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Ezekiel 44:5 . Mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears. Every thing seen in this vision of the temple, adumbrates celestial glory, and therefore demanded the most profound attention. The law was a shadow of good things to come.
The substance of this chapter is much the same as the twenty first and twenty second chapters of Leviticus, under which suitable reflections will be found. But here it is of consequence to note, that the way in which the glory entered was peculiarly holy. The people must not enter that way, lest they should defile it with their feet; and the priests, in many of their more sacred services, officiated barefoot. The prince or the priest alone might enter at that gate, after the proper purification of his person. This reminds us, that the Lord Jesus is entered into the heavens by a new and living way; and that we cannot follow him till we are first made kings and priests unto God his Father, to whom be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The uncircumcised in heart, and the uncircumcised in flesh, were excluded from the temple of the Lord. This shows us that the unregenerate shall not see the kingdom of God; consequently every one desiring to enter heaven, must ascend by the regular steps of repentance, faith, and holiness. This is the only way in which sinful men can approach the holy God; and without holiness no one shall see the Lord.
The various precepts respecting the purifications and the dress of the priests, strikingly impress our minds with the great sanctity which God attaches to the ministry. The bodies of ministers must be preserved in sanctification and in honour. He who does the work and delivers the word of God, must habitually live the servant and friend of God. Nothing in his person, in his food, in his dress, or in his conduct, must revolt the faithful against the word and ordinances of the Lord. On the contrary, all about the priest must be inviting, and calculated to recommend religion by a cloud of virtues and engaging qualities. If religion do not make ministers holy and happy, what hope can remain for the people?
The prohibition of the priests from defiling themselves for the death of nephew, niece, cousin, or friend, marks also the great importance of the ministry. The service and the glory of God are not to be neglected for the casualties of life; the salvation and comfort of the saints, and the saving of souls from death, are of more importance than domestic concerns in their most serious crisis. Let God be magnified in his house, let the interests of religion be exalted, and let secular affairs be postponed to the hours of leisure and domestic retirement. What then will the Lord say to those ministers who neglect both their studies, and the most sacred duties of their profession, to attend the profane recreations of life? How will they appear among the shepherds and the poorest of the flock, when they have peculiarly piqued themselves on the life and manners of accomplished gentlemen!
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 44". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25