This chapter deals particularly with the apportionment of the land for the Lord, His priests the Levites and the people, all in connection with the site of the sanctuary and its court. It is an ideal picture of Jehovah dwelling in the midst of His saints.
“Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto Jehovah, a holy portion of the land; the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand: it shall be holy in all the border thereof round about. Of this there shall be for the holy place five hundred in length by five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits for the suburbs thereof round about. And of this measure shalt thou measure a length of five and twenty thousand, and a breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary, which is most holy. It is a holy portion of the land; it shall be for the priests, the ministers of the sanctuary, that come near to minister unto Jehovah; and it shall be a place for their houses, and a holy place for the sanctuary. And five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth, shall be unto the Levites, the ministers of the house, for a possession unto themselves, for twenty chambers. And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, side by side with the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel. And whatsoever is for the prince shall be on the one side and on the other side of the holy oblation and of the possession of the city, in front of the holy oblation and in front of the possession of the city, on the west side westward, and on the east side eastward; and in length answerable unto one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border. In the land it shall be to him for a possession in Israel: and My princes shall no more oppress My people; but they shall give the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes”-vers. 1-8.
Of old the land of Palestine was divided by lot among the children of Israel. The lot was an Old Testament way of determining the mind of God, “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). The last use of this method was that in connection with the choice of one to take the place of Judas, as recorded in Acts 1:26. This was before Pentecost. Since then God guides and directs His people by the Spirit and the Word.
As one reads the dimensions given which are somewhat indefinite owing to the fact that we are not told whether cubits or reeds are intended, the impression left on the mind is one of spaciousness, as though God would indicate that He has large things in store for His people in the coming day. The divisions for the tribes are given in chapter 48 and are altogether different from those of old. The portion for the prince has been before us already in the previous chapter but is enlarged upon here. All shall be holy unto the Lord.
“Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute justice and righteousness; take away your exactions from My people, saith the Lord Jehovah. Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of a homer, and the ephah the tenth part of a homer: the measure thereof shall be after the homer. And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs; twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh”-vers. 9-12.
Government was established by God. It is He who puts men in places of authority. But all down through the centuries princes and rulers have been prone to misuse their God-given privileges and to forget their responsibilities. The later kings of Judah were fla- grantly recreant to their duty, and God judged them for it.
Here principles are laid down which all in positions of authority should heed, and which will characterize those who are associated with Christ in ruling in Israel, and over the entire world in the kingdom age.
“This is the oblation that ye shall offer: the sixth part of an ephah from a homer of wheat; and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah from a homer of barley; and the set portion of oil, of the bath of oil, the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is ten baths, even a homer (for ten baths are a homer); and one lamb of the flock, out of two hundred, from the well-watered pastures of Israel;-for a meal-offering, and for a burnt-offering, and for peace-offerings, to make atonement for them, saith the Lord Jehovah. All the people of the land shall give unto this oblation for the prince of Israel. And it shall be the prince’s part to give the burnt-offerings, and the meal-offerings, and the drink-offerings, in the feasts, and on the new moons, and on the sabbaths, in all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin-offering, and the meal-offering, and the burnt-offering, and the peace-offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel”-vers. 13-17.
As before we may see in the instruction given here a picture of the worship in which princes and people shall participate in the day of the Lord’s manifested authority. Christ Himself as set forth typically in these offerings, will be the joy of the hearts of His people. The perfection of His work will be remembered forever by those who have been brought into fellowship with Him on the basis of the blood of the cross.
“Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish; and thou shalt cleanse the sanctuary. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering, and put it upon the door-posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. And so thou shalt do on the seventh, day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye make atonement for the house”-vers. 18-20.
In Lev. 23 we have the feasts or appointed seasons of the Lord. Here our attention is directed to these set times, some of which will no doubt be observed in millennial days. The feast of Pentecost is omitted however. It has had its complete fulfilment in the Church, of which it was the type. The new moons, the passover, and the tabernacles or feast of ingathering, all have their place telling us that all Israel’s future blessing rests upon and is the result of the work of the cross. Christ died as the paschal lamb, not for the Church of this age alone but for Israel and the nations as a whole. All who are ever saved in any age or in accordance with any dispensation will owe everything for eternity to the blood of the Lamb of God.
“In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin-offering. And the seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt-offering to Jehovah, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a he-goat daily for a sin-offering. And he shall prepare a meal-offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and a hin of oil to an ephah. In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, in the feast, shall he do the like the seven days; according to the sin-offering, according to the burnt-offering, and according to the meal-offering, and according to the oil”-vers. 21-25.
The feast of tabernacles or booths, celebrated after the harvest was gathered in, very aptly typifies full millennial blessing, as we see here and in Zech. 14.
These appointed seasons will be observed as memorials of what God has wrought through the work of His Son, but it is not necessary to think of the sacrifices and offerings as being reinstituted; rather that of which they speak will be the joy of the hearts of the people of God forever.
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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Ezekiel 45". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany