Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ezekiel 45

Verses 1-25

Ezekiel 45:18. Thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary. In the ancient tabernacle all the vessels were touched with blood, to purify and consecrate them to sacred purposes. In like manner Christ sanctifies his people, by washing them from their sins in his own blood.

REFLECTIONS.

The command to divide the land by lot, or into fair proportions on the return of the jews, differs materially from the division made by Joshua; and it is allowed that no such division was made, or even attempted, when the jews returned from Babylon. Consequently the visions here refer chiefly to happier times than Israel ever yet saw.

We find in the division of the country that a portion of the land was first reserved for the Lord. His temple required an ample space of ground, and his poor required support; and he ever lives their guardian and constant friend. If we expect the Lord’s blessing, we must pay him homage down to the widow’s mite. It is well therefore for men when they come to their inheritance to consecrate their fortune by a small offering to heaven in this way.

A portion was next reserved for the prince. Royalty which watches with a paternal eye for the public weal, should be amply supported in return. The king is the Lord’s minister; and next to a lot of land for the Lord’s house, his support is guaranteed in order, and prior to the provision for ministers of religion. His portion was adjacent to the capital, because he must reside contiguous to the court, and the bench of justice.

With regard to the various offerings here prescribed, though I do sincerely believe that these visions of the temple seen by Ezekiel were in figure the church of Christ throughout all ages, as the last chapters in the Revelation explain; yet as the jews are a part of that church, to whom a preference was once given, and as on their return they will not in general be converted, there is no doubt but this enlargement of the usual sacrifices will be offered to the Lord, till under the oppression of their foes they shall in some way, and probably as St. Paul in his way to Damascus, look on Him whom they have pierced: then the millennium, and the purest worship of God will commence. Hence I wonder much at certain ingenious writers, who think that the jews will make Ezekiel’s vision the model of their future city and temple. If the glory of the latter day is to consist in splendid architecture, I know not how the age of Solomon can be surpassed. The temple which he built was a work of perfection; yea, the tabernacle in Shiloh was adequate to express by shadows, the spiritual glory of the church. But the forty seventh chapter seems to bear the most evident marks of being figurative, and consequently, of being understood in a spiritual sense.

There can be no doubt but the city, the holy Jerusalem, which the apostle John saw in vision, is the same as that foretold by Ezekiel; but it certainly had no appearance of a terrestrial city. Every thing about it is heavenly and divine, such as was never seen on earth, and whose only builder and maker is God. Instead of being erected in the land of Palestine, it comes “down from God out of heaven,” having no temple, neither sun nor moon to shine in it; even the earth and the sea were passed away. The Lord God and the Lamb are the temple of it, and their glory is the light thereof. Every thing shows this city to have a celestial origin, being contrasted with all the productions of human art, and with whatever is known in the present world. It can be understood only of the heavenly state, or subordinately of the church on earth in its highest perfection in the latter day, as the prelude or anticipation of the heavenly glory. It is therefore agreeable to the analogy of faith to consider the predictions of the prophet as referring to a spiritual city and temple, in accordance with the rapturous visions of the holy apostle. Compare Revelation 21:22. with Ezekiel 47, 48.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 45". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/ezekiel-45.html. 1835.