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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 45

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-8

Eze 45:1-8

This gives instructions for the provision of land for the sanctuary and temple grounds, and then for dividing up the remainder of the Holy Land to the Twelve Tribes of Israel. An appeal is made for the kings of Israel to refrain from violence and from false trading. Specifications for certain animal sacrifices are also made.

Ezekiel 45:1-8

Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about. 2 Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. 3 And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place. 4 The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the LORD: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary. 5 And the five and twenty thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth, shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves, for a possession for twenty chambers. 6 And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel. 7 And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border. 8 In the land shall be his possession in Israel: and my princes shall no more oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes.

Division of Land for the priests, Levites, and prince.

Ezekiel 45:1-8.

These verses give the details of the apportionment of the central sacred district of the land that is to be assigned to the priests, Levites, and the prince (Ezekiel 47:13 to Ezekiel 48:35 will divide the remaining land among the people). The sacred district that Ezekiel saw had a central area of 25,000 by 20,000 cubits flanked on either side by areas for the prince with the sanctuary located in the center. This land was allotted to the Zadokite priests who lived in this section and ministered in the sanctuary (Ezekiel 45:3-4).

Just to the north of this section was a tract of 25,000 cubits by 10,000 cubits assigned to the Levites (Ezekiel 45:5). A third section 25,000 by 5,000 cubits was allotted for the new city (Ezekiel 45:6). On either side of the central district allotted to the Zadokite priests, Levites, and city is the land allotted to the prince (Ezekiel 45:7). He received two sections of land on either side of the central district that are also 25,000 cubits from north to south but extend from the sacred central district to the borders of the land to the east and west (Ezekiel 45:8).

This land will belong to the prince who will oversee the allotments of the land for all the tribes (see Ezekiel 47:13 to Ezekiel 48:35). The land of the priests will be a sacred district belonging to the Lord. Those who commit themselves to God’s service are his and are to live by what his people provide for his work (Ezekiel 45:1-8; 1 Corinthians 9:14).

Verses 9-12

Eze 45:9-12

Ezekiel 45:9-12

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD. 10 Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. 11 The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer, and the ephah the tenth part of an homer: the measure thereof shall be after the homer. 12 And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh.

Regulations for offerings and feast days. Ezekiel 45:9 to Ezekiel 46:24.

The demand for Just Standards. Ezekiel 45:9-12.

This section (Ezekiel 45:9-12) is a rebuke of the priests for their dishonesty in the use of scales, weights, and measures used to weigh offerings brought to the temple. Abuse of these tools of the marketplace was a source of frequent mention in the O.T. (Leviticus 19:35; Deuteronomy 25:13-16; Proverbs 11:1; Amos 8:5; Micah 6:10-12). Amos preached against insincere worship and dishonest practices (Amos 8:1-6). He painted a sordid picture of people who were impatient because of the arrival of the Sabbath that interrupted their dishonest and deceitful business practices perpetrated on the populace. The people of Amos’ day loved dishonest gain more than they loved God. They were selfish and covetous; their lack of morality in the market reflected their loose attitude toward all standards of righteousness.

These dishonest merchants tampered with the scales, placed false bottoms in the measure used in the sale of grain, mixed chaff with the salable wheat, and shaved metal off the coins used in exchange (Amos 8:5-6) Concern for honesty applied to the temple precincts as well as the marketplace. In the temple animals were bought and money was exchanged by those who came to worship. These same practices were condemned by Jesus when He cleared “His Father’s House” of the “den of thieves.”

Ezekiel had already soundly rebuked the community leaders for their injustices (Ezekiel 22:1-31). That he here also rebuked the priests was another reminder of how seriously God views honesty and probity in dealings between individuals. It was sad testimony to the lack of honesty among the spiritual leaders of Ezekiel’s day and a warning for spiritual leaders in every age (cf. Ezekiel 22:1-22).

The princes (Ezekiel 45:9) will be responsible for setting and enforcing a system of standard weights and measures to insure honesty in trade and exchange not only in the temple but for all commercial enterprises as well. God admonished the princes to avoid violence and oppression and to enforce justice. Also the priests will be responsible for receiving money, gifts for offerings such as grain and oil, and were also involved in exchange.

Standard weights and measures were necessary for acceptable offerings. This law set a standard to enforce justice that the prophets championed and God demanded. Accurate scales and dry measures were to be used in buying, selling and exchanging (Ezekiel 45:10-11). The shekel was the unit of monetary exchange, and a standard weight for the shekel was set (Ezekiel 45:12).

No standard conversion table has been established for the weights and measures named by Ezekiel. A homer was a dry measure of approximately five bushels. An ephah was one-tenth of a homer, making it about one-half bushel. A bath was a liquid measure of about five-and-one-half gallons. The shekel weighed an average of about four-tenth of an ounce and equalled twenty-four gerahs. The shekel was one-fifth of a mina.

Just dealings precede acceptable worship. God abhors false balances (Proverbs 11:1; Amos 8:5; Micah 6:11) because they represent injustice and deceit (Ezekiel 45:9-12). Jesus made this same connection between justice in our relationships and acceptable worship in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21-26).

