ordinances of the New Israel (Ezekiel 40-48)

This concluding section of the book is dated in the twenty-fifth year of Ezekiel's captivity, i.e. the fourteenth year after the fall of Jerusalem (572 b.c.). It is therefore thirteen years later than the previous section (Ezekiel 33-39), and, with the exception of Ezekiel 29:17-21, forms the latest part of the book. It is in the form of a vision, which is the counterpart of that in Ezekiel 8-11. There God forsook the old Temple which had been polluted by idolatry. Here we have a description of the Temple of the restored kingdom, of God's return to it, and of the various religious arrangements and institutions of the future. The vision is marked by great minuteness of detail, and no doubt Ezekiel had brooded long and deeply over the particulars of the Temple and its ritual. Yet, as in former cases, there is no reason to doubt that this vision was an actual experience, in which the subjects of previous reflection stood out vividly before the prophet's mind. While the material details are so minute, some features of the vision are supernatural and miraculous. The whole forms an ideal picture, which was never actually to be realised, but which strikingly embodied the conception of the abiding presence of God with His people, and of their perfect fellowship with Him.

The Plans of Ezekiel's Temple, on p. 518, are by permission of the Cambridge University Press.

Verses 1-25

§ 2. The Ordinances of the New Israel (Ezekiel 40-48)

This concluding section of the book is dated in the twenty-fifth year of Ezekiel's captivity, i.e. the fourteenth year after the fall of Jerusalem (572 b.c.). It is therefore thirteen years later than the previous section (Ezekiel 33-39), and, with the exception of Ezekiel 29:17-21, forms the latest part of the book. It is in the form of a vision, which is the counterpart of that in Ezekiel 8-11. There God forsook the old Temple which had been polluted by idolatry. Here we have a description of the Temple of the restored kingdom, of God's return to it, and of the various religious arrangements and institutions of the future. The vision is marked by great minuteness of detail, and no doubt Ezekiel had brooded long and deeply over the particulars of the Temple and its ritual. Yet, as in former cases, there is no reason to doubt that this vision was an actual experience, in which the subjects of previous reflection stood out vividly before the prophet's mind. While the material details are so minute, some features of the vision are supernatural and miraculous. The whole forms an ideal picture, which was never actually to be realised, but which strikingly embodied the conception of the abiding presence of God with His people, and of their perfect fellowship with Him.

The Plans of Ezekiel's Temple, on p. 518, are by permission of the Cambridge University Press.

Verses 9-17


The Prince’s Dues and Obligations

The oppressive exactions of the former rulers were to be unknown in the restored Israel. Weights and measures were to be just and correct. The prince was to receive from the people a sixtieth of their wheat and barley, a hundredth part of their oil, and one in two hundred of their flocks. Out of these supplies the prince was to provide all the regular sacrifices for the Temple.

10. The ephah (dry measure) and the bath (liquid measure) were each the tenth of an homer.

12. Twenty shekels.. maneh] read with LXX, ’five (shekels) shall be five, and ten shekels ten, and fifty shekels shall be your maneh’. A shekel was 20 gerahs, and a maneh 50 shekels or 1,000 gerahs.

13. 1 in 60: see Ezekiel 45:10.

14. Cor] equivalent to ’homer’. The proportion is 1 in 100.

Verses 18-24


The Offerings at the Sacred Seasons, etc

(This whole passage should be compared with Numbers 28, 29.)

(a) The Atonement for the Sanctuary (Ezekiel 45:18-20)

This was to take place twice yearly, on the first days of the first and seventh months. These two days in Ezekiel serve the same purpose as the great Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month (Leviticus 16; Numbers 29:7-11).

20. The seventh day of the month] LXX ’in the seventh month, on the first day of the month’. Reconcile] RV ’make atonement for.’

(b) The Passover (Ezekiel 45:21-24)

With these regulations cp. Exodus 12:18-20; Leviticus 23:5-8; Numbers 9:2-3; Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

23. Kid of the goats] RV ’he-goat.’

(c) The Feast of Tabernacles (Ezekiel 45:25)

This was to hold the same place in the seventh month as the Passover in the first month: cp. Leviticus 23:34-36; Numbers 29:12-38; Deuteronomy 16:13-15. Ezekiel makes no mention of the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).

(d) The Sabbaths and New Moons (Ezekiel 46:1-8)

On these occasions the E. gateway of the innercourt, which was shut at other times, was opened all day. The prince was allowed to enter the gateway by the porch, which was next the outer court (Ezekiel 40:34), to prepare his offerings, and to worship at the (inner) threshold of the gateway, but not to enter the inner court. The people worshipped in the outer court, at the entrance of the same gateway: cp. with these vv. Numbers 28:9-25.

5, 7. Meat offering] RV ’meal offering.’

7. His hand.. unto] RV ’he is able.’

(e) Various Regulations for Worship (Ezekiel 46:9-12)

No one was to leave the outer court by the gate by which he came in. If he entered by the N. gate he must go out by the S. and vice versa (Ezekiel 45:9). The prince and the people were to enter and leave together (Ezekiel 45:10). The meat offering on all sacred occasions was to be the same as that on the new moon (Ezekiel 45:11: cp. Ezekiel 45:7). When the prince wished to make a free-will offering the inner E. gate was to be opened for him as on the sabbaths and new moons (Ezekiel 45:12).