Verses 13-17

Eze 45:13-17

Ezekiel 45:13-17

This is the oblation that ye shall offer; the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat, and ye shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley: 14 Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, ye shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer: 15 And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. 16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 17 And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.

Offerings for the prince. Ezekiel 45:13-17.

The people will provide for the operation of the temple by making an offering to the prince. This was like the provision for the service of the tabernacle in Exodus 30:11-16. The required offering for grain will be one-sixth of all produce (Ezekiel 45:13).

One percent of the oil well be given for use in the temple (Ezekiel 45:14). One of every two hundred animals will be given (Ezekiel 45:15). These commodities will be used in the feast days and festivals of the temple. Everyone will be required to participate in these offerings brought to the prince as the administrator of the temple stores (Ezekiel 45:16).

Verses 18-25

Eze 45:18-25

Ezekiel 45:18-25

Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: 19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 And so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. 21 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. 22 And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering. 23 And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering. 24 And he shall prepare a meat offering of an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and an hin of oil for an ephah. 25 In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the like in the feast of the seven days, according to the sin offering, according to the burnt offering, and according to the meat offering, and according to the oil.

Regulations for the feasts. Ezekiel 45:18-25.

The first of the feasts described is an annual rite of purification for the temple (Ezekiel 45:18-20). This rite was to be carried out on the first day of the first month, which would have been March or April each year. The prince is to offer a bull as a sin offering and place the blood on the door posts of the sanctuary, the four corners of the altar, and the gate posts of the inner court (Ezekiel 45:19). The same ceremony to be on the seventh day for everyone who had gone astray to make atonement for the house (Ezekiel 45:20).

The Passover observance followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread is also the responsibility of the prince (Ezekiel 45:21; cf. Exodus 12:1-2; Numbers 28:16-25). At Passover the prince will offer a sin offering for himself and for the people. On the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread that followed, the prince offered seven bulls, seven rams, and a male goat as a sin offering each day (Ezekiel 45:23).

Accompanying these sacrifices is to be an ephah of grain and one hin of oil, which was about twelve pints (Ezekiel 45:24). The feast of the seventh month is the Feast of Tabernacles. It is described in Leviticus 23:33-36 and Numbers 29:12-38. Since it too was a seventh-day feast, the same regulations applied (Ezekiel 45:25).

Rules Concerning the Temple and Worship

Ezekiel 44:1 to Ezekiel 46:24

Open It

1. Would you prefer a world where faithfulness and hard work are rewarded or a world where good fortune is dispensed at random? Why?

2. Why do you think society dictates that we dress up for certain occasions and not others?

Explore It

3. What special instructions did the guide in Ezekiel’s vision have for the east gate to the sanctuary? (Ezekiel 44:1-3)

4. How did Ezekiel react when he saw the glory of the Lord? (Ezekiel 44:4)

5. To what instructions did God tell Ezekiel to pay particular attention, in order to correct God’s people? (Ezekiel 44:5-6)

6. What practice would God not tolerate in the restored temple? (Ezekiel 44:7-9)

7. Why were the Levites to be limited only to certain duties within the temple? (Ezekiel 44:10-14)

8. What group did God designate to serve as priests in the inner court? (Ezekiel 44:15-16)

9. What were some ways in which the priests were expected to maintain a greater degree of purity in their life than were the common people? (Ezekiel 44:17-27)

10. What provisions did God make for the sustenance of the priests? (Ezekiel 44:28-31)

11. How did God redraw the map of Jerusalem to provide for the temple, the priests, and the prince in an equitable way? (Ezekiel 45:1-8)

12. What abuses of power by prior rulers did God want to eliminate in the restored kingdom? (Ezekiel 45:9-12)

13. What sorts of offerings did God specify for special days on the Jewish calendar? (Ezekiel 45:13-25)

14. How was the opening and closing of certain gates to be a part of the temple ceremonies? (Ezekiel 46:1-12)

15. What were the required daily offerings? (Ezekiel 46:13-15)

16. How did God’s laws on inheritance insure separateness for His people and justice among them? (Ezekiel 46:16-18)

17. What practical provision was made in the temple since most of the sacrifices were followed by feasts? (Ezekiel 46:19-24)

Get It

18. What indications do you see in these three chapters of God’s expectations of those in leadership?

19. Where in these chapters do you see God’s concern for the "little person"?

20. How does God’s concern for accurate units of measure demonstrate His concern about our life?

21. Why is it significant that the land set aside for worship was to be at the center of the restored city?

22. Why do you think that purity is so often stressed in situations where human beings approach God?

23. How did the temple rituals help the people understand what was important in life?

24. How was everyday life brought into the worship of God in the temple?

25. For whom do you think the feasts were designed primarily?

26. How should believers conduct themselves with regard to some of the questionable practices of commerce or society?

Apply It

27. What "weights and measures" or "rules and regulations" of daily life should you resolve before God to observe with greater faithfulness?

28. How can you give worship more of a central place in your life?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Ezekiel 45". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/ezekiel-45.html.
 
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