8. The prince in the midst of them.. shall go in] RV ’the prince.. shall go in in the midst of them.’

12. Voluntary] RV ’freewill offering, a.’ Voluntarily] RV ’as a freewill offering.’

(f) The Daily Burnt Offering (Ezekiel 46:13-15)

Cp. with this Exodus 29:38-40; Numbers 28:3-8. The proportions of Ezekiel’s meal offering differ from those in Ex and Nu, and he says nothing about a drink offering or an evening sacrifice.

14. Temper with] RV ’moisten’, Meat offering] RV ’meal offering’: so in Ezekiel 45:15.

(g) Gifts of Land by the Prince (Ezekiel 46:16-18)

Such gifts could only be made from the Prince’s own possessions (Fig. 7, PP). If they were given to his sons they were made in perpetuity, but if to his servants, they returned to him in the year of jubilee: see Leviticus 25:10; Leviticus 27:24.

(h) The Kitchens of the Priests and the People (Ezekiel 46:19-24)

On the W. of the holy chambers N. of the Temple (Fig. 3, GG1) Ezekiel was shown a place (L) where the priests cooked the parts of the sacrifice which they ate in the chambers (Ezekiel 42:13). We may assume that there was a similar place (L) adjoining the holy chambers (GG1) on the S. of the Temple (Ezekiel 45:19-20). In every corner of the outer court there was a building (M) 40 cubits by 30, where the Ternple servants (the Lévites) cooked the sacrifices to be eaten by the people (Ezekiel 45:21-24).

22. Joined of] RV ’inclosed’,

23. Places of them that boil] RV ’boiling houses.’

Verses 18-25

The Offerings at the Sacred Seasons, etc

(This whole passage should be compared with Numbers 28:29.)

(a) The Atonement for the Sanctuary (Eze 45:18-20)

This was to take place twice yearly, on the first days of the first and seventh months. These two days in Ezekiel serve the same purpose as the great Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month (Leviticus 16:0; Num 29:7-11).

20. The seventh day of the month] LXX 'in the seventh month, on the first day of the month'. Reconcile] RV 'make atonement for.'

(b) The Passover (Eze 45:21-24)

With these regulations cp. Exodus 12:18-20; Leviticus 23:5-8; Numbers 9:2-3; Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

23. Kid of the goats] RV 'he-goat.'

(c) The Feast of Tabernacles (Eze 45:25)

This was to hold the same place in the seventh month as the Passover in the first month: cp. Leviticus 23:34-36; Numbers 29:12-38; Deuteronomy 16:13-15. Ezekiel makes no mention of the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).

(d) The Sabbaths and New Moons (Eze 46:1-8)

On these occasions the E. gateway of the innercourt, which was shut at other times, was opened all day. The prince was allowed to enter the gateway by the porch, which was next the outer court (Eze 40:34), to prepare his offerings, and to worship at the (inner) threshold of the gateway, but not to enter the inner court. The people worshipped in the outer court, at the entrance of the same gateway: cp. with these vv. Numbers 28:9-25.

5, 7. Meat offering] RV 'meal offering.'

7. His hand.. unto] RV 'he is able.'

(e) Various Regulations for Worship (Eze 46:9-12)

No one was to leave the outer court by the gate by which he came in. If he entered by the N. gate he must go out by the S. and vice versa (Eze 45:9). The prince and the people were to enter and leave together (Eze 45:10). The meat offering on all sacred occasions was to be the same as that on the new moon (Ezekiel 45:11 : cp. Eze 45:7). When the prince wished to make a free-will offering the inner E. gate was to be opened for him as on the sabbaths and new moons (Eze 45:12).

8. The prince in the midst of them.. shall go in] RV 'the prince.. shall go in in the midst of them.'

12. Voluntary] RV 'freewill offering, a.' Voluntarily] RV 'as a freewill offering.'

(f) The Daily Burnt Offering (Eze 46:13-15)

Cp. with this Exodus 29:38-40; Numbers 28:3-8. The proportions of Ezekiel's meal offering differ from those in Ex and Nu, and he says nothing about a drink offering or an evening sacrifice.

14. Temper with] RV 'moisten', Meat offering] RV 'meal offering': so in Ezekiel 45:15.

(g) Gifts of Land by the Prince (Eze 46:16-18)

Such gifts could only be made from the Prince's own possessions (Fig. 7, PP). If they were given to his sons they were made in perpetuity, but if to his servants, they returned to him in the year of jubilee: see Leviticus 25:10; Leviticus 27:24.

(h) The Kitchens of the Priests and the People (Eze 46:19-24)

On the W. of the holy chambers N. of the Temple (Fig. 3, GG1) Ezekiel was shown a place (L) where the priests cooked the parts of the sacrifice which they ate in the chambers (Eze 42:13). We may assume that there was a similar place (L) adjoining the holy chambers (GG1) on the S. of the Temple (Eze 45:19-20). In every corner of the outer court there was a building (M) 40 cubits by 30, where the Ternple servants (the Lévites) cooked the sacrifices to be eaten by the people (Eze 45:21-24).

22. Joined of] RV 'inclosed',

23. Places of them that boil] RV 'boiling houses.'

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 45". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/ezekiel-45.html. 1909